13 things we can all learn from #stammerschool

Stammer School is the second documentary I've seen about the McGuire Programme (a course to teach people who stammer to find their voice), as Gareth Gates also did a documentary a while back. It's pretty poweful viewing, and my twitter stream last night was full of tears and cheering.

13 lessons we can all learn from Stammer School

 1.We all have different goals, and they are equally as valid. One woman wanted to host a party with her friends,  one man wanted to start teacher training. We just need to start by working out our own goal.

2.One step at a time. We need to break our goals down and just take one step towards our goal at a time. The stammer school pupils start with breathing, and then one sound at a time. They also use 'training wheels' at the start (they wear a belt as a tool to remind them about their breathing) to help get them on the right path.

3.Recognise small achievements. The pupils celebrate the first hurdle; saying their full names, with gusto. 

4. Find inspiration from people who have succeeded just as you hope to. Whether its someone famous, like Gareth Gates, or in real life with a mentor.

5. Build on each success. Once you've reached a milestone, use it to keep stretching and reaching even further. In the stammer school once they'd said their name, they moved that skill to the phone, to make it challenging once again.

6. Force yourself to confront the fear, and overcome it. Once the pupils had tackled the phonecall, they head out to the street, to talk to strangers. The fears were faced over and over again.

7. Who you are today, isn't who you have to be tomorrow.

8. We do not have to be defined by our challenges, fears or failures.

9. We have to be willing to work hard, and take the leap. No can make the change for us. 

10. Success isn't a finished package complete with a silk bow. Don't wait until the finish line to start feeling and enjoying your success. One woman on the show wanted to be be able to give a speech, and she did. Did she have an absolute perfect speech (with no stutter); no. But did she give her speech and feel bloomin' fabulous - yes!

11. We often feel alone in our challenges, but that is never the case. None of us are that unique. We just need to go and find others like us. 

12. Do not measure your success against someone else's success. Our journeys may look different, and may even be headed in different directions.

13. Sometimes we need help, and cannot succeed alone. We may even need to pay a professional (as the pupils at the stammer school did), but that is fine! All part of the journey.



Rockalily Style - Vintage Denim Dress and Matchy-Matchy Styling

I haven't worn this vintage denim dress for a while, but the weather started to get a little colder, so the black tights have come back out! I added a vintage nautical belt to pull it all in. I'm a fan of 'matchy-matchy' so I accented the red of the belt, with the shoes and bandana. The jacket also has a hint of red, which helps make it look like a complete outfit, as opposed to just a random jacket thrown on top.


What do I eat as a vegetarian who is low-carb

I got this email recently:

I love your blog, and have been cheering you on from in front of my Mac as you've charted your health and fitness journey. Your positivity and strength of character are a real inspiration. Like you, several years ago I decided to start making better choices with regards to food, and lost 2 stone through cutting right back on alcohol and junky processed carbohydrates. I found I stabilised at a weight that I was happy with, which was great.

However, at the start of this year I became a vegetarian. Ethically, I've never felt better, and can't see myself ever going back to eating meat. But physically, I'm finding that an increased reliance on cheese for quick, easy protein, and on things like bread, rice and pasta for energy, have had a negative impact. I've put on almost half a stone (I'm only 5'4, so it really shows), and feel sluggish.

I was wondering - would you ever consider writing a blog post on how you've managed to become a happy, healthy, low-carb vegetarian? I'm sure there are lots of us out there who would be very grateful for some pointers!

How could I refuse such a flattering request! So here is my attempt to explain the sort of meals I eat, considering I follow a pretty low-carb and vegetarian diet.

I have been vegetarian since I was about 12, but my diet has been pretty poor until about 20 months ago when I changed my attitudes to health, food and fitness.

What foods do I fall back on, instead of breads, rice and pastas? Eggs are bloomin' fabulous, and they're easy, cheap and quick. Technically the Vegetarian Society says that veggies do not eat eggs, but I don't know any that follow this rule! I certainly couldn't give them up.

I'm not much of a cook, I think of myself as someone who heats food up, so I like quick and easy. Tins of lentils are great - ready to go instantly! As are pouches of cooked pulses like quinoa are great too, and can be eaten hot and cold. Kidney beans and butter beans are also all available tinned. They can be thrown into a salad, or heated in a sauce.

