On: Moving Past Rejection.

On May 3rd, I did something I would have never thought I would ever do in all my years on this earth. I plucked up the courage to go and talk to a guy I was interested in. To set the scene, it was Colour Conference, women were everywhere with their auroral flower crowns, flowing dresses and beautiful smiles, hand in hand with each other, bubbling with excitement and anticipation.  And the men? well, the men were kindly serving as hosts, ushers and even 'coffee-picker-uppers' with many guys even flying in just to be a part of the experience - how gracious right? On the first day of Colour, my eyes settled on a most dapper gentleman, let’s call him ‘Killmonger’ (He had the same locs à la Micheal B Jordan in Black Panther ahahaha). Killmonger was a sight to behold, a seemingly lovely sienna hued gent by way of Paris. So after spotting him - I did what any normal gal would do and did my research, asking a few of the guys on his team what my man was saying init? Success! He was single and apparently open to mingling. Day two of colour, drunk with courage after Erwin McManus had encouraged us to be courageous, I went with my friend to go and talk to him and his friend, and what transpired was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. Killmonger seemed averse to conversing with me and he... quite literally began to migrate,  his answers to my nervous questions about how he was enjoying the conference short, fast and very awkward. After taking the strong hint that he was certainly not interested, we slinked away with my friends embarrassingly asking loudly how it went as I almost burst into a jog to get away. His abrupt manner left me blinking back hot mortified tears on the Jubilee line to West Hampstead that night. When I got home that evening, tears poured out of my eyes like the dam that was holding them had shattered with my confidence, and within my choked prayers, I realised my sadness was so much bigger than getting rejected by a random French monsieur at a women’s conference.

Dress c/o Traffic People
Bag - Nasty Gal (via Yossy's Wardrobe)
Heels - Primark

No that was the ice block and underneath was a gigantic iceberg of all the rejection, fear and pain I’d been inadvertently holding onto over the decades. You see, for me, I blindingly chase perfection in everything I do. If I ever sense risk, I am stupidly averse to even look in its direction for the fear of things not working out impeccably, feels like too much of a cross for me to bear - Nuts I know, I’m not sure whether it is the perfectionism spirit of my Virgo ancestors that rests upon my soul so strongly or a deep nested fear that rejection is a reflection of what I believe to be my own personal inadequacies. Wow, we got deep pretty quickly right?
I’ve found that rejection for me, feels like a mirror being held up to my face, a mirror with a sad version of me in it, surrounded by crimson lipsticked scribbles of ‘failure’, ‘unworthy’, ‘useless’, ‘unwanted’ and more gleaming on the glinting surface of the gilded mirror, and it took a while for me to realise that rejection isn’t a reflection. It is simply rejection - That’s it, nothing more, nothing less. And for the most part, later on, rejection has always meant protection, whether it be dodging a bullet by way of a guy that isn’t for me, a job that I won’t thrive in, spaces that are not aligned with my values and so much for.
So does this mean I’ll go forth and throw open my heart to the wind, professing my interest in every guy I think is a lil cutie pie? Absolutely not - Once bitten twice shy my friends! But what I did gain from the experience is that rejection truly isn't the be all and end all, and it certainly isn't a reflection of who I am, and it shouldn't be a reflection of how I see myself and in fact carry myself. I am fearfully and wonderfully made - No worldly validation needed, and you are too my friends. Please never forget that.  

{ P.S. Photos by ShotsbyFifi }



HΘMΣCΘMING, Beyoncé & Some Words.

Bzzz Bzzz Bih.

