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Redefining YOUR Beauty…


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The Beauty Holder on location… IWPG Women’s Day Event! 🌍 🌙 ❤️

Hey Loves,

A friend recently told me that I have inspired them to pursue a dream that has been silent for a while. I have been told that I am an inspiration before and I never really felt comfortable with such a title. I mean, an inspiration? How Sway? Does anyone have the answers? (If you know, you know). Blessed am I in more ways than one!

My head is often filled with ideas, conversations and dreams. I am inspired by others, people who I know and who I don’t, to do more, do better and love harder. In my back and better post, I spoke of having some time out for me, to find more of me and get on track to being me. Attending this amazingly powerful event delivered by the IWPG (International Women’s Peace Group) ignited a flame through a showcase of stories, dance, interviews and more. It reminded me that inspiration is personal to different people for a multitude of reasons and that it is all around us.

I have one of my best friend’s Tim to thank for inviting me to the event. I admit I was skeptical at first as I had not heard of IWPG until the show and even on the day I wasn’t sure about going as I was unwell and super tired. You see that devil tries to steal your joy and peace at any given opportunity. Not today, it was not going down like that. My other friend’s flaked on me and I was fashionably early (by like 2 hours) but I was meant to be there and empowerment that took place showered me with emotion.

The IWPG is an organisation that is championing world peace. I do not make that statement lightly as it is not some wishy-washy dream, it is a full-time dedication of selfless, hard-working, determined women who WILL achieve global peace. I have been reading up and learning more about what they do. This simple blog does not truly capture the ethos and power of this movement and I would love you to find out more here. Women from every corner of the world along with men, girls and boys are campaigning, petitioning, peacefully working to see peace a reality in this lifetime and always! Not as a one-off thing but as a forever truth for everyone, for those who have only known war, fighting, suffering, mutilation and every unthinkable act that divides us… for EVERYONE!

On March 8th 2017 in London, the #SHECAN cultural showcase hosted by IWPG celebrated women on a day that reminds us that #SHECAN and #WECAN achieve peace! I was touched by the ‘Stories of Santa Marta’ and the interpretive dance of war and divide and the healing hands of peace. The bloggers were awesome because as a blogger myself, I understood much of what they have been through as they try and find their place in a community that has many voices. Unfortunately, we were unable to take pictures or videos but the event was recorded and more will be on their website.

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I began this blog questioning whether I could be called an inspiration when there are people all over the world fighting for a freedom that I have and do not always appreciate. Am I worthy to be called an inspiration? YES, I AM! I do not have to list the reasons that make me an inspiration as, like beauty, it is personal between the person I inspire and myself. I hope to one day do more and inspire more people. Your inspiration will take many forms, it could be in your cheerful disposition in the face of adversity or the way you laugh from your stomach or the in the warmth of your hugs. It could be your business and the work you do or the dreams you are making a reality but you inspire someone and if you didn’t know, you inspire my blogs on levels that are deeper than you know.

Thank you IWPG, I look forward to learning more. Thank you to everyone who took part on the night and all those who I met. Big thank you to Tim, who knew that I needed to be there… Love you, T-Bo!

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Remember being YOU is YOUR POWER! #SHECAN

I hope you enjoyed this post. Please remember to click on the links above to learn more about IWPG!

Besos! 💋

TBH! xoxo

 


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I’m Back and Better!👌🏾

Hey Loves,

This first sentence has been written so many times and backspaced just as many. I mean how do I honestly start off this post considering I haven’t written one in so long! Actually, that is not all the way true. I have been blogging in my mind for the past 8 or so months; those thoughts have just not made their way out of the chambers in my mind. I guess some have broken free now and it feels good to say I’m back and I’m better! What does that even mean, though? Sounded good when Bryson Tiller’s dulcet tones sang it in ‘Don’t’ but in my world, it means more than I may be able to express right now.

I wanted to take a break from social media. I wanted to take some time for myself, to understand some of the things I was going through. I wanted some of my mental to catch up with my physical change. Yes, I intentionally chose the word wanted! I needed to look after my health, which was telling me I was a priority and not an afterthought. I wanted to look in the mirror and not pick myself apart because what I saw did not match up to what was ‘liked’ in the fickle beauty industry.

