In Christmas 2019, I was with my extended family, eating and drinking merrily and playing Monopoly. Presents were exchanged. I got to see my little cousins all excited about receiving the latest new gadget or a sparkly dress. I got to complain to everyone how disgusting brussel sprouts were (Don’t try and change my mind please!) and peel vegetables like it was a communal activity rather than a chore. A flurry of Christmas crackers, dazzling jumpers and talking over Eastenders, it was truly Litmas.
Flash forward to Christmas 2020, we try and keep the same traditions but without the hustle and bustle of all my cousins running around and the adults talking and drinking, it just isn’t the same. There’s less washing up, less food and less chatter. Christmas is Christmas but with a tinge of sadness. I just want to fast forward until Rona has left the building…
That is,the airport Aisle. (sorry for the clickbait)
Who needs a chapel when you have the luxury of running to your gate because you woke up late want to get there nice and early. Getting that smooth boarding pass printed out and then instagramming it (without personal details of course because GDPR) for everyone to see that you’re on a Emirates First Class flight to Dubai…or a Ryanair Super Economy to Prague (a flight is a flight, everyone should be jel).
I need that pre flight Corona (the beer, to clarify) and a Full English breakfast. I need to stop salivating because damn, could really use them right now. I haven’t been abroad in just over a year and if you check my internet history it’s full of Skyscanner searches and travel blogs. I have no holidays booked at the moment but that doesn’t stop me bookmarking people’s Instagram posts to my folder aptly named ‘Wanderlust’, original I know. It doesn’t help that London is cold and dreary at the moment and waking up in complete darkness doesn’t help at all. I’m envisaging my next holiday to be an all inclusive at the beach kinda holibae where all I do is sip cocktails and complain about the heat while basking in it anyway.
I don’t know when my next trip will be but I am miserable and need a holiday asap. I kinda wanna wait until things get better or we get a vaccine or both. My mental health is a bit of a sorry state at the moment and I really think even a few days in a new city just lapping up that holiday glow is needed.
A few months ago everything seemed to change for almost everyone. Our regular lifestyle, schedules and lives in general were changed as we went into lockdown. Although the changes have been made for safety reasons there are still things that we really miss that we wish we could still experience. Pooja, a fellow blogger and I were talking about this and decided to write a post about what we miss most and what we are excited to experience after this lockdown/pandemic is over. The first four are mine and the last four are hers. We hope you enjoy reading the post as much as we did writing it!
Underrated but I miss cheap and cheerful pub dates where you meet up with friends and get a pint (overpriced if you’re in London, of course) and talk and anything and everything. Bonus point if there’s a pub garden because who doesn’t love a bit of Sun and Sangria. Pub culture is just easy, laid back and chilled which is needed after a long stint of lockdown
There’s a strong chance my eyebrow lady will not recognise me the next time I see her. Or she’ll be speechless when she realises that lockdown pressure culminated in me trying to do my own eyebrows which resulted in a slight disaster. Suffice to say, give me the works (after it is safe, of course). A Mani, Pedi and a facial. Stat.
Food, Glorious, Food
My eyes are definitely going to be bigger than my stomach when all the restaurants open up again. Lockdown has reminded me that I need to be expanding my culinary bucket list and there is are variety of feasts that any foodie can appreciate.
International travel is going to be difficult in the foreseeable future as borders will likely stay closed until it is safe to travel. I definitely want to explore more of the UK and see gems like Cornwall and even partake in a road trip to Scotland.
I am not someone who is super into hugging or really showing a lot of affection in general but as they say- you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. I can’t wait to hug my friends and family and just be around them without worrying about wearing a mask, washing my hands or anything like that.
I am really looking forward to travelling a lot more as soon as all this is over and it is safe to travel to other countries again. I even have an entire list of all the places I want to see ready!
I cannot wait to be able to go out to just relax. Whether it’s to a restaurant, movie, coffee shop or just walking around downtown. I know that I can do that right now but I can’t wait till I can do that without having to put on a mask and avoid other people and keep a distance. Just being able to relax is something I am definitely looking forward to.
Taking the bus
I know a lot of people have a problem with taking the bus or don’t particularly enjoy the experience of taking the bus. I always did though- I thought it was peaceful and I particularly enjoyed longer bus rides because they gave me time to think and reflect. I haven’t taken the bus since the pandemic and honestly I kind of miss it.
What are you looking forward to once normal life resumes?
