A Winter’s Tale: What If? Guide to Winter

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It’s happening. I’ve been trying to remain in denial for some time now… but I’m having to write this in my onesie which means only one thing… WINTER IS UPON US! For some this calls for cheers of jubilation! For others (myself included) it induces shivers of dread/lack of central heating. In my desperation, I have decided it would be fit for me to try and see the positives in winter this year: WHAT IF THIS YEAR ROUND I ACTUALLY ENJOYED BEING COLD/ILL/CONSTANTLY FROSTY? So get your hot chocolate ready and your slippers on, because I have come up with a guide for all those winter Scrooges out there to find some of the positives in the negative temperatures about to ensue….

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1) Better Beverages
Summer bunnies, I know what you are thinking. “Nothing beats that feeling of lying on a beach, with an ice-cold beverage named after a chapter from the Karma Sutra… NOTHING!”… But.. Despite my own love of the summer cocktail, there is one alcoholic seasonal beverage that trumps all. And it’s name is … Mulled Wine. I know this is a relatively controversial start to this list as many people have never tried it or believe it’s completely gross because WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND DRINKS ALCOHOL WARM? but even I can appreciate that the wine gods of the mulled variety did GOOD when they came up with this gem. It’s Christmas in a cup. Not even Hot Chocolate can outdo its majestic, burgundy yumminess. Although, another plus for this time of year is the lack of guilt when drinking Hot Chocolate. No, I shall not have a green tea.. It’s cold and no one shall see me in a bikini for several months, so yes… HOT CHOCOLATE PLEASE WITH LASHINGS OF WHIPPED CREAM, YOU CHEEKY STARBUCKS BARISTA WITH YOUR CHEEKY STARBUCKS CUPS. (Who doesn’t love the christmas cups?) So yeah… Beverages in winter kick ass. Case closed.

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2) Wearable Winter!

Yes. I know. Winter does indeed = Soggy Shoes, Wet bottoms of jeans, and a sweat fest when you accidentally wear too many layers. BUT. Who doesn’t love the fact that you can just snuggle into the biggest jumper known to man and not feel bad about it? EVEN UGGS ARE PASSABLE (although not the primark kind. Primark is a NO in winter.) We’ve spent the last three months obsessing about our bodies so we look hot in the smallest amount of clothing possible, but as soon as winter arrives you are totally allowed to slob out in a pair of baggy jeans, heavy boots and a jumper with cats on it. Whats not to love?

3) Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it.. NO!

I know I am not in the minority when I say that I am a person who HATES SNOW WITH A PASSION. Nothing infuriates me more than when our wonderful transport system internally combusts because of this white fluffy stuff. Not only that, but it causes wet clothes (as previously mentioned), icy roads (cue cars rolling down the hill) and that constant fear that at any moment you can fall flat on your arse. BUT DESPITE THIS COLD WET SLUDGY CLOUD, THERE IS A SILVER FLUFFY LINING. Snow is the number one signal that winter has arrived and the festive season has begun. It means we can throw balls of ice water at strangers and get away with it because HEY IT’S SNOWING! Plus building a snowman is still fun, even if you’re 23 years old. It’s something that still evokes that childlike excitement amongst all of us because quite frankly who can explain something that beautiful just appearing out of no where? Anyway.. mushiness over.. NUMERO FOUR.

4) It’s Time… To Face… The TV?

Now I am not one to advocate spending all day in front of the television, but when the TV is THIS GOOD then it’s hard not to tune in. None of us are proud to admit it, but I am a secret X Factor fiend and always love that build up to the Christmas Number one, even if it always is the X Factor Winner singing a cheesy song about stars and love and fate and all that. It’s trash, but I love it. But it’s not just reality tv that reaches it’s peaks, its the MOVIES. Christmas movies are the ultimate in feel-good films. What film genre can encompass so many varying films that provide SO MUCH JOY TO SO MANY PEOPLE? I shall name but a few to prove my point:

  • The Grinch
  • The Holiday
  • Miracle on 34th Street
  • The Santa Clause
  • Home Alone
  • Elf
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • It’s a Wonderful Life
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol
  • Love Actually

I mean I could go on with this list. But I feel this is a good starting point for you all. Feeling down? Need picking up? Just choose one, only one, and let the happiness begin!

