December 05, 2018

blogmas #3 : a night with Michelle Obama.

What was that about ending 2018 on a high...

8am, on a cold November "to early for me" morning, I reluctantly dragged myself out of bed, threw on whatever and a bomber jacket I would later come to regret wearing and hurriedly made my way to the Southbank Centre to join the queue of determined people hoping to bag a ticket to see Michelle Obama discuss her new book, Becoming.

Three hours later, despite being #14343 in the online booking queue, I was lucky enough to bag two tickets. Buzzing.

Clutching my copy of her memoir, I sat with my mum, in the auditorium amongst a crowd of 2700 people, revelling in everyone's energy and excitement for the night ahead, and for the next 90 mins, fell in love with Michelle Obama all over again. 

Not only was this my first time seeing and being in the same room as her, but also my first live encounter with the amazing novelist Chimamanda Adichie - and they were EVERYTHING.

Like so many people I've been fascinated, inspired and proud even, from across the pond, of the first black family to be elected into the White House Office and serve not one but two Presidential terms. But the night wasn't limited to that one experience. Chimamanda led the conversation to cover her values on education, her accomplishments, motherhood, her navigation in womanhood, marriage and being a black woman in the public eye - it was all about her journey becoming Michelle.

She shared openly about her childhood, how as a young girl her outspoken voice was nurtured and encouraged rather than doused by her parents. It was easy to discern from the way she spoke devotedly about her upbringing, how close her family unit was. You couldn't help but tear up as she discussed the untimely death of her father, who battled life with Multiple Sclerosis but never let it be an excuse for him not to work and do all he could to lovingly provide for his family.

I couldn't help but draw similarities in that moment with my own Mum, who I feel works so tirelessly, that taking a sick day is virtually a foreign concept to her. 

The bumps I've encountered in my own personal journey of becoming were comforted when I learned how Michelle went through a period of feeling despondent when she realised being a lawyer wasn't for her and wasn't sure what she wanted to do. I was surprised by her candour, sharing how she took herself to task to work on the area's she felt lacking through journalling, and not being ashamed to go to therapy for her marriage.

The conversation flowed so naturally between the two women who apparently have been admirers of each others work from afar but only meeting for the first time on the Southbank stage. 

Towards the end of the interview Chimamanda asked "What advice would you give to women trying to navigate life" and then changed it to specifically black women. I was so appreciative of that and of Michelle for not addressing a collective in that moment but focusing her message to women who look like her, to black women she means so much to. I admired her being honest about the pain she felt at being reduced to a caricature by the media, how the same things she was mocked for where praised in white bodies - swag, style and even down to the very words she speaks. *clears throat - Melania's Republican Convention speech - cough cough* but instead of being beaten by these negative projections, she developed a thick skin and stayed true to who she was, remembering her worth - changing for no-one.

I could go on and on and on but instead here are 5 key points I came away with:

1. Stop questioning your seat at the table, you belong just as much as anyone else.
"I've been at every powerful table you can think of...they are not that smart" 

2. Understand your worth and celebrate your strengths.
"Start by getting those demons out of your head!"

3. Separate yourself, unapologetically, from people who don't add value to your life or fill you up.

4. You have to love who you are and if not, be working towards it.
Value your own voice, nurture it in every phase of your life. Don't lose it.

5. Becoming is about striving to be the best version of yourself, its a never ending process...

I feel so honoured to have been able to soak up so much life lessons from two incredibly knowledgable women, mum and I had the BEST time and we couldn't stop talking about the night. I seriously cannot wait to learn more about this women through her book, it just jumped right to the top of my reading list! Side note: doesn't she look just stunning on the cover!

are you an michelle obama fan? have you read/planning on reading her book?

December 04, 2018

blogmas #2 : the christmas tag.

To help us get in the festive mood and out of Grinch-mode...

opened book on person's lap with gray socks

Yes don't say it. Blogmas day 2 is late. 

In my defence I decided last minute yesterday afternoon what this post should be and just as I was getting started I had to abandon it to get ready for a night out with Michelle Obama. Yup thats right the Michelle Obama...more on that in Blogmas day 3 and on to todays/yesterdays post...I've already seen via my blog stats that a lot of you are checking out the gift guides I did last year. Don't worry I'm working on this years guides as we speak but before we jump right into buying, I thought I'd set the mood by doing... 



1. What is your favourite Christmas Film?

Has to be Home Alone and The Santa Clause. 

Image result for home aloneImage result for the santa clause

2. Have you ever had a white Christmas?

Yes! but only a handful of times. I'm a Summer lover but I equally enjoy a snow day.

