Hello 2016

eleanorjadore - Hello 2016

Hello 2016! I realise as I’m writing this that we are into the last week of January, but it’s only yesterday and today that I’ve really sat down and written down my plans and goals for this year. And I have a lot of them, for both my personal life and my blog. But I’ve decided that instead of writing them down publicly and by telling everyone what they are, I’d rather just show everyone by reaching them.

eleanorjadore - Hello 2016

To be honest, I’ve never been the type of person to write down my personal goals, but I’ve noticed that whenever I do express a desire for something specific to happen in my life, it usually comes to fruition through a combination of hard work, prayer and probably a bit of luck. The difference this year is that I plan to be a lot more specific about a number of things and I’ll be working tirelessly to make them happen.

eleanorjadore - Hello 2016

So often we think about things we’d like to do or things we’d like to achieve, but then write them off as a pipe-dream. Well, to me dreaming is everything! I mean, if we don’t dream, how will we ever achieve amazing things?  The key however is to turn that dream into a reality by breaking it down into smaller achievable goals, no matter what it is.

eleanorjadore - Hello 2016

eleanorjadore - Hello 2016

eleanorjadore - Hello 2016

I’ll admit that I’ve asked myself if my dreams aren’t too bold or too audacious and was reminded of the quote “If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough”.

That said, bring on 2016!

Love,

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We are family!

eleanorjadore - we are family

I’m a mum!

As you probably know, I recently (well, 2 months ago) gave birth to an incredibly healthy baby boy, and he is absolutely perfect: 10 cute fingers, 10 adorable toes, his daddy’s chin, his mum’s lips and a pair of beautiful blue-grey eyes that make up the most gorgeous little face ever. Rupert Gabriel Barkes, we couldn’t be any happier to have you in our lives!

As you can imagine, life with a newborn is incredibly busy so my blogging schedule has been even more erratic than it’s been while I was pregnant. I did however manage to get a few posts out in the last couple of months, so I’m feeling rather pleased with myself. With it came a new-found respect for all working mums, so please bare with me as I try and adjust to a new schedule.

I’m delighted to share a selection of family pictures in this post although, when we took these photos Rupert was determined to either cry or sleep his way through all of them, so it’s difficult to see his beautiful face. We have however started an Instagram account for him where we’ll be sharing a few pictures of him every now and again, so make sure to follow him on @babyjadore_

eleanorjadore - we are family

eleanorjadore - we are family

eleanorjadore - we are family

eleanorjadore - we are family

Thanks so much to those of you who’ve stuck around and who always send messages of support and encouragement. I really do appreciate it.

Love,

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Moving to South Africa

Eleanor J'adore - Moving to South Africa

I’m in South Africa!

Yes, that’s right. If you follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter you’d know that just last week I picked up my life, said goodbye to Tokyo and moved to Johannesburg.

It happened for a number of reasons, but the main one being that I simply didn’t want to give birth to my baby in such a foreign place.  I also felt that I need the support of my family and neither my husband or I wanted to deprive them of being part of this wonderful time in our lives. So we packed everything up and  made the big move.

I’ve been back for almost a week and the thing that no one ever tells you about moving home from a foreign country is that you definitely suffer from  a case of reverse culture shock. In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m referring to those things that are completely normal in your home country but that suddenly seem out of place to you. Still not sure what I mean? Let me give you an example: In South Africa the accepted norm is to tip 10%  – 20% for a meal in a restaurant, but in Japan it isn’t. The practice simply doesn’t exist. In fact it’s considered offensive to tip  the person who has been waiting on you throughout your entire meal, so you can imagine that after avoiding it for 2 and a half years how strange it is to start tipping again. I realise it seems minor, but it’s all these little peculiarities  that add up and make you realise that “you’re not in Kansas in anymore Toto”. It messes with the mind, I tell you.

But no worries, it’s all good. I’ve come through the worst of the jet lag and I’m generally just over the moon to be back. Seeing that I’m 6 months pregnant, the timing was perfect as I wouldn’t have wanted to leave flying halfway across the world any later. So now my focus is to simply enjoy the last 3 months of pregnancy, somehow get through one more month of Winter without an actual Winter maternity wardrobe, enjoy being back with my family and focus on maintaining my natural hair health.

Have a fabulous day!

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Announcement

Eleanor J'adore - Pregnancy Announcement

Well it’s official. The last time I actually sat down to write and publish a post was 3 months ago. I never thought I’d go this long without posting on this little blog of mine, but I promise I have a very good reason: I’m pregnant! That’s right. My husband and I are expecting our very first baby!

We are excited beyond words and half the time we just sit in absolute silence marvelling at how we are being blessed with the miracle of creating a new life.

At 18 weeks I’m into the second trimester and almost halfway through the pregnancy. If you’re wondering how the first trimester went, I’m just going to say morning sickness was my middle name, which was the main reason for my prolonged absence. And when I say morning sickness, I mean nausea every day for the entire day and throwing up at least once almost daily. This carried on for roughly two months until about 16 weeks, so I’m happily over it all and I can now just concentrate on enjoying the pregnancy.

I’ll write a separate hair update and I’ve also been asked via Instagram to do some pregnancy style updates so watch out for those posts coming soon. In the meantime, if there’s anything  you’d like to know specifically or have suggestions for future posts, please comment below.

