Monthly Archives

June 2018

Posted on June 24, 2018

3 reasons why you should visit Wicklow this summer

Travel

As you probably know from my Instagram stories, last Thursday saw yet another picturesque region of Ireland being ticked off my lengthy travel bucket list. Myself and my gal Lorna drove up to beautiful county Wicklow to celebrate the launch of the Garden Rooms & Bar at Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort.

While this was the main motivation behind cruising on the M50 to Chill Mhantáin, that didn’t stop us from making the most out of our day out of Dublin. Prior to our arrival at the stunning Druids Glen, we drove up the Wicklow Mountains and toured some the most precious gems in the county.

For those of you who don’t have a travel bucket list for Ireland, it probably wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world to consider compiling one now. With promising blue skies and a heatwave ahead of next week, this is the perfect time to start exploring the scenic hidden treasures of the Emerald Isle.

Without further ado, here are 3 reasons why you should visit Wicklow this summer:

1. Lough Tay

Lough Tay is one of the most iconic places in Wicklow, along with Glendalough. Also known as ‘the Guinness Lake,’ the northern coastline of this small but stunning lake is part of an estate owned by the Guinness family. But that’s not the only reason for the infamous nickname. If you have an eye for detail, you will notice that some of the lake is edged with a white sandy beach. The dark water that follows creates a remarkable semblance to a pint of Guinness – hence ‘the Guinness Lake.’

How to get there:

Driving up from Dublin via M50 took us  just under an hour due to light traffic on the motorway. We did however meet clusters of cyclists on the small countryside roads upon arriving to Wicklow – typical! Other than that, it is an easy drive. If you don’t have access to a car then a tourist bus would be your best bet – we came across a group of tourists when we were enjoying the beautiful views of The Guinness Lake over the Wicklow Mountains.

2. Powerscourt House & Gardens

Powerscourt Gardens was voted #3 in the top 10 gardens of the world by National Geographic. After spending an afternoon enjoying lunch at its Avoca Terrace Cafe and exploring over 200 varieties of flowers, shrubs and trees, I wouldn’t be surprised for a second!

The infamous gardens is not a place you want to visit without being camera ready. Powerscourt Gardens date back to over 150 years and it now has many little treasures to discover including The Japanese Garden, The Dolphin Pond and The Tower Valley.

How to get there:

Powerscourt House & Gardens is about a 20 km drive south of Dublin City Centre. It is located within the 1,000 acre Powerscourt Estate in Enniskerry, against the backdrop of the famous Sugarloaf Mountain. For specific directions, opening times and fees, visit the website.

3. Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort

This five-star hotel & golf resort combines nature and leisure to provide a next-to-paradise experience. Located in a beautiful setting of 400 acres between Wicklow Mountains and The Irish Sea, Druids Glen is the perfect place to get in touch with your inner zen in a stunning luxury setting. Although we didn’t make use of the unique golf courses, we did have an evening of luxury at the launch of the new Garden Rooms and Bar: mouth-watering nibbles, cocktails, live music – it truly was a magical evening.

The following morning, we made use of the health club and swimming area before indulging in the wide selection of top quality breakfast. The staff were incredibly accommodating throughout our stay,  so much so that neither of us wanted to leave. If you want to experience paradise in South East Ireland then Druids Glen will not disappoint!

How to get there:

Druids Glen is just a 30 minute journey from Dublin. For full directions or bookings, visit the website. Note: They have limited mid-week summer madness offers at the moment – be sure to check that out!

While there was so much more to see and do in the county known as “The Garden of Ireland,” the little time we did spend in Wicklow did not disappoint. We made the most out of what we had and if I’m being completely honest, part of me thinks skipping a few tourist attractions in the first visit comes with its advantages because it gives us an excuse to go back again! Yes, our visit to Wicklow was short. But it was also very memorable….and who knows, maybe next time we’ll get to indulge in summer afternoon tea at Druids Glen! 😉

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Posted on June 15, 2018

How to choose the right swimwear for your body shape

Body Confidence

Finding the right swimsuit is only as difficult as you make it. As cliche as that sounds, take it from someone who probably owns as many swimsuits as she does shoes – okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration…but I do own many flattering swimsuits (as my Instagram would probably tell you).

