It’s been a hot minute since my last post on Mr Salt and Pepper and, honey, it really feels like a lifetime ago. ✨wakes up from a 2-year-long writer’s block✨
After my last blog post, I went through some of the most challenging and dark times of my life. I felt like my world was falling apart and there was no way out… All whilst I was moving home twice and constantly feeling financially insecure. That was 2020.
Luckily, I somehow managed to win a golden freelance opportunity with one of the biggest names in the beauty industry, which has helped me to move forward during those uncertain times.
In late 2020, I left the Central London postcode after 4 glorious (also disastrous) years and moved back to South East London. ✨my London roots, eeeek✨ So, I am now (officially) a Brixtonian who loves long morning strolls in Brockwell Park, plantain crisps and Aperol summer sunsets on the balcony… just to name a few. 🌆
Basically, I left my roaring 20s in Zone 1 and welcomed steady 30s in Zone 2, which means that I should be out of London by the time I hit 60s, right? 😂
The Spirit Indestructible.
As Miss Rona was still lingering in 2021, so did my crippling mental health, 👀 I remember flying black home for the first time in 18 months, feeling like things won’t get any better, to the point where I was considering quitting my dreams and moving back home. However, the leading ladies of my family gave me some valuable words of affirmation, encouraging me to not let those evil thoughts take over my spirit and keep chasing my dreams. 👐🏻
Fast forward to the beginning of 2022, I left the job that served me no purpose in my career and gave blogging (or should I say ‘content creation’) another shot.
At first, I thought I’d do it for a few months and find something better but the work just kept coming in… and I’m so so grateful to make a living out of it to this very day. It’s not a lot but it’s enough to get me dancing to the best of my own drum.🥁
As this year went on, I’ve started to give myself more time to practise gratitude and worry less about things that I can’t change. This has helped me to greatly appreciate my own life for what it is, and just enjoy moments by myself and significant people around me.
Oh, right! Way back in June, my good gal Barbara was celebrating her birthday and she really wanted to go abroad. So, we packed our bags and flown to Kotor in Montenegro. I personally thought it would be quite affordable down there as Montenegro is not the most visited or known place of the Balkans… but I was wrong! 😂😭
However, I’m not going to have a rant about how expensive it is and just say that it’s a very gorgeous country, full of rich history, mountainous scenery and stunning architecture.
I recommend visiting Kotor as part of your cruise itinerary or as a day trip from Dubrovnik, Croatia. ✌️
This blog post was done in collaboration with Bella Vou and Page8. However, all views expressed here are my own and not those of the sponsor.
One year since THE surgery…
Hey guys! 👋🏻 How is everyone doing during these crazy times in our lives? 👀 I must to admit, I’ve been neglecting this project since the lockdown has started and I honestly don’t know why… 🙇🏻♂️*sigh* These sudden changes to our daily lives really had an impact on my overall productivity but I try not to stress too much about it because it’s ok not to be ok during a worldwide pandemic. My aim right now is to do things when the right time comes.
So, with that said, today is the day where I’m (finally) updating your all on my Vaser Liposculpting journey! *yaaas* It’s been over a year now since I had THE surgery. NGL, it’s truly been a life-changing experience for me. All thanks to my blogger mate Ed Lemont who got in touch with me last year AND, of course, Bella Vou – a cosmetic surgery clinic based in The Royal Turnbridge Wells who took a really good care of me. 💆🏻♂️
Just before the lockdown, Ed and I booked a staycation at Page8 Hotel where we spend the weekend together and celebrated our 1-year Vaser Anniversary. *hashtag party* We ate pizza, drank copious amounts of coffee and shot fab images for the gram. *snap snap bish* Also, I offered Ed to take part in my “Vaser Update” video which you can find below… 📹 *scrolls down to watch the video*
Back in March, Ed and I shot our 1-year Vaser Update video where we talked about our experience, as well as tips on fitness, diet and whether it’s was worth getting a liposuction in the first place. We also answered some of the questions we received on YouTube and Instagram. So, there you go, hope you like it. 😉
We are 3 weeks in 2020s and what a struggle it has been already! I’m going to be honest… The first few weeks of 2020 have been quite challenging for me. From trying to find new housemates in matter of days to getting some unexpected bills to pay. *yikes* I feel like life is testing me to see if I’ll be able to overcome all the obstacles coming my way this year and… sis, you need hit me wayyy harder in order to really break my spirit.