You see, no matter how confident we appear we all have inner battles that require us to reset our thinking so we can remind ourselves how AWESOME we are! Awesome AF! Rewiring some of my thinking has pushed me. Challenged me. Trained me. Strengthened me. Life has taken a series of interesting turns and I am grateful to God for seeing me through. Learning, evolving and continuing to focus on being the BEST me I can be… NO LIMITS!

So yes, your girl is back and better! Better in part also to many of you and your fantastic messages and love. Big thanks to those of you who got in touch telling me that you missed the blog. Missed me, and my small contribution in the form of this blog that does its own thing. Thank you for encouraging me and for sharing ways I have inspired you. Those that know me, know that I really love this blog and what it represents. The strange goings on from a chick that loves family, friends, Brooklyn, music, makeup Trey Songz and so much more! I have missed you all and pray that you are good and life is all it needs to be for you right now- especially in these trying times!

I’m gonna end by saying THANK YOU to everyone who voted for me in the Best Makeup Artist 💄 category at last year’s AFRO MODEL AWARDS! I don’t think I will ever get over the shock of winning. It was very soon after that night that I took time out. I put shout-outs on Twitter and Facebook but let me holla on here too. I am so grateful and blessed at the recognition and hope it raises your spirits and reminds you that you can do and be anything you want to. No matter your age or the stage you’re at in life! Your journey is in your hands!

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Wishing you all the love in the universe… see you in the next post!

Besos! 💋

TBH! xoxo

p.s. I know for some there are more questions and things you want to know. Not everything is for the blog and what is will be on the blog in due course!


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A letter to my younger self…(part 1)

Darling Donna-Marie,

There is so much that I want to tell you that I don’t know where to start. I am both anxious and excited at the same time wanting to tell you of what is to come. Somewhat apprehensive about how your 16 year old mind will process some of it. Happy at the thought that most of it will make you smile. Don’t worry, I promise not to spoil or give too much away! It will be like crib notes…giving you the low down, without giving you the answers, I think!

Let me start by telling you how proud I am of you. Pride in the purest form that is making my heart race as I write to you. You have become a strong, independent woman. Smart, funny and cheeky which are characteristics you pass on to someone else who I will tell you a little more about in part 2. That could be anyone so stop trying to guess. Some of this may make you cry and that is ok. Those tears will bring you strength like you’ve never known. Some of it will make you laugh. The moment that make you cringe, imagine how I felt.

We made it to 40. Praise God! 40 years of stuff you couldn’t even imagine at 16. Some of it you did imagine, the rest, well, you didn’t imagine it and that’s probably for the best. I know how impatient you can be at times (that doesn’t change much by the way) so let me give you some quick hits on what I know you’ll wanna hear first! The only spoilers are the ones I know you have to know at 16.

  • Brenda and Dylan don’t make it on 90210
  • You’re still a dork
  • You end up going to more than one prom (and you look super cute)
  • You will eventually be over Puff Daddy (who changes his name a million times) and it will be all about Trey Songz who will follow you on ‘Twitter’
  • You grow into your teeth and your gap doesn’t close
  • You will never rock a jheri curl again.
  • We need to talk about your eyebrows. Don’t listen to anyone who says they are on ‘fleek’.
  • Who told you to wear timbs with everything?
  • You do not stay skinny forever so appreciate your body. Especially your boobs!
  • You will always be a Daddy’s Girl 
  • You will stop wearing black liner and red lipstick… for a while.
  • You will NEVER tire of popping your booty to Miami Bass. You’re always gonna be that girl!
  • Carlene will be taller than you!
  • You will go natural with your hair.
  • Dwane and Whitley from A Different World get married!!!!!!
  • You’re not married…YET!

Ok! Ok! So I know you’re panicking at the thought of the first and the last ones the most because like seriously, how are Brenda and Dylan not together. Cause that in your mind translates to you not ever finding the one… *sigh*. Girl, don’t worry. Your time will come. you have far too much living and learning to do before marriage comes your way. Just keep reading, I will explain.

