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2016 In Words || A Year In Retrospect.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

I've been stalling writing this post because it usually requires a lot of introspection which I've honestly been too tired lately to afford. But this year in review has slowly become a ritual that just has to be kept regardless, so I'm here to share a bit of my year in retrospect and how 2016 looked like for me.

But first off, check out my 2013 in words, 2014 in words and 2015 in words posts
Now let's get into it, shall we?

This year started out on a low note for me, I remember blogging about that here, but it definitely leveled out with time. 2016 was a year of major growth for me - I like to call it my first real year of this adulting thing and because it's easy to be all over the place with recaps. I've decided to break it down into subheadings to make it easier to follow.

I'm starting with this one because this was one area that reflected growth for me. I think 2016 was the year my parents finally realized that I just might be a grown up after all and let me see more of life for myself. You know how with African parents, you can never really be old enough but this year was different! I traveled to a few new places on my own (without family) and that was really so exciting for me.
I blogged all about the three trips I made this year and you can read them below :

The Grind.
Although, I didn't quite achieve all that I set out to for this year. Like that tote bag collection I talked about here or the workshops I mentioned here, I'm not going to beat myself up about it.
On the plus side, I finally took the bold step and launched my blog consultation services and came through with the 2017 blog planner as well!

Work Life.
I remember mentioning in my 2015 recap how sad I was that I didn't get a job that year. I finally did in 2016! Even though, it's been really tough living this med life, it is something that just has to happen for me to be able to move on with life and I'm super glad that it worked out for me finally this year.

Blog Life.
I plan to still do a blog recap but let me just stare here that 2016 was a good year for my blog! I got to work with some big brands, for featured in some too magazines as a blogger, for a blog award and got my first all expense paid trip too! I will go into more details in my blog recap post coming up next!

Love and Life. 
This year, I made more of an effort to grow my relationship with God and although I'm not fully there yet, I'm happy that I took some steps, because Major key! I made some surprising friendships and I also realized that even though I might have good intentions, a good heart and all that, maybe I really ain't shit when it comes to friendships and I think I've made peace with that.
I finally took the first step to learning how to sew this year, I blogged about the sewing workshop i attended here and I also learnt how to drive this year as well.
I didn't do anything drastic with my hair this year despite all my talk about wanting to colour it or go natural but hey! I got close to being a naturalista which was so cool for me as I've been wanting to see what I'll look like with a Fro. Check that out HERE

Fave Moments. 
Some of my favourite moments this year would definitely be :

One thing I tried to do this year was an end of the month recap and I'm happy I made that decision because reading back and seeing how I did each month has got me feeling some type of way - good way though.

I'll definitely look back at 2016 as one of the good years. This new year I plan to work even more on my relationship with God, start tithing regularly, finally learn this makeup game thing, finish up learning to sew, make more money and save more! Travel a bit more too and generally slay.

How about you?
How did 2016 treat you? What was your favourite moment this year and what are your hopes for the new year.

It's almost new year already so here's to wishing you all a wonderful new year filled with love and light.
                 ||TWITTER || INSTAGRAM

P.S - I still have two more posts from 2016 to put up so please bear with me!

Skin Care || The Albimazing Beauty Box.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016
There's been an awful lot of beauty reviews and skin care talk on the blog lately right? Well, let's just say that I'm becoming increasingly interested in getting my glo on. Lol

I talked about how I've been looking to develop a natural skin care routine in this post, so I was really excited when the Albimazing network reached out to me to try out their beauty box. Not only because theirs is a natural and organic skincare subscription box but also because if there's one beauty retail trend (if I can call it that) I've been wanting to try out, it is beauty boxes.

For those who aren't sure what a beauty box is all about, it is basically a subscription type service where you pay monthly and get a box of handpicked beauty products delivered to you. I love the element of surprise that comes with it, like a sort of gift to yourself and also the fact that I don't get to spend as much money as I would have if I buy the individual products myself.

