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‘Content Creators’, at what point do you call it quits?

‘Content Creators’, at what point do you call it quits?

I wasn’t planning on writing this blog post. I previously said that I’m no longer going to be blogging about myself, and I’ll be focussing on sharing other people’s stories. But, my friends, the time has not been kind; there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day.

So, check it.

What do I actually do? If you’ve ever taken regular screenshots of my online bio, you would have noticed that my “work title” has changed more times than it should. Mainly because, well, I do so many things that would sit perfectly under the title “creative” or, my new buzzword, “artist”. I create videos. It’ll either be a new concept for an online show, me poking fun at crazy behavioural traits of Mummy Bloggers or brand collaborations in the form of advertisements.

Advertisements? Boo-hiss.

The work from ‘hashtag’ ads, which causes slight disruption to the expected content that I produce, is currently how I fund the “fun” stuff. Brands pay, which allows me to reinvest in personal projects. It’s not all about free products. Many content creators will spend hours working on ways to promote that product in a way that their audience will enjoy. For some lucky B-words, they have a hugely loyal fanbase. They can take a pic, edit on their phone, and post. That’s it, that’s all. Less work, more pay. Less effort and they will still get paid more than I would for the same project. Not just because they have more followers, but they also tick all the right boxes. Yes, the vast majority of people dislike advertisements, myself included! This is why I like to create ads in the form of stories that people will love, or at least feel as though they share a connection with.

If I have to publish an ad, I want my audience to be left feeling an emotion. My favourite type of ad to make will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy. Unfortunately, the finished advertisement isn’t solely down to me. Briefs can change, and creators may be placed in a challenging position – walk away and not get paid or just put the ad out knowing your audience will not engage. When this occurs, you, the audience, will be blessed with an emotionless product-placed image or a yawnfest of a video. A piece of content that a celebrity or an influencer with a huge following could earn a million likes (or pounds) for.

McCain Content creation - - Sareta Fontaine
2/3 Instagram Story Ad’s by Sareta Fontaine

‘Being a Black female based in the UK, outside of London, I’m more than aware that I’m not your typical influencer. I don’t live in a fancy London Victorian house, I don’t have a Boden clothing budget, and I don’t shout about body positivity, makeup, or hair. I know that I don’t fit that influencer mould. I don’t even have a particular ‘niche’; something that I’m often reminded that successful influencers should have. I would have to either conform or work harder than the successful ones to be noticed. Is it fair, is it working, should I care?

Too many catch twenty-two situations to continue it seems.

After having a chat on Twitter earlier today about subtitling content, I was left slighting questioning myself. You see, when it comes to creating content, your content should be accessible for all. I completely agree with that sentiment, of course. But this conversation made me think about the different types of content creators; ‘OG’s’ and ‘App Addicts’.

I’m an OG. I enjoy creating original creative content. No, I don’t want to use Canva, I don’t want to use pre-made layouts or someone else’s ideas. My images, my feed, my words, they are mine. This is not a passive-aggressive dig at those who do, I realise that this stuff is time-consuming and you may not enjoy the thrill of seeing the finished product of something you have worked hard to achieve.

Don’t get me wrong, if the trend looks fun, I will join in. Although, I prefer to appreciate art rather than appropriate; I will put my spin on trends rather than copy.

Money Talks

If I’m getting compensation to create, hell, I will pull out all the stops, bells, and whistles! Income means that I can factor in costs for additional add-ons such as subtitles, original music, and my time.

Don’t get it twisted, I’m not referring to short videos or IG stories. Those can take anything from 10 seconds to 2 full days to produce. I’m guilty of not always committing to adding full subtitles; I should because it’s lazy. However, for larger projects that have already incurred lots of expenses, I simply can’t afford to pay for add-on software nor outsourcing. Why don’t I create those subtitles myself, you say? Of course, I could, but in terms of time, that minimises chances of me getting paid. Juggling my shop and brand collabs is something that I do outside of making entertaining videos. I can’t really have one without the other; otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to stay afloat and fund anything that I do.

Face it, free content costs the creator. Not the social platforms, not the audiences; the creator. And for what, a few likes until the next video?

Social platforms have made it seemingly impossible for audiences to see creatives posts without that creator paying to boost their work. Is this effort and money really worth it?

Receipts you say?

Let’s use the pilot episode of my new show ‘Come Wine With Me’ as an example. Comparing the time and costs of producing this episode to the number of views it has amassed so far is quite disheartening. Mind you, that doesn’t come from a big-headed perspective. I’m not sitting here shaking my fist at the internet gods, asking why the video hasn’t gone viral. I need to be realistic; whom is this time, effort, and money for?

