Top: KWIMBO [Shop here] Photography: Hinywi Creative Infinity
This entire shoot reminds me of summer. The kind of summer singers write about. The kind of summer you tell stories about, that one summer you’ll never forget. My favourite thing about it is of course my Kwimbo top, I introduced the Chitenge/Kitenge/Ankara African print shop last weekend in [this] post and it’s been getting so much love which I’m grateful for. This piece is called Siavonga Sunset, named after one of the most beautiful places at home. Siavonga is a town in the Southern Province of Zambia, lying on the north shore of Lake Kariba and boasts one of the best sunsets around. Read more about it on the Zambia Tourism site.
This is a quick post about questions to ask yourself before you fall in love, mostly from experience (lol you know hindsight is 20/20). But it also draws from wise counsel of elders around me, from great books and from those who have succeeded in finding true love.
1. How well do I know them?
Listen, there is nothing worse than discovering a ‘deal-breaker’ characteristic AFTER you’ve already developed feelings for the person. Ask questions about the person, spend time getting to know them, spend time with their friends or family where possible. Run a background check (I’M SERIOUS!) ask about them from the locals, find out as much as you can before you fall. And then decide if you really align.
2. Is this lust or something deeper?
Okay hands up, I love a good looking man as much as the next girl. Attraction is an important factor in a relationship and you must feel comfortable with the person you choose. However, it’s not the be all and end all of a relationship. I never thought I was so shallow to be honest until I took certain factors such as sex, money, physique out of the equation. Would you still like your partner if they were stripped of these external attributes? Would you still want them?
3. Do they make me a better person?
A partnership can be the making of breaking of someone. I’ve seen people blossom in the arms of the right person, they’ve gained confidence, gone for their dreams or just become so much kinder. Simply because they have the right person in their corner supporting them. When I was with the wrong person, things went wrong for me. I settled for the wrong job, I spent less time with my friends/family, I had low self esteem and it was just the wrong situation for me. Love is supposed to make you feel free, and allow you to reach new heights. If you believe you are happier on your own, it’s probably not the right situation for you.
4. Can I rely on this person?
Mhmmm. My face says it all! You know some people have the gift of the gab. Words are powerful and when used to whisper beautiful nothings in your ear, they can be a very dangerous tool. Beware the trap of falling for words! Watch for actions! Life is brilliant when you’re up on the mountain, cloud nine enjoying sunshine and freedom. But when things go down and life hits you from the side – where are they? Are they by your side supporting you, do they make an effort to help? Can you feel that they care through their actions, without having to prompt them.
5. What are their future plans, do they align with mine?
Ladies, if a man says he doesn’t know what he wants for his future, be very cautious. You can develop feelings and want more with someone who doesn’t even know what they want for themselves. I’ve met many men that are simply not ready. They have not thought through or considered their future, this is not the man for me. On the other hand, there are men that know exactly what they want (S/O to all my real male friends there’s only two tbh ). So it’s easier to see if their future plans align with yours. Because you might find that despite sharing similar values, you want to lead two very different lives.
Be careful what you compromise, it’s not worth losing yourself for anyone. The world needs you just as you are, and the right love for you will allow you to be the best version of yourself 🙂
That’s the top five questions I now ask myself before falling for anyone. What would you add to the list? Comments are back working again so let me know what you think below? Love and light x MC
Chitenge two-piece : KWIMBO
Hi loves, I’m so excited to share this post today. If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll know that I’ve been talking about creating a store on the site for some of my African-print chitenge designs. Some of you registered your interest on certain items, and although it has taken way longer than anticipated (I think the idea was born around this time last year), I’m very happy to say it’s finally here! Kwimbo means home, and the matching set I am wearing below is aptly named after my paternal tribe – Kaonde. This store is a reflection of the rich culture and landscape of my country Zambia, a piece of home that I wish to extend to you. You can read more about the store and inspiration on the link below:
Kaonde Print matching set
Kaonde Off The Shoulder Crop Top
You can shop these and more chitenge designs at KWIMBO – there will be more styles coming so let me know if there is anything you would like. I want to not only share the beauty of my country in these designs, but also to return something back home. So 10% of the profits of each sale will be given to Chikumbuso Charity, a Zambian-based project that provides opportunities for widowed women in Lusaka to gain work skills and provide for their families.
