Cupid's Chokehold.

Carnaby Street
boden pink coat
As a child Mulan was (and still is) my favourite Disney film. I admired Mulan's strength and tenacity, in short I wanted to be just like her. I also noted at a young age how she softened under the gaze of Captain Shang who would then go onto be her other half. In my youth, I cradled the idea of being a strong woman, who would soften and open up once I found the one. Like a 'cactus flower only blooming at night' a loved one once told me... But I digress... I turned twenty six last week, and within the flurry of kind phone calls from my family and friends, were a sprinkling of prayers and morsels of well meaning but unsolicited advice which swung between the "AHHHH Sade! you're not getting any younger - think about your biological clock my dear" type of deal to "Don't spend all your time focusing on architecture - think about meeting someone soon"  and the classic, "Oh I know this guy you might want to meet". Which was met on my part with a polite laugh, an over the phone eye roll of exasperation and a strong NO to any playing cupid in my love life - or lack of it.
heart bag
Joanie clothing review
pandora do see the wonderful
I'm Nigerian if I haven't mentioned it before, and with most Nigerian women, as we're growing up we're always told to focus on our education and that knowledge and doing well academically is absolutely paramount - especially in school and university. So I find it laughable that after burying my head in books for the majority of my child, teen and adult life, that I'm expected to have magic-ed up the perfect boyfriend / husband overnight. And whilst love in all it's forms is something very beautiful and something that I am looking forward to, it's truly not something that I believe I should actively or desperately chase. What will be will be am I right? Whilst the whole marriage by 25, house by 28 and kids by 30 thing *was* a dream of mine during my years of childlike wonder, it's something that I think just *happens*, or doesn't *happen* and regardless I don't think shaming people and pressuring them into settling down (and later possibly regretting said decision) should be normalised. Better to be unhappy alone, than unhappy in the arms of another is my motto.

I've written extensively on the topic of love, learning how to be alone and enjoying singledom in your twenties, some of which I've had to go an re-read and remind myself of post break up a few months ago (There is nothing worse than taking your own advice is there?). In a roundabout way, the whole Arch job hunt has given me something else to focus on that isn't my finger hovering over the social media profile I shouldn't be visiting just to 'check up on', and general I'm going to die alone with three dogs and a cat named Mr Mittens feelings that come in waves in the space... after. So, you can imagine it's not all that enjoyable to be bombarded with 'you gotta find someone before it's too late' with each passing year. I think one of the good things to have come out of my breakup was that if things don't work - they don't work and that's a-ok (reader, I did not think this as I cried out what I think was every possible tear in my tear ducts back then) but now looking back on it, I don't regret anything, nor do I hold any beef, and in a strange way it's helped me deal with the flurry of 'when will you marry' questions from aunties. Now I'm a lot more relaxed about it all, and in no rush to settle down and indeed accidentally settle for someone  I'm not equally yoked with.

I'm not really sure how to end this one as it's a bit of word vomit and personal ramblings, so I'll leave you with an apt quote that I always look back on when I feel like I need to remember, everything in it's time...

“Love is the sister to Truth, but they differ in two ways. You must go to Truth to find her. She will never come looking for you. However, you are never to go looking for her sister Love. Love will find you in your own divine timing, when you are ready for her. So don't look, she will come. She always does.” 

Suzy KassemRise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

What I Wore...

DRESS - joanie clothing | COAT c/o boden | BAG - joanie clothing | SHOES c/o boden | JEWELLERY c/o pandora



Staycation at The Sanderson London.

The Sanderson, Fitzrovia, London
So, I didn't quite achieve the whole basking in the south of France under a 30 degree sun, sipping on the finest French wine holiday goal I thought I would after postgrad. I did spend a few days in sunny Copenhagen with Kristabel though, which was exciting, but still not the lazy relaxation I'd been craving. I had promised myself a nice break after uni, because six year of studying and working had taken it's toll on my mental and emotional health and I was TIRED! Every part of my body was begging for some sort of brief getaway if even just for a single night. 

