The Girls Like me.

I was supposed to get this out yesterday. Not that I’m duty bound to; look at me, about to settle on another ramble on the writing process again.

But you know a girl’s got to be present to represent (lol, how do I come up with these).

But here we are, on our continuing journey of ‘sorry it’s late’ posts.

Although if there’s something I’ve literally – only yesterday – just learned, it’s that like Beyoncé, we all must embrace and accept each failure that life hands us, and use it as fuel for a killer album, as well as a movement of ultra-hyper-aware millennial women who stan for you.

And I do stan for the Beyhive, even as we still unpack the complexities that are the Saint Beyoncé and her beloved Uncle Sean Carter and their collaboration album.

But enough about that. I’ve been meaning to share a different type of album. Similarly, a movement, similarly millennial women involved, however not the slightest bit related to music.

The space: ‘Girls Like Me’, and all it’s offshoot parts across social media, and all the wonderful women involved in it, who have been serving up amazing discussions and reads. Having a space of people’s stories, ideas, lessons, all along the same parallels of womanhood, or girlhood, has been such a thrill.

And whilst not faith-related, it still somehow reinforces my idealistic views on faith, that gems like these exist, must surely be fate.

For now, here’s a space you should watch, as well as my current favourite read there.

Also, I might currently have a post on the space for you to go and discover yourselves, there’s a whole world of wisdom to learn from other women there and right now that’s so much more worth sharing.

Let us know what you think!

Ebun,

xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good Vibes

Good Vibes

Wondering where I’ve been these past few weeks?

Do I even get to keep my #teamblogger badge without finessing the art of posting regularly and sharing all of the exciting things going on around me?

Well, all of these are important questions for another day #clickbait.

But for now, here’s a little reflective something for you, which partly goes back to those questions, because believe it or not, even when I’m not writing on here, I am frantically gathering stories, and ideas, and thoughts to make one perfect post.

Today, I shared a bit of a tongue in cheek tweet about ‘positive space’.

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And however jokey it was, it was pretty key to both how my weeks have played out and also the theme of this post. 

As increasingly this week, I have stumbled on even more people, discussions, and poignant reminders of how universal life’s themes can be. How we can each experience life over completely different events to each other, but how, what these boil down to emotionally is a connecting theme for all of us.

I’m sure we’ve all at some point or another, experienced what it is to feel happy, or sad, optimistic, or defeated.

Well, whether we are happy, or sad, disappointed or otherwise; I’ve found that the right environments can hugely influence what we know to do / can do in any of those different emotional states.

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And certainly listening to the relatable wisdom of these inspirational sisters helps. Jade and Leia on the Gettin Grown podcast have been an encouraging voice through my week, and I found myself getting fully swept into their overall vibe of positivity and #realtalk.

 

*sprinkles black girl magic to present this soundcloud staple on the blog*

To my favourite twenty-something

Wait.

Is Solange in her twenties … 30? Oh great.

In that case, with Solange Knowles my new patron saint of snatching emotional edges, firmly out of my millennial top spot,

I can now reveal *drumroll please* that my – not so – little brother is, in fact, my favourite twenty-something. And he turns 23 today!

To those closest to me who’ve seen the largest part of this our familial, not really much of a choice, tightly knit bond, this won’t come as much of a surprise but for the rest of you here’s why my brother is truly my favourite.

For as many times as he clung to me like a fart as a toddler, struggling to pronounce my name, to beating me so easily when we had that one basketball and we’d try to reach the longest count of consecutive bounces; For as many times as he was so scared whenever I donned my mother’s hairnet as a face mask and ran around the house chasing him as a big bad scary monster; For as many times as he asked me ‘when is mummy coming back’ for that entire year my mother lived abroad without her bundles of joy; For as many times as he refused to talk back to our parents and I had to put on my advocate’s hat; For as many times as he let me become the little sister despite being the older sister.

As it turns out my – not so – little brother is effectively my oldest friend, my most loyal friend and my in so many ways life-saver friend. I wouldn’t really be the me that I love without some of my happiest memories and most are with my – not so – little brother.

Happy Birthday, Twerp!

 

 

n.b. even though this is a post exclusively dedicated to my brother, it’d be a complete loss to you to not introduce you to Solange Knowles in a deep and emotional way, so here’s a thing she wrote that was good, in-fact great, in-fact saintly.