Enough chit chat though, let me Introduce yall to this amazing beauty box!
The Albimazing beauty box is thebrainhild of fellow lifestyle blogger, Coco Anetor-Sokei, and I just have to comment first off on the branding and packaging. I'm a sucker for branding and this gets major points from me for presentation. The box itself is a really lovely colourful box that is just so pretty to look at and I plan to use it as a makeshift jewellery box soon. It came with an extra leaflet listing/expantiating more on the box and products which I thought was really nice.

For the maiden box, the theme was "the vitamin c box" focusing on organic products that work to enhance your glow and gently erase the sun's damage.  If you remember from this post, that is the one thing I'm actually searching for with skincare products.

The box comes with five different products - the Ajali konjac face sponge, the L'avyanna skin naturals vitamin C daily exfoliating face wash, mint organic care foot scrub, whipped shea butter by shea butter roots and Moringa oil.
My favorite and the best surprise for me was the Ajali konjac sponge because it has been on my wish list since I attended Ajali's anniversary party and I was just so happy to see it lying there. Will do a review on the products in another post.
I think subscription boxes in general are a great idea! It was really fun unboxing this and going through the products. I hear there are also food subscription boxes but I'm not sure how I feel about that just yet. Lol. So for now, I'll be sticking to beauty boxes and I can't wait to see what the next theme for the Albimazing box would be.

For the cost and other details, there are three plans you can subscribe to: The monthly Plan where you get to pay N10,000 every month, the Bi-Monthly Plan for N17,000 every two months and Quarterly Plan for N24,000 every three months
For more info and to subscribe, check it out Here

I also received another beauty box from Youtopia beauty but theirs isn't a subscription box, I just got sent a box of some products they retail as a Christmas gift.
What do you guys think of subscription boxes? Ever subscribed to any and which was it?
Share your thoughts please and let's connect! 

Christmas Shenanigans + The Cassie Daves Blog Planner Giveaway!

Sunday, 25 December 2016

I figured something red was in order because hey! It's Christmas! Although, I've blogged about this outfit previously here and you can check it out in case you missed it. Speaking of festive red and christmas, it sure doesn't feel like Christmas over at my end. I think this year has to be the most un-chrismassy year yet and I'm not sure if to blame it on the fact that I have a demanding job that doesn't take holidays and celebrations into consideration.

I know the day is almost over but I thought to pop in quickly and share a bit of what Christmas of 2016 looked like for me and of course, share some goodies in the process too! Yes, there's going to be a blog planner giveaway!

 So Let's keep reading, yes?

I got off work this morning and spent the better part of my day trying to get my life into order - reply backlog of mails and wrap my blog planners to send off.  If you follow me on instagram and you're into instastories, you probably already know all this but here's just a glimpse of what my day looked like.

  1. Work. Work. Work - I.V drugs to be given. Patients to calm down. Nurses to pester into doing their jobs. You know the drill.
  2. Some cake munching - For the first time ever, I got a Christmas cake which was so nice and thoughtful. Spent most of my call duty thinking about eating the cake haha
  3. Blog Planner wrapping - I shared some behind the scenes of this process early this year. It's more or less the same process this year, just a more exhausted girl handling it all and this time around I decided to include a pink wrapping paper and switch up the thank you card to reflect the holiday season.

   4. Spent a little time with my boo'thang talking new year plans and evaluating our year.

My day isn't over yet but I'll be ending it with more blog planner wrapping, stressing over what to wear to work tomorrow and the fact that I still have to wake up super early again tomorrow. *sigh*

How did you spend your day? And while we are at it, which year has been your most memorable christmas ever and why?

Because it's the season of giving. I'll be giving away a blog planner (read all about my blog planners here) to two lucky people.
All you have to do is : 

Click to tweet!
- Follow @cassiedavesblogplanner on instagram- Repost the blog planner picture (with the yellow background) on instagram with the caption @cassiedavesblogplanner #cassiedavesblogplannergiveaway
- Leave a comment stating why you want to win it and your email/social media handle.
- Winner will be announced on Thursday and is open to all states.

Outfit || Lady-Like In Maxine Arthurs.

