1.09.2018

Free Falling.

I thought long and hard about what I wanted my first blog post for this new year to be about but nothing came to me. I don't have an extensive list of things I want to do or even achieve in 2018. I don't have a detailed bucket list of items I'd like to tick off before the year is done. Nor do I really have any expectations of how this year may pan out.

If 2017 taught me anything, it's that "The best-laid plans of Mice & Men often go awry". Almost everything I thought was concrete disappeared in what felt like the blink of an eye. So for me, this year I just want to free fall. I want to take each day as it comes. I want to truly understand what it is to live, to wake up each morning, feeling the electricity we call life flowing freely through my veins, to inhale crisp sharp breaths of air deeply into my lungs, filling up my whole chest and breathing outwards, expelling this lifeforce and understanding what a privilege it is for me to be able to do such a thing. To walk and feel every weighted step pressing into the God-given dirt beneath my feet. I want nothing more, but to live this year. To be alive and be aware of the life that stretches out before me. 
Here's to a lively and lovely 2018

xo

12.23.2017

On: The 'Thank You's'.

Holborn
"Show me your friends, and I'll show you who you are" the saying goes... I'm very lucky to have a diverse and brilliant group of friends from all ages and all walks of life. From my two sisters Yossy and Emmy who are the sunshine to my rain. To my Bengali, Moldovan and Filipino Architecture babes who have seen me at my best and my very worst (unshowered, sweaty, without sleep and living on caffeine in the library), to my Hillsong London sisters who will pray for me and hold my hand during the storm and worship with me during the good times, or my blogging besties who'll show endless support across my socials,  Gal - Pals are the best aren't they? I'm loathe to admit that I used to be one of those girls who proclaimed with vigor, that I preferred the company of guys because 'girls were too bitchy' when in actual fact, it was I that was bitchy and childish and a bit of a rubbish girlfriend (This is an honest space - We only speak the truth here!). Over the years I've grown to really appreciate my female friendships and I've touched briefly on this in my Gal-entine's post with my girl Sherida.
My mother once told me that there are two types of friendships in this world. There are friends, and there are friends who are friends by association. There friends who are there for the successes, the clink-clink of champagne glasses over unpronounceable dishes in Mayfair, the luxe and glamour, the excitement! The "what are you dabbling in at the moment dahhhhling!" and hushed tones of "you're doing so well for yourself!" brimming with inquisitiveness and future plans with a sprinkling of "oh that sounds brilliant - make sure I'm involved!".... Then there are the friends who will call you at 10:47 pm, just when you're about to sleep to tell you that they suddenly thought of you and wanted to know how you are really doing, how the job search is and how you're coping with life after university. The friends that listen as you start with a brave... "Everything is.. fine.." but end up sobbing open-mouthed with heaving chest, whispering "I don't know, I don't know, I don't know if I'm fine. I'm so lost" over and over again. The friends who don't say "everything will be ok", but instead drag you out for a coffee which then turns into one cocktail, then suddenly it's happy hour and a few more very strong drinks later, you're both giggling like school kids, flirting with the bartenders, giving advice to other girls in the toilet and stumbling towards Mc Donalds for Nuggets. The ones who truly want to do life with you.
In June, I sobbed on my then bedroom floor as I threw my clothes into Poundland bin liners. What was I going to do? I had everything planned out to a T, and the thought of going off the straight road into the dense, damp uncomfortableness of the unknown scared the crap out of me. This was it, this was yet another brand new start and I was tired of new starts, I wanted to just settle, but God was like nah my g you're going down that winding path whether you like it or not. I told Kristabel and Supal that I was unexpectedly moving back and before I had even finished unpacking back at my parents I was already meeting them for one too many flat whites and cakes in hipster coffee shops across central London. They sprang into action with pragmatic advice, no-nonsense reassurance and constant company so that I wouldn't have to do my job applications alone at my desk day after day. On the eve of my 26th Birthday, I wrote a list of all the good and bad things that had occurred during 25 and it left me reeling with disappointment. The next day, I was greeted with a bouquet, thoughtful gifts and ice cream for my Birthday thanks to the kindness of Yossy, Supal, Ngoni, Kristabel and Zahra.

