monday favourites

2015, Blogging, Culture, November

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

2015, Family and Friends, Food, Inspiration, November

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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brothers {day 9}

2013, November

brothers.

blood and not, i’m grateful for these guys in my life. some i’ve known for 10+ years, others just a couple. some i speak to regularly, others just on occasion. 

they always know what to say. you know, in that brotherly/man way. and it’s usually what i  need to hear.

they give the best bear hugs.

when i cry they might awkwardly put an arm around me and ask me how they can fix it. they can’t but it gives me comfort that they want to.

they take teasing to another level.

when i’ve had boy trouble i usually get the “where does he live?” response. i. just. love. that.

i don’t have a picture of all my “brothers” but here are just a few from over the years.

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and of course my brother from the same mother. this world would not be the same without him.

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korinne and kristen {day 7}

2013, November

i have many, many wonderful people in my life. these are just two of them.

they are the type of friends i can show up to their house without any shoes on or just in my pjs and they don’t even bat an eye lid.

Me and Korinne

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i have a toothbrush at their house in case i want to randomly stay over {which has happened a few times when i’ve stayed late talking/hogging their computer/watching youtube videos}.

their pup millie is my favorite.

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i like to claim i’m their sister who is addicted to the tanning booth.

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they have helped me through some incredibly tough days without even knowing.

they inspire me creatively, especially when it comes to thrift shopping/diying. {one day i’ll get korinne to start a blog. one day}.

dinner parties at their house {usually the three of us}/concerts/movie nights/matinee movie trips/eating out/road trips with these two are the best.

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my mission {day 6}

2013, November

england leeds mission, march 2009 – september 2010

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^^my first mission president and his wife – amazing, amazing couple^^

i knew that finding the right words that would be perfect or descriptive enough for this post would be difficult. and sitting here trying to let something eloquent make its way onto this screen is, well, near impossible.

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loved this family! such adorable kiddos^^

i am deeply grateful that i had the chance to serve a full-time mission for the church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints. it changed my life. literally changed my life. i have not been the same since and i don’t think i ever will be.

so i guess simple it is.

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i met dozens and dozens of people, from random strangers on the street to the sweet families who would have us over for dinner to my companions, who have absolutely left a stamp on my life.

i will forever be grateful for the new ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’, ‘mums’, ‘dads’ and many other types of family members i met while i served. who to this day i will still call a ‘brother’ or ‘sister’, ‘mum’ or ‘dad’.

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^^the craig family — they are fantastic!^^

perhaps most of all i will forever be grateful on being able to witness the changes in the lives of the people who wanted to get to know God and Jesus Christ. to watch an ex-con kneel down and say a prayer for the first time was one of the most extraordinarily powerful experiences of my life.

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^^molly is such a sweetie pie, she’s a little more grown now but it was at her home with her mummy that i had my very first dinner appointment^^

i took hundreds of photos which would mean we would be here for days. so here are just a few.

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photo 2^^i love the luscious green of the english countryside!^^

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^^who thought it was a smart idea to put a cash  machine that high up?^^

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^^this was such a fantastic day!^^

some days were great, most were hard. sometimes i was homesick, sometimes i never wanted it to end.

but it really was the best 18months of my life yet.

m.

extended family {day 4}

2013, November

i’ve never really thought of my extended family of being “extended”. perhaps it’s because to me the word means family you don’t get to see often or you’re not close to. not only do have a large extended family {particularly on my dad’s side} we are all pretty close.

my mother has 3 sisters and 3 brothers. she is the second oldest. i believe there are 18 children between them. my grandpa married twice, and had the 7 children between the two marriages. i love them all dearly!

on my dads side, his dad was a chief of the village gbinti in sierra leone. he was therefore allowed to have multiple wives. so he had 9. each wife had several children, and i don’t think we are sure on the exact number but i believe had 64 children {i should actually go check that out before i go claiming such numbers}. it’s always a great time at any family get-together! growing up i’m sure i met a “new” family member at each get-together.

we all try to stay in touch as best as we can but what i love most about my family {on both sides} is that despite the disagreements that may occur between family members, when someone needs help, with anything, everybody rallies round to help in whatever way they can. and i mean everyone. regardless of distance {our family is spread throughout europe, africa – particularly sierra leone, and north america}.

here are just a few family pics from over the years. gosh looking at these bring back so many memories!

