Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013

Comfort Zones Are For Bitches.




Today I officially start my job as Senior Staff Writer for HELLO! Nigeria Magazine.  


Taking this job required me to make some major changes. I'm working in an office again so I had to say goodbye to working in my pajamas (sad face).

I'm also moving to Lekki from Alagbado. I'm going to live by myself again. I can't just buy a plane ticket to New York on a whim anymore either. I have co-workers again. I'm moving to, arguably, the most exciting area in Africa.

Things have changed. 
I'm petrified. 
I'm excited. I'm worried.

I'm still working on the book project in the midst of all this change. I still have Yoruba lessons and tennis lessons (did I mention that I have somehow morphed into the African version of a WASP?) 


I'm working on resuscitating my social life so there's that. There's also my awesome family to consider as well as downtime for reading and watching my TV shows. And this blog (hahahahaha).


I keep wondering, "can I handle all of this?" 
I am notorious for turning down great opportunities because I'm worried I'll be "overwhelmed". I run in the opposite direction if I even anticipate there will be more stress than I can handle.



You know what? Fuck it. Maybe I need more stress in my life. Stress-free living is for retirees and stoners.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Don't Chase It.

I read a quote on someone's instagram: 

When you stop chasing the wrong things, you give the right things a chance to catch you.

I don't chase. I wait and move forward at the same time, my hands open and ready to catch what comes my way, hopeful that I will receive what I'm meant to receive.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

This Isn't Going To Work Because I Don't Like You

You know when you meet someone and at first it's all good? 

You like the way he looks, he's funny, he gets your funny. He's smart, he's got dimples. Then as you're getting to know the person via BBWhatMessengerChat, you realize you guys just don't gel?

Sure, he's not a raging homophobe (true story), or into beastiality (sigh... true story). Those are obvious deal breakers, right? 

RIGHT?!? 

Maybe he says something you find incredibly annoying (like "that's wassup" in an un-ironic way) or has John Mayer as his profile pic on Facebook (true story and as confusing as ever). Maybe he's a "drill baby drill" kind of guy while you're a granola muncher. Maybe he calls you "sweet baby love" (ew).

The question is, does one overlook the annoying but not awful habit? Does not overlooking said habit make someone a picky bitch?


These are the questions I have to ask myself now. Because my age and ringless fingers are alarming my relatives.

While I'm sure single men of a certain age get hounded as well, being a single woman in her twenties in Nigeria is akin to being an alcoholic. Get ready for conversations to start with "I'm worried about you", prayer circles in your honor and interventions (fo' real).

Nevermind that you graduated with honors, are the youngest exec at the company you work for, just climbed Mt. Kilamanjo. You have not wedded so you have not been bedded (because we're all virgins until our wedding night, right ladies) so you have not shot a baby out of your vagina.

It ALWAYS comes back to babies.

Long story short, I am being introduced to every man with a pulse that is Yoruba (my family's a bunch of tribalists).

I was set up on a blind date by my mother and uncle. It was awkward. It was the worst. A pap smear would have been preferable. The prospect of another blind date is enough to make the pickiest girl reconsider some old prospects, John Mayer profile pic and all. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

When Being Kind Is Not Okay

I went to a high school that had signouts (think slam books meet yearbooks).

In my signout, almost everyone who wrote in it commented on how nice I was. They encouraged me to never change, remain "sweet and kind".

Kindness was my identifier. I happily claimed it and still do.

So don't take my recent post encouraging everyone to be a 'selfish asshole' as a war on human decency. I think the best decision I make every day is to be kind.

I'm about that 'love thy neighbor as thyself' life.

It's just that... recently I've begun to realize that being nice all the time is one of my biggest flaws.

I recently found myself in a situation where I had to say 'no' to someone. It doesn't matter who it was for, what it was, how I said it. Those are details. What's interesting is what happened later.

I was depressed. I'm talking a loss of appetite, lack of motivation to do anything, fatigue, a general funky mood.

It wasn't that I was sad I said 'no'. I'm confident that I did the right thing. It's the fact that I put myself in a position where I was not the 'nice one' that's bothering me so much. I, Juwon Ajayi, was not accommodating.

The thought that saying 'no' meant there was a person out there that may not like me really upset me.

That's just not okay.

I love the saying "don't mistake my kindness for weakness". I've used it a lot in the past. But seeking the approval of others is weak. Bending backwards so people are pleased with you is weak. Inconveniencing yourself so that people are always happy with you is just stupid.

I'm writing these words and I'm still struggling to understand that it's okay for me to say no. I don't have to win "Miss Congeniality". I don't have to be liked by everyone.

Why is it so important for people, especially women, to seek the approval of others? Were we just raised to be docile and amicable?

It kills me that I am so invested in others' opinions of me. I wish that weren't the case. It is something I am actively going to work on.

If you willingly allow people to walk all over you, then tell yourself "it's the Christian thing to do", are you really living an admirable life?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

An Argument For Being A Selfish Asshole


So I read this post (click here) by Jillian Harris.