Over the years, I went through a lot of unpleasant experience. However, whatever that was, it helped me to grow a thicker skin and be a better person! 💪🏻 *uhum*
So, each year, for the past 2-3 years, I promised myself to ditch one bad habit and replace it with a good one. Last year, I’ve changed my diet to a plant based diet, which resulted in me loosing over 2 stones (14 kg) in just over 2 months, as well as improve my overall health and wellbeing. *sings Stronger by Britney Spears*
In 2020, my goal is to change my attitude towards alcohol. I’m starting this journey with Dry January then see what happens. 🥤What rules I’m going to set myself with to stay consistent? I guess we have to wait and see! *wink*
Also, I want to build myself up a little bit. Meaning… I want get back into weightlifting! 🏋🏻♂️
Some of my blogger mates stressed that switching to a plant based diet made them loose a lot of muscle weight, so they are thinking of getting back into eating dairy and meat… 🙇🏻♂️ It would be one of my fitness goals to prove everyone that you can build yourself up and stay vegan by managing your diet and fitness regiment better! *yaaas*
My top fitness classes in London!
Over the last few years, I had the opportunity to take part in a number of fitness classes in London. From rowing to kickboxing, this wonderful city has plenty of options available. Throughout the week, I mix these classes with my regular gym sessions, so I could stay motivated and reach my fitness goals faster. 🏋🏻♂️ Therefore, without further ado, here are my top fitness classes:
12×3 Gym – this one is no kids game! 🥊 Based in Aldgate and Paddington, this not-so-little boxing institution will work you out like there’s no tomorrow. Their recently launched BOXCON (boxing + conditioning) class has been named the BEST FITNESS CLASS in London in 2019 and you have to experience it to know it for yourself! Oh, and there are some good offers for first-timers, including 3 classes for £25. *werk*
The Engine Room – if you thought rowing was a piece of cake then you haven’t been to The Engine Room! Situated inside a renovated church, this rowing haven is perfect for those looking to do some rowing + HIIT workout with personalised performance metrics. 🚣🏻♂️ I always break the most sweat there and if you get Chris (founder) training you in the session then good luck surviving it, mate! ✌🏻
Flykick – just around the corner from The Engine Room, there’s Flykick. It’s a place where people push themselves over their limits and have fun whilst dling it. Flykick has 2 classes: Signature and Strength. Signature one is a mix of HIIT, stretch and kickbox, whilst Strength offers a full-body/dynamic workout. Also, they offer some great first-timer packages, including 3 classes and a pair of gloves for just £35! *bargainnn*
What are your thoughts on these 3 fitness classes? Have you been to any of them? I’m planning to publish more posts like this in the near future, so let me know what you think in the comments section below! 😘
This blog post was done in collaboration with Bella Vou. However, all views expressed here are my own.
Let’s start from the beginning…
It was the beginning of March. I was on my way to Valencia to spend a few days by the beach and celebrate the infamous Fallas Festival. *party mode onnn* The whole city of Valencia was celebrating for days and it couldn’t be a better time for me to visit this wonderful Spanish city. The weather was warm enough to wear short shorts and revealing tees. However, I wasn’t confident to show that much of my skin because it’s been rather an on-going issue of mine… I’m not happy with my body and it’s been like this since my early teens! *wait, what?!*
I’ve been trying to achieve a toned/lean body for years by consistently exercising and eating well. There were times where my body was at its best, with muscles showing on my arms and chest. Yet, still… The fat in my lower abdominal area was there like its ingrown inside my body and not intending to leave or change no matter what I do. *sad face*
Also, this may come as a little surprise for some of you but… *takes a deep breath* I have a mild case of Pectus Excavatum! *googles to find out what the heck that is* SO, Pectus Excavatum is a structural deformity of the anterior thoracic wall, which (in my case), is lightly visible but does not affect my internal organs. Meaning, my chest bones have grown slightly inwards but I didn’t need the surgery to fix it. This was a deformity that my parents noticed during my puberty.
Even though I exercise regularly and my chest muscles grow… The results are often underwhelming because of the shape of my chest!
At first, I wasn’t sure about that sort of procedure because it is a full-blown surgery! *yikes* As someone who has never had a surgery of any kind, it was definitely something I didn’t want to get myself into. However, after doing a little bit of research, I quickly realised that Vaser Liposuction is THE procedure I need!
So, I asked Ed to pass on my details to Bella Vou and take it from there. A few email exchanges and I was on my way to the Royal Tunbridge Wells to have my first consultation with Amir Nakhdjevani!
A little bit about Vaser Liposculpting procedure…
Vaser Liposculpting (or Vaser Liposuction) is an advanced body sculpting procedure that eliminates fat by using targeted ultrasound technology to liquefy and then very precisely remove fat from the body.
This treatment only targets fat cells, causing significantly less damage to other tissues. In other words: less pain, bruising and recovery time! It can also sculpt and shape multiple areas in a single procedure, including those ‘hard to reach’ areas of the body.
The thing I was most drawn to Vaser Liposculpting was the precise body sculpting procedure. There was an opportunity for me to have my chest sculptured to create the shape I was always dreaming of.