I collaborated with Pooja G on this post. She is an awesome, helpful blogger and it was lovely to collaborate with her! Check out her blog and her Instagram and Twitter
PSA: The Youtube Beauty Community is toxic af. When I say the Beauty community I specifically mean the US community which includes Shane Dawson/Tati Westbrook/Jeffree Star/James Charles. Yeah I’m talking about that lot, the masters of stirring the pot, but let’s delve in
In May 2019, Tati Westbrook uploaded a video on her YouTube titled “Bye Sister”. This video ‘spilled the tea’ on her friendship with James Charles and why she was ending it.
For context Tati Westbrook is a make up artist, posting beauty reviews and tutorials on YouTube. In this video, she pinpoints the main reason she ended her friendship with James was because he promoted SugarBearHair which is a brand in competition with Tati’s brand Halo Beauty. She also accused him of sexually harassing straight men. Tati announced that she was severing ties with James after his behaviour and failure to appreciate her. After that video dropped, James lost millions of subscribers and celebrities such as Zara Larsson came forward and states James repeatedly pursued her boyfriend which seemed to confirm Tati’s views. Mutual friend Jeffree Star also tweeted this:
People questioned why Tati had decided to come out with these allegations now. It reeked of relevancy and seemed she was more concerned with dragging James down because she felt undervalued by him rather than actually wanting to out him as a predator.
The plot thickens as James first responded with an apology video and then a video seemingly pulling out the receipts and refuting Tati’s claims. James alleged that he had tried to get in contact with Tati on multiple occasions to discuss the fact that he had promoted SugarBearHair. However, she refused to take his calls and reply to his messages which led to him posting his apology on Instagram. He pulled out receipts of him promoting her hair products, meaning her claim of being underappreciated wasn’t true.
As for the claims of James being a predator, James made a statement in his video “I am a 19-year-old virgin. I have never and will never use my fame, money, or my power to manipulate or get any sexual actions from a guy. That is disgusting. That is not me. The fact that Tati brought this up blows my mind”. Tati brought up a specific situation where James manipulated a straight man called Sam. James shared further screenshots with his conversation with Sam showing that Sam stated he was bisexual and after saying he was nervous, James reassured him that he didn’t have to do anything sexual.
There are lots more receipts James pulled out in response to Jeffree Star, Zara Larsson etc so check the video out! After this video surfaced, Tati received backlash and negative comments. She put out a video titled “Why I did It” pleading with the public to stop sending her abusive language, memes and urging her audience to stop picking sides.
The verdict: Trying to cancel an 19 year old because you ultimately felt he was disloyal was never going to end well. Also, accusing someone of being a predator comes with serious consequences and it seemed that Tati did not put out the whole story. James pulling out the receipts painted Tati as untrustworthy. There are some rumours floating around that James could have been lying and edited those screenshots but regardless, Tati should have spoken to James first rather than trying to blacklist him on YouTube.
American entrepreneur Jeffree Star owns make up brand Jeffree Brand Cosmetics. He is also a former musician. Star has come under fire for derogatory racist remarks. He called make up artist Jackie Aina a “gorilla” and has repeatedly used the N-word. He also said he would throw battery acid on a Black women to lighten her skin. He has also, on many occasions, been misogynistic towards women, yelling the N-word at women in the street, calling Tila Tequila a whore and criticising her for being overt in her sexuality. It’s interesting that Jeffree Star is a well known racist fuckwad as he sported cornrows in 2018. Cultural appropriation even though you’ve been aggressive towards Black people? Wow.
There’s more controversies surrounding Jeffree Star in ths thread: https://www.reddit.com/r/BeautyGuruChatter/comments/bduvox/a_comprehensive_list_of_jeffree_stars_many/
The verdict: Being a racist POS to stay in the spotlight was always bound to backfire. Boycott his makeup. Boycott his channel. Boycott everything.
The most recent scandal that’s erupted from Beauty YouTube Inc. (not a thing) is Shane Dawson. An YouTuber, Musician, Actor, Comedian, Make up Artist, Shane has garnered a massive following including over 22 million subscribers. His YouTube consists of comedy sketches, popular conspiracy theories documentaries,
Why is he problematic?