She makes some great points on why being single doesn't suck. I'm here to vouch for point No.5

For the first time in my life, I went on vacation.  I've travelled a lot with my family and by myself. When I lived in the states, I flew to Nigeria a lot to visit my folks. Now that I live in Nigeria, I've travelled to the states twice.

Those trips don't count.

There was a trip to LA a few years ago to visit one of my best friends (click here). While I had a blast, that trip doesn't really count either since I was too broke to do much.

This is the first time I've had enough money to save. It's the first time I saved with the sole intention of spending it on myself. It was awesome.

In my opinion, women often feel the need to prepare for life as a wife and mother once they reach their 20s. I can't tell you how many variations of this statement I've heard over the years "you should learn how to make ogbono soup so when you get married your husband will be pleased" and "you need to change *** because men like women that ***".

We're expected to get serious, start looking, start planning, stop playing, start dressing a certain way, attract the nice guy, the right guy, the rich guy.

I'm here to challenge ladies not to do any of that stuff.

If you're in your late twenties and unattached like me, I beg you to think about what that means. You. Are. Free.

You may not be a baller but you have a job, right? Sure, there are bills to pay and family stuff to help out with but besides that, your money is yours. Go on a trip! Go and get something for yourself! Treat yo self!

I went on vacation and I let myself spend money on things I wanted: the gondola ride at the Venetian in Vegas and the nice hotel room in Dubai. I bought the shoes I've been obsessing about for months... and a few more pairs just because I liked them. I did all this without feeling guilty. I work hard for what I make and I don't see men my age conflicted over how they spend their money because of  the families they don't have yet.

It dawned on me a while ago that while I may not be able to do selfish things like this forever, I can now and I deserve to so I should.

I want to have kids one day and  eventually, I'll need to save for a house and start planning for a family of my own.

But that time has not come.

So instead of moping about "being alone", be alone, happily.

I plan to. In Antigua. And London. And Canada too if I can wing it.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Idols

I read an awesome and way too short Lainey interview (click here) a while back and in it, she answered Madonna when asked who her idol was growing up.

That got me to thinking: who was my idol when I was a kid/pre-teen?

I couldn't think of anyone, guys.

Ask me who my crush was back then and Leonardo DiCaprio comes to mind immediately (preferably as Romeo but I was an equal opportunity Leophile).

Back then I never really had posters up in my room or obsessed over getting my hair to look exactly like a certain star's or anything like that. I blame this on the absence of cable television in our house.

I also think I was much more interested in characters than the people playing them when I was a child.

For example, if I was asked which fictional heroines I looked up to when I was younger I could immediately tell you: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Hands down. No competition. At all.

Ask me what I thought of Sarah Michelle Gellar and I wouldn't have much to say on that front because I just didn't care.

Am I alone in this? Who did you guys look up to growing up?

I sometimes wonder how social media is going to affect kids and the idol culture. I think our society's fascination with celebrity has heightened to the point where people are more interested in Nina Dobrev than they are in Elena Gilbert.

Speaking of idols, Lainey aka "my everything", posted a birthday shout-out after I wrote her an email like the giant fan-girl I am. 

I guess we never grow out of it, huh?

I requested pics of some of my favorite pop culture heroines and she obliged. She also wrote some really nice things that made my day. Check it out here.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Best. Summer. EVER.

Okay, I know summer has been over for a few months now and we're fist-deep in Fall right now.

Is anyone really surprised that it's taken me this long to update? I am the worst blogger on the planet, possibly the universe.

But I'm back now and that's all that matters. So much has happened since I last posted, I don't even know where to start.

I traveled. A lot. I visited family in Connecticut, New York and Orlando. I went on a girls trip to Las Vegas. On our way back to Nigeria, Mom and I spent an epic day in Dubai.

It's been great so far.

I got back to Nigeria in July and I realized how screwed I was. My summer vacation was over but I wasn't ready to say goodbye to airports and different time zones.

I had the traveling bug.

My inner-explorer had awakened and I was nowhere near done seeing and experiencing the world around me. So I went to Abuja to visit one of my best friends. And earlier this month, I went to Antigua to visit another one of my best friends.

It's been an amazing 6 months and I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to see what I've seen. Now I'm back in Nigeria for a while which is nice. I missed my mom and the routine of my life as a settler. The nomad lifestyle is fun but if you're an unfocused hot mess like me, it can be hard to get stuff done without the lists and rituals. It's also really easy to go broke fast when you're buying plane tickets all the time.

I would be lying if I said I was completely done with cool trips to different places. I am mentally planning a trip to Europe next summer. I just haven't figured out how this is going to happen without me robbing a bank.

I'm home now, still working on the book that I can't really talk about and something else that I can't talk about yet.

There are a lot of changes going on right now which is scary but that's been the story of my life for a while.

I'mma just go with it.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My Summer of Living.

I am a daydreamer. I think I got that from my dad. I can spend hours lying down and imagining a life where I'm a shop owner, an archaeologist, a critically acclaimed writer. I imagine myself in Turkey, in Oman, in Portland, Sydney, Paris, Morocco. I imagine myself cliff-diving, skuba-diving. I imagine myself as an adventurous woman.