HΘMΣCΘMING. You must have been living on Mars to not have heard of Beyoncé's new documentary with Netflix. An in-depth look at the behind the scenes of Beyoncé's brilliant Coachella 2018 debut. An inspiring body of work that beautifully portrays Queen Bey's human side and shows the serious amount of work that goes behind the scenes in showbusiness 

The first ever black woman to headline Coachella, a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter. Whether you like her or not - There is something hugely impressive about Beyoncé and the way she handles her business, from her unflappable work ethic, her dedication to the culture, and her warmth simmering strength. Seeing a black woman at the absolute top of her game - with no competition is something I find very stirring. A black woman who is seemingly aware of the privileges being a lighter skinned and of a more worldly size brings her but using her platform to bring in other marginalised men and women. More often than not in other contexts I'm forever searching for representation, someone who looks a little more like me, who would have grown up with particular cultural formalities, who I suppose understands what it's like, and obviously Beyoncé's life is very different to mine, I'm a twenty-something British born Nigerian (very) working-class woman, the daughter of immigrants. But seeing a woman who I can identify with, more or less everywhere is wholly transformative. I feel 'seen', I feel acknowledged, I feel filled with the warmth of all the black female ancestors who have paved the way before me. Maya Angelou's voice at the beginning of the documentary tacitly murmurs, "What I really want to do is be a representative of my race, of the human race. I have a chance to show how kind we can be, how intelligent and generous we can be. I have a chance to teach and to love and to laugh. I know that when I finish doing what I’m sent here to do, I will be called home. And I will go home without any fear, trepidations, wondering what’s gonna happen". A soft reminder of everything I am, I do, I strive for with the little time I have with my earthly body. 
One of the parts of the documentary that really hit me was when we all realised that Beyoncé gruellingly prepared for a two-hour Coachella set for 8 months. It blows my mind and that type of hard work, dedication and preparation simply must be acknowledged. Before anyone chimes in with 'she has help - I can't relate' - regardless, let me remind you that this woman had just given birth to twins via c-section, one of the most arduous tasks a woman can put herself through, her body, her mind, her emotional well-being everything not quite back to normality but B battled on, she showed up to her rehearsals and you can physically see her exhausted, sweating but still moving onwards and upwards - a true testament to black womanhood throughout the years. 
One simply cannot deny this woman's influence. I promptly booked myself in for five gym classes after watching the documentary with my girlfriends. I set out my pressing goals for the month as well as things I need to tidy up. I sent out my CV and portfolio for another review to see if it's hindering my job search in any way. I tidied my bedroom and pushed myself to sit down and write this post - Of course with a gin and tonic in hand. 

As I round up this piece, I'm listening to the great black thinkers Mrs Carter references throughout the documentary, Audre Lorde's "Without community, there can be no liberation" gently ripples on the surface of my heart and my mind, a sharp reminder that the good fight cannot be fought by being a bystander and apathetic laziness simply isn't cool anymore.

Have you watched HΘMΣCΘMING? If so, what did you think?



Le Boudoir : The Gallery Wall.

Pinterest Goals Or Nah?

When I first updated my bedroom a few years ago, I went all out 2015 fashion blogger, white / cream / neutral furniture all from IKEA. That very scandi, minimalist neutral theme was bang on trend back then, fast forward a few years and I've naturally found my sweet spot in regards to decor and personal Feng Shui, a mixture of fail-safe warm tones with splashes of colour coming from adorning pieces such as rugs, books, plants, and as of now...  Prints. Sometimes you only realise that you have been truly missing out on something big once it’s in your life, for me it was the infamous gallery wall. Who knew that a mixture of minimal and typography filled prints decorating the space above my bed and dressing table would change the aesthetic of my room so heavily! 
 Since being made redundant I've been spending a lot of time in my bedroom, with it becoming my home office of sorts and I can tell you first hand that when you spend a solid couple of months caged in a room that supports the whole life, work, sleep and play balance, things start to get a little boring and working in such a space begins to feel mundane and uninspiring. One of the easiest ways to bring a little life into your spaces are honestly through prints - You can completely shift the characteristics of your room with them. Desenio is a pretty cool company that is passionate about Scandinavian design, and you've most probably seen their prints and frames in most of your favourite internet folk's homes! Whenever I think off gallery wall prints I think of Desenio and I've previously purchased prints from them before collaborating with them on this post.
In terms of print aesthetics, I was going for a mixture of bold minimalism, mixed with some feel-good quotes and some colourful pieces that didn't quite match but felt very 'me'. Above my bed hang around ten frames in a mixture of gold, black and oak to match my warm neutrals theme. The frames are also a potpourri of sizes ranging from 30 x 40 (A3), 21 x 30 (A4), and 13 x 18 (A5), as I really wanted a mismatched not-to-put-together vibe which well... reflects me I suppose! My favourites of the bunch above my bed have to be the "Find What Feels Good", "Curvy", and "Letter S" prints due to their simple, but bold presence on my walls. 
And on my dressing table sits three new frames in black and gold with some prints that put a little spring in my step as I apply my lipstick in the mornings. I simply HAD to have the "Je Ne Sais Quois", "Kisses" and "Painted Abstract Face" to match the whole Parisian girl chique thing I have going on in that area of my room. 

