life lately #1

can you believe this my first post of 2016? it feels like meeting with a long-time friend and there is so much to share that i don’t even know where to start. i’m a little bit excited and a little bit fsjfjsnfkjsnajkfSJK.

what do you call it? word vomit.

but we gotta start somewhere. january seems like a good place (and as i type january i think wowza we are already, frightenly, half way through the year…yikes).

post-christmas and i was still eating like its christmas time. let’s be real…it wasn’t until the beginning of june did i realise i probably shouldn’t be still eating like it’s christmas …

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let’s face it, january blues is a real thing (oh first world problems). work was, well. horrendous (for lack of a better word). while i won’t go into too much detail on the world wide web i will say, you can’t always trust the people you work with. every man for himself is a real thing that exists in the workplace. i just hadn’t even seen it before. especially not first hand. and while it still leaves a sour taste in my mouth i can talk about it now without punching. out. each. word. on. the. keyboard.

i did also learn though that not everyone is that way and there are still good people who will help lift and elevate each other in the workplace. not all is lost.

i made a decision to quit my job (even after all the drama it was not easy!) but first i had to find a new one. thanks to the support of my amazing friends and family i landed 3 job interviews. each being very different; a large corporation, a medium sized business and a start-up. the start-up was the most fun, first stage interview was a skype session, second stage, get this, they paid me (a decent amount too) to come up with a marketing plan to meet certain targets. i managed to land a job with the large corporation, which happens to also be the third best company to work for in the UK (according to the financial times top 100 list). so far it hasn’t disappointed.

by this time it’s march and since my new job and my favourite young man were based in swindon it only made sense to move, so i did! this move became the 8th time i’ve moved in 4 years. that’s twice a year. TWICE A YEAR. you would think i was a pro at it but i’m definitely not. i carry the same crap with me from one place to the next. confession: i’m a bit of a hoarder.

around all that crazy time earlier this year, i also thought it was a good time to start a photography business/project. while it’s not yet official and right now it is part time gig, it gave me LIFE at a time when so many things were uncertain. being able to unleash my creativity through a lens was an unexpected joy. and i will hold on to that for the rest of my life. here are just a handful of my favourites so far…

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check out http://www.mariamanenehphotography.com or on instagram @mariamanenehphoto

i’m in a good place right now, things aren’t perfect (are they ever?), there are many aspects of my life that could be better but I recently started to appreciate the incredible details I am blessed with. and wow, there are many.

i will leave things there but stay tuned. i haven’t yet decided whether i’ll be blogging once a week or once a month – but i’m back and i’m glad.

keep even more update-to-date with the mariama dialogues (i actually just referenced myself in third person):
instagram: @mariamawurie OR @mariamanenehphoto for my photography work!
snapchat: @mariamawurie
twitter: @mariamanwurie

 

 

words to live by

If you live long enough, you’ll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you’ll be a better person. It’s how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit.
William J. Clinton

Our divine nature has nothing to do with our personal accomplishments…Our divine nature comes from God.
Rosemary M. Wixom

All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.
Walt Disney

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Hard is trying to rebuild yourself, piece by piece, with no instruction book, and no clue as to where all the important bits are supposed to go.”
Nick Hornby, A Long Way Down

It’s humbling to start fresh. It takes a lot of courage. But it can be reinvigorating. You just have to put your ego on a shelf & tell it to be quiet.
Jennifer Ritchie Payette

Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.
C. S. Lewis

Here then is a great truth. In the pain, the agony, and the heroic endeavors of life, we pass through a refiner’s fire, and the insignificant and the unimportant in our lives can melt away like dross and make our faith bright, intact, and strong.
James E. Faust

 

thanksgiving + pizza

it’s been a week since thanksgiving and i have spent much of this past week remembering the many {many} reasons i have to be thankful. as much as i am always working towards something {aren’t we all}, taking time to be grateful for what i already have is as vital for my health as the air i breath.

a special shout out to my mother who has spent so much of herself {physically, emotionally, spiritually} investing in my brother and me. i couldn’t have asked for a better example of what it takes to be a mother.

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the housemates and i wanted to do something to celebrate the day of giving thanks, so my housemate jo came up with the genius idea of thanksgiving pizza.

i.e. putting thanksgiving ingredients on top of a pizza.

hello.

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turkey

bacon

stuffing

cranberry sauce

corn

gravy. GRAVY PEOPLE.

greens

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sides included macaroni cheese, our own take on sweet potato pie, mouth-watering garlic and mozzarella stuffed mushrooms <—— i would eat all day everyday.

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it was so simple and so good.

hope you all enjoyed your thanksgiving celebrations.

next up – CHRISTMAS!!

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monday favourites

good writers give me life. so when i stumble on new bloggers whose lyrical ways have me all **you’re not selling anything (specifically) but here. take my money already**… i just need to share them with you.

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this year i came across a couple of new bloggers who turned me into a stalking fangirl mess. i subscribed, followed on twitter, tweeted and retweeted and i may or may not follow them on instagram too.

ash ambirge rocks my socks because she tells it as it is. point blank. she’s the kind of woman i would sit in a coffee shop with for hours and hours. she runs the middle finger project

reading diana la counte’s posts on our city lights stirred something in me. and although our lives are not the same, she writes in a way that resonates with me.