5) Dive under the Duvet

This previous point leads nicely onto the Olympic sport of Winter, Duvet-Diving. This winter sport is prolific during the colder months, when the fear of the frost outsides drives it’s participants to dive head first under their duvet, never to re-emerge unless for Tea, Mulled Wine, Toilet Breaks, and to fetch a Christmas film to watch. And I AM NOT JUDGING YOU FOR IT. There is nothing nicer on those cold, frosty sundays than snuggling into your onesie and slippers, cup of tea/mulled wine in hand and just enjoying a day of pure laziness. When the sun is outside, you can feel it’s rays beckoning you to guiltily get out of bed and “make the most of the sunshine”. The sun is gone, the snow is outside. GET BACK INTO BED!!

 

 

6) Saving the best for last…

Those who know me know my favourite thing of all time is FOOD. Food. Food + Christmas. Food + Christmas + Not having to wear a bikini in public = Perfection. My favourite memories of this time of year always centre around the scents and tastes of the festive season. I’m not just talking about the obvious Christmas dinner (whose brilliance needs no mention) but I’m talking about chocolate advent calendars, steak pies on New Years Day (Family tradition in my house.. so so good!), Scrambled egg and salmon on toast with bucks fizz at 9am on Christmas Day. FOOD IS SO BRILLIANT AT THIS TIME OF YEAR. It’s not even the celebratory meals that make it so special though. It’s the slow-cooked casseroles, baked fruit pies, and bubbling soups that just make me feel so at home in this season. So if you wonder where I am this winter, check in the kitchen (Recipes to be uploaded thick and fast I assure you!)

So there it is, my little list of why Winter is great. I am a summer bunny but there are some parts of winter you cant help but love. There is, however, one thing that Winter will never win at.

THE BED TO SHOWER DASH. Sorry Winter. But No.

Hope you’ve all enjoyed! Keep warm, fill your bellies and for gods sake STOCK UP ON MULLED WINE NOW.

– Koko x

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I HAVE RETURNED

I set out creating this blog as a way to make sure that I had a creative outlet I could dedicate my time to each week. I loved it, I love writing, and I love hearing peoples opinions about what I’m writing – BUT THEN I STOPPED!

I know, I’m a terrible person/blogger but I swear it was merely an accident. As what I didn’t realise was that from being proactively creative, I was finding more opportunities arising to create in every area of my life. I am a firm believer in the law of attraction, and so firmly hope that this was the worlds way of saying KEEP GOING, GIRL! START DOING MORE!

So I’d like to fill you in on the crazy goings on from my last month and a half, and what I’ve learnt and discovered, in the hope that I might persuade just one person to say YES to a challenge. By saying yes, you are opening the doors to opportunity and who knows where that may lead!

NUMERO UNO: I moved to London!

For those who don’t know me personally, I’ve been living in the hotel of Madre and Padre for the last year since graduating drama school. It’s been great relaxing at home with Ma and Pa, but it was definitely time to fly the nest! I’ve always longed for my independence and although I didn’t have a job planned, I knew it was time to just take the plunge. I’m a firm believer of being thrown in the deep end; even if you can’t swim, you can usually find a way to stay afloat, and so far I have attended several job interviews, spent more time with friends, discovered new parts of London and couldn’t be happier.

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DOS: I started a production company!

So it wasn’t just one of those things where i went “YEAH I KNOW I’LL JUST START ONE!” but a culmination of a lot of thoughts over the past 6 months. So me and Mr S took the plunge to start our own theatre company to produce work that we would love to see in London. We’ve started with one of Mr S’s own pieces of work (although it is very good!) and are already finding support from lots of lovely theatre-goers. Our first production opens tonight EEEEEK so lets hope it goes well! But even if it doesn’t, I’m glad I have just given it a bash! It’s been a lot of work but I’ve found that keeping busy has opened me up to more opportunities and made me feel more confident in my own work.