Someone once told me that I think too much. He said "people who think don't DO anything".

He's kind of right. I spend more time thinking of an amazing life than living one.

That ends now people.

My dad was so busy working that he didn't leave Nigeria the last 20+ years of his life. I respect his hustle but it makes me sad that my father, who had been to countries in five out of seven continents when he was younger, got so caught up in work. He'll never get to take my mom to the small town outside of Vienna that he lived in when he was a young man. We're never going to take that trip to Dubai I talked about obsessively when he was sick, thinking sheer will would keep him alive.

I'm so done with daydreaming. I'm not rich but I have a job that pays well enough and allows me to work anywhere with wifi. I'm not married, I don't have kids, I don't have any responsibilities that require me to stay anywhere.

I'm out.

I declare the next few months, the "summer of living". I am going to do as much as I can while I'm visiting family and friends in the states. I'm going to see some new things, meet some new people. And when I get back, I intend to continue doing so.

 It is so easy to get caught up in the details required to run our lives. Those lives of ours are short. Death is inevitable. There's nothing any of us can do about it. But If we're going to die tomorrow, shouldn't our bucket lists be shorter?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Fitting in is Overrated.


Yesterday was Mother's Day. I made raw carrot cake (recipe coming up) and we ate that with corn on the cob and ewedu soup because we are weirdos. Then we watched The Proposal for the 100th time because Mom loves Sandra Bullock. It was a very chill day.

My mom is the best. She has the biggest heart and is open and always lends a helping hand. She also worries. She could win a medal for worrying.

My mom said the sweetest/saddest thing to me while we were chatting about her and my dad. She said she was scared for me because I'm a fish out of water and while she loves that I'm with her in Nigeria, she feels like I'm never going to make friends. If I don't have friends, I'll never meet new people. If I don't meet new people, I'll never date. If I never date, I'll never have a boyfriend, never get married, never have kids and BINGO!

It always comes back to kids for my mom.

Anyway, I was touched. I know she's worried about me but I do have friends. And I personally like being a fish out of water. I'm used to it. When I'm in the states, I'm the African girl. When I'm in Nigeria, I'm the American girl. I can't change how I'm perceived and I learned a long time ago not to sweat it.

I'm not going to lie. I miss my siblings. I miss my friends. I miss America. I miss fast internet. I miss Whole Foods. God, I MISS TV.

I miss constantly.

At the same time, I get paid really well to do what I love full-time. I'm working on my first book. I'm traveling to places I've dreamed of going to for years. I get to spend time with my family here and learn about a culture that has shaped every aspect of my life.

My point is, fitting in is overrated. So is being comfortable. I would much rather be different, push myself, step outside the proverbial box and live in as many different ways as possible. I lived in the states for most of my life. It's scary living somewhere else. It's scary being surrounded by people who think so differently.

In this case, scary is good. Try scary and see what happens.



JMO: Masturbation Could Save Nigeria.

I posted a status update on my Facebook during church yesterday. Just because... well I don't really know.

I'm usually not one to post every thought running through my mind but yesterday, I reacted to a situation that exasperated me and I shared these thoughts:

Today's sermon is about the evils of masturbation.

I knew I should have stayed home today.

I, of course, know how polarizing a comment like that is. Sex is private and talking about it openly makes people uncomfortable. On top of that, half of my friends on Facebook are Nigerian and the other half are American. Without generalizing too much, I've noticed that my Nigerian friends tend to be much more conservative than my American friends.

Anyway, I posted a status about masturbation. Comments weren't negative and mostly ranged from a neutral "interesting" to a to fist-bumping "walk out".

I did, however, receive some phone calls and messages laughingly chiding me and flat-out asking me to explain myself and my stance on "self-love".

Since I have a blog, why not share my thoughts with the three of you who still read it?

I think masturbation is a) healthy b) no one's business c) something the church and other religious institutions should not demonize, especially to youths.

I think it's unrealistic to tell a bunch of horny teenagers not to masturbate.

I think it's dangerous to preach "abstinence or hell".

I think teaching "masturbation is evil" is why you have people having sex that don't know how to use condoms.

I think teaching "masturbation is evil" is why STDs and unwanted pregnancies are so prevalent in Nigeria and other parts of the world.

I think having someone tell you "masturbation is evil and leads you to have sexual desires and this causes women to dress provocatively and in turn get harassed, men to cheat on their wives with the maid, people to have sex with animals" (paraphrasing but these are all points the pastor made) is not only dangerous but on another level of stupid.

I think that teaching "masturbation is evil" leads to all types of issues in life and a general discomfort with one's body.

I think that sexual desires are healthy and normal as human beings.

When I'm a mother, I'd rather my kids masturbate to take care of their urges than have them have sex before they're ready.

Those are my thoughts. What are yours?

Life in Pics: Ipetu House




Progress.

Ipetu Ile April 2013.