The rest of your teens…

You still move around a bit and whilst life in Florida is fun and hot you’ll end up finishing out High School in New York! Not before the infamous car accident with Fitz after homecoming. Or spending endless moments with Teresa and Lish or Yajaira and Linda. Stealing (borrowing) Erica’s clothes to look more grown up or having your baby Sis follow you everywhere and secretly love it.

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When you do make it back to the big Apple it will instantly be like you never left and you will love it. In fact some of the closest people to you now are still there. Aunty Annie, your cousins, Boopsie and the whole e.98th crew make New York your city of dreams. Chilling on the stoop with Adrian, Larry, Ty was like nothing else. We used to run that block. Tilden is seriously everything it needs to be for you and more. Your time with Michelle and her family will make you feel so loved. Filling a void that you craved. You will transition so much from the island girl you once were in the big city. It will still be very hard to shake the pain and demons from life in St.Vincent. What you went through at age 11 will haunt you for a long time to come but will eventually share it. I couldn’t protect you but you will be ok. More than ok.  As traumatic as it was you were so very brave and strong.  It was not your fault and you can’t keep blaming yourself. You never have to go back there. Ever!

It will take time to trust people and that is ok. It will take time to confide in people and that is ok too. You will learn to forgive and trust yourself first and then it will all fall into place. Aunty Annie will be the first one to help. Don’t be so hard on her ok? Even when she tries to embarrass you by screaming ‘Donna’ down Church Ave.

You will finally be reunited with your Daddy and Brother in England when you leave New York. You will be sad to leave your family, friends and love behind and you will write lots of letters and make calls. Start saving now cause those international calls will not be cheap! And yes, you will go back again and again and again. Ever since you left the city, you got exactly what you asked for…(kinda) running out of pages in your passport!

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London Calling…

It takes a while for you to adjust to being in the UK. Between you and I, I honestly do not think you ever really do. Sorry but not really sorry. It takes your Daddy some time to adjust to his little girl not being so little. Let’s not even talk about boys. Needless to say when you started talking about bringing boys home to meet him that conversation lasted 3 hours too long. You make him so happy though and he makes you just as happy. Daddy’s girl always.

College life was not the easiest. Some of the girls are nice to your face but behind your back not so nice. They couldn’t understand why you dressed like the boys and why the boys liked you. They will say it is because of your accent. I say it’s because you’re Donna-Marie, DUH! You still have loads of fun and meet some awesome people. Raphael, T-Bone and Mark will be your college homeboys.  You meet Jade, Jessica and Ify who you have so much in common with. Jade especially is like your own guardian angel which I don’t even think she knows. They will help you find your feet in Stanmore and the ends. Oh yes! You thought US slang was something… wait till you get to the UK. Butters! Stooshe! These words will still be giving you night dreams in your 40s.

Ok, so we have to talk about boys. I know we said lets not but we kinda have to. Boys will like you. You will like boys. Boys will stink. Boys will smell like Polo aftershave. Boys will wear baggy pants and jansports and you will act like you have no sense. They will wear jeans with clouds on them! Seriously clouds! You will hate boys. Boys will have American accents but live in the UK and you will think you’re in love. Boys will be sweet. Boys will be jerks. You will break hearts and you will get your heart broken. You will look for love in all the wrong places (that will be your jam). You will find love in the right places but at the wrong time. Boys will become men and they will still stink at times but not as much as when they were boys.

Grown and Sexy…

I do not remember how this became your tag line. Daddy would surely slap you for being so extra. Along with Caramel Angel as your alter ego everything. You do not get to be in a Puffy (one of his many name changes) video. You think you’re sexy because you think your life is one big RnB video. It’s a good thing you weren’t in a video. Music will continue to be your everything as you become a young woman. You don’t miss a soca jam. Blame Raph and Tyrone for that. Oh, and Andrea too. You like to party hard. On sheer adrenalin though! No substances involved, phew. Your over the shoulder pose will be your signature pose. Why? Why? Oh and really with the white ankle boots and that dress. Really? IMG_3801

You will be more responsible. Working , studying and growing. That job at Ikea was like your school of hard knocks. Literally. Your friendships with work colleagues, college buddies and high school friends evolve. Some for the better and some for the worst. You are little Ms. popular.  Involved in everything. It doesn’t always bode well but you are good at learning lessons…sometimes. Luckily you had Tamora! Tam never judged you and always made learning some of those lessons a little easier. Side note: Your tattoos are real and not henna like you tried to tell Daddy. Naomi was your twin. She was everything to you and more. Plus her daughter was yours too. You just did not give birth to her. Your friendship with Ni was like having a Sister and Best friend in one. With everything that came along with it.

