My Post Natal Journey

Hey Lovelies,

Hope everyone is safe and staying home during these difficult times.

Today I thought I am going to write about my post baby journey as sitting at home during this hard time makes you think about how things have changed and how far we have all come.

I am sure everyone who’s had a baby will have had different experiences to me and will have their own stories to tell but the one thing that I can most definitely say that all of us mothers can agree on, is that, ITS THE MOST REALEST AND THE MOST LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCE EVER, amongst it being the most beautiful day too.

I am not going to sugar coat my experience and say the lead unto to it was a lovely walk in the park because it wasn’t. After more than 48 hours of an intense and induced labour, Nila was born on Friday the 28th of June. I thought the worst was over and the happy ending was this beautiful Angel in my arms and from now on, it will all be easy peezy lemon sqeezy, but oh boy was I wrong.

Don’t get me wrong, I had so much support from family and friends and especially my mum but, the big but, no matter how many people were around me, for the first few weeks it felt like I was on my own and the whole world was closing in on me. I felt every kind of emotion since Nila was born. One minute I would be happy, then sad, then happy again, then I would start crying again and then start laughing, then cry again. This was my daily routine for the first few months. The smallest and most irrelevant thing would make me emotional. It was days of having no energy to get out of bed but I knew I had too because that is what I am supposed to do. The limited sleep, the peeing with the door open, the quickest breakfast and downing my coffee like a good tequila shot made me a mother. Sometimes whilst she was sleeping, I would look at her in awe and think I MADE HER, IM A MUM, as there were days in the beginning where I didn’t feel like a mum and couldn’t comprehend with everything that was going on. I was feeling overwhelmed, happy and like I said, I was feeling everything.

Personally for me, it was the sudden change in my life that was hard for me to comprehend at first. I was always so carefree and lived a carpe diem kinda life but then I got pregnant and realised things would be changing for me for good. I thought whilst she was inside me I had nothing to worry about and she was safe and I could continue protecting her this way, but then as the months passed and it was time for the big arrival, I was getting nervous and anxious. I would start crying in the shower and have panic attacks wondering what I was going to do, my maternal mothering functions hadn’t kicked in yet and I was in full panic mode. I was not getting a new iPhone where I knew what to do, this was an actual human being who I would need to be responsible for and take care of 24/7 and she didn’t come with a user manual. Up until I was having my own baby, I was quite comfortable with playing with my family’s babies and kids and taking a few selfies for the gram and then going back to being alone again, but when it finally clicked to me that I was having my own baby and I wasn’t giving her back to anyone after playtime and pictures then reality hit me. This was it Cathy, get on with it!

I don’t want anyone to think that I am complaining and moaning about my experience so far as a mum, I have learnt to love it and am fully embracing it. As she’s growing and doing new things everyday, I am falling more and more in love with it. There are bad days but they always override with the good days. People always tell me that it would be hard before it gets easy and it is true. There are days even now when I get emotional thinking this is hard but then when I see her face, it makes it all better and all of the struggles is worth it. And if I’m completely honest, I am grateful for this life with her and I am learning something new about motherhood everyday. Im literally taking baby steps with her and taking it one day at a time and Im bound to make mistakes along the way because no one prepares you for being a mum and it’s ok to not get it right all the time because I believe all the mums would have felt like me at some point. A perfect mum doesn’t exist right?, we just make whatever situation we are in, perfect. And if you are a new mum reading this, then you got this!!!

Have a lovely day


Cathy x


Joining hands for the Grenfell Tower Fire

Hey Lovelies,

Hope your well.

In the last week, I am sure all of you have heard and seen so much about the Grenfell Tower fire and the thousands of people that came together to help each other at a time of crisis. This blog isn’t to sing my praises or talk more about the fire and what happened but just to say thank you to a few people and my experience those 2 days.