I think the main ingredient to finding swimwear that makes you feel comfortable, sexy and confident is knowing your body shape. Without that knowledge you are destined to fail. Why? Simply because it’s about knowing where you’re packing and where you’re lacking and then having a goal in mind for what you want your bikini to do for you.

I’m no style expert, but it doesn’t take a genius to realise that no two people can pull off the same look – what works for one person, might not work for another. But don’t let that discourage you, there is a bikini out there for everyone, you just have to know what to look for!

So whether you’re a bit heavy on top or want to accentuate your curves, here are my top tips for choosing swimwear that will flatter your body shape and in turn increase your confidence 🙂

10 tips for choosing the right swimwear for your body shape:

1. If you’re a bit busty, always be sure to look for a bikini top with an under wire. Find one that will give you somewhat coverage with a tiny bit of a lift.

2. If you’re not so boobalicious but want to appear so, then try looking for a bikini top with ruffles on them. Ruffles on top help create an illusion of a bigger bust. A padded bikini top also does the trick!

3. If you have a bit of a pot belly and want to make it less visible, then it can always be concealed by wearing a ruched one piece suit. Ruched fabric is key for helping you disguise your stomach by giving it a slimming effect.

4. To downplay your backside, go for dark-coloured briefs or shorts, they will give you all the coverage you need!

5. Not so much junk in your trunk? (welcome to the team) this can be solved with ruffled bottoms as they will give the appearance of volume and a bum. Or putting focus on your upper may take away from people notice where you’re lacking – I’ve got all the tricks 😉

6. Boyish figure types can create the illusion of curves by using a two piece swimsuit with bold prints and feminine details. A one piece with the sides cut out also create an optical illusion of curves.

7. If you have a curvy figure and want to appear slimmer, vertical patterns will help create a thinner torso and draw attention downwards, rather than outwards.

8. To hide areas you don’t want to show in your plus size physique, look for a one piece with little details such as runching, they do wonders!

9. Petite figures can elongate their body with high-cut leg or strings at the side! Also, avoid polka dots and girlie patterns…. unless of course you want to be mistaken for a teen (it happens😑).

10. And last but not least, if you want to avoid the appearance of love handles remember to go for folded bottoms.

Hope you found these tips useful, happy bikini hunting! 🙂

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Posted on June 11, 2018

10 things all singletons can learn from Love Island 2018

Dating

Let’s be clear on something: contrary to what my Twitter feed will have you think, I am not a Love Island superfan. In fact, this is the first year I tuned in to the show from the very beginning – I know, I was a bit late jumping joining the bandwagon! Last year, my slow addiction to the reality show developed mid-season, after catching a glimpse of the tension created by Muggy Mike.

Watching all the drama unfold in the villa before Amber & Kem took home the prize money, made me realised that you don’t have to be a qualified doctor to diagnose an unhealthy addiction towards television drama. Much like anyone else who has a tendency of investing their feelings into onscreen relationships, the new series of Love Island has already taken an emotional toll on us ITV viewers.

Tuning in from the beginning of the season means I’ll have a better understanding of the inner workings of the show as well as the game plan of schneaky contestants (I can think of a few names). But rather than naming and shaming – I probably do enough of that on Twitter anyways, I’ve decided to compile a list of meaningful love lessons us singletons can learn about dating from week one of this year’s Love Island.

Only a week into seeing sloppy kisses on screen and uncomfortable love triangles, but I’ve already picked up on some major faux pas in the world of dating *puts on Carrie Bradshaw hat*

Here are 10 things all singletons can learn from week one of Love Island 2018:

1. Not all that glitters is gold

2. Insecurities follow you until you mend your heart 

3. Acting dumb will never be cute

4. Girls really don’t want a good guy

5. Never underestimate the power of bro code

6. Female ageing is still highly stigmatised 

7. If it ain’t white, it ain’t ‘right’ 😒

8.Some women truly are masochists

9. Politics isn’t for everyone

10. If you want true love, choose personality over looks – always!

What do you make of this year’s Love Island? I would love to know your thoughts! Tweet me @FilomenaKaguako 🙂 

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Love Island airs on ITV2 at 9pm, every night except Saturday.

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Posted on June 8, 2018

No More Peach Fuzz thanks to Skinfull Affairs!!!

service review

If you’re anything like me – ageing by the second, reminiscing on the prime of your beauty, worried about early menopause and so on and so fourth….then you probably feel somewhat anxious about your skin and unwanted body hair on summery days. It is a known fact that natural light can be unforgiving to skin flaws and those who live a secret life of plucking hairs from their chin – say no more.