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THREE (I don’t know that much Spanish!): I played on stage in Belgium!

I was lucky enough to appear in a production called 14-18 in Belgium and it was a delight! I met so many lovely, wonderful people that restored my faith in the industry. I’d reached a bit of a brick wall with auditions and wasn’t feeling great about myself – and then BOOM! I got this fantastic job and realised that actually, it takes time and patience but if you wait it out YOU WILL get a job that you want. I learnt so much in such a short amount of time, and also discovered a lot about Belgium. Especially the food. And the beer. IF YOU GO TO BELGIUM, GET YOURSELF A DUVEL AND VOL-AU-VENT. Yum.

Now aside from all this fun stuff, I have been working and being boring too. But i just wanted to 1) Update people on my life as I’ve been a hermit recently and 2) prove to people that being patient is worth it! I have so many talented crazy friends that are literally LIVING THE DREAM that I had moments of feeling not good enough. But actually, if you go out there and take the opportunities that are presented to you, you will find that the good stuff comes straight to you! So my lovely readers and friends, START SAYING YES (Although not Jim Carrey style!) and start enjoying the opportunities that come your way.

AND I PROMISE I WILL START WRITING REGULAR NORMAL INTERESTING BLOG ARTICLES AGAIN NOW THAT I HAVE MY HEAD AROUND EVERYTHING.

Love to you all.

Koko x

The What If? Diary’s Guide to Getting Over It.

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We’ve all been there: you didn’t get that job promotion, the date you went on was disastrous, you stub your toe on the side of your bed. The instant reaction to all of these things is to just FLOP OUT AND BE ANNOYED. I’ve been there this week – when faced with RUBBISH news I instantly went to the lunch room at work, ordered something full of carbs, and then reached for the most fattening chocolate bar possible. I then proceeded to spend my afternoon in a sugar-induced coma of annoyance and frustration. THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF HOW NOT TO DEAL WITH THE CRAP THAT LIFE DEALS YOU, MY DEARS. After giving myself a swift telling off for being so dramatic, I decided it was wise to spread the joy to other 20-somethings who need to JUST GET OVER IT. Life isn’t easy, especially at this age, but stay away from that mars bar! Here are my tips to Getting Over It and Getting On with being AMAZING:

  • Hit the Treadmill

I realise that this point is going to be controversial – not all of us enjoy getting our running trainers out from the dusty back corners of our wardrobes. But getting out in the fresh air and doing some exercise is sometimes all it takes to clear your head before you do something disastrous. You want to text your ex that you found out he was cheating all along? NO YOU DON’T – YOU WANT TO RUN OUTSIDE AND CLEAR YOUR HEAD! Not only does this stop you looking like a crazy ex, but it also helps you to get fitter and have time to sort out all those negative, angry demon thoughts. You’ll start to make space for positive ones instead.  You WILL feel better! You WILL feel more confident. And you will have achieved something useful and positive with your day! If you don’t like running- do some yoga, pilates, lift some weights! Anything that will get rid of that extra annoyed energy and put it into something focused and positive. 

  • Food = Happy Times

Now do not think this means I allow you to do a “Feed four for £5” deal at Domino’s for you and you alone! Take some time out to make something you LOVE to eat. It could be a Chinese stir fry, a massive Pie and Mash or even a batch of cookies (Although save some for your housemates/family!) Putting the effort and time into cooking always mellows me out and makes me feel like I thoroughly deserve to enjoy my meal, rather than crying into a tub of Ben & Jerrys and washing it down with two bottles of wine (although a glass or two is DEFO allowed). If you fancy something quick, easy but looks impressive and tastes DAMN GOOD check out recipe for baked Salmon and Bruschetta here!

#RespectBFF

  • Spend time with the people that make you feel AMAZING!

Some people feel best when with their partners, others need their best friends to perk them up. HELL, some people just need a cuddle from their cat to make them feel better (ahem!) Whatever the case, pick up your phone, stop moping and go out and see them! Sometimes we spend too much time alone with our thoughts, and when we’re in a negative place these thoughts can be especially mean! So shut them up and go and listen to your best friend bang on about this amazing new dress she found in Topshop! Sometimes all we need to calm us down is the simplicity of having a conversation about mundane things to bring us back to reality and realise.. Hey! Things aren’t all that bad.