Personally, I don't restrict cheese, but I don't eat hard cheeses really anymore. I eat feta, goats' cheese, mozzarella, again, as a base for a salad, or heated into vegetables. 

When I have a craving for the comfort of a spag' bol', I replace the pasta with courgetti, which is a courgette sliced into spaghetti with a spiraliser. I get to enjoy the yummy sauce, some mozzarella cheese, but none of the 'empty' pasta. The empty white carbs are often just a carriage for the taste we enjoy. They don't have the taste themselves.

I do eat some faux meat, sometimes I use the mince in sauces, and I quite like the ham as a dip. Quite nice for adding texture to things like stirfries.

In colder months, I find I rely a lot on sweet potatos, I bung them in the microwave for about 7 mins. In the warmer months I survive on hummous. Pretty much have a tub every day. I really should start to make it myself!

Some meals don't have much protein in at all, I'll just fill up on veggies. If I'm hungry I eat, so may just snack later on some nuts or fruit.

I've never had more energy than I do now (although I do drink a lot of coffee too), and don't suffer from those after-dinner slumps that I used to get after a big carb-loaded meal. I'm not a nutritionalist of course, but am just sharing what has been working for me!


MTV VMA awards

I may not watch the MTV VMA awards, but I definitely enjoy a nose at the fashion and style choices made. My social media streams were full of Katy Perry, honouring the infamous Britney Spears VMA double denim outfit. Genius. Katy Perry is my kind of girl!


Two of my female style icons together, rocking it; Gwen Stefani and Jennifer Lopez, both showing us that 40s is even more fabulous than 30s.


 It's always good to see celebrities rocking some alternative hair colours, but I have to say I'm not really loving Kesha's hair at the moment, what do you think?


Everyone loves a selfie of course, how else best to capture a great night out with your friends?
It's nice to know that even Katy Perry has a selfie face!
Tattoo watch is always on high alert at award ceremonies of course, and here is a pretty sweet one on Iggy Azalea

Rockalily Style - Skinny jeans and DM boots

Today I'm wearing high waisted black jeans with a checked shirt tied at the waist. My boots are Dr. Martins. 


Blitz Party Hair in Shoreditch




This is me, back in 2011, visiting The Blitz Party, and the night is so successful it is still going, and selling out every time. It's nearly Blitz time again, on September 13th, and at Rockalily Cuts and Rockalily Styles, we always get booked up from people wanting the perfect hairdo for their outfits.








I've got my weave back (and what the flip is weave anyway?)

Yesterday, after a cancellation at Rockalily Styles, our new blow dry and styling bar, I decided it was time to get my weave sewn back in! I'd taken it out back when the weather was just crazy hot, and the weave just became a bit gross. But I've definitely missed her (it?).

So, what do I mean when I say weave? Some of my own hair is plaited into cornrow braids along my scalp, and wefts of hair are sewn (literally with a needle and thread) onto/into the braids. 

When we choose to wear extensions, we have to choose which fixing method suits us best. Our hair types are different, and the results we want vary. Whether we go for bonds, clip ins, nano rings, glue, sewn in etc, is a personal choice each and every time, and I don't think that there is one method that is always best for everyone.

On the left you can see my real hair, and on the right is my faux hair. The trick is obviously to style your hair to blend the two together. I could make this much easier for myself by having my extensions shorter, so that the difference between the two was lessened, but I enjoy the silliness of the length too much! It's like playing dress up!

 No matter which fixing method you've gone for, you have to be somewhat conscious of how you wear your hair to disguise the fixtures. In my case, its the tracks (the braids with the weft sewn onto them). I find a half-up/half-down hairstyle works best for me.

The downsides to sewing in weave? Itchiness is the main complaint, as the scalp under the braids doesn't get washed very well. People do complain that their hair falls out, but this shouldn't be the case. We lose about 100 hairs each day, and when our hair has been braided, those hairs that would naturally fall away stay in the braid. When you take your braids out, there will be a lot of hair that comes away, but this would have fallen out anyhow, in your hair's natural life cycle. Phew. It can be a bit scary the first time!