 

Jet Setter, Trend Setter

Oops. It seems I’ve forgotten to post in between the manic happenings surrounding planning another trip and the equally manic happenings surrounding visiting our latest travel destination : the well lived and loved capital city of Nigeria, Lagos.

Yes, your mud trucking, wellington wearing, Beyoncé admiring, country gal is presently looking to sunnier city skies and sipping refreshing cocktails. It doesn’t seem fair that you shouldn’t tag along too?
And I mean there’s plenty to tag along to in this one-part modern, one-part post-colonial metropolis.

And what’s more the vibrancy, colour and the opportunity to sun has left me with plenty more inspiration for lots of stylish and life aware content that I hope is right up your street.

Merry Christmas 2016

And alas, we are finally here!

Our much counted down seasonal celebrations all because of the birth of a babe in a manger somewhere in Bethlehem. (Bet you thought you guys were celebrating Santa’s existence today).

I figured I’d share what is one of the most used bible verses as relates to the same Christian faith this particular babe is said to have birthed. And it’s my pick on this occasion as my favourite message this season has been surrounding the symbolism of this birth in a manger. Of how in faith, Christians like myself believe that this was a gesture of love.

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The Obama Years (A personal Account)

So as I said we’re going a little different to convention for this post.

Most similar to this is that Keeping up with the Joneses post, where it’s somewhat a personal subject and I get to expose a little more of myself.

But where to start really?

Well, until a year or so I have been quite ungracious in giving out compliments, for some reason the words always seemed to get stuck in my throat, I think mostly a result of my more wimpish qualities, I think I’ve somehow convinced myself over the years that my voice pales in significance compared to most other people.

Although, in a world of social media battle cries like #formation or #blackgirlmagic or #jesuischarlie, I have been helped along to paying my homages where it’s due … or  where possible simply retweeting them.

But thanks to this life-affirming fact; that thing about my newfound bravado, and also my now currently worsening esteem of America ( I love you but I hate you, but why?), I guess I really should get in line to pay my respects to the USA as we’ve come to know them; land of Beyonce, of Diane von Furstenberg, of Hillary Clinton, of Goldman Sachs, of Bloomberg and Saks Fifth Avenue and Hollywood.

Actually, I take that back.

You see America is just too damn big – and bodacious  – that I am going to have to reel it in a little and talk on one topic, well on one person, my favourite person. And this is going to surprise you, it isn’t Beyonce although it would be if it weren’t for the reasons I list below. The estimable qualities of this person being so numerous.

You see in 2008 / in the beginning of the Obama presidency, I was not taken with the general sentiment then, of this being historic, a landmark, some poignant achievement people of colour should all celebrate. I am African and British, so there was something immediately distant about the political affairs of America, besides having been born and raised in 90s Nigeria, I had an ‘inherited’ distrust of politicians and fear of far more unsettling things than the role which the colour of skin played in my getting ahead in life. What with growing up against the backdrop of oil rich, economically poor, similarly coloured people.

Michelle Obama however, on so many levels spoke to me, an easy icon for an intellectually keen black girl, my diamond in the rough of exam season back then.

You see I connected with the first lady instantly, even though she wasn’t my first lady. Her face, her style, her presence, her poise, all laid bare in one lifestyle magazine after another  but even better her course of action in her capacity as First Lady so elegantly conceived in its’ unifying thread that there was power in being a woman – ’the girl child’ – whether in America or some other far-flung part of the world. Speaking to me in a way that I could relate to.

The President however, had the appearance of a more scattered and divided agenda, this was the height of that 2008 financial crisis. After-all there were peace agreements to be signed, regulation of wall street, public health works, recalling of troops back home, all very foreign, all very distant to me. I almost see why I failed my first degree in Economics.

The man

But then it happened, slowly at first, with a first leap into reading President Obama’s first memoir, a public charm offensive reflecting on his coming age, and coming of self at precisely the time when I also was just beginning to come of age; leaving me with a profound sense of life’s ironies. Had there really been anyone less cut-out to carry the burden of civic duty and serving a public good than this most human character.

Certainly charm and human are little more than the surface attributes to credit the President with. There is his all round credibility, political and otherwise, his keenness to obviously do better, his profoundness, and most importantly all he has accomplished in his capacity as the 44th President of the United States. Accomplishments he recently remarkably credited his administration and team with

“… the remarkable work that they have done day in, day out, often without a lot of fanfare … that make government run better and make it more responsive and make it more efficient, and make it more service-friendly so that it’s actually helping more people. That remarkable work has left the next president with a stronger, better country than the one that existed eight years ago.”

