30 Day HappinessChallenge

Good afternoon friends!

How are you all doing this Sunny Saturday?

I have a fully free weekend, with no plans. How glorious does that sound?

I’ve been harping on recently about my poor mental health, exhaustion and stress, enough it enough, I need to throw myself back into the positive spin of things.

For everyone, life has been a bit of a emotional rollercoaster, it’s time to realise I can’t do everything, and that I have to give myself a break and improve my lifestyle slowly, step by step.

A few years ago I took part in a 100 day happiness photo challenge, and took to Pinterest to find something similar.

I found a simple and heartwarming 30 Day challenge by ‘captivating crazy’

We may be 7 days into the month, but there’s no point waiting until September to start the challenge so why not spread out the first 8 challenges over the weekend?

Screen shot this photo above and join me in this challenge

Kaya •

self care

Crisis of confidence

Good evening friends,

With summer round the corner, and being blessed with this glorious weather on the island, I’ve tried to make the most of getting out the house in the evenings and taking in the fresh air and sun.

A few weeks ago I had a bit of a shock.

I had worked out, wearing leggings and a tank top, hair pulled back, a little red and sweaty but relaxed, not looking my best but still. I flopped on the bed whilst I was on the phone to my friend, near to the end of the call
I did a double take, looked in the mirror and froze.
Who the hell was that looking back at me?

We finished our call and I sat there for minutes just sitting, staring and dissecting ever inch of myself.
When did I get so fat? I was shell shocked and disgusted with myself. My fiance walked in the room and I burst into tears.
I didn’t recognise myself and it was heart breaking. I don’t know how I didn’t see it.

I felt like Samantha from SATC when she gains weight….
‘I’ve been avoiding mirrors’

I felt bloated and flabby, my stomach had darker stretch marks, I found it hard to look in the mirror, even at just my face.
The next 2 days I felt disappointed and miserable, like I had let myself go.
My fiance was of course wonderful and comforting as always but I just felt vile.

I’m normally care free and confident, I know my size, or so I thought, but still rocked my curves.

I don’t want to trigger or upset anyone, so I won’t mention any sites etc, and I’m not proud of this, but I started looking up sites I used when I was in a dark place.

Food diaries of how to live on so little that your body is functioning, but just. Remembering how I would be so secretive, plan tiny meals and work outs, constantly weighing myself, and pinching my fat, and if I had to eat more than I wanted in front of people, it would normally end with me in the bathroom after. I sat and read, and sobbed for an hour.
I wasn’t going back there.

It is difficult though when you look back at that time as your ‘slimmer days’, where my mental health was declining, but everyone always thought I looked ‘so well’.
I might have been slimmer Kaya, but I wasn’t happy, or well, I was a shell of a person who was great at pretending with a fixed fake smile.

Next couple of weeks, I worked out a little harder and became striker with my food, in the back of my head reluctant to eat (which brings up past issues and wasn’t worth revisiting)

The door bell rang right before dinner was served – I had ordered a pair of mom jeans and sizes up, once they arrived I tore them open and threw them on. They fit. If you didn’t have to zip them up. I wanted to cry and throw dinner in the bin.
I begrudgingly ate dinner, and after just took time to think of my progress so far and take a deep breath.

You didn’t gain it in a day, so you won’t lose it in a day

A couple days later, we found out some of my partner’s friends were coming to the island for a few days and wanted to meet tomorrow night for drinks. I was dreading it.
All I could think was, In the last time they saw me I was a few stone lighter. I was so upset and embarrassed.

Friday night rolled around, I did my hair and make up, felt glam and pretty and had a dress in mind. A new summer dress I hadn’t yet worn was hung in the wardrobe, a  flowing floral off the shoulder dress, perfect for the pub. It zipped, but didn’t fit. I looked like a potato. I didn’t even look in the mirror but could feel it didn’t look great.

I wanted to cry. To throw on my PJs, wipe off my make up and lay on the sofa alone with a chick flick and a bottle of wine. Sounds great, but it would of been a defeat.

I took a long deep breath and it just clicked. Okay, you feel fat, you did yesterday and you will tomorrow, because your weight isn’t going to change that quickly. Continue to work out hard, watch what you eat and get over it.

My now expanded stomach, chubbier arms and face wasn’t going to stop me from spending time with friends.

By the time we got to the pub and sat down the cards just floated away. They didn’t care (of course they didn’t, who would) we had such a laugh, with rounds after rounds of drinks, exchanging stories from our early 20’s, about music, etc, watching the sun set. It was incredible.

