Lakaz Maman Thursday

Happy Friday!

I can’t remember the last time I was off work on a Friday. I’m currently sitting on my sofa, with a hot cup of delicious coffee next to me, listening to music and writing. I wish I could do this every Friday…

Last night I went for dinner with some of the lovely ladies I met about a month ago at the Women Who Do Breakfast and Networking event. I was tired and drained and I thought of taking a rain check but I’m glad I didn’t!

We went to Lakaz Maman, the Mauritian restaurant on Bedford Place. I’ve been there a couple of times before last night, with friends and colleagues and it never disappoints.

I love Lakaz Maman. The homely vibes you get as soon as you go in, even the name gives out a homely, nostalgic feeling, ‘Mum’s House’, the delicious Mauritian street food, the friendly staff, the owner, Shelina, who is often there with her newborn, so sweet and smiling, happy to chat to everyone.

The food was amazing as always as well as the company. I love meeting new people, finding out about them and is even more incredible when you get along from the first minute and end up laughing throughout the whole evening!

We opted for starters to share and we tried the Maman Sheila’s Samosas and Aubergine Baijas. Needless to say they were delicious!

Maman Sheila's Samosas and Aubergine Baija
Maman Sheila’s Samosas and Aubergine Baija

I didn’t know what to have for main so I did one of may favourite things to do on a restaurant, go for the waiter’s favourite dish, the Octopus House Cari.

I love Octopus but I was surprised when I discovered years ago when I first moved in the UK, that is not that common here. Back home, my favourite chef, my dad, Chef Costis, used to make us Octopus casseroles and grilled Octopus featured regularly on our family weekend feasts.

If not cooked properly, Octopus can be chewy and overpoweringly salty but the House Cari at Lakaz Maman reminded me of my dad’s casserole. Soft, sweet, spicy. I could have this for dinner every night!

Octopus House Cari
Octopus House Cari

By this point I didn’t think I could eat anything else but I could not not check the dessert menu. And the girls, like me have a sweet tooth and love puddings, so it would have been rude not to.

I went for  Puddine Coco, as Deindre and I had a giggle about the cute name. It was made of a coconutty sweet, fluffly cream sprinkled with coconut flakes, accompanied by tropical culis and fresh fruits. I definitely recommend it!!!

Puddine Coco
Puddine Coco

Whilst we were enjoying this amazing food and uplifting music playing in the background, we chatted about yoga (I don’t think there is anyone I haven’t told about Adriene Mishler), roller skating, food of course, always a favourite topic, Christmas, life in our home countries and other random things that just came up. There were no awkward silences or uncomfortable conversations.

Of course I can’t recommend Lakaz Maman enough. Delicious food, great service, friendly staff, local, independent in the heart of Southampton.

What an great evening. Thank you Maria for organising this and Damaris and Charlie for a great night, with great food, great conversations and lots of laughter.I can’t wait for next time!




Hello November

Happy November!

Winter is almost here. Crispy cold in the morning, dark when I leave work. And Christmas is coming, I can feel it in the air.

New month, new beginnings again for me. And I could not be more grateful.

About this time last year I didn’t want to leave the house, I struggled to find any motivation to do anything, I didn’t feel like blogging or doing anything else for that matter.

A year later, it couldn’t be more different.

October was busy but exciting.

From trying Scandinavian food with one of my favourite friends, trying new cafes in town, dinner and drinks with my favourite work friends to meeting new people through social media and face to face such as the lovely Selina who is a freelance consultant for Arbonne, and the inspiring Beth and Mel, who just started their skincare company, Cherish.


I felt incredibly happy when, after my post about networking I received messages from people I didn’t expect and we are now arranging chats with coffee to get to know each other better. How great is that.

My post on how I survive work in a dead end job is now my most read post and the response I got caught me by surprise!

But it doesn’t end there.

I absolutely loved the Women Who Do Breakfast and Networking last week. And through this event I’ve met the incredible Bene, a hot power yoga teacher in Southampton and I’ll soon been trying her classes and tell you all about it.  I met with Benedita and Ian, her partner and also yoga teacher, yesterday and we chatted all about yoga and her story so far. You all know by now how much I love yoga and how it helped and helps me physically and mentally. It was one of the most interesting, inspiring conversations I had in a while.

Women Who Do
Women Who Do

I spent last Sunday at the University, volunteering for the Open Day, which I’d recommend it to any University staff, what a beautiful day that was.

The Pod
The Pod

I’ve also signed up for free six month Personal Training (thank you Solent Health!) with one of our BA Fitness and Personal Training students who I actually met today.

And I’m halfway through my Salsa Beginners classes which I really enjoy.

And I’m back at the workplace choir. I finally made it back. I missed everyone, especially Dan!

These are just some of the things I got up to. I’m exhausted but I loved every moment.

I can’t believe how much I learned over the last year and improved myself. There is still work to be done but I’m happy in my skin.

I’m now confident enough to apply for a job I’m really interested in but I have no extensive ‘relevant’ work experience because I’m not scared anymore. I believe in myself and even if I don’t get it, I’ll learn something from it.