2013 MET Gala Punk: Chaos to Couture. Beauty Looks We Loved

Hey guys! Some of you know I'm obsessed (click here) with the Met Gala. I usually write a post on this site listing which looks I loved and why but I decided to write a beauty related post for Style House Files this year.

Click here if you want to check it out.

I may still write a "Met Gala 2013 Favorite Looks" post.

Photo from Laineygossip.com

Losing Daddy. One year later.

I wrote this on the one year anniversary of my dad's death but I didn't post it. Here it is:

It's been a year since he died. I've been thinking about this day for a while now. What was it going to be like when my family and I reached that point in our journey? How would we feel?

Well the day is here. I don't know how everyone is feeling. I know I'm a bit surprised. I'm surprised by the normalcy of today. I originally planned to spend the 10th of May at home, allowing myself to cry if I wanted to, stay in bed, sleep, whatever. I was going to allow myself to be sad.

Well I ended up having to run an errand that could not be held off till Monday. I was really annoyed at first. Then a friend sent me a funny message. I replied. I smiled. I sent out messages to other people and before I knew it I was going about my business and the day went by.

Life.

I felt a momentary pang of guilt that I was okay today. Then I mentally shook myself. My dad was a lot of things but he was not frivolous. If I went through with my original plan, he would have told me to get up and shower. He would have said people who stay home don't make money. He would have asked how being lazy was honoring him.

This last year was really hard. I love my mom but it's been an adjustment living with her, finding the balance between being a daughter and a friend. What I've learned is time doesn't make the grief of losing a loved one easier. We just get better at coping. We get stronger. We change out of necessity for the sake of our sanity. We realize we live in a world where prayers go unanswered. We realize we are not special, that there is a plan bigger than our wants. We get up in the morning and go about the business of living. We may be a little less happy. We see our lives for what they really are, fleeting, but we get to have lives and that is a gift. We appreciate that more because we know.

I'm different now. It's not good nor is it bad. I still don't know why things happened the way they did but I can honestly write that I accept that I will never understand.

Life.

 I love my dad and I pray to God that I am making him proud.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Not Mandatory But Freaking Good: My Blog Girl Crushes Part VII.

Elaine Lu of Laineygossip.com.

Who? Blasphemy, go kill yourself.

Before we begin, just check out this TEDxTalks video please.
Also, you may want to read this interview:

And last but not least, check out Laineygossip.com.

Alright, now that you have been given a crash-course in awesomeness, we can begin.

What can I say about Lainey? I can write a whole book about her but I'll keep this post short because she'd want that.

I discovered Laineygossip.com later than most people. I then proceeded to read every post she's ever written that's available online.

I never want to meet her because if she disliked me, I'd want to die (I have a tendency to over-use exclamation points and because she hates that, I'm now very careful about it).

Straight up, I want to be her. She is fucking awesome. Even if you don't like celebrity gossip, you'll appreciate her writing. You'll respect her as a human being, you'll want to go and get a drink with her. She's too boss. She is cool as hell.


I love her.

For the longest time my family thought I actually knew her because I'd always start a conversation like "Lainey said-" So when they asked me what I wanted for my birthday, the answer was simple: a smutty shout-out.

And will you look at that, I got it!

Sigh. One of the highlights of my life.

*Photo courtesy of Lainygossip.com

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Not Mandatory But Freaking Good: Blog Girl Crushes Part VI

Christine Teigen of Sodelushious.com

I follow Christine Teigen on Twitter because she's unapologetically judgy in a funny way and I love that in a person. It makes my inner-bitch happy.


Anyway, I knew Christine had a food blog but I'm a vegan and Christine doesn't "fux with vegans". What would be the point of reading about dead, rotting flesh soaking in different sauces?


Um, you so silly Juwon. Christine is hilarious. Everything she writes is awesome.


New bucket-list item: become Christine's friend.


I'm currently reading all of her posts and it truly is a great read for anyone who loves food. Do something nice for your inner-fatty!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Not Mandatory But Freaking Good: Blog Girl Crush Part V


Jillian Harris of Jillianharris.com 

Most people who know me know that I am a former Bachelor addict (no I did not follow Sean's season. After Emily and Jef ended things, I decided a break was necessary. It still hurts too much).

I've been watching the show for years and while Emily turned out to be a pleasant surprise, my favorite bachelorette of all time is still Jillian Harris.

The Canadian cutie made me a fan because she seems like a cool gal. She came onto the Bachelor already established in her career and content with her life. I'm all about the girls in the world who don't expect men to complete them.

Now try not to hold the fact that she was on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette against her. Jillian's website was launched in the vein of Goop but I actually check hers out more frequently.

She has great interior decorating tips, yummy recipes and cool fashion tips. Personally my favorite part of her website are the photos of her and her friends and family. Jilly's a "Live Laugh Love" girl and her photos remind me to enjoy the life I have instead of moping about the things missing.

*Photos courtesy of JillianHarris.com

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

My Life In Pics.

The view from my room at the Eko Hotel. Victoria Island, Lagos. 2012

Not Vegan But So Good.

I ate out of it. It made me sick because my body doesn't really fuck with dairy anymore but dear God it was good.