Thursday, 22 December 2016
Don't I just clean up real good?!

When it comes to really dressing up and going the whole length - with makeup, heels and all that extra jazz, I know just how good I look in that get up. Yes, pride! Haha
But for real, that's yet another thing I like about this fashion thing. The ability to be one person today and another the next day, simply by donning on a different outfit.

My style as you all already know is more of street style, non fussy and not exactly what one will refer to as "lady like". I'll be the first to admit that I hardly have evening wear appropriate clothes and outfits that give off that classy refined look. My fail - safe style formula when the dress code reads "elegant" is most often a flowing skater skirt and a nice top combination like the look in this post and this one too.

I know just how important having a good balance in your wardrobe is and that's why I think a wardrobe refresh is definitely needed for the new year so I'm looking to intoduce more dresses (both evening and office appropriate) to my closet and of course, more wedding and owambe appropriate clothing. So if you're planning on getting me a Christmas present - you know where to start lol

Wondering what all the talk about my style and wardrobe is all about? Well, I re-realized the importance of having a balanced wardrobe filled with outfits not just in tune with my style but also suitable for my "life style" when I had to pack for the dunes experience.
I'll be real with you all here because that's just the way it is but when you're going to be spending days away with certified fashion people (especially Lagos fashion people! lol) in an event with a dress code that reads "luxury", you just know everyone is going to come to slay. Haha!

The dress code for the launch of the Nigerian floor event was "Buy Nigerian" and Abuja based designer, Maxine Arthurs came through for me last minute - thanks to Tuke (see?! Another advantage of blogger friendships).
Maxine Arthurs is a ready to wear, bespoke and bridal design label in Maitama. They also retail fabrics and accessories too. I fell in love first with the store space/set up, the lovely outfits and then the designer herself who I got to meet and chat with. There's just something about meeting someone and immediately connecting and vibing with them. She was so pleasant and listening to the inspiration behind the brand got me inspired. I love hearing about young people going after their dreams.
For the look I pulled from Maxine Arthurs, I was stuck between this ankara off shoulder midi dress and another equally gorgeous floor length black dress with floral inserts but this one won at the end because I felt the Ankara fabric was more in tune with the whole buy Nigerian dress code.
I accessorized with a statement neck piece I got from Maxine Arthurs too - and my white court shoes from my recent haul post.

The pictures were taken by an amazing photographer I met at the event - Ejike Manny, my makeup was by TNT and of course if you're in Abuja, check out Maxine Arthurs at No 1 Kaduna-River Close, Maitama and their instagram here. Oh and their pieces are quite affordable too! Because we all know that Nigerian designers be reachingg. Lol If I remember correctly, this dress costs N15k 

What do you guys think of this look? How would you have accessorized differently to give a different feel to the outfit?  I plan to dedicate a full post to writing about how to curate a well balanced wardrobe and what it is about but for now, would you say you have a balanced wardrobe? What does your wardrobe comprise mostly of?
Sharee your thoughts in the comments.
And let's connect!!

P.S -  You might have missed these!

Three Days In The 'Buj - The Dunes Experience.

Saturday, 17 December 2016
Have I said thank you to you guys lately? Thank you so much for all the love on my birthday and the support in my last postI appreciate you!

P.S - Picture overload in this post.

So, It is no news that I was in Abuja over the weekend for the dunes experience. I talked about it in my last post here and If you follow me on instagram, you must have been fed with all my updates on insta stories. Haha.

I got back to Lagos last weekend and I was really not ready to face real life after the great weekend I had at the Dunes center in Abuja. Why do all good things have to come to an end? *sigh*
I was selected amongst a few other notable fashion personalities (Fashion writers - Nikki Anyansi of StyleVitae, Oge Agu of Kamdora, Favour Olugu of TW Magazine, and Godson Ukaegbu of Genevieve Magazine,  Stylists -JekwuTheStylist, Zed Eye and Jane Michael Ekanem, Photographer - Kola Oshalusi, Blogger - Akin Faminu and OAP - Kaylah Oniwo) to experience the launch of the luxury floor at the Dunes center in Abuja. We were to spend three days lodged at one of the best places in Abuja - The Dunes Apartment and I was really excited for it all.

