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Outfit || Styling The Denim Dress - Updated Look.

Sunday, 29 January 2017
IT'S A DENIM AFFAIR. 

Lately, I've been living in majorly pencil skirts, dresses, and pants made of fabrics that aren't denim. I'd almost forgotten just how good being in denim feels and how stylish it makes you look, till I stumbled upon these pictures I took at the Andrea Iyamah event sometime last year and somehow forgot about. Not the best picture quality, please bear with me.
Denim pants, especially mom jeans will forever remain a fave of mine but in this post, I'm taking a break from all my talk on how awesome mom jeans (and shorts) are and talking denim dresses instead.

I love loose fitted dresses, the type that you can easily throw on and go (like my 80's inspired dress from this post). That's why this denim dress happens to be one of my faves. You might remember the dress from it's the first feature on the blog in this outfit post where I styled it for a casual day out look.
For the Andrea Iyamah launch, though, I decided to use one of my own style tips to spice up the dress by layering with a white shirt underneath and opting for my white court heels, instead of flats.
What do you think?


I planned to make this a quick post but look who ended up sharing more than just a "quick pop in". lol. I still have a couple of looks centered around this denim dress that I can't wait to shoot and share with you guys, but let me get your opinions on this look and let me know how you would style this dress differently. I'll love to try out some of your options!
And Let's connect

P.S - Check out these other denim looks!

Celebrating Four Years Of Blogging x 4 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

THE BIG FOUR.

Guess who clocked four on the 21st?
Wow! Have I really been running this little ol space of mine for four years already? It honestly doesn't feel that long just yet. I can still remember taking that first step to setting up this blog and my very first post like it was yesterday and right now, I'm celebrating four years in this blogging journey. Ayeee!
Even though these past few weeks have been a bit trying in terms of keeping up with this space (and life in general), I must admit that this blog would continue to be one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life. It also helps that it acts as a sort of journal for me. 



Right from the first awkward blog name (who remembers what the blog's first URL was? lol) , the name change, getting my own domain, working with brands for free to getting paid for it, hosting an event, starting my blog consultations, down to finally getting my first blog award, it has been four years of constant growth, amazing opportunities and definitely lots of lessons.
I  already talked about the different ways starting this space has changed me in this post, and in the spirit of reminiscing/celebrating growth, I'll like to share a few things I wish I had known/done back when I first started blogging. Maybe, this might also be helpful for anyone looking to start their blog soon.


But before we get into that; Check out my first year, second year and third year of blogging. :)
Now, Let's dig in!

1. Defined My Blog Manifesto and Purpose Earlier.


When I started blogging, I had no intentions or idea that this could really be a big thing or even something I could actually earn from/turn into a brand for myself. I was blogging because I loved to write and share my thoughts, so there was no clear direction or focus - I was basically just going with the flow. Looking back now, I know that if I had started out with a clear written out manifesto for my blog and stuck to that, It would definitely have grown faster. Because when you know you're out here to build something, then you are more inclined to take every aspect of your blog seriously - from design, user experience to aesthetics.
That's the advantage new bloggers have now, there is really no excuse to start out mediocre because there are tons of knowledge on blogging out there to help you get started right.
My blog planner has a page to help you brainstorm your blog manifesto and figure out ways you can stay on track with it/achieve it. More details on the planner here.
I also do blog reviews and consultations, so if you'll like a second eye to take a look around your blog and suggest improvements or you, you can find out more details here, and If you would love to dive even deeper with me and take your blog to the next level. You can book a blog consultation with me HERE.

2. Started Out On Wordpress.


I mentioned my blogger vs WordPress opinion in my post on starting a blog here. Back when I started blogging, there weren't as much "blogging" blogs like there are now and I was so green on everything blogging that I didn't do any proper research and just straight up went for the easy option - blogger. Right now, if I could turn back the hands of time, I would definitely start with WordPress because there are sooo many limitations with blogger that WordPress doesn't have and having to make the switch from blogger to Wordpress four years down when I have 430 posts and close to a million views I can end up losing is stressful. It might not be a big deal at first but in the long run, you start to feel the effect. I know I am!