This is my go-to when I want to gift someone with a treat that won't take forever to make. It is loved by all.

The recipe is from the NY Times.

 I discovered it on Downtownromantic.com

Time: 20 minutes, plus overnight freezing

48 saltine crackers
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 pound unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips.

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a sheet pan or large cookie sheet with sides with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Arrange the crackers side by side in a single layer on the foil. In a small saucepan, melt the sugar and butter, stirring constantly until they bubble, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and quickly stir in the vanilla. Pour evenly over the crackers and, using a spatula, spread to cover evenly.
2. Bake immediately. After 7 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the crackers. Return to the top rack of the oven and bake for 2 minutes more. Spread the chocolate evenly over the crackers with a clean spatula. Cool for 20 to 30 minutes before transferring the tray to the freezer. The next day, peel off the foil and break the brickle into pieces. Keep frozen or refrigerated. Yield: About 2 pounds.

A version of this recipe appeared in the New York Times print on December 15, 1999

Monday, April 8, 2013

Freedom.

I was never meant to be a little girl. I never possessed the light heart of a child. I never learned how to live with the abandon only innocents possess.

To me, actions always had consequences. This left me to grow up a little awkward as I waited for my age to catch up with my mind.

It finally did.

Being a woman is unapologetic. It's liberating. It's wisdom. It's freedom.

I wouldn't trade the years or turn back time for anything.

What do you guys think?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Not Mandatory But Freaking Good: Blog Girl Crushes Part IV



Ashley Madekwe of Ring My Bell. 

Why do I read RingMyBell.com? Helloooooo, she's Ashley from Revenge people.

She's as pretty as a doll and she dresses the way I would dress if I weighed nothing and she's part-Nigerian so I'm supporting one of my people okay?

If you like fashion blogs, hers is a good one to check out. She pairs clothes in unexpected ways but she's not so avant-garde with her style that it's unwearable.

And she'll inspire even the biggest lover of flats (that would be me) to embrace heels and walk the streets like you're Naomi on a runway.

Sigh. Serious girl crush.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Romance Is Stupid.

Ladies, am I alone here?

I don't know if this is because I've seen too much (I know I sound like a war victim).

Regardless of the reason, I'm not into the lovey-dovey stuff.  While I'm cool with it in movies and on TV, romantic gestures immediately make me suspicious in real life.

The problem with a romantic gesture is it never feels genuine to me.
Forcing it lacks sincerity.
A lack of sincerity in anybody is not cool but in a guy, it's a total lady-boner killer.

You say "I've loved you since the first time I laid eyes on you."
I think "You don't even know me! I could be crazy."
Then I think "this guy is either a liar or really stupid."
And... I can't be with a stupid person.

So keep your roses and other cliche gifts. Don't come to me with poems or grand declarations of love a day after we've met. I don't believe a word you're saying and now I think you're cheesy. And possibly stupid.

Am I bitch for feeling this way? Probably.

Am I cynical? Definitely.

But am I alone? I don't think so.

It goes hand in hand with not wanting some emo dude who believes real love is intense and all-consuming and making love (ugh) is supposed to make you cry.

Like really?

I believe there are plenty of women who don't want an Edward/Romeo/Stefan (Insert mopey, sensitive, pop-culture character). I believe there are women out there like me that want to laugh with someone, not sit in awe trying to absorb the magnitude of feelings he evokes or some shit.

Love can be epic without the angst and feelings and tears, right? What do you guys think?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

My Life in Pics

New Goat. Yay.

I wish they weren't planning on eating him.

Can We Let Elena Grow The Eff Up? The Vampire Diaries Rant

I LOVE The Vampire Diaries. I'm so into it. Judge away if you want. I'm not ashamed.

I read all four Twilight books. That, I'm ashamed of.

TVD, I'm cool sharing my love for it. The writing is solid, the actors are good and the storylines are interesting. I love going on Youtube and reading comments from Stelena shippers and Delena shippers who are one negative comment away from losing their minds. They are so passionate about their teams and seeing their couple of choice make it to the finish line.

You have the good brother and the bad brother in love with the same girl. Angst, Blah blah blah, Passion, blah blah blah, It's okay to love both of them I did Katherine Pierce bitchness.

 But... Don't you wish for once the girl would wake up and say "I'm a teenager. What do I know about love and forever? I'm going to go out into the world and figure out who I am and not worry about who I'm going to spend the rest of my life (immortality) with."

This is why I love Caroline; I'm of the belief that Mystic Falls and the highschool boyfriend isn't going to be it for her.

 I know, I know. Shut up Juwon. Silly bitch. Of course Elena should pick one of the Salvatore brothers. They're so dreamy.

 I'm Team Delena.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Not Mandatory But Freaking Good: My Blog Girl Crush Part III


Fabiola of Diary of a Third World Fashionista 

ThirdWorldFashionista.com is a blog I stumbled upon while I was procrastinating like a champ. I don't frequent lots of style blogs because I usually can't afford the clothes the girls are wearing but what's so amazingly awesome about Fabi is the fact that she sews most of the clothes she wears.