He has used ‘blackface’ in past videos as well as using the N word in a previous video. Paedophilic comments have also come up in an old video of Shane calling a 5 year old ‘sexy; and making references to googling child porn. A disturbing clip of him pretending to masturbate to a poster of Willow Smith when was she 11 has also come to light. Tati Westbrook uploaded a video where she suggested that Star and Dawson manipulated her into denouncing James Charles, but that’s a whole other story…
The verdict: Paedophilia is absolutely unforgivable and it sickens me that Shane made these comments. The Smiths came forward and also expressed their horror at Shane sexualising Willow at such a young age. It’s Karmageddon that YouTube have demonetised Shane and Morphe have pulled all Shane’s make up from their product range. Content creators need to stop being so damn problematic and face up to the consequences.
Even more annoying, Shane put out a statement saying he was done with the beauty industry after Tati accused him and Jeffree of manipulating her (Tati, take some accountability for your actions please) to put out her video about James Charles. Hunny, the beauty industry is done with you/ He also went on to call beauty gurus “attention seeking, vengeful, narcisstic” etc in a now deleted tweet.
The verdict overall? EVERYBODY STAN JACKIE AINA
Mental Health Awareness Week has approached again and this year’s theme is kindness.
The Coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the vulnerability in some social groups and the difficulties they may be facing. The elderly and people who have compromised immune systems and certain health conditions have been advised to stay indoors for 12 weeks.
But what does kindness mean in a time like this? A lot of people that have been advised to stay at home aren’t able to physically make their way to supermarkets to buy groceries and essentials. Being unable to go outside and see people, spend time in nature and go for walks can have a detrimental effect on people’s mental health. It’s important at this time to show kindness to people that are struggling if you are able to. Offer to drop off groceries, speak to them on the phone/FaceTime etc. A little kindness goes a long way.
It’s pivotal to also show kindness to your self as well as other people. A lot of people have been let off work temporarily and are furloughed which means they will be paid 80% of their wages. This means being stuck at home for an indeterminate amount of time and this can trigger poor mental health in some people. Patience with yourself is key. A lot of people feel pressured to spend this time upskilling, looking for remote/other work and building on businesses. This can keep people motivated with a routine which encourages learning and expanding on skills and career goals. But at the same time, it’s important to use this time to pause and take a step back to work on self-care if you are struggling. Be kind to yourself and give yourself warmth and rest if you are struggling. Read that book that you never had time to read before. Pick up that Netflix show you never quite finished. Use this time to unwind, sit in your garden and take in those smells and sights you overlook. For people suffering from burnout, this is the perfect time to take a step back from the fatigue of everyday life and lighten the load. If you want to know more about the importance of self-care, check out my post here.
I’ve seen a post circulating around social media criticising those that don’t reach out to people who are suffering and belittling those that don’t check up on people who may struggling. I feel that this point of view is one sided as it doesn’t let people take care of themselves. By all means, check in on your friends and FaceTime those that are not coping. However, you must also nurture your own mental health and take time out for yourself if you are not in the right state of mind to be in contact with people. A balance between looking after yourself and others is crucial.
Hope my post was useful! Let me know what you think. Also, to anyone struggling, please message me <3
P.s. Awareness is all good and well, but when are you gonna put some money in the NHS mental health funding Boris hmmm?
In the summer of 2018, I travelled to India for the first time with my family. As a British born Indian girl I was excited to discover my roots and explore my heritage. I wrote an article about my experiences on Gal-Dem so give it a read!
But what did I learn about the specifics of the Indian way of life which is a contrast to the British Indian way of life? Visiting my family in India really solidified this. I decided to write a blog post about it!
It’s common for people to eat on the floor at mealtimes. Sitting cross legged with a plate of bateta shaak ( potato curry) on my plate, eye level with my family I found myself eating more mindfully, really taking in the taste and visual imagery of the food. As I was balancing food on my lap, I couldn’t really eat and scroll brainlessly through my phone at the same time
Even though I’m Indian, I found there was a stark contrast to the way I was viewed by Indian natives. It was obvious I was a tourist from everything to the way I dressed to the way I spoke (more on that in the next post). Relatives would often ask me if I spoke Gujarati (my mother tongue) and I would hear workers talk about me thinking I couldn’t understand them.
The blunt inequality was made blindly obvious to the amount of adult and child beggars on the streets. It forced me to appreciate the fact that I had a roof over my head and food and I that I was travelling India as a tourist, able to visit restaurants and stay in hotels.
Family and culture share different vibes to the UK. The relationship between caste and marriage is a significant value in Indian culture whereas in the UK, it is more overlooked.
The driving in India is WHACK. Constant speeding, hanging on for dear life and cows in the way! There are no rules.
