Breaking my Fast – Breakfast??

I’m ending my fast!

I wrote this post two days ago. I had decided I was ending my social media fast today but as it got closer to today I was no longer sure anymore. Was I ended the fast because God had told me to? Was I ending it because I missed social media? I wasn’t sure anymore. But this morning I prayed about it and I felt complete peace about this decision because the objectives of my fast have been met – or at least are beginning to be met. 


Since the 15th of May, I have been off social media in a bid to grow spiritually, emotionally and mentally.  You can find out more about why I went on the fast in the first place here but in essence, I wanted to see growth.

Exponential growth.

I was tired of seeing subtle growth in my personality and in my outlook on life. So I decided to block a few distractions and see what would happen. It was kind of a social experiment, with me as the guinea pig and God controlling all the factors. Guys, He really came through. He always does to be honest.

I’ve learned a few things about myself – in conjunction with this – that I realised have in the past hindered a deeper relationship with both God and people. I’m ready to move past that.

I have seen glimpses of my purpose and vision in life. And I say glimpses, because it’s still really hazy. But then again, who doesn’t love surprises? (Joke – I hate surprises. Pray 4 me)

I am entering a new season (coinciding with summerrrrr too!) and I both terrified and excited –  texcited if you will 😉

All in all, I have a fresh new perspective. It is time for me to be a real adult and live my life.  God’s got me, so I’m good.

 

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

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Drastic steps to growth

Sometimes getting to the next level, in whatever context, really requires you to do something drastic. 

Something a little different from what you would normally do. They say foolishness is doing the same thing each time and expecting a different result. I am starting to really understand that.

This year, 2017 and generally this academic year (Sept 2016- now), I have been going on and on about how I want to reach the next level with God. I want to really REALLY know Him. I want to love what He loves and hate what He hates. I want speak like Him, and act like Him. And while this is starting to sound like something out of the Jungle Book, I am deadly serious.

I have seen such growth in my life: emotionally, mentally, spiritually (and of course physically!) and that has always been something that has made me so proud of myself. But why should I be proud about reaching new levels – isn’t that exactly what life is about? A baby reaches milestones every single day. And while the parents may like to act like their baby is the smartest baby to ever set foot on the face of the Earth for taking five steps before falling, it’s not. That is just the next stage in that baby’s life.

I am at that next stage. I have almost finished my second year of university. I am about to start my year long placement (more on that in the next few posts – we thank God). And now, I am at the stage where I want to fall in love with the Lord.

I’ve been reading a Full: Food, Jesus and the Battle for Satisfaction by Asheritah Ciuciu (amazing book btw, book review is definitely pending) and learning more and more about how to find total satisfaction in God and in myself.

So I’ve now hit a crossroad where I have to be real with myself. Saying the same words and doing the same things will not create a new result. If I say I want to grow in God and grow in who He made me to be, I must take a step (in literal, practical faith) towards that.

So I made a list.

All good things start with writing a list.

I’ve written a list of practical things I can do, in a bid to shift my priorities to God and things of Him. The first thing (and the only thing on the list that I’ve done so far lool) is delete all social media. I know I speak of drastic actions and this does not sound like it is, but trust me it is. If you know me, you’ll know how much social media means to me. I means a lot. Too much. And taking a break from it (a proper break, not those silly three-day social media fasts I go on quite often that don’t do anything at all) for however long I feel led to, is one way to reconnect to God.

I am excited to share this journey with you guys. As this blog turns FIVE (How crazy is it that a quarter of my life is on this blog?!!) I will get to share with you all some grown-up truths as I learn them myself.

The site title says Paula Melissa: Here to Inspire. All I have ever wanted to do, with my blog, my YouTube channel, my life, is inspire people. But it is now time for me to find my source of Inspiration. And to hopefully to inspire you to look to Him too.

Peace&Love… and growth!

Paula Melissa xx

So this is what freedom tastes like?? I like it.

Guys, I think I manage to forget how stressful exams are every single time. Like, stress. But as I write this post, I AM EXAM FREEEEE – until the next exam period but let’s not let that ruin this moment;)

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All photography in this shoot is by my friend, Layomi

If you’re close to me, you’ll know how tiring this exam period has been for me but also you’ll know how blessed I have been feeling too. It’s kind of confusing lool but this stressful period is also the time I searched and found myself and God the most! I think I, every so slightly, enjoy stress (judge me, I’m judging myself too tbh). You know what they say though, stress creates diamonds (AND IF THE SHOE FITSSSS, WEAR IT!)