I’m finally living my Pinterest dreams thanks to Desenio who kindly sent me a very generous amount of prints to spruce up my space anyway in which I chose to. If you'd like to jazz up your spaces with some new affordable prints, My code “INMYSUNDAYBEST” gives 25% off prints* on all Desenio sites between the 9th and 11th of April. *Except for frames and handpicked-/collaboration/personalised prints"

This post has been a {AD-gifted} collaboration with Desenio who kindly provided me with the prints and frames for a room re-vamp. As always all words, images and opinions are my own.



I Am My Mothers Daughter.

The fruit doesn't fall far from the tree.

The older I get, with each passing day, I recognise the presence of my mother in me, materialising softly in different ways. I see her when i exclaim "Why ti eleyi n' se bayi bi ode?" when someone walks obnoxiously slowly on Oxford street. I see her when I chastise my sister on her perpetual laziness and roll my eyes dramatically towards the sky as if to ask God himself to come down and talk to the girl. I see her when I outline my lips in a dark purple pencil, and fill in the centre with a striking red; an ombre reminiscent of the 1980's house parties in Brixton, filled with colourfully dressed Nigerians by way of Lagos. I see her when I place tomatoes, onions, red peppers and scotch bonnets into my blender, the perfect base for my stew, the kitchen pungent with palm oil bubbling away on the cooker, waiting to be aspersed in the tomato mixture. I was in her, but she remains imparted in me.
My mother is in me, as I am in her. I am my mother’s daughter. You can see it in the angularity of my face, with a smooth hazelnut sheen in contrast with her warm honeyed hue. You can see her in the curve of my smile, the same mouth that when annoyed upturns, with furrowed brows bristling with the same impatience annoyance we are both so prone to. You can see it when I pull on her Ankara dresses, and adjust my wig, looking like a carbon copy of her, pre... well, me I suppose. I am my mother’s daughter. I am the culmination of years of prayer, sacrifice, joy and sometimes fear. And unto me, will be born a daughter, and in her, myself, my mother, my grandmother, and my ancestors will reside in her gently, pouring ourselves out of her when the moments present themselves. Our forbearers will rejoice in her, in me, in my mother. In us.
This mother's day, I am particularly celebrating the woman who brought me into this world, the woman who brought her into this world and all the other women in my lineage. I am exceptionally appreciative to have a mother. I am blessed to have a mother who has raised myself and others to be resilient, resourceful and fiery, to be the flowers that not only survive, but thrive and bloom in a world that has for centuries, not been for us. A mother who is constantly learning and adapting her parenthood as the world changes around her and cultures shift, a mother who knows when it's time to get down and dirty, and when to be soft and reticent. Happy Mothers Day to my Mother, My Momma, Iya Mi, My mum, Dayo. You are so loved, so cherished, so appreciated. Our home is not a home until you are at the centre of it. 

{Photos by Yossy Akinsanya}



Bajo el sol Canario.

Tenerife. But not as I thought it would be.

