24 & Grateful

It’s been a long time since I blogged on/about my birthday. I think the last one was my 22nd where I was soliciting for suggestions on what to do for my birthday. That feels like ages ago.

Anyways, today June 11th, 2017, I turn 24.

This morning, someone asked me how I felt and I simply replied with ‘good. grateful’ because frankly, that was exactly how I felt.

At peace.

Content and grateful. For everything.

As usual, I didn’t make any plans this year which I slightly regretted because, after church, I was looking for what to do. Lol. I ended up striking out a couple of things on my to-do list whilst simultaneously replying messages and of course, stuffing myself with cake.

 

So, what does 24 mean?

I’m of the school of thought that you should be hustling and putting in all the work in your 20s and not wasting your life by being irresponsible and making reckless decisions. Instead, explore your interests and try to build a career. I know quite a number of people that have had multiple careers in their lifetime and that’s not a bad thing to aspire to. At all. Yes, this is coming from a homebody and a self-proclaimed millennial workaholic that pretty much has a non-existent social life. But these days, young people are doing great and amazing things. It’s difficult to not feel challenged.

So yes, I’m going to spend my 24th year and the rest of my 20s exploring my interests and hopefully breaking glass ceilings.

So help me God.

The last one year has been incredible, to say the least. I’m particularly thankful for growth. I’m thankful because lines are falling in pleasant places. I’m thankful for those Eureka moments which I actually think is the Holy Spirt at work. I’m grateful for ideas and the grace to implement and execute them. I’m grateful because I’m just getting started!

Cheers to the new year!

Taking Up Yoga

The last time I made a significant lifestyle decision was about two years ago when I quit soda and before then about three years ago when I went natural. 

Just like many others, going natural eventually became so much more than hair; it meant a complete lifestyle overhaul. But I wasn’t ready to go all out, it had to be in stages beginning with my hair.

But right now, I feel like I’m ready to move to the next stage. As a result of my work conditions, most days I hate the way I feel. I hate how my body isn’t strong and flexible. I hate the way I can’t run down the stairs without gasping for breath despite the fact that I weigh less than 55kg. I particularly hate the fact that I don’t have stamina. Well, I decided that I needed to take control of my body rather than beating myself over my lack of fitness so I took up yoga.

Before now, I had actually been thinking about different workout options before I settled on yoga but the more I thought about them the more unlikely they seemed for the following reasons:

  • My estate is not exactly safe for early morning runs.
  • The only gym around is also not a walking distance.
  • Most importantly, I did not want to leave my house but I needed something that was convenient and accessible hence yoga was the most likely option.

I finally got around to ordering a yoga mat (you can get yours on Konga) and frankly, I’m looking forward to it. Actually, I’m really excited about it which is why I had my first session yesterday after church and this was the result:

I definitely felt a bit sore here and there from the long period of inactivity but it surely felt good. I did a 15 minutes session with Yoga with Adriene from YouTube and it was so easy, straightforward and pretty self – explanatory. Of course, I still have a bit to learn particularly the poses but baby steps. In the meantime, I’ll be enjoying my yoga sessions on YouTube starting with 20 minutes every day.

I also plan to attend Ibukun’s yoga class soonish and maybe bond with other yogis?

I really don’t have much expectations asides from increased strength,improved flexibility and general fitness. Hopefully overtime, I reap some other benefits and also work on meditation.

Wish me luck!

 September Faves

 

September Faves

  • Biopics

There was a time in my life when I wouldn’t be caught watching anything other than romcoms and K-dramas. Now, I’m embracing biopics with both hands. So far, I’ve seen Pele, Jobs, Nina, Confirmation, Joy, Selma, The Walk, and counting. I figured if I can’t get around to reading some of these biographies, I could at least watch them and still get the whole idea.

  • Nik-Nak’s Voice Notes

The other time, I talked about my new favorite podcasts. Every other day, I discover new podcasts, the latest being Nik Nak’s Voice Notes. Nik Nak attempts to exalt the beauty in the mundane, the simple and intricately detailed. My fave episode so far is the latest one on the Faith Episode where a number of people share their faith journeys – leaving the faith, returning to it or having a crisis of faith. It’s so damn relatable.

