Fashion week holds a special place in my heart. I shot fashion week as a street style and back stage photographer for 2 seasons in a row before I hung up my camera to focus on my blogger life. You can read my blog post on my first time shooting street style at fashion week here. This year attending fashion week was a tough choice because I wanted to spend some quality time with my family, it’s increasingly difficult with conflicting schedules to get us all in the same place at the same time. I decided a week before that I would indeed attend to get some inspiration for up and coming projects that I am looking at starting soon.

So there I was flicking through the internet, searching, perusing and refreshing every single street style photographers’ Instagram page to get some inspiration on outfits to wear for the gruelling 4 days ahead. To my utter amazement *insert shock horror emoji*, I HAD NOTHING TO WEAR! I went into panic mode, questions running through my head ‘what online stores do next day delivery? what is my budget? (forget about eating for now, that is not your priority), and how far am I willing to take these outfits?

I was up till 1am in the morning staring at my wardrobe like an unfaithful partner -getting the silent treatment instead of a full blown ninja cat face scratch and eye gorging combo. I let out a deep sigh and drank a bottle of cider (which felt like gin at the time) before retreating to bed. That same night I kid you not, I dreamt of a yellow bag, it was small and boxy and cute with a long handle dangling down one side, I was being photographed by what seemed like a thousand photographers from all angles then I woke up and typed into google ‘yellow boxy bag’ to remind me of the dream before I went back to bed. I know what you are thinking ‘she is hard core’, Well, let’s just agree that this has happened to me many times before and I am not phased anymore by vivid dreams of my inner spirit fashion animal. A Nigerian parent would probably respond the narration of your dream with ‘If only you took your books as seriously as you take your outfits… *rolls eyes*’. I woke up with a feeling of contentment and I had no explanation why as I had forgotten my dream completely as you do 9 out of 10 times unless it is a dream of someone gifting you a Chanel Metallic Caviar chevron Quilted in silver (Subliminal messages…did it work? My Birthday is in December by the way).

On my way to work, I opened my browser and I saw ‘Yellow boxy bag’ in the search window and it all came flooding back to me. I felt elated and to my surprise, that high lasted a good 2 minutes and 41 seconds before I realised ‘What the hell am I supposed to do with a tiny useless yellow box bag for all 5 days of fashion week’, I was back to square one, cold sweats, palpitations, blood shot eyes and now pulling my sweater away from my neck to allow some fresh breeze to hit my burning neck, It was a sight that any zombie would see and be proud to call me their own.

Phase two, I began to try harder to remember the outfit in my dream, God didn’t bring me this far to let me go now, there must have been something to hold on to, something to remember, NOTHING. All I remember was that crazy yellow bag that was now stalking my memory like a useless rap song with a catchy chorus. So I went back to the internet (whatever did we do before the internet, I do not know). Four hours and half of my working day later I decided on some strategies

1. I was NOT under any circumstances buying anything new. I have two wardrobes and a room full of clothes; I will make it work out for me. This was a hard but the most important decisions I made so far because it forced me to use my existing wardrobe reducing the risk of over trying to be like somebody else. My existing wardrobe are pieces I love and I can surely make it work for my good.

2. I wanted to challenge myself a bit and being the queen of colour, I decided to go monochrome for the entire fashion week. For every colourful outfit that was posted on the gram from New York fashion week, a bit of my inner colour child faded with disdain at my utter betrayal of self and style. A challenge issn’t meant to be easy right? So I stuck to my Monochrome!

3. Lastly I wanted to make a social statement with at least one of the outfits and did so with my show of support to the Nike ‘Just do it’ campaign and my baby gurl Serena. I did that with my Day 1 and day 3 outfits successfully and made sure I told every photographer my exact intention so that it was put in the caption. Spread the word.

4. The stage was set and I was ready to go, not before I put on my flats or kitten heels to eliminate the risk of falling on my face in front of the thousands of photographers I saw in my dream (I guess that was the message after all, darn you yellow boxy bag).

We were off. See below for outfits and how I put them together. It was a great week and I look forward to.