You think you’re grown because the numbers of your age increase each year but in some ways you’re still that little girl searching and hoping that you’ll make your Mom proud one day. That is one relationship that you’ll still be working on to this day and beyond. You are grown enough to get a mortgage and your first property. No longer living with Daddy had perks and now you had to be serious about everything. You do it though and you will own more property in the future. Yay! You! I mean Me! Yay, US!!!

Love Yourself…

I remember you always thinking you weren’t good enough. Being 16 (sixteen) is tough I know.  That no one would love you. Why would they. What was there to love? Yourself maybe? Well you don’t really find that out until much later but I promise you there is ALOT to love. Just don’t give up ok? Even when it seems like you can’t face any more. DO NOT GIVE UP! You have your toughest trial to come and there is no one that can fight this battle like you can.

We are only half way through and I am gonna finish up here. I bet your facial expression is like this! Ha! I know you so well. You can’t have the entire cheat sheet! That would be no fun. You can’t have come out too bad…right?

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I love you…always Don-Don, Doughnut, Danger Mouse, Donette (I will stop here)!

Me! (Who is You) only older! XOXO

P.S I will write more soon!

P.P.S This letter is being written on a blog. You will have no idea what that is. Like Twitter and some of the other things I mentioned. I won’t tell you to google it. Just trust me. The world becomes a scary but advanced place… in some respects anyway.

 

 

 

 


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Happy International Women’s Day and …

Happy 4 year Blogiversary!

Yep, I started this blog 4 years ago today! Fitting that is International Women’s Day because at the time of starting this blog I was trying to find my way as a woman. Trying to navigate through life as a woman who was dealing with challenges from every angle.

I love being a woman. I loved being a woman then (despite the hard times) but I truly love it now as I feel that I make no more apologies for being a woman. A strong, independent, loyal, caring, goofy, sensual woman. A woman who stands up for what she believes in. A woman who feels that she no longer has to make allowances for unacceptable behaviour whether from friends, family or strangers. A woman who will be there if needed before you even finish the second part of my double barrelled name. Side note: that is not permission to just call me Donna! 

I have been richly blessed with some amazing women in my life who have inspired me to push harder and go deeper. I know in a world that currently idolises celebrity I am grateful to have ambassadors of greatness in my everyday life. From those who I see on a regular basis to those who live across the pond, I am woman because of them and what they have done for me. You know who you are!

We are still fighting for equality despite being able to do anything a man can do and more. Some of our career choices are frowned upon and we juggle life, love, career, relationships etc. better than a circus performer. The fight continues and we are pioneers like those before us and the younger generation behind us.

I salute and honour my Mothers, Sisters, Aunts, Grandmothers, Daughters, and Friends. You/ we come from many walks of life! Some with college degrees and some without. Some educated to high school or not and still putting in work. Some are video models, some are office workers, locticians, cosmetologists, caterers, stay at home parents, fashion designers, musicians, nail techs, make-up artists, bloggers, personal trainers, personal assistants, accountants, preachers, teachers, retired everything students, teaching assistants, bus drivers, executive assistants, managers and senior managers, agents, nurses, retail staff and some are still figuring it out. You are all my Sisters and this Sisterhood is strong!

Stand up and be counted! Let’s uplift, empower and encourage one another. We don’t need to fight or hold grudges. We don’t need to compete as there is enough room for all of us. Every uniquely made one of us! I celebrate you and all you have accomplished thus far and will continue to accomplish.

Happy International Women’s Day my Sisters! May God bless your endeavours as it is all about you!