When I woke up on Wednesday morning on the 14th of June, I looked at my phone and saw a notification from BBC news. It briefly read, that there was a fire in West London and that it was very serious and when I opened the notification, I realised how serious the fire actually was. I’ll be honest, when I normally read something like this in the news, I read it and then feel sorry about the situation and then carry on with my day, thinking what can I do? Nothing! But this news, for some reason, did pierce me and felt like something sharp cutting through me. I felt uneasy and upset.
In 2011, whilst my mum and my sister were in Germany visiting family and it was just me and my dad here, there was a fire in our house. Luckily, we were both not home but it happened around midnight and I came home to find the top half of my house on fire. If I was minutes late, I think I would have come back to nothing. As I was pulling up to my house, I realised that the house was on fire and I could see orange and red flames glaring through mine and my sisters bedroom. I stopped the car and ran towards the house, probably not a wise idea when I think about it now but I panicked and did not know what to do. In panic, I dialed 999 and the fire brigade were able to get to me in just under two minutes as there is a fire station a minute away from my house. The two minutes that I spent waiting for them felt like 200 years because there in front of me, I could see my family home falling apart. It was only when they arrived and one of fire fighters asked me, if there is anyone inside the house, I realised that I have not told my dad yet. I called him, stuttering and not knowing what to say. I mean, how do you tell someone their house is burning down. I don’t remember the exact conversation but I told him there has been an accident in the house, I am safe and the fire brigade are here and that he should come home. And so he did. I think in that time, all we could both think about was thank God neither of us were inside, and by God’s grace we were both out that night and not home when it happened, because it was midnight and we both could have been inside asleep. The fire brigade were doing their job and a part of me was feeling very anxious to find out how the fire had started, as I had fully convinced myself that I had left the hair straighteners on. After hours of standing outside and waiting for someone to tell us something, one of the fire fighters informed me and my dad that the fire had started in my parents bedroom, and that it was from a light in one of the  wardrobes. There was a short in the wiring and this lead to the lights turning on automatically and starting a fire. After that night was over, everything else seemed to be moving in slow motion. Me and my dad moved into our aunts house for a few nights, my mum and sister came back to no house, all our belongings had been destroyed, and the next 10 months we spent living in a hotel, thanks  to our aunt who dealt with the insurance company and literally took charge and helped us so much for which I am eternally grateful for and for everything she has done for me and my family during that time. At the end of 2011 our house was refurbished and we were able to move back in.

I know that the fire in my house is not even minutely close to the Grenfell Tower fire. None of us lost our lives thankfully but when I read the news, I did relate to it, as I can understand what someone may have been feeling and it made me remember the fire in my house. I wanted to help but just didn’t know how. A few hours later, I came across a post on instagram, asking people for emergency donations. They were requesting for food, drinks, clothes and anything that would be beneficial. After seeing the post, I thought the least I could is drop some stuff off in the evening to one of the drop off points listed. I then rang my friend and was telling him about the fire and mentioned that I was going to go and drop the donations off in the evening. It was after that phone call, that a small donation turned into a bigger donation and by the end of the evening, we had hundreds of donations from all over London. My friend called his friends and within a few hours of the morning, we had 3 drop off points across London. One in Mitcham, South London, one in Finchley, North London, and the last one in Oxted, I don’t even know where that is, and by the end of the night, my sister managed to arrange another drop off point in Harrow at Elmfield Church.