Saturday (yesterday) morning, we went out for breakfast so settle the hangover, before meeting the guys in another town for a catch up.
I thought I’d let the guys have some time alone to catch up, and sit on the beach alone.

The thought of a bikini didn’t thrill me, my arms, tummy, and back exposed on a busy beach isn’t exactly my favourite look, but it had to be done

I thought F it.

I packed up my towel, book, bottles of water, fruit and a magazine and got dropped off.
I found a quieter spot (2m apart), pulled off my dress and lay in the sun in my bikini.
I was a little hesitant, but cracked open my book and zoned out for the next 3 hours
So zoned out that I didn’t even think about sun cream… Today I am a lobster. Hopefully it’ll ran and not peel!

Picture is taken over my shoulder, you can see where my bikini top was tied at the back.

I’m glad I pushed myself to go out, to wear something I didn’t have the confidence to, because I know I would have been cussing myself roasting on the beach because I was wearing something just to cover up.

I can’t say I’m content with my weight, however I’m more accepting, I think I needed the shock and to fit a low to slap my bad attitude away.

Pandemic or not, your body goes through alot, as long as you’re happy and healthy that’s all that matters. Are you really going to let the size of your jeans or a little wobble stop you from making memories, sharing experiences with the ones you love?

Don’t give up on yourself, and be kind to your body.

Kaya •

self care

Its not all sunshine and lemonade, and that’s okay.

Good afternoon friends,

I had the intention of posting this last night, instead I drank a bottle of wine and had a 5 hour long phonecall with my best friend, however I still wanted to post this to share with you all.

I am thankful that it’s Friday afternoon, what a week its been.

For anyone else that needs to hear it, its okay if you’re not okay.

I don’t mean to sound dramatic, nothing major has happened to upset or stress me out, but I am tired, overwhelmed and feel like I’m drowning in life.
I feel the guilt of not doing or achieving enough.

Don’t get me wrong, I have the most wonderful fiance, family and friends who I love dearly, I’m fortunate that I enjoy my work, and live on this beautiful island which I call home. 

I am extremely grateful for what I have, however at times I feel as though I’m not doing enough to appreciate it, and that I’m not living my life as I should. I don’t feel like I’m enough.

This week my loved ones have had to remind me,

– I can say that I’m stressed about work, but that doesnt mean that I’m ungrateful for my job

– I’m not in the mood to chat to friends on facetime, but that doesnt mean I don’t value them,

– I’m too tired to work out,that doesnt mean I’m not grateful for my health and my body.

Setting time aside daily, yes daily, is important for your well being. and no, before you question yourself, it is not selfish

15 years of depressions, self harming, and suicidal, if I feel a fraction of low, all the painful memories arise and it can seen me down the rabbit hole of thoughts.
I am thankful, beyond words. I never thought I would come out the other side. Feeling that way daily for years, I was certain that this would be my life for the time I was here, and it would be the cause of the end.

And if you too are still fighting that fight, remember, you are fighting, you are getting through it.

‘It doesn’t matter your speed, forward is forward’ – unknown

The past few days its been an emotional rollercoaster. It may be hormones, a chemical in balance, pandemic, the cold and dark winter weather, please remember it will come, and it will go (even if only for  while, you’ll get through it bit by bit)
Be kind to yourself.

  • Take time to breath
  • Get some fresh air

  • Stay hydrated

  • Take your vitamins

  • Do a 7 day yoga challenge

  • Work out

  • Pick a fruit, even if just one that you know you can happily eat every day (I recommend 5 here friend but we’re taking small steps)

  • Do something each day that fills you with joy and get lost in it. Even for just 30 minutes  – even if thts reading a magazine cover to cover, a few pages of a book, lay back and listen to a podcast, or have it on in the back ground whilst you do something productive, a few episodes of your favourite series, playing an instrument, know your own happiness and feed it

  • And if you need to cry, then cry. Let it out.

Recognise why you’re crying, or feeling unhappy or overwhelmed, and when you’re ready, wipe those tears and address it. Make a a plan, do I really need to mention making a list? (my happy place)

Healing takes time, and asking for help is a courageous step’ – Mariska Hargitay

Open yourself up to people and talk about how you’re feeling.
A gentle reminder that your loved ones, although want to help you, not all of them may be the best people to speak to. Pick and choose who you can freely open up to in your darkest times, some are better at listening that others.
Everyone responds differently, some nod and will listen, others will give advice, and occasionally a few will nod but don’t acknowledge what you’ve said, but instead will spin the conversation round on them and make it all about themselves.

That has nothing to do with you, you deserve to be heard.