3. Placed Priority To Growing My Mail List Earlier.

Even though I didn't have a fancy blog theme and things weren't so picture perfect and crisp, I had a pretty good following in my earlier days. Loyal ones too. (Quick shout out to anyone who has been reading my blog from the word go! You smart. You loyal. I appreciate that!) It is such a bummer and still upsets me till this day that I didn't tap into that and started building my mail list from then. I had the normal google reader subscribe thing going on but I hardly ever even promoted it or made any effort to get people to subscribe.
Sometimes I reread old posts and see some frequent readers who somehow fizzled out over time and I just wonder what ever happened to them. With an email list, I could have retained quite a number of them.
Getting people to follow you on social media is good but remember, if something goes wrong with their/your social media, you'll always still have good ol trusty email to fall back to. So if you're just starting out, don't be like Cassie. Go build that list!

4. Realized That Writing The Content Is Just One-Half & Promoting It Is Major Key.


Thinking back now, my promotion skills were super poor! I don't think I did any major promoting besides bugging my BBM and facebook contacts. I shared new posts just once to twitter and I hadn't even started using Instagram then. lol! I definitely missed out on amassing a lot of traffic back then. 
I already talked about how important social media is in growing a blog in my post on reasons why your blog's traffic might not be growing, so you have to constantly promote your posts (in a non-spammy way, though)
Oh another shameless plug here, when you get the Cassie Daves blog planner, you get a page filled with social media posting schedules to help you effectively share your content all over your social media platforms in a way that will get your content seen more and drive more traffic to you. Get your planner Here!
Bonus :
Another thing I wish I knew earlier in my blogging journey is SEO! Not even the complicated or deep ones. The simple things like naming your pictures, adding meta tag description to it, using more keyword rich blog post titles and not titles like "Going green" (can you tell that I am guilty of this? lol) etc. I didn't do any of that for years and you can just imagine how much traffic I was losing because of that. I also only realized late last year that I turned off my "enable crawlers and indexing" option and I was so weak when I realized. lol If you use blogger, go to settings > search preferences > crawlers & indexing to see what I'm talking about.' Also, if you're like me and you've never heard of google search console, you should totally check it out here (Listed it in my planner too!)
There's also reducing/re-sizing large pictures to make your blog load faster and also using the extra large option when you upload your pictures for those using bloggers to make it bigger and of a better quality. I learned most of these things pretty late in my blogging journey, so I hope that someone at least finds this post helpful. 

Now, back to gushing over how awesome you guys are and the fact that I've actually been blogging for four years (That's a full time university course you know? )

Some of my favorite posts over the years -

2013
2014
2015
I know I keep over flogging this but yes! Once again, I'll like to mention how constantly floored and thankful I am for every single one of you that have ever read my blog, shared, commented or sent me encouraging messages. Thank you! Hopefully, I'll get to celebrate my fifth blogging year with an actual event next year.

Let me know if you found this post helpful, please.
You can catch up on all my fab blogging tips HERE
 I'll love to know some of the things you wish you had known earlier in your blogging journey too! And if you’re a new blogger, what are you struggling with right now?
Oh and of course, feel free to bring in the congratulatory messages! *insert big smile*

Lagos Living || The Apapa Amusement Park.

Sunday, 15 January 2017
RELIEVING MY CHILDHOOD.

I've had this post in my drafts for a short while now but wasn't quite sure of how well it would be received. In the spirit of feeding my inner child and because I said there would be more Lagos living posts this year in my blog recap, so here goes!

If you were born, bred and buttered in Lagos, you probably know of/have pictures of you taken at the Apapa amusement park posing in front of one of the rides while your mum egged you on to smile.
I have vague memories of my own trip down there as a kid, but I remember the carousel because there is this particular picture of a crying me sitting next to my mum and aunt with it looming in the background.

