Six tips on saving money!

I did think about waiting until the new year to post this, but it should be a "way of life" as opposed to a new year resolution imo. (Plus it probably helps before the Boxing Day/January sales...)
These tips seem so obvious and you probably do some of these yourself but there's some people who are terrible at managing their money so hopefully these will be of use!


Write down all of your monthly expenses, starting off with the most important e.g rent, bills, food, travel etc. I have an excel spreadsheet with my incoming and outgoing finances which I access both at home and on the go to keep track. I've used it for years and it's definitely helped me manage my budget.


On payday, the first thing I do is put money into my savings account. You never know when you might need it so for me, this is the most important thing because I like to save for the future. It's quick to do and gives you peace of mind.

USE CASH (whilst we still can!) 

I admit, I'm guilty of not doing this as often as I should because let's face it, it's so much easier to pay with card. I'm a bit paranoid about accidental payments so I don't use contactless or pay with my phone. On the other hand, I don't like to walk with cash because if I lose the money, then it's gone but if I lose the card, I can call the bank, cancel the card and my money's safe. But physically handing over cash can make you more of a tight-arse, which isn't a bad thing.


For a 20-something year old, this can be difficult. Those shoes, the lazy 10 minute Uber ride and the daily trip to Costa can all add up, so ensure you've paid everything off. Food and hot water > the latest Michael Kors bag. However...


Saving money can feel like a chore and to completely cut yourself off from spending any money can make you feel worse and you might go on a big splurge. There's a saying - "I can't spend my money when I'm dead" - which is true, I suppose know... don't go OTT.


To backtrack, I am a bit of a hypocrite as in the past, I've bought stuff that - for years - never ventured outside of my wardrobe. Space is limited so rather than buying a lot of new stuff, I try replace something old or unused.
Depop is great for selling clothes, accessories, books etc; I've used it for over a year, sold a bunch of stuff and gained some precious wardrobe space.

Do you follow any of these tips? If not, how do you manage your money?

Art in November.

Here's a quick roundup of the arty things I saw last month:

🎷 Masego 🎷

I discovered his music a few months ago and it's been on repeat ever since. He's mastered the art of fusing trap, house and mainly jazz - #traphousejazz as he calls it - and he does it well.
I went to his gig in Shoreditch earlier in November and it was amazing, this guy is a talent!
He plays the sax, the piano, a bunch of other instruments and he can sing.
Recommended tracks: I Do Everything, 73 Degrees Outside, Too Much.

Infinite Mix

No photos from this one,A) because it's a video-art exhibition and B) I was immersed in the experience.
The Infinite Mix features 10 video artworks of various subjects such as dance, spoken word, documentary and science. Each is displayed in a separate room in the labyrinth that is the Hayward Gallery and are around 10 mins each.

Top three:
- Kahlil Joseph, m.A.A.d (of Kendrick Lamar fame, my favourite of the show)
- Jeremy Deller & Cecilia Bengolea - Bom Bom's Dream (Dancehall culture and plenty LOLs)
- Ugo Rondinone - THANX 4 NOTHING (Best visual use of space in my opinion)

The show's been extended until this Sunday and it's free, so if you have a spare hour or so (there's a lot to see and a bit of queuing), I highly recommend it; it's worth the rave reviews!

National Gallery

One of the many floors in the National Gallery made for foot selfies...

I went for work so maybe it doesn't count, but I did walk around afterwards, though not everywhere as the National Gallery is mahoosive.
It was my first time there, which is pretty bad considering I've lived in London all my life, though I've been outside it plenty of times.
I have a ticket for their current exhibition so expect to see more in December.

Have you been to any art shows recently?

Treasure Tress.

It's really important to take care of your hair and afro hair requires a bit more TLC, especially in the winter. UK naturals, this one is for you! 
Though if you're not in the UK or don't have afro hair, please keep reading also :) 

I've always had natural hair, meaning I've never relaxed or chemically processed it, but I used to straighten it a lot and had quite a bit of heat damage. 
My hair is quite naturally curly so in June 2015, I decided to ditch the straighteners as I wanted to restore my curls and have strong, healthy hair. 
Finding the right products can be difficult when your hair is as fine as mine, so this is where Treasure Tress comes in!