 

  • Apple Cider Vinegar

During my last grocery shopping, the state of the economy finally hit me. I was about to buy my staple bottle of ACV when I noticed that the price had tripled. (Side-eye to Spar though whose prices had doubled in advance). I was so sad that I had to settle for a cheaper brand which I still had to dispose of because it turned out to be apple juice. I use ACV for everything and I literally cannot do without it. This is me taking time out to appreciate its existence.

  • Wilson’s Lemonade

 

During my last Graphics Design training, I had Wilson’s every day for the entire duration. Yes, for a week. I didn’t know what came upon me. All I knew was I had been slacking on Wilson’s plus it was incredibly cheap. No, I didn’t get tired of it because I made sure I took just the right quantity all through.

I recently attended a Writer’s workshop which turned out to be completely underwhelming and a waste of money asides the small chops maybe  and for the first time in a long time, I appreciated the Internet in its entirety. I also realized some of the things I had taken for granted over time including the Writers in Charge website. This is basically a Freelance Writer’s hub for everything about the business. This month, I found myself going back to it and I’m SO glad I did.

  • NITC16 TVC News

During NITC16 last month, TVC News surprised us. They had seen our flyer and planned to cover the natural hair segment of NITC. Fortunately or unfortunately, NITC has evolved into a healthy lifestyle meetup so they had to wait a while. In the meantime, they interviewed a couple of us, myself included.

I think I was rambling something about my hair routine here. Btw, as a fast-talker, I’ve come to despise interviews and videos. I always end up stuttering and saying unintelligible things.

Also, the official photos have been posted on nitcnigeria.com.

  • Kemi Lewis Photoshoot

During NITC16, natural hair stylist extraordinaire Kemi Lewis swung by and casually mentioned that she needed models for an upcoming photoshoot session. I did not know when I volunteered myself. Before I knew it, she was getting my details and we were making plans. I had so much fun that day and I cannot wait to share my experience when the official photos are out. Meanwhile, some selfies and BTS.

  • Bad moms

 

I saw Bad Moms last week and it made me realize how challenging motherhood is. It’s both the scariest and bravest thing any women could go through and there’s no right formula to it. You just need to find out what works for you and strike a balance else you’d literally lose your mind.This is also why it s important to have a career or cause you’re passionate about to maintain your sanity.

  • Big Trouble – Dave Barry

I didn’t read that many books in September because I was really occupied but I stole a moment to read Dave Barry’s Big Trouble in one sitting. It left me in stitches. I mean, it is the most hilarious book I’ve read since the Stephanie Plum series. Best thing? It is Dave’s first work as a columnist/humorist cum novelist. I have a thing for non-fiction writers who have transitioned into fiction writers. Elizabeth Gilbert. Junot Diaz. I feel like they have set the pace for me whenever I’m ready write a work of fiction.

August Faves

I haven’t shared my favorite things in so long. Usually, I wait until they are a substantial amount before writing them down. But now, I’m ready.

  • Books 

Janet Evanovich‘ Stephanie Plum Series

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I’ve been reading a bit too much crime fiction lately. Sometimes, they get real intense that you just need a witty line or more to contain the heat. I had read Janet Evanovich before now and she wasn’t half bad so I didn’t hesitate to pick her up once again. This time, I was in for a major surprise. The Stephanie Plum series are 22-full length novels and I stumbled on the 9th. First of all, can I just say it’s incredibly addictive? I’m currently on the 11th novel and I have no plan of stopping. They’re a tie between chic-lit and crime fiction and they serve me just the way I like them – humourous, witty and fast-paced.

Elmore Leonard

Elmore is also another crime writer I absolutely cannot get enough of. Just like Janet, he makes crime fiction totally appealing. I’m currently on my third novel.

 

  • Others

Podcasts

I jumped on podcasts by accident and I haven’t been able to stop. I’m currently bingeing on Elizabeth Gilbert‘s Magic Lessons but I follow a couple of interesting Nigerians on Soundcloud.  I’ve also been having ideas of a podcast. Question is, what would I talk about?

Listen to the first episode of Magic Lessons here;

 

Instagram stories

I’m currently phoneless at the moment but I’ve been enjoying the thrill and duration of Instagram stories from my tablet. I love how I do not have to worry about aesthetics or editing or curation. I also love the spontaneity as it allows me to share bits and pieces of my daily life. I’m forced to look outwards and find beauty in my environment rather than my facial expressions.

