Sunday, 30 July 2017


*Change your perception / belief of what it means to "be successful"
Make an effort to look for a minimum of 4 positives in any 1 negative
Contribute towards your dream (s) daily! What have you done for you lately?
Be honest about what your goals are and why you have those particular goals
Do not look at what anyone else is doing, or how - no 2 journeys are the same
Take some time (alone) to figure out what truly makes you happy and content
Monitor your efforts as well as your results and give yourself brutal feedback!!
Know, specifically, your exact aims and what steps you can / will take to achieve them

*To me success is
Waking up, having my senses in tact, paying the bills on time, doing one good deed per day, the great friendships I have, maintaining my health and fitness regime, managing my fibroid tumours, achieving the part-time job I wanted, finally having my voice heard on Westside radio! In actual fact, my list is endless. I have been and continue to be successful.

If you sometimes, or often feel that you are 'fighting' a losing battle in pursuit of your dream career / dream life, pause for as long as it takes to get some perspective. Success is personal. There is no one size, or one route for all. Some of us won't 'make it' until we reach 50, or 60. Others achieve their goals much earlier in life. Doesn't matter! What does matter is that you stay focused on how you're doing and what you are doing to get yours!! 
During my youth, just because, I wasn't necessarily shown how I could, never did I think I would achieve the following (as well as the above):
My own place
Top UK Blogger award
Paid acting / performing jobs
Directing / writing / producing for stage and screen
Be a help to others who are striving to achieve great things
Clothing brand / label in partnership with an organisation who are changing lives
Event host for: Thandie & Co, The Black Baby Show, the Business Launchpad Awards at RBS, Ambassador for 2Inspired etc.

Allocate a few hours per week to breathe (to literally have a break 'from it all'). Grab a cuppa, get comfy and simply chill, or read a book. Then give yourself / your week a review.... Make a note of how well you've done, or are doing with your goals. Write down the things that went well and anything that didn't. Then reevaluate and jot down ideas and plans that may work better for you! You've got this and you will be successful, according to your own definition of what it means to succeed.
Ps. Congratulations on successfully clicking the link which brought you to my blog site and successfully reading it through until the end ;)

To achieve is to succeed and so every time you accomplish something, irrespective of how small, you have succeeded. How you choose to think about, or see something, makes all the difference! God bless x

Thanks for reading.

This post is in association with Typhoo tea

Sunday, 23 July 2017


Every so often I like to look through old pictures to remind myself of the amazing experiences I've had. A little while ago I found several gems and reminiscing was so much fun! I was firmly reminded that life isn't as bad as we sometimes feel it is when we go through difficult times. So, here's a trip down (my) memory lane to give you a happy boost. Enjoy! 

Primary School: I have such fond memories of skipping around the playground giggling, egg and spoon races on sports days, singing my heart out during the school assembly's, or on the forbidden (shh) veranda and classroom lessons where I was taught how to draw an elephant (I still remember how) by one of my favourite teachers, whose name was Mrs Newman.

Another key memory that came to mind was, when I had an accident in the playground, aged 9 and needed to be rushed to hospital; how caring the teachers were who looked after me until the ambulance arrived.

Carefree childhood: mostly outdoors, playing games and attending birthday parties which were always about the goodie bags, ha-ha!! That's all we looked for the
moment we arrived. After that, it was all about the pass the parcel game because, well, more treats and toys were to be had! I sometimes miss those days when children were just children...

The Devil in Drag: my first professional stage production in 1997, I think, as part of the Theatre Royal; Stratford East Youth Theatre. This was one of the press shots and I (honestly) had the world of anxiety being in front of a camera. Despite always wanting to take pictures of others, I felt very uncomfortable during the shoot by Johnny Munday who was super patient with me as I tried to deal with my anxiety. The production, however, was a huge success and the world of fun! How different do I look in that photo, by the way? Good grief!

To date, The Devil in Drag remains my favourite role and project that I worked on as an actress - Judge Alfonso De Tristano was a no nonsense man (yes, I played a man, a very powerful one) who took his job of upholding the law very seriously! Lol!!

I have a photo of me as the Judge wearing a court room wig, robe and snake skin beard (don't ask) but, I couldn't find it to include in this post. It's actually hilarious!

Caribbean settings: Age 16 I was told that the family will be travelling to Saint Lucia (it would be my first time going) for my auntie's wedding and we were to stay there for six weeks..... "SIX, WHO???!?". Initially I was super annoyed, but, I have such lovely and funny memories that make me smile - beach walks, Sulphur Springs, meeting family I didn't know and gaining a friend who is now like family to me and whom I speak to at least once a week. I actually think the family should all go on holiday together again... Yeah, right! 

Pictured: aunt in her wedding dress (looking so gorgeous), me (tall and broad), my sister beside me (short and cute) and our beautiful cousin Emma leads the way.

Feeling myself, differently: I am forever wanting to chop off my Afro and I did just that many moons ago (I genuinely cannot recall when) and I loved it way too much!! It felt so good to not have braids and to rock short, fairly easy to manage, hair. 