K-Bel & Soups...

Kristabel [ A veritable force of colour, giggles, superb content and generosity].

I found Kristabel's corner of the internet when I typed in 'Black UK female bloggers' into google one day back in 2012 I think. If you think finding black bloggers in the blogging landscape nowadays is hard, back then it was next to impossible so when I found Kristabel's blog I was truly in awe and a little bit starstruck. Here was a black blogger doing huge campaigns and being unapologetically herself - amazing! We finally met a few years ago over delicious Thai food in Islington and have been pals ever since. Since June I've been occasionally working side by side with Kristabel on a few of her personal projects as a PA, encourager and e-mail answer-er which has been so much fun, and also so very helpful monetarily given my current situation. What I truly love about Kristabel (apart from her nuggets of wisdom) is her practical generosity, acts such as asking me to help her out with photographic and graphic design work, or suggesting me to brands as part of campaigns she's doing (such as the Copenhagen trip) is so very kind it's almost unfathomable. Words are all very nice but action is... tangible. 

Supal [ A no-nonsense, silly ball of lad banter, business lady and agony aunt].

I met Supal through Kristabel - Although none of us can quite remember how, when, or why for some reason, time flies when you're having fun eh? Regardless Supal is my productivity bae and when we get our laptops out in the British Library there is a whirlwind of ideas, cheeky jokes and exciting plans for the future. She is such an energetic ball of Indian and Americanisms with sprinkles on top, and the days I've spent cross-legged in her flat surrounded by snacks rifling through her wardrobe for clothes and gossiping about guys are the most fun! It's such an honour to have friends who have a fire burning in them to be 'more' to always smash, scatter and stamp on the norm. To destroy the boundaries that 'should' hold them back and to prosper and use that prosperity to help others. Women amongst many whom I truly admire and love from the bottom of my heart.

I also need to say another thank you.

And that thank you, is to you reader. You sit miles away from me at your laptop, or on your mobile devices, reading my grammatical error-filled paragraphs documenting bit's and pieces of my life and you read these words, digesting them, and regurgitating kindness in the form of comments that touch my heart and soul in ways I wish you could comprehend. You, reader, are incredible and a huge part of In My Sunday Best. Yes, I write on this little space on the web for myself, a form of catharsis I suppose, but I also write because of the conversations each post starts, that span the blog, twitter, Instagram and even e-mail! I have a little tab in my e-mails with all the kind e-mails I've received over the years (if they haven't landed in my junk box!) and they're filled with your honest confessions, thanks, questions and more. So thank you. Thank you for the kindness, the encouragement, the good wishes, the curiosity.

You are amazing. 


Thank you for making In My Sunday Best a pleasure this year, my friends.

x

12.17.2017

The Lazy Gal's Guide To Partywear.

St James's Park
The season of sequins, tear-jerker adverts and one too many glasses of prosecco at the office Christmas party is finally upon us again! Every single year, I have the best intentions of slaying the festive frock period with rich velvets, smooth satins and sparkly little black dresses, but when it actually comes down to it, I throw on my *least* faded pair of tight black jeans, some form of a nice top, a cardigan, a huge coat, three pairs of socks and knee-high boots. Not quite the sartorial showdown I've been hoping for all these years, but fast forward to two Christmas parties (plus many compliments on what I was wearing) down this season and I've finally cracked how to do style + comfort. Here are a few tips on doing partywear easily without any sprained ankles, frostbitten legs or makeup palavers for those of you who will be partying from the rest of December through to the new year!

THE MIDI DRESS.

