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15 Things Every Blogger Can Relate With.

Saturday, 30 April 2016
BLOGGER LIFE.

Just a quick fun post to ease into the weekend.

I started blogging some three years plus ago and it has been a life changing experience for me. Both in major ways which I talked about in this post here and in other minor little ways that have been ingrained within my lifestyle without me even realizing.

So I thought to share a few of these little things that unite us as bloggers and that you've probably also experienced and can relate with if you're one.
Some of these might be more relatable for style bloggers but please feel free to add your own experience based on your niche in the comments.

You know you're a blogger when :

1. Photographers become your best friends at every event.

2. You decide to go out/for an event just so you can have something to blog about and because heck its another chance to dress up and take blog pictures.

3. You carry your camera memory card around with you because you just never know when it will come in handy.

4. Someone asks you how your job search (or another life event) is going and you point them to the post where you already talked extensively about it.

5. You see blog post potentials out of every conversation and sometimes the words/opening statement for the post come at awkward times like when you're in the bathroom

6. You have a note book to jot your blog thoughts, goals and post ideas. That might as well be a blog planner and the cassie daves blogger is still up for sale, get yours HERE.

7. You're constantly on the look out for shoot locations.

8. You see a brightly coloured wall and the first thing that comes to your mind is how that will make a good location to take blog pictures.
15 Things Every Blogger Can Relate With. Click to tweet!
9. Words like flat lays , swatches, reviews have invaded your dictionary and become a prominent part of it.

10. Your friends know better than to start eating before you've gotten a good shot of the food.

11. You're constantly asking people to follow you on one platform or the other and subscribe to your blog. Pssst! Subscribe to mine though! HERE!

12. You wake up and the first thing you do is check for new comments.

13. Even the tiniest blog milestone calls for another celebration and #Thankful type tweet or post

14. People introduce you as their 'blogger friend.

15. You stay up really late just to edit pictures, write posts and schedule things for the blog.

Can you relate with any of these?
Also, please feel free to add your own experiences in the comments!
And Lets connect!


Candid Talk || Bassey Ikpi.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016
Hey Guys!
Long time, no candid talk post right?
Well, its back now! Quite a number of people said they wanted more candid talk posts in my blog survey - your wish is my command! Oh, please kindly help me fill the blog survey if you haven't Here. Thanks!

In case you missed the very first post featuring the awesome Wana Udobang, you can read that here. I also talked about why I started this feature series in that post, in case you're just joining us.

Today, I have another equally amazing woman - Bassey Ikpi, gracing this here blog and sharing some of her wisdom and life lessons with us. I was so excited when she agreed to do this because if you know me, then you know how much I fangirl for Bassey.
I've talked about how I happened upon her and the subsequent girl crush that followed it here and you can check that out before you proceed further.

Done? Alright, Let's meet Bassey!
                     

Hi Bassey, please can you define yourself and what you do?
I’m an underachieving overachiever, lazy perfectionist. I’m a Black African Nigerian woman who writes, speaks on stages and on TV and lives and loves the best way I know how.

When will you say was the defining

moment you realized you want to be
doing what you're doing now?
I honestly don’t know if there was a single moment. There was a chain reaction that started when I was 4 years old and moved to the US. I was losing my native language and hadn’t quite captured the nuances of English so there was a communication gap for me. That inability to communicate is what fostered my love of language and words and disdain toward shutting up.
I also was completely enthralled by books and how writers were able to communicate very specific emotions and situations that still applied or resonated with me though I didn't have the same background.
That's where the writing came from.
The journey towards perfoming is far less interesting.

I'm a lot shyer and anxious than people realize, so getting on stage took a lot of mental energy.

How did you get started in your chosen field(s) ?
I started doing spoken word when I was 18. I had always written but I didn’t know that standing on stage and doing it in front of people was a thing.
The first time I saw that, it changed everything. It gave me voice and showed me the power I had with that voice. It wasn’t the first time though, I was a cast member of Teen Summit on BET during High School and that empowered me through validation of my opinions and point of view.
It also taught me how to be on camera and in front of an audience which helped later in my career. I’m a very nervous person and I have really bad nerves whenever I perform. I learned ways around those nerves.