So when the very lovely Katy came to the rescue with an e-mail that noted cocktails at the infamous long bar, a full breakfast spread and mostly importantly a very very cosy nights sleep at The Sanderson, well.... Reader, I cannot quite begin to explain how fast I clicked the reply button..

Sade & Supal, Let Down Your Hair!

So with Supal in tow, I arrived at the Sanderson for their Garden of Eden Summer party with a suitcase, a portfolio and a body in need of a strong drink and a cozy nights sleep. After spending the afternoon shooting and enjoying the macarons that Sanderson kindly sent up, we got dolled up and dressed in all white for the summer party. The courtyard garden was impeccably decorated with fairy lights, and as the sun set over the live band, everything felt so perfect. It was even better that I got to spend the evening doing some serious catching up with Supal, we talked travel, education, career goals and of course - dating in London hehe. After one too many cocktails (due to the very friendly and enthusiastic bartender) we skipped out to grab burritos for dinner and we changed into our pj's and crawled into bed to continue our giggles.

The Morning After The Night Before...

You shouldn't judge a book by it's cover - That I can agree with, however when it comes to hotels, you definitely should judge by how good their showers are and boy was I excited to hop into the shower the next morning. Our bathroom was stocked with Malin + Goetz goodies as well as the most comfortable robe and slippers I have ever had the pleasure of putting on my body. Needless to say, our morning started off well despite it being 7:30am as I had to go to an architecture interview later that morning. Let's talk breakfast shall we? Well if you know me, you'll know pancakes are my thing so if you could, please imagine my delight when a stack of very fluffy and airy pancakes with maple syrup were placed in front of me alongside a flat white and platefuls of smoked salmon and yoghurts with granola, berries and all the trimmings! I almost felt like I could fly to the interview at that point. So with our bellies filled, and our heads rested with a smidge of mid twenties hangover 'hanging' over our heads, we checked out and parted ways feeling well refreshed and in very good spirits.

[ I was a guest of Sanderson's but all content and opinions are of course mine. Thanks for the wonderful stay Sanderson! ]



Two + Six.

Covent Garden
"You're going to be twenty six! In the blink of an eye you'll be thirty!" My friend exclaimed excitedly. Where she was filled to the brim with excitement at the thought of me adding another year under my belt. I was a little terrified. I was struck with a lingering mixture of fear and disappointment. More so because she had mentioned that thirty was around the corner. "Thirty" I mouthed breathlessly. For me thirty signified mortgages, marriages, money and in some cases children. Thirty looked aspirational, dressed sharply, enjoyed martini's during 'school nights' and smelt like coffee and something expensive from Tom Ford. Essentially the very opposite of what I am right now. 
Twenty Five felt like yesterday - Partly because it was literally yesterday (ahahaha!) and partly because the year practically flew by. Twenty Five looked like sleepless nights because of deadlines, it looked like eyes rimmed with grey, baggy sweatpants and unwashed hair tied back into a make shift bun. Twenty Five sounded like lo - fi, quiet tinkering jazzy beats intertwined with London Grammar's 'Big Picture' on repeat in a corsa. Twenty Five tasted like cheap coffee that dyed your lips a deep shade of brown on the third cup, it tasted like Jammy Red Roo wine from a first date and far too many takeaways from Nabzy's with 'extra red salt please!'  Twenty Five smelt like food that had been left in the fridge for too long, it also smelt like fresh washing and vigourous spritzing's of YSL's Black Opium. Twenty Five felt like and teen romance films in all the worst ways and then it felt like things were 'falling into place' as it were and then in an instant, Twenty Five felt like a sharp pain in my chest, it felt like the age of loss, fear, change and unease. 
Twenty Five was a year of 'one step forward two steps back'. 
Twenty Six however... Oh Twenty Six! What an age it will be! Twenty Six will look like a crisp glass of cool water, hydrating, nourishing, cooling. It will look like my favourite pair of butt enhancing jeans, the ones I wear when I want to feel a little more confident. It will look like new faces, new friendships and a new relationship. Twenty Six will sound like 'Wonder' by Hillsong United, it'll flow through my eardrums, through my body and out of my extremities and the world around me will be filled with it's spirit. Twenty Six will taste like the world in all it's glory, it will be a banquet, and I will be seated at the head of the table, starved and ready for my fill. Twenty Six will smell like a field in summer - warm, intense, enchanting and exciting, it'll smell like the freshly roasted coffee in quiet cafe's that brings people together on a daily basis. Twenty Six will feel like I've just run a marathon and beaten my own time, it will feel like pride, patience, excitement and fresh starts. Twenty Six, oh my friends! Twenty Six will be my testimony. Of this I am sure and I cannot wait to share this journey with you. I'm speaking it ALL into existence!