The Apapa amusement park was the in spot for kids in Lagos back then but then as with almost every good thing in Lagos, poor maintenance happened and it shut down.
When I heard that it was being renovated, it brought back childhood memories (though hazy) and I knew I just had to go back to see for myself and this time etch it in my memory, especially now that I'm old enough to never forget. Lol
Going there on this particular day wasn't planned though. I mentioned in my last taking stock post that I planned to get on a train ride to Abeokuta for a mini adventure. Well, that never happened because we (my adventure buddies) and I got to the train station in the morning hoping to have a day full of exploring, only to find out that the train wasn't going to show up for some reason best known to them. 
Since we were already on the Apapa axis, I suggested we check out the park. The Apapa amusement park is located at Number 1 Randle road in Apapa, but I doubt you need the address to find it because it is a popular spot. 

I really wasn't expecting the beauty I stumbled on when we got there. Like, At all! It looked like something out of a super mario game or a disney cartoon. The architecture, colours and just about everything was super impressive. Just the right amount of spacious, pretty enough to make for dope pictures - I must say that I actually felt like a child again that day.
We got there pretty early in the morning and because it was a week day, it was practically empty (which I liked anyways). I was content and happy just taking in the sights of the place that getting on a ride wasn't on my mind. I can't really remember how the lady in charge broke down the costs for us but you can peep the picture of the price list up there. We didn't get to pay anything though, since we weren't getting on a ride and just wanted to have a look around. 
Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to use our camera inside which was really heartbreaking, do I had to make do with my Infinix Hot S, which I reviewed Here

Aside from the rides (which they have a variety of) there is also an indoor games center, events center and food court too.
Because the initial plan was to go to Abeokuta, climb the olumo rock and see some other historical sites, I decided to go super comfy with my high waisted shorts that I like to call mom shorts (I mean, if there are mom jeans - there should be mom shorts too right? Lol), oversized print shirt that was initally tucked out for an easy breezy feel, my lucy daves sandals and a face cap for the sun.  
I had a pretty good time at the amusement park and I intend to visit again to get on the rides and release my inner child.
Have fond memories of the amusement park as a kid? Please sharee! That should be pretty fun to read. 
Also, have you been to there lately. What did you think of the new look?
As always, feel free to share and let's connect!

Update : Googled mom shorts and yup! That's what it's actually called. Hehe

P.S -
Other posts you might like
Lagos Living || Top Six Places/Things To Do.
For Women Who Are Difficult To Love.
4 Hacks To Instantly Look More Stylish This Year.
3 Life Lessons From Creating The Cassie Daves Blog Planner.
My Favourite Outfits From 2016.

My 2016 In Style, Blog Year Recap x A Few Goals For 2017

Thursday, 12 January 2017
Not another recap post right? The last one for the year, I promise! I planned to put this up last year but time and chance happeneth to this girl. I know I've blogged about how to combine your 9 - 5 and blogging and make it work but right now, I work a 7am - 12am, 7 days a week and shit is just so real!

Notwithstanding though, doing a recap of my year in style is yet another tradition ( just like my year in words ) of the blog that I have to uphold. There's just a little twist to it this time around, because I'll be including my 2016 blog recap in this post as well as doing a round up of my looks on the blog from last year.

I did an end of the year blog review in 2015 and found it super helpful in taking stock of my blog year and setting new goals, so I figured hey! Why not try it out this year too? But instead of having two sepearate posts for both recaps , I decided to merge them instead. I'm hoping this makes it a lot easier for you to follow and also takes down having to throw in yet another review post in your face lol.
As always, there will be direct links to each look below the picture. All you have to do is click the number that corresponds to the picture and voila!