On working your way to the top?
I’m not sure anyone who works hard to get to certain places in their lives and careers actually believe there's a "top".
I know that I’m never completely happy with where I am in life. It’s not about not being grateful, I am certainly extremely grateful but I have been so lucky and fortunate in my career but I’m never satisfied.
I know that if I push a bit more there’s something else: a new field to explore or a higher shelf to climb. I like to say that I never claim perfection; I claim evolving. And I mean that personally and professionally.
It’s about always being better than the last time and then better than that and so on and so forth. I’m a work in progress and process.

           
What keeps you going through moments you feel you can't deal anymore?
Besides medication and instructions from my doctor: Morning. I’ve been through a lot due to my mental health condition and the one thing I’ve always been able to count on, to hope for,to wait for, to know is always coming: morning.
Sometimes, it meant staying up all night and watching morning from the wrong side but the fact that i knew it would be here told me that I had at least one more day and often that was enough to push me through.

That’s for when things are really bad.
When I’m struggling on a day to day basis, I think about what I have accomplished. It’s easy to talk yourself down and think that you haven’t done much. It’s that “What have you done for me lately?” Janet Jackson thing.
And you know that there’s always time but you need some reminders of what you have done. I like to affirm myself. It comes off vain and arrogant but if you can’t be your biggest fan then who can?
I’m very hard on myself. Very critical.
So when I can look in the mirror and say, “i’m dope as sh*t” it reminds me that before I felt like I couldn’t, I did. And I did it well.

Also love. It’s the fuel. I know that I am surrounded by great and persistent love. I’ve recently gone through a very difficult situation and it was the love and commitment of my family and my friends that pulled me out. Their love pulled me out. My love for them keeps me out.


*forgive me, I just had to butt in here because Yesssssssss! I totally relate!* And I recommend this to anyone to. 
Hype yourself to Yourself, love the shit out of yourself and be fiercly proud of your accomplishments.Click to tweet!

What are some of the things you struggle with and how are you working to overcome them?
This contradicts what I said earlier but I struggle with self doubt a lot. I feel like a fraud sometimes. Like I lucked into this life and career and one day, everyone will know it. So when I’m unable to create or get work done because I’m too scattered, it weighs heavily on me.

I also live with bipolar 2 disorder, so there are some issues there when it comes to seeing myself and what I do and who I am accurately. Which is why I said I’m constantly reminding myself and telling myself that who I am is different than who my brain wants me to believe I am. 

Every day is a challenge. Especially living with a disorder that basically lies to you every day. I’m constantly reminding myself that the negative self talk and paralyzing self doubt are illusions. I make sure medically that I’m taking care of myself but I also make sure that I’m also aware of my emotional state and take some time for self care. If I can’t write right now, then I can’t write. Simple as that. Putting pressure on myself will only make me more frustrated, which will only make it even more difficult… who needs that?
Everything can wait. Nobody ever died or killed anyone because someone missed a deadline. But people have almost killed themselves trying to make a deadline. On a personal level, I’ve learned to curate the people in my life very carefully. 

I’m an empath and have a sponge heart so I take things in very quickly. Being a public figure, people tend to want to touch and feel and soak you up a bit and that’s exhausting. I try to make sure I have a strong hold on who I am publicly so that behind closed doors, I have something left for the people who recharge me. The people in my life are golden. As I said earlier, “love is fuel.” It keeps me going.
What is the most significant  experience in 
your journey and what did you learnt from it?
I think having my breakdown while on tour with Def Poetry Jam. It changed everything. It changed my approach to life. I was really running on empty and pushing myself so hard because I had this idea of  success. I nearly died chasing this thing. I had to slow down and reassess my goals and my actions. It also made me more conscious of how my mental health affected my physical health. That experience also encouraged me to speak openly about mental health and to help people come to terms with things that they may have been ashamed about.
From that point on, my work and presence had a greater purpose. It’s been difficult but it’s been worth it. I can’t imagine being silent about these things anymore.
                 