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way, because there is light at the end of the tunnel! Thanks to Skinfull Affairs, a beauty salon based in Dublin on 34 Exchequer Street, there is a timeless way to remove unwanted body hair while simultaneously boosting your body confidence: threading.

So what is threading according to Skinfull Affairs?

Threading is an ancient method of depilation and can remove even the finest hairs, leaving skin soft and smooth. This gentle form of hair removal is even suitable for the most sensitive skins. No chemicals or tools are used aside from an antibacterial thread that is twisted to pull the hair from the root.

  • It is chemical – free
  • The results are long lasting
  • It is very precise
  • It is quicker than waxing
  • It leaves a cleaner finish

My threading experience at Skinfull Affairs

I arrived at the lovely Skinfull Affairs about 10 minutes prior to the scheduled time and was greeted by a very welcoming staff member who had me fill in a form and offer me a glass a water. When she headed back to set up, I had the opportunity to browse the store and sample some of their body creams and lotions.

When the time came for me to start my treatment, I was pretty nervous. Thankfully, the woman looking after me calmed down my nerves with her words of encouragement. The second she started the treatment, I wanted to scream. I found the first few minutes of threading to be pretty sore as a first timer but I did take a few breaks during the treatment so it was all very bearable.

The most painful area was my eyebrows and the least painful area was my chin – it must be used to all the pain from plucking! Overall, the pain was not overwhelming bad, and I have certainly endured worse!

The Results

Before Threading

After threading

The results were impeccable, I had never seen my face so smooth before. The redness caused by the threading  didn’t last very long which was surprising to me since my skin is very sensitive. I looked and felt young and fresh again! 🙂

Aftercare

A skin-calming product for after threading

I was told not to use any saunas or steam rooms, no swimming or makeup for 24 hours. Avoiding the steam room was hard, but it was worth it after!

How often do you need to get it done?

Eyebrows after threading

I am four weeks into the treatment and I don’t seem to need a top up just yet. The amount of treatments a person needs depends on their hair growth of course and everybody is different – some need threading done every month, while the results for others can last for up to eight weeks!

Would I recommend it?

All smiles here! 

I would 100% recommend it to those who use waxing or other chemicals to remove hair since threading os natural. The staff in Skinfull Affairs were lovely and very informative, they were incredibly patient with me also.

For your free assessment and a price list of all threading treatments, check out www.skinfullaffairs.ie

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A massive thank you to Skinfull Affairs for looking after me! All opinions  remain my own.

Posted on June 2, 2018

10 inspiring body positive women

Confidence

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, body positive is all about embracing your body as is – flaws and all. The concept sounds easy in theory, but in practice, it can prove to be a bit of a struggle since we are constantly being bombarded with images of unrealistic beauty standards in the media.

Although I am a self-proclaimed fitness bunny, my battle with body positivity varies from the usual “I need to loose a few pounds,” instead, it comes from – dare I say it – skinny shaming.

Yes, skinny shaming is a thing.

You see, it is often assumed that people who are slim automatically have body confidence and are therefore never subjected to being body shamed or feelings of insecurity about their body. This is simply untrue.

Growing up as a skinny teenage girl – please note that ‘skinny’ is never a compliment – come with its negatives when you are from a community that praises larger women.

Not living up to the stereotypical black girl features of beautiful curves and a ‘big black booty,’ in many ways, made me feel that I was lacking as a woman. It led to my obsession with becoming an avid gym goer and doing an excessive amount of lunges and squats in a helpless attempt to build my bum and make so called booty gainz.

I’m now pushing into my thirties and  dealing with being hairier than I was growing up (as if having starving black girl card wasn’t enough😑). I’ve become increasingly fearful of having to deal with the dreaded changes that occur in a woman’s body around menopausal age – early menopause, eh? Just another thing to add to my growing list of irrational fears and phobias….

Overall, my body confidence journey has been a rollercoaster of happy tears and sad ones. I’ve had moments when I channelled my inner Emily Ratajkowski  and thought “You look good girl,” while looking at my naked reflection, and I’ve had times when I couldn’t bear to even look at my skin in the mirror.

