Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Things that make me feel good.

I’ve been umming and ahhhing about what to write for this post and after putting together the final images last night I felt a sense of achievement. Mainly because usually after the type of day I had I would crash out on the sofa and waste a couple of hours in the evening fighting over a faux fur blanket with Gurpreet while we catch up on sitcoms and series.
I’m smiling while looking at these pictures because I’m happy with how far I’ve come, mentally and physically. I’m at a stage in life where my actions are keeping me happy, not only is this feeling evident in my day to day activities, my general wellbeing has improved tenfold.
It’s common knowledge to many of us what keeps us happy but I find writing here so therapeutic I’m going to share with you what it is that makes me feel good.

1) Self-love
I live by the mantra ‘Let it be’ there are so many things that happen to us daily which are not within our control and over time I have learnt to not let them get me down, feel anxious about or even upset, I simply remind myself of the path I am going down and to focus on my own goals. Unfortunately there will always be spiteful people out there that get you down, love and respect yourself enough to eliminate them from your life.
The minute you surround yourself with people who cherish you for who you are, you naturally start treating yourself better. And by not focusing on the negative your energy is then shifted to completing goals and moving forward with life. When you love yourself what others think and how they act become irrelevant to your life.

2) Maintenance
I love myself by respecting my mind and body. Every day I exercise, I eat healthy and practise gratitude wherever possible. I’ve noticed when I don’t follow through with these my moods alter and become erratic. The negative energy has such a knock on effect to so many things in life so I find it is key for me to make sure my eating habits are clean.
Eating unhealthy leads to tiredness, which means I’ll skip the gym, then I start feeling like a little fatty, which means I don’t feel like dressing up, that leads to me feeling yucky and my skin starts to show it and then when I look in the mirror I feel crappy, all of this turns me in to a sour faced Mitika.
Whereas when I eat well, I am motivated to exercise; after having a successful workout I am more inclined to spend extra time on my appearance; if I feel like I look good I’m more confident and determined to achieve my goals. I’m sure you get my drift but it’s so easy to snowball either way.

3) Spreading love
Have you ever told anyone but your partner you love them? I have, I whisper it to my dog every other 5 minutes :) but jokes aside, a saying I've popped up in conversations lately is 'communication is key' I strongly believe relationships fall to pots because of lack of communication. I am open with those close to me and express my feelings clearly towards them, if I miss them I let them know, if I love them I let them know, if they mean anything to me I let them know. The point I'm making is, if you realise you have people you cherish in life let them know this. Just by sending my love to my sisters I feel better, loving others is very rewarding and knowing you have said everything on your mind when you had the chance is the best feeling.
I don't like the idea of waking up tomorrow wishing I should have let someone know what they meant to me when I had the opportunity. This life is too short for those regrets, love freely : )

4) Something new
Something new doesn't have to be in the form of a new bag or new shoes, new to me is a different experience to what I'm used to. Theres a little part of me that gets so excited from experiencing 'new' things, this weekend we will be visiting The London Illustration fair which I cant wait to see, last weekend we had a change of scenery and dinned in GBK. It was lovely but I'm not going back anytime soon, even though I enjoyed the meal £35 for two burgers and milkshakes gave me a heart attack, maybe I'll go again when I become a millionaire, HA!
I look forward to experiencing new as it gives me a buzz and don't get me wrong I'm still a sucker for good old retail therapy but thats on hold as the wardrobe isn't closing very well at the moment (it's a sign to stop shopping!)

5) Music
I am so thankful to be able to listen to music, it has this magical quality that can take you away from any type of feeling and switch your mood instantly. That sounded a bit cheesy right?! Well try sitting a day or two without sound and then read that line again, it's something we are so used to and programmed to be around we don't realise how much it can impact our moods. I find music so therapeutic I have a trillion different playlists that are like the soundtracks to my life, one for mornings, train journeys, gym time, even right now I have one playing in the background so I can concentrate on writing. I love the emotion music brings out in people and the passion it shows, it for sure is a big part of what makes me feel good.

6) My dog
I used to dream of having a pet when I was young, luckily 6 years ago my brother came home with a little bichon fris and maltese mix. We named him Jambu (after an Indian sweet dish) He is literally the light to my life, I love everything about him, his innocence and character make me SO happy. No matter what mood I'm in his enthusiasm to greet me remains the same, he is always so loving, playful and embodies this skill to be excited about literally EVERYTHING. Sometimes you can feel like humans fail you and that leaves you feeling a little low, In those types of situations Jambu has never failed to put a smile on my face. Animals are such wonderful creatures, my love for him is a big reason for why I chose to turn vegetarian 3 years ago and over the past couple of months I have been refining my diet to be Vegan, I want no part of causing harm to these wonderful creatures : ) I love all animals and they make me so happy.