Although difficult, step back and think about what you want in life.
What does your future look like?
How you want to spend your free time? Make what you can possible and set your goals in a achievable time frame.

You’re never too old to set another goal, or to dream a new dream – C S Lewis

This last year, has been full of ups and downs for all, some are absolutely thriving, and others are just surviving.
I know times are hard, but find what works for you to find peace in your day.

I’ve always been goal driven and tend to try to make the most of ever hour of the day, which can leave you exhausted and feeling as thought you’ve got target but you’re on to the next without stopping to appreciate your achievements.

Your achievement for the day might be to get up, brush your teeth, wash your face, get changed, and then,

  • Look after your children
  • Work your job
  • Keep your household clean and tidy
  • Do a work out and blog for a while

Whatever you do, recognise that
You might not work out daily, you may have found comfort in comfier clothes, you may not have blogged as often as you liked. You’ll get there, if you need time then take it, take a break but don’t quit

‘Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can’ Arthur Ashe

You’re not failing.
Take inspiration from others, but don’t compare yourself, it’s not a competition.

We all have different strengths and weaknesses. Different situations, jobs, income, time that we can control.
It may seem miniscule, but it’ll help, each morning think of one thing you’re looking forward to, and at the end of the day, one thing you’re thankful for.

You’ve got this.

If you are struggling, please reach out.
To friends, family or the Samaritans.
You can call (for free), email, wrote a letter or use the app

The samaritans

If you need to take the time to just breath, give the free Medito app a go

And finally if you want a podcast to fall into, that is open honest, and relatable, listen to ‘Open Mind with Frankie Bridge’, on Spotify and Apple

Know you are not alone, and take a moment to breath.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend,

Kaya •

30 Day Challenge

Blogging with Nataliec Day 19-30

Hello friends,

My goodness I’ve been terrible at blogging recently but trying my best.

Here’s day 19 to 30.

19. A wishlist.
I don’t really have wishlist’s, Instead I have dozens of screen shots on my camera roll of items I want to purchase.
I have scrolled through and have put a few items on a amazon wishlist so you can have a visual.

Wish List

20. Your favourite lyrics and what they mean to you.
Simply Red – for your babies
‘I dont believe in many things, but you, I do’
Just sweet, simple, and memorable

21. 5 books you recommend

Lauren Conrad – Beauty
Lauren Conrad – Style
Bad dates – Sam Jordison
Gabrielle Union ‘We’re going to need more wine’

And lastly, not a book but a magazine which has become my favourite for the past year – Good house keeping magazine

22. If you win the lottery what would you do?

I would buy a house, pay off my nearest and dearest mortgages, and take us all on a group holiday.
I would travel and book dozens of new experiences
I would volunteer my time to those in need, all around the world

23.What have you learnt today?

Professional dance poles (stripper poles), spin round, not the performer?!? What??

24. An Accomplishment you are proud of
Over coming depression.

25. Create a vision board

Just a sneak peak…

26. Somewhere you’d like to visit and why?
San Diego has been on my list for years, Purely for their Comic Con, but no doubt I’d have an amazing time exploring the city

27. What is something you want to learn?
Learn how to play piano/keyboard
I have a list of pieces of music I’d love to learn.
I have no reason to not learn…

28. Useful resources for someone in your industry
Instead of in my industry, this is just useful resources in general.

Be kind, caring, open minded, and educate yourself

29. Describe yourself in 3 words
Adventurous, thoughtful, funny

30. Your current priorities in life

Improving my Physical and mental health

Kaya •

30 Day Challenge

Day 6 A letter to my teenage self #Bloggingwithnataliec

This is the reason I am so behind on my blogging.

This stopped me in my tracks. I’ve written this half a dozen times. Some to vague, others too detailed that I didn’t think appropriate (followed by many tears), I think I’ve found a balance.

My boyfriend and I spoke about this as I told him I thought it would be too negative, and then gave a few examples.

He asked if it would be more damaging than helpful to think, talk and write about it.

I explained to him that, ‘it is what it is’.

I am in no way brushing off what has happened, but as I’ve grown older, I have accepted that this is all part of my past, and that you shouldn’t dwell on that.

Rememeber the good and grow from the bad. That’s all you can do.

A letter to my teenage self

If I were to write a letter to my 13 year old self, I wouldn’t be able to warn you.

Just a statement,

‘This is going to be shit, in ways you’d never imagine, and I can’t prepare you for the next 10 years’.

Self harm, suicide, mental health, bullying, racism, abuse, physical, mental and emotion, and a few others that I can’t bring myself to write.

I feel sad for my former self as if it were someone else.