On my wall, in my room in my house at Uni, I have a pyramid of post-it notes on my wall with goals I have set for myself. They’re a mixture of long term and short term things like make my parents proud, be on TV/ have my own show and  finish reading my Bible. Having them visually on my wall has been SO motivating for me.

I can be temperate (or so I’ve been told), meaning my feelings and action fluctuate A LOT. I go from super confident to doubting every single thing I have ever believed. I used to have lots of pictures of my family and friends on my wall. Some where along the line they were taken down and replaced with an exam timetable. My wall is basically a visual representation of my mind at a time. Well… through all of that, unpredictable moods and feelings and thoughts, God and that pyramid of post it notes have been my only constants. 

I feel so so so relieved now because I feel like the next stage of my life is now beginning. Yes dramatic, but then again, what else do you expect from me. I feel like it’s new year all over again, never mind that January is coming to an end looool.

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Guys, 2017 is going to be a fun one of learning and growing for me. Let’s learn and grow together!!

Sidenote: literally loving this hat. Found it in my closet after doing a clear out and reshuffle of my room (another visual representation of my mind lol) even though I’ve had it for years. From Topshop, in case you wondered!

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Peace & Love.

Ya girl, Paula Melissa xx

Top 10 Videos of Mine

It may or may not be slightly obnoxious to create a list of my top ten videos of my channel but I don’t mind! Sometimes a little public display of self-love is needed. A little pat on the back.

Sometimes a little public display of self-love is needed.

So here are my favourite videos of mine that I have filmed, edited and uploaded to my channel, and why! Click HERE to check out my channel and subscribe while you’re there.

10. A Level Results & Encouragement

I love how much positive feedback I got on this video. Even though this is one of my oldest videos, it is still relevant every year as kids get their A Level results.

9. Baequalities

Love love love this video because it incorporates two of my favourite things – bae and pancakes lol!

8. Harmonising Challenge (ft. Pamela)

This was SO much fun to film. We love singing and doing this challenge was our way of singing on the channel, outside of my singing channel. And I must say, we can actually sing… no matter how dreadful this was lol!

7. Who/What Inspires/Motivates You?

I loved being able to get a bunch of my friends on my channel discussing what inspires them. Having motivated friends constantly pushes me to motivate myself, work hard and reach my highest potential.

6. Blogger Event #JET2SUNCHESTER VLOG

This is one of my favourite vlogs that I have ever filmed and edited! This was my first bloggers event and this is when I began to feel like a real blogger. It was a fantastic day and I made some blogger friends that I still adore till this day!

5. I’m on BBC News VLOG (ft. Bolu)

This is one of my all time favourites because it was such a surreal day! I really enjoyed going on BBC News for the Queen’s birthday. This was my first taste at Live TV and broadcast journalism and I absolutely loved it!

4. Bean Boozled Challenge (ft. Pamela)

This HAD to be on this list because this video was hilarious!! I love filming with my sister. Warning – this video features us gagging and spittaking a lot!

3. The Flatmate Tag (ft. Will)

This made it to the top three because this video was so much fun to both film and edit! It features my flatmate (from my first year of university) and friend, Will, who’s an absolute legend! He’s been one of the most supportive people of my YT channel.

2. Growing Up British Nigerian (ft. ManLikeMike)

Honestly, this video will never not be funny! It was a really spontaneous video – we literally didn’t plan it. Sharing some of our childhood memories and reminiscing was really nice. Michael is literally hilarious.

1. Most Likely To (+ Girl Chat) (ft. Ayo, Bolu and Grace)

Of course this video is my number one! These girls are honestly some of the best people I know. It is such a blessing when you find like-minded people, who are passionate, love Jesus and work hard.


I am so proud of my channel and I am so so so grateful to everyone who has ever supported me. You can look forward to bigger and better content as I continue to have fun with it all.

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

Teach Me To Be Carefree

I am forever grateful for friends that keep me grounded.

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Yesterday was a good day for me. It was impromptu and chill and reminded me that life does not always need to be so carefully planned out. It is okay to relax and enjoy the ride sometimes.

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My outfit for yesterday could be titled ‘how much can I look like my little sister, Pamela’! I may or may not have borrowed both the skirt and the trainers from her.

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Pamela’s trainers and my men socks loool

And just like the outfit, I had adopted Pamela’s carefree, chilled personality for the day and I must admit, I quite enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun wondering around Central London taking blog photos, checking out cute little independent bakeries/cafes and generally living carefree – for once. I must try it more often.