  • When you’re ready, come to terms with what happened

Unfortunately, getting over things does require you to come to terms with them first. Whatever has happened, take some time away from the issue, keep yourself busy and then come back to the problem in the knowledge that you have forgotten about it for a few days and coped just fine. There may be loose ends that need tied, or sometimes these things just need putting to bed. If it helps, write down your feelings about the issue, then rip it up, burn it, feed it to the dog!! You don’t need things bogging you down in this period of your life – you should be enjoying it and making the most of life so (in the words of Adele Dazeem) LET IT GO!

  • Have a ME party!

My last point is to simply have a celebration of what makes you happy and what makes you great!! Our generation is constantly told that we are not excelling, we’re loaded with debt, we can’t get a job. Well actually, we can all do A LOT MORE than we’re given credit for. Half of us wouldn’t overload ourselves with worry over small things if we just had more self-confidence and took time to realise how great we are. Spend an evening in looking after yourself, or take a night out on the town dancing with friends! Just make sure you ENJOY every moment of it and realise that the problems in life are NOT worth dwelling on.

Life is a long journey, and our twenties will fly by in a flash, so we musn’t allow ourselves to dwell on the negatives. Whatever it is that is niggling you – GET OVER IT! I promise you’ll discover there’s much more to be happy about when you let everything else pass you by.

Have a happy weekend lovers.

Koko x

NIL POIS: Your official guide to Eurovision Preparation

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Good Afternoon my little spring lambs!

If my blog post couldn’t be clear enough… EUROVISION FEVER IS UPON US! For those of you who have never warmed to the dulcet tones of Terry Wogan (who’s not commentating this year – BOO!) or who’s eyes have not quite adjusted to the glaring fashions on display…. IT IS TIME TO CHANGE YOUR TUNE (to something out of key and very European!) Eurovision is the one time of year that we can join together with our European brothers and sisters and celebrate the crazy brilliance of creating music AND being a member of the European Union (Sorry Nigel – Don’t think UKIP are invited to watch this one!)

This post is to help those of us who are watching prepare for a night of dramatic entrances, bearded drag Queen’s (yup.. Really) and absolutely laughable lyrics. So…HOW SHOULD WE PREPARE?

1. DRESS EUROPEAN
It’s time to get out those Berets and grow out that facial hair (or armpit hair, ladies… You’re not left out of this one!) If you truly want to get into the spirit of Eurovision you’ve got act like a European. So, chuck on your most fabulously garish outfit, where your favourite nation’s flag proudly across your face and DRESS TO IMPRESS! (Please feel free to send me pictures… I may just post them on my post-Eurovision round up!)

2. EAT LIKE A SCANDINAVIAN
In honour of our Danish hosts, and due to the large amount of alcohol the majority of us shall be consuming, I think it’s fair to say that eating big hearty portions like the Danish is a safe bet. Have a gander online for some European recipes, some tapas maybe, a pizza, frogs legs? Or keep it Nordic with some Meatballs in a creamy sauce! I will be creating a European feast and posting the recipe later this weekend so you can continue the celebrations (and soak up that post Eurovision party booze!)

3. DRINK LIKE A EUROPEAN …Brit!
I would say we should drink like the Europeans do… But somehow I think us Brits have the reputation for drinking… So crack open a beer, or brew yourself a delightful cuppa to enjoy the event! (But keep it responsible kids – too many cups of tea could lead to a morning of regrets!) 😉

4. DANCE LIKE THE CONTESTANTS
There is only one night of the year where you are allowed to belly dance around your living room and not look like you’ve maybe had one too many margaritas! Eurovision shows us straight-laced Brits that letting it loose is the best form of entertainment. I don’t know what crazy dance moves we have ahead of us tonight… But I want to ensure you that the urge you have to shimmy and toss your hair around is TOTALLY ACCEPTABLE! (But maybe have a cheeky stretch before it begins… I don’t want to be responsible for any injuries!)