So here's my year in style, some of the progress I made with the blog this year, and a few goals for 2017.
Read the full posts : 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8

Style wise : For some reason, I didn't think that I slayed as much as I did the previous years but putting together this post and seeing all my looks at a glance, I guess I can say that I didn't do so shabbily after all.
What do you guys think? 
This year (read as 2016. lol), there was less outfit posts than last year and even less of my signature prints/retro and eccentric style. I played more around casual with a twist looks, bared a bit more skin , denim because what is life really without denim? androgyny and threw in a bit of glam girly look in the mix too. 
I also switched my look up a bit by experimenting with my hair - Going the crochet fro way definitely added some extra spice to my style.

Working as a full time medic means less experimenting for me this year as I'm basically stuck at work 24/7 with a strict dress code . I haven't worn denim this year at all - it is that bad! But I'll try to share more of my work style and how I'm making the dress code work for me regardless.
I shared some of my 2015 style goals last year and this year, one of my goals will be to have a more balanced wardrobe. I talked a bit more about what that means for me in this post. 
I really can't say for sure which look was my favourite but I sure loved glamming up in Maxine Arthurs, twirling and looking Wedding guest ready in Design for love, channeling some free spirited solangey vibes, my floral inspired look  and the urban chic look for LFDW.
Which is your favourite look?
Please share in the comments!

Read the full style posts : 1. 2. 3. 4. 5

Blog Wise : It was one interesting year filled with ups and downs but definitely also with progress and greater heights as well. 

I finally got a new blog theme this year. That was one major area I mentioned in last year's recap that needed change and it gave me so much fulfillment to finally get to tick that off. I switched it to something minimalist but responsive and pretty to look at. I'm already itching for another change and I still have a couple of fixes to make to the blog though like create a start here page, optimize my home page to display a lot more content and be a bit more user friendly. I am also looking to finally move from blogger to either WordPress or squarespace. 
Speaking of pages, have you said Hi and introduced yourself in my "introduce yourself" page? What are you waiting for? Let's get to know each other better this year!


My blog grew quite a bit this year - not really just in stats but I like to think also in positioning. I got to feature in two major nigerian magazines as a blogger which was really just so awesome! : You can read all about both my Mania magazine and Guardian Magazine features.
I got to work with Daniel Wellington which I've been eyeing for a while now and Infinix Nigeria which was a big one for me. I also got my very first physical blog award and got to have my first all paid expense blog trip which you can read all about here
One other thing I kept re-writing in my planner was having a Twitter chat and just before the year ran out, I got to finally have one with a few other awesome African bloggers and hosted by the awesome SheLeadsAfrica.
Read the full style posts : 1. 23. 4.

Now let's talk content. There was less of style posts like last year and more lifestyle type posts. I didn't introduce as much new categories like I did last year and wasn't quite as consistent with some of the old ones like Reader's spotlight, candid talk and celebrating creativity. I honestly can't promise to do better this year but I will try with the reader's spotlight at least because I really enjoyed reading/featuring the people that read my blog. I introduced the blog love series where I share a few blogs that I currently love. Although, I realized the importance of blogger friendships, I didn't get to do a lot of blogger style collaboration this year - just this summer style inspired look with Anjola.

At some point this year, I thought about quitting this blog. If you're signed up to my mailing list HERE, you would already all about this. I got frustrated a bit with putting in so much work all the time and coupled with the fact that I was almost always mentally/physically tired, it was taking a toll on me. I also let the comparision bug get to me and I started feeling envy because some of yall decided to decamp (why you gotta do me like this? Lol!) but I'm happy that I didn't quit. I've been blogging for way too long now and on most days, I can't imagine not blogging.
If you quit in the process, you're quitting on the result. Click to tweet!
Read the full style posts : 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