Quick advice on love for twenty-somethings still trying to figure it out (from your own experience)..
- Never apologize for how you choose to take care of yourself.  It isn’t selfish. It isn’t arrogant.
- Don’t feel that showing love or being in love means that you put someone else over yourself. Especially, if they expect it from you and don’t appreciate it. 
- Know who deserves you and who deserves to never say that they had you.
- Take your time. You’re not the same person at 22 that you are at 32 or you shouldn’t be. If you are, then there’s a problem.
- Live life. This Nigerian nonsense of “go and marry”at all cost is destructive. Nothing against marriage at all but I believe that people should grow together and benefit each other in love and dedication not for small chops and aso-ebi. You have time. Take it.
Never apologize for how you choose to take care of yourself.  It isn’t selfish. It isn’t arrogant. Click to tweet!

What's the best advice you've ever received?
I don’t know if it’s the best but it’s the most recent that has been helping me : Trust the world with your writing.

Random/ fun fact about you?
I’ve never been in a physical fight before. That’s neither fun nor random. Um… I can wiggle my right ear. Is that fun?  I don’t know. I think I love to laugh and make people laugh. I don’t consider myself a comedian but I’m definitely not as serious as my writing implies. I’m not a serious person at all!
Thank you so much for granting me audience Bassey and for agreeing to this feature. I appreciate you!

I could particularly relate with feeling like a fraud sometimes and doubting yourself. Like her, I'm also learning to silence the voice of self doubt too whenever it creeps in.

I hope you enjoyed reading her replies as I did? Did you have any takeaways? Please share! Also if there's anyone you'll like me to feature/questions you'll like me to include. Let me know please.
As always, let's connect!

Outfit || Another Way To Style Your Denim Skirt.

Monday, 25 April 2016
THAT'S NOT THE DOUBLE DENIM WAY.

Ah yes, The good ol denim skirt! Yet another 90's fashion trend that resurfaced and we all took to in full force, with most people going the double denim route.
I, myself have gone the double denim route previously here and here.
In fact, the only reason I bought the skirt was because I was trying to channel the Shala Monroque double denim inspired look sometime back the 2013.
Another way to style the denim skirt, that's not the double denim way! Click to tweet.
Back then, I couldn't for the life of me think of any other way to style the skirt without looking "bleh" , especially one of this length and fit which can easily come off as "rigid" (for lack of a better word).

Thankfully, now I've embraced the different ways it can be worn - and I even styled it differently in this post too!

What's the first "way to wear" that comes to your head when you think of a denim skirt. I asked my friend and she said her first thought will be to pair it with a white shirt. How about you? How would you style a denim skirt?

I wore this to the ESE x Stranger Lagos event one weekend ago. I was initially going to pair the skirt with a different print shirt and heels, but this shirt seemed way more suited because of the way the colours just pop!

These pictures were taken impromptu, or I would have come prepared with my heels in my bag and maybe the second shirt also to do a "which works better" type post. But I happened on Chidi of Lex Ash photography (He took the pictures in this post and this one) at the event  and immediately started stressing him out to help me. No Shame!
I decided on sneakers in exchange for sandals, just to add a little extra oomph to the whole look.
What do you think of this look?
Should I still shoot the previous look and share in another post?

I've been carrying my hair in this two braids style since I took out the last one, and I'm having problems deciding on which new style to go for - crochet braids or the pixie cut. Help me decide please?
Meanwhile, why is crochet braids so expensive if it's so easy to make?!
This '90s Denim Trend Is Making a Comeback—Will You Try It? Click to tweet!