5. SCORE LIKE THE FRENCH (kind of…)
It is my personal favourite to shout NIL POIS at the TV in my worst French accent when people are not quite up to my ever-growing standards. (Fact for you: Nil Pois doesn’t actually mean no points in French.. BUT HEY HO) ….SO SCORE CARDS ARE A MUST! Get out your pens, pull up your trousers and embrace your inner Simon Cowell whilst giving the contestants marks out of ten. (Remember… Your votes will never match the end result… Unless you’re politically minded or psychic!) The person who matches the most gets eternal glory (or at least until the next competition!) Having a Eurovision party? Snap a pic of the winner and I’ll add the pics to my next post!

Want scorecards for tonight? The BBC have made official scorecards you can download here!!

So there you have it, my totally serious guide to preparing for Eurovision. Have an amazing night watching and look out for my post-Eurovision report (and recipe) tomorrow!

Lots of love,

Koko xx

P.S Any pictures of you celebrating Eurovision are completely welcome! Let’s share the European love! Tweet them to @koko91 or comment below!

STAGEY ALERT: why British Musicals are still amazing.

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Good Afternoon one and all,

I hope we have all been enjoying a suitably merry and relaxed bank holiday weekend. Mine has consisted of takeaways, Despicable Me 2 and making a batch of cookies far too big for two people (of which i shall share the recipe on here… one day… when i’m nice enough to share the yumminess!)

So yes, first of all. I AM LATE! I usually post every Thursday but this week became suitable manic so apologies first of all. But I also wanted to wait for the dust to settle surrounding the closure of I Can’t Sing the musical. This week I wanted to get a bit stagey and discuss the state of Musical Theatre in Britain at the moment. Having only seen I Can’t Sing three weeks ago, I was shocked to hear it was closing mid-May. Now, I Can’t Sing may not be a mind-blowing spectacular but it is providing very talented people within our industry a great showcase for their skills. In my opinion, the cast and crew made something great out of what they were given and i didn’t stop laughing throughout! But still this show is closing after only 6 or so weeks.

I Cant’ Sing is following in the very recent footsteps of From Here to Eternity and Stephen Ward – two more British musicals that didn’t have the run they had hoped for. Again, all of these shows have their merit. But why are they losing out? It seems that our industry (or at least the marketing and advertising companies) seem to be turning their back on shows written by British writers. Why didn’t these shows get the marketing that they deserved? Is it not budgeted? Or is it simply assumed that these shows will have a safe run because they are British? Maybe it’s that producers are going for the “safe bet” when really the public are looking for something more from our British writers? We could try and figure it out but, as we all know, the nature of this industry is that nothing is based on real reason. It’s all subjective. My fear now is that this trend of “failing” musicals will now hinder the production of new brilliant British writing, with producers now seeing it as risky business.

Well producers of Great Britain – I AM HERE TO CHANGE YOUR MIND. Here are my reasons for putting on BRITISH musicals in the west end:

We have the best source materials to create musicals from!

(I Can’t Sing – The X Factor Musical)

Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, Monty Python, The X Factor – Britain has a crazy amount of history and brilliance to draw inspiration from. The fact that we can even have a musical about the X Factor and then a musical based around Monty Python shows how amazing this tiny little island is. If we can make a musical about winning a reality show.. then we still have hope to create something more brilliant yet!

We have companies in the UK dedicated to creating new musicals.

(Lift the Musical)

Perfect Pitch and Mercury Musicals who are both dedicated to nurturing new musical theatre writing are just the tip of the iceberg of developing writing in Britain. The National Theatre, RSC and now the English National Opera are also leading the way in developing new musicals for the masses. So big-wig West End Producers, follow suit please! Matilda is proof enough that a bit of trust, some development and a whole heap of talent (even if it is Aussie Mr Minchin!) can create an international hit! The talent is there, it just needs to be found!

(If you hadn’t heard about ENO’s new announcement, read more here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/opera/10795780/ENO-moves-into-the-West-End-musical-business.html”

We have produced some of the best talent… and there’s still more to be discovered.