3. Where do you usually spend your holiday?

At home, snuggled up in a onesie, with my the fam.

4. What is your favourite Christmas Song?

"Oh Holy Night" sang by Nat King Cole gives me the chills, Nat King Cole is basically the voice of Christmas soz BublΓ© - you should listen to his Christmas Album I promise it will give you all the feels, its really something special. 

I also love the rendition by Mariah Carey I've tried for many years to hit those whistle notes of hers and its not gon' happen boo lol, its just a beautiful song period that I can listen to over and over. I also love "This Christmas" by Donny Hathaway...I mean can you really have one favourite Christmas song?!

5. Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?

When I was younger my mum would always let my siblings and I open one present on Christmas Eve, I have found memories of receiving new pj's and a Disney Princess Jasmine perfume and bath set - lol my mum is so cute.

6. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers?

Rudolph of course! Dasher, Vixen...Dancer?? Nah I don't really know them, do you?

7. Is your Christmas tree real or fake?

I have a fake tree but two years ago we got a real tree and it was so pretty, I will share that it was a pain carrying it home but once it was there it was worth it, so who knows this year! One day I really want a extra AF tree Kardashian style...

See Kris Jenner's Home Decked Out for Christmas

8. What is your all time favourite holiday food/sweet treat?

Is there anything better than a warm mince pie with lashings of whipped cream? Also sweets, any sweet, all the sweets, thats one thing I haven't been able to drop as a adult! Also my mum makes the best stuffing and honey roasted parsnips and carrots....omgasssssh food is the best!

9. Best Christmas present you've ever received.

Music has always been my number one love, so when I received a Sony Walkman CD player it was surgically attached to my head for a long while. Ugh I would spend hours on my own little world listening, singing and dancing along to music. 

10. What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season?

A Christmas at Disney Land πŸ‘would πŸ‘beπŸ‘magical! Oooooh and maybe New York.

11. Are you a pro-present wrapper or do you fail miserably?

 I, my friends, am the Queen B of present wrapping. lol. I love being extra AF and live for those gift wrapping sets. Every gift, no matter how big or small, receives its own bow, ribbon and tag with a sweet message written with a glittery gold pen....told you extra

12. Most memorable holiday moment?

 Oooh that is a good question! Decorating the house for Christmas. My dad would put on Christmas music at top volume, we'd get the decorations and tree out of storage. All helping to put it all together. We'd hang Christmas foil garlands from the ceiling and tinsel would be on every radiator and door frame. My mum would do a Christmas Card display on one of the walls of all the cards we got from neighbours, church and school. And then when we finished we would have hot drink and a mince pie while we marvelled at our handy work.

  13. What made you realise the truth about Santa?

 skrrrrrt. Huh? What does that mean? This question really stumped me guys, I don't really understand? What does it mean the truth about the homie Santa? - maybe I should go talk to Mum and Dad about this...

14. Do you make and stick to news resolutions?

 I am definitely a resolution setter but I always manage to fall off track...I've started this year to set "intentions" instead. One could argue semantics but for me setting intentions each month allows me to focus on the small steps that I believe will contribute to the bigger picture. E.g instead of setting the usual resolution of "Improve fitness" or "Loose weight" break it down to specifics "Go to Yoga class on Mondays" - works for me. 

15. What makes the holiday special for you?

 Relaxing and spending time with family. Life can be so go go go, sometimes I feel it can be so unfair to only have two days to recover from a five day week, it can be hard to keep up with everything and everyone but Christmas allows you some down time to have a little catch up and appreciate the people you love the most over good food, drinks and Christmas TV. 😊

guys I don't know about you but I think I'm starting to get some festive vibes going...who's with me? πŸ™‹

December 02, 2018

blogmas #1 : the christmas countdown begins.

Yes you read that right....BLOGMAS BABY!

teacup filled with liquid placed on saucerIf your new to blogmas, the idea is that I will be uploading blog posts everyday up until Christmas!

Thats 25 daily uploads! 

I want to challenge myself to take blogmas as an opportunity to write more and dedicate some time to the blog, as I've pretty much neglected it a lot this year. Side note: the posts will always recap the day before and sometimes they may not even be Christmas related at all! 


My tree isn't up, decorations are still storage and I don't even have an advent calendar! Instead I spent the day in bed to cope with the crippling pain of menstruation. And mother nature days deserve copious cups of tea, my cuddly dog shaped hot water bottle, a paracetamol every 4 hours and intermittent naps...