Here's a break down of all we got up to during the three days we spent exploring the dunes center and my highlights.

Day One.
I set out on Friday morning and met up with the rest of the crew at the airport.
We arrived in Abuja in the afternoon, got loaded up into the bus and headed to the Dunes Center. That journey was my first glimpse of Abuja and I was really amazed at how free the roads were! We got to the Dunes centre in record time and I was so happy to see that it met and exceeded all my expectations! I mean, I had high expectations already but somehow they managed to exceed it. The building itself was quite massive (I got lost a few times lol) and the apartments were real ly impressive.
We had a welcome package waiting for us in our rooms and part of its content was a scroll. The scrolls were definitely one of the best parts of my #theduneexperience because I'm a sucker for the little details, branding and extra personal touches (like I tried to show you all with my blog planner packaging). Everything was so well thought out and it was obvious from the start.
Quick background : The Dunes Center is a one stop shopping arena in Maitama (Abuja), comprising of the Dunes apartments, the Dunes restaurant/ Cafe and the shopping arena where you can find just about everything! You can also shop your favourite luxury/designer brands, Art, and Nigerian fashion at the mall.
After we all got settled in, we went down to the cafe to have lunch and generally familiarize ourselves with the centre. Can you tell that I have a serious case of green fever(envy) for Nikki's hair? Legit hair goals right there!
The highlight of day one was the masquerade ball later that night. We all for masks and got to dress up to dinner.
I wore an Ejiro Amost Tafiri skirt with a lace crop top for the ball and it was such a fun night watching everyone let loose was particularly interesting. Lol. Trust someone over here didn't exactly let loose. Haha

I also got surprised! I remember saying I wouldn't mind being surprised for my birthday in this post even if I didn't think it would ever happen. I was so sure that it was never going to happen and even kept disagreeing with people in my comments that it would never happen. Little did I know that the crew had a surprise planned for me. I was so shocked when the song suddenly changed to a birthday song, a cake appeared and everyone started singing along! Best birthday yet!

Day Two
Day two was the D - Day. The actual day of the fashion show and launch of the nigerian floor (stocking Nigerian fashion brands) which was the main thing we went there to witness. But before the actual event, we were taken on a tour of their luxury floor. I wish I had taken more pictures from that tour because I need to share all the beautiful shoes and bags! It was just so much beauty in one place. 

Day two was my day to switch back to my comfort zone and I wore a polka dot crop top and black highwaisted pants. Full style post coming soon!
The fashion show and launch of the Nigerian floor was the highlight of Day two for me. I finally decided to have my face beaten and coupled with the lovely dress I got from an amazing Abuja based designer Maxine Arthurs, I was ready to have a good time. Full outfit post in my next post!

The show was one of the most organized and creative one I've been too in a long while. The set up and sitting arrangements were done in a different and out of the box way to help us engage more with the crafts and products on display.
We ended the day with dinner at the famous Dunes restaurant.

Day Three.
On day three, we had a treasure hunt and said our goodbyes to the dunes center and Abuja. The treasure hunt was fun but I was sad because I didn't win anything lool! Even with all the expo I got with the riddle on twitter. *sigh*Akin won a Roberto Cavalli gold wallpaper that I was seriously lusting over!
I wore a loose fitting denim overall which might just appear in another style post soon and got to meet up with blogger Grace Alex and Modavracha before we headed to the airport.

Christmas definitely came early for me this year. It was a memorable experience as I got to make good connections and I also had a wonderful time while at it.
Another thing I've been going on about is how I want to visit Abuja and I'm glad I can tick that off my bucket list finally. Although, I didn't do much exploring so I have plans to visit again.

Pic : @kolaoshalusi

If you're in Abuja, you should totally check out the Dunes center. For more information, check their site.

 Let's connect!

P.S -  You might have missed these!

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