Treasure Tress is a monthly subscription box containing natural hair products for Afro girls and guys and is a rarity in the UK. For £20 a month, you get 4-5 full size products which themselves cost around £17-£18 each, so it's a pretty good bargain.

This is my third box and have since temporarily cancelled my subscription as it takes me a while to use up products, but I will be renewing my subscription (and posting reviews!) as it's a great service and such value for money!

I'm very minimal when it comes to products (haircare, skincare, makeup etc.) and once I find something that works, I stick with it. 

Are you subscribed to any subscription boxes? 

Colours of Autumn.

We could all do with some cheering up so let's gaze at the nature of beauty for a minute or so...

Lunch break + Samsung S6 + park within walking distance = mini nature shoot.
I did some desaturation in Lightroom to highlight the rich reds, yellows and oranges.

Shorter days and the drop in temperature denies Autumn from being my favourite season as I live for the sun, but its vibrant colour palette means it comes in at second place.

What's your favourite thing about Autumn?

Peace & Love.

Inspired by a street artist I saw and recent events...

+ ❤

Peace and love to all people of colour.
Peace and love to all women.
Peace and love to the LGBT community.

Peace and love to all refugees.
Peace and love to all religions.
Peace and love to all ages.

Peace and love to those who fought to give us a better future.
Peace and love to those who voted to remain.
Peace and love to those who stand up against hate.

Peace and love to those who live in fear.
Peace and love to those who struggle everyday.
Peace and love to us all.

Peace and love isn't enough to heal the world, but there's a great lack of it.

☮ + ❤

New URL - who dis?

The creative process of designing your "blogo" (blog logo)...

So, what's the story behind Maya not Mya? Well...

My name is Maya and it's pronounced May-ah, but the common pronunciation is My-ah, so I've spent a large chunk of my life correcting people.
To me, the extra "a" means it's pronounced differently to Mya, but obviously I would say that. I've met a few Maya's with the My-ah pronunciation, but I know there's some fellow May-ah's out there, I'm not the only one!

Hopefully that made sense to you. It probably didn't, but if we spoke in person, you'd
totally get it.

I chose Maya Not Mya 1) as a "brand name" of sorts and 2) as a way for people to pronounce my name correctly, which, to my surprise, has actually worked.
All of my social media is under MNM, give or take an underscore.
My Snapchat - mayas.snaps - being the exception #shamelessplug

And to be honest, I wasn't comfortable using my full name so it is!

Random story - someone once asked me if my name is Maya because I was born in May. I said no as I was born in April and her response was "So why wasn't you called April?" 

She was dead serious as well.

Day 365.

I assure you, there was tea in this cup. A proper builder's brew.

Today marks the one year anniversary of Maya Not Mya!

I've learnt a lot about blogging this past year, more than I have with previous attempts.
I was so focused on the numbers, i.e comments and followers, that I was creating content based on what was popular or trending at the time, which wasn't always stuff I had an interest in.

Now I write what I'm passionate about, which is what you're supposed to do, isn't it?
I'm enjoying it more and the words seem to flow a lot easier.
There's over 150 million blogs in the world so staying true to yourself is pretty important.

I'm glad I laid the pressure off from the start by stating I'll be a fortnightly blogger, because that's what I am and will be. I'd like to blog more regularly but I have other priorities.
If something pops up, there may be one or two posts a week but as for a set schedule, it'll be every other Monday (unless there's a particular post like this which is a Tuesday.)

I commend those who blog whilst having a full-time job because it's so time-consuming!
I was one of those sceptics who scoffed whenever bloggers said that, but it really is.

I'm happy with the content I've produced over the past year, though I've never been 100% happy with the typography. My blog has had more fonts than you've had skinny lattes.

I've got the new URL, I'll hopefully have a new camera soon and I've got a few ideas coming up so here's a toast to year two *clinks mug*

Thank you to all that have read, commented and followed my blog, it's much appreciated! x

Diversity Loading...