 

Skirt Asos here or here Blazer similar here Boots Primark similar here

Gingham coat here or splurge here

Stripe suit similar here or here

Earings @byopaleye (Instagram)

Nike top here

Wide leg trousers here

Blazer here

Shorts here

Boots similar here

Sunglasses here

Until next time buttercups. See you in Milan.

Yes! You heard it right, I DO NOT LOVE MY HAIR! I never really did for reasons unknown but the big chop was four years ago and I have never looked back.

Going natural was a health choice for me, not for other reasons like being 'proud' of my hair and heritage. I didn’t want chemicals hitting my scalp every 8 or so weeks for the rest of my life like it had for the many years before. As long as I remembered pre-natural stage, I had long, straight, relaxed hair. I do not know exactly when I got my first relaxer but a photograph on my 4th birthday saw my mid back length bone-straight hair flowing like the goddess Aphrodite who just took sight of a sailing ship with 200 hot men aboard. It is safe to say my hair got relaxed in my 3’s (Mum, expect a call from Jerry Springer ASAP).

Relaxing my hair was a way of life for me but in the wave of afro power natural hair revolution that has swept the nations in the last decade, I thought about going natural many times but I resisted. I resisted because for the 9 months I was pregnant with my son I didn’t use relaxers and my mixed textures nearly sent me to a mental asylum. I worried about going natural, about the management and styling of my hair  and many more issues I might come across. I had nine months of undergrowth and unkempt hair and the day after my son was born, my mother stood in front of me with a bowl of relaxer and a steely determination similar to a family intervention for a person on crack cocaine. The look on her face said it all “You look crazy, sit down let me restore your factory settings” (somewhat).

Fast forward two years later, I decided to go natural a few good years after many people around me had dumped the creamy crack and preached to me often about joining her natural hair CULT (as I saw it at the time). I went for the big chop immediately, no transitioning, no thinking about it because I have never had sentiments towards my hair.

When I say I don’t love my hair, it is true! I DID NOT love my relaxed hair, I don’t love my natural hair. Hair to me are just dead cells that exist so you can enhance, style up and look cute, it is a platform for styling and nothing else. My hair grows fast and long and thick but I hold no value for it. When people complimented my long hair, I shrugged and thought “If only they knew what I plan for this hair in the next few months”. I chopped and the drop of a hat, I coloured one day and changed the colour the next , I bleached, and get this… I NEVER TIED A BONNET TO BED (moment of silence for my hair please). Kids do not try this at home!

My disregard for my hair started young. I remember when I first got admission to a catholic boarding school at the age of 10, we were required to cut our hair short before the first day of school. As soon as I heard I got admission, a few months before resumption to school, I went to the barbers BY MYSELF  without the permission of my mum to cut my hair, the barbers sent me back to my dismay even after flashing my dalla dalla bills to entice them. The following weeks, I would bug my mum endlessly about cutting my hair, she gave in and I was back at the barbers with my permission slip to get my Samson locs annihilated forever never to return. I stepped out looking fresh, came out of the barbers skipping and singing all the way home, I was so happy. Very unusual for a 10 year old but I was fed up of  long relaxed hair and wanted something different.

These days, everyone is expected to go natural otherwise you must be ashamed of your heritage or you don’t love yourself. LIES! Some people just couldn’t care less. Hair means different things to different people. My hair has never defined me, it has never made me feel ugly or pretty, it has never held significance on how I felt about myself.  So when I see people that have their natural hair constantly covered under wigs, I let them be, It's ok. I don’t label it as self-hate, they just don’t love their hair just like they might not love their feet or their booty, hair is just another anatomy that you can love, like, hate or feel indifferent about. Hair might mean the world to some people but mean nothing to others. This is my stance on the matter. Everyone has just gotta do you. I think I am loving my hair this week but next week will be another story for sure. I don't love my hair but I like it right now.

Until next time buttercups Peace and Love

About this outfit

Pretty little thing Oversize shirt (sold out) similar here or here

New look check skirt or similar style here 

Primark Gingham shoes similar here

I have been to New york city many times before but this was the first trip with my little one and his first city holiday.

