How to Be More Beautiful in 2015

I just thought I would share some beauty tips for the year ahead. These are things that I really hope to do more of myself! Here goes:

  1. Smile more. Even if you don’t really feel like it, you will probably make yourself feel better and make other people around you feel better too.
  2. Do something kind every day. If you make it an aim to do at least one kind thing, you’ll have less time to worry about negative things in life.
  3. See the best in people. We all know nobody is perfect, but what if instead of focusing on what we don’t like about a person, we focused on the good things about that person?
  4. Think of yourself less. Being humble does not mean thinking less of yourself, it means thinking of yourself less. Think more about of other people, what they might be going through, what support they might need, etc
  5. Be content. Stop looking at what other people have, and wishing you had it (perhaps stop looking so much at Instagram? I’m speaking to myself here). The grass always appears to be greener on the other side, but just water your own grass if you want it to grow.
  6. Be thankful. The quickest way out of a bad/sad mood is to count your blessings. Stop and think about all the things you are thankful for.
  7. Start living… As opposed to performing a series of acts for the sole purpose of documenting your actions on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube etc to garner “likes” and comments of approval and adoration.

Was this list not what you were expecting? Sorry if you came here looking for make up brand endorsements, or a tutorial on how to draw on eyebrows. It’s just that we seem to be so obsessed with outward beauty, as though that is all that matters. Being beautiful has very little to do with what lipstick you wear, but everything to do with character. I just hope this year more young women will being to realise that, and break free from the tentacles of mass media merchandising machines.

Happy New Year?

The reason for the question mark in my title is, hasn’t January 2015 just been a little bit depressing? I do not mean to sound negative here, but I really do hope things improve from here on out. The following (in no particular order) are a list of reasons why in my opinion, this year so far has not been so “happy”:

  • It is very cold, windy and rainy.
  • Trains everywhere seem to be running an appalling service, constantly running late, and are extremely over packed. Oh and fares have gone up too.
  • I’m fatter than usual following Christmas 2014. Usually after Christmas, I go up just one dress size, but this year it’s two.
  • Hospitals everywhere cannot cope with the number of patients being admitted. I’m scared that should I need urgent medical attention, an ambulance may reach me by January 2016.
  • The general election has not happened yet, and David Cameron is still the prime minister.
  • Over 2000 people, according to Amnesty figures, were massacred in Nigeria. As bad as that is, the tragedy was made worse by the lack of media coverage it received.
  • It’s 2015 and instead of there being greater understanding of different cultures etc, racism, it appears, is more acceptable than ever under the guises of “an honest debate about immigration”, “promoting British/Western values” and “the freedom/right to offend”.
  • Black lives still don’t matter
  • The rich continue to get richer, and the poor get poorer
  • Celebrity Big Brother has returned again. (When will this trash die?)
  • I can’t even comfort eat away some of my woes because I now have to be on a stupid diet

Despite all of these things, I live in hope. Not every year can be entirely wonderful, and anyway, this is just the beginning. After all at this time last year I was unaware that I was going to be proposed to a few days later, and then married by the end of the year (more about that later).

The best comfort really, is to continue to remind myself that this life is temporary, and to think of things eternal.

Christmas Diet: The Results

I just want to get this post over with so I can move on. I mean what was I thinking declaring that I was going to lose weight over Christmas? Who does that? Although I guess it is timely to be discussing weight loss, given that it’s one of the top New Year’s resolutions. And I did promise I would share my results. Unfortunately I can’t actually say if I lost weight seeing as I don’t weigh myself, but I think I probably lost a very tiny amount which evidenced itself by my clothes feeling about half a centimetre more loose by the time I had to go back to work on January 6th. I don’t know if I can call that a victory, but I’m taking it!


Needless to say, I did not stick to the plan of having a “mouthful” of each treat. During the holiday season, my house was packed with mince pies, gateaux, chocolate log, three biscuit tins, Celebrations, Cadbury’s Heroes, icecream, crisps, fizzy drinks, and more besides (I have a large family, don’t judge me). By telling myself that I was only going to have a mouthful, it did help me to greatly moderate what I ate, and not over indulge in the way that I have done in years gone by.


Thankfully, I also didn’t stick to the plan not to exercise outdoors. I’ve been “enjoying” rigorous outdoor runs in my local park which has a handy flight of stairs ideal for High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). If you live in the UK, you’ll know what horrendous weather we’ve had of late. Yet somehow, the howling wind and torrential rain did not stop me from the leaving the house, and I actually started to find it refreshing! I’m certain that I had I not stuck to the regular outdoor exercise, I would have piled on the pounds.



So lessons learned going forward? I’ve learned that my metabolism is slowing down as I age, that I can no longer eat so much cake, and that I must aim for at least one hour’s worth of exercise each week. Simple really! -_-


As I go forward, I also plan to keep adhering to a looser version of my anti-inflammatory diet which means that I cut down on, instead of completely cut out the refined foods. Therefore, I can still enjoy eating out, and writing reviews. (This is basically my disclaimer to explain why I’ll still be posting pictures of culinary delights throughout the year). Yay!

2014: The Year Of…?

