A Picnic Menu to Try: Pulled Lamb Sliders and Orange Loaf Cake

After a long time without one, I decided we should have a family picnic, enjoy the outdoors, play with sand and run our fingers and toes through sand and grass, eat, and just have a good time bonding. I knew my toddler would love that, and with my six month old, Rayyan, sitting up now, he’ll also enjoy pulling the grass — he loves to grab everything.

So during the week as I went in and out of my numerous meetings, I planned the menu, to help me come up with a shopping list, and discussed with the hubby to decide if we would invite any friends over.

Like they say, “the more the merrier!

What I Wear in a Week: Ijenna Osuji

For someone who isn’t very much into fashion, I throughly enjoy these features about what people wear in a week, and how their daily activities affect these choices. Today, we’ve got in-house contributor on the “hot seat”. Ijenna is a 22 year old final year clinical student in Lagos who for the past three years has been clicking remind me later” every time her computer asks to “update software”.

She describes her style as quirky, retro and comfortable. And although she has two styles, her “real style” and her “go-to style” this was one of those weeks where all she wore was her go-to style! A huge fan of Mango - the clothing brand not the fruit, Ijenna will not be caught wearing a crop top and leggings!

Ok now over to Ijenna. The next voice you will read is hers!

10 Excellent Self-help Books to Become a Better Person

Self-help books get a bad rap - some people think they’re too preachy, unrealistic, and clichéd. While many of them are, you can find some gems in the rough if you look hard enough.

In 2018, I dipped my toes into the world of non-fiction, and now I’m kinda hooked. So, I’ve made a list of ten non-fiction reads to inspire you!

These books are either memoirs, self-help, or essay collections that will make you want to become a better person, chase your dreams, or just feed your body better.

A Day in the Work Life of: Modupe Oloruntoba - Freelance Copywriter

So, I stumbled on Modupe after reading a piece she wrote on Man Repeller - one of my favourite content websites. She had written on natural hair and there was just something about it that drew me in. Of course, I also connected with her name, seeing as it’s a Nigerian one. So first I followed her on Instagram, and her Instagram stories fascinated me. You could see just how much in-depth knowledge she had about the fashion industry and fashion writing. I was really intrigued, and in typical fashion (no pun intended!) wondered what she did for a day job.

As it turns out, she’s a freelancer that sometimes becomes a permalancer (hey, new word alert!). In her words “I'm a low-key-but-actually-definitely-high-key fashion, beauty and pop culture enthusiast from Nigeria, raised in Lesotho and then South Africa, where I now live and work. I studied fashion design, then decided to write about fashion and the culture and industry surrounding it instead”. Asides Man Repeller, she’s been published in ELLE South Africa,  Refinery29, The Lake Magazine, The Luxe Digest, and so much more. As a writer, she loves good and bad puns, but just in case you can't tell from her face - she says she sings like an angel!

Mumfession: Redundancy, a Masters Degree & a New Baby!

There were a few things I knew I wanted to have settled to a large extent before I had a baby. One was my education - up to masters level. And the other was a relatively decent position in my career. And it seemed like it had gone according to plan. But then, just before my maternity leave was set to commence, I knew I had to resign. Now this was a voluntary decision. But even at that, I felt a lot of uncertainty and nerves.

How much worse would I have felt, if I’d been made redundant and at the same time pregnant? In today’s Mumfession feature, Kemi shares how she navigated through all of that. From being made redundant, unexpected results, giving up a few dreams, leaning on the shoulders of others to the one thing that made it all worth it.

Weekend Notes X Links From Around the Web

Happy second Friday of January! It’s been the first one back to work for many people, so I hope you eased in nicely.

I looked at a calendar yesterday and was surprised to see there’s still 21 days left in the month. That feels like an entire month in itself! But how are you doing? I hope you’re still hyped about the new year and smashing your goals!

I’m definitely working on mine, and that’s one reason this post is back. We love to share our favourite links with you, and hopefully you enjoy them as much as we do.

I’ve also taken on the weekly gratitude jar challenge. The idea is that every Sunday, I will reflect on the past week, write all I’m thankful for, and pop it in the jar till the last week of the year. Our memories can really be short-term, so it’s always a good idea to write things down. There are only 52 weeks in a year, so that should be okay to manage; hope I keep up!

Who Is Your Family?

My immediate family is small. It’s just me, my father, mother, and brother. For a while, my brother and I hoped we’d get more siblings, and my family even toyed briefly with the idea of adoption, but it never happened.

One of the things I wish I knew as a child is that your relationship with your family is never the same after you leave home. Moving away at 15 from a small town in the south of Nigeria opened the world to me. I lived in Europe for three years, learning to speak fractured Russian and exist in sub-zero temperatures for a quarter of the year.

Then I moved to the Caribbean, where I turned 20 and began to figure out my place in the world. In the first four years away from home, I returned to Nigeria every summer.

Nine Women on Turning 30: Joys, Fears, and Regrets

I turned 30 last November. But I didn’t have the time to fully take it in, as that birthday weekend last November was spent in a flurry of activities. So I guess I didn’t feel (at least at that exact time) the huge impact of turning 30. I don’t think I’d also previously given much thought to the 30 age. Apart from the fact that I’d considered a fancy photo shoot with the big 30 foil balloons included - because social media makes us believe that’s what you do, I hadn’t seen it much as a defining age and for the most part I assume things will go on as normal. 

But I’ve realised a few changes and inner paradigm shift in my thought process and general thinking. So, either it’s true that 30 for many women is an age where they really start to think, or it’s just a coincidence that right now in my life as I turn 30, I’m very conscious about self discovery. 

But how do other women feel turning 30? What are their joys, their fears and their regrets? In this piece, 9 amazing women who turned 30 at their last birthdays, share how they feel about this magical age!

5 Thrillers to Keep You on the Edge of Your Seat

Over the past few weeks “Birdbox” the movie has been trending! Have you seen it yet? Did you know that it’s actually an adaptation of a book?

Well, off the back of this rave, it’ seems a good idea and time to talk about fiction thrillers! Especially if you’ve been caught in a reading slump and find yourself unable to continue after a few pages because of some combination of boredom and tiredness. Reading slumps happen from time to time, and the best way to pull yourself out is to get sucked into an addictive thriller!

Thrillers are hard to choose because everyone is different. Veteran thriller readers may be tougher to please because they find most of them predictable. See, I don’t have that problem. It doesn’t take much to get me sweating over a character’s bad choices, especially when it involves a murder.

But I’ve worked hard to select the best of the best. Here are five thrillers (plus a cheeky extra I’ve mentioned before) to keep you on the edge of your seat and firmly back into your reading habit.

A Look Back at the Past Year & Plans for 2019

For the past ten years or so, no matter how the year has been, the 31st of December, for me, is almost always a good day because it’s my husband’s birthday. But also, and more seriously, there’s that gratitude for seeing another year end, and an intense burst of energy that comes with the new year. Yes, some sceptics preach that there’s nothing particularly life-changing about the 1st of January and it’s just like another new day, but why be a killjoy?

2018 had its highs and lows. But I spent the first half on maternity leave so I can barely remember much of it (hello, mummy brain!).

The second half of the year I recall more clearly with some key moments. We had family holidays, I went back to work, had a career move from private practice to in-house, our son turned one, and I turned 30! In between all of these, there were great moments with family and friends. Although we had a few hitches, it was still a good year of learning and growing.