I am an incredibly lazy dresser. Which is why you'll see me in a 'nice' dress 90% of the time because it means I can just throw on the aforementioned dress with some solid accessories and I'm out of the door in thirty minutes. Is there anything more versatile, comfortable and easy to wear as a midi dress? I think not my friends. Anything 'midi' length is a dream for me because of my height and body type, but I honestly think it looks good on absolutely everyone, Karina, Chloe and Danielle all have very different body shapes but they rock the hell outta a midi dress am I right?! There's a reason why I wear Midi dresses quite literally... All the time and I wore the above black paisley print ruffle dress from Next to a Christmas party paired with heeled boots (with two pairs of socks and black leggings instead of tights - because, practicality) and received a wealth of compliments! So if you're wanting to go the dress route this party wear season and you're thinking of a.) the cold and b.) comfort then I'd highly recommend a swishy midi dress.

THE BLOCK HEEL. 

Tis the season of having to cradle your very uncomfortable heels in your arms whilst getting your boyfriend to piggyback you all the way home from the bar because your shoes were too high and you hurt your ankle dancing too aggressively (this actually happened to me back in February - Much to my then boyfriend's annoyance aha!). Since then I've been ultra wary of both cheap bodycon dresses from boohoo (not at ALL practical for piggybacks) and thin stiletto heels. Moving solidly onto strappy block heels have been a necessary move for me and I'm glad I did so because block heels can take you straight from day to night - Handy for those Office Christmas parties!
I waited five weeks, yes five weeks for these babies to drop back into stock on the Next website. I'd seen these patent beauties in red upon the feet of the very stylish Olivia and something similar on the feet of equally stylish Katherine and I just knew the strappy block heel had to be mine. 

THE FAIL SAFE ACCESSORIES.

A great tip a friend once let me in on was to always, always, always wear a watch and I didn't realise how correct she was until I started dating. Having a watch on meant I could keep track of time in a subtle manner without whipping my phone out, and it applies for any other events or parties where you may have a Cinderella moment and need to dash and catch the last tube or the night bus home. My watch of choice is always usually something with black leather and gold and this Portland Shore Project watch has been on my wrist for about a year now. It's sleek, simple and beautifully made. Another gem of a tip is to wear bold earrings. Bold earrings will always draw attention to your face and apparently will help people stay engaged in conversation with you - that is unless of course, you don't want to draw attention to your face!

THE CLASSIC RED LIP COMBO.

The ancient Sumerians are supposed to have been the first to have invented and worn red lipstick around 5,000 years ago and the power that a red lip conveys still waxes strong to this day. Red is the colour of passion and having it on your lips draws attention to your mouth, and apparently.. the words that come out of it. A red lip is a fail safe for me if I'm running late or I don't have time to do a full highlight and contour plus eyeshadow routine. I just slather on a cool toned red, put on some mascara and cover up any imperfections with a light concealer and hey presto - effective Parisienne style makeup in a flash. My reds of choice are Mac 'Ruby Woo', Colour Pop 'Trust Me' and for the vampy amongst you mix 'LAX' by Colour Pop mixed with Trust me for a beautiful dark ombre red lip.

I hope these tips help you see the party season through with comfort and style!

What I Wore...

DRESS c/o next | HEELS c/o next | EARRINGS c/o next | WATCH - shore projects | BELT - vintage



x

12.12.2017

Six Defining Moments From 2017.

It's 10am, Supal and I have just finished taking some photos in Russell Square and we are now ravenous. Hmm.. Cheap pancakes? Avo on Toast?...  "How about...noodles..." I say slowly. Supal's face lights up with pure glee "YES" she happily replies. We grab the bus to the tiny noodle place in Leicester square she's taken me to before, we sit down order our noodles and then collapse with laughter at the fact that we've ordered noodles for breakfast. This year has been filled with surprising moments much like noodles for breakfast and I realize that it's only really the start of December but I've been spending a lot of time being reflective and look back on moments that really defined my 2017 and have been a catalyst for big change. Here are my six character-defining moments of this year.

1. [Started Dating Again...]