And they look fantastic.

Besides her boss skills behind a sewing machine, I find it comforting to read about another girl's struggles living in a third-world country.

Now let me make something clear: there are parts of Lagos that are like any other city in the states. People who live in Lekki, Victoria Island, things people take for granted until it's no longer available.

But I live in Alagbado.

We don't have those fun things in the boondocks and it can be a bit boring on my side of town. But Fabi, who lives in Honduras, would tell me to dress up, head to the market and have an impromptu photoshoot among the bootleg DVD stand.

Reading about her adventures in an underdeveloped country motivates me to take my lemons and make a tart yafeelme?

 Love her.

*Photos courtesy of Thirdworldfashionista.com

Monday, March 25, 2013

Dear Kanye West, Um... What Happened?

I listened to "All Falls Down" recently.

I think of the Kanye West of today, look at a pic of Kim Kardashian and get confused. As you may remember, the thought of them together had me bursting into laughter for weeks (click here for a refresher). Not because it was ludicrous but because it was perfect.

They really are perfect for each other.

 But that's because I forgot.

I forgot that before he got precious about fashion to the point of annoyance, before the VMAs, before he became a celebrity, Kanye was about the music and... the music was deep.

He was always a bit of a douche. Cocky and difficult. But no one would ever call him a loser.

Now, well... He's quickly turning into a bit of a loser, right? Like the type of celeb that you just dismiss because rolling your eyes at his antics takes up too much energy.

How sad that he's now someone who I think is perfect for Kim Kardashian.

Ugh, I really hate that I feel this way.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Let Me Introduce You To Some Of My Friends

Once upon a time, I worked as the freelance Healthy Beauty Awards assistant at Self magazine. It was a fun, fun time (and by fun I mean stressful as fuck).

I learned a lot and tried lots of new products and met some awesome ladies who happened to be my co-workers.

Two years later, Johanna, Pia and Runa (and Keli who I met through Pia and Runa) are still some of my favorite people on the planet.

And they're also my personal beauty gurus. Pia did my eye makeup in the bathroom of some club in Bay Ridge once because I looked so plain-jane-blah. I think it was Bay Ridge. I'm not sure where we were. Blame it on the alcohol, I'm a lightweight.

They also keep it real. Like the time Johanna told me my all-natural deodorant was NOT working.

If that's not friendship, I don't know what is.

Check out their sites: Mamalatinas.net (http://articles.mamaslatinas.com/blogger/37/johanna_ferreira)

Xovain.com (http://www.xovain.com/author/pia-and-runa)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

My Life In Pics.

Scooby being cute. 2013.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Fatty Logic.

So I've been exercising regularly since January. I run up and down the stairs and do strength exercises and I've gone from being a "as long as it didn't use to move" vegan to a "I like to eat clean so no white flour, rice, sugar" vegan.

And you know what?

It's working. Dammit all that talk about exercise and watching what you eat is true. I've lost weight, I have all this energy, my butt looks good.

 So why oh why did the universe see now as a good time to let my knee problems flare up?

I'm in so much pain. My knees are killing me. They hurt when I climb the stairs, they hurt when I sit, they hurt when I kneel down to greet the old people and they even hurt when I stand too long.

 I'm 27. This is messed up.

Now, I read that a strenuous exercise like stairs should be done every other day so your muscles have time to recuperate. I will admit that I said "eff that, burn fat burn" and did it every day. So I basically screwed myself because now I have to cut back.

The plan is to increase my strength exercises to help my knees muscle up or something. I'll also walk on the days I don't do stairs and hope that it helps.

My point? Basically my knee problems bummed me out big time. Because I've been working so hard and I feel like the stairs were my secret weapon. So what did I do to console myself?

I ate a big bowl of banana pudding yesterday. I made it with the intention of only indulging in a little bit (1/2 a cup) every day. Well that went out the effing window. Banana pudding pie was my lunch, snack and dinner.

That was yesterday. I told myself "no more!" after I finished up my bowl, and promised myself I'd be good today. But then I found pop-tarts and it had been such a long time and I decided "screw it" and ate four.

Inner Dialogue: Fuckity fuck Juwon! Really? Four pop-tarts! FOUR? How are you even functioning? What's wrong with you?

Before, I never really felt guilty about what I ate. Now, I truly feel bad for putting so much crap in my body. I'm still undecided on whether this is a good thing (because being healthy is important) or a bad thing (because I'm also letting societal pressures dictate how I should look).

Oy vey.

I leave you with this:

I won't.
I shouldn't. 
I'll only have a little. 
I'll start over tomorrow. 
Screw it, I've already messed up. 

Fatty logic.

*Banana Pudding Pie recipe coming soon.

Not Mandatory But Freaking Good: My Blog Girl Crush Part II



Tia Williams of Shakeyourbeauty.com


Tia Williams is the reason why I made it to NYC. Let me set up the story for y'all.

I was a college junior who knew she wanted to work in magazines but had no idea how to do it. Reading up on fellow Nigerian Lola Ogunnaike (a fantastic writer), I stumbled across Shakeyourbeauty.com, Tia's beauty blog.