It was just gone 7 pm, and people were calling and dropping off things at various drop off points. We did not expect such a big turn out in so little time and people were responding so well and being very generous and helpful. We even had people calling us to let us know they had spare rooms in their homes and that if we knew any victims then we could inform them of these places. Together me, my sister, my friend, his friends, my sisters friends were all helping to get these donations moved as quickly and as efficiently as possible and we did. Me and my friend drove to Oxted to collect the donations and when we arrived there, the shop was half filled with donations and in the end we had to drop everything off using two vans to a community centre that was taking the donations. Meanwhile my sister and her friends dropped off the donations that they had received to a local community centre too that was collecting  these donations.  By midnight we managed to drop off everything we had and there was still more waiting to be collected from our North and South London drop off points.  But as a team we were happy with what we had accomplished so far. The following day, the remaining items were dropped off from Mitcham and Finchley and all brought down to Elmfield Church in Harrow. Even after giving majority of the donations we had the night before, people were still being generous and dropping of more things. The church room was packed with things, such as food, drinks, bags and bags of clothing, baby food, nappies, prams and cots, the list can go on. My mum, cousins and all our friends who came to help us on Thursday, were so overwhelmed by everything that was going on and together we managed to sort out all the donations so that they were all ready to be delivered to various places. We did hear that the donation centres were all so full and they were asking people to temporarily stop bringing donations but by this point we had collected so many things and wanted to make sure it was going somewhere useful. And I know when the fire in my house happened how I felt without my belongings and so I hope this helps someone else at least for the time being.

The 2 days that we spent doing all this and helping will never be forgotten. In light of all the bad that had happened, it was so refreshing to see people be there for each other in a time of need. It was beautiful to see all communities come together and help one another regardless of what race or religion they were from. I personally felt thankful for everyone’s contribution and help in those 2 days. Even after work, university, family commitments and everything else, people found time to come and do their part. No words and donations can bring back the lives that were lost in the fire but I hope it will at least help solve a tiny part of their problems by not having to think about food, or water for the time being. I want to say a big thank you to the following people who made those two days happen and without their help, there wouldn’t be so many donations.

So thank you Rani Restaurant in Finchley, Embon Cash and Carry in Mitcham, EM10 Express, in Oxted , Elmfield Church in North Harrow, Sainsbury’s, my sister, my mum, my dad, my cousins, my friend, his friends, and my sisters friends for putting in 100% and helping out at a time like this.  I learnt that alone I could have done little but TOGETHER  we did so much. There is no I in Team! And this team was definitely a dream Team. 

And finally a massive thank you to every single person that donated something and was also part of this journey. I know there were a million other donations given but I am proud of what we accomplished in those two days, and the little part we played in helping all these people. For me personally I have memories of those days that  will last me a life time. 

Please find more pictures below

Thank you

Hope you enjoyed the read xx

Mental Health in the Tamil Community

“I’m not trying to get validation, nor do I need it anymore… If you’re broken, you do not have to stay broken. And if that’s anything whether you respect me or not, one thing you should know about is I care about people.”

-Selena Gomez

Image result for mental health

My week kick started with Mental Health training and that involved learning about the different types of mental health disorders and the symptoms we should look out for. As part of the training we also learnt about how we could help someone who is going through any type of Mental health issues and what they can do. Some people may have been diagnosed but there are a lot of people who aren’t diagnosed and this training was a way of ensuring that we are able to pick up on signs and what the triggers are. So while the topic is still fresh in my mind, I thought I’d write a blog about Mental Health within our Tamil community. So I apologise is this is not fun and you were expecting something else.

In my opinion I think it is an issue, and there are a lot of people suffering from a type of mental health disorder, but the problem is our community and the word “Mental”. We overlook the problem and just brush it under the carpet. We think if we don’t talk about it, then maybe one day it will disappear. I think we should talk about it and look at finding options to help someone going though something difficult. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying Tamil people have mental health issues, I am saying “We ALSO have people suffering with Mental Health disorders”.

Our society stigmatises people with mental health issues, therefore it may be difficult for people to openly discuss it or get the help they require. Mental health can vary with different people and there is no age limit. This morning, I read that a Tamil girl had committed suicide due to depression and the article stated that the young girl did seek help by speaking to friends and staff in school but it was too late for anything to be done. It does make me sad to hear things like that, and I think we shouldn’t be ashamed to say we are going through something, because it’s not permanent. With the right help, you can get better.