A TikTok’er could have a million followers for simply sharing other people’s content. Meanwhile, the content I have produced has taken at least two weeks to create from scratch. Costs, including professional lighting, equipment, and added subtitles… you’re looking at least 5K per episode if everything was outsourced. I would love to turn up, have a glass of wine, and chat only for someone else to edit, post and market. Although I do love the process, it would be fantastic to have more time to work on other projects. (Alas, boo-hoo, I don’t have the funds to outsource, which is why the majority of the work is done by myself. Shout out to  Eddie though, we worked together to edit ‘Come Wine With Me‘).

Seriously, I’m starting to think I do way too much, with little in return. Yes, I get to do something I love, but why so much effort? It sounds incredibly narcissistic of me to even be thinking about this, why would I think that anyone would care if I stopped everything tomorrow? Oh, its a shallow, shallow field of work; I honestly believe I work 10 times harder than many who are winning in terms of popularity and reach due to reposts of memes and lip-syncs.

Surely I’m not the only one who is currently thinking this way, are we OG content creators drowning at the bottom of regurgitated dated material?

Content creation - Cardi B Christmas card concept artwork
Cardi B Christmas card concept artwork​ – © Sareta Fontaine

,So ‘whEt’ now?

The website costs, the marketing, the chasing overdue invoices, and the plethora of “why don’t you work for us to promote our product for free?” is so exhausting. Is it time to take a step back and focus on other endeavours?

I create videos for my audience, I have a new online shop which sells original prints that I have made, and I’m writing two books. All whilst creating two web series, and marketing myself just in case I manage to catch a big break. For why? *Insert clown emoji*.

Is it realistic carrying on working 10 x harder for an audience that will forget about me if I don’t post for two days? The thought of slipping away, writing children’s books, and only being on Twitter when procrastination Patty makes an appearance is tempting. I’ve worked so hard for such a long time with the notion that ‘one day’ I’ll make it; make what, and for whom?

Could this be the point where I grow up and stop referring to the internet as my playground?

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Sareta Fontaine - Content Creator
Black (Creative) Lives Matter

Black (Creative) Lives Matter

We existed as sprinkles of diversity when it suited them, and we supported their existence on the ‘Gram. So why is it only now that the non-BAME’s realise that Black (creative) lives matter?

For the last three weeks, there has been a strange shift of dynamics. I wanted to use the word ‘power’ instead of dynamics, but we’re not quite there yet. Black lives matter, and those who seemingly ignored us before are starting to take notice, whether that’s for show or authentically so.

“I don’t see colour”—a loaded phrase which doesn’t make sense. Seeing the differences between races is not a bad thing; it’s reality. Yes, we are all human, but culturally there are differences, and that is ok! It’s also ok to use the word ‘Black’. I am Black, Blackidy-Black with Black girl magic and Black girl features. I have experienced direct racism and systematic racism, along with having to shrink myself to avoid portraying a Black stereotype. I am able to use my husbands’ white privilege to be seen, heard and understood, therefore, I understand that I also benefit from his white privilege.

The blogging community had tiptoed around race issues long before I pledged my allegiance. Black bloggers within most niches are at the lower end of pay scales and audience size. Blogging communities and publications are whiter than white with a touch of ‘Bame’ and ‘Diversity’. Black creatives have had to work harder to get noticed, to stand out of the influencer crowd and be welcome in certain circles. We’ve been made to feel grateful for picking up crumbs in the form of lower pay and notoriety in comparison to our white counterparts.

I’ve been in this community for a few years, and I know how it works. Various bandwagons start trends, and to many, admitting that Black Lives Matter was one of them. Embarrassingly so, many bloggers, influencers, creatives and brands realised a little too late. While jumping at the chance to centre themselves in a historical stand for human rights, they didn’t realise that they were going to be expected to believe what they were sharing.

Amplify Black Voices - Sareta Fontaine
Amplify Black Voices  

 

Now you know me, I have a problem when it comes to ‘minding my own business’. If I see something nonsensical, I cannot keep quiet. I admit it’s possibly a character flaw, but it’s a character flaw that I’m not willing to correct. I have called out many, both privately and publicly; Facebook acquaintances, brands, blogging publications and those who I would consider influential.

The result? Well, the well-known blogging publication decided to create a list of Black bloggers and influencers. Was I impressed? Well, I mean, not really. I’d be more impressed if they made a conscious decision to have representation within their office, within their publication and their IG feed. Exactly how many Black creatives do they currently engage with or follow? Are they going to support Black culture, Black stories, Black people; Black lives?

As for the influencers, well, heck! Even though they had the time to post that black square and use the #AmplifyBlackVoices hashtag, my Black voice for one was ignored and not at all amplified as their cute hashtag may have led us to believe.

It’s evident to see that some have used this opportunity to look as if they care by posting a single black square with no context. I think it’s clear where I’ll spend my Black money and Black time.