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I am forever grateful for friends that keep me grounded. They are the type of people that supply endless banter when you need to throw your head back in laughter. But they are also they type of people that lend a listening ear when you need to just talk and let everything out.

I am grateful that I know people that continually point me back to God as my comforter, friend and strength giver. Especially when I seem to forget. People that do not let me have a pity party but instead hold me accountable. You’re all the real MVPs. I appreciate you people.

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This post was kind of rambly, impromptu and messy and I like that. I am taking a page out of Pamela’s book and learning how to be a bit more carefree and chill.

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And as most of you already know, I am born and raised in London yet yesterday I saw some of London that I’ve never been in. It was magically! I challenge you to act as a tourist in your own city. Afterwards, you are sure to call it home a little more proud 😉

Peace&Love

Paula Melissa xx

#Carefreeblackgirl

The Treat Kitchen!!!

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When I was contacted by the lovely Jodie from The Treat Kitchen, which are a family run confectionery retailer operating in a few cities in England and nationally online, I was a bit worried. I was worried mainly because I do not have a sweet tooth. At all.

I know nowadays someone saying they do not like chocolate is almost a sin, basically blasphemy, but over the last few years my sweet tooth has managed to slowly disappear.

The Treat Kitchen sent over some goodies for me to review and I thought it would be a great opportunity to film an boxing video.

The Treat Kitchen supply over 300 different types of sweets, chocolate and fudge and have stores in Nottingham, Leicester Highcross and Intu Derby. They are opening two new stores really soon, in Coventry and Sheffield Meadowhall. But for those of you sighing  perpetually because there isn’t a store near you, sigh no longer because they ship nationally!

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The Treat Kitchen took me back to my childhood with this cute little bag of pear drops. Pear drops are a traditional hard boiled sweet. While eating these I could not help but have flash backs of a young(er) Paula running to the corner shop with her little sister to buy some 5p and 10p sweets. Those were simpler, happier times!

The pear drops were really sweet and fruity, the parallel opposite of the Radioactive Cherry sours. It is a well known fact that I can (occassionally) be drama queen but no joke, these sweets were almost the end of me. I may or may not have pulled the most hilarious faces in my unboxing video because of these sweets. After getting over the intense sourness, I loved the kick of cherry. However, I stand by my original stance – Why do people like sour sweets? It’s in the name, sweets, they should be sweet!

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Now on to the coconut mushrooms. I must admit, I am not a huge fan of coconut so I wasn’t sure about this one. However, I was quite pleasantly surprised! The chocolate/caramel mixture on top of the marshmallow stalk was really nice. But trust me to choke on the coconut shavings!

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*Technically this post is not sponsored, but the samples were sent to me. However, as always, this is all my opinion. If a girl who doesn’t like sweets or chocolate is telling you that this brand is quality, believe me it is quality!

Check out the Treat Kitchen!

https://www.thetreatkitchen.co.uk/

 

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

 

LIVELY STONES – Content Contributor

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http://www.livelystones.co.uk/

You’re looking (or reading!) at the newest addition to the Lively Stones content team!!

For those of you that do not know what Lively Stones is, allow me to explain. Lively Stones is an online platform that acts as a voice to and for Christian young people in the UK to be heard. They discuss topics and issues that students face and look at them from a biblical and therefore Christian perspective.

They contacted me earlier this month and I was so surprised but excited at the opportunity. A lot of my content on here falls into that subject bracket (of a Christian living and studying in the UK) so I am very grateful to be sharing some of my stuff with another audience (and hopefully learning a lot in the process!).

Check out the site here!

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

A break from YouTube

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This post is my way of finally deciding to take a break from making content on my YouTube channel. I do not know how long the break will be but I will not upload another video until the time feels right. And here is why:

I have been watching YouTubers making videos on YouTube for ages and found myself aspiring to do it because I wanted to entertain and inspire people like those YouTubers used to do to me. But recently, I have found myself making videos or wanting to make videos for the wrong reasons.

In the recent year, there has been an explosion of people venturing into YouTube as a way to make easy money. I was not one of them. But this increase in competition, shall we say, has made it so much harder to be noticed on YouTube. I found myself getting so discouraged when I would put my all into a video, especially on limited funds and time, only to have 20 people watch it. Let me be real with you all, that hurts.