I sincerely appreciate your support and encouragement. May God bless you and guide you.
Do you know what you want? Some people have always known what they wanted. When I was younger, I was sure that I wanted to be a doctor. Then I got into my pre-medical course. I saw that my biggest motivation was helping people. I found purpose in living a life that benefited others, but I also started to realise that there were different ways I could help people while using the gifts I had. I enjoyed many elements of my introduction to Medicine, but there were many others I could not imagine living as me. So I set about finding my gifts, what was I naturally good at? How could I develop it and how could I use my gifts to find a fulfilling career?
Here are five things I find useful in helping me identify my God-given gifts:
- Define happiness for you
Ask yourself, when is this life have you been happy? Like really in bliss and content and filled with joy. What where you doing? Where were you? What caused you to feel that way. And most importantly why? Write down as many happy memories as you can remember
- Recognise your strengths
For some reason, we tend to pay more attention to the negative things people say about us rather than the positive ones. Let’s flip the script! What are you good at? What do people always say – WOW you are GREAT at that! For me, it was always writing, but like many of us – I didn’t really pay attention to that because it came so naturally to me. What comes naturally to you? Pay attention to these things, play to your strengths.
We all know actions speak louder than words. There are some things we are quite good at but don’t believe. This could be for various reasons, perhaps they make us uncomfortable, or we don’t realise just how good we are because nobody tell us, and when they do, we don’t believe them. For example, I used to be a brilliant high jumper at school, my P.E. teacher would enter me into all sorts of competitions across the county. But I hit my teens and developed really bad anxiety. I would dread competition days so much that I failed to sleep dreaming about them. My teacher noticed I was more reluctant and said we could work through the nerves, but I was too scared. *insert sad emoji here*
- Reflect on the hard times
So this one is interesting, but have you ever gone through a low patch? Has your friend gone through a low patch? How did you behave during that time? You are here today, maybe you are going through a rough time right now, but you’ve made it through before. How? Some of our best qualities shine in the darkest of times. Last year on my birthday trip to Miami, we were caught up in hurricane Irma. We had to evacuate South beach and find somewhere safe to ride out the storm. We had no electricity and tornadoes hit us night after night, but I got to experience a different, very protective side to me. My number one goal was to make sure my best friends were safe. I now add ‘protective’ to my list of qualities. What characteristics did you display in times of difficulty?
- Celebrate your differences
Despite the world wanting us to believe there is only one way to be intelligent, beautiful or talented, there are several different versions of these things. We were all made for a unique reason and our differences are what drive the success of our being. It’s very dangerous to try and be like everyone else, I recall at one point having some identity crisis in my teens when my characteristics became a trend. But it took me a while to learn that my natural hair, love of avocados and vinyasa yoga are not what made me who I was. My soul makes me who I am, other people can do exactly what I do but NOBODY can do it like me. That’s the difference. You have gotta stay you because authenticity lasts the test of time.
No-one is you and that is your power.
Love and light x MC
Shirt: Bershka | Inside crop top: Missguided | Trousers: Topshop
Hi loves, as you can see – this post was shot in Bradford! I wanted to check out The Broadway shopping centre in hope of grabbing some goodies for myself and browsing the Father’s Day sales. Although I ended up online shopping instead and found a few gems like this luxury Father’s Day Perfume Gift Set and this Activist Gift Set by The Body Shop, it was still a worthwhile journey to capture the city with my brother.
