life lately #1

2016, Blogging, June, Photography

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 …


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 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




blog everyday in july | the details

2015, Blogging, June

blog everyday in july is just around the corner and as i did last year i would like to invite other bloggers to join me!

starting on the 1st of july i’ll be posting once a day on a topic as listed below.

to join in feel free to use the guided list of topics for each day, all i ask is that you refer back to this blog 🙂

also for the whole month i will be using the hash tag #bedij15 —> use this too so we can all see what has been shared! whether that’s on your blog, twitter, instagram or facebook.


1st: Introduce yourself: welcome and 10 things you didn’t know about me

2nd: Five of your favourite YouTubers + what you love about them.

3rd: Your top 5 ‘anything’ tips

4th: A list of ten things that always cheers you up when you’re down

5th: Nostalgia: write about a bygone era

6th: The Soap Box post

7th: Favourite things on the internet from the past year.

8th: WCW (woman crush wednesday)

9th: An epiphany you had this year

10th: My make-up must haves

11th: Interview: reader / industry experts / other bloggers

12th: Today in pictures

13th: A diary exert

14th: My favorite blogging tools are …

15th: Music that moves me

16th: Write a letter to yourself 20 years from now

17th: Your top 3 worst traits

18th: If you could drop everything and get on a plane for a two week holiday right now, where would you go and why?

19th: Five People: I’d like to have dinner with

20th: What advice would you give to someone about to graduate from university?

21st: Currently (reading, writing, listening, thinking, smelling, wishing, hoping, wearing, wanting, loving, needing)

22nd: Guest post

23rd: Throwback Thursday

24th: Things that make you uncomfortable

25th: Upcycle project! Upcycle something and show us pictures and the steps to how you did it

26th: Who were your celebrity crushes from your childhood?

27th: What are you struggling with right now?

28th: I never thought blogging would…

29th: Lesson from the past year

30th: xx things to do before you’re xx

31st: you did it! and a thank you 🙂

there you have it. are you excited? i am #bedij15
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it’s that time of year again #bedij15

2015, Blogging, June

it’s nearly july!! where has 2015 gone?

and that means it’s almost my birthday month. i’m not going to lie folks, i’m a little weirded out. it’s my 30th.

that’s right, the big THREE-O.

i’m weirded out because thirty sounds so. mature.

and i feel so far from it.

i mean i now have to tick a different box.


for the last 2 years i have enjoyed blogging every single day for the month of july. it’s a fun experience and definitely refreshing to post frequently. blogging is one of creative outlets that i keep saying i need to do more often…so this is my annual opportunity to!


if you’re new to blogging, a veteran or somewhere in between i’d like to invite you to join me on #bedij15

this is a great way to get back on the blogosphere if you have fallen off the wagon a little (like me!). last year i got the pleasure of blogging alongside my birthday twin, hippiechickj. it was hella fun.

here are some quick tips on how to keep it up for the entire month:

blog everyday quick tips

come back tomorrow as i take you through the 31 posts for july.


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the seduction of inadequacy | body image

2015, Healthy Living, Inspiration, June

i’ve had this post saved in my drafts for some time. 7 months to be precise.

seduction of inadequacy

partly because i was waiting for the right time. when all i want to say was coherent enough.

and more than coherent, eloquent enough.

i want to be able adequately express how i feel about this, without sounding soap-boxish.

but let’s just be honest here. i’m gonna have to get my soap box out.

for as long as i can remember i have had major body image insecurities. and more so in my 20’s than i did when i was a teenager. i’ll come to the reason for this later.

we are bombarded… well… pummelled with:

get beach body ready. lose 10lbs in 2 weeks! fat burning pills. “insert abs here”. how to look good naked. drop 2 sizes in 2 weeks. bikini ready in 7 days!

my favourite blogger {and i don’t say favourite lightly} megfee had this to say about that whole “get beach body ready” thing:

So when some advertiser asks me, Are you beach body ready? I want to look them square in the eye and say, yeah, I got lungs and arms and legs that’ll kick, so how dare you try to tell me that my golden-ticket to the beach is how good I look in a bikini. My body–how it looks–is not not for you… So kindly BACK. OFF.

sigh. she writes stuff that stirs my soul. so much so it moved me to finish this post. read the rest of her post titled ‘changing the conversation’ here. SUCH a delicious read. and i might reference that post again later.