This experience was the wake-up call that I needed. Why on earth do I follow any of these people? Advertisement after advertisement, meaningless photos, and soulless posts. I once followed the crowd; these people must be doing something right if so many people follow them, right? Not for me, it seems.

I’ve unfollowed people who I enjoyed engaging with but did nothing in return. The people I thought were massive in the game only turned out to disappoint. There was no community for them; it was all about appearances, which is a real shame because only now are they realising that us Black creatives and colleagues have something to say, and that their audiences realise this.

So, what now? Now I protect my energy, protect my people and continue to uplift and shine a light on those within my online community. Let’s not waste any more time on empty gestures and bandwagons.

My blog will now become a platform which I will use to introduce magnificent Black outliers whose voices deserve amplification. I will highlight and remind readers that Black people come in all different sizes and interests.

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Listen, Learn, Support - Black Lives Matter
MOD; The Misadventures of Mummy Bloggers

MOD; The Misadventures of Mummy Bloggers

If you’ve had any of my tweets land in your feed recently, you would have noticed my disappointment with many within the “UK mummy blogger” community. Even though I’m sitting pretty within one of the targets blocked list, I have supported her. I voiced my indignation, not because I know her, because it was the right thing to do. For those of you who can’t separate personal feelings from the current situation, maybe this post is for you.

There are a couple of well-known bloggers involved, so to protect the identities I’ve renamed them. I will refer to them as ‘Dee-Dee Klump’, and ‘Maker of Donuts’, or MOD for short.

This week, many have shared their views and complete shock about a well-known-someone within the blogging community. MOD partook in some utter mind-boggling f***ery; targeting their own family, ‘friends’, and previous co-workers.

When the story dropped, I immediately gave it the eye roll it deserved. However, my previous feelings of disappointment manifested and led to outrage. MOD had written some pretty shocking things about many bloggers that I have met, follow or know personally.

MOD was outed as a spiteful internet troll. She had been writing about fellow bloggers, including Dee-Dee, under the alias “AliceInWanderLust” on a site called Tattle. Tattle is a website that many internet trolls will write hurtful things about people in the public domain; this includes celebrities, bloggers, influencers and such.

Outside of Tattle, MOD had previously invited Dee-Dee to appear, not only on her podcast but within her IG squares. However, ‘Alice’, seemed to have a personal gripe, and she had accused Dee-Dee of using her race for personal gain and called her aggressive. The word aggressive is a racial stereotype that is often used to describe Black women. A word that is used negatively when Black women speak up and want to be heard. It is used to silence us. MOD used a well-known problematic platform to discredit the work of fellow bloggers and incite racist ideals in a public space. If proven, inciting racial hatred is an arrestable offence.

 

Donuts - Mother of Daughters
Mother of Donuts.  

Following this, many bloggers, in particular, those who have large audiences, have decided to remain quiet. Many have, in fact, gone out of their way to make statements about why they are remaining quiet. Yet again, those with large platforms are not willing to call out BS, nor support those who were spitefully targetted. What a great authentic community this is!

The story itself has been hard to escape, and even as I type, I’m pretty sick of rehashing this tale of betrayal. But why am I doing it? I guess I’m tired of all the crap that comes with being in that ‘mummy blogger’ world. I’m seeing the same influencers in pictures, knowing that some are pretty much using one another as a stepping stone to celeb status.

Yes, there are genuine folk, but it’s so difficult to know who and what to trust. Bloggers/influencers are sharing statistics of Black women dying during childbirth, meanwhile, continuing to follow MOD. They are all fully aware that this person used a Black blogger to get Black follows only to anonymously spew hatred within a public domain. There are founders of parenting sites saying that they will remain silent because they’re sick of hearing about it. I can only assume that they feel that they may need to call on MOD in the future; money truly is the root of all evil.

How do we know if anyone is being authentic when all you see are fake smiles and a bunch of internet trolls? Are all the mummy bloggers as bad as each other? Am I guilty of stirring the pot and highlighting this stuff because I can’t mind my business?

I guess we just wait and see if anyone has learnt their lesson because I’m pretty sure this won’t be the last instalment of ‘The Misadventures of the Mummy Bloggers’.

Those who can’t remove their personal feelings about Makers Of Donuts, knowing what she did was not only unprofessional but bloomin’ evil, check your privilege at the door. Calling her out knowing what she did was wrong is the right thing to do, standing up for the people she hurt is the right thing to do. Standing up for the minorities within your community is the right thing to do.

Remaining silent on matters just shows your community and audience that you’re willing to place your connections and brand collabs before anything else. Racism should be called out, ignorance should be called out. It’s up to you to make a positive change within the community. Without your audience, how on earth can you expect to reach the top?