There are different kinds of Mental health disorders and I learnt about a few different kinds but the ones that I would like to write about are, Depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and bipolar disorder. I have specifically chosen to talk about these types because I work with Tamil and non Tamil offenders who suffer from one or more of these conditions and maybe someone might relate to this or know someone who is going though something similar. I am not a medical expert, so this is just what I know and see at work. At the end of the blog, I will list organisations that specialise in theses fields and that can help professionally, so I am sorry for those medical experts reading this!

I currently work with a service user (offender) who suffers from Anxiety. We all get anxious sometimes. It may affect our sleep, appetite and concentration but usually eases when the cause of the anxiety has passed. This particular offender’s anxiety persisted and his feelings became overwhelming and significantly affected his ability to cope. Someone suffering from anxiety can also have mental health problems such as depression. In this particular case the signs/ symptoms for him were physical sensations including increased heart rate, rapid breathing, excessive sweating, tense muscles, headaches, nausea and the need to go toilet more often. He was also having thoughts about passing out or even worse dying. There would also be times where he would have the urge to escape a situation in order to relive his physical sensations and reduce distressing thoughts. There were even times when he would have sever panic attacks, where he would have feelings of loss of control, trouble with breathing and he would be shaking and trembling. As a non medical practitioner, the effects I saw on him were, him. being agitated, restless and distressed. He would avoid situations in order to relieve uncomfortable feelings. He also found it difficult to concentrate on sessions and  would often avoid coming into the office as he soon grew a phobia about going out and seeing people. if you know someone who is suffering with anxiety there are things that you can do for them.  I allowed my client to talk and express how he felt. I realised that telling him to relax was not what he wanted to hear. Allow them to take deep breaths and give them reassurance.

The second type of mental health issue that service users I work with deal with, and currently still deal with is depression. This is probably well known already and the most common one. Anyone can feel unhappy and low at times in response to life events, such as illness, stress, bereavement, relationships, breakups, and so on. for some people, depression may begin for no apparent reason and become a long term condition. I have clients who have depression and then it goes away but is severe enough to disturb a person’s day to day routine. when we are working with service users who suffer from diagnosed depression, the health professionals split them into three broad categories.

  • Psychological- This is where a stressful or upsetting life event causes a persistent low mood, low self esteem and feelings of hopelessness about the future.
  • Physical or chemical- Depression is caused by changes in levels of chemicals in the brain. e.g. your mood can change as hormone levels go up and down.nThis is often seen in women as it is associated with the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, miscarriage, childbirth and the menopause.
  • Social- doing fewer activities or having fewer interests can cause depression or may happen because of depression.

I once had a service user who was severely depressed and wanted to harm themselves or want to commit suicide. It was very important for me to keep an eye on him and ask him if he had any plans or thoughts of harming himself.  The signs and symptoms I looked out for were, feeling hopeless and helpless and with thoughts of harming themselves or committing suicide, feeling very down and low in mood and becoming easily tearful. Another symptom can be blaming themselves, feeling unnecessarily guilty about things, they can appear to be very quiet and taking no interest in their surroundings and finally having disturbed sleep, and neglect of self care, for example, their appearance, eating, appetite changes (either much less or much more than usual;). My particular client went through effects such as being tired, and lacking in energy. His lack of motivation and finding it difficult to complete normal everyday tasks. He would often have difficulties concentrating and remembering things.  He would also feel anxious and appeared to be agitated at times and restless. There were also times when he would be angry and irritable and isolates himself and avoids contact with others, even myself. They often find it difficult to express themselves too.