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writing goddess meg fee recently released the ebook ‘places i stopped on the way home’. a literary feast of 16 beautifully written essays of meg’s dating life. if there was an award for best lifestyle writer of all time she would get my vote in a heartbeat.

i turn to this nigerian/ghanian beauty for my fashion and home inspirations.

my brain has yet to get on the fact that it’s monday. so i shared one of my favourite inspiration videos of 2014 in this morning’s marketing meeting. because sometimes we all need a pep talk:

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life lately according to my iphone + canon 100d

i think i spent much of october baking. from macarons to rainbow birthday cakes… i can’t tell you the amount of eggs/flour/butter i got through!

the bf’s brother and sister turned 18 and 30 {respectively}. with those being milestone birthdays i thought what better way to celebrate than with special birthday cakes?!

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for anna i found a yummy recipe for classic a victoria from the bbc good food gods {check it out here}. you can’t really go wrong with this classic sponge goodness but i needed to give it a bit of a **booom i just turned 30** look. so of course that only means buttercream icing with kit kats and maltesers!

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i strongly believe that this is how you go from “yum” to “get in my belly”.

now, turning 18 is a big deal. so for tobi i wanted to make something a bit more fun. something that screamed **freedom!!! now give me sugar**

if you’ve been following my blog for a while you know i made a rainbow cake for my bff ema back in 2014 here.

now i needed a rainbow cake with a 18 year old twist. hail skittles and more buttercream icing…

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another few months of baking and i just might be great british bake-off good.

ha let’s get real. i wish.

this past summer i invested in a good, what i would call ‘starter’, digital slr camera. after much, much, deliberation and discussions with fellow photography friends i opted for the canon 100d alongside a 50mm lens. i had fallen in love with portrait style photography about 5 years ago and only about 3 weeks ago did i manage to try it out for the first time {with my colleague from work too – she was a great sport!}.

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honestly. this experience made me so happy. i think i found a new favourite hobby.

back to cakes…

earlier in november at work,  our lovely marketing intern turned 21.

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so of course birthday cake.

 

because she has celiac disease i scoured the world wide web for a good gluten free victoria sponge recipe {i’m a bit obsessed} and i found this one. and while it was probably one of the most delicious recipes i’ve tried {seriously delicious}. it crumbled. to pieces. twice.

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**insert violins and tears**

in the end i opted for a gluten free rice krispie chocolate treat/rocky road concoction. thank goodness for friends, pinterest and 24hour shopping at tesco.

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IF YOU KNOW OF A GOOD CRUMBLE FREE GLUTEN FREE SPONGE RECIPE – HOLLA AT YA GIRL. like really. i needed caps to emphasise the seriousness. if you couldn’t already tell.

this quote had me feeling some type-a-way

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never be afraid to fail right? if you don’t ask/try, it will always be a no.

happy thursday. pssst it’s nearly christmas.

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dear autumn

dear autumn,

i love the way you dress the trees (and the streets for that matter). in that fiercely fire-blazing kind of way.

and those crispy leaves. that “crunch” makes me giddy.

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the way you end the days with darker, cooler nights, that allow me to go home, wrap up and drink something warm.

i get to wear boots. brown ones, high ones, black ones and wedged ones. and my feet are oh so thankful.

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in some ways you make me forget that the harshness of winter is what’s next. deceitful? maybe. but your warmth lasts longer than i think it should. so i forgive summer for the lack of. well. sunshine.

pumpkins. cinnamon. hot chocolate. scarves and coats. bonfire night and fireworks. chocolates, golds and sunset yellows.

oh and i can also just about handle the cooler nights because christmas.

love,

me

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oh hey.

phewww.

it’s been a long minute but this girl needed a break from blogging/tweeting/instagramming/facebooking.

social media detoxes do something to your soul. it’s got me feeling all kinds of it’s good to be back excited.

i’m staying off facebook for a while longer though. because facebook.

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infuse your life with action. don’t wait for it to happen. make it happen. make your own future. make your own hope. make your own love. and whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on earth.
— bradley whitford —

thank you for your patience. it’s good to be back.

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life lately according to my iphone + canon 100d

hey, it’s been a minute.

life got a bit non-stop in july (family visiting from the states, i turned 30, went to paris + more) AND it’s not going to stop for a few more weeks (the next free weekend i have is not until 26th september). yikes!

it’s all good things so i can’t complain. too much. 

here are some life lately photos from my iphone and canon 100d.

also let’s just pause a moment to celebrate the 50mm 1.8 lens. as an amateur photographer. wow.

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^^it’s like i’m in paris every other month this year. not that i’m complaining one bit ^^

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^^ this is one of my bff’s ema. she’s hawt. in the #breakmeofapiece kinda way. she’s a yummy mummy, fashion & lifestyle blogger and one of the sweetest humans i know. go see what she’s all about –> elleserabelle.com ^^

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^^ i just need to share with the world these attractive cousins of mine #itsintheblood ^^

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^^ mum and i at my future sister-in-law’s hen party ^^

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^^ and me giving it a go with my photography and photoshop skills. SO much fun! ^^

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^^ the #bf getting real excited about a old school phone box. i mean. that face **insert kissing sounds** {i give you permission to judge the mushiness. but. i. just. can’t. help. it}

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^^ the #bf with his nephew. these two play fight and it scares me a little. but hey, they’re boys ^^

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^^ i’ve been 30 for a little over a month and it’s. fabulous. ^^

30 isn’t old. It’s a young mature.
– Melanie White

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