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Dick Whittington And His Cat – Hackney Empire

Dick Whittington And His Cat – Hackney Empire

Hackney Empire has done it again, yet another Pantomime that we thoroughly enjoyed. Fantastic cast, fabulous costumes and a storyline that’ll be sure to tickle your funny bone!

Hackney Empire’s Dick Whittington and His Cat promises its trademark magic and spectacle in a dazzling reimagining of the classic rags-to-riches tale which sails in from 23 November 2019 – 5 January 2020, starring Grande Dame Clive Rowe, as Sarah the Cook, who returns following an award-winning East End comeback last year to now mark his 13th Hackney panto appearance, plus panto debuts fromTarinn Callender (Hamilton) as Dick Whittington and Annette McLaughlin as Queen Rat (Harry Potter and The Cursed Child). Dick Whittington and His Cat marks a record 21st Christmas pantomime from Writer and Director Susie McKenna with Original Music by Steven Edis.

The cast also includes Hackney favourites Kat B and Tony Whittle as Vincent the Cat and Alderman Fitzwarren respectively and welcomes Christina Tedders as Alice Fitzwarren and Sue Kelvin as Fairy Bowbells. – Hackney Empire

Clive Rowe - Dick Whittington And His Cat - Hackney Empire
Dick and Uncle Vincent The Cat

 

Dick Whittington And His Cat paid homage to the Windrush generation by starting the story of a young Jamaican arriving in London via the Empire Windrush. After the promise of a job and a better life here in the UK, Dick and his Cat have an adventure while sabotaged by the menace that is Queen Rat. Funny lines and innuendos-a-plenty, this story will keep you both entertained and wowed by the cast and production team.

Dick is reunited with his mum, Sarah the Cook, who is played by Clive Rowe. His presence and ability to connect with the audience is great. He gives us great comedy moments and incredible range during his rendition of “And I am Telling You” and more. The cast are incredibly talented, and they all bring a bit of magic and personal flair on stage during their performances.

Clive Rowe - Dick Whittington And His Cat - Hackney Empire
Dick Whittington And His Cat – Hackney Empire

 

Dick Whittington and His Cat is a fantastic show, definitely one for all the family!

“It was good, I liked it when Dick Whittington came off of the boat, and his cat was very, very funny”. – Ziggy aged 5.

“I thought it was clever how the sets moved and it looked like they were in places in London. I also thought it was cool that the characters talked to the crowd. My favourite part was when Dick Whittington met his mum because I thought it was funny how they got on”. – Zach aged 10.

Dick Whittington And His Cat - Hackney Empire 2019
Zach & Ziggy: Dick Whittington And His Cat – Hackney Empire

 

WHERE: Hackney Empire 
DATE: 23 Nov 2019 – 05 Jan 2020
TICKETS: £10 – £38

 

*Tickets were gifted to review, and of course all thoughts and opinions are my own*

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Dick Whittington And His Cat - Hackney Empire - Nov 23rd - 5th Jan 2020
Leicester Square at Christmas

Leicester Square at Christmas

Entertaining London since 1670, Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus are packed with festive family fun. We had the pleasure of dining at Hard Rock Cafe- Piccadilly Circus, sampling M&M’s at M&M’s World and sipping hot chocolate at Christmas in Leicester Square – a pop-up market. We finished off our day at ODEON Luxe to watch Frozen 2, and the kids absolutely loved it all.

Whether you recreate our day or try something new, both Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus have something for everyone this time of year. Remember, Christmas half term is nearly upon us!

Hard Rock Cafe - Christmas in Leicester Square
Hard Rock cafe – Piccadilly Circus 

“Only legends dine at Hard Rock Cafe Piccadilly Circus“. We had a festive two-course meal which included crackers and lots of family fun. While waiting for our food, we were entertained by jokes and games which popped out of our Christmas Crackers. Hard Rock staff were friendly and great with the kids, and the food was amazing.

The London flagship store pays tribute to the building’s prestigious heritage and unbeatable West End location. The restaurant is filled with epic music memorabilia featuring many, many famous names. No spoilers though, you’ll have to take a visit and see for yourselves!

Christmas in Leicester Square
Christmas in Leicester Square

Discover Christmas in Leicester Square. Wrap up in your favourite oversized scarf, and take a browse through the pop-up style Christmas market. Whether you warm up with a mulled wine or hot chocolate, the market will set the tone for a traditional festive experience in London.

There are stalls filled with hearty food and drink, hand-made crafts and a plethora of shows. You can even meet Father Christmas.

Leicester Square boasts a vast amount of fantastic stores, one of which includes M&M’s World, the worlds biggest chocolate shop! Be warned, it can get a little crowded, so make sure you take note of the official meeting point within the store. Treat your little ones to custom made M&M’s or buy yourself a souvenir to remember the day. From Chocolate to M&M’s teapots, you’ll be able to find that perfect gift; the store has something for everyone.