Diversity is important, we all know that. So why is there still so little of it?

I attended Ballet Black earlier this month and it was an amazing show, such class and quality!
Ballet Black is a professional ballet company for Black and Asian dancers that aims to diversify ballet both in the audience and on the stage. They also teach dance classes too, so they're ushering in a new generation of dancers and I'm very glad the company exists, though it shouldn't have to.

I also attended a Young People in Arts talk on diversity on the arts and I wanted to share my favourite quotes from the panel:

"Every person of colour would have been told by their parents that they have to be better than their white counterparts in order to succeed."

"The things you learn by learning an instrument equips you for life."

"The glass ceiling is a figment of your imagination. If you don't acknowledge it, then it doesn't have to be your reality."

"If 44% of the workforce are from a 'minority' (I hate that word) background, then where are they? Clearly not in senior positions!"

"Why are we always trying to get a slice of the cake? Why can' we bake our own?"

We live in a diverse society and the creative industries should be most representative of that. Representation is so important. People naturally feel more comfortable when they see someone who looks like them.
Race, gender and disability are still so under-represented within the workforce, but there's a lot of talk going on so things are starting to change. I think. I hope.

What's your opinion on diversity?

Art in September.

Made You Look Exhibition

It's been two years since I officially started working in the creative arts (excluding fashion) and I'm committed to developing my career, so I've made it my mission to attend at least 4 art - or art related - exhibition/events a month. It's important to keep in the know and it's a productive (and enjoyable) way to spend a day off.

Here's what I saw this month:

Rastafari in Motion.

Rastafari in Motion

Held at the Black Cultural Archives Heritage Institution, RIM told the evolutionary story of the Rastafari movement in Britain from the early 1920's to the current day and its contributions to British society. It was also a celebration of the 80th anniversary of Emperor Haile Selassie’s appearance before the League of Nations.

Teachings on Black History were far and few between during my school years so I'm glad that exhibitions - and cultural centres like BCA - exist ✊🏾

The best education happens outside of the classroom.

Homeless Library + Poetry Library

The Homeless Library told the personal stories of those affected by homelessness in Manchester and gave first-hand insights to their lives through poetry, artworks and interviews in. Millions around the world are homeless and their voices need to be heard. As awful as their stories were, it's somewhat refreshing to hear how their involvement in the project changed the lives of some for the better. Read the stories here.

"We live in a rich society, everyone should have a home to feel safe..."

The Poetry Library, which played host to THL, is the world's largest public collection of modern poetry and a must visit for someone like me who's trying to develop their creative writing.
It was my first trip to the Library despite numerous visits to the Southbank Centre and it's the perfect space to shake off dreaded writers block so I'll definitely be going back!

Made You Look

"Stay laced in the best, well dressed with finesse."
The lyrics of Nas' 'Made You Look' were spread across a small wall in a corner of the exhibition. Pretty cool.

I'm a big fan of photography (who isn't?), street photography in particular. I like the authenticity of street photography, the realness.
The exhibition, as you can see from the helpful photo above, explored masculinity amongst black men and the flamboyant lifestyle of a "dandy" - something that required a bit of Googling admittedly.

I felt so plain in my black jeans and ankle boots. The outfits were sharp as hell.

There's a few shows and exhibitions I'm looking forward to seeing this month so stay tuned for October's edit.

Did you go to any art shows last month? Do you plan to go to any this month?

My Fashion Week Experience.

London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2012. My first fashion week.

I'm young and inexperienced with a dream to "make it" in fashion. A glamorous involvement I do not have for I am a model chaperone. My job is to use my expert knowledge of my hometown (with some help from Google Maps) to escort a model to and from various castings.

I arrive at the agency promptly and am seated with others in my position. I gaze upon a familiar face and ask of her experiences to prepare myself for the week; I have to get everything right.
After darting across London for a few days, surviving on Tesco’s sandwiches - Light Choices of course - and lukewarm Fiji water, my model and I have become acquaintances. We're about the same age and share stories of our journey so far. Mine pale in comparison to hers of Shanghai travels and annual skiing trips. The week continues and day three takes us to the former home of London Fashion Week - Somerset House - as there's a casting taking place.