Without coming off as dramatic, though I do believe that ship has sailed, the blog changed my life. I had a real-life example of a woman of color who made a living working in magazine editorial. Tia often wrote posts advising aspiring magazine editors on the how-tos.

Also, Tia was like the fashion and beauty obsessed sister I never had! Through her blog, I started to figure out what did and didn't work for me as a black girl. And she's such a funny writer guys.

So here's the funny/ironic part. My first internship was with Ambermag.com. My boss, Marcia Cole (an industry vet that I owe big time for teaching me so much), is friends with Tia and sent me to her house one day to drop off a package. The interaction was less than a minute and she was nice and ridiculously good-looking and her daughter was just the cutest. That was my first Tia Williams encounter and honestly, I would have died happy knowing I sort of met her.

 How badass is it that she documented her migraine surgery?

She's so pretty.


But then I started working at Essence magazine and I ran into her again on the way to the restroom! She was the Online Beauty Editor at the time so it was bound to happen. I spent weeks hoping I'd run into her again. When my time at Essence was coming to an end I grew some balls and emailed her. I told her I was a HUGE fan and I loved Accidental Diva and Revlon's Raisin Glaze lipgloss and THANK YOU for being such an inspiration and shakeyourbeauty.com is my life and so on and so on.

I know. I'm lame.

Despite me fangirly slightly creepy email, she dropped by my desk to say hello a few days later!

I. Freaked. Out.

I went all Belieber on her. and Tia handled it like the stah she is. She was incredibly sweet and just cool as fuck. Anyway, she relaunched shakeyourbeauty.com months ago after a hiatus and it's just as great as the original. Plus she and her sisters (Lauren and Devon who I feel like I know) launched another cool site called theflycut.com. Think Groupon for chic black women. So now women on color can get a great deal at a salon that actually knows what to do with ethnic hair.

In the words of Tia, get into it.

*Photos courtesy of Shakeyourbeauty.com

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Veganize It: Oatmeal Banana Carrot Muffins

Holy Mary Joseph Baby Jesus Chocolate.

 These were so good. So very good. And so freaking easy. Disgustingly easy.

These muffins don't have added sugar or wheat flour in them. And they were good. I wrote that already, sorry.

The modified recipe is below.

The link to the original recipe is below. Enjoy! http://half-bakedbaker.blogspot.com/2009/01/guilt-and-gulten-free-oatmeal-banana.html?m=1

1 1/2 cups of oats makes 1 cup of oat flour

Bake: in 400ºF oven for 20 minutes

1 1/4 cup rolled oats

1 cup soy milk

1/3 cup oil, sunflower or vegetable oil

6 bananas, medium, ripe, mashed

1 1/2 cup oat flour

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup of shredded carrots

 Instructions:

 In a bowl mix together rolled oats and milk. Let soak for 10 minutes. Mix oat flour, salt, spices, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl. Add mashed banana, and oil to rolled oats mixture. Add carrots. Mix well. Add dry ingredients to the rolled oats mixture. Mix well. Fill greased or paper lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for approximately 20 minutes.

Men & Fashion: A Few Tips From a Woman

Hello readers! I had the pleasure of meeting Maurice Ajanaku of Ajanaku.com during Lagos Fashion and Design Week 2012. Ajanaku.com is an awesome lifestyle site that will appeal to anyone with an interest in art, fashion, gourmet food and the other pretty things in life.

I wrote a post for the site a few months back and I want to share it.

If you're a guy: I'm here to help you not look like a douche.

If you;re a girl: I'm here to help you help your guy not look like a douche.

Check out the cheeky post here.


Did I miss any essential points?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Kim Kardashian Graces Lagos With Her Presence

I only uploaded this photo because I like that shirt. What? I'm not going to hate on Givenchy because she's wearing it!

First of all, read this because it's so on point.

So this post was written weeks ago and I'm just getting around to uploading it. It's not really relevant anymore but when has that ever stopped me from ranting?

Oh yes. There is a rant involved in this post.

Shall we begin?

Like many, I was surprised to learn Kim K was in Lagos. I stupidly thought she was there to sit on a panel for Social Media Week since it started the Monday after she was in Lagos.

See, social media played such an integral part in the success of the Kardashian brand, it would actually be interesting to hear what the reality star had to say about Twitter, Celebuzz and Instagram's contribution to her fame.

Alas, I gave my country and the Kardashian too much credit. Kim Kardashian wasn't there to talk to Nigeria's youth at a free event (silly Juwon), she was there to co-host a party for the premiere of some movie. A party attended by Nigeria's 1% because who else would spend N100,000 for a ticket?

Kim Kardashian was paid $500,000 to come to Lagos. The pregnant starlet was in Lagos for less than 24 hours. She stayed at the party long enough to say "Hey Naija" and then she left.

Now my fellow Nigerians are pissed. How dare she?!?

*This is where my rant begins.

 Don't be upset with Kim Kardashian people. She's a business woman and because you all seem to love her to the point of stupidity (Why though? I really want to know), she can demand $500,000 for an appearance.

