Newbie Bloggers: Our Experience One Month In

Well, two newbie bloggers, one month in already! We started @talkthirtea one month ago and already we have learned so much. If you have taken time out of your day to read what we have written or follow us, then THANK YOU!

text
Thank you to all our lovely readers!

When we first created this website, Layla and I had some ideas but lacked the confidence to post. Despite being newbie bloggers, we know we have our stories to share but it took some courage to actually put it down in words. Especially considering we are complete newbies in the blogging world and we wanted to share very intimate parts of our lives!

We had no preconceived notions on what it means to be bloggers, so we are learning as we go! And thanks to all the other wonderful creators out there, we have already learned so much.

Here are some of the lessons we’ve learned in just one month as newbie bloggers!

The Blogging Community is Kind

Well, this one shouldn’t be surprising, but bloggers have been incredibly kind so far. Whether we’ve reached out to experienced and successful bloggers, or less known bloggers have left comments on our posts, everyone so far has been lovely! What a breath of fresh air. I’m sure there will be the odd bad apple, but so far this community seems to be extremely welcoming and uplifting.

yellow smiley emoji painted eggs
The blogging community is so welcoming towards newbie bloggers!

People Care About What We are Writing

In just one short month we have had over 600 views from 26 different countries, 26 comments and 125 likes! Again, thank you for taking time out of your day and reading our stories! We’ve read all of our comments and as two newbie bloggers, we are blown away. We hope we can continue to grow our little blog and reach people who can relate to our stories in the future.

We’ve No Idea What We’re Doing

SEO, key phrases, affiliate links and growing our social media platform… We are newbie bloggers and have no idea where to begin. It can all be a bit confusing. However, we are learning and taking the time to understand how to grow our platform authentically. We started this blog to share our stories and the rest will hopefully fall into place.

We Are Not Alone

As two (almost) 30 year olds who are both divorced and childless, we felt like nobody could relate to us during this transitional period of our lives. It turns out that there are plenty of you who can! Everyone has their own story and people are interested in hearing what we have to say. We are beyond grateful to hear from others about their similar stories or people who understand! Again, THANK YOU!

This post is just recognising our viewers and showing you all some gratitude for reading our blog posts! We appreciate you all and hope you are getting something from our posts, whether you can relate to our stories or not! Thank you for being patient as we learn.

Written by Jade and Layla @talkthirtea

Being a Pakistani Divorcee in 2021

I just want to say that not all Pakistani women and families experience whatever I have. Sometimes the stigma behind the south asian culture can cause a rift of what is and isn’t so it’s important to say that my experience is entirely my own. If you relate in any way just know you are not alone and I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

I don’t know about anyone else or if you’re able to relate, but don’t you feel like you’ve had enough of being silent & hearing others bullshit about your marriage? The marriage you tried so hard to save and make work? The marriage they so happen to have the most opinions about?

If you happen to be south asian like me then this might be a hi5 moment as I discuss my experience as a Pakistani divorcee in 2021.

My Parents

Where do I begin? I remember being told at the age of 12 years old by my mother that I needed to learn how to kneed the dough, cook curries and clean my house to please my husband and just in case I lived with my in-laws.

My mother had the privilege of being born in the UK. However, my father was born in Bahrain and raised in Pakistan. So, he was called to the UK, 3 years after being married to my mother. In this case, my mother didn’t live with in-laws, however my father was very cultural and opposed certain laws onto my mother such as not going out on her own, covering her face if she ever visited a certain part of Birmingham and being a housewife. But, soon as we grew up and my father got with the times and watched the generation change where women became more independent and were out there working hard and striving to meet their goals, my father changed.

When it came to my divorce, after me constantly trying to make my marriage work and my father watching me day and night, watching me cry and not eat, he would speak words of comfort to me. Now, not every south asian man or woman gets this treatment and till this day we are hearing and seeing people commit suicide or suffering at the hands of their husbands/wives/in-laws. But, not my parents.

All praises to God, my parents are so supportive.

The following words of comfort and encouragement are some of the things my parents said to me when I was broken and ashamed of whatever was happening:

God wanted you to be happy and that’s why he removed the one thing that wasn’t making you happy.”

Aslong as we are alive, no one can say anything to you or question you about whatever happened.

Live your life and if you want to work and travel the world go for it.”

A good man will enter your life and will support you and love you for the good woman you are.”