i recently saw this one: “run yourself to slim + happy”

wait. so being slim will make me happy?

here are some stats for you {these are uk stats but i am positive run throughout the western world}:

  • 60% of adults report feeling ashamed of the way they look (Centre for Appearance Research 2012)
  • 70% of adult women and 40% of adult men report that they have felt pressure from television and magazines to have a perfect body (Centre for Appearance Research 2012)
  • 34% of adolescent boys and 49% of girls have been on a diet to change their body shape or to lose weight (Centre for Appearance Research & Central YMCA 2011)
  • It is estimated that roughly two thirds of adults suffer from negative body image (All Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image Report, 2012)
  • 42% of girls and young women feel that the most negative part about being a female is the pressure to look attractive (Girl Guiding UK, Girls Attitude Survey 2010)

are you surprised?

megfee goes on to say:

So to eliminate fat-talk is to actually change the way in which we experience our bodies in the world…yup, that slow-moving-realization, that’s the rumblings of a revolution, my friends.

It’s important to move our bodies. It’s important to do really difficult things. It improves brain elasticity and builds bone density. But to go to to a circuit class and lift heavy weights and crunch until I’m barely breathing all while the instructors tells me to keep going because on the other side of the pain is a pair of skinny jeans, one size smaller…well that is too flimsy a reason.

And frankly, insulting.

My body is doing really difficult things and you’re going to berate it for not being smaller?

and what do i mean by the seduction of inadequacy? well first off the phrase isn’t mine {even though i wish it was}. it was said by the beautiful lupita nyong’o. in a speech given at the essence magazine 7th annual black women in hollywood event. and while she primarily talked about the different ‘shades’ of beauty {for that is a whole other conversation}, it rings true to each of us.

frankly, inadequacy in seductive. and that is what the media feeds on.

i wrote earlier that body image has affected me more in my twenties than it did when i was a teenager. in truth it is because i have gained weight in my twenties {i’m going to throw it out there and say that that is normal?}, but also with the rise of social media and the poisonous tentacles of the media as a whole, i am even more aware of how far from that ‘perfection’ i am.

these days people who haven’t seen me in a few years tell me how much weight i have gained. because that’s exactly how you greet someone. 

i have always have been, and continue to be, told how ‘thick’ or big i am. or how i’ve ‘got body’ as they say in my culture.

enough with it.

so with megfee i stand, let’s change the conversation. let’s stop the fat-talk and weight shaming {can i add that i despise that????}. let’s not talk about how guilty we feel if we have a biscuit or 5 in the office. instead let’s celebrate the fact that we have food in abundance. let’s discuss being healthy no matter how we are built. let’s talk about the gift that is our bodies and how as women we {mostly} have the ability to grow another human inside of it.

because if you’re able to walk or use your arms or both, if you are a breathing human being, then you are beach body ready.

ok i’ll put my soap box away now.

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3 courses, 3 days, 3 countries | part II

2015, Culture, Food, June, Travel

happy first day of june. the weeks literally fly by, and i feel especially when

so apparently i started writing this post on june 1st. and 10 days later i’m actually completing it…i promise i wanted to get this up a lot earlier than that but at the moment i seem to posses an inability to post regularly. as in, more than once a month.

and for that i apologise.

to finish my 3 courses, 3 days, 3 countries post i close with brussels.

brussels is beautiful and quaint. and a cobbled streets-kind of charming.

IMG_5293 IMG_0450

^^that beautiful, coloured building right there is at grote markt or grand place. it lit up like that at night. i couldn’t believe my eyes. i had this overwhelming feeling that if i twirled i could be a princess.

that’s the only way i can describe what seeing that felt like.

we ate our dinner part of the trip at a sweet pub restaurant called skeivelat. caroline and i opted for the house ribs. and oh my.

IMG_0451 IMG_0443

can someone say lip smacking? or finger licking… well there i said it. because that’s what happened.

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and you can’t leave brussles without sampling some kind of chocolate.

you just can’t.



IMG_0445 IMG_0449

“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard

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on what i’m reading

2014, Culture, Inspiration, June

i’ve started reading again and it’s oh-so-glorious. i had forgotten just how delicious words are and how much devouring them feeds my aching soul.