I want to end this post with a big big thank you to everyone for all your comments and love for my blog. I really felt it this last couple of weeks. It melt my tiny, little heart. To receive so much love for something I do because I love and enjoy doing it is overwhelmingly beautiful.

I can’t wait to see what else November will bring!




Women who do

I love social media for various reasons but mainly because I discover new things locally and I meet awesome, interesting people from all walks of life.

About a week ago  I came across a post on Twitter from Docks Cafe on Oxford street in Southampton, a cute, little cafe which I haven’t been before but I really wanted to for a while as I follow them on social media because of the amazing cake photos they post every day.

They were promoting a breakfast and networking event at the cafe organised by Women Who Do (check them out) a network of professional women run by the lovely Emma Downey.

I signed up for it almost immediately. I thought it will be the perfect opportunity to meet and learn from inspiring ladies and a great chance to visit Docks Cafe. Networking over coffee and breakfast, it can’t get better than that.

Yesterday I found out the lady running the hot Yoga classes I’ve been meaning to try for a while and who I follow on social media because of all her amazing yoga related posts was going too.

So today, I woke up bright and early, excited for the event.

And it did not disappoint.

Docks cafe was incredible. Great coffee, fresh pastries-loved my pan au chocolat- lovely decoration and friendly staff. I definitely recommend it especially if you have a sweet tooth like I do (just look at their Insta!).

Every single person I met was lovely and had interesting stories to share. A couple of examples:

Charlotte is an environmental writer who recently moved to Southampton and taught me how gardening can benefit people with depression and anxiety not only because they get to spend time outdoors and do something physical but also because soil can increase serotonin, nature’s anti-depressant. Southampton Council is actually funding a project promoting gardening for vulnerable individuals who might benefit from this. Isn’t that amazing? She regularly posts on her personal blog if you want to find out more about this lovely gal.

Maria works full-time at a tobacco company but also loves anything local and posts often about events and things happening across the city. Check her Insta for everything Southampton related.

Benedita, who is originally from Portugal and moved to Southampton from London, quit her day job and started her own business, teaching hot Yoga. She is the brain behind In Balance Hot Yoga. Needless to say how much I look forward to go to one of her classes.

Emma recently moved to Southampton and is a freelance marketing consultant working with companies across the country. One of my dream jobs!

Naturally we ended up talking about food. I don’t think a day passes by without me talking about food. We are planning to start a supper club, trying different restaurants and food across Southampton!


I can’t wait to get to know them all better. I left the cafe happy, excited and grateful I got to meet amazing, inspiring women.

What a great initiative, thank you Emma for organising this. If you fancy meeting these ladies, join us at the next meeting!

What a lovely way to start the day.


My way of networking

‘I hate networking’

I’ve heard that so many times. I hate networking too. I hate ‘traditional’ networking. Or the most common concept of networking.

Fake politeness, the uneasiness and feeling uncomfortable introducing yourself to strangers worrying what they may think, predictable questions and answers, pretending you are listening but you are not because you are incredibly bored and you just want to make more connections.

But I don’t think that’s how networking should be. It’s not about quantity, it is all about quality.

For me networking is about meeting new people and finding out not just about their work and how they got where they are, but their life in general.

I firmly believe every single human has amazing stories to share we can all learn from.

On Friday, I had a chat with a local baker who I met on Facebook and he recently started his own business making and selling amazing cakes (blog coming soon). And we didn’t just talk about cakes. We talked about the food culture in the UK and Cyprus, homemade cooking and the struggles of setting up your own business amongst other things. It felt and it was a natural, honest conversation. That’s my kind of networking.

It makes it much easier, less uncomfortable and less scary to network when you are just yourself and you try to really get to know the other person sitting opposite you.

Many think networking is only meeting new people. But when was the last time you had a chat over coffee with colleagues you know of but don’t really know?

Yesterday I spent an hour having coffee and chatting with Osama Khan, the Director  of Learning and Teaching and head of the University’s Solent Learning and Teaching Institute (SLTI). I’ve known Osama for a while but we never got the chance to really get to know each other. And it was one of the most pleasant, informative, honest, enjoyable conversations I had recently.

The most common comment I hear from people about my blog is how honest it is and how openly I write. And I’m very proud it comes across so clearly.

It’s still amazes me after 7 years of being in this country how others are often surprised and caught of guard when you say what you really think, always within reason (rudeness is never OK), when you are being honest.

But that’s how you end up having amazing, interesting, real conversations with others, that’s how you really connect with others, not just when networking.

I urge you to get out there and ask whoever you’d like to network with to meet for a cuppa. What’s the worst it can happen? If they say no for whatever reason, it’s their loss. They’ll miss out on meeting an incredible person with great stories and lessons to share.

It’s easy to forget how awesome you are when comparing yourself with other’s careers and achievements or when you’ve been underestimated or looked down in the past. But don’t, please don’t forget how amazing you are.

Meeting new people is one of my favourite things to do and I’d be happy to meet with anyone who’d like to have a coffee (if it’s Greek coffee even better) and a chat.

My way of networking.