(Sweeney Todd)

Britain has been the birthplace of Elaine Paige, Michael Ball, JOHN BARROWMAN, PEOPLE!! Classic musical theatre talent (Alongside the whole list of people in the West End, Off-west end and the fringe that are killing it 8 times a week). We are graced with Tony and Olivier award winners even in our smallest venues. We train brilliant actors over here (some who may not have even had the chance to shine yet) and as actors, choreographers, musical directors, techies, we all deserve to have new British material to work with.

We create shows.. that require awesome costumes.

(Dogs the Musical….. Just Kidding)

Oh thank you Lord (Yes i mean you Andrew!) for giving performers everywhere the opportunity to dance around in cat costumes. (The cat lady in me wishes i was more flexible!)

Jokes aside though, it seems we are losing out to Broadway transfers or jukebox musicals that producers know will “pull in the punters” when we deserve better. We need to showcase the talent we have on offer in this country and show the British public what brilliant home-grown talent we have.

I was lucky enough to attend a cabaret last Sunday called THE PLATFORM LDN created and produced by twenty something productions. The evening was created and inspired by PLATFORM NYC where new composers were given a place to showcase their work for the general public, using new talent. Now although twenty something used American composers again, I feel the premise for this evening is something that more young companies should be taking inspiration from. I’d be really intrigued to know if people could give me a list of 5 young musical theatre composers that are from Britain. I honestly don’t know very many and it seems that either we don’t have many (LIES) or they are hiding in the shadows of their American counterparts. WELL BRITISH WRITERS – IT’S TIME TO TAKE THE SPOTLIGHT I’M AFRAID! I recently put a call out for new British writers to send me some links – THE OFFER STILL STANDS.

I’m looking for British writers who I can showcase on my blog, and hopefully, in time, in an evening of new work, performed by fresh actors who haven’t already been circulating the cabaret scene. (That’s another thing that ticks me off… a lot of cabarets with the same “fresh” faces! It was nice to see some actual new talent I hadn’t seen before at PLATFORM LDN, so thank you twenty something! See my full review of the show here!) If you want to test the waters with a newly recorded song, or you are interested in potentially being featured on my blog then please do get in touch – who knows where it could lead to in the future?

So where does the future of British musical theatre lie? It lies with us – the crazy people brave enough to be in this industry! We have to make the choices to put on new work or spread the word about that composer whose music deserves to be heard. So, my lovelies, start making the choices! Go out and see new work, support new writing, and take opportunities to show that we have something worth investing in. And if all else fails – don some Cat face paint and remember why it is that we put ourselves through this torment.

My best of wishes goes to the I Can’t Sing cast and crew, and i hope that each and every member of the team moves on to bigger and better things!

ENOUGH STAGEY NOW.

Have a brilliant week all!

Koko xx

If you have some material you would like to be showcased then please do tweet me @koko91 or email kayleigh.mcknight91@gmail.com

Featured links:

http://www.perfectpitchmusicals.com/

http://mercurymusicals.com/

http://www.icantsingthemusical.com/

Pirates and Princesses

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 Good Evening once again all!

It’s Thursday blog day and this week the idea of role models has been playing on my mind. I read a blog post on the weekend about Kate (Duchess of Cambridge) and how she is a “dangerous” role model for women and young girls. (Read it here: http://www.mamamia.com.au/social/kate-middleton-not-a-role-model/)

Now as much as everyone is entitled to their opinions (not that i entirely agree with the above post) it got me thinking – what does being a role model mean? I instantly think about young girls aspiring to be princesses and little boys running around with an eye patch because their role model is Captain Jack Sparrow. And as cute as that is, that’s not relevant to those of us above the age of 14. So what is a role model for a 20-something?

Here’s an estimated list come from myself and other 20-somethings who are awesome:

  • Someone who works hard for what they want.
  • People who give up the ordinary to achieve their dreams.
  • Someone who takes care of their body/appearance.
  • Happily married with children.
  • People who are talented but can keep down-to-earth.
  • Someone who doesn’t care what people think of them.
  • Anyone that has given birth/been part of creating another human being.
  • The one who always provides the wine..  (I think that may just be me and a select few others!)
  • People who are happy to give without expecting a return.

