Our Lego Batman First Birthday Party (+ tips for small sized themed parties)

“Does he really like batman, or did you guys just pick out the theme yourself?”

That’s probably the most common question we received when we mentioned we were having a batman themed party for Jidenna’s first birthday. It was pretty funny because he had never watched anything batman related.

So yes, we picked the theme. I say “we” but I guess it was it was mostly my decision. I’m not sure which happened first. Me realising - thanks to the internet, that batman was a very popular theme and so would be easy to pull off, or noticing that J’s first character sleep suit was a batman one. I guess it all happened at about the same time. So I stored the information somewhere and planned that if I was had a party, it will be batman themed.

5 Lessons from Michelle Obama's "Becoming"

It would seem that the entire world read Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming. You may even be one of the many (like me) who followed her tour outfits and enjoyed all the fun things, from her interview with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to Barack Obama dropping during her stop in Washington D.C.

I read Becoming in November. I remember because I was visiting friends for a week, and I kept sneaking away to read. Her memoir achieves many of the things you’d want from the genre; it’s the right degree of revealing while being inspiring and as candid as possible. Best of all, despite not being particularly preachy, there are many lessons to be learned from Becoming.

Here are five things I learned from reading Michelle Obama’s memoir:

Weekend Notes X Links from Around the Web

Happy weekend to you!

It was such a long week. I don’t think I got much sleep and midweek I may have dozed off for two seconds in the toilet while at work! I’m excited that spring is on the way and the weather is getting brighter but with that comes longer days and somewhat shorter nights?

How have you been? In the last two weeks I’ve finally launched something I’ve been thinking about for the past two years - BlogYard, a community to help bloggers create excellent content and monetise their value. You should follow BlogYard on Instagram if you aren’t already—so much great advice and conversation!

Here are are some great links Afoma  and I have put together for you!

Analysing My First Real Photoshoot as a Typical Fashion Blogger

I was going to start this by saying that I don’t like photos. But that’s not true anymore as I don’t mind them -  although I still don’t have an eye for good photos or the camera.

In one of my conversations with Torera - a fellow lifestyle blogger I mentioned that I really needed some new photos. She immediately suggested that I tag along on her shoot day. That sounded exciting, so I agreed. But more than twice I had to back down. The shoots were slated for Saturday morning and I either had conflicting schedules or the location was a bit too far to arrive early by 10am.

Soon after, luck smiled at me as she picked a location that was pretty close to me. Although we aren’t fashion bloggers and it wasn’t a fashion type shoot, it looked to me very similar to what fashion bloggers do. It was an interesting one and here’s an analysis of the day - including my inexperience and naiviety

What I've Learned From Taking Swimming Lessons As an Adult

To the average onlooker, I’m one of those people who appears to be athletic. I’m not. I have real coordination issues that make my attempts at sports laughable. So, when I try to kick a ball, there’s a seventy percent chance that my foot will miss the ball; when I shoot hoops, there’s a two in ten chance that I will actually score—if I don’t hit the rim and send the ball bouncing back after me. I’m also terrible at handball and volleyball because the mere sight of a ball hurtling towards me sends me running in the opposite direction—I do not trust my body with sports.

The two things I can do are running—long distance—and working out (that counts right?). As a child, I tried hard to add swimming to my pitiful repertoire, mostly because everyone always said, “you look so athletic, you should be a swimmer.” I stopped trying because I was terrified of being under water and hated the feel of water in my nose or ears. I was a proud, self-proclaimed frolicker—content to hang out in the shallow end of the pool or on the sand.

But then I moved. To an island.

Mumfessions: On Marrying Young and Raising Five Kids at 28

Ify and I had a few mutual friends online. She had a first class undergraduate law degree and lived in the same town as I did, so when on one of her posts she seemed to be considering legal practice in the UK, I reached out to help. And the rest, as they say, is history. She’s one of the most hands-on people I know. From cooking to baking, sewing to knitting, hair-braiding, and soap-making, Ify seems able to do it all. As long as there are no heights involved—she’s afraid of heights.