It's 20:01pm and I am on a very cold Thameslink train to Gatwick airport. Sniffly and exhausted from the hours earlier, I let my body fall into the blue flecked chairs and I drift. I am tired but I am filled with a childish bubbling kind of ardour because Kristabel and I will be flying to The Canary Islands, Tenerife to be specific. Tenerife, for me, has always been: Drunken Brits, House music, Cheap Alcohol and Hook up Culture, I suppose because that's what I've been fed, particularly at school where after sixth form most of my school mates did exactly the above in various islands around Spain, including Tenerife. When we arrive at the hotel, I lay in bed googling all things authentic Canarian, and I flit in and out of sleep dreaming of churros, beaches and sunshine. I wake up sans alarm at 4am.  A quick shower later and we are dressed and hastily dragging our luggage downstairs. We breeze through the airport and then we're on the flight,  we’re off, the plane propels upwards and it's goodbye London, and hola Tenerife. Every time I travel, be it by car, train or plane,  I am softly reminded of the sheer beauty of this world and I marvel joyously at Gods creation as our transfer car hurtles through smooth roads surrounded by deep blue Atlantic ocean, lapping hungrily at shiny grey rocks. 
Once we arrive at our hotel, unpack and take in our surroundings, our excursionist's feet carry us to the old district in search of a strong drink and authentic Canarian cuisine and we end up at a beautiful restaurant called La Hierbita. The first thing I order is a small glass of house red wine, reader what I received was an extra large glass of red wine and a few sips later I was feeling relaxed and ready to eat. The speciality black pork with patatas for me, and grilled squid with wrinkled potatoes for Kristabel. The speed at which we wolfed the food down was quite frankly inhuman, but we were mere weary and very tired travellers. Post lunch Kristabel asked for a cappuccino to help wake her up after travelling on about three hours sleep, and instead the waiter insisted that she try the Barraquito - A Specialty coffee of Tenerife, layers of condensed milk, an espresso shot, frothed milk, some lemon peel and liquor 43 and topped with a sprinkling of cinnamon. A delicious blend of sweet, bitter, caramelly goodness. After lunch, we took some photos of the interior of La Hierbita - A member of staff exclaimed that we must see the upper dining rooms and we shuffled through the thin corridors whilst he explained that the restaurant used to be a brothel back in the day.
As I was taking a photo of a dilapidated door, an older gentleman stopped to talk to us. Balentine the architect was his name, and his dog Rocky. Balentine, Kristabel and I express our thoughts about Brexit, loss of jobs, gentrification in Tenerife and loss of culture in broken Spanglish, filled with passionate gesticulation to show our thoughts. Balentine kindly invited us for a gin and tonic with his partner, but we had to places to explore so we bid he and rocky adieu but not without me planting a few kisses on Rocky’s nose and giving him a big squeeze.
In between eating a whole lot of seafood (an obvious specialty), tapas and drinking a lot of Dorada, the local beer, which came in a delicious lemon 'Radler' flavour that I would highly recommend and drink forever, we spent a lot of time just walking, somewhat aimlessly around the streets of Tenerife, be it in Santa Cruz where we were staying, or in La Laguna the university town which is also a UNESCO world heritage site, and it felt wonderful and was something I vowed to do more in London. Just to walk and get lost. 
Sometimes heaven feels like warm soft compact sand beneath your feet, the Spanish sun on your back and the Atlantic Ocean quietly lapping at the shore - gently asking you to be at one with her. Playa de Las Teresitas is a beach a short bus ride away from Santa Cruz, located in the San Andres municipality. Think over a mile of beautiful golden sands, like an effulgence. As a self-confessed city girl, the beach was something that truly felt *needed*, just dipping my lower half into the salty blue sea felt like a type of ablution that absolved me of some of the worries and fatigue that had crept into my brain over the trip.

It was a simple and short visit, but Tenerife, I will be back. Volveré pronto...

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