I am excited to share the series of shoots we took with you. Bradford is one of those places that you hear so much about before you actually experience it. I had the chance to study there for a while and it taught me so much about life, resilience, culture and of course science. So I wanted to share some of the city with you, in the hope that you can see the beauty I encountered there . Just like Bradford, this post is about looking past the multiple layers of perception and finding true happiness within. The truth is we live in an imperfect world and it’s up to us to create our own happiness. Here are five things that are helping me along that journey.
I once read a quote that said ‘Forgive everyone for everything’. Not sure whom it was by, but I find forgiveness extremely freeing. Holding a grudge or even resentment towards someone takes up energy and space that you might not even realise. That energy could be freed up to use on loving yourself more! You deserve all your energy, love, and kindness unreservedly.
Seeking purpose has been instrumental in helping me find peace. The belief that you are here for a specific reason that only you can fulfill, provides solace through the rough times, and gives an inner joy that cannot be stolen by the world.
3. Stay in your lane
Once you believe in your purpose, the challenge is to focus on your own journey to achieving that purpose. Look neither left nor right but focus on YOURSELF. Comparison is the thief of joy and a sure way to lose sight of your many blessings. Be aware of those who are trying to bring negative energy in your life and steer away from such energies. Protect your energy and always look within first.
You are surrounded by blessings, your life is a blessing, your body and mind are blessings and this moment is a blessing. Choosing to recognise and focus on my blessings has helped me develop an attitude of gratitude. When was the last time you gave thanks for your food? I tend to take the smallest things for granted until I no longer have them. But it’s the simple things that we miss the most. Once we start to appreciate everything we have, we see life as a gift and develop joy.
Love, love, love. We were created to love. Love is a verb, an action that can be applied to everything you do. Loving others starts with loving yourself, flaws and all. I used to be so hard on myself all the time about everything. It took me so long to realise that I’m not supposed to be perfect – nobody is and that’s okay. Now I am mindful about the way I think of myself, I have learnt to be patient and kind with myself first. Once you love who you are, it’s easy to spread that love and kindness to those around you.
“Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13
I hope you find these points as helpful as I have in creating joy in my life. What do you do to create and maintain happiness in your life? Please share in the comments, I’d love to hear to from you.
Love & Light x MC
Dress: ADIDAS | Block Heels: New Look
Hi guys, I hope you are well and enjoying the lovely spring weather. How wonderful has it been these last couple of weeks? We even had a rain-free bank holiday with plenty of sunshine – the first one in England for 11 years!
LISTEN, if that doesn’t convince you that it’s YOUR time then I don’t know what will! I mean, everything is possible! America’s president was a reality TV star! Imagine that. Anything is possible.
So my introduction (accidentally) ties in with what I wanted to write about today. A lesson I have been going through this year regarding believing in myself, believing in my ideas and in my dreams.
I think we are all born knowing exactly what we want – well it starts with food or a mother’s breast in my case, then we go through the motions to stay comfortable and happy. As babies we cry when we are uncomfortable, and we cry when we are unhappy, until our parents/guardians figure out what we want. Ah bliss! (Ironic that this is probably the best stage of our lives and we don’t even remember it eh?)
Anyway as we get older, we get more conditioned. We start listening to adults telling us what we can and cannot do. That we cannot just follow our dreams because we have responsibilities. Or that life has a generic path that everyone is walking down which we are supposed to follow. We are forced to begin following that path through school, then we get older and learn that maybe our dreams don’t mean nothing, maybe our imagination is supposed to just stay in our minds and that all the ideas we had where a childhood fantasy. Right?
To be honest, I didn’t really think about it. It’s taken several events to force me to reflect on my own limited self-belief. At one point I realised that I have ALWAYS had these dreams. I am not just doing things for the sake of it but I have actually always been this person. I wanted to do certain things, to be a certain person and to live a certain way. It’s crazy because I don’t think we realise just how much we let go of ourselves to ‘fit’ into the ideas and ways of society. It’s like we are conditioned to follow others rather than STICK to our own ideas about life and how to live it.