When I had my consultation with Dr. Amir, he briefly explained the surgery, the technology used and things I should do to fully prepare myself for it. Amir performs most of his procedures under local anaesthetic. He told me that he’ll be performing this surgery under twilight sedation as well… Meaning that I’ll be awake during the surgery. Ermmm, what?! *shook* I would lie if I say that I wasn’t taken back by it.
However, after a while, I got into terms with it and thought to myself that it will be quite an interesting journey. *haha, literally* I am a very curious individual, so doing that one thing a day that scares me also gives me strength to move forward. So, let’s do this!
The day before my surgery, Bella Vou were kind enough to offer me a 3-night stay at One Warwick Park Hotel which is just a few minutes walk from the clinic. The hotel offers partner rates for those who are having treatment at Bella Vou. Therefore, make sure to ask them for more details. *winkwink*
I was asked to arrive at the clinic at 10 am and have no food 6 hours prior to this. As you would imagine, I didn’t set my alarm at 4 am to have a meal to feed my old body. *gurl, bye*
When I arrived at Bella Vou, my mind was going through waves of emotions. I didn’t know whether I should be excited or nervous about this whole thing.
At the theatre (where the surgery was happening), the anaesthetist hooked me up to a drip which was inserting local anaesthetic into my bloodstream. Within seconds I was completely out of it. *no joke*
There were 6 small incisions made around my abdomen area to perform the procedure. At one point during the liposuction, I was more awake than usual. I could feel things going inside my body. *omg* But fear not, it wasn’t as bad as it sounds. The twilight sedation was really great as it made me feel very relaxed at moments like this.
The surgery took about 4 hours, which in my head played out as barely an hour. Honestly, one minute I was freaking out over a needle and next thing you know, I’m stuffing my face with an avo toast post-surgery. *hashtag wild times*
When the surgery was over, I was hooked up to 3 drainage tubes for the next 24 hours. It was to ensure that all the excess liquid has left my body and I could achieve the best possible results.
Also, I had to wear a compression foam and garment for at least 4-6 weeks following the surgery. It’s definitely not the most flattering outfit in the world but it made me feel cosy at night. As a blogger, I had to give my edgy outfits a little break and focus on other kinds of campaigns.
The thing I like the most about Bella Vou is that they provide the best post-surgery therapy treatments, which are included in their aftercare, by the way! I was required to attend daily 60-minute Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MDL) messages for the whole week. These are very important as they help reduce swelling, as well as release any remaining fluid from the body. MDL therapist Nikki performed my massages. She has made my recovery feel smooth and quite enjoyable. All of this is included in the price.
Final words, for now.
So, it’s been about 8 weeks since my surgery and I can confidently say that it was all worth it. Was it scary? Yes! Was it painful? A little bit BUT my body has never looked this good!
This whole experience gave me motivation to be kind to myself and my body. I’m currently changing my diet by going mostly plant-based. I also exercise more and drink on very rare occasions. Everything just keeps getting better! *yaaas*
Pssst… Watch this space as I’ll be updating you on my Vaser Liposculpting journey, including diet and fitness. Until next time. xoxo
Timberland is the brand that I was obsessing over since day one. Seeing other male fashion bloggers sporting their latest pair of Timberlands has made me so determined to work with them that this has become the ultimate goal of mine. *fangirling is an understatement* So, two years later and I’m finally starting my first ever campaign with one of the most admired brands on the high street! *bam* But before I get into this, let’s go back in time…
It’s been over seven years since I moved to London. Years went by and I’m still fascinated by this wonderful city. However, my beginnings were not as glamorous as they are now. From fighting for survival in Elephant and Castle to commuting to work every morning from Greenwich, I lived my first 5 years in South East London. This area shaped my understanding of the big city life and the struggles of living independently. *mum, where are thou?!* I spent the first few years exploring my local areas and making friends with people who showed me the best that these places have to offer.
My life in London really took off when I moved to Fitzrovia in 2016. Living in Zone 1 has really made a huge difference in my career and social life. But everything would not be the same if I didn’t take that night bus to SE7. *ahhh*
Roaming Canning Town with Kojo Funds!
This month, Timberland released a new shoe that is all about roaming and exploring the city life. They are running a campaign in partnership with a London based afro swing artist, Kojo Funds, who revisited the area where he grew up and important places within the area. He shared his thoughts on how the area influenced him and his music today.
In this video, Kojo Funds is wearing the same pair of CityRoam™ Alpine Chukkas as I do in this post. These chukkas are inspired by Timberland’s iconic Adventure 2.0 Cupsole range. The high-rebound cushioning and comfort really make this pair a good companion when out and about all day.
Check out the short film featuring Kojo Funds and Timberland below:
So, what did you think of the film? Let me know in the comments below!