While my city trips usually have an itinerary of FOOD, FEEDING, CONSUMING and some kind of "Museuming", it had to be different this time because one, my son eats nothing apart from plain pasta and chips and two, he is so restless on the dinner table so I had to put in the effort to find other entertainment to the detriment of getting nutrients into my body.

I was quite nervous at first taking a child to a big bustling city, how can I entertain him? How can I do things he loves and still have time for my past times. I quickly snapped out of my fear and thought, I live in a mega city myself and I find things for my child to do at home so why not here in NYC.

My ultimate plan began, and schedule started looking something like this, child activity- cocktail on a rooftop- child activity- Food and more cocktails- then food and drink planning for the next day after all we need food and drink to stay alive right? RIGHT!

1.The first place we visited was The NFL experience in Times square. It is an interactive place where you get to experience what the NFL feels and sounds like, with a 5d cinema, the experience was exciting and mesmerising for the little man. Prices start from $33 per person

2. THE RIDE NYC- Forget about taking a tour on the regular open top buses, the ride has taken city tours into the 21st century. A comic tour of the city on a party bus with epic street performances, there is no better way to see the city. Tip: take the tour at night and take the risk and book on the day. Our last minute booking saved us $28 dollars each.

3. Duncan's Candy shop- Lets just say my lil one lost his damn mind in this candy store, there are a few scattered around the city. Make sure you visit the cafe and try one of their Sundaes, they do it big I tell ya.

4. Central park tour on a Rickshaw or horse drawn carriage - We went on the Rickshaw and it was a nice tour and cheaper than the latter. They riders knew every movie that was shot in the park and they tailor the tour to children's movies and shows if there is a child on board. Your Rickshaw driver is also your photographer, use him well to get epic shots

5. Statue of Liberty tour- If you are with kids my advice is to do the tour where you see the statue of liberty from the water, it is a great view and only a 2 hour tour. Longer tours (4 hours) that include going to Ellis Island and require queuing to get to the top may be too long for the little ones.

Image result for statue of liberty cruise

FOOD (Alero, do not be a slave to food I told myself several times a day in NYC).

1. After eating a truck load of Shake Shack I thought it was time for a change. I stumbled across a petite crepe place Vive La Crepe on Columbus and 68th. With sweet and savory crepes, there is something for everyone. I loved the egg, bacon and cheese crepe.

Image result for viva la crepe nyc

2. Black tap was an awesome burger place just one block from where we stayed in Mid town Manhattan 55th W and 8th Avenue. We always saw massive queues in front and thought this is a good sign. With their brioche burgers, crispy chicken wings and amazing sundaes, who could resist. Tip: don't let the queues put you off, we stood in the 45 minute queue for only 10 minutes because a table for 5 became available so we jumped the queue to our delight.

Image result for black tap nyc

3. Miss Lillys Caribbean restaurant down town. With its beautiful retro vibe, excellent decor and amazing food, whats not to love. When I tell you I haven't had better oxtail and Mac and cheese before in my life, please believe me, it is not an exaggeration. The food was smashinginly delicious, Caribbean food at its finest. It wasn't cheap though so hol' ya dalla dalla bills.

Image result for miss lily's new york

Image result for miss lily's new york food

4. Ichiumi-  Although we literally got chased down the road for a tip ( no kidding, my first instinct was run but I had a child with me and I had called an uber already so I knew running was a bad idea 😂), the food was decent. A Japanese buffet restaurant with the buffet area as long as half a football pitch, variety was the man of the match (see what I did there? get it?)

Image result for ichiumi

Newyork city was a great mixture of culinary experience and fun things to do with kids. After my trip I wondered why I was so nervous in the first place. With some careful planning and great friends, I would do it again and again.

One thing for sure about NYC is every time I visit, I see the hustle on the street and I top up on my hustle spirit and I am raring to go. #CEO gang. #We aspire.