7) My hobby
My art and this blog are my outlets for expressing myself. I absolutely love sitting down with pen and paper to sketch, I love drawing fashion, models, garments and designing new things. I feel a great sense of accomplishment when I make something out of nothing. Everyone has a hobby or something they are passionate about, whatever it may be I would recommend exploring the avenues that lead to expression through it. It's never too late to take a course or learn more about it. I think we all need a slice of happiness that isn't linked to work stresses. A hobby doesn't have to generate money, if it does that is a bonus, but I think when someone is passionate about something it can be an escape route; when they are stressed they can dive into what they love doing and its almost like a free therapy session.

8) Writing
When I think about it, this list could go on forever, there are so many things that keep me happy but if I had to pinpoint it to a handful this would be it. I am so happy I changed the style of this blog and started to open up a bit more, I find writing so therapeutic and love getting my thoughts out, whats even more rewarding is my thoughts go hand in hand with yours, its so nice for me to connect with people that read this and on days I feel like don't fit in, I can remind myself of the online family I have created through this site : )

Outfit - Cami/Mango Skirt/Handmade Choker/MissSelfridges Earrings/KateSpade

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

How I avoid disappointment in a relationship

The other week I had a conversation that sparked the topic of expectations and disappointments. A comment was made where my friend believed finding another half could complete him and make him happy again after recently ending a relationship that turned sour. From my experience with love and happiness I whole heartedly disagree with this. I think that thought is almost a dead end road and is sure to lead to disappointment. I have been lucky enough to find companionship in Gurps since the age of 16, our relationship feels effortless and he enriches my life in many ways. With that in mind, I don’t believe he completes me.

I suppose what I am trying to say is, even though he has been the focal point of my life for the last 11 years, my happiness is not in his hands or anyone else’s. The responsibility for my heart and happiness is in MY hands, it is not fair to him for me to pin my happiness on him.
It’s a nice thought to think someone completes you, but by thinking this way we are expecting them to do so. That level of expectation could result in disappointment. If I expect Gurps to shower me with goodies, cook me dinner and treat me like a princess with the mind-set that the result of these actions will keep me happy, I’ll be massively disappointed if he doesn’t follow through with any of them. So not only would I be disappointed in him, I’d also stress him out for not doing them resulting in some sort of argument and both parties being unhappy.
I think it’s good to go into a relationship as whole as you can be, if you are happy with your way of life, you will in-turn rub off that energy to others. If you feel incomplete you are continually expecting someone else to do something for you. Two happy people are unstoppable right? Two individuals searching for something else as well as love already have a set back because their expectations are too high. If you feel different let me know, its always good to see someone else’s spin on this topic.
I think the approach of having no expectations allows us to remove the opportunity to blame someone else. Like I mentioned in my motivation post, I believe if you eliminate room for excuses and stop playing the blame game by taking responsibility for your life the more successful your relationships will be.

I’m not saying Gurps doesn’t do those things, sure he buys me gifts and cooks a dinner or two; He does them, but the key is he is doing them because HE wants to, not because I expect him to do them.
I think relationships work a million times better when we put controlling egos aside and let each other be who we are. When you care for someone, unconsciously your actions make the other person happy. So the key to any relationship be it with friends or lovers is to be yourself, the people that click with you and work with your personality naturally stay. Anyone that demands more energy then you are willing to give isn’t meant for you.

So I’ve come to the conclusion that I myself am very happy as an individual, I feel whole and complete. Having Gurps by my side is like the cherry on top, he makes everything much sweeter. Obviously these are just opinions and I’d love to hear your take on relationships and whether or not you think a partners complete one another.

Outfit - Bralette/UrbanOutfitters Top/Mango Jacket/Zara(old similar) Scarf/Zara(detached from a coat/similar here)Hat/Aldo(old) Jeans/RiverIsland Boots/Zara Rings/Aldo

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

My 5 blogging mantra's

When I first started this blog I went into it with a happy go lucky attitude, I had no intentions of bringing it as far as its come. I figured it was a lovely way to document our activities/holidays and created a wonderful archive for us to look back on. For anyone I speak to or for any of you considering starting a blog but feel slightly hesitant, I whole heartedly encourage you to put the fear aside and DO IT!
I cannot express the satisfaction I feel from keeping this creative flow going. Two years into it and I think I've finally coined what it is that makes you feel like your blog has a place in this heavily populated industry.