Its not just school and becoming a teenager and then young adult you have to wrap your head around, its the friendships, relationships, work, not knowing your worth, not having a voice, being treated badly and blaming yourself.

Speaking with a friend recently, I hadn’t realised that not only had I detached myself from some events, but had completely blocked others out that I had no recognition of, which is terrifying. I wasn’t aware that there are parts of my life that were missing.

It is not as if I was alone, my family and friends gave me such wonderful memories, and where they could, they helped.

I’ve always been seen as ‘happy go lucky’, ‘full of light’, ‘always smiling and lifting others’.

Well you can’t cry all the time can you? People would of thought I was broken.

I didn’t always let people in, I didn’t understand what was happening, how to handle it or who to turn to.

People who cared about me would often get frustrated as they weren’t sure themselves, which made it all the more difficult. After opening up about my struggles to then not be given help but instead to be angered at, it continued me to keep my mouth shut, smile and fake it as asking for help didnt pan out the way I’d hoped.

And rememeber, this is not your fault, none of it was.

One day I’d like to express everything I’ve gone through and write it down, but today is not the day.

It wouldn’t be opening a can of worms, it would be shooting a cannon bomb into a factory of them.

Kaya •


Mental Health Day 2019

(Just a heads up, this is a long one, and I will be discussing some sensative subjects)

Mental health day.

Every day is mental health day isn’t it?

I’ve known that this date was creeping up for the past couple of weeks, and have been toying with the idea of writing a post.

Depression is all around us, and it’s not spoken about enough.

Its difficult to try and write about how and when it started, who contributed to it, and how, if you’re truly lucky enough, to overcome it.

This post will not be edited, I am writing, raw, and will post the finished piece. As that’s what mental health is, its raw, its unforgiving, and its honest.

My battle started when I was 10 or 11. That was when I first started self harming. I was one of those Tom boys who was forever climbing trees, getting mucky, and I had a mixed group of boys and girls in the neighbourhood, so skate boarding and playing football, you might get a litle roughed up, so any scratches were accounted for.

My family is wonderful and is my life, but I grew up with an abusive father. No more details, thats enough. But to grow up being terrified of one of your parents will effect you.

I’m mixed race, I’m half arabic. And I love that I am, I’ve always been proud of my heritage. But kids can be mean, especially to the ‘unknown’, I’m not an alien for crying out loud!

I’m curvy, always have been, and I shot up when I was about 11 or 12, so being taller and bigger, just became more for me to look ‘different’.

Apparently anyone with olive skin is caled one of 2 names… one begins with a N, and one with a P. Neither will I spell or repeat, but you get the jist. I love my skin colour and my background, regardless of what other teens said, I love my (at times frizzy) curly wild hair, and being tall, with long legs, and and an hour glass figure. I wouldn’t change a thing.

And I had tons of friends growning up and still do… but theres always going to be bullies.

Growing up feeling at times, scared, confused and upset at home, and school, did affect my school work, I loved school, but information didnt always stick. I’ve always been a people person, so lively, happy, outgoing, live to have a great time, and then the other side of me where I want to close my eyes and it just to all end. That I’d cry, and prey to not wake up almost every day.

Most people wake up in a good mood a then something bad will happen and they become sad. I was the other way round. I’d wake up sad, and then have to find something happy to perk up my day. It was difficult.

Feeling that you’re not good enough and that you truly believe that you’re a burden and that your family and friends lives would be better if you weren’t around. That’s alot to deal with.

Completing school, and starting college was incredible. My family took charge and threw me a party for my 16th birthday, I still have pictures of my friends and I dancing and doing kareoke… same year I did my GCSE exams, I wasn’t prepared for either, because I remember waking up on my 16th birthday and the first day of my exams with the same thought.

‘I can’t believe I’m still alive, I never thought I’d make it this far’.

The friends I made there are some of my closest to this day. Although I no longer saw my father, and wasnt bullied at school, depression followed me, and it got worse. It dug its claws in, and was part of me, regardless of how much I wanted to shake it off.

The loss of a loved one close to me at 19 years old shook me. I didn’t expect it. Non of us did. Staying strong for loved ones around me was automatic, but I didnt grieve properly, I pushed it to the side without realising. And the 6 months later it hit me. And I broke.

Trust me, I’m trying to keep this brief.

Becoming an adult, realising you have all of these responsibilities is overwheling regardless of how your mental health is. I am proud to say that through this all, I have always stayed in education,although I didnt always want to, and I’ve always kept a job to pay my way and keep a roof over my head, which again, I didnt want to, I wanted to be at home in bed crying alone, but I had to.