I then made my Sam and Nia video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wc1ORipj6aI) which to date has over 9 thousand views. The views made me feel amazing. People were telling me to make more rant, controversial videos like that one, and I was tempted to. I planned videos that I knew would offend some people. Ridiculous. The whole reason why I started YouTube was to be entertaining and inspiring. The header on this blog literally says “Paula Melissa, Here to Inspire” and that is the complete opposite. I went back to what I wanted to do, with the inspirational videos, but the views disappeared too.

As well as this, I would watch the videos of other smaller YouTubers and be completely blown away by the skills they had in filming and editing. My videos felt VERY basic compared to theirs and one thing I never want to be is basic.

The last contributing factor to why I am putting my YouTube journey on pause is that it takes a lot of time, something I do not really have a lot of. I have so many other projects that I have neglected a little because of YouTube, like this blog. I want to go back to posting more often and now I will have the time to put my all into it again.

I do not know when I will go back to YouTube, but when the right time comes I reckon I will know. Until then, my videos will remain on my channel, which you can subscribe to here if you want to.

I appreciate everyone who watched, commented and shared my videos.

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

Landscape and pose

I was out with my sister the other day, when we stumbled across the most gorgeous location. I happened to have my camera (Nikon Coolpix L330 in case you’re wondering) on me, so of course we had to take a few shots.

I am no photographer but photography has always been one of my loves (hence my never-ending Instagram photos [@PaulaPaceSetter]), so, please enjoy these photos myself and my sister took.

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Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

HAPPY 3RD ANNIVERSARY, PAULAPACESETTER!

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Did you know, that the 31st of July marked 3 years this blog (yes, the very one you are currently reading) has been existing?! 

I find it absolutely amazing that my small blog, that started as a hobby because I was bored, has grown into the sophisticated lifestyle blog that it is today. Although, I am usually quite quiet about how many views we get, I will share that we have 15,000 readers from all over the world. It makes me smile that my little words, pictures and videos are reaching (and hopefully inspiring) thousands globally.

This post is mainly to thank every single person who has ever read my blog. I have continued writing for all these years due to your encouragement and support.

Stay tuned for more great work, more guest bloggers, more inspiring posts and more fun pieces.

And if you would like to learn the story behind the name, PaulaPaceSetter, watch this video!

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

10 reasons why I would not go on I’m a Celeb

To the wonderful people who have not yet had the divine pleasure of watching or knowing of the show, I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! allow me the honour of introducing it to you. I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here (I’m a Celeb) is a British reality TV show, where ‘celebrities’ are taken to a jungle in Australia to stay for a couple of weeks. They have to do creepy, scary challenges, such as eat bugs, just in order to win food. Honestly, it is one of my guilty pleasures. Absolutely love it.

Most of the time, the ‘celebrities’ are people that were on some show that only had one series about six years ago, or were in a band that had one hit about fifteen years before I was born. Basically, people who were once relevant and are no longer relevant, so they go on the show to try to become famous once again! Lovely. Shout out to the amazingly brilliant ITV producers who manage to make us, the Great British TV viewing public, tune in every night (or record the whole series then watch it in one go, if you are like me) with their fantastic writing. You guys are the real MVPs.

So, I was watching the show and wondering whether or not I would do I’m a celeb, you know, if I ever got famous. To be perfectly honest, I do not think I could ever bring myself to do it, and here are 10 reasons why;

1. I would spend most of my time fangirling (adjective: obsessing and acting crazy in the presence of a famous person/people) over Ant and Dec and that one lone relevant celebrity that IS actually famous and everyone ACTUALLY knows who they are. But mostly Ant and Dec. Sorry but they are freaking legends. I would honestly just stand there, wide-eyed, gawping and grinning at them (I bet I’m taller than Dec). They would actually kick me off the show as soon as I got there.

2. This is probably a big reason – I am scared of everything. Literally everything, I am not even exaggerating. From that first step into Australia (Actually, how would I get to Australia,  I’m scared of planes) I would be terrified. I would probably cry. A lot. I’d probably do a Gillian (if you know, you know;)

3. I would find everyone irritating as hell. I would get into so many arguments. Not because I’m argumentative but because in that kind of environment, anything and everything would annoy you. And it is the kind of thing where you can’t even walk away, trying to be the be the bigger person and everything. Like, where could you go? To the shower? Toilet?

4. The idea of cameras watching and following your every move freaks me out. I always say I want my life to be made into a reality tv show, but honestly I wouldn’t really. In the jungle, you can’t even discretely pick your nose without it becoming news in the Metro back home. Stress.