This year has been so eye opening for me. We are one hundred and twenty-nine (129) days into 2018 and the lesson for me is loud and clear: You are right, you were right. You were right to have your dreams as a kid, they were right for you. You were right to do what you enjoyed as a teenager, things that made you happy. You were right not to care what everyone else thought or what they were doing. You were right.
You were right to believe in yourself. And you really ARE all those wonderful magical things you thought you were and wanted to be.
Nothing can stop you living your purpose apart from yourself.
Step into it with confidence. This is your year, and mine.
Love and light x MC
Top: PrettyLittleThing | Shorts: Missguided | Heels: New Look | Photography: CHIP
Hi guys, Happy Easter! How are you? It’s been a minute since I posted, actually it has been two months! That is such a long time for me but I have been doing a few things, travelling and thinking about life too.
To summarise, I visited America in February. We went to Atlanta and then spent some time in sunny Florida. It was a wonderful trip, necessary and fulfilling. I came back home in March and since then I have been VEGAN! *Insert scream here* I know right! Can you believe it? I aint even going to Coachella! (Beyhive y’all know 😉 ) But as much as I appreciate Queen B’s talents and influence, I had always planned to go vegan…eventually. I was vegetarian in University for a while and had always planned to go back. It has been four years since then so you can see how long it took me to mentally prepare for a vegan life. But I’m very glad I made the commitment. I can go into more detail about what I’m eating, how the journey’s been and tips on this in another dedicated post – just let me know if you would like that.
This post is more about the culmination of all the thoughts, experiences and lessons over these few months.
Value (n). ‘The importance, worth, or usefulness of something’
Have you considered that who you are now, your desires, your dreams and wishes are linked to your purpose on earth? I’ve gone through a period of deep reflection and found several underlying traits that have been a part of me in one way or another as far back as I can remember. For example, I have always regarded my physical health as important. I can remember thinking I should participate in more sport when I was 12 years old and actually deciding then that I wanted to be a fit individual. That is just one example but there are many other things that have been fundamental to shaping me.
I am learning to hold on more to these things, to realise they are part of my fabric and embrace each one despite of how society perceives them, negatively or positively. In accepting parts of myself, I am beginning to recognise the significance of my being, and finally starting to live on purpose. I will write that again:
‘Live on purpose’.
See I realise that when you discover the wonderful varied creature you are with all your complexities and twists you begin to appreciate and believe in yourself when you realise that there is actually no one else on earth like you. You have been made different for a reason. The difficulty in this time and age is that there is a constant pressure in the background or foreground sometimes to be like everyone else. We have access to each other’s lives like never before, and with that comes the creation of societal ‘standards’ from this herd mentality we have as humans to follow what gathers the most worldly value. An example is social media e.g. Instagram. Bloggers on Instagram fall under certain categories, if you are a fashion blogger – you plan your feed a certain way, take your photos from certain angles and have your makeup a specific way. It’s like there is a grade you have to meet to ‘fit’ into these categories and it’s like what if I don’t? So I don’t get a thousand likes on my photos and I don’t have thousands of followers. Am I doing something wrong? Am I good enough? Am I enough?
You do not realise how easy how easy it is to fall into this trap, until you find that you have forgotten why you started. Who you are, the value of those unique pieces we discussed above that shape the wonderful individual you are. So what do you do when the world doesn’t value you? Should you quit?
Not everyone can be the same. We all have different gifts and it doesn’t mean if you do not look a certain way or do things like the next person you are wrong. Not at all. Even the most celebrated individual had to learn to see themselves for their goodness.
The first step is to accept and recognise your traits. What makes you who you are? Who are you? Your gifts are your God-given compass points that will align you to the path of your dreams and lead you to your purpose. Value everything that makes you who you are.
Love and Light x MC