Protopage

As a content writer, one of my biggest challenges is aggregating my sources. For a while now, I’ve been jumping from one tool to another and so far, Protopage has been a staple. It is worth mentioning.

TheSkimm

I’m quite indifferent to a lot of things. Most subjects actually. From politics to economics and sports. TheSkimm has changed all of that. Every morning, I receive bit- sized news in my inbox. Everything that is going on in the world. More efficient than Twitter and CNN. No jokes! I mean that is the only way I’ve been able to follow the Olympics and US Elections. Also, it’s millennial – friendly.

Techcabal Daily Digest

Just like TheSkimm keeps me up to date on world issues, Techcabal daily digests keep me informed on the tech scene in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. For the longest time, I kept denying and withdrawing from anything that had to do with tech and its technicalities. My excuse? Too geeky. But now, Techcabal has fixed all that. I mean, if you’re working in an industry, the least you can do is to be informed else you’ll be left behind.

Quartz Africa Daily Digest

Similarly, Quartz Africa keeps me informed on the most important news on politics and economics. I love how concise and easily digestible their articles are. When I’m ready to move to the next level in my career, I’ll probably start from there.

  • These lovely photos of me at NITC 15. Check out the new website – nitcnigeria.com

 

  • Finally, my newsletter.

I’ve been sharing a lot of things with my subscribers. Those things I would rather not talk about but need to be addressed and it’s been fun. You can sign up here.

March Faves

Music
This is somewhat weird because I barely listen to music. But in the month of March, I found myself going back to my Deezer playlist almost every night. This, of course came with the best recommendations.
So, in no particular order;

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1. The Expression – Gloweeyah Braimah.
I used to have an issue with the spelling of her name but then for some reasons, I got drawn to her album – probably because of the dash of K-Pop (I watch wayy too much K dramas) here and there – and it’s been on repeat since then. My faves are Miracle Worker (Duh!) and God Alone.

2. Colours Of Africa – Sonnie Badu
The first time I heard Sonnie Badu at the Experience, I knew I had to look for his album. Sonnie is the ultimate worshipper and this album ministered to me in every possible way!

3. The Son Of God – Nathaniel Bassey
Worship never felt so good!

Books
I didn’t read that many books in March because, exams but I found a way to squeeze in a few chapters everyday.

1. The Lover – Margaurite Duras
Ugh! This was such a short and disturbing book. The worst thing? It’s actually an autobiographical novel which of course is based on the author ‘s life – a 12yo and her clandestine romance with an older, wealthy Chinese man. Paedophile much?

2. Sentimental Education – Gustave Flaubert
This is one of the most popular French classics but for some reasons because of the length of the book, I kept dropping and picking it up so much that it wasn’t coherent anymore so I finally dumped it. I might pick it up some other time.

3. The Zebra – Alexander Jardin
This is possibly one of the best books I’ve read in recent times. You know how there are no perfect stories and there’s something always wrong the plot or characters or just the general direction of the story? This was perfect and poignant and brilliant! Yes, it was an amazing story but the translation was everything!

Movies

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1. Miracles From Heaven
I usually don’t cry when watching movies or reading books no matter how deep, moving or just emotional it is. But this time, it’s didn’t know when I started weeping from nowhere. This was such an important movie. About losing faith, miracles and how God allows us go through certain crisis to make us stronger. Coincidentally, I finished one Bible plan on this and I’ve been searching for it again. When I find, I talk about it at length. The best thing about it is that it’s based on a true life story. I loved how the actual family was featured at the end.

2. Deadpool
I saw Deadpool for the second time with friends and it was funny as hell. I felt like I could withstand some of the scenes and get some more references than the first time.

Other Faves.

1. My mini pyrex.

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I’ve started buying (measuring) tools. All this time, I got by by simply improvising and basically just eyeballing measurements. But this is a step in the right direction. Just because it isn’t on a large scale doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do things right. So, here’s to new tools and improved formulations.

2. This Introductory course on herbalism. I really want to take this course as well as that of Formula Botanica but the way the exchange rate is set up, I might have to wait until it stabilises. I really can’t wait to be a Certified Organic and Herbal Skincare Formulator. There’s so much to learn and there’s a limit to what I can do on my own. These courses might just be the answer.