Fake it till you make it
Now in all honesty I think we are all just as lost as one-another to an extent, some of us have a cool as a cucumber exterior and attitude which helps hide the confusion. The trick I suppose is to act like you know whats going on, even if you don't. Practise the art of talking with conviction, be knowledgeable about your topics of choice and explore them till you can discuss them in a way that can add value to someone's train of thought.
After all if you are writing to appeal to people, you have to convince them you are worth their time, no one has interest in following anything short of mediocre.

Show progress
I love to find a new blog or creative individual online, in my spare time I tend to follow all their social media platforms and practically stalk them from their first post to latest video log. I love that excitement of finding an individual I feel I can connect to. It's amazing to see a blogger improve with their images, or create even more visually exciting videos for YouTube. I find it inspiring to see their progression from where they first started.
But progress is only visible if you make a start now! Don't wait for the perfect marble backdrop or that crazy high mega pixel camera, make do with what you have to get to where you want.

Overthinking = Mind blown
This is actually one of my mantra's with any project I take on. If you try to overthink the situation then the passion isn't fluently translated and it ends up becoming more stressful for you and less appealing for the audience. In terms of blogging, I would advise you to not overthink posing, outfit coordination, backdrops, brand placements, make up and hair; all these factors should flow organically.
The more comfortable you are, the less thinking you have to do to create something from your passion. It's so joyful to see someone blossom effortlessly when they are working based on natural a thought process.
This concept doesn't solely apply to the fashion industry, it can relate to art, cooking, gardening and general life situations even; if you are passionate enough about what you are doing you will naturally avoid overthinking, allowing ideas to flow, everything will be more organic and stress free. That's when the best work is produced.

Knowing your USP
Every business has a unique selling point, every individual has one too. It's basically a play on your strengths.
In terms of this blog I originally thought it would become successful if I continually shot the latest items of clothing, the seasons most wanted coat or on-trend shoes. I thought the material item aspect would be my USP.
I quickly found out the hard way that this wasn't the case, for two main reasons; there are a million other girls out there doing the same thing (with even more coveted items then I had) and secondly it was either focus on a mortgage or have a fancy wardrobe. I didn't have the luxury of an income to cover both, so the blog suffered.
For those whom have followed me from day one when I named the blog 'Mitika's Illustrations' will have noticed the inconstancy with blog posts and an apparent gap with our online presence. This was due to us having higher priorities over the blog.
The lack of creative activity would get me down, I would be itching to shoot something or whip up a styling concept. I wanted to make something of this blog even though I couldn't afford new items for my wardrobe so I started to shoot looks I already had in my cupboard.
This meant my readership reduced because the items I shot were old season, so if a viewer liked a certain look they had no way of recreating it because the garments weren't available in stores, it also blew out opportunities to work with brands because no-one needed help advertising old stock.
But my drive and passion for this site took over and I carried on shooting and styling concepts without the financial benefits, without the larger readership, without the latest fashions, I literally made do with what I had.
It was the creative outcomes from our shoots that kept me motivated to post more content. Fast forward to November 2016, I am so happy to finally be back in my zone, my USP is not the latest fashions. My USP is I'm just like you, I'm figuring this whole thing out with you by my side and developing a sense of who I am along the way.

Believe in yourself
For a blogger I think that is their USP, believe in the character you are. Over the past two years my physical appearance has changed, my mental wellbeing has improved and overall I feel like a better human being then when I was in my mid 20's. This development came through challenges that helped me find out who I really am. I was in situations that stretched my emotions or even challenged my health and forced me to step out of my comfort zone to grow.
And now as we come to the end of 2016 I am confident mentally and physically, sure of my style and feel well presented on a daily basis.
I think this has all been achievable because I no longer feel the need to validate who I am to anyone. I can be true to myself and know that people will accept me for that. This sense of knowing who I am helps me relate to many of you and the satisfaction of making friends / creating relationships through this blog is the feeling I love. So thank you to those whom have interacted with me throughout my journey, you help me define my purpose through my passions and are one of the main reasons I continue with this blog.

Outfit - Dress/PrettyLittleThing Chocker/MissSelfridges Rings/Aldo

Saturday, 5 November 2016

How I stay motivated.