Thankfully, I’ve met some wonderful women of varying shapes and sizes that have helped me come to the realisation that body changes are normal and more importantly, there isn’t just one type of body that exists for women – regardless of your skin colour. Being a black woman doesn’t mean having big lips or a ‘big booty,’ it just means being a woman.

Women are not homogenous creatures, we are all individuals with unique features.

It took me decades to realise this and I am finally happy to be at a place where I recognise it is impossible to be one hundred percent body confident 100% of the time. There will be days when we feel good and days when we don’t. It’s just the reality of it. As long as we remember that it is less about fitting into a specific box and more  about creating your own box of what being a beautiful woman means to you.

So today, I wanted to celebrate female bodies of all shapes and sizes for the simple reason that being body positive  is not about everyone looking a monolithic way. It is about embracing the beauty in the differences. Whether you are softer in some areas or are constantly on the lookout for skin improving  products, you don’t have to have one look to be body positive or have body confidence.

These are women who I have met in the past or know personally. I feel that they exemplify true body positivity. I’ve asked them about everything from skin problems to maintaining body confidence to perception of female bodies during motherhood.

Thank you to all the beautiful women for getting involved in this. But most of all, thank you ladies for being you 🙂

1. Brooke Moore

Beauty Vlogger & cast of Channel 4’s Genderquake

I’ve been thin, I’ve been fat, I’ve been in good shape and I’ve been out of shape. We are so hung up on body image but whose body stays the same their whole lives? It’s so important to love your body at every stage of your life. If you’re lucky enough to live a long life it will change 100s of times.

2. Rachel Martin

Vlogger & Social Media Influencer

Normally I would edit a photo like this to give me a ‘better’ shape but I decided not to – there’s no reason to hide! ‘It doesn’t matter what size you are, it doesn’t matter if things juggle where they’re not supposed to. That’s still beautiful #ashleygraham

3. Nadine Reid

MUA & Ambassador of courage and self-love

I learned to walk each day with courage and the belief that I am beautiful. Not one person has ever told me otherwise, why would they? I am beautiful, kind, talented, joyful and some days fabulously stunning. I pray every woman can beleive in their beauty too, it is a life changing feeling.

4.Lesley Goulding

Skin Blogger

Love the skin you’re in. No matter what shade it throws your way. This thick layer of white, beige, yellow, pink, chocolate, mahogany, whatever coloured, elastic stuff protects you. So take care of it.

5. Rosee Daisy Byrne

Health & Beauty Blogger

It’s really hard [to post these photos] but I’ve learned to not give a s**t somehow!

6. Grainne

Skincare Ambassador & previously competed in the bodybuilding bikini category to gain stage experience.

Always focus on yourself and your own progress. What works for me may not work for others. Your body is beautifully unique and responds and develops differently. So admire but never compare!

7. Aicha Salif

Model, Fitness Instructor and Mother of two

I think social media and celebrities expect you to have a quick snap back after birth and celebrities make it worse. They have the time and money to get their body “right” and then lie to people that it’s all natural. And also, people judge you for dressing a certain way once you’re a mum. They expect you to be more covered up and wholesome looking. There’s constant judgment about the right and wrong way to be a “good” mum. Eventually I just looked at my kids and realised they are happy and healthy kids. They love me for me regardless of how I look.

8. Jen Morris

Social Media Manager & Beauty Vlogger

Steps to the perfect bikini body are as follows: 1. Have a body 2. Put a bikini on it. Do I have the perfect body, no! Do I own my curves, you betcha!

And my final two gals who are also kindred spirits with Emily Ratajkowski and embrace nakedness….

9. Funmi Obadeyi

Fitness Enthusiast & Mother of one

There is some huge problem with body confidence that I don’t seem to relate with. I’m so happy in my body, if anyone thinks I don’t look amazing due to whatever, F them! So please speak it out to these girls that they are beautiful the way they are and no one is perfect.

10. Deborah Bux

Lead Makeup Artist & Freelance Fashion Stylist

Fake it till you make it!

These women are all living proof that there is more than one look that can attribute to body positivity, the beauty lies in the differences.

I came across a quote on Twitter recently that has stuck with me since, ‘if tomorrow, women woke up and decided they really liked their bodies, think about how many industries would go out of business.’

The problem doesn’t lie with your body, it lies with the people who profit from convincing you that’s where the problem lies.

To follow these beautiful ladies on Instagram, click on their photos 💗

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