And unless it was worked into her contract that she should stay at the party the whole time, she wasn't obligated to be there for long. Also, maybe the organizers should have brought her here to do something other than host a party. I'm guessing that would have cost more? Maybe she should have been asked to do something that would boost the tourism in Nigeria or at the very least been suitable for a photo op?

 If it was me, I would have negotiated a deal where she was photographed by the AP at one of Nigerian designer's studio or at Temple Muse (closed for her and her people so they wouldn't have to talk to the commoners). The caption would have read " Kim Kardashian explores the shopping scene in Lagos".

 Publicity, something we could have used. Something that could have appeared on People.com or any international website or paper that would showcase Lagos's appeal as a tourist destination. While I'm just assuming, I highly doubt that crossed the organizers minds. Because, in my opinion, the people with the money don't think that way.

Be upset with the people in this country with billion dollar homes and village mentalities. These are the people who will do anything and spend anything to prove they have arrived. They are basic. They are rich but they are still low-classy. These are the people who have four brand new cars in their home and pay their househelp N7000 a month. These are the people who are trying to keep up with countries like the US and the UK but they refuse to do the work to get to that level.

Hey Nigeria, you skipped a few steps on your way to baller status. More than 5% of your citizens have to have enough food to eat to be considered a developed country. How about we fix that before we start paying people who are famous for nothing you can talk to your mother about to visit our country?

Let me ask this: did Nigerians expect an American reality star to be super-psyched at the idea of hosting a party in Lagos? Lagos is a metropolitan city with lots of promise. But she landed in our shitty airport, drove on our shitty roads and probably saw a few things that would shock any sheltered American. Maybe Kim K is wondering how she is getting paid $500,000 when the country is obviously impoverished.

Maybe I'm giving her too much credit.

At the end of the day, I really don't see why anyone should be upset. Kim K got half a million dollars for showing up and everyone who attended can brag about partying with a KARDASHIAN.

Keep on dreaming big Nigeria.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Subway Playlist: Working Out Sucks So Bad But Music Makes iIt Beter.

I'm trying to lose weight. I don't want to get into it. It just makes me mad.

I hate watching what I eat. I just want to be able to eat something I like until I'm full.

I hate working out. I hate sweating. I hate it when my heart rate increases. I hate floor exercises, stomach exercises and squats. I hate sweating (it needed to be mentioned twice).

Let's not even begin to discuss what working out has done to my hair. Frizzy, kinky roots are not something I can make work.

But I monitor what I eat and I work out anyway. I fucking hate it but I do it and I'll continue to do it because if I don't I'll gain weight and make it easier for life to screw me and give me diabetes, cancer, high-blood pressure etc.

Anywho, this playlist rocks my world and helps me forget about the sweat:

Calvin Harris - Feel So Close

Metric - Dead Disco

Metric - Monster Hospital

Alex Clare - Too Close

Metric - Help I'm Alive

Beyonce - Get me Bodied

Beyonce - Diva

Shakira - La Tortura

Shakira - Loca

Beyonce - Green Light

Taylor Swift - We Are Never Getting Back Together

Pitbull - Hey Baby

The songs aren't exactly new but they help me get revved up enough to keep on going.

I run up and down a flight of stairs for the 44 mins of this playlist, visualizing myself driving my dream car, dancing up a storm in a Parisian nightclub, having a blast at my book release party, hanging out with my friends in Orlando, NY, and Antigua, salsa dancing in Miami in a sexy orangey-pink dress.

I get super-specific with my daydreams.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Not Mandatory But Freaking Good: My Blog Girl Crushes Part I.

The true test of whether I'm obsessed with a blog is if I read all the old posts. I have (sometimes more than once) with all of the blogs I'll be writing about in this series.

If I could invite anyone I wanted to a dinner party, these are some of the ladies that would be on my list. I not only love their blogs but I have a major girl crush on all of them as well.

Speaking of girl crushes, shout out to Jenna Marbles, an honorable mention on "my girl crush list". For those who don't understand the concept of a girl crush, I'mma let Jenna explain it.:

Are you schooled? Great. Shall we begin?




My Blog Girl Crushes: Laney Crowell of Downtownromantic.com

I first "met" Laney through her blog "Dating a Banker Anonymous". I followed her when she started FaLoMe.com which later became (Downtownromantic.com) because getting a glimpse into Laney's life was way too addictive to stop.

Laney frequents the restaurants you'd eat at, wears the clothes you'd buy, cooks the food you'd make and is the person you'd be if life was fair.

It's not by the way.

AND she's incredibly nice so you can't hate on her. She's kind of like to me what Gwyneth Paltrow is to Lainey (I'll get to her later). I trust her taste. I have actually emailed her before picking a venue for my birthday, before heading to LA for vacation and before moving to Nigeria. The crazy thing is, she gets back to me! How crazy is it that someone who is as busy as she is, takes the time to reply to an email sent by someone she's never even met?

 I'm a fan for life.

* All photos from Downtownromantic.com