Thank you for sticking with me for 4 (four) years on this blog journey. It has been a journey of growth and self doubt at times. I have made some new friends and connections that I didn’t know possible. It started out as an idea and has blossomed into my brand. Happy Blogiversary ‘The Beauty Holder’… 4 (four) is our lucky number. 🎉🎁❤

Coming up next on the blog: Professional Beauty London 2016 and a Natural Hair update!

Besos 💋

TBH xoxo

Title Image: Google Images


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So, I’m 40! Now what?!

Hey Loves,

I’m still on a blogging streak and I hope that you are enjoying the current posts populating your mailboxes. I know there have been through peaks and troughs with my blog but I am glad that you all have stuck with me. Please remember you can comment and share your thoughts on anything I post. I love interacting with you!

This is one of those posts I have been writing in my mind for a while. I don’t know why the thought of turning 40 brought about so much anxiety. Actually, I do know. It’s because for most of my life I have put unnecessary pressure on myself to have certain things done before 40 and not all of them have materialised. On my birthday,  I sat and thought…

So, you’re 40! Now what?!

So you’re not married, yet! So you haven’t had more children! You haven’t travelled the world and become the dancer you thought you would when you were little. You’ve been hurt by those closest to you. You’ve not got money like you once did. Blah, Blah and Blah once more. What I decided to say to all of that and the many other comments beating me with a stick over my head, was SO WHAT!!!

Yep! SO WHAT! I even said it to those people brave enough to comment on my life without knowing anything about me or my life. SO FREAKING WHAT!

It has taken me a while to admit it but I have had a wonderful life in many respects. It has not been without it’s ups and downs but I am grateful to reach the age of 40 and to have accomplished many of the things that I have done. I pretty much had my life planned out by 18 and expected to achieve certain milestones by 25, then 30, then 35 and 40 etc. What I have not done is acknowledge that even the smallest victories have shaped me. The toughest trials have moulded me and through God’s grace I have come out on top.

I have battled severe depression and self harming (which many may not know). I struggle with having a beautiful Son who is on the Autistic Spectrum and all that entails. I have had weight struggles for a large part of my life and have wanted to end my life. I have been betrayed by ‘friends’ and family. I am constantly judged. That is the shortened version. I say this to say that the life I had planned was not what God had planned. I now realise I had to go through this to become stronger and wiser.

So I am 40. I am a number older than I was last year and that number represents so much. It represents in part, my growth, my knowledge, my love and determination to continue to reach for the stars and beyond. To love hard and receive love in return. That my age doesn’t define me or my ability. It doesn’t define what others think of me or my life.

We have become so fixated with judging what we do not understand. If you haven’t lived it, how can you judge it? I may not have the level of success that you want me to have but it doesn’t mean that I do not have success. I may not be married but it doesn’t mean I do not have love or am in love. My Son may not speak but it doesn’t mean he can’t communicate his love in another way- which he does! 

Right now you may be going through something you don’t understand. It hurts and you want it to stop. IT WILL! You’re in a stage of metamorphosis. You are changing from your ‘caterpillar’ form to become the beautiful butterfly version of yourself that is stronger, wiser and more beautiful than you can currently imagine. Don’t give up on you. Don’t give up!

Enjoy life and your journey. Live your life and don’t let it live you. Make mistakes and learn from them. Don’t pressure yourself to react to what the world wants you to. Follow your heart and instinct…no one knows YOU like YOU!

I am blessed to have reached the beautiful butterfly age of 40. Many others have not been as fortunate and I refuse to let another day pass letting the past mistakes I have made hold me back from living a happier and healthier life. Age truly ain’t nothing but a number. A number that increases in health, wealth and strength!

Thank you for sharing this blog with me and on a more personal level some part of my 40 years. Here’s to many more for you and me!

If you are struggling with depression or self harming or anything else I have mentioned in this post. Don’t suffer in silence. Talk to someone you trust and let them help you. Here are some links you may find useful.

Help with depression: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/d/depression

Autism: http://www.autism.org.uk/about/what-is/asd.aspx

Anxiety and Panic Attacks: http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/anxiety-and-panic-attacks/#.VrETtcdszEY

I also have a blog on finding confidence on your journey that has some tips if you are feeling anxious about things in your life. You can find out more here.