5. This one links with number 4 but I honestly think it is so significant it deserves its own number. Number five: the fact that women are constantly filmed parading in bikinis or showering or sun-bathing. I understand that here in England, we get no sun so the excitement of feeling the suns rays in Aus is overwhelming but this still bamboozles me. Obviously, no disrespect to the women, because they are obviously allowed to do what ever they want to. Some of these ‘celebrities’ are married, some have kids. And now their husbands have shared their wives, and their kids have shared their mother, with the entire male population of the UK. I couldn’t do it to the future beau. Other than that, how are they comfortable knowing that the whole country is judging their bodies. The whole country is deciding on who shouldn’t have had that extra jam doughnut on the helicopter ride into camp, and who evidently had spent weeks living in the gym prior. I just could not do that to myself.

6. I am much too awkward to go on the show. This is a real problem, please dear reader, take this seriously. You know that bit where the celebrities are meeting for the first time, with their guarded smiles, polite handshakes and unsure hugs – yeah, that, I couldn’t do that bit. My introduction would be a mixed of statements similar to, but in no way exclusive to;

“Hi, I’m Paula. Yes, the Paula of telly.”

“No. No, I swear I AM actually famous.”

“So, who are you then?”

“Omds, my mum used to watch you on telly. Before I was born. Wait.. Was it TV or radio? I think it might have been newspaper.”

“Wow! I remember you! You look so… different in real life.”

“I used to love you when I was much younger.”

“Do you have Twitter? Follow me when we get out if here. Oh… Instagram then? Okay, ask your granddaughter to instead.”

You see, I just haven’t mastered the art of small talk and conversation yet.

7. I am quite picky about what I eat and drink so I would probably just starve. They have meals like Ostrich and Emu – am I a goat to be eating that, please? I would fully eat rice, beans and porridge every single day. And to drink, they ways give them ‘treats’ of alcohol. “Do this challenge and everyone gets a beer” – but I don’t freaking drink and I don’t freaking want a beer, so that is a waste of my participation, to be perfectly honest. I would probably ask for mango juice, or apple if they didn’t have mango.

8. I would probably have super crazy mood swings due to lack of better food than beans, rice and porridge. I do not deal with hunger very well.

9. Feeling obligated to say, I would probably miss my family and friends. I would end up crying every other hour, moaning about how I miss my dog. And I am not a pretty crier.

10. Finally, the biggest reason why I probably would not and could not go on I’m a Celeb is that my mum probably wouldn’t let me. She saw a snake make a cameo on the show once and assumes the show is of the devil (obviously). My family would probably disown me, then tell everyone at church to disown me. That would be bad.

So there you have it, ten perfectly legitimate excuses reasons why I could never and would never do I’m a Celeb, even though I love watching it. But then again, the money…

I hope you enjoyed this post. I had a lot of fun writing it. Do not take anything I have said too seriously, it was a joke. Mainly 😉

Peace&Love.

Paula ox’

Blue on Blue – Long Sequinned Gown

I was feeling myself today.

I am no fashion blogger as you can probably tell from my blog, which is mainly filled with posts of me ranting about life and people and everything in between. But today, I wore this dress and felt like a Queen. If that doesn’t qualify me to write this post, I do not know what else will, to be honest.

The dress (not #TheDress but still The Dress, do you get me?) –
2015-05-17 14.03.53I don’t know the technical term for this dress but, it is a figure hugging, blue, sequinned, ankle-length gown with a high neckline and thigh-high slit at the back (not too bad for a novice, if I do say so myself). I paired the dress with a pair of blue suede platform heels and a simple silver choker necklace.

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Peace&Love… and all things blue;)

Paula Melissa xx

My day at a deaf youth event – VIDEO

You can find inspiration in anything, especially when you do not expect to find it. My mum invited me along to a deaf youth event she was asked to speak at. I went along, not really knowing what to expect. I left that evening with inspiration and a whole new perspective on a side of life I didn’t really know a lot about. What better way to explain my day, than in video form. Enjoy!

I really did not know anything about being deaf, sign language and everything of that sort. It feels good to have my eyes opened.

In many parts of the world, deaf people are somewhat segregated, hidden away in small colonies. People do not expect them to have a life, do not expect them to be funny, beautiful, inspiring people. This saddens me because of course they are.

You can find inspiration in anything. Even in people you have never really known about. Even in people who cannot hear.

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx