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 …

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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

 

 

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day 12 | summer favourites

2015, Blogging, July

i flipped things around a little and instead of posting pictures today (as today is my actual birthday!) i did it for yesterday instead as that is when i really celebrated it!

and instead of an interview i’m going to review some summer favourites!

last year i posted this list of 101 things to do in the summer in britain

summer is my favourite because:
1. it’s my birthday
2. THE SUN
3. holidays
4. happier people
5. BBQ’s

this year i’m also sharing favourites from some of my readers!

BBQs, late night walks when it is still warm and trips to the beach!
kerry, reading uk

festivals and picnics at hyde park or greenwich in london
jessie, london uk

beach bbq’s, rambo camping and renting pedalos.
mike from teesside. whey <— teeside is in yorkshire (north england) and whey is a northern word so i’m keeping it in there. look it up!

drive-in movies and pool parties!
stacie, usa

Spending time in my garden.
bev, reading uk

baseball games and 4th july. 
jessica, usa

Picnics & BBQs. I don’t know why but there is just something I love about eating outside in the summer!
christina, reading uk

what are yours?

don’t forget to check out my list of 101 things to do in the summer in britain

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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.

#bedij15

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.

**sigh**

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!

#bedij15

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.

#bedij15

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life lately | an apology

2014, August, Blogging

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dearest reader:

i owe you an apology.

i left without explanation. and with a guest post right in the middle of this hiatus. who am i? 

an apology is well over due. i didn’t tell you how long i was going to be away for, i just left. as a blogger i feel great responsibility of giving you not just great content, but content you want to read and share. i also feel that i owe you some kind of explanation when i decide to take a blogging break.

so here is my feeble attempt.

like i did last year at the end of my blog-every-day-in-july-challenge, i took a blogging break. and i needed it. as a blogger who usually posts 1 – 2 times a week, posting everyday for a month can be mentally draining. mostly because i try to be creative and very honest with posts.

and why is it that when i want to write something profound my brain goes “nice try” and does this kind of shutting down thing?

openness and honesty. that goes a long way right? so if i’m going to be away for some time surely it is my duty to tell you how long for {or to at least give you an idea}, and i need to stick to what i say i will do.

so i want to pinky-promise you a few things. because i take pinky promises incredibly seriously. i’m wrapping my little finger around yours right now, and i’m saying:

  • because you clicked ‘like’, ‘follow’ or typed your email address in to receive epicness you deserve more than what i have offered you
  • i promise consistency. regular consistency. does that even make sense?
  • i promise to be more honest. in the ‘if i tell you i’m going to do feature friday posts everyday, i will do feature friday posts every friday’ kinda way.
  • no more mediocre-ness. who wants that?
  • better communication.

this is what i’m starting with. is that ok with you? does it even make sense?

i’m learning as a blogger. and i think about it every-single-day. but of course, you don’t know that.

we’re in this together right? well i’m assuming that when you signed up you take me as i am, for better and for worse {deep much?}. but seriously, thank you for joining in 🙂

i’m almost done with the blogging break. we’re gonna get some fun, some consistency, something uplifting, and some structure going on this little space of mine.

i owe you that.

m.

day 31: a thank you

2014, Blogging, Inspiration, July

thank you for following, commenting, liking and sharing over the last 31 days. it really is always a blast when  blogging everyday in july and i also look forward to the little internet break i get to treat myself to afterwards.

some of my favourite posts include this interview, the soap box post, a letter to 16 year old me and this guest post.

now on to tackling my 30 things before 30 list.

once again thank you for joining me on this little journey.

m.

{p.s. i will be taking a little blogging break – but will be back soon!}

day 27: the interview post | photographer, traveller, blogger

2014, Blogging, Culture, July, Travel

it’s nearly 1am and my eyes are basically closed {apologising in advance for grammatical/spelling errors}…AND this post is a day late…but i am so excited to get this post up, i wanted to do it before my head hit my pillow.

if you’ve been reading this blog for some time you’ll know that i adore travelling and i’m getting into photography. i also blog but alas you knew that since you are here.

i met jo back in may when we worked together temping at a sports company just outside of our home town. i’d like to think we clicked straight away! we found out we are both Christian and quite actively involved in our respective churches.

we also found out that we both love to travel {and blog & photograph}…

{all pictures belong to jo!}

1. Tell us a little about yourself
I’m Jo, I’m 25 and live and work in Reading. I graduated with a degree in Theology from Nottingham University 3 years ago and have been working in marketing ever since. At the moment I’m in and out of temporary jobs simply to raise funds for further travel – there are so many places I want to see and I feel like I’ve barely got started! Here’s a few things that sum me up pretty briefly:
  • I’m a Christian and my faith is pretty important to me.
  • I love the outdoors – especially skiing and cycling
  • My dream would be to photograph and blog my way around the world
  • I have a huge smile and love to make people laugh
  • I’m in complete denial that my ginger hair is slowly turning blond and brown…

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2. What first got you into photography?
I can’t even remember.  At first I just wanted to have a camera that took decent photos. But then I really began to realise that there was something special to capturing the moment and having that memory forever. Photos help to tell a story; of a person, a place, a specific moment in time. I love to capture the moments of beauty in this world and to share them with others.
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3. What made you love travelling?
I’ve always been on the generic family holidays to Spain / Canary Islands etc. But my first major trip abroad was when I was in year 12 at school. I was selected for a 4 week adventure with 14 other students and 5 teachers to head to Uganda –  we climbed Mount Elgon, re-furbished a school and tracked mountain Gorillas. This experience made me thirsty for more – and 2 years later I headed back to Africa during my Gap Year, this time to Swaziland where I volunteered at a pre-school. I still love the African continent to this day, and I’ve also been to Morocco 3 times – the first time I hitch-hiked there for charity – it’s a country I absolutely adore and I strongly suggest you visit if you haven’t. Africa gets under your skin, and I’m eager to visit again.
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4. What’s been your favourite place to photograph and why?
Oh wow. Most probably Morocco as I keep going back for more! Every town is different and yet all are so coloured. One of my favourite places in Morocco is Chefchaouen – known as the ‘blue town’. All the houses and streets are painted blue – it’s makes for brilliant photographs! I’ll try and get some on flickr soon – I don’t think I’ve done a blog post yet. Watch this space!
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5. What camera do you use?
Sony a230 – it’s ancient and a bit crappy but takes pretty decent photos. Hopefully upgrading soon though in time for my trip to Jordan!
6. Where is the most amazing landscape that you’ve ever photographed?
Gosh this is a tricky one. I love mountainous landscape – but not necessarily because I love photographing it. It’s just completely awe-inspiring. I adored hiking in the Tatra Mountains in Slovakia and the scenery was stunning to photograph. But also the Swiss Alps are pretty fantastic.
7. What place has touched you the most?
Incredibly tricky question! I think when I travelled to Swaziland during my Gap Year and worked with children at an orphanage in a place called Bulembu – those memories will stick with me forever. Bulembu was an old mining community in the mountains, so the houses look very Western, but now it’s filled with children. The whole town has basically become one big orphanage for abandoned children, it’s phenomenal. It was great to spend some time with them and play with them and get to know them. Some of the stories will stick with me forever. So this place probably touched me the most because of the stories I heard and the things I experienced – and also because of the scenery – it’s truly like no place you’ll ever go.
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8. Favourite city | food | night life | locals …go
I’m kind of biased and have to admit that my favourite city – out of all that I’ve been to around Europe, and even NYC – still has to be London. There’s so much to do and see, and even though I’ve been a million times (living in Reading does have its perks), there’s still something different to explore every time. And plus, I love taking the iconic London photos. One of my favourite cities when travelling around Europe though was Krakow. I spent much longer than anticipated here. The nightlife is great – all in underground cellar like rooms – it’s incredibly cheap and it’s also beautiful. Plus, I met some great people.
9. What have you learnt about yourself on your travels?
That I can put up with myself for longer than I thought! I’m very much an extrovert person and love being around people. During my 2 months of travelling by myself I thought I’d get lonely a lot, which I did at times. Although I was very rarely alone – I met so many people – it really made me value my own company. I valued being able to do what I wanted, when I wanted. But then to seek company when I also wanted company. I was able to make big decisions – and anyone who knows me well knows how indecisive I really am – and this was a huge learning curve for me. It was fantastic. I think everyone should travel by themselves to truly discover who they are.
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10. Advice you have for anyone considering going travelling?
Go alone. You won’t regret it.
you can follow her tales and travels on her blog slaponsunscreen.wordpress.com
m.

day 19: five of my favourite bloggers

2014, Blogging, Inspiration, July, Travel

if you’ve seen my ‘read’ section on the blog you already know who some of my favourite bloggers are. but as it’s also today’s topic, here are some of them:

  1. lovetaza: a mummy of 2 {with one on the way} and wife sharing her new york life with the world.
  2. megfee: she is the most glorious writer of. all. time.
  3. girl with curves: her style is phenomenal. and she’s gorgeous. hair envy all the way.
  4. slap on sunscreen: yes jo you made the cut! but in all honesty i’m envious of jo’s travel adventures and her photos are shamazing.
  5. camels and chocolate | tales of a travel addict: you can tell i like travelling right?

there you have it. it’s hard to select just five because i have many more. who are your favourites?

m.

day 14: guest post

2014, Blogging, Inspiration, July

i’m so excited to share today’s guest post! i’ve known nathanael for about 8 years now and i loved reading this when he sent it to me; great post from a different perspective!

**also you should check out some of nathanael’s brilliant photography and blog at nspencer.co.uk #seriouslytho**

enjoy.

m.

Well, it certainly is an honour to be guest blogging on Mariama’s site.

I always enjoy reading Maz’s thoughts and what is going on in her world.

By way of introduction I am a photographer with a focus on weddings and portraits but with a strong interest in what I call conceptual art, it tends to be a bit more controversial or I try to actually say something different to each viewer. I am also moving into the world of Boudoir photography – I think that boudoir is actually highly empowering and almost always increases a persons long-term confidence.

I am also a massive comic book nerd, I’ve been reading graphic novels since I was about 17 and fell in love with the mythology behind the characters and what they teach us about humanity, how they can inspire us all to live in a better way. Nowadays comic book characters are big time Hollywood interests and I feel its somewhat a shame that some of the biggest lessons they teach us are lost in the desire to bring in as big a crowd as possible.

It is about comic books that I want to write about, or more specifically a single comic book character.

There is a non-mainstream comic book character named Sentry, not much is known about him, even among fans, there are various reasons (ask me about it if you want to know), but there are some things that are very well-known. He has basically limitless potential, he is probably the most powerful Earth born hero in the Marvel Universe and probably one of the most powerful characters Marvel’s line up full stop. 

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What holds him back is his mental health, he suffers with depression, schizophrenia and agoraphobia amongst other things. He also suffers with low self-esteem and self-doubt, he even has a mental projection of his ‘dark side’ called The Void, who is actually his arch nemesis and it was not known that The Void was a mental projection for a long time. He fights The Void much like Superman fights Lex Luthor or General Zod or Batman fights The Joker or The Riddler, it’s the same principle.

What I find most interesting about this is that The Sentry’s arch nemesis, very uniquely, is himself. His self-doubt and his own view of who he is. His constant battle is to defeat himself. In all the comics I have read he is unique in this fact.