Never have I ever been so relaxed while watching a film, not even in my own home! Offering luxury reclining seats and state-of-the-art Dolby digital cinema experience; what better way to enjoy a movie with the kids! With large aisles and enough legroom that would allow a giant to spread out and relax, ODEON Luxe is the best place to chill after a day of shopping. No need to worry about all those shopping bags though, there is room to place them beside you! Don’t forget to check out Oscar’s lounge on the way in, you won’t want to miss out on unique movie-themed cocktails…or mocktails if you will.

To keep an eye out for more Leicester Square adventures, check out -Discover Leicester Square 

WHERE: Christmas in Leicester Square
DATE: 08 Nov – 05 Jan 

 

*The day was organised by Leicester Square to review, and of course all thoughts and opinions are my own*

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Entertaining London since 1670, Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus are packed with festive family fun. We had the pleasure of visiting a few hotspots...Hard Rock Cafe
Your Skin Looks Amazing…ARK SKINCARE

Your Skin Looks Amazing…ARK SKINCARE

I always seemed to struggle with my skin. The ongoing cycle of breakouts which lead to hyperpigmentation, which leads to covering up with make-up, which then clogs my pores, which then causes breakouts. *EXHALES* Can I catch a break?

In the past, I have tried numerous things, drinking excess water, wearing less make-up, and hideous bleaching products to get rid of hyperpigmentation. None of it worked. It wasn’t until earlier this year that I was sent some lovely products to try out. Now, as you know, I’m not a traditional “beauty blogger”. However, now and again, I will share my finds with my audience; especially if I can recommend the product or service.

ARK SKINCARE & THE ORDINARY

I can honestly say that I have found a skincare regime that has worked. Ok, I realise that sounded like a heavily rehearsed infomercial, but it’s true! I’ve been using products specially formulated for those who sit in the ’30s & 40s’ age bracket (ARK), alongside a hyperpigmentation clearing solution (The Ordinary). All products have worked together to not only clear up dark spots but the overall health of my skin.

ARK SKINCARE - Sareta Fontaine
Skin essential pre-cleanse & make-up remover ​

Combining the right products to target problem areas or rehydrate the skin can be a problem, especially if recommendations are coming from those who don’t necessarily understand that skin types significantly differ between ages. My skin in my 30’s is entirely different from my 20’s; I wouldn’t even say it was worse, just different, and so it would make sense that my skin requires different products. The need for specially formulated products is a must.

I’ve been using all of the products daily for at least three months, and my skin has been noticeably clearer and healthier. Some of you guys have noticed and asked me in my DM’s! To my delight, the cycle of breakouts and hyperpigmentation is now finally broken. Because of this, there hasn’t been a need to use The Ordinary solution so frequently; therefore, ARK SKINCARE products have been a staple within my daily routine.

Do I recommend these products? Well, of course, I do! Both brands have worked in terms of meeting and exceeding my requirements. Healthy skin that I feel confident enough to wear with pride on makeup-free days.

ARK SKINCARE - Sareta Fontaine
Skin essential skin protector SPF30 primer & age defend replenishing moisturiser formulated for your 30s & 40s

The products

ARK Skincare (Vegan friendly)

Age defend replenishing moisturiser formulated for your 30s & 40s
Moisturiser with Co-enzyme Q10, jam-packed with natural ingredients such as Shea Butter and Olive Oil. Containing “clinically proven wrinkle plumping peptides”, it smoothes skin, plumps and tones, and diminishes signs of premature ageing.

Skin essential skin protector SPF30 primer
Award-winning make-up primer; sunscreen; and moisturiser all in one. With clinically-proven skin benefits, protection from both UVA and UVB rays which can cause sun damage and premature ageing.

Skin essential pre-cleanse & make-up remover
This vegan-friendly product works hard to remove traces of dirt, excess sebum and make-up.

The Ordinary

Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2%
This formula combines pure Vitamin C and Alpha Arbutin. Vitamin C is an effective antioxidant that brightens the skin tone and reduces signs of ageing. Alpha Arbutin is a highly-purified biosynthetic active ingredient that reduces the look of dark spots and uneven skin tone.

​​As I’m not a dermatologist, I highly recommend speaking to a consultant before purchasing any acidic solutions. Especially if you intend to use it alongside other products.

 

 *ARK Skincare products were gifted, however, I was under no obligation to share with my audience. Of course, all thoughts and opinions are my own*

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Is it possible that I finally understand what my skin needs now that I'm in my mid 30's? ARK SKINCARE has shown me the way. VEGAN FRIENDLY
Win a holiday to Grenada, the spice of the Caribbean

Win a holiday to Grenada, the spice of the Caribbean

Grenada has white sand beaches, black sand beaches and waterfalls…fancy winning a holiday and seeing for yourself? A pair of Virgin Atlantic world traveller tickets are up for grabs, have a read for a chance to win!