This post is dedicated to my pudding, Elle. I am always here for you. I love you! ❤ xoxo (p.s I have asked Elle if she is ok with me dedicating this blog to her).

Besos 💋

TBH! xoxo

 

 


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January LookBook 2016! | New Video!

Hey Loves!

I am back with a new video on my YouTube channel! Woo hoo! Moving with the times I have uploaded the above in full cinematic excitement. Ok, not quite but almost. Working on my lighting and editing skills but it is a little something something which I am proud of!

Would love it if you took a look and let me know what you thought. Don’t be shy, comment and get involved. Let me know more about your personal style. Don’t forget to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE and more importantly SUBSCRIBE so you don’t miss any new videos. There is a lot more exciting content coming soon! Also your ideas are very welcome!

You can find all my other videos by searching ‘The Beauty Holder’ on YouTube! Enjoy!

Coming up tomorrow…

So I’m 40! Now what?

Besos 💋

TBH! xoxo

 

 


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2015! Year of the DMH!

Hey Loves!

The first month of the new year is already coming to an end. It seems crazy typing that but time does indeed fly. It seems that it is opting for some sort of space speed travel, moving quickly from year to year!

I look back at 2015 as my year of growth. Personal, Spiritual and Professional. I learnt more about myself in that year than I have probably done in my whole life. I was forced to look within to find strength that I honestly didn’t know that I had. With the hard knocks came some of my highest points and achievements. I cried, laughed, screamed, shouted and went through every emotion. I stopped blaming myself for things I could not control and started to remember who I was and what I was worth.

I did not blog nearly as much last year as I have done in previous years and I accept that that was what I needed to grow. When you stop and truly take stock of what YOU have to offer yourself, your family, friends, loved ones, colleagues and even people who you may not know you start to understand YOUR purpose.

So in a snapshot…here is a look back on 2015! Year of the DMH! 

Just a couple of points… (in no particular order)

  • Key Make-Up Artist on music videos for Giggs, Lady Chan and Lady Lykes
  • Part of Julia Carta’s (Simon Cowell’s Personal Makeup Artist and Makeup Designer for The X Factor) Make-Up Team for The X Factor 2015*
  • Turned 40*
  • Dislocated my knee and had an arthroscopy*
  • Achieved my weight loss target losing more than 40kg
  • Published Make-Up in Black Hair and Beauty and Pride
  • Worked on a Road Show for Fabulous Magazine
  • Spent the whole summer with my Son and family and friends in the US
  • Took part in a fashion show for International Womens Day in Leeds
  • Restarted my Natural Hair Journey*
  • Had a little part in my Friend Nyomi’s show South Side Story
  • Photoshoots and collabs with other creatives
  • Key Make-Up Artist (assisted by Laura Garcia) for the Compliment Fashion Show
  • Held several 1:1 Make-up Classes
  • Worked with  4 Breathtaking Brides

There is so much more that happened last year that hasn’t been included above but not everything is for the blog! 😉

I will be doing some more in-depth posts on some of the key moments mentioned above. Those specifically with an * at the end. So look out for those in coming weeks.

My growth definitely doesn’t end there. With everything I learnt about myself, I now need to push forward and continue growing and evolving. It doesn’t stop there!

This post is dedicated to my sweet TJ Martin who we sadly lost in 2015. At 6 years old, TJ brought such joy and happiness to everyone he encountered. He had a diagnosis of CANDLE Syndrome which you can learn more about here. His younger Sister Tashana-Rae also has CANDLE syndrome. His Mom, Patricia Martin, is one of my dearest friends and along with her Husband, Norris, and older Sister Tyla have shown such strength. They continue to put themselves out there for others and are shining examples of courage and bravery and family. Not a day goes by that you are not missed Teej! We ❤ you always! P.s. I know you have probably taught everyone Gangnam Style in Heaven x

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The family have set up a donation page in memory of TJ. All money raised will be donated to the charities who played a fundamental role in supporting TJ and the family. Someone Special TJ

Remembering always tomorrow is not promised!

What is 2016 going to be about for you?

Besos 💋

TBH! XOXO