Shoo – It feels good to be back. I’ve seriously missed you all!

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Choosing to love yourself

Recently I’ve been seeing  a lot of posts where people have been ‘feeling’ their hair, i.e. they’ve simply been loving their hair. Well, the day I took these photos it wasn’t quite as much about feeling my hair as it was about feeling myself, in the sense that I was feeling confident and pretty much happy to be in the skin that I’m in.

From time to time, we all have moments of self doubt: Am I pretty enough? Do I fit in? Am I cool/hip/trendy enough? Am I meeting society’s expectations? Am I making my friends and family happy? Am I making enough money? Am I in the right job, city or country? I could go on forever. Well you know what I say to that?

Let it go and keep it moving…

Let me give you an example: I’ve picked up a bit of weight since I got married 6 weeks ago. Not too much,  about 3kg, so not enough for others to notice but enough for me to notice the change in my body. But you know what, for probably the first time in my life I’m not beating myself up over it. I’m just seeing it for what it is: it’s Winter and it’s bloody cold. So yes, I am snacking and eating lots more comfort food and I think in a way my body might be better off for it for another month or so. But I also know that I’m not interested in being unhealthy or overweight so it won’t be a problem for me to go back to my pre-wedding eating habits.

So what I’m saying is  that we should try not to be so hard on ourselves. Because you know what happens? We end up putting unrealistic expectations on ourselves which result in feelings such as frustration, anger, guilt, depression and the like. It affects our confidence, our self-esteem and ultimately our happiness. And don’t we all deserve to be happy? I know it’s easier said than done, but sometimes  you just have to tell yourself to deal with it, put on your big girl panties and decide to be happy.

Remember, there’s no such thing as being perfect. Chances are you’ll always have a curl that won’t play along, an argument with a loved one, or miss a deadline. Whatever the case is, try your best to resolve the issue and to move on, even if resolving it will take some time. It helps to have a goal that you’re working towards so while you’re dealing with the mundane you can focus on the prize ahead. Do more of makes you feel good and happy: Eat more ice-cream, give more of yourself to others, travel, dance, exercise, whatever works for you. Right now I love working on this blog and connecting with those who enjoy this site. It’s part of my daily routine which brings me immense joy and like I said, I’m fairly certain happiness is something we all want.

I’m reminded of two of my favourite quotes about happiness.

“If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely” – Roald Dahl

“Happy girls are the prettiest” – Audrey Hepburn

 

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 Love your self!

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My blogging goals for Eleanor J’adore

2015

One of the goals I have for Eleanor J’adore this year is to include a lot more lifestyle related content. Natural hair will always the forte of this blog, but I do have many other interests and I’d love to share those passions with you too. Naturally I’ve given the direction I’d like the blog to take lots of thought and one of those thoughts is to offer you, my lovely readers, a bit more.

I’ve recently become a lot more aware of healthy skin-care practices, trying out natural products, some made at home and others store bought. I’ve also taken more of a keen interest in make-up and have made a few splash purchases, although I’m still testing out the waters in terms of the actual application thereof. And as you may know by now, I adore travelling and will continue to share my travels with you when I’m lucky enough to venture off to an exciting destination.

Photography is another discipline I’ve always been interested in and I try to only include beautiful and well-lit photos on this site. I take as many of my own photos as I can, but sometimes none of my inspirational Instagram and Pinterest stalking is enough to realise my photographic vision when I’m looking through the lens of my own camera. I own a Sony bridge camera and I’m determined to get to grips with all its functionality and to generally improve my skills before splurging on a DSLR. That will hopefully be my prize to myself once I’ve mastered the bridge camera and I actually start to feel limited by its capabilities. I may even attempt to record a half decent video in the near future as I feel that some messages are more accurately delivered through a demonstration rather than through still pictures or words alone.

I’m going to end this post by asking you, yes you Lovely, what you’d like to see more of from me. Like I said, natural hair will always be the hero of this blog, but I definitely see Eleanor J’adore becoming a bit more of a lifestyle home too.

What do you think? Let me know below.

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Image via Pinterest

 

That moment you finally meet your online curlfriends

Curlfriends: Samantha-Jane, Eleanor, Mandy

Naturally all of us who spend time on social media have people we communicate with regularly but every now and then you connect with someone online and instantly hit it off. Amanda Cooke, aka The Mandy Expedition, has been one such person. Over the course of the last year we have been in regular email contact, we’ve been following each other on Instagram, featured each other on our respective natural hair blogs, and have since also become Facebook friends. So when we finally met up in person during late December 2014 we both knew it was long overdue.

We had arranged to meet at Tasha’s, a cute café at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, for brunch along with one more of my online friends, Samantha-Jane Samaai. When I walked in and told the waiter  that I was meeting two girls he immediately asked me if it’s the 2 other ladies with big curly hair. While he pointed me in the right direction I couldn’t help chuckling to myself as I once again realised the attention that curly hair attracts, in fact demands.

Excitedly I approached the table, saw the girls and we were off! In short we exchanged hair products, talked nails, men, food, festive season diets, blogging and natural hair care of course, all over a bottle of bubbly as laughter ensued.

Mandy and I have featured each other over here and here. Have a look if you’re interested.

xx