My face was slimmer back then too, and the hairstyle I had really suited my shape. Not sure I could get away with it now, but, I do intend to give it a try again. So, if I do and you catch me suddenly going IN with my instagram stories, that's why! Ha-ha...

Old School: The photo below is from the last rave I attended. It was a 90's theme birthday, in London and I had the absolute time of my life! It was the best environment, loads of fancy dress fun and I'm pretty sure I didn't leave the dance floor for longer than 5 minutes!! Everyone there was having a ball and it was great to be at a party, in a club, where the vibes were super sweet throughout the night! I no longer do raves because, there tends to be too much drama, however, if they were all like this particular celebration I'd be the first one to rock up!! It was a fab time; we were smiles all night. Oh, by the way, I went as Janet Jackson and I did look (a bit) like her before I posed for this photo all sweaty Betty. LOL!

Pictured: actors Michael Salami and Holli Dee.

Radio vibes: I, mean, once upon a time some of us had to broadcast from a garage and now we have evolved to purpose built spaces, or studios, fully kitted out with the necessary gadgets needed to produce quality content for dedicated listeners / supporters. This picture (of Déja Vu FM, 2013) means so much more to me than I know how to put into words. If I had to go back to that very spot and start all over again, I would. Brilliant memories were made and a lot of laughter was had! I'm proud of where I started and super chuffed with all I've achieved. I'm excited to present Charley Time on Westside Radio (89.6FM) Thursday 27th July 2017, 7pm (GMT)! The climb is real. Got to be fully about all of it to be in with a chance of succeeding with it, right?

On screen: I don't know which one I miss more, my weekly radio show, or creating The Real Talk TV Series UK for *YouTube

Again, I wasn't about having my face on camera, however, I absolutely loved all the laughs, meeting new people, developing the project and growing as a presenter. Valuable, hands-on experience that I massively appreciate. The show is still available to watch so, *head on over once you've read this post and leave comments with your thoughts - should I bring the show back?

Pictured: Darren Raymond, Artistic Director (Intermission Youth Theatre) and, behind the camera, Emma Obichukwu. 

Journalist? The challenge of creating regular content for Amor Magazine UK was overwhelming at times, yet it pushed me as a writer which has been reflected in my blog. I was blessed with a handful of opportunities and enjoyed all of them. Seeing my articles in print and receiving messages from readers was great! The Editor-in-Chief is known for offering aspiring writers a platform to both showcase and develop their skills!

One of the most memorable times was interviewing Shaggy at a plush hotel in West London and, not entirely for the right reasons (ahem), the dude had me in stitches!! It's an experience I'll never forget, ha-ha.

Cardiff: 3 years ago I went and stayed there for a weekend and it had me feel so relaxed; completely zen and the people were lovely. I literally felt at peace, physically, mentally and the rest. 

I'd like to visit again to see if it still has that same vibe. It truly was bliss. Although my partner at the time was there for work, I was able to enjoy the city which was such a blessing. 

There was quite a bit to see / do. A market with uniquely made products for sale, a festival, stunning buildings, seasonal afternoon tea, galleries, etc. It was definitely the type of weekend you just don't want to end. 

Gizmo: When it comes to pets, it's all about cats in my family and I am no exception! As a child, my animal obsession was kittens and rabbits. My mother sweetly bought us 2 rabbits, but, she didn't realise one was female and they had one too many babies! Some time after they all died, we found a kitten in the bonnet of mums car. Unfortunately we couldn't keep him and I'm sure I shed a tear or ten! I promised myself that, "when I'm grown up, I'll have a kitten". I wish I had known that when I grew up I'd also have a niece who would become the first person to whom I struggle to say "no". 
She met my Gizmo (this was years ago now) and the 2 instantly became chums so, (sigh) I allowed her to keep him only for him to be stolen a little while after settling into his new home. Someone nabbed him whilst he was outside. We all felt awful, seriously and to this day I miss him... He was a cute, playful, affectionate kitten. I want another one.

One of my greatest achievements is shared by 2 men with whom I now have a close friendship. In 2012 we created and produced a short film born from an initiative of mine named Change the Stereo. The cast were a joy to work with and I was surprised that a few of them were previously unknown to me! The lessons learned were incredible and I carry them with me to this day. Pass the Comb has a very special place in my heart. It was a teeny, tiny seed that blossomed onto the Community TV Channel and sparked the beautiful friendship I have with my co-producers from Zone 180 

That's it! End of memory lane. Did you have fun? I may share more pics from the batch I found on my instagram page.

Like you, I have moments when I want to be done with certain people and (the current state of) this world, however, for the most part, I am defo a much happier soul the older I get and am so much more comfortable in my skin. At some point, we all go through a type of hardship, or difficulties and such challenges often make us forget the wonderful aspects of our lives for which we should remain grateful and be uplifted by. 

No matter what you're faced with, how you choose to tackle it will always be the difference between whether the situation quickly and positively improves, or gets worse. To someone you are everything! Maybe you should take a trip down your own memory lane to remind yourself of that fact and, if nothing else, let that be your positive motivation force.