Welcome to the Spice of the Caribbean; a place where untouched beauty meets our warm people content with a simple way of life. Grenada offers a lifestyle so pure and authentic that you feel instantly renewed. Our enchanting islands boasts silky stretches of white sand beaches, sunken treasures adorned by corals and unspoilt landscapes undiscovered by crowds. So, take a journey like never before; a journey that is pure and real. Welcome to Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique! – Pure Grenada

To be in with a chance to win one of four amazing prizes, including a holiday to Grenada, answer the following question- How many beaches and waterfalls does Grenada have in total? Submit your answer, along with your full name (and mine, Sareta Fontaine) to uk@puregrenada.com by Midnight, Thursday 24th October 2019. *Terms and conditions apply

Grenada Levera Beach
Grenada Levera Beach – Pure Grenada 
  1. GRAND PRIZE: WIN A PURE HOLIDAY IN PURE GRENADA, THE SPICE OF THE CARIBBEAN. A PAIR OF VIRGIN ATLANTIC WORLD TRAVELLER TICKETS IS UP FOR GRABS! The Grenada Tourism Authority will provide the flight T&C’s. British Airways fly to Grenada twice a week– Saturday and Wednesday (St Lucia touch down).
  2. CHOCOLATE MAKING CLASS FOR TWO IN LONDON Did you know? For an island similar in size to the Isle of Wight, did you know that Grenada has five, artisan chocolate makers? The quality of the beans grown means that all 100% of cacao grown on the island is flavoursome. Cocoa plants were introduced into to Grenada in 1714 by the French. Today bar flavours include nutmeg, ginger, sea salt and crunchy cocoa nibs. Grenada has its own annual Chocolate Festival, to find out more visit www.grenadachocolatefest.com
  3. A RUM MASTERCLASS FOR TWO AT RUM AND SUGAR Did you know that Rum and Sugar stock Grenada rum- Westerhall no.3 and Westerhall No.5? There is excellent rum in Grenada, and it doesn’t stop at Westerhall. The spirit of carnival produced in Grenada, bottled in the UK and based in Kent.
  4. A RUM MASTERCLASS FOR TWO AT RUM AND SUGAR Clarkes Court in St Georges also has a range of rums of all types. And last but not least, River Antoine is the oldest distillery in the new world! They still use a waterwheel to crush the cane. For an authentic rum distillery tour, Rivers is the one! www.rumandsugar.co.uk
Hog Island Grenada
Hog Island Grenada – Pure Grenada 
*Terms & Conditions:

  1. The prize is open to UK residents (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) aged 18 years or over, excluding the families members (spouse, parent, child, sibling, grandparent and/or “step” family) of the influencers (Omoruyo Osagiede, Sareta Fontaine, Aaron Bridgeman and Meridian Reason), associated agents or anyone professionally connected with the prize promotion. 
  2. Only one entry per person unless otherwise stated in the individual promotion. All additional entries will be disqualified. 
  3. The competition closes on Thursday 24th October 2019 at midnight. 
  4. Winner Selection: Grenada Tourism Authority will select winners randomly.  
  5. Winners to be announced on Monday 28th October 2019. 
  6. Influencers will be notified of winners on Monday 28th October 2019.
  7. The winners will be notified by email via the account provided at the point of entry on Monday 28th October 2019 and will have 14 days from notification to claim their prize. If a winner does not claim their prize within this timeframe, the Grenada Tourism Authority reserves the right to withdraw prize entitlement. The prize will be awarded to a reserve drawn at the same time as the original. 
  8. It is the responsibility of the entrant to provide correct, up-to-date details when entering the prize promotion and acceptance of the prize. The Grenada Tourism Authority cannot be held responsible for winners failing to supply accurate information which affects prize acceptance or delivery of their prize. 
  9. Prizes must be accepted as offered by the named winner. There is no cash or alternative prizes, in whole or part. The prizes are not transferable and cannot be resold. 
  10. The Grenada Tourism Authority reserves the right to verify winners and ask for proof of identity, age and address. The Grenada Tourism Authority reserves the right to withdraw prize entitlement where there are reasonable grounds to believe there has been a breach of these terms and conditions. 
  11. Data Protection. Any personal information that entrants share with the Grenada Tourism Authority will be kept secure and only used in line with these terms and conditions. The entrant can opt-out of future marketing from the Grenada Tourism Authority. 
  12. All data from this competition will be destroyed unless the entrant agrees to opt into the GTA database – held by GTA on the island. 