Ok so I'm not feeling very festive at all, that is until I read Lydia Millen's latest blog post and this really resonated with me: 


I've always loved Christmas, I used to be one of those people who got the vibe early and would buy everything in sight that was Christmas related. I've always prided myself as a good gift giver. I love the look on my friends/families faces when they open their gifts and its that thing they mentioned only once to me and never expected I'd buy. That look of genuine excitement and disbelief that I actually remembered and they actually have that gift. I LOVE THAT, I'M ALL ABOUT THAT!

But I've noticed that for a few Christmas's I've not been enjoying the lead up to Christmas. The festive spirit doesn't hit me until on the actual day itself. I stopped appreciating that December really marks the end of the year instead I'm so focused on setting new year goals and wishing the year could end so that next year can be "my year" - how many of us have already seen online that if you haven't planned 2019 your already behind!

Like really, why are we always so in a rush to get to the future and never take the time to enjoy the present?

I am so guilty of this and have been for quite some years and the more I'm "adulting" the harder it is to not feel overwhelmed by every day life happening emotions that I know take me out of the moment and keep me concentrated on my worries. 

Being unemployed also means Christmas this year is definitely happening on a tight budget, which has also been a bit of a buzz kill. But you know what I cant allow that to spoil my mood, I have to and can overcome my default Grinch mode settings - and if that means watching all the 'Home Alone' films, including Home Alone 3 that sucks big time, repeatedly to get that sparkle in me going...then I will! 

This is the last month of 2018 and I'm determined to end the year on a high! I really hope participating in blogmas will help me, and anyone struggling to feel merry right now, create a festive spirit and be more present to enjoy the last weeks of 2018.

So no we're not decking the halls just yet, but it is only the beginning of the month so theres still time...happy blogmas, lets create some magic!😊

what do you do to get that festive feeling?

November 24, 2018

five new things in my wardrobe.

I promise, this post does not contain Black Friday discount codes...

Happy weekend lovelies! No doubt you've had 101 emails cluttering your inbox, enticing you with Black Friday discounts or you've read enough blog posts titled "Guide to the best Black Friday deals". But fear not I come bearing no discount codes in today's post. Just simply sharing 5 new pieces I've invested in, in the last couple of months that I'm really enjoying and some styling suggestions too! Enjoy!


I bought this Glamorous dress from Next, its now sold out, but 
I found it on sale on the Topshop website! - Here

Now its getting colder I cant wait to layer it with turtlenecks 
or pop cable knits over, with a belt to cinch the waist, for a 
jumper/midi skirt illusion. I'm still a big fan of a dresses w/sneakers 
combo and could totally see my Nike Cortez's will work well with 
it and in the evening I'll style up with boots and gold accessories.



Ever ordered something full price, found out it was on sale, 
returned it, and then bought it back cheaper....guilty. (But I 
believe this is just good karma coming my way for having paid 
full price for the previous dress, above). This blazer is worth its 
original £59 price point but £29 is even better. πŸ˜Š

Blazers never really go out of fashion and I already have two, 
both from Primark that I still get great wear out of, but it is really 
nice to own a quality tailored piece that feels and looks great on. 
I recently ordered the matching trousers and really hope they fit, 
it would be nice to have a matching suit as well as team it with denim.



This skirt is rather nostalgic for me, I distinctively remember 
owning one when I was 9/10 years old and I wore it everywhere, 
with everything, until it shrunk in the wash/I grew out of it. I don't 
remember the details. Tartan/check print can be busy 
so I think an "all black everything" look would give 
it an edge, keep it chic and let the skirt do all the talking. 
Think Clueless, but "grown up."



If you've been following me on Instagram you would know I'm 
currently having a animal print obsession! 
I'm typically a bargain hunter, but recently I've realised I work too 
hard to spend all my money on cheap items. Don't get me wrong 
I'll happily still spend hours in Primark searching for a bargain 
but every now and then its good to treat yo self to the pricer side of life! 
£49.00 on jeans is a rare move by me but I don't regret it, 
unfortunately they're sold out but if your craving an exotic 
alternative to plain blue jeans try these or these. - they're on sale!



I posted these sneakers on my Instagram yesterday and I 
couldn't believe the response! 2000+ likes for trainers! 
But I totally get it because as soon as I saw them I had to have 
them and these babies have fulfilled all my dad trainer goals. 

I wouldn't say I'm a sneaker head but I do have a appreciation 
for them and probably if my bank account allowed it I definitely 
would be, but there was no way I was passing on the M2K Tekno's.
Definitely one of the best purchases I've made this year. 
They're such a statement piece that make any outfit pop, 
I cant see them leaving my feet anytime soon. 


let me know which item is your favourite!