This is just a small example of a long list of what inspires us about other people. But what i think is most important about this list is that none of it is to do with being famous, or rich, or even particularly successful. Although these reasons have all been associated with rich and famous actors/politicians/sportsmen and women, none of these characteristics are beyond our reach. In fact, these men and women have merely pointed out that these qualities are GREAT to have.

And this is where its got me thinking. Who needs a role model when it isn’t the person themselves that we want to be? As much as we love our Mums and Dads, we don’t want to step into their shoes and live their life. Instead, they provide us with an end goal – a visual image that gives us inspiration. And that is where the line should end.

Having a role model is not about looking to that person and wanting their life, it is about looking to that person and working out what it is about them you relate to and feel inspired by. For me, I am inspired by Chalene Johnson (American Fitness and Lifestyle guru.. she’s awesome) because of her positive outlook in life and her no-nonsense opinions about finding what you want and getting it. It shows me that by looking to myself, I can find my positive outlook and start my journey by choosing what I want and finding the way to get it. For some of us, it will be our parents and families we look up to, and that’s because they’ve shown us from Day 1 that you can get through life (maybe with some bumps on the way) and still be in one piece, with a family who loves you and a life to be proud of.

Our role models should inspire us to be role models. By looking at what makes us great human beings and implementing these qualities into our daily life, we will eventually be the inspiration for others and the love will just keep on rolling along!

AND SO HERE COMES MY WHAT IF? OF THE WEEK!

I fully believe in the power of visualising what you want. So.. What if you had a visual reminder that you could look at every day, that showed you the life you could have and things you want to achieve?  I’d like anyone who reads this to think about their role models. This can be a specific person, or group of people, and pick out the qualities of these people that you are most inspired by. NOW it’s time to get Visual. Either set up a Pinterest board or just cut out some images from a magazine or newspaper and put together an image/board of what you will achieve if you take these qualities on board.

For example: My Mum is so organised and on top of things that daily tasks DO NOT stress her at all. So i would think about posting a picture of a SUPER neat wardrobe of clothes or just a really well presented outfit/room in a house/etc. Jennifer Lawrence has shown to me and other women that being a healthy, strong individual is not about starving yourself – it’s about making the best of the body you have through exercise, diet and dressing the way you want to. I’d therefore post some pictures of a brilliant meal i know will make me feel great, or an outfit that I know would make me feel unstoppable.

I know this seems MEGA LAME – but i promise that if you can have visual reminders of what you want to work towards, YOU WILL ACHIEVE THEM!!! WOOO!!

So in conclusion, let your role models be an inspiration. Don’t strive to live these people’s lives, but let them give you the impetus to find the life you want and live it to the fullest. Be the Example for others!

(Ohh look at me trying to be inspirational!)

You can take a look at the start of my board here!

Thanks for reading and SPREAD THOSE INSPIRED WINGS!! 🙂

Lots of love,

Koko xx

Nine things we learnt from the Nineties

Good Evening Easter Bunnies,

First of all, HAPPY BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND/EASTER FESTIVITINESS! I hope anyone who isn’t reading this is having a wonderful time sunning themselves in a pub garden, and for those who are reading this.. you’re my favourite so I hope you win the Euromillions and eat all your Easter eggs without gaining weight.

A video on facebook caught my eye that literally brightened my day and it inspired my to write this little article about the wondrous NINETIES. Have a cheeky watch below:

I hope this filled everyone with as much joy and horror as it did for me. As if they have no idea what a casette is? (I have Mel & Kim and Wham still on tape…. just sayin) But it got me thinking how amazing the nineties was as a kid. I asked friends on Facebook to send me a list of things they loved/missed from the nineties and have used this to come up with a definitive NINE things we learnt from the NINETIES that shaped us to be the crazy, wonderful, briliant individuals that we are today. So without further ado:

1) Stickers are more valuable than money

There was no greater feeling than when your mum arrived home with the shopping and there was a shiny packet of new stickers poking from the top of the bags. Stickers, I hear you say? What worth do they have? They proved to your class that you could customize with style – what a trait to behold in a new friend! Even better was when you had stick on jewellery – a party-bag staple and ticket to being the “groovy chick” in your class 😉 Boys, don’t think I’ve left you out – I know how important it was to be filling in that Football sticker book of yours. Stickers were common currency within my school, and hey, for at least once in my life I was rich!