My Friends

My friends have been so supportive and kind. Not out of sympathy but because they’ve known me for years on end and know that I would have gone lengths to fix my marriage. ‘Fix’ was not the problem in my marriage, he is a narcissist that couldn’t get fixed.

My friends have encouraged me to start building back my confidence through skin care, getting dressed, putting on some makeup and double dates! And let me tell you, most guys don’t care if you’re a divorcee. I’ve been told my past is the past and they only care about the person I am today. It was an experience that has made me a stronger person.

Driving around the countryside, going to different cities, parks, restaurants and spending quality time with family and friends really is helping me with my mental health and well-being.

Choosing Yourself

It’s really sad that in today’s society women are being forced to stay with abusive partners and to ‘accept’ their fate because ‘daughter-in-laws’ are to take care of everyone and not have a life of their own.

I was always told from my ex that no one would look at me the same after knowing I’m a divorcee because I’m a woman. But, ever since i’ve been back and met new people, being a divorcee doesn’t affect most men’s opinions of you. This really helped my confidence.

I had to choose myself for the sake of my own mental health, to feel secure in my own skin, to be independent and have the choice of having my own bank account (I know, crazy right?) and to be loved unconditionally.

Being a Pakistani divorcee in 2021 has really shown me a different perspective of what other men actually think of you and how the community sees you and to be fair it ain’t all bad. You just have to remind yourself that you’re a bad ass bitch regardless and no one can judge you with this ‘label’ of being a divorcee.

Written by Layla

Breakfast at Ladana Cafe: Birmingham, United Kingdom

I’ve been meaning to try out this cafe ever since I’ve been back from the States and let me tell you it didn’t disappoint! This is also a Halal breakfast spot! I would definitely rate this place:

  • Food: 9/10
  • Service: 8/10
  • Hygiene: 8/10
  • Decor: 9/10
Breakfast at Ladana Cafe – Birmingham, UK.

I love trying out new places with different backgrounds and culture. This cafe sits in the heart of Birmingham on Stratford Road and is always attracting its customers with its cool green colours and cute outdoor seating!

English Breakfast – Baked Beans, Toast (white bread), Hashbrown, Sausages, Turkey Bacon, Cherry Tomatoes, Mushrooms and Fried Egg – Ladana Cafe, Birmingham, UK

We ordered a full English breakfast and I can say everything tasted so good! I wasn’t too keen on trying the Turkey Bacon as the smell is not something I’m too familiar with (being Muslim and all who doesn’t eat Bacon lol) but it didn’t taste too bad for my first time! The sausages were lovely and the fried egg was crispy and delicious!

French Toast with Nutella Sauce, Strawberries and Blueberries – Ladana Cafe, Birmingham UK

The french toast were amazing! So light and fluffy! Very filling and tasted so well with the nutella and fruit!

Fluffy Pancakes with Nutella Sauce, Whipped Cream, Strawberries and Blueberries – Ladana Cafe, Birmingham UK

The fluffy pancakes were a catch! So succulent and filling! Absolutely loved this! The fruit really gave it an edge and wouldn’t mind trying this again!

Strawberry Mojito Mocktail – Ladana Cafe, Birmingham UK

My favourite would have to be the strawberry mojito mocktails! I had two! Very cool, refreshing and definitely hit the spot!

I would definitely recommend this place! It has a really cool atmosphere and is a great place to visit with family or friends!

Written by Layla

Dinner at The Soho Oak Restaurant – West Bromwich, Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Before I begin, I need to praise my Indian friend Nav for introducing me to such a delicious cuisine! Since me and my friend are Muslim and she’s vegetarian we opted for the Veg menu! And can I just say it’s absolutely mouth-watering!

I would give this restaurant:

  • Food: 8/10
  • Service: 7/10
  • Hygiene: 8/10
  • Decor: 5/10
Dinner at The Soho Oak Restaurant – West Brom, Birmingham, UK

We ordered a mix grill platter which consists of Gunpowder Paneer, Veg Kebab, Veg Tikka, Onion Bhaji, Chilli Paneer, Sweet Peppers, and Grilled Onions.

Mixed Veg Grill Platter – The Soho Oak

We also ordered a side of chilli chips which were made in a nice spicey sauce topped with spring onions.

Chilli Chips – The Soho Oak

This next dish is made with soya chicken covered in szechuan sauce!

Szechuan Chicken – The Soho Oak

This Paneer Tikka Masala curry was so delicious! It’s cooked with cottage cheese and rich, creamy tomatoe sauce topped with indian spices! Was so yummy! We had this with garlic cheese naan bread!