After a three year break from even glancing at the opposite sex, I found myself with butterflies in my stomach, constantly checking my phone for messages with a big ol' smile on my face courtesy of a new flame that hit me square in the chest out of nowhere. As I type, "Them" by Nils Frahm is playing gently in the background. Framing my thoughts and words with a sweet lullaby that feels a little like the gradual build-up of feelings you get when you being to like someone. Slowly at first, and then swiftly almost violently, your chest feels tight, your stomach uneasy tinged with word vomit and then dizzying, exciting mixture of "Oh my gosh... I think... I like him". Storage almost full - my phone kept flashing, eventually, I rolled my eyes and began to clear out old videos and photos I had on my phone. Pictures of food I'd eaten, blurry shots from our grand tour of Italy and.... a photo of him.  My finger hovers over the delete button and then suddenly I smile as I'm transported back to that night. With studio done for the day and assignments submitted, we walked hand in hand to Tesco to pick up one of those dine in for two meals. He chose the steak and potatoes for dinner, I chose cheesecake and Moscato for dessert. We sat in the living room at the dining table talking about.. something I can't remember, a glass in my hand with my head resting on the other simply staring at him. His eyes always grew about two sizes when he talked about anything astronomy or space-related and his eyes were huge that evening. Two sparkling brown warm orbs under heavy set brows surrounded by some premature wrinkles from lack of moisturizing. I pulled out my phone and snapped a photo halfway through his speech because I knew I wanted to capture this moment forever. He just looked so CUTE my heart squeed. I was happy and he was happy and everything felt... Alright with the world...

2. [Getting Dumped.]

When he pulled the plug, I remember tearily asking him how everything could have come crashing down at once. I was distraught and embarrassed, but quite honestly I saw it coming. I saw the cracks but chose to turn a blind eye, thinking "it'll work, it's just a hiccough". The days after were a blur, I just continued working - I cried in the studio toilets in between clicking away at my desk, ignoring the wondering eyes of my classmates who knew what had happened. Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months and here we are in December when a year ago the fire in our relationship was burning brightly and fiercely. Looking back, I'm glad he pulled the plug and I'm even gladder that he pulled the plug during my submissions because it gave me time to really re-evaluate if I wanted to stay in the North of England or move back South to London. Before the break up I had planned to get an Architecture job in Liverpool or Manchester so I could be close to him (I was lost in the sauce, I know) so afterwards, when all my job offers fell through, and my relationship was over, i had no other choice but to pack my bags, clean out my flat and kiss goodbye to what I had thought would be my future.  I'm ok with the breakup now and I no longer hold any resentment or anger, knowing that the split was for the best as in the long term we wouldn't have been able to give each other what we wanted and needed. In a weird way it really showed me *exactly* what I want in a significant other now and areas where I will not compromise, should another worthy gentleman present himself in the near future.

3. [Getting my MH in check...]

It seems like 2017 has been challenging for most people. From friends who are going through cancer treatments to others who have lost their jobs, to relationship breakdowns, this year has truly done a number on our mental health as a collective. Life is such a beautiful thing but occasionally there will be piercing moments of pain that puncture our world, one of the best things I've taught myself to do in order to regain a sense of clarity is to take mental health days. It's become something so ingrained into my routine that even my friends and family know about it - some have even been encouraged to do so themselves. If I'm struggling, I will be gentle with myself, I will sleep, read, meditate, go for a run, avoid my phone and anything else that will make me feel better about the situation. After university my MH was in a bad place because of the breakup and difficulty finding a job, instead of taking each day as it came, I berated myself for not getting a job as quickly as other people, and it became a cycle of me almost hating myself for being so 'useless'. Getting off Facebook and limiting my hours on social media, as well as taking a break from job hunting really helped in the initial stages. If you're feeling on edge, burnt out and teary, please do take a mental health day whenever you feel you need to do so.

4. [Growing in leaps and bounds faith wise...]

My faith journey has been a long one with many twists and turns, growing up in a Catholic family, to renouncing my faith once i upped and moved out for university, to being re-introduced to a different perspective by some course mates, to dabbling in and out of Christianity, to finding my home at Hillsong Central London, meeting people who would be the catalyst for change in my religious life and throwing myself back in with full force serving on team! It's nice to have found a space to call home, friends who are encouraging and never judgemental and something to look forward to on a weekly basis. A lot of the time I associated Christianity with culture, and upon realizing that there are other ways to balance life and faith hand in hand has been quite literally life-changing. 
Catherine mid heel boden

5. [Moving back to London.]