Thanks for reading.
PREVIOUS POST: How To Stay Positive

Sunday, 16 July 2017


"Easier said than done" is true of near enough everything, however, it's always better, I think, to have at least tried than to not bother at all. Plus, there could be amazing benefits that will change your life (around) in the exact way you've been praying, or hoping for. Essentially, the following is all about swapping bad habits for good ones.

Here are 8 ways you can maintain an optimistic outlook!

1. If you enjoy it, stick with it. When you feel good more goodness will come your way.

2. Remember, there will always be an individual who has it much worse than you ever will. Life is not all bad... Look for the blessing in every situation and be thankful for what you have. 

3. Say kind words to yourself and those around you. You've great qualities and are uniquely beautiful, which (I imagine) you sometimes overlook, or take for granted.

4. Be encouraged by your desire to achieve certain things. How else will you get them?

5. Have a laugh with your friends every time you're together. Limit the deep conversations!
6. Look for ways to make things fun!! Sing at work, dance around your home, skip along the street, etc. Whilst you're at it, think about how you can give back. This doesn't need to involve spending money. Most people just want to know that they are worth your time, effort and being in your company.

6b. In fact, go out of your way to make someone else feel great about themselves. Pay them a (genuine) compliment, take an interest in how they are, what they're passionate about, or simply strike up a conversation based on a topic you know they can relate to in a positive way and will also make them laugh. Not only will you have them feeling fab, you will too. It's so rewarding doing for others (within reason).
7. Push yourself to try something that is completely out of your comfort zone that you can learn from; develop your skills and use them to take yourself further forward (be that professionally, or personally).

8. At the end of each day, think about all you did, how and the results. What did you accomplish, or overcome? Were you thoughtful, helpful and generous? Did you maintain optimism and a happy disposition throughout the day? How and with whom did you spend the day? Was it worth it? It's good to reflect to see clearly any room for change, or improvements.

8b. Be honest because, that's the only way you can begin to work towards becoming a better you. Regardless, show yourself some love. We're all worthy of love!

TIP: One of the best pick-me-up's (I believe) is to go somewhere unfamiliar, or fairly new, without any concrete plans and an open mind with no particular aim. More often than not, giving yourself a break from your surroundings, routines, same old faces and the daily grind can be just the positive boost you need. Don't wait for a friend, partner, family, or colleages to 'have the time' to go with you. Responsibility of / for your happiness is with you.
In the words of Trent Shelton, "it all starts with you". 
To walk positively is a choice that will always be yours.

Photographs 1 and 2 taken by Rebecca Judd
Photograph 3 taken by: Caroline Odogwu
Woman with me in photo's 1 and 2: Charline

Thanks for reading.
PREVIOUS POST: A Date With An Artist

Sunday, 9 July 2017


On Saturday 1st July, my friends and I were blessed with an opportunity to view the stunning creations of the artist known as Karla Cornwall and also meet her in person! She radiates beauty - both visually and on a personal level. Her passion for the work she creates and the excitement with which she speaks in detail about each piece would convert anyone to join those of us who have a deep appreciation for art!
Karla is a bespoke creator; her work is unique but, how does a gorgeous woman who once lacked confidence progress into a tour guide for her very own mesmerizing gallery showcase in one of London's popular towns? Read on...

When did you realise your passion for creating art? 
It has always been there, since I was a little girl. 

Can you remember the first piece of art you created? What was it?    
CopyrightCharleyJaiThe piece that has stuck with me was a gift for my Dad. I think I was about 6 or 7 and on holiday in Wales at my Grandad's house, it was the day before Fathers Day. I went to the garden, found a piece of stick and engraved the name 'dad' on it. My Mum then helped me to varnish it and I gave it to my dad. He still has it. I remember his reaction when he received it, priceless! 

Do art and fashion have a special meaning to you? 
I look at each field as a vessel to channel my creativity. Art more so than fashion as I feel there are no boundaries with art. I feel freer, more alive. 

If this were not your chosen industry, what line of work would you be in?    
Probably music, or writing. It would definitely be within the creative industry. 

How did you get started and progress to the stage of showcasing at a top, stylish London gallery?
My journey began from a young age. Experiences, or lessons learnt was expressed through creating. I merged my art and fashion skills to create new age textile art. The focus became the perception of one's mind; provoking the senses. Having the joint exhibition with the talented artist Ainsley Yearwood is actually all to do with him. He saw one of my pieces and loved it. He wanted to know about the artist behind the creation. We connected and the rest is history!

What's next for you? 
The sky is the limit! I'd like to travel the world and introduce people to my art. I want to continue to work on projects that challenge me and the techniques I use to create more spectacular pieces. I also want to collaborate and connect with other creative individuals.

Any words of wisdom?
Do what makes you happy. Remove money as a focus and simply live your passion. Enjoy the journey, great things will come to you. Believe in yourself and know that perseverance is key. 
FIND OUT MORE ~ Karla Cornwall London

Thanks for reading.
PREVIOUS POST - Family Time!