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The next type of mental health disorder that I have encountered is people that suffer with  Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This can happen after a traumatic event in someones life, in which somebody has been afraid that their life was under threat. Events can include natural disasters, experiences as part of someone’s job, e.g. fighting in the war, or even something traumatic in their everyday life such as a car accident, or being a victim of a violent assault. PTSD can also be developed as a persistent reaction to ongoing trauma, such as being a victim of domestic abuse. The Tamil client I was working with suffered from PTSD due to the war back home in Sri Lanka. His symptoms were, he was suffering from intrusive thoughts and images from the event which caused him to be irritable. He would mention that he was having flashbacks, and feeling as though the trauma is happening again. He could not sleep and on several nights, he would have nightmares. When we tried to explore this further, he would have intense distress in responding to any real or symbolic reminders of the trauma and it was soon apparent that he was also going through depression due to the trauma.  In our one to one sessions, it was apparent that he was having difficulty expressing affection, and he would cut him self of from feelings and be emotionally numb., and he would find it difficult to concentrate and listen to what I was saying. We would have certain conversations which would trigger his feelings and he avoids talking about it as it reminds him of the trauma. As a result of this trauma, it affected his lifestyle by not allowing him to socialise with other people,  and he found it difficult to stay in his job.

And finally last not least Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression. This is a serious but treatable medical illness. It is marked by extreme shifts in mood, energy, thinking and behaviour. There is a strong link between stress and this disorder, which can be triggered when someone finds themselves in surroundings that are stressful for them. A person may be unaware of the changes in his or her behaviour or moods and the effect they have on others. Although I do not have any clients who have bipolar disorder, I have come across people who suffer from it through work, and also the character Dhanush played in the movie “Moonu” has bipolar disorder, and it became so severe that he killed himself. You will notice that someone who has bipolar disorder will have the following signs and symptoms. Extreme mood swings and severe depression, unpredictable or unexpected behaviour, unusual beliefs not based in reality, difficulties with eating and sleeping and lastly they will have thoughts of self harm or suicidal feelings. You may possibly see the following effects on them, talking at a fast rate, appear overly confident, and self impotent. They can be overactive and excitable in their behaviour.

With any of the above mental health disorders it is important to be sensitive and deal with the people suffering with delicacy. It is a sensitive topic and therefor it is important that we direct them in the right way. Ans remembering that you are not alone and there is help. The following link below directs you to a list of organisations that can help you in the best way.

Hope you enjoyed the read xx

Thank you 




My First Post 

Hey everyone. Welcome to my blog. Finally after deep consideration and lots of conversations with friends and family  I’ve decided to give blogging another go. Hopefully this time, I’ve got my shit together. I’m looking forward to starting this new adventure and hopefully I can write some good content for you all. I haven’t quite figured the logistics of what I am going to write exactly but like I said I’ve got my shit together this time so I will be organised with my content! I will, however be talking about my favourite books, places to go, my baby knowledge on make up and skincare, life experiences and maybe just  other things I like and maybe don’t like! Or even something I just need to rant about! Coz let’s face it who doesn’t like a bit of gossip!!!

I hope you all enjoy it… or at least try! xxx

Clarisonic Aria – Review

Amen to the creators of the Clarisonic Face Cleansers

One of the greatest inventions that skin care experts could have created is the range of clarisonic face cleansing brush products and my top favourite is the Clarisonic Aria with 3 different speeds as well as gives the user the choice of gentle cleansing to deep make up removal cleansing.

Just to be extra OCD and go into the fine details of the product, below are the products highlights and what makes the Clarisonic unique from other face cleansing brushes.

  • 3 Speeds (Delicate, Universal, Powerful)
  • Adjustable Pulsing T-Timer
  • Interchangeable Facial Brush Heads
  • Rechargeable and fully waterproof
  • Cleanses so thoroughly, skin care products absorb better

My personal experience of using this product has been above and beyond my expectations. I first started using this product in 2014 when I first bought my Clarisonic Aria from John Lewis. I had read so much about it and heard everyone talking about it I thought why not give it a go. I was feeling very low about my skin then and needed something to motivate me through my bad skin crisis I was going through. So just to fill you in with the background information, I suffered from bad blemishes on my cheeks and forehead as well as suffered from uneven skin tone around my chin and upper lips area, and to top it off I have oily skin. (I would share a picture but all my old pictures have been erased from my icloud so hey ho)

I felt that I always had to wear make up to cover the problems up and would endlessly cake my face with different products to ensure that the blemishes and the uneven skin tone were thoroughly covered. I was using two different shades of concealer and two different shades of foundation as well as using powder to set the make up on my face, as I also suffer from very oily skin and foundation can make your skin seem oily and shiny around particular areas of your face.