Thanks for reading and see you back soon Buttercups 😘😘😘

  Ps: not all photos are mine (Not about to see the inside of a courtroom anytime soon)

Champagne life over just like that *snaps fingers*, why do bad things happen to good PIPO 😭. With my holiday over, which I have solid proof that I had just 14 hours in a day as opposed to the 30 hour days I have when I have to go to work, we had such a great time in Paphos, Cyprus. We stayed in the most gorgeous hotel that catered to families so well that I couldn't really stay anywhere else without judging them and their lack of soul for not catering to kids. The holiday with friends and their families was the very best I think I have had in all my life.

While we were here to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary in the same hotel we got married in and had our honeymoon, it was a special time for my friends and me when we looked back 10 years ago and saw how much we had grown spiritually, professionally, emotionally and financially (do I hear an AMEN). Also, to see our children who didn't exist 10 years ago playing, laughing and having conversations just filled our hearts with so much joy.

Having visited Paphos twice before I knew what to expect with the climate, culture and the general feel for the place. That knowledge helped me greatly when I started putting outfits together. Paphos is a liberal town and it is very tourist oriented so really little was out of bound when choosing outfits. Some strategies I applied

- I packed day and night outfits for every day I was away. Dinner is always a special time to bond with the family, and where there is live music I will have a dance with my two left feet 😂 so I make dressing up part of the special occasion. I always pack spare just in case I have a wardrobe malfunction like this actually happened on my holiday where my zip popped and I had to substitute my outfit for a spare. I chose trousers and a blazer for climates where it is cooler in the evening so I don't ever regret alfresco dining. Lastly, I opted for loose clothing for comfort and to hide the belly after stuffing my face 😂. Here are some of my outfits below.

( I obviously have a good side and I am not afraid to show it 😂).

- Daytime outfits are pretty easy wear. One pair of denim shorts and one pair of tailored shorts with loose cotton tops for max comfort. The simplicity of the outfits calls for accessorising. I like to accessorise with earrings.

Moral of the story, pack many statement earrings and bracelets that would uplift any outfit.

The pool/ beach style. This is an area that is often overlooked. I had to up my bikini game when I went on holiday to the South of France last year and 60 something-year-old women were giving me a run for my money in the bikini game. This time I packed a different bikini with accessories for every day and realised I spent a lot of time in swimwear so I secretly patted myself on the back for making that call.

Some of my favourite pieces to consider when going on a beach holiday with very warm weather

Bags

clockwise here, here, here and here 

Earrings

clockwise herehere, here and here

Prints are big this summer, these are my favourite pieces clockwise here, here, here and here

 

Lastly evening wear. nothing over the top, simple but elegant, here are some dresses I love for holiday evenings clockwise here, here, here and here

Swimsuits vs Bikini, which one are you i.e Bikini bod or Bikini bod under construction. I am a swimsuit person the be honest, I like to be modest but it is a personal preference. This is an area always neglected for some reason, get your swimsuit game strong this summer. Top tip, white is doing it for me this season

here and here

In summary, key strategies/ checklist for someone going to a beach holiday for 5 days

  1. Pack six daytime outfits mix it up with prints and stripes and make most of your outfit separates rather than maxi dresses or jumpsuit, pack shorts and tops and then one or two dresses so you can mix and match.
  2. Pack 4 evening outfits, do not go over the top, you are not going to a presidential dinner. make sure it is comfortable and breezy, I try to avoid tight clothes too.
  3. Do not dull with swimsuits, pack one for each day you are there with matching accessories too. Who said swimsuits are for getting into the water only? its also for looking pretty walking from your lounger to the pool bar and back again (repeating 100 times a day).
  4. Get cover-ups to complement your swimsuit.
  5. Try on every outfit (and photograph in the mirror) before you put it in the bag otherwise, you will end up taking things you don't like and things you will not wear.
  6. Start packing a week before not the night before otherwise how do you know what to order last minute before the holiday.
  7. HAVE A GOOD TIME. Make the streets of your destination your catwalk.

I hope these have helped. If you have any questions, hit me up. Until next time buttercups.