As stated before I love how comic book characters are relatable to humanity and they teach us a lot about ourselves. Although the majority of us will not suffer from such extreme mental illness as The Sentry does in a comic book we will all, at some point, have to deal with self-doubt and our own view of ourselves.

How many times have we said to ourselves we can’t do something? Or that we are not good enough?

We all have our own version of The Void but we can push through that, we can defeat the self-doubt, the self-criticism and ‘the darkness within’. Sometimes we can do it ourselves, sometimes we need to lean on friends or family. Sometimes a stranger or distant associate may help us see something in a different perspective but all of us have limitless potential, all of us can be powerful beyond measure and all of us can change the world, our world, one positive step at a time.

day 2: let’s get educated on marketing

2014, Blogging, Career, July

educate us on something you know a lot about or are good at.

ok so before i go into today’s challenge i just wanted to give a shout to fellow blogger hippiechickj. it turns out we share the EXACT SAME BIRTHDAY. same birth year and everything. yup. holy hannah montana, just the coolest thing since sliced bread. she has joined in on the post everyday in july challenge so it only makes sense to follow along on her blog the world according to this hippie chick j as well! seriously though, this makes blogging everyday this month so much more fun! if you would like to participate {even if you weren’t born on july 12th 1985} check out the full list here, link back to this blog and i will give you a shout out!

right, so now i need to educate you on something. i’ve thought a lot about this. what am i good at? what do i know a lot about that i could qualify as some sort of educator? i got lost.

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this is how i feel.

not that i don’t have talents. i do. and there are things that i know a lot about but i don’t think a “how to stuff your face at the cinema” guide really qualifies.

or maybe it does and you’d be interested on how i had pringles, sweet & salty popcorn, jaffa cakes and roundtrees fruit gums {shared with my colleague of course} as we watched xmen: days of future past yesterday {which by the way is a fantastic film}.

i digress.

i could talk about food for days but because i haven’t really shared much about my day job on this space of mine, i thought this would be a good time! i currently work in sports marketing which has been a hella fun, particularly with the world cup going on. but i’ve had experience in retail and IT software marketing too.

according to the chartered institute of marketing, marketing is:

 “…the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.” The official academic definition from The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

and i found a great “layman’s terms” definition from getin2marketing.com This means the ideas, the brand, how you communicate, the design, print process, measuring effectiveness, market research and the psychology of consumer behaviour all count as part of the bigger picture of ‘marketing’.

i’ve often been asked how marketing differentiates from advertising. advertising is a paid, non-personal form of persuasive communication. marketing involves a mix of activities that bring together buyers and sellers. advertising is an element of marketing {an important one at that}.

you might have heard of the marketing mix or the 4 Ps of marketing? that is product, price, promotion and place. what is the product, what is the price? how will you promote it? and where will this all take place?

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understanding your customers is central to marketing. it’s vital.

understanding their buying habits, anticipating what they want, know the demographics {income, single/married}, do they go on holiday a lot? why would they buy your product or be loyal to your brand over anybody else’s?

if you can get the 4Ps of marketing right, you’ll be a milli0naire with loyal customers. when i say loyal customers i don’t mean a ‘following’, although i’m sure they exist. but when a product just gets me, everything is right; the buying experience {which is so so so important, imperative really}, the product, the price and how it all appeals to me and my needs…i stick with it.

let’s look at apple. genius i tell you. genius.

they have the ability to anticipate what customers want before customers know what they want. i mean, who would have said 10 years ago we’d have the likes of siri? who knew we even wanted it? and everything else smartphones do these days.

apple got the 4ps right.

but here’s the thing. it’s so fluid. there is always movement. it’s important not to get complacent. because customers needs are fluid, so should your product. not too often that it floods, but enough to keep customers always coming back.

this kind of thing takes time. and patience. it takes planning and a willingness to spend the time getting to know your customers. it’s not so much that the customer is always right as it is about solving their ‘point of pain’.

marketing in a not-so-nutshell.

m.