25, you taught me, you changed me, you broke me. 26, you will nourish me, you will heal me, you will make me.
swarovski remix

Here's to twenty six, s/o for God allowing me to see another birthday.

What I'm Wearing...

DRESS - asos (old) | HEELS - primark | JEWELLERY c/o swarovski | LIPSTICK - colourpop

[photos by Yossy]



My Current Skincare Essentials For Dry Skin.

best affordable skincare products for dry skin
"What are those lines on your face?" enquired my sister curiously. I glanced in the mirror and sure enough, it looked like my mouth was encased between two deeply etched brackets. I rubbed said brackets gently with my finger to ensure the foundation I had meticulously applied was not messed up, but to my horror - said lines did not disappear for they were now permanent smile lines, and in that moment I realised that my skin simply was not the skin of a fifteen year old anymore and indeed my black had began to crack. On a serious note, as December 2016 turned into January 2017, I made a small pact with myself that I would treat my skin with better love care and attention. You see, after turning twenty five last year, I noticed that my skin was constantly dull with patches of dryness and hyper-pigmentation, that even lashings of a makeup and orange concealer could not cover, and as someone who prefers the natural look in terms of makeup, I realised the importance of a good skincare routine to create a solid natural looking finish. I knew I wanted to reset and refresh my skin for good. Now, I'll be honest and say that my skin is actually pretty easy going, I'm not acne prone or particularly oily, I only really have spot flare ups when my period is due, and even despite me failing on a daily basis to hit the two litres of water a day mark, my skin isn't quite the Sahara desert (yet..), that being said, I do realise the benefits of a strong skincare routine regardless of the situation. This rotation has worked so well that I've ditched my foundation for just a simple swipe of concealer most mornings! Some are products that I've used for a few years unflinchingly, and some are a few that I've been trialling for the past three to four months...
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pixi glow tonic honest review
[ T o n e r s ]
My routine does indeed begin with cleansers and makeup removers but I'll be honest and say that the ones I'm currently using aren't 'wow-ing' me much. They work well enough but I'm on the hunt for something better (if I do find any superstar cleansers, you'll hear about it here first!). So with that out of the way, let's talk about toners. Toners are supposed to improve the appearance of the skin over time, shrink those pores and in some cases exfoliate. I've been using the beauty worlds cult fave 'Glow Tonic' for a good couple of years now and let me tell you my friends - It has changed my life. I suffer from hyper pigmentation and this is one of the few products that have genuinely worked to shift any darks spots that have been left from me popping pimples or generally being harsh with my skin. Another great toning products is anatomicals very handy Glycolic Acid Pads which deep cleanse and exfoliate the skin without leaving my face feeling stripped or ashy.
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[ S e r u m s ]
Erno Laszlo's White Marble Essence Lotion is labelled as a toner, but for me it works as more of a serum and I apply it after I've toned with one of the two products above. The price is a little higher than I'd usually go in regards to laying down the pounds on skincare products but boy does this product work! It hydrates, plumps and leaves the skin looking and feeling dewy and bright, perfect if you're someone like me who's skin can tend to look dull and tight. Another star that saw me through my worst skincare patch (I'm talking face wipes and no a drop of h2o in my mouth kinda bad) during my hand in's was The White Company's Super Serum, and super it is. It helped me to retain moisture in my skin, lessen the dark circles around my eyes and mouth, and left my skin looking glowy and awake, even with very little sleep under my belt.
the white company deciem review
[ Moisturisers ]
My favourite! Moisturising is the coffee to my beauty life, and my handbags will tell you that I'm a little obsessed with lip balms and moisturisers. I'm just trying to live a well moisturised and hydrated life out here, you know what I mean? For face, I've been switching between Clinique's dramatically different moisturiser and The White Company's Advanced Hydration Moisturiser. The Clinique offering is lighter and better suited for daytime whereas The White Company's moisturiser is thicker and feels like the perfect way to infuse moisture into my face after whacking on my serums and toners before bed. For lips, I swear by Carmex - It's one of the only lip balms that actually feels like it penetrates and moisturises my lips fully as opposed to just leaving a mildly oily film on top of it like most balms do. Pixi's lip polish is also the bomb dot com, and is another night time fave. It exfoliates and leaves my lips feeling smooth and plumped.
best face oils for dry skin
[ O i l s ]
I am a moisturise and then seal girl through and through and what works for my hair also works for my face. I 'seal' the moisture into my face using both heavy and lighter oils depending on the season and how my skin is looking and feeling. Three brilliant oils I've had on rotation are; Pixi's rose oil blend (which I prefer to use at night as it's on the heavier side), The Afro Hair & Skin Co's flow oil (which I've found is the perfect balance between not too light and not too heavy - great for morning and evening) and The White Company's Night Oil (which I actually prefer to use as a morning oil because it's so light and because of it's wonderful citrusy scent).
best black women skincare routine