As 2013 drew to a close it was time to reflect and look to the year ahead. 2013 was like a flash in the pan. I can’t believe it’s nearly over! As is the case every year, I have much to be thankful for.


When the year started out I did not know what would be in store. I did not know that I would start writing a blog for instance. I had wanted to start one for a very long time, but then I just decided to stop stalling, and just do it. The response has been interesting and at times surprising. For example, my most popular post by far has been my post giving tips on transitioning to natural hair. I have written about political issues (a little more than I expected to!), as well as diet and nutrition, but it seems that most people are particularly concerned about… hair. Well I am adamant that I will not turn into a natural hair blogger, but if it’s helping people, then hey I may as well add some more posts about hair this year.


2013 also turned out to be the year I learned how to ride a bike. Yes aged 26, with the help of my partner, I learned how to ride a bike. I can’t explain the mixed feelings I had when the bike finally stopped wobbling, and I was able make some distance. I felt happy to have conquered, but sad that I had missed out on such an exhilarating activity for so many years of my life. This year, I hope to become more confident on a bike, and I may even try to learn how to swim too while I’m at it!


I turned 27, and it truly feels like old age beckons. I have quite a granny personality as it is, but now that I’m getting older, it seems that my energy levels are dipping, and just want to curl up in bed half the time. As a result, my body is just not what it was back in 2012. However, this presents another challenge that I am ready to take up this year; getting my body back in shape!


All in all, 2013 produced some good memories. Before I moved to the reformed church I now attend, the charismatic Nigerian dominated churches of my past would be coming up with themes for the New Year at this time. “2014 the year of Jubilation”, or “2014 the year of Fruitfulness” for example. I don’t know what 2014 is going to turn out to be, but there is no way I am going to stand still. I hope it’s going to be a year of moving forward. A year where I don’t make the same mistakes I made the year before, and progress in my Christian faith. A year of new things, new adventures, and new accomplishments.


Here’s to 2014! The year of the unknown! I hope I have fun discovering it.

How I plan to LOSE weight this Christmas

It’s December! I can finally allow myself to feel all Christmassy! Usually at this time of year, I’m looking forward to feasting on festive food, but this year is different. I haven’t even touched a mince pie yet. That’s because I’m trying to continue my healthy(ish) eating right through the Christmas season.

First of all, let me update you on my almost-vegan-anti-inflammatory-diet (for my post on this topic, see here Well, I did well for two weeks straight, not eating white rice, white pasta, and any refined sugar. But then it got too hard, so I started to allow myself a little bit of this and that, which turned into a lot of this and that. Now, I’m just trying to eat everything in moderation, with my intake of cow’s milk to a minimum, and a careful record being kept of how much desert and sweet treats I’m ingesting each week. I hope that I will gradually get back into even better habits, such as sticking to brown rice or quinoa, and keeping refined sugar to an absolute minimal.

After a while, sweet potato and raw carrot became...tedious

After a while, sweet potato and raw carrot became…tedious

The big test will be whether I keep this up over the next month. I have tried to eat moderately over the holiday period before, and not done so well. It doesn’t help that at this time of year, it gets dark at 4pm, which makes me want to do nothing but sleep, and the cold outside puts me off going running. It’s also not great that my local gym is closed for refurbishment until the New Year. Whilst this all sounds like a recipe for disaster, I’m determined to not give in to gluttony this time around.

Here is my 5 point plan of action:

  1. Work out indoors. Seeing as my gym is closed, and it’s freezing outside, it’s time for me to make use of fitness DVDs. Even Youtube has a vast range of exercise videos for free! The Fitness Blender channel has some great routines, and I really like that there’s no distracting silly pop music playing in the background.
  2. Eat homemade soups. Winter vegetables are great for turning into soup. I need to make soup in bulk (simply because I have either the time or energy to make fresh soup everyday) and store in the freezer. This can be heated and put in a flask and taken to work, or I can heat some up in the evening for a healthy and light dinner. I love my butternut squash soup with fresh chilly (let me know if you want some recipes!). But this soup will have to be eaten on its own because I need to…
  3. Avoid bread. Bread is my absolute weakness. I could go without eating MEAT before I could completely give up bread. But it’s possible to cut down. I’ll be eating soup without bread, and choosing salads instead of sandwiches when I’m buying lunch.
  4. Drink more herbal tea. When it’s cold outside, I tend to visit the coffee shop more often and allow myself to be soothed by sipping a nice hot cup of gingerbread soya latte, or soya hot chocolate. But these drinks at the very least contain over 100 calories, and at worst up to 900 calories. Herbal tea is a better option because it’s still warming, but there are hardly any calories involved.
  5. Exercise self-control. This is the most important point, and will be needed most on Christmas day itself. Given what is usually on offer, my plan is to allow myself one mouthful of each desert, if it really looks tasty, and to just stop eating once I’m full. When it comes to mince pies, I have to be realistic. I’m not going to be able to have none, but I will limit myself to a total of 4 over the entire festive season. I know I’ve probably just exposed how greedy I am, by making it sound like 4 is very small number, but for me, it will be a challenge!

I really hope I stick to the plan, and if I do, I’ll let you know the results!


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