In parts of India, it is the norm to dress modestly, no miniskirts and keep shoulders covered. People will stare.
Navigating the markets is a strength. Big contrast to Camden. People’s persuasion will be dialed up to a 100 and you will have to put your bargaining skills to the test.
If you think Indian food in the UK is good you’ve underestimated how unbelievably Peng and beautiful the food is in India. I developed a serious addiction to Aloo Parathas at breakfast with Indian tea and don’t get me started on the Paneer.
Aloha! I thought I’d start 2020 with a ‘fun’ post on Instagram stereotypes. Before anyone who this post targets come for my neck, it’s a joke so live laugh love people.
VSCO Pro’s: Super chic with a capital C. Thinks the right filter makes the photo look deep. Favours a black and white cityscape. Wants to move to Paris,obviously. They won’t shut up about the fact they used Tumblr before it went mainstream.
Soft boys: Selfies with eccentric captions. Will comment on your photo with “👀”. Will take selfies while lighting a spliff incase no one knew he smoked weed. Shares his taste in music through Instastories repeatedly.
Influenzaaaas: Internet version of Influenza. Influencers will use the ‘gram to plug everything from hair extensions to weight loss drinks (judging you). Their selfies all look immaculate, they know how to werk that pose and their posts are glamorous but very dull. They probably order lemon and herb at Nandos. #cheekyspon
Huji girls: VSCO girls but less original. Incense and yoga and half lit photos with seductive hair and captions that have no relation to the post. Has at least two finstas and one of them is a poetry account. Carries around their polaroid everywhere.
Hard boys: Captions photos of their new whip with Drake lyrics. Always trying to rope you into a pyramid scheme. Will comment “👀” on your photos. Type to post a shirtess selfie and write a caption about the fact he’s done trusting people
Boomeranger: Self explanatory. Boomerangs favoured include: Bath bombs dropping into a bath, drinks clinking together, car radio, etc
Travel basics: They’re going away and they want you to know it. Their name written in sand with a heart? Tick. Unimaginitive airplane wing? Tick. Hot-dog legs at the beach? Another tick. A photo with a drugged tiger? Stop being basic and enjoy your holiday please x #CatchFlightsNotFeelings
Gym junkies: Viewing someone’s workout is like writing a grocery list. Everyone does it but no one cares to see yours. Or something. We think it’s great that you hit your targets !! But we don’t care. Put away the sweaty selfies please.
All About The Aesthetic: ThEy foLloW a ThEme. Favours instagram worthy shots of pastel paradise locations such as Élan cafe or Peggy Poschen. Think sugar, spice and all things nice.
Are there any other types of Instagrammers you love to hate? Let me know!
If you want even more basicness, follow me on Instagram: @Naveeshaaa
Thought food in the USA just consisted of massive portions of congealed lard and a double portion of fries? Well you’re half right. Some portions are supersize but I found that there was a whole range of deliciousness in variety of cuisines Miami had to offer. Read on for my reccommendations!
Limonada Bar and Breakfast
I really fancied some eggs and this brunch place served me up with a tasty Eggs Benedict with a breakfast potato and hollondaise sauce of course which really hit the spot.
There were loads of other brunch options such as steak and eggs, multiple healthy variations of avocado and toast, a ‘craft your own omelette’ for the creatives, quinoa for the health freaks and sweet options such as waffles and Nutella french toast. Hangover brekkie is sorted and it’s a good ‘un.
This 50s style diner came with massive portions of comfort food on the menu and vibrant red canteen style tables and chairs for that extra chill factor
I ordered the Portobello Mushroom wrap which came in a substantially large tortilla wrap filled with salad and onions, served with potatoes
Did I mention the portion was supersize? It looks smaller in the photo I promise!
I washed it down with a shot of tequila which must have been at least two shots because this doesn’t look like the one I normally get at Spoons…
Is everything double here? Am I meant to share? What if I don’t want to?
Rosetta Italian Bakery
The perfect little bakery filled with lots of luxurious savoury and sweet slices to nurse that hangover after a night on Ocean Drive
Nutella doughnuts really satisfied my sweet tooth enough and there’s more custard and jam pastries if you’re still craving some sugary goodness
A lot of the late starts we had meant we missed breakfast so I was more than happy to grab a florentine or margharita slice which did the trick
There are also fresh juices and a range of breads.