What are you skincare heroes? I'd love to know in the comments below!



Chasing Time.

Soho, London, UK

"Tick Tock"

We have twenty four hours in a day, seven days in a week, twelve months in a year, so why oh why are we obsessed with the notion of filling all these hours, minutes, seconds with 'busyness'?. We are forever chasing time and clicking on 'end call' or muttering "I'll get to that later" as we pour ourselves a fifth coffee with shaking hands and dry mouths tapping away unproductively on our phones. The notion of being busy all the time should be axed because 1.) It's simply not humanly possible to be busy twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. And 2.) Because prioritising real life is sometimes more important than projecting this image of busyness. I am 100% guilty of thinking that if I don't seem busy (emphasis on seem), that I'm not really working hard and it's so silly! My eureka moment came when my friend Supal laid her life out on the table for me and I simply could not believe how much she was juggling and how she managed to still see all her friends, and enjoy her life to the fullest. Check out Supal's latest, very detailed and helpful blog post on her productivity tips and how she balances a high risk career with full time blogging as well as a thriving social life! I've found it super helpful in regards to rethinking my own priorities and how I sometimes waste precious time under the guise of being busy.
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Prioritising is key I suppose, in my case I've been ruthless as to how, where and why I am doing something and figuring out whether it'll be something I'll look back on in a few years and say yes to, or if it's a relationship that needs more investing in. For example, with the extra time on my hands, I've been trying to channel more energy into the blog. I spend Friday and Saturday morning's shooting content and furiously jotting down potential ideas - things I could write about that have substance, keeping a close eye on my shiny new watch as I work in 25 minute breaks (pomodoro technique). A mixture of good time management techniques, keeping a solid diary and keeping track of the time has meant that I am now swapping out wasted hours on twitter and Instagram, for time conversing on the phone with friends I haven't spoken to in a while after a barrage of "I'm sorry - I've been swamped this week" excuses on my end. 

When people ask what I've been up to, I no longer say "Oh I've been busy" instead I give a thoughtful and detailed account of my week, things I've discovered and things that piqued my interest. I guess it was time for me to get my act together (pun intended hoho!)

What I Wore...

COAT - boden | TEE - asos | SKIRT - primark | SANDALS - clarks | WATCH c/o ice watch | BAG c/o coach

(This timely *badum-tiss*  post was in collaboration with Ice Watch, as always all words and photos are my own.)


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