As we walk around in search of it, surrounded by models, bloggers and stylish sisters, my initial excitement disappears and I'm feeling uneasy. I'm not alone as I’m with a friend but...she is one of them. She’s dressed as casual as me, more so even, but I feel out of place.

“Why is she here?"
"Who is she?" 
"She must be lost” 

These words were never spoken but I've suddenly gained the ability to read minds.
20 minutes later, we're eventually escorted to the casting and my time at London Fashion Week comes to a close.

My uneasiness wasn't because I felt like I didn't belong.
It was because I didn't want to belong, but for years I thought I did.

WHAT am I going to do now?

At first it felt like a failure, but four years and three internships later, it turns out it was a very valuable experience. I've now found the career for me and I'm passionate about it :)

Sometimes, the only way you'll know if something is right for you is to do it.

Fresh eyes + poetry.

New term. New season. New vision.

For someone who's been wearing glasses for around 15 years, getting a new pair of glasses every two years is a welcome refresh. But only since opticians recognised that most wearers of glasses consider them to be a key part of their personal style and probably want something sleeker than a pair of Coke Bottles.

My eyes see the world in soft focus so I wear them all the time (well, most of the time) and as I gravitate towards black clothing, I try to add colour from accessories: bags, shoes, glasses. Admittedly, they're not the most colourful or exciting but they suit my needs.

To break them in, I ordered some new reading material.
I attended a mentor session a few months back where Selina Nwulu - current Young Poet Laurate for London - gave a talk and recited her poem Curriculum Vitae, which resonated with me. As I'm slowly getting back into creative writing, I'm sure her chapbook, Secrets I Let Slip, will provide some great inspiration. I received Hashtag Poetry# - which explores the hidden poetry in Twitter - as a gift from the publishers, which was a nice surprise!

Are you into poetry or creative writing? Any suggestions are more than welcome :)

As expected.

Booze, boobs and boogying - the Ibiza I expected and the Ibiza I saw.

If you're not into the nightlife, then check out my previous posts!
Though a trip to Ibiza without going to at least ONE big club might be a wasted trip in my opinion.

You don't have to be off your face to have a great time out there (or anywhere), I reckon there were as many sober people - including myself  - as there were not so sober. Probably because the prices of the drinks.

Have you been to Ibiza or any other party island? How was your experience?

Dalt Vila - Ibiza's Hidden Gem.

When you think of Ibiza, your first thoughts are probably sun, sangria and a bunch of other S words. It's all about the clubs, the drinks, the beaches - people go there to see the David Guetta's and the Kygo's of the world, right?

I love getting away from the main tourist hotspots and exploring the local towns when I'm abroad; I didn't appreciate it enough when I was younger but now it's a top priority on my itinerary, although I didn't expect to do it in Ibiza.

We - my friends and I - passed through Ibiza Town (Eivissa) before the second leg of a one-hour bus journey and had a quick stroll around the shops to kill time. A few days later, we made a day trip of it and headed towards an old castle we spotted previously.

 They didn't stay white for very long during this trip...

Little did we know that the castle was part of Dalt Vila, Ibiza's Old Town. Here you'll find a museum, cute cafés, quaint houses and the most amazing views of the island. Great if you want to burn off a few alcohol or junk food induced calories as there's a good amount of walking involved. Our journey didn't reach the top near the clock tower so I imagine the views are even better - if possible.

 Admiring the views whilst crying inside as my flight home was the next day.

If you ever visit Ibiza, a trip to Vila d'Eivissa (Ibiza Old Town) is a must do!
You'll not find better views of the island anywhere else and it's the perfect setting to wind down before or after a night out.

As dramatic and millennial as this sounds, this little discovery refuelled my desire to work abroad. The concrete jungle can get pretty boring after a while. I wouldn't mind these views more often...