Hello hello. It has been a hot second since I’ve done a “life lately” update! The truth is that there have been so many moving parts in my life this year that I’ve wanted to wait until everything was settled and over the line before I could hopefully write up something that was worth reading! How crazy to think that we’re in September already. Is it too obvious and unoriginal to sigh about how quickly this year has sped by? I miss the days when I was younger and a year actually felt like… a year. I’m sure the next time I blink I’ll be 25 then I’ll wake up and be 30 with kids… *shudders*
Away from the opening blabber – I’ve actually had a very exciting year so far. I started off the year as I start off every year – it was going to be “my year” and I was going to “make it”… whatever that constitutes. I started off the year working like a dog, I’d be up typing away on my laptop until past 1am at night, the wake up 5 hours later and do the same but this time in the office. I also switched my workouts permanently from home routines to gym routines, and at the start of the year I would go to the gym for at least 1.5 hours a day, at least 5x a week without fail, even if I got out of work at 11pm (which seems so crazy now – as if I got out of work at 11pm now, ya’ll better believe I’m taking my ass straight to bed unless there is something urgent to be done). At the end of the first quarter, I hit a road block of sorts, and then, well, the “woe is me” cries started.
I do this thing sometimes where something disappointing happens in my life, and I allow it to perpetuate and spiral out of control. The “woe is me” feeling started in March – I let one small disappointment poison how I felt about myself as a person and by the time I got to June, I was feeling so sad that I’d wake up and my heart would actually be hurting. It was a… darker time, let’s say. But I got out of it through changing a few philosophies in my mind. One was to stop putting so much pressure on myself to “make it” ASAP, when I didn’t even know what “making it” meant. One was to learn how to enjoy the journey I’m on, and be proud of myself for taking the steps I need to take to get to where I want to be. And one was to just stop being down of myself – be proud of the things I have achieved a little more, rather than brushing them off and belittling them. Once I changed my mindset, my year seemed to seriously pick up…
I was featured in BBC and Gymshark
This summer I’ve been featured on two pretty huge websites. The first was Gymshark. When I first started going to the gym, Gymshark was one of the first activewear houses I purchased from (as recommended by Pauline); these days I actually find myself more of a fan of their athletes than anything else, and I love watching their founder’s YouTube videos where he offers out start-up and business tips. In any case – being featured on the website of the UK’s fastest growing brand was a pretty lovely surprise to say the least (it literally blew my Instagram for a few hours, too!)
The next was a BBC feature, where I was quoted for a few lines! Myself and a few other ladies in the fashion industry (some bloggers) shared our views on this September’s black-women-takeover of reputable magazines. September is the biggest month in fashion, and in a world where Beyonce was once told “black would never sell”, seeing so much #BlackGirlMagic on these September covers was a great step for representation. It was quite exciting being in a BBC article too, I had people blowing up my phone saying they’d read it before I’d read it myself!
I passed 1 year in my health & fitness journey
The longest I’ve ever kept my “health & fitness” up before was maybe… 2 months. To be honest, I don’t even think you can call it that, as in the past all that I’ve really actually cared about was doing whatever I can do get a “flat stomach”. Last year, my health & fitness reached such a low point that I decided to made a serious change – I actually stuck to it, and if I may say so myself, it was pretty effortless to do so. I say this all the time, but I made practical lifestyle changes. I didn’t do any crash or unsustainable dieting – I still eat all the carbs and I still have burgers on a Friday. But I eat less red meat (I really stick to lean meats and fish), I’ve cut down sugars a whole lot, and I drink so much more water. In terms of fitness – I found what I enjoy, and that’s weight training. I feel so much stronger and so much more satisfied doing this vs. all day, every day cardio. It’s actually shaped my body pretty nicely too (if I do say so myself). I always say to people trying to get into the gym to find what it is they enjoy – be it boxing, cardio, weight lifting, spin or anything else. This makes it so much easier to stick at.
I island hopped in Greece
I’ve wanted to visit Greece ever since the Kardashians did their own holiday there. This year I made it a priority to visit, and Levi and I decided to hop between both Santorini and Mykonos. It was honestly one of the better holidays I’ve gone on in a while – we’d wake up, have breakfast served, get ready and then go and have a dip in the pool. And we weren’t just swimming in these pools trying to look cool, we were genuinely big kids playing all sorts of games. During the day we’d explore, we ate so well, and in Mykonos we also checked out the nightlife. I was honestly and truly in my element of relaxation and it felt so fantastic. My work inbox actually switched into its over capacity mode on my first day out, and I had forgotten the device I needed to remote log-in and clear it out, so I was actually unable to respond to any emails even if I wanted to. I was really only active on Instagram (as you do). That week, Levi and I were totally in our own world/bubble and it was fantastic.
Overall, I’ve had an unexpectedly “well-travelled” year. I been out of the country 8 times in 9 months which is quite unusual for me – but has been due to work commitments, holidays, weekend breaks and lots of last minute planning. A part of me wants to book another cheeky weekend break before year end but this is something I’m still um-ing and ah-ing over.
I… got on the property ladder?
I always intended to save up for one more year and buy my own place next year when I turned 24. Anyhow, my dad brought forward the idea that my parents, my older brother and I all buy a place together this year especially in anticipation for the upcoming crossrail and so… we did! We ended up buying a really lovely place with honestly mouth watering amenities – so I guess that makes me a first time buyer! How exciting. I’m actually renting my room out (it’s a 3 bed place), whilst my brothers live there. This is just because I thought – 1. I’m happy where I am at the moment and 2. I’d just keep it as a “boys” flat (I doubt many boys trying to live their best life in their 20s want to do that with their sister next door). This makes me a landlord… does that mean I’ve unlocked the next level of “adult”?!
If I could say anything about the experience and share my #1 tip to anyone looking to buy it’d be to take your 10-15% deposit and add on a couple more percentage points. Because outside of that you have to consider furnishing the place, paying solicitors and paying some pretty hefty stamp duty, with a capital H, depending on the value of your purchase.
Whilst we’re at it – check out DAME
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In conclusion… life has been and will continue to be a roller coaster – but I hope I stay on my high for at least a little longer!
Kemi, all of this is amazing! The features are super cool I’d be so proud. Also getting on the property ladder? That’s something most Londoners only wish they could do! You are so casual about these accomplishments I feel proud by association lol
I hope you really enjoyed your holiday + well done on your 1 year fitness anniversary!
Your year sounds so fantastic, congratulations on being featured on Gymshark and on the BBC. This is the kind of year I want one year!
Jodie // jodieloue.com
That dress looks sooo perfect on you dear! I absolutely love the color, and perfect length too.
Jessica | notjessfashion.com
Life always has its highs and lows. It’s so hard not to compare yourselves to others who are more successful than you. I always find it hard to not put so much pressure on myself to “make it” quickly too. It’s important to remember that it’s a marathon and not a race.