{and it’s only aching because i’ve. needed. to. read.}

and now that i’m feeding this hunger, this need to escape in words; i am beginning to feel satisfied.

or shall i say my soul is.

not the undo-your-trouser-button-because-you’ve-eaten-too-much satisfied. no.

i mean the THAT-was-the-best-meal-i’ve-ever-had-and-to-over-eat-would-be-to-ruin-the-experience kind of satisfied.

the savor-every-mouthful satisfied.

i don’t know why i’m resorting to food analogies to describe my recent reading experience but now you know my obsession with books.

and food

#bookworm #foodobssessed


the rosie project is brilliant. funny. heartwarming. delicious {we should use that word more often}. chuckle-quite-loudly-to-yourself-on-the-train kind of hilarious actually.

a dazzling read. it’s going on my favourites list.

i guess i should talk about the content of the book right? don is the main character and i fell in love with him from page 2. maybe even page 1. watching his life from his perspective as he looks for a wife *the wife project*{he’s 39 and lives his life by schedules and systems}, his relationship with rosie {who is totally unsuitable and turns his systematic life upside down}…it’s both fascinating and brilliant, i guess that’s what makes me {and maybe you} root for him from page 2 {or page 1}.

i used a lot of {these} in that utterly poor description. here go to amazon. i tried. articulating words into coherent sentences is not my strong point today. or this week really.



attend to your soul

2014, Career, Inspiration, June, Religion

what would you do if you woke up one morning in a pool of your own blood? what happens when you have been to the doctors and all they can tell you is that your cut eye and broken cheekbone was a result of collapsing from exhaustion?

for arianna huffington that was a reality.

talk about a wake up call.

exhaustion. a cut eye and a broken cheekbone from exhaustion.

when i was thinking about a catchy ‘this has got to have meaning’ sorta headline for this blog, i knew i had to use the word ‘soul’. i think attending to one’s soul has a great positive impact on our lives, if not the greatest.

it took arianna huffington waking up in a pool of her own blood to recognize this. getting to that point to begin to understand what mattered most to her. and getting 4-5 hours of sleep, missing important events in her children’s lives {and so on} was no longer worth it. she began to unravel her soul {at least that’s what i’m calling it}.

photo 1

while i am only a few pages into the book, i already felt just that more rejuvenated.

yes. perhaps these are things i already know. but i need to hear it again. and again. and again.

people often say that motivation doesn’t last. well, neither does bathing. that’s why we recommend it daily.
zig ziglar

i’ve started my ‘attending to my soul’ journey by reading more. i used to be a book worm. and well, i need to go back to that.

it’s part of who i am.

next up, yoga.

call it meditation, call it prayer. whatever you call it, attending to your soul is becoming increasingly imperative in our ever-evolving technology-infused world.

i’m not a motivational speaker. and i’m not a book reviewer.

but i firmly believe in attending to your soul.

and all the difference it can and will make.

of course i absolutely had to buy a book and get it signed…

photo 2


words to live by

2014, Inspiration, June

i’ve shared this piece before. but on this monday in june, i unapologetically share it again.


after a while you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn
that love doesn’t mean leaning
and company doesn’t always mean security.
and you begin to learn
that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t promises
and you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of woman, not the grief of a child
and you learn
to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
after a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much
so you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
and you learn that you really can endure
you really are strong
you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn
with every goodbye, you learn…

veronica a. shoftshall


weekends with your sis{ta} mean…

2014, Family and Friends, Food, June

photo (8)

croissants & herbal tea breakfasts.

power talks & book signings with arianna huffington {really}.

endless laughter. in sainsburys.

talking. about everything & nothing. over delicious food.

no judging. what-so-ever.

nights in with pizza and a film.

being able to feel at home. without being home.

“things are never quite as scary when you’ve got a best friend”
bill watterson

too true.

thank you alison for a much needed fabulous weekend.


after a while

2013, June

for every. recent. emotion. i. have. felt. here’s a serving of exactly what i needed. i devoured every single word like it was cake batter ice cream with crushed snickers pieces. it hit me like wham. and i felt that perhaps one of you might need that too. once again, thank you pinterest.


after a while you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn
that love doesn’t mean leaning
and company doesn’t always mean security.
and you begin to learn
that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t promises
and you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of woman,
not the grief of a child
and you learn
to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow’s ground is
too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down
in mid-flight.
after a while you learn
that even sunshine burns
if you get too much
so you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone
to bring you flowers.
and you learn that you really can endure
you really are strong
you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn
with every goodbye, you learn.

veronica a. shoftstall