With the end of year just around the corner I start to think about all those resolutions I made in January, I dropped a couple but kept a handful of them going and I can happily say they have finally become embedded into my lifestyle habits. I have a couple of tips that I use as a guideline and maybe they could help you out too. I genuinely feel like these are points we are all well aware of, what I’ve typed below isn’t revolutionary, it’s just sometimes we need to refresh our minds with points that help push us back in the right direction.

1) Start now.
Don’t wait for New Years to make a resolution, don’t wait for Monday even, start now. Make a start on your goal because time won’t wait for you to do so, before you know it we will be sitting here in November 2017 discussing the same thing!
I was so hesitant to start writing on these topics for the blog, I kept telling myself my english wasn't good enough, my writing style is too waffely and realistically who wants to read my thoughts? But with the feedback I received from my last post I'm so happy to know some of you actually feel the same and could relate to me. In turn that motivated me to really get going with this writing malarky and open up to you. So I'm sure glad I made a start on it, otherwise I'd still be sitting here thinking, what if?

2) No excuses.
If you keep hesitating to start working towards your goals try to identify what the defining factor stalling you is. Whatever it may be, it is an excuse. Excuses are a dead end road, they don’t really justify your actions they sugar-coat your actions making you believe its okay to not complete your goals.
Also adopt the mind-set that blaming others for your actions is unacceptable. Take responsibility for your own actions and refuse to blame anyone else. Sure there might be conditions beyond your control that are affecting your progress but instead of blaming someone else take action over how you decide to react to the situation. By taking responsibility you will be reacting in a manner that will benefit your future self not set you back.

3) Eat right.
Over time I have managed to clean up my diet by eliminating readymade meals, processed food and the heavy fatty meals. I cut out artificial sugars too (well nearly, I’m still partial to the odd Ferrero Rocher flying around during festive season) I find these sugars give me a temporary high and the comedown leaves me feeling ten times worse than how I started. The reason for this diet change was not to lose weight but to fuel my body with food I can benefit from, when I eat a clean healthy meal my energy levels are sky high, my body feels ready for whatever I put it through and my thought processes are so much more fluid. I’m less stressed when I eat well, mentally and physically feel better and have more energy to overcome any issues I face when working towards my goal.

4) Drink water.
If I had a pound for every time someone told me to drink water I’d be sitting pretty on a mountain of fortunes. I used to roll my eyes at this statement so much. I hated drinking water, I never felt like I needed it. I don’t know if I hit the 2 Litre mark daily but I know I drink more than enough to keep myself hydrated. Hydration is key, KEY KEY KEY! (feeling like Dj Khaled here) When you pass up on the glass of water think about it this way, ‘I want to look like a grape not a raisin’
75% of our brain is water, why deprive our bodies from functioning at full capacity when it’s something as easy as drinking a glass every other hour? We water our plants to help them grow and flourish, why not adopt the same attitude towards our own bodies?

5) Sleep well.
Hands down I am 100% diurnal, I rise with the sun and clock out when it goes down. I try to sleep at least 6-7 hours every night. I’ve never been one of those night owls that becomes all productive and efficient at sundown. Although this nocturnal method works for so many people I know, the key here is finding which pattern best suits your lifestyle.
This is how I have been for as long as I can remember, even if I have guests around I tend to fall asleep talking on the couch or if we go to the cinema late at night I can guarantee I’ll be snoring away in the background. Having a consistent sleeping pattern allows me to function well during the day, I’m much more productive and can focus clearly on my goals.
And in all honesty if I feel sleep deprived I can guarantee I will spend 85% of my day complaining about how tired I am!

6) Organise yourself.
Those dreams you have, do you know how to plan to achieve them? Have you mapped out what it is you need to tick off the list to make them reality? Its fine if you don’t, let’s start now. Try to write down a plan of steps to get you there and remember to be realistic about your time constraints. I don’t know of anyone that pulled an all-nighter at university and was 100% satisfied with the end result. Cramming everything in last minute will not have the best results. It’s similar to a diet plan, eating lettuce for one lunch won’t make me thinner nor will 100sit ups give me a 6pack the next day. Everything worthwhile takes time, consistency and persistence. Organise your time wisely to give you the best chance at achieving your goals.