Paneer Tikka Masala – The Soho Oak

I would definitely recommend this restaurant as it caters for both meat lovers and vegetarians!

Written By Layla

My Trip to Knypersley Reservoir: Stoke-On-Trent

I love spontaneous outings and adventures! The places I visit the most have to include some history and background to pull me in. This place caught my eye as it wasn’t too far from home which was probably an hour and six minutes from Birmingham!

I grabbed two of my closest friends who never hike and walk through nature as they are scared of insects! But once they discovered the beauty behind the nature they loved it.

Forest – Knypersley Reservoir
Falling Tree – Knypersley Reservoir
Lake – Knypersley Reservoir
Small bridge – Knypersley Reservoir
Cool looking tree – Knypersley Reservoir
Hidden castle – Knypersley Reservoir
Waterfall – Knypersley Reservoir
Waterfall – Knypersley Reservoir

The walk around the reservoir was amazing as it was very picturesque and the views were amazing! There were many benches around the park as it can be quite tiring reaching the waterfall. However, it was worth it as there were many cool sites to see and explore!

I would definitely recommend this place as it is so beautiful and the hidden castle and waterfall really makes up for the hike!

Written by Layla

My PCOS Journey: Living with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Living with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, this is my PCOS journey and story. Before I begin, I just want to praise and acknowledge anyone who gets up everyday feeling optimistic and accepting their PCOS journey. Even though you may question why this has happened to you or feel you may not be worthy of being a mother, know that God or whatever you may believe in has a better plan for you.

Below I explain PCOS and some symptoms I face:

What is PCOS?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a condition that affects women and how the ovaries function. Nowadays it is thought that about 1 in 10 women in the UK suffer with PCOS. It is a hormonal condition and it is not known what causes this. Living with PCOS can be very difficult.

Common Symptoms or Signs of PCOS?

  • Excessive hair growth (face, chest, back)
  • Irregular periods or no period
  • Weight gain
  • Difficulty getting pregnant
  • Oily skin
  • Acne
  • Hair loss or hair thinning from the head
  • Increased risk of getting type 2 diabetes
  • Depression
  • Sleep Apnoea
  • High Blood Pressure

My PCOS consists of all these common signs and symptoms except type 2 diabetes (all praises to God). However, when I was seen by a gyno 8 months ago, she told me I was borderline type 2 diabetic. I was in the middle of my emotionally abusive marriage which I know was not helping my condition either!

Anyway, I only ever started my period naturally maximum 3 times in my whole life! Once when I was 11 years old and my period lasted 1 day, again at 15 years old and my period lasted 2/3 days and lastly at 27 when my marriage broke down. But my gynocologist mentioned I may have miscarried due to stress during my marriage breakdown. As you can imagine, living with PCOS and in an abusive marriage was extremely taxing on my mental health.

At the age of 21, having no period was obviously very abnormal. PCOS can run in the family and my cousin had been diagnosed with PCOS so I was pretty sure I had the same condition. However, I was neglected by the NHS when being checked by doctors at the age of 16 and was ruled out as having a “hormonal imbalance”. At 21 I had the same scan again and was finally told I had PCOS. I cried my eyes out because the thought of not being able to have children was daunting.

Toxic Relationship and PCOS

For me personally, I now see my PCOS as a gift. Why you may ask? Without a doubt it has saved me from my biggest regret. My marriage. I know if children were involved my life would have been over because he would have used my kids against me. Being in a narcissistic relationship didn’t help me or my health when I was trying to get pregnant. And thanks to my PCOS, I was saved from an abusive relationship longterm.

My ex husband was adamant that we would have children, despite knowing about my PCOS before we married. I stopped taking my contraception pills and began to see a gynocologist to help me conceive naturally. Unfortunately after some scans and blood tests I was told I would need to go through IVF. IVF is a procedure where the sperm and egg are fertilised outside the body by scientists and then inserted back into the female. This comes with some risks and is very expensive, however, many have been successful.

I would have mental breakdowns due to my ex’s comments on my weight as well as me not being able to conceive. He would embarrass me in front of other people. I had never hid my condition from him but he made me feel like less of a woman due to my infertility. Due to this I became suicidal, and had constant panic attacks. Thanks to good friends and supportive family members (who lived in the UK whilst I was in the US) I managed to escape my marriage.

Also, the pressure of his mother always complaining about me not being pregnant was constantly on my mind. She would make remarks about if me and my ex were using protection and would discuss this with her friends in front of me. I would be so embarrassed and my ex was okay with it. He would defend his mother and tell me she can say and do what she wants.