On the social media end, I still didn't up my pinterest game this year after all my noise lol! Regardless of how many posts I've read about pinterest, it has still been so hard for me to get into it. I might just outsource my pinterest and hire someone to handle that bit for me this year. My instagram grew alot this year, same with my twitter because I started spending more time there
Follow me on social media guys! >> BLOGLOVIN || SUBSCRIBE || FACEBOOK||TWITTER || INSTAGRAM
Read the full style posts : 1. 2. 345. 6

Some of my blog/brand goals this year would be
  • To move from blogger to wordpress or squarespace - set up my shop and switch up my blog theme to something functional : I'm getting increasingly tired of blogger and its many restrictions and I just need to move.
  • Finally host my own workshop and launch that tote line already!
  • Write an ebook or two, introduce e-courses, challenges and add content upgrades to my posts.
  • Take my blog review and consultation services more seriously.
  • Reach out to and initiate more brand patnerships
  • Take the Cassie Daves Blog Planner to an even higher scale - have you got your 2017 blog planner yet? Details here!
  • Create a consistent schedule for my newsletters
  • Get an intern/more hands to help out with the blog. With my rigorous job, I really cannot do it all alone anymore so if you'll like to be a part of the Cassie Daves Team. More Info here!
  • Try Vlogging, maybe!
This year, I really want to document more of my thoughts, the little moments and share more of my everyday style - not just the looks I think are bloggable and by God's grace, there will bemore blogging related travel trips, international features and more awesome brand partnerships.
Read the full style posts : 1. 2. 3

Figured I can as well use this opportunity to share some of my favourite blog posts from this year and some of yours too as evident from my stats/comments.

Outfits.

Blog Tips.

Style Tips|Inspiration.
Beauty.
Travel | Lagos Living.
Life  | Inspiration.
Before i sign out, I just want to say a very big thank you to you all for showing me love this past year. Thank you for sharing and commenting. That is honestly part of what keeps me going - I wouldn't be here if not for you all so pleaseeee keep reading and especially please keep leaving those comments, leave the ghost reading in 2016 oh!
Also, kindly feel free to share this post. In between ward rounds, clinic, correcting my patients hyperglycaemia and walking to work, I finally managed to finish it. Took me a lot of time and effort and I will really appreciate if you can use any of the share buttons below to share this post. Or just simply click to tweet!

Love and Light.

Outfit || Casual Vibes For 2017 x Giveaway Winner.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017
HELLO 2017!

First (style) post of the new year and I just had to bring out the big guns. Although these pictures were shot somewhere around mid 2016, I couldn't have put them up at a more befitting time.
I'm immensely proud of these shots. You can probably tell from the fact that I stored them for so long - what's that thing about saving the best for the last again? Lol

Alabi (Remember him from this post?) took these pictures at the Tokpa market in Cotonou. It was one of those days we set out to explore and get a few good pictures in the bag as well. He already had the whole idea/concept to shoot with the cabs right from the start and finding one with just the right amount of baggage at the top made for the perfect back drop. 
The cab men were so pleasant and helpful, even suggesting ways to improve our shot and generally helping steer people away from our picture frame - one area where the beniniose people defer from Nigerians. Unlike Nigerians, where everything is an avenue to extort money, they didn't ask for any. 


But enough about the pictures for now, let's talk a bit about the outfit.  
I think my outfit was the perfect choice for this shoot - the frame, location and all.
What do you think?

It wasn't at all planned though - I just knew that if I was going to be out exploring, I had to be comfortable at the very least and the dungarees signified that for me.  

I was probably the most excited when I got the memo that dungarees where now back in style. There's nothing I love more than an easy throw on outfit that still amps up your cool factor. I've styled this dungarees previously here , here and here.
Decided to go the casual route this time too with a muscle tee, my crochet fro tied up in a bandana and sandals.


Let me know your thoughts on the outfit and shoot in general.
Also free to share and let's connect below!
 P.S - So Sorry I held out on revealing the giveaway winners for so long. The winners are Vincent Desmond and Chidinma Amogu. Thank you all ao much for participating

P.P.S - Other posts you would love to read

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