After being dumped and having two job offers fall through - I packed up things and moved back South. For a while, my heart was in Liverpool and I was devastated to have had to move back and start all over again, but looking back I am SO happy that things didn't work out in  the north because so many of the opportunities and relationships I've acquired have been because I've been back in London. My family is here, my friends are here, my church is here, my blog life is here, and eventually, my architecture career will be here. I look back now and realize what I thought was a big loss at the time is now working out in my favour, little by little things are working together for a greater good in my life. It's hard to see in the moment, but I've forced myself to keep busy in between applications and it's helped me look at the big picture and focus on the future as opposed to the present. My journey may be harder than my peers at the moment, but I have hope that it's because my end destination will be more than I could have ever even imagined, both career-wise, and relationship wise. 

6. [Graduated as an MArch with Honours and achieved a merit as well as a first class/distinction on my research project.]

"Sade Akinsanya BA. MArch" my professional email now reads. After a very tumultuous seven years - I finally finished my two Architecture degrees. I can't even explain how proud I am of myself for finally finishing it because there were times where I thought I 100% wouldn't. I doubted my ability, my skill and even my gender in some instances so it is with a great sigh of relief that I can say I finally did it! I did it my way with no compromises, and I'm very proud of my thesis and research project which focused on religion, death and the future as well as hand drawing as a catalyst for truly thinking architecturally. When I eventually get round to my post on my Postgraduate experience, I'll talk through my projects in greater detail, but for now, I have a snapshot portfolio of my sixth-year project 'Alpha & Omega' up on my Issuu here if you're interested...
What have been your defining moments this year?



What I'm Wearing...

COAT (old) c/o boden | TEE - sugarhill boutique | JEANS (similar) - asos | SHOES c/o boden


x

12.05.2017

Archives & Pink Velvet.

Sloane Square, London
It's that time of the year where we begin to look forward to the fresh chapter that January brings, we become pensive and reflective, making notes and lists of the things we achieved this year, or hope to achieve in the next. I myself was thinking about all of the things I 'missed' out on this year and quickly corrected my thinking and instead thought about all the incredible things I've achieved this year. especially those that I'd forgotten about because my focus was on the very small things that hadn't come to fruition yet. Refocusing on the good and the change is the best way to welcome in the new year, and speaking of change... For some reason whilst editing these photos, something made me want to dig through my archives to see how much my style had changed over the years because If you had said to me in 2011 that the 26-year-old me would be wearing a blush pink velvet dress and a pair of burgundy velvet heels, I'd have laughed but here we are! We thank God for growth right?!
I've been clicking on the 'Style' category of my blog and re-reading some of my old posts. I'm sat with a tea that has now become lukewarm whilst I smile to myself reliving the feelings I felt when I first clicked 'publish' on all these archived posts from many moons ago. Whilst the landscape of blogging has changed drastically, (as has my own little space on the internet...) It's so interesting to see how 'the me' then has gradually grown into 'the me now'. The things I cryptically wrote about back then, things I cried over, things I was overjoyed with, for the most part they mean absolutely nothing now, nothing more than a passing memory and that to me is... so wild. Some things have stayed the same though, for example, my love of midi skirts/dresses, high waisted jeans, oversized glasses and the odd kitschy accessory or two... But some changes were 100% for the better including no more spontaneous Dark n Lovely DIY hair dye jobs, no more piercings (My septum, nostril and four earlobes are enough now) and no more bright turquoise lipstick from illamsaqua now that my rebel phase is in resting.
Looking back at where you've come from, and seeing where you are now is such a phenomenal feeling, remember that for the new year, especially  if you're being hard on yourself for not hitting certain goals this year, look back regardless and be proud of your journey. 


What I Wore...

DRESS c/o boden | HEELS c/o boden | BELT c/o boden 

x



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