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^^me, my dad and two of my cousins^^

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^^cousin love, adore these two!^^

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^^love this little one to pieces, though she’s almost my height now!^^

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^^family christening. that’s me in the front in the blue^^

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^^my mum with one of my favorite uncles, i do love this pic^^

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^^this one is a little more recent, as in 2013. and it’s family cousin, his wife and two littlies who live in texas, with me and my mum and brother^^

not many pictures, mainly because i never ever think about taking photos during a family thing, and most of them were taken “back in the day” before photos-for-facebook happened.

today i am grateful for extended family!

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mum {day 2}

2013, November

i spent the majority of yesterday morning/afternoon watching breaking bad and completely forgot about blogging until this morning! #oops

i am deeply grateful for my mamma! she is an incredibly strong, inspirational, hilarious, supportive, loving, kind woman. she has always put our needs before hers. and if she complains it’s because she feels she hasn’t done enough.

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i will never be too old to hold her hand.

she weeps with me, prays for me, is patient with me.

she encourages me in my decisions. when i decided to move to utah she just said “baby, i’ll support you in all you do. i just want you to be happy.”

it’s a wonderful feeling to know that someone loves you that much. that your well-being is that important to them.

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my mum made sure my brother and i got to experience as much as we could. she took us to all of our youth activities {camp, dances etc.}, endinburgh, rome & naples, sierra leone to meet our grandparents and other family members. she took us to do the touristy things from london zoo to windsor castle and more.

she opens up her home to everyone. and i mean everyone. the amount of people who are “adopted” siblings because they lived with us for a period of time are endless.

she represents goodness. she represents hope. she reminds me to find joy in the journey and to never give up.

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she is my hero!

m.

thirty thankful days {day 1} my faith

2013, November

i can’t quite believe we’re in november already. 2013 has flown by and it’s been a rollercoaster at times. but what year hasn’t?

november 2012 was my first thanksgiving and it was thebomb.com {yes i just said that}. this year is going to be a little different, quieter. but i thought to spend the month sharing with you 30 things/people i am grateful. after all, thanksgiving is the time to give thanks.

i wanted to start by briefly sharing one thing that perhaps plays the biggest role in my life. my faith.

i have always believed in God, i actually don’t recall a time when i didn’t. perhaps coming from a religious home was part of it {my father is Muslim and my mother is Mormon – she was Methodist before}. but i’ve never felt pressured into having a belief. it just felt natural to me. very real and tangible {which i have often found hard to explain}.

growing up in a multi-faith home was hard at times but i am grateful for the experiences i had. my parents let my brother and i decide, and we chose Mormon. but we were still able to attend the Mosque with my dad and we were invited to participate in Ramadan every year {though me and fasting are not friends}. my dad’s side of the family are pretty much 98% Muslim so whenever we had a family gathering for a baby blessing/marriage/funeral we would participate in the prayers and traditional ceremonies.

now as an adult i recognize how much it opened my learning and understanding of faith and what it means to different people. i am grateful for my faith because although sometimes i feel i am clutching at straws with what i’m supposed to do, it has got me through tough, tough times, particularly this last year. it has strengthened me.

i know everyone has their way of dealing with stress, anxiety, sadness and all those negative things that creep into our lives, but for me, prayer is an incredibly powerful tool. sometimes my prayers are out loud, sometimes they are silent and in my thoughts.

for me it is more than belief. i have had far too many experiences, particularly personal ones, that have led me to know that there is a God. that we are is His children and that He has a plan of happiness that is for all of us. this human experience wasn’t meant to be easy but there are so many things available to us that can help make this journey a little easier. family, great friends, love, music, travel, food, nature. so much. Jesus Christ is His Son, He died for us, and not just for our sins but for every single thing we will go through in this mortal experience.

if you want to know more about what i believe as a  Mormon check out my profile on Mormon.org here.

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simply put, i am incredibly grateful for my faith.

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