3. Highbrow
Someone said something about Highbrow on my timeline the other day and I had to check it out. Well, I’m glad I did. Highbrow lets you learn about a variety of subjects at a time for just five minutes a day. Amazing right? Concise and straight to the point. I just finished Business: SEO Fundamentals just because and I’m currently on Health: How The Body Works. Not like I didn’t know or anything. I just like to be more aware of these things.

4. This photos of me taken at NITC14

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Apart from the obvious filter, this first photo just proves that all of the hours and data spent on YouTube to fix my makeup isn’t a waste. A mean I manned the registration stand and I kept getting compliments. Which means I’m doing something right. Apart from the fact that it’s eating deep into my budget – good makeup is frigging expensive – I’m having a swell time unlearning and relearning. The second photo is gold! Bigups to Isioma!

Here’s to a more eventful April!

January Faves

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Books
I’ll have a more comprehensive list of January reads later on but my favorites so far are Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (can’t wait for the movie) – that book as well many others were read in 12 hours in my jammies. That’s how intense and captivating they were. Followed closely by The Choice by Nicholas Sparks, And The Mountains Echoed by Klahed Hosseini and finished up with The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. I’ve had an awesome reading reading month if you ask me and it has set the tone of my reading year very nicely.

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Movies
I really hate going to the movies during the holidays so I kept postponing and postponing plus the timing wasn’t even right. But I managed to see Sisters which left me in stitches. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are friendship goals! Looking forward to watching Ride Along 2 and Creed next week. Also, the lineup of movies this year starting with Deadpool in February is INSANE! I can’t wait!

TV Shows
So, Suits has returned as well as Jane The Virgin, Supergirl and The Flash. I’m looking forward to a brand new season. For some reasons, I couldn’t watch past the first episode of Jessica Jones which I deleted immediately. Also, the pilot episodes of Billions and Shades of Blue are occupying space until I can bring myself to actually watch them.

Music
It’s no news that I don’t care much for music which explains why I’ve had this current playlist on repeat all month.

Casting Crowns – Thrive
Jessie J – Flashlight
Jessie J –  Masterpiece

Yep! Just those three songs with occasional bouts of the Annie OST album.

Other Faves.

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1. Shift dresses and pants
I’m not particularly fashion forward and I absolutely love to be comfy in my outfits. It doesn’t really help that I’m not tall so a lot of current trends are at my disadvantage. Enter Shift Dresses And Ankara Pants. My wardrobe is currently going through a minor revamp. I’m coming into my personal style and adding and subtracting pieces. No, I’m not documenting anything. The number of personal style bloggers currently on the internet irks me. I’m not about to be part of them. At the moment, I prefer loosely fitted pants (clothes generally) to jeans and shift dresses and skirts to any other outfit. I’m not trying to flaunt anything. My comfort is more important to me than anything. So, you’ll catch me on the streets of Lagos in those. I promise, I have other outfits and I’m not trying to be a hipster.

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2. Nude Lipsticks.
I currently own six nude lipsticks. Don’t ask how. I don’t know myself. Even though, I’m not clueless as makeup, I could not for the life of me figure out how to wear a nude lipstick until Queen pointed it out to me. Hello, dark lip liners! Turns out, I can’t stop wearing them. It’s everything and more you need to perfect that no – makeup look. I’m also glad I can leave my house without makeup without feeling overly self – conscious. I really don’t care.

3. Cravings
It’s fasting month which also means a spike in my cravings. I’ve almost spent all my income on food. It’s insane really. From ChikWizz to Ice Cream, Cakes, Small chops and whatnot from one extreme to another. This is not me, I promise. Anytime, I see a banner with food, I literally have to restrain myself. Sigh. It is well.

4. Lime water and Flavoured Green Tea
In the midst of my cravings, it’s only right to get my fluids right.

5. Manish Dayal
How could I ever forget this adorable and gorgeous hunk of man? Okay, so I saw Hundred Foot Journey a few weeks ago and I couldn’t stop crushing on Manish. In fact, he has temporarily displaced all my celebrity crushes at the moment.

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I mean, look at that!

Of course I followed him on IG.

Sigh. *swoon*.

~EB.