President Obama’s Remarks on Donald Trump’s Election Transcript, Washington Post

Now I know I am already partial in my views on the Obamas, but I am certain even you have over the years come across the humanising qualities of President Obama on display for the world to see. And been made to feel immediately at ease with this, as though he were not some presidential mystery/enigma but a person that you might meet and easily share a laugh with.

The  work

Over the years of this presidency as I’ve gone from that first leap where I met the man behind the Presidency, and fell in love with none other than the President’s wife,  to this year reading the sister book to that first Memoir: The Audacity of Hope, and what is actually a political manifesto of influences and ideas. Reading it at a time when social issues, and solutions matter more to me, and I was beginning to develop my ideas on how to shape these. I mean are subjects of race more paramount than those of sex or sexuality? Or do we improve the level of employment at a cost to the financial stability offered by wage laws?

Don’t think too much on those. I don’t think we can really address even one of those questions in one article space. It’s just that in considering some of these topics of debate, and the admirable way in which I noticed the then Senator Obama navigate these subjects with balance and measure and optimism. A treatment I can attest to having seen in evidence not just in writing but also in the president’s speech.

“To think clearly about race, then requires us to see the world on a split screen – to maintain in out sights the kind of America that we want while looking squarely at America as it is, to acknowledge the sins of our past and challenges of the present without becoming trapped in cynicism or despair.”

President Obama, The Audacity of Hope

A treatment that I have found to be inspirational, based off its display of tolerance in being able to marry more than one perspective on a topic, even a topic as complex as race; all in the hopes that this brings us closer to achieving a better tomorrow.

Note how our views whatever they might be can be different and subjective, but what is ‘better’, well that is definitely objective.

And emboldened by this hope. I hope even further into the future that myself and my generation follow in the same levels of measure, and balance and wisdom that exemplary characters as President Obama have modelled, and even as we begin to become quite literally the leaders of tomorrow.

Back so soon

Usually – you might not be able to tell this – a posting cycle for me will be filled with nail biting dread, does it sound right, did I say too much, how boring is this? But in the end, it always leaves me feeling so blessed you know. So blessed that I am now so ready to let you back into the recesses of my mind.

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Hopefully you don’t get too used to it.

But I will be keeping the momentum going with a next post all about the Obamas, well not all; kinda about that first African American family in the White House. No, the irony of the story isn’t lost on us either and in Michelle Obama’s perfectly put words:

“The story of those generations of people who felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation, but who kept on striving and hoping and doing what needed to be done so that today, I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves …”

I know? Massively off topic so it’s probably good I am both warning you in advance whilst also creating the illusion of being pressed to deliver.

A date with the family

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So I picked the one single day in which I can be uninhibited and selfish to share with my family; my parents, my brother, my aunties, my uncle, my cousins, and my twin/triplet/quadruplet sisters. And set a badass table with carefully handpicked ornaments and finishing touches sourced from all over.

Why?

I think it is because I was still reeling off of that wedding post and the endless sea of table settings and floral arrangements that I had immersed myself into. But of course in true fashion of what these posts are supposed to keep on giving; fashion and of-course helpful bits of information to divulge from my actual experience, in this case ‘party planning’.

Keep in mind my planning was for a small scale party, where I placed a lot of attention to detail, so you might need to do a bit of tweaking to use some of the ideas I have used. For example, scaling-up orders, timing your orders, getting yourself some help, having a plan-b. For example for a wedding, it wouldn’t do to have key pieces missing on d-day because they have not yet arrived.

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Also huge shout out to Amazon Prime for those speedy deliveries. Actually, all of my suppliers did a great job of getting my items to me in within a week and that already made my day.

But ultimately what I discovered was plenty of inexpensive finds on amazon to rival independent homeware stores like even my ultimate favourite Zara Home. But even better, how totally ‘worth it’ it was to spend time with the ones who I can ultimately rely on and are absolutely deserving of my time.

If you already follow me on social media you would have seen my odd tweet and instagram post around the day for a peek at my birthday dress which was a simple H&M day dress with the floral leanings of that Dolce & Gabbana dress in my “Life’s Luxuries Post” here.

 

Ebun

xxx