7) Anticipate setbacks.
I don’t mean to be the bearer of bad news but setbacks will happen. Nothing is ever straightforward and by that I mean the plan you made from Step 6 will most likely fail, but in order to succeed you have to remap your ideas and get back to it. Surely when you fell over in the playground when you were young you got back up right? What’s changed in our adult lives? We might not be ripping tights at our knees (this is something I did daily in Primary school, can anyone else relate or was it just me?!) but the concept is all the same. A setback does not define you, you are in charge of your life and your actions, your reaction to minor failures will determine your success.

8) Don’t stop.
Lastly not being where I want to be is the biggest push of all. Don’t let it get you down if you have not reached your goals yet, use that emotion as ammunition to keep going to do everything you can to get there.

And please don’t think by me typing this I feel like I have my life sorted. I’ve only just about managed to pluck up the courage to start writing (or waffling not sure how you see it) on the blog about topics flying around in my head. So how I see it is, we’re in this together : )

I only noticed when I looked for outfit links online, I’m actually wearing this jumper back to front, the wrap is supposed to be worn on the back. Ooops!

Outfit – Jumper/Mango Skirt/Vintage Hat/Aldo(old) FurScarf/(Detached collar from a Zara coat)(Similar item) Boots/Zara Rings/Aldo

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Being comfortable in my own skin.

As of this post and blog revamp I have decided to change the information I'm uploading online. I want this blog to be a personal point of reference, also for my sisters and daughters. I want to keep this online diary as a message to remind myself to follow my dreams and stay true to what I believe, if you are reading with me then I'm more then happy to have your company : )

The first topic I have decided to discuss is body confidence, obviously this is a widely talked about topic but I have a couple of points to share through my own experiences, which could ring true to a couple of you.
Would you believe me if I told you I hated my figure growing up? Would you believe me when I say I wished I never had these hips / bum / legs? Until the age of 18 I was hell-bent on achieving a figure genetically impossible through fad diets and skipping meals. This was because I was drawn into the media portrayal of the 'ideal woman'. When I was growing up the celebrities on a pedestal were Pamela Anderson, Britney Spears, Jennifer Anniston and a handful of others but the issue that affected me the most was that I couldn't identify with any of these women therefor I felt inferior.
I felt like my body shape, my curly hair, my skin colour and appearance overall wasn't considered pretty. No matter what makeup / clothes I wore, I would never look like them.
When Jennifer Lopez came on the scene I was in love, a tanned beauty with a shapely body, hips and thighs, wow what an idol. I loved everything she embodied, her songs, her fashion and media presence. I think it is key for women to be able to identify with someone, they need to relate to the media, be it through their image/ culture / beliefs/ interests.

Looking back what disappoints me the most is there was never a reassurance from anyone to make me believe, being myself was enough. The media power was effecting my self confidence and the exposure to it was unavoidable. This was from growing up in the 80's, the current generation has a whole new level of media exposure with all these social outlets online. It can become quite damaging and poisonous to those who lack the confidence to think otherwise.

Here are a couple of points I will always teach my girls; you are beautiful as you are, you are more then enough being you, once you truly believe in that statement nothing can stop you. Practice self love and disregard what anyone say's or expect you to look like. Their expectations of beauty standards should not rule your reality. Embrace what you are born with because the magic of the story is, no one can be you, that is your one true strength.

We have to celebrate our individual selves, there is too much negativity in the world and we need less of that. Beauty is everywhere and inside everyone, don't expect everyone to look like the girls in the magazines, heck the girls in the magazines don't even look like the girls in the magazines. I know we all have hang ups over parts of our bodies we would like to change and thats fine, but don't sit there and wish upon a star, take action to make those goals reality. Be healthy, be physically fit and in-turn your confidence will naturally be boosted.
I made a conscious decision three years ago to join the gym and start exercising. From being the girl that always tried to skip P.E classes and escape the cross country runs its was revolutionary for me to voluntarily exercise, on top of that I felt the need to hire a personal trainer to guide me through my fitness journey. I committed to training three times a week. Physically I have not lost any weight I remain the same, if not a little heavier due to the fat to muscle conversion. But my strength and endurance have increased phenomenally, I mean I'm not the incredible hulk but I sure can lift a thing or two!
Three years down the line I am still training at least three times a week mixing weight training and cardio activities. My body feels healthier, my mind feels refreshed and I'm much more able to handle day to day stresses with ease. I am happy to say I'm officially 100% comfortable in my own skin and I work towards achieving my version of 'ideal' daily. It's not easy but its worth it!

Outfit - Body/RiverIsland Dustercoat/RiverIsland Skirt/HouseofCB Chocker/MissSelfridges Rings/Aldo
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