I've been so lazy this past week! I think there might have been a reason God decided to make me come from a middle class family, because if I were a trust fund baby girl, I probably will just be taking life easy. Lol! but then I doubt, I really love to explore my creative side and it would just make it easier for me to do that.
These days with the whole turning passion into profit thing (gatts), it sort of puts a lot of pressure on and can take the fun out of the work. Regardless though, I have to keep putting in work to create the future I want.

I really want to resurrect my street style column but I keep spending more and more of my life holed up indoors *sigh*. I'm trying to make a more conscious effort to go out more. I basically spent all weekend indoors, so no weekend bits post this week.
How did your weekend go though?
Leave me your thoughts and comments pleassee. As always, let's connect!

P.S : Please can you kindly help me fill out this blog survey I put together biko! I'll really really appreciate it and thank you in advance! If you scroll down a bit, you should see the form but you can as well just use this link HERE

P.P.S : Some other related denim posts
5 Easy DIYs to jazz upyour old denim pants.
Outfit || Styling the denim dress.
Double Denim with a twist.
Outfit || Denim x Polka dot.
Outfit || The denim cut off.

Lagos Living || Tarkwa Bay Weekend.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016
WHEN THE BEACH CALLS.

I've been meaning to go to the beach forever because its been a long while since I've been to one, so when my friend Banke (from this post) proposed we go to tarkwa bay, I was definitely game. Though I had to try and overcome some residual fear of getting on a boat. The first time I went to tarkwa bay some years back, the boat stopped working mid way back - it was so scary! And I made a promise not to get on another one if I made it out alive. Lool
If you're subscribed to my mailing list HERE, then all that gist isn't new to you (Subscribe yo! Join the family)

Anyways, so we eventually settled on a date but last minute, two of my friends dropped out which would have initially made me change my mind also but I was determined to see this through regardless and I'm glad I did
Tarkwa Bay is only accessible by water route and I hear there are various jetty points you can take a boat ride to get there, along the marina and Victoria Island route. I left all of the planning/decisions to my friend and she chose the jetty by the bridge after bonny camp (where you usually see them sell fishes).
I was a bit skeptical about the boats (or canoes?) because they looked sort of rickety but they were pretty good and the ride was even fun! The boat ride cost N500 per person and we got there within 20minutes or so.
There is an entrance fee of 200Naira and additional fees to get a tent and chairs. They tried to scam us though, but we haggled the price down to 1500 for four chairs and a tent.

I really like how serene the beach is compared to elegushi and co. Unfortunately, there isn't anywhere to buy food or drinks, so you have to come with yours and also some games to play with - if you're the type that gets bored easily.

The few vendors you'll find at the beach are coconut sellers (speaking of which, I just realized I'm not a fan of that coconut drink thing or maybe its just the one I had that wasn't nice), swim wear, beads and art work vendors.
I went armed with my pack of wilsons lemonade, I just recently became a wilsons addict and I've succeeded in transforming my family members too. :')

I didn't take lots of pictures unfortunately, even though I carried my camera along with me. Majorly because we got there a bit late, spent the first few minutes trying to get settled and before I knew it, it was time to leave. It pained me gan oh, because I carried my blog planner along and some other books to settle down, enjoy the view and try to get some work done.

But hey! I finally gathered courage to start the number three thing on my 25 before 25 list. I don't think I'll be wearing a full on bikini anytime soon sha because I didn't really see the point of me changing to a bikini top to just lie on a chair on the beach, when I could have as well worn my camisole (I'm old school *sigh*)


I took majority of these pictures with my infinix hot 3! (Bear in mind that I've also cropped the pictures with instagram and reduced the size as well)
I am so so impressed with this phone guys! Its not called a "lifestyle phone" for bants. The camera quality is bae - perfect for pictures for the blog and even videos.
The whole user experience (fonts, customizations, keypad, gbo gbo eh) too is lit - I didn't come here to do phone review sha but if you're looking to buy a new budget friendly phone especially because of camera upgrade, you should check out the infinix hot 3 here.
I received the phone recently courtesy the good people at infinix (the blog market is movingggg!) but trust me not to hype something I don't believe in.