How to Cope with PCOS

So what do I do, while living with PCOS to cope? I remind myself every day that I’m beautiful in any shape or size as PCOS does make losing weight difficult. My weight fluctuates but I don’t let it bring me down. Yes, I do experience bad days but I try to eat healthily but never starve or deprive myself. PCOS is a mental challenge more than anything so it is very important to keep and have an optimistic mindset.

PCOS does not rule out having children for me. It just makes the journey to become a mother more difficult but I know that God has a plan for me. I surround myself with people who will always love and support me.

It really does affect my mental health and I always try my best to support charities who help orphaned children and women struggling with fertility. This gesture gives my mind comfort that I’m helping those less fortunate than me and I begin to show more gratitude.

I have started to try and drink green juices every morning, I avoid dairy products as much as I can as I become bloated! I was also advised to eat gluten and dairy free products to avoid diabetes and increase in weight. So you might want to look more into that!

For excessive hair growth I have had laser treatment done and it has really helped with my confidence and self-esteem. Laser has many benefits as it also clears up your skin and any hyperpigmentation caused by PCOS.

Remember ladies, having a supportive partner is so crucial when facing difficulties in life especially involving fertility. I wasn’t as lucky BUT not being able to have children doesn’t define who I am as a person or a woman. Just remember after hardship comes ease and if we are not blessed to have children, we will be blessed in other ways.

Written by Layla

Pets and Breakups: Grieving the loss of your pet

Grieving the loss of your pet. Phew… this is going to be tough to talk about. As I type this, I have a huge lump in my throat and an all-consuming guilt. As I have previously written about, The Mental Health Battle After a Breakup, my divorce was not just the end of my 8 year relationship.

I was living in the United States without my family or friends and it meant I would be packing up my things and leaving to head back to Scotland. We had no children yet so our assets could be divided fairly easily… apart from Alfie. I am currently grieving the loss of my dog, who didn’t die… but I lost during my divorce.

Unconditional Love

My sweet Alfie, my four legged child, my beautiful chocolate Labrador and the apple of my eye. I didn’t grow up with dogs and when my ex had suggested we get a puppy, I was sceptical. However, I soon changed my tune when I met him. I trained him morning, noon and night and completely fell in love with him. He was my companion when I felt homesick and he gave me comfort when my marriage started to fall apart. I never expected to own a pet and then breakup. And now I live with that feeling that I abandoned him.

man with blue and maroon camping bag
Photo by Spencer Gurley on Pexels.com

The Guilt of Leaving a Pet

Unlike my ex, Alfie could not understand what was going on. He didn’t understand when I kissed him and told him I’d miss him. He didn’t know when I walked out of our front door for the last time. And for that I carry massive guilt. He showed me unconditional love when I felt so alone. When my anxiety was debilitating, he would curl up at my feet and lick them. How could I just walk out on him, when I had been his everything fo the past 4 years?

Grieving Your Pet

In many ways, I have grieved the loss of my dog, more than the loss of my marriage. Maybe that makes me a bad person, but my relationship with my ex husband had become very toxic and many hurtful things had happened that made walking away that bit easier. But not with Alfie. He had never shown me anything but unconditional love. And that makes it all the more difficult to walk away from him. He was not sick nor was I. It should not have been the end of our journey together, but it was.

woman looking at sea while sitting on beach
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

How I Am Coping

Now, long after I have left, I still look through my photos and videos of my dog and depending on the day, I can cry or I can smile. There is no timeline when it comes to grief, it is complicated and I have found there is little support. I have found a few helpful sites online with some advice:

You are mourning the loss of your animal while they are still alive and you may feel bitter that you miss out on all those years together. You know that your pet is also grieving you. I wonder if he got depressed when I left, if he wonders where I’ve gone and that breaks my heart.

So how am I dealing with the grief of my pet? I have found that going to the park and seeing other dogs has helped bring me a little bit of joy. I take walks outside and listen to podcasts to replicate my daily walks with Alfie. One of these days, I’ll go to a shelter and rescue a dog, for now I have my memories that I’ll cherish forever of the relationship I had with him, and thankfully I know he is well looked after. I have even thought about volunteering at an animal shelter, although I am not sure I am ready just yet.

If any of our readers have ever experienced losing a pet, whether through a breakup or through the death of a pet, please let us know how you have dealt with or are dealing with it in the comments below!

Written by Jade