Set in a location that can be hailed Miami’s answer to Boxpark, there were a range of Asian foods from ramen to Vietnamese sandwiches with a variety of different flavors
Stir fried noodles mixed with sizzling veg and tasty tofu was the dish I opted for – are you drooling yet?
Hip Hop played from booming speakers outside and there was a cocktail bar which served a range of cocktails for $9. Did somebody say happy hour?
Carribean food in Little Haiti? Let’s go!
I managed to find a vegetarian dish which consisted of flavourful rice and kidney beans, sweet plantain and salad which really satisfied my taste buds
Naturally, there was a variety for meat eaters to choose from like oxtail, barbequed ribs, stewed conch and fried fish
Takes the contender for one of the best burgers I have ever tasted
First you pick the choice of meat or veggie filling you want, then you can choose between a pretzel bun, lettuce wrap and potato bun, choose the type of cheese you want and salad and lastly an array of sauces to choose from
Served with waffle fries, this meal is the ultimate source of comfort food and it put me in a severe food coma
Classic Mexican joint with a twist – the interior is small and resembles a Subway size seating plan but there’s a door at the back which opens up into a substantially sized casual Weatherspoons style bar
Waitresses are on hand to take drink orders and you can sit back, relax and enjoy the range of food options
I opted for soft veggie taco shells which were so good I have to order some more and paired it with a cocktail so I could start my pre-drinking early
Ok so this place may serve congealed pizza and bucketloads of cheese and fries but it was the perfect spot to get food from a night out when you’re drunk and craving junk food
Pizza, burgers, wraps, sandwiches, wings and side orders…this is the perfect place to pig out.
This is Jameela Jamil. She is currently slaying everything and I’m all for it. You might recognise her from hit show The Good Place in which she plays perfectionist and socialite Tahani Al-Jamil. Yes she is fabulous and the show wouldn’t be the same without her but I’m here to talk about her influence and drive and conscientious efforts as a life positivity and body empowerment activist.
In 2018, Jameela launched Instagram account ‘I Weigh’ encouraging people to post a picture of themselves along side a list of things they were grateful or proud of that made them who they are. This was in response to an Instagram photo which showed all the Kardashians and compared their weights which Jamil exclaimed “Who gives a fuck what weight you are?”. The ‘I Weigh’ movement is inspirational and a big leap forward from the media’s constant scrutiny of women’s bodies and their pessimistic body shaming attitude. This movement may have originally focused on women but Jamil has encouraged users of any race/gender/sex to submit posts and thus a variety of individuals from different backgrounds are celebrated on the account.
Having suffered from an eating disorder as a teenager, Jamil’s preaching of self-love and acceptance comes from personal experience and a desire to right the wrongs of the media and society. She has criticised the media for creating unrealistic expectations for women, focusing on so-called ‘influencers’ who advertise detox teas and weight loss products which claim to be a magic solution to people who want to lose weight. Jamil called out US rapper Cardi B and stated “they got Cardi B on the laxative nonsense “detox” tea. GOD I hope all these celebrities all shit their pants in public, the way the poor women who buy this nonsense upon their recommendation do”. To further her point Jamil posted a short clip of herselves acting out a celebrity who was endorsing a weight loss product but has to stop when she barely makes it to the bathroom in time. It’s no-nonsense, straight to the point and hilarious. Adding fuel to the fire she voices her disbelief with “I’ve got abs, but I’ve never done a day’s exercise in my life and I haven’t been on a diet. I ate five hamburgers last night”.
Although Jamil has a massive following on ‘I Weigh’ with over 300,000 followers she is no stranger to controversy. She has been labelled ‘privileged’ because of her looks which have been deemed ‘socially acceptable’ and that she is too skinny to be an advocate for body positivity. Jamil put up a powerful Twitter post responding to these criticisms by acknowledging her privilege but explaining that she is using it to do good by paving the way for change and uprising against societal norms of beauty.
A note from me to anyone who feels uncomfortable that a slim woman is fighting body shaming as hard as I am. It’s not only because of my extensive experience with public fat shaming from the press, eating disorders and disability as a teen, but also because I want change for all. pic.twitter.com/RoEVzgBEAe
There have been many rebuttals against her stance and suggestions that she is not as inclusive as she could be but Jamil has taken these views on board and responded to many of them labelling herself a ‘feminist in progress’ as she continues to work on herself as well as her movement. She is responsive to people who don’t like her, comedy gold and always willing to spread love when she can which is why she takes is officially my reigning WCW (Woman Crush Wednesday)