My skin care routine during this period of time was, Tea Tree Oil face wash from Body shop and Olay moisturiser. Both of these products helped at the time, well that’s what I thought. The tea tree oil helped to some aspect as it reduced the level of oil that was being produced on my face but I felt like it was ripping the natural oils from my face and after midday, my face would get a little dry and due to this, my makeup would look ashy and grey. So it was then when I was looking into investing into other products and speaking to different people who suffered from similar problems to me as well as looking at different youtube videos and reading different blogs, I came to know that most of these people that I was coming across were all using the Clarisonic.

So it was then on a fine Thursday evening that I decided to ahead and get one for myself. As different peoples skin is different and I am no skin expert, I recommend, if you are going to buy one then buy the one that will be most efficient for your skin and the one that you can financially afford as the prices do range from £120 to £199. I bought mine for £120 and the reason for choosing the Aria for me was having 3 speeds that gave my skin the opportunity to start reacting to the different speeds and helping in the recovery process to better skin, the different speeds allowed you to choose what type of speed you wanted to choose on different areas of the skin, for example a I would use the highest speed around my forehead as I had the most blemishes marks on my forehead. You can use your Clarisonic with any facewash that best suits your face and works well with your skin. I used the Khiels Face wash, but will talk about my Khiels haul on another day!

Enough of the boring stuff, and onto the main details, I started seeing results after around 5 weeks. I had taken a before picture so that I could compare it with a after picture and I had noticed that I got a shade lighter and although my blemishes had not all disappeared, they had reduced and small areas were looking a lot lighter than other areas where I suffered from bad blemishes. As time went on and I was continuing to use this product as part of my morning and evening routine, I started to see more and more of a different and noticed that other people were telling me that my skin is looking healthier and different.

It has been 2 years now since I have been using my Clarisonic Aria and I can honestly say that, 2 years down the line I can say that it has made a massive difference to my skin and the way my skin is today. I am more confident with my skin now and am able to have days where I do not have to wear make up to leave the house and more importantly, I use one shade of foundation, and concealer and just a light powder to rest the make up around m t-zone areas and chin as these areas of my skin still have a tendency to get a little oily half way through the day but is not as bad as before. It has given my skin a finer finish then hand cleansing my skin, I now have softer skin, (baby butt skin), my skin is glowing and looks more radiant even when I am wearing makeup and just like the product said, my skin is absorbing more vitamin C after use.

The Clarisonic Aria has made applying makeup onto my skin smoother and allows me to use small amounts as there is hardly anything I need to cover up on my skin. It is also holiday friendly and its one of most important gadgets I pack when I am going away. I also break out less now, and I do not suffer so badly of uneven skin tone. A minor detail that I forgot to mention before, is that you are able to buy different brush heads for your cleanser. There are brush heads for sensitive skin, dry skin, as well as oily skin and one that is a deep pores cleaning brush head.

I would like to emphasize that I am not a skin specialist and understand that it may work differently on other peoples skin, so I would recommend you speak to a Clarisonic expert, or a skin specialist if you have any skin issues before you buy the product. This product has given me good customer satisfaction and I have recommended it to my friends and family who are now also part of the Clarisonic family!!!, and all their skin types are different but so far they have all loved it. Its user friendly, holiday friendly, small and discreet, easy to clean and charge, and even without charging can last up to 3 -4 days.

Enough of my rant, I just wanted to share my thoughts on the product and hopefully encourage you get your own.

Thank you