Is taking a ‘mental health day’ really a thing? If so, I feel like I should of!

From 16 to 23, One abusive relationship to another didnt help. I had so much love, and love in me, and then so much pain, and blame for anything that went wrong.

For years I was the definition of Sunshine and Showers.

There was no inbetween.

Relationships breaking down were my fault as well as theres as being with someone who has depression, who is so up and down and sometimes unreasonable can of course be difficult, but I tried my hardest.

But lies, cheating and a variety of abuse? Theres no excuse for that. And I didn’t deserve to be treated that way.

I also dealt with bullying as an adult, for 3 years, it was torture and those who I turned to, the ones whos job it was to sort these ‘issues’ weren’t interested, let’s just put that out there and stick a pin in it for now. But excuse my language, it was shit. It was a disgrace and a joke. And it’s still ongoing, not for myself, but others.

From 23, to 25, I look back and smile, I made some awful, and memorable decisions, but never mistakes. I took a lot of chances a just threw myself into the world, different jobs, places to call home, relationships, I learnt alot about myself.

And then in the mist of it, something earth shattering happened, a that’s maybe for another post or for never, but that’s when the panic attack started. Give me a break!

Have you ever been desperate not to sleep? Have you ever suffered from night terrors? In your dream, screaming, crying, panicking, trying to run away but you cant. You cant do anything to stop it.

Back in the real world, your whole body has become stiff, not being able to breath, you know you’re dreaming bt you can use your limbs to touch the peson next to you to get there attention to wake you up, and you want to scream but cant because you cant breath properly, or get any sound out. Every night, for 18 months I dread sleep, and dammit, if you know me you know Iove my bed!

I started drinking energy drinks, 2 big cans twice a day, and coffee on top. I didnt know what else to do. I’d rather have no sleep than a bad nights sleep.

How do you explain depression, and panic attacks to people who dont understand, who get frustrated because they dont know how to respond, who want to be there for you but then end up getting mad? Simple, you don’t.

You slap on that old smile, and act like everything is fine whilst you’re drowning inside. Because it’s easier for people to handle.

And you dont want to be seen as sad, crazy or difficult anymore.

And as always, the people who have hurt you, who have gone out of their way to be spiteful and cruel, walk on like nothings happened, like they’re a good person. It’s unfair. But I am a strong believer in Karma. Even if it takes years and years.

My family gave me extraordinary memories growing up and I know that I am dearly loved. The same goes for my friends, I wouldnt be here without them, and my boyfriend, I’ve never me anyone so sweet, kind, caring, thoughtful and patient, and he makes me laugh like no other.

It hasn’t all been bad, but it has never been easy.

Please dont get me wrong, this is not suoppose to be read as a ‘woe is me’ post, I’m not looking for sympathy, I’m hoping someone who may be able to relate to this, will feel inspired and be able to power through, and give them warmth and strength, that they are not alone and that they can come through the other side.

And yes, in case you were wondering, I had tried therapy, once, I hysterically cried at the poor woman and ran out to never return. And I’d tried anti depressants, for perhaps a year… they just weren’t a good fit for me. Therepy and anti depressants can and do work for others, but didnt for me, thats just my personal opinon.

At 25/26 … (I cant quite remember exactly bt dont want to Drudge up anymore memories) …

At 25/26, I finally stopped self harming everything began to ease up and I also grew stronger. I answered back, was able to grow from experiencs and stand up for myself more.

I wasnt depressed anymore. I of course have days where I feel low, and Im terrified of spiraling.

It’s taken years, and alot of heart ache because of cutting people out of my life who say they are a friend but arent. People are fickle. The people that want to be friends with anyone and everyone just for numbers, no thank you. You’ll realise you have a lonely life and that lut of those hundreds of people, how many are actually there for you? Dont have people in your life if youre just a number to them, who wont be there for you when you need them

If you dont have loyalty to our friendship, you arent a person I want it my life. I will be civil but know that you arent my friend.

Quality over quantity.

I am extremly thankful to have such wonderful people in my life, who have always been genuine, supportive, non judgmental, and here for me to just talk.

I apologise for any spelling mistakes, for now, I dont wish to look back over what I’ve written as I dont want to second guess how open I’ve been and delete anything.

When I’ve opened up before about my past mental health struggles, some peole have been so stunned.

‘You’re always so upbeat and happy and are smiling, I never would of known’. And that’s the point. Not everyone with issues walks around with mascara running down their cheeks, with a dark cloud over them, we dont all act and feel the same.

But be kind, always and listen. You may of never been in that boat but one day you might be?

‘The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention’ – Oscar Wilde

Kaya •