*Sponsored post, any thoughts and opinions are my own*

 

Take a look at some more travel inspo

Win a holiday to Grenada – Pin it & save for later!
Win a holiday to Grenada - Concorde Waterfall - Grenada
Concorde Waterfall – Grenada – Pure Grenada 
Gin F*ckboy Tears Ice Lollies

Gin F*ckboy Tears Ice Lollies

F*ckboy Tears. I didn’t care what the product was; I knew I had to have it. It turns out Firebox didn’t fail to disappoint and created something superb; to be precise, pink gin liqueur…with sparkles.

I hold a special place in my heart for Firebox; I love their products. There’s something about their quirky sense of humour which is similar to mine. So, when I stumble across a new product with a fantastic name and equally fascinating contents, I know it’s one for me.

We all know Gin is a popular one amongst the masses, so what better way to consume it than to place it in something different; ice lollies! Serve your party guests and have them giddy at the thought of licking F*ckboy Tears. What a great conversation starter! 

The sweet tears of fuckboys, bottled. Juicy passionfruit and tropical mango flavoured.

If the passion has gone, you gotta let that man-go. – FIREBOX

F*ckboy Tears Lollies - Gin, Elderberry & Blackberry
F*CKBOY TEARS GIN LIQUEUR
INGREDIENTS

F*ckboy Tears Gin Liqueur
Apple & Blackberry Juice 
Sparkling Elderflower pressé
Blackberries

 

F*ckboy Tears Lollies - Gin, Elderberry & Blackberry
INSTRUCTIONS

Place 3 Blackberries in each ice lolly mould.
Fill half with a mixture of F*ckboy Tears and Elderflower Pressé (1/3 F*ckboy Tears). 
Place in the freezer for 3 hours. 
Fill the remaining space within the mould with a mixture of F*ckboy Tears and Apple & Blackberry Juice (1/3 F*ckboy Tears).
Place in the freezer for a minimum of 5 hours, or until you’re ready to serve. 

F*ckboy Tears Lollies - Gin, Elderberry & Blackberry
Tips
  1. Silicone ice lolly moulds work well compared to plastics ones. Soft silicone moulds allow you to easily manipulate your creations without having to melt the sides of your lollies to remove. As your ice lollies contain alcohol, they melt exceptionally quickly. If you use hot water to thaw them out of your moulds, you’ll end up with a slushy rather than a lolly!
  2. Go easy on the Gin! Gin doesn’t freeze, however, when mixed with other drinks it will. As long as you dilute your Gin to the ratio of 2:1, you’ll be fine.
  3. Give your ice lollies a bit of a shake before placing in the freezer. Shaking removes all air bubbles and ensures that your Blackberries solidify within your lolly.

Want to get your hands on a bottle of F*ckboy Tears and try out the recipe for yourself? Here you go – Click me

 

*Gin was gracously gifted by Firebox, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own*

 

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F*ckboy Tears Lollies - Gin, Elderberry & Blackberry
Do the people in your life spark joy?

Do the people in your life spark joy?

The phrase “you can’t pick your family” has always made me chuckle, mainly because as an adult, I have always chosen how I spend my time and with whom – family members included. As I’ve gotten older, my tolerance for toxic behaviour has worn thin, which has resulted in a Marie Kondo style removal of anyone that hasn’t sparked joy.

I was once a “people pleaser”, or someone who didn’t want to “rock the boat”, and I often found myself in adverse situations. I would be that go-to person who would listen to others rant about how their life was difficult, or how others were the root of all their woes. Up until recently, I thought these relationships were meaningful. I would often say that you had to take these types of people ‘with a pinch of salt’. It was an ongoing excuse; the reason why I would allow myself to be at the end of someone’s mood and why I’d be inclined to forgive.

I thought everyone knew that type of person. They’d be the dominant one within the circle of friends, or they’d be the self-appointed head of the family. We’d tip-toe around their feelings because we all knew what they were like. No one would challenge them if they wanted a peaceful life. Not because we were afraid, but perhaps deep down, we knew what the consequences of our actions would be. It would mean ending the relationship.

Why didn’t you just cut them out of your life?

I’d end up referring to all the good that they did, or explaining the history of the friendship. However, in the back of my mind, I’d always pondered, if I mattered at all, wouldn’t that make people change their ways or treat me how I treat them? At what point do my feelings and thoughts matter? When is it time to put you first?

Life is way too short to walk on eggshells in fear of upsetting or going against an opinion

If you’re in a relationship with someone, whether it’s a partnership, friendship or otherwise, you should have the right to say what you want without fear of repercussion. You should be able to have friendly debates and have your own opinions and thoughts without it escalating; you’re allowed to have a voice. If you can’t, then you’re merely there to satisfy the needs of the other person. You are there to make them feel better about themselves, help them with their insecurities and feed their ego. 

Does it spark joy?
Babes, do they spark joy? 

 

Are we at fault?