At the moment, however, she’s mostly a stay-at-home mom. Ify says, “I do freelance consulting work and oversee certain aspects of the cases handled by my husband’s firm.”

At twenty-eight and after eight years of marriage, she’s had five kids. In this Mumfession feature, she shares her experience as a young mum of five! Ify discusses a lot—from the joys of having a large family, the impact of motherhood on her career and marriage, a terrifying moment as a mother, and of course some helpful advice for other mums!

From Dating to Parenting: How my Love Language Has Changed After 12 Years

My husband and I have now been together going on 12 years—married for almost 5—and have a 16-month-old. In this time, I’ve noticed my love language change.

Knowing your love language and communicating it to your partner is essential in a relationship—otherwise, your partner might be expending so much on gestures that mean nothing to you. In his book, The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman claims that of the five, most people will only really have two dominant ones. According to him, the five love languages are:

- Gifts: Gifts and thoughtful gestures are important. Even small gifts go a long way to please such people.

- Quality Time: Focused and uninterrupted one-on-one time time is key. Special moments.

- Words of Affirmation:  They want to hear you affirm your love in spoken words, a note, text, or card.

- Acts of Service: They want you to help and alleviate their workload.

- Physical Touch: Be near, in person; hold hands. They value physical touch and intimacy.

Okay, on to my love language through the seasons!

10 Bookstagram Mums to Follow for Some Serious Inspiration

Are you on #Bookstagram? If you’re unsure what the term means, then you’re probably yet to step into the world of books on Instagram. Bookstagram is Instagram’s book community teeming with #shelfies, #bookaddicts, and fans of #amreading (that is, reading in the AM). Also on Bookstagram, however, are another group of favourites - mums!

In this post, I’m shining a spotlight on some of my favourite mamas on Instagram. These women somehow manage to runs homes, care for their kids, read A LOT, and then do us the favour of sharing their reading lives (and sometimes those of their kids too!).

Here are ten of my favourite Bookstagram mums.

A Day in the Work Life of: Tiese Etim-Inyang

I’m really excited about Tiese sharing a day in her life with us! Before we go on and just in case you’re wondering how to pronounce her name (as she says many people do!), it’s pronounced  /tee-eh-seh/ and is short for Etieseabasi, which means sit down and look up to God.  On social media Tiese is a travel blogger and lover! You will also often catch her dancing to her favorite Latin-American songs on her Instagram stories.

But behind this 25 year old  travel loving, expressive dancer and spicy food (Nigerian and Thai cuisine) enthusiast, with an irrational fear of birds, is a career lady whose day job involves an important world objective - eliminating malaria in Asia / Southern Africa.  At first, I thought to myself that I wouldn’t possibly have imagined her in that role - but it’s interesting to see how she’s ended up there and what she thinks of it all.

From her morning routine, misconceptions about her jobs to career advice and curiosities - she shares it all in this feature!

Weekend Notes X Links From Around the Web

It’s funny how in the last notes I was talking about the Instagram stories I was enjoying curating and then last week I was barely even on there. My day job has been pretty busy, and I have almost zero energy for social media. Even though I really enjoy stories and sharing, I’m beginning to question the sheer amount of time it takes.

I’ve also been thinking about this space in general. Someone mentioned that reading blogs were coming back into fashion. And while I was really excited about that as I do love blogs, for a split second I questioned if mine was the kind of blogs they were referring to. You see, most blogs are personal; people pretty much share a lot of their lives. With a lot of photos. While I do like to do that, it doesn’t come naturally to me — especially sharing photos. Still, many people have also said I need to share more to connect with my audience.

Anyway, this blog turns three this weekend! Is that why I’m having all of these thoughts? Some blog midlife crisis perhaps?