Have you ever been to tarkwa bay?
What was your experience like?
Meanwhile, how's the new week treating you ey?
Leave me your thoughts and let's connect!

P.S : You might have missed these

Outfit || The Raffia Hat.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

I was going through my drafts and came across these pictures that I took sometime mid last year when my fascination with the raffia hat was waxing hot. I remember first seeing it on Oroma Elewa, styled with a brown wrap dress and subsequently a crop top and skirt combination.

Needless to say, she killed both looks and I fell in love immediately because I had never thought the old raffia hat that sits on the heads of market sellers and farmers alike, shielding them from the sun could easily be transformed to a fashion accessory.

So begun my search for one of my own - which I ended up finding when I travelled to my home town back in april last year.
I have since experimented with a few sizes of the hat and I feel the right way to go is the smaller size route. I think it also makes a really good prop - aesthetic wise for fashion shoots.

What do you think of the raffia hat (proper market woman type) as a fashion accesory, would you wear it?
I took these shots somewhere at the corner of my aunt's house. I was really excited about the hat and wanted to try out some pictures with it. I really like the outcome though, but let's shift to my outfit for a bit.

My bermuda shorts is easily one of my favourite thing to wear (my mum saw me looking at these pictures yesterday and asked if that's the only cloth I have *so rude* *sigh*). I styled it recently here also.
I paired it with a simple black tee and threw on my all time favourite mustard waist coat to jazz it all up - I've styled the waist coat here also ( that outfit still remains one of my dopest looks so far).

Working with a blank canvas and throwing things over it always leads to interesting combinations, so I'll love to hear your options!
How would you jazz up a plain black tee and shorts combination?
Leave me your thougthts and commentsssss!
And as always, let's connect!

5 New Blogs To Read || Current Faves .

Wednesday, 13 April 2016
BLOG LOVE.

I've had this post idea sitting in my former blog book (I just tried searching for where I wrote it down and couldn't find it, thank God those days are over now that I have a proper blog planner.lol) for quite a while now. With the blogosphere steadily enlarging and more new blogs popping up everyday, I thought to show some love and share just a few of my current favorite new blogs.


1. Pamela || HeelsandAbout.
 If you've been around from way back when my blog was also a newbie, then you might probably remember my friend Pamela from this post and this one. I'm not featuring her because she's my friend though, but because I firsthand saw the dedication and research she put into starting the blog even though she might have been a pest with all her questions on starting the blog.
She blogs about life, style and fashion bits. She's also a fashion design student, so expect a lot of sewing DIY's.

2. Kachi || Kacheetee.
 Way before I got into this style blogger business, my first love was for personal blogs and I still love to read those type of blogs. There's just something beautiful about reading the thoughts of other people and seeing how their mind works.
Kachi blogs about life, love and Law (she's a lawyer).

3. Nicole || TheNicoleCode.
I'm not exactly a beauty person but there's just something about the way Nicole Chikwe writes. It makes you feel connected to her in a way I really can't explain but I love love her blog!
She blogs about beauty - makeup, skin and hair care.

4. Denike || DemureDenike.
Denike Is another fashion blogger that I love! Her style gives me life and is way up my alley.


5. Sharon || SharonOjong
I wouldn't really call Sharon a new blogger because she's been in the game way back when but she recently relaunched her personal blog and it looks so goooood!! From her dope style to the really great pictures, I'm definitely loving it

Now, Your turn!
I know there are a ton of new dope blogs but these are the few ones that came to my head as I was writing this post, so please leave me a comment with some new blogs you've discovered lately.
Also feel free to leave your links below if you're a new blogger (or just a blogger) too so we can all show you some love! It wouldn't hurt if you added a little bit of introduction as well.

Meanwhile, unrelated but how's the new week treating you?
I've had an alright one, I guess. Planned to shoot outfits for the blog yesterday but that didn't quite work out and that's why there's no style post up yet. *the struggle*
Who can relate?

As always, Let's connect!

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