Looking back, I blame myself. Not in a self-pity sort of way, but I acknowledge my part in these types of negative relationships. I was that “yes” person; I bit my tongue in many situations. I never challenged their point of view. I kept quiet when they would go on and on about how other people treated them, even though I knew those people were probably as tired of them as I was.

As time goes on, you accept your role, you run on auto-pilot, but that cannot last forever. You’ll store all the minute irks and situations where they have taken you for an idiot, and you’ll end up storing those feelings until you’ve had enough. Being a yes person and then suddenly, in their eyes, having your own opinion, will be a shock. You’ve “changed”, or you’re being persuaded to speak up because of someone else…when really, your last nerve is shot. The insults will come, gaslighting and deluded accusations will come. Their insecurities are now fully projected onto you because, how dare you form an opinion of your own, or stand up for yourself? You are now the enemy, but you knew it would come to this because you’ve listened to previous stories of others in the same situation; they too have reached a breaking point.

These people do not spark joy

You can choose who you have in your life. You can choose who you spend time with, who you allow in your space and how you want to be addressed. You’re in control of your relationships, and you should be in an equal partnership. You deserve to be treated with respect and should be able to have your thoughts and feelings accepted and valued. You’re allowed to be you!

We are all born into families and influenced by so many things and people. We start friendships and may continue them because we feel some sort of alliance, just because we’ve known them for years. As much as you love and value those people, your love and value should be reciprocated. If not, you’re just another yes person excusing harmful behaviour and fuelling a toxic personality. Not only do you not need it, but you also don’t deserve it.

So think about your next encounter with your long-time friend or family member. Did they spark joy? If not, my love, why are you bothering?

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Does it spark Joy?
Can I Take Kids To Pride?

Can I Take Kids To Pride?

Can you take your kids to Pride? Why not? Of course, you can, duh! First things first, if you’re not a part of the LGBTQ+ community, think about why you’re attending. Are you willing to support the community outside of the rainbow-themed parade or just there to play dress-up?

You may be a parent of a child who is either questioning or a part of the community; if so you’re a VIP and should definitely go and take them with you. Whatever your reason for attendance, make sure it’s an honest one. Lots of people have fought for the right to take a stand, and Pride isn’t an excuse to wear glitter.

The first Gay Pride march took place in New York in 1970. The LGBTQ+ community took to the streets to commemorate riots that took place the year before. Throughout the 60’s it was common for police to raid gay and trans-friendly bars. Police officers would misuse their authority to spread their bigotry and hatred, that was until LGBTQ+ people decided to take to the streets and fight back. When police tried to arrest and mistreat The Stonewall Inn’s customers and employees, four nights of rioting commenced. Two often-forgotten people who made an impact that night were transgender women Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera.

The Stonewall Riots - Pride
The Stonewall Riots 

 

What you won’t see at Pride

You won’t see ‘big gay orgies’ or trans people trying to brainwash the masses. These things don’t happen. What you and your children will see is a fabulous parade. You’ll see colourful floats, including brands and LGBTQ+ activists waving their flags and people having a great time in a safe space.

Drag queens, camp queens and everyone in between are welcome. As long as you’re open-minded and believe in rights for all, you won’t be offended. There will be adults consuming alcohol, that’s a given during fun vibes and summer sun. As you would with any adult orientated street party, steer clear of pubs and bars. During the day you may be able to find a child-friendly pub, but from 5:30 onwards, the kids need to leave. 

Pride London - Kids at Pride
Pride London – Kids at Pride

 

Will ‘Gays etc’ be showing public displays of affection?

Well, I mean, there are no current UK laws that suggest that a crime is taking place if they do. You may see same-sex couples kissing or holding hands. However, there is no difference between their love and Charlene and Scott’s…except that TV romance wasn’t real. Taking your kids to Pride may help them learn, first hand, that the LGBTQ+ community isn’t one to be feared or mocked. It’s a time to get rid of stereotypes and let your kids see things for themselves; everyone has the right to love and be who they want to be. 

UK Black Pride London - Kids at Pride
UK Black Pride, London – Kids at Pride

 

If you’re still up for it, make sure you check the following

Yourself. No gawking or staring, please. This is a safe space for people to love who they love and be who they want to be with Pride!

Travel. Pride gets busier and busier every year, and stations can get pretty crowded. Make sure you check for station closures or route diversions to avoid getting stuck.

Outfits. Many brands are jumping on the LGBTQ+ train and making a profit by doing so. Although some are in it to make a quick buck, others are supporting the community by donating to organisations and charities. Put your money in the right places my fellow allies!

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Can Kids Go To Pride?

HELLO!

*SA-REE-TAH* Sareta – Artist; Comedy Creator, Writer, Designer, Blogger.

Both visually and mentally innovative, Sareta has been described as an influential creative who works hard to achieve quick-witted, original, yet quirky content.

 

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