November 21, 2018

november intentions.

"Its been a long time, I shouldnt of left you...without some dope posts to read through" - and in true Lavinya style this post is

excerpt from my journal.
Well hello, its been a while and all that, theres no denying I fell off a bit (ok alot) and then the minute I got my act together my laptop decided to randomly die on me. A solid day of crying, a last minute appointment at a Genius Bar, 1 external HD and £160 later, I'm up and running again...its things like this that keep me 50/50 with the idea of growing up as a concept aka adulting. But anyways I digress, lets catch up, last we spoke I've had a birthday, finished another internship, was genuinely honoured to be featured on Kristabel's blog and recorded a podcast for Premier Gospel! I am as shocked as you are that its already November and tempted to just ride out of the rest of the year with the hopes of starting afresh in 2019 but if I've learned anything this year its that life happens so fast and it doesn't slow down for anyone so invest your time the best you can, so heres to one final push to re-focus on the areas of life that could do with some attention.

be more deliberate with your time.

clear glass perfume bottle with text overlay
INTENT: Assign my time effectively to achieve my to-do's.

Working from home requires a discipline I have yet to can lose motivation very quickly yet strangely find time to watch every Primark haul on Youtube.

How can I make a Monday to-do list and it becomes my list for the rest of the week????

*hangs head in shame*

I'm a heavy procrastinator.  

I've stopped putting in the work in favour for whats fun and easy. Then get upset when I see people around me excelling. Well duh! how do expect things to change if your not putting in the work...and I don't mean working all the hours of the day and sleep when your dead. I mean being conscious with your time and using it to bring you one step closer to your goals. Yup binge watching all my fav shows is fun and easy but its not going to take me where I want to be.

Its not easy to admit that I could be working harder but its real and the reality check I need to get my butt in gear!

let God teach you His way.

person holding coffee mugINTENT: To set aside some time each morning for devotion and prayer and one evening every week for bible study.

I've been feeling a pull to draw closer to God for a while now. Tasks can often overwhelm me and I need to hear his voice of calm over my life. There are pages in my journal of me wishing to hear God's voice more. At times I feel so unclear of what direction to take and grow in frustration feeling God has left me. 
Do you ever feel this way? 

Well I came across a tweet that said "Dont say God is silent with your bible closed" 

I felt that.

book your appointments!

INTENT: Handle my life admin. 

I hate my current dentist, so I've been putting off check ups until I can find another. 

I'm definitely over due for a eye test, because should we really have to pay hunnids just to see???? and I've been ignoring reminders for my smear test since last year. 

Not good huns. Not good at all.

develop a night routine and stick to it! 

silver MacBook on top of white-and-blue bedding set
INTENT: Improve my quality of sleep. 7-8hrs every night!!  

Lack of sleep is catching up to me fasttttt, these days it makes me feel cranky, my eyes are the sunken place, my brain is scattered and its begun to affect my skin, yet I wilfully continue to stay up past my bedtime. 

LOL this level of ignorance is just too loud. 

I really dont have a evening routine (or morning routine or any routine tbh!) I'm more of a fall asleep with my phone in hand/laptop screen blaring type of gal...and at my big age, I should know better.

This is an area I have really struggled with this year so its not going to be an overnight success but I believe my sleeping habits are the actual crux to my productivity levels. 

If I can master this then I definitely feel like I will see other areas of my life improve too so sleep is definitely top of my November intentions.

get up and S T R E T C H

pair of black lace-up shoes near DKNY sport braINTENT: Take small steps to improve my fitness.

I know I may look young but my back ache says I'm 70. 

I really want to get back on my fitness, because these days running for the bus is a shock to the system lol.

In the past I made the mistake of going 0 to 100 - too quick.

You know what I mean instead of starting off with beginners cardio, I would opt for 1hour Shaun T Insanity workout. Resulting in me collapsing mid way and nursing aching limbs for days to come that inevitably put me off working out every again.

Fitness is not a race so lets start things slow. I've always had the goal of a summer bod but this time fitness means more than that to me. I get a lot of hip pain and guess what its from prolong sitting on my ass all day loool! So the plan is...

Early morning stretches to get me moving for the day and evening stretches to relax me and hopefully help release some stress.

Hopefully starting with small steps will spur me on to do more and more.

I've promised myself some new workout clothes as a reward so I really hope I stick with this one...

what do you hope to achieve this month?