2) Real pets were for grown ups!

“But..but..but… I WANT A CAT!!” … “No Kayleigh – Here.. have some.. Sea Monkeys?” I hope I am not the only person who got the gift of Sea Monkeys as their first pet. These creepy looking tadpole creatures gave me endless amounts of joy. Hours of my childhood wasted by staring at miniscule specks of god knows what! But it didn’t just stop there… Oh no, we got Furby’s – a toy made to annoy parents mercilessly and have you spend hours in the day trying to understand Furbish. Or, for those of us who were ultra cool, we were given the grand responsibility of looking after a Tamagotchi. Not only did this mean that kids around the world were being grounded for constantly checking their pockets to see if our creature had died, but it taught us that all pets must have food, a medical check, and their poop cleaned out promptly. WAY TO GO NINETIES!

3) Aliens can’t teach you Sex Ed

These little ones were THE toy to have in primary school. The gooey sticky Aliens were cute, weird, and always ended up covered in fluff after your dropped them on the carpet. However, what still baffles me to this day is that (within my school at least) we all believed that rubbing their backs together would make “alien babies”. Thanks for clearing that one up for us, nineties!

4) Girl Bands = Confidence to sing out of tune and wear crazy outfits!

Yes I am primarily talking about the Spice Girls. Because there were NO OTHER girl bands in the nineties. Ever. Thank you Spice Girls for teaching men and women alike that you CAN wear Cheetah, you CAN sing lyrics that are essentially just a load of noises, and you CAN rely on your friends because “friendship never ends”… that is.. until Geri decides to leave.. ZIG-A-ZIG-AAAHH!

5) Pleather. Just no.

On the other hand, there were SEVERAL boy bands, all of whom proved that no matter how muscly you are, how slick your curtains are, and how white your teeth are.. PLEATHER IS A NO GO.

6) The best people were witches

The kids of today have wizards and vampires but we had witches galore on our televisions. Sabrina, The Worst Witch, Charmed, Hocus Pocus, The Craft. We were spoiled for choice when it came to getting our fix of girls defeating bullies with a spell, talking cats, and crazy aunts!! Instead, we now have pale and interesting vampires and flesh-eating zombies. I’ll have fixing my life with the swish of a finger any day!

7) We didn’t need an Iphone to play games… just a Dream Phone

The nineties was the decade of BRILLIANT board games with no technology involved, just a couple of batteries. Dream Phone, Twister, Operation, Monopoly, Cluedo. These games were AWESOME and provided HOURS of entertainment without an iPad in sight. If only Dream Phone worked in real life too!

8) It’s not always about being the birthday girl/boy!

It’s my birthday party. The decorations are up. Pass the parcel is wrapped several times. The Donkey’s tail is waiting to be pinned. And my mother has been sat for several hours putting together the BEST PARTY BAGS KNOWN TO MAN! I think we all know that the best bit about the party was not the sleeping lions or musical chairs.. but the freaking party bags. Free sweets, plastic jewellery, pirate eye patches, weird bug like things in wooden boxes (please tell me people know what these are) and a whole heap of cake. Who needs it to be your birthday when you get presents just for showing up?

9) Mum and Dad know best. Always. Except maybe when it comes to how we should dress.

Image

Point proven. Although the facepaint was allegedly my idea…

So there we have it kids. My Nine lessons we learnt from the nineties. I know it’s a bit of a random one, but i think Easter Weekend and spending time with the family is a great time to reminisce on some of the best bits of our past. Thanks to all those who contributed some ideas and i hope you enjoyed!

Have a brilliant weekend and i’ll catch you next week!

Koko xx