thanksgiving + pizza

2015, December, Family and Friends, Food, Inspiration

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.


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.









cranberry sauce





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








it was so simple and so good.

hope you all enjoyed your thanksgiving celebrations.

next up – CHRISTMAS!!


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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?!


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!



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…



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!}.




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.


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.


**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.


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


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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quote of the week

2014, Inspiration, September

i saw this posted both on facebook and linkedin yesterday and i just had to share. i’m not even entirely sure who it is by {as it goes with the internet these days}, but i’m waving it in the air like a flag yelling “we should all do this!”

“become friends with people who aren’t your age. hang out with people whose first language isn’t the same as yours. get to know someone who doesn’t come from your social class. this is how you see the world. this is how you grow.”


day 15: a day in pictures | day 16: the meaning of HOME

2014, Blogging, Family and Friends, Inspiration, July, Love

day 15: a day in pictures

i’ve failed you. quite terribly. 2 days straight of no posting. and i don’t have much of an excuse. to make things slightly worse, i don’t even have pictures from day 15.  my dslr camera no longer had battery life and my iphone decided to tell me i didn’t have enough memory to save any pictures {although it’s been fine since – typical}.  so instead, i will share with you a few photos from my birthday and last week ..

^birthday lunch with one of my besties at our favourite lunch spot wagamama | i realise that this is a pic of just me. julia took the photo then we didn’t take any more! but trust me when i say she was there 😉 and that coconut ice cream with passion fruit goodness and coconut flakes was devine^^

^^my favourite little human being, kelsie standing on her own. best. day. ever. doctors hope by 7 she’ll be able to walk on her own. life’s little things.^^

birthday fun
^^birthday fun with some of my favourite people in the entire world^^

TGIs with Jo^^only the greatest dessert in the history of desserts {given to us by tgi friday’s}. a taste of america #nostalgic | with the bestest train / work buddy = great company!^^

Paul A. Young^^ONLY THE GREATEST CHOCOLATE KNOWN TO MAN. given to me as a birthday gift from my alison. i literally screamed. in the no-she-didn’t-but-she-really-did kinda way. paul a. young’s salted caramel chocolates is the food of the gods. just putting that out there^^


day 16: the meaning of HOME


big hugs & bear hugs. full tummies and “are you sure you’re…” okay{s}?

“one of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you don’t come home at night” — maragret mead —

braided hair and swept floors.

laughter and never-feeling-alone.

shared tears. arms over shoulders. encouragement. partake in triumphs.

broken hearts. mended hearts.

“i believe that one can never leave home. i believe that one carries the shadows, the dreams, the fears and the dragons of home under one’s skin, at the extreme corners of one’s eyes and possibly in the gristle of the earlobe.” — maya angelou

“kushe”. plasas. groundnut soup. fufu. africana. sierra leone.

no nonsense.

love. forgiveness.

“strength of character may be learned at work, but beauty of character is learned at home.” — henry drummond —


day 5: a letter to 16 year old me

2014, Blogging, Career, Family and Friends, Inspiration, July

dearest 16 year old mariama,

first off congrats on taking your GSCE exams. i’m saying congrats because it was hard work and you made it. you’ll probably won’t be happy with all your results. BUT trust me when i say it’s not the end of the world.

right now you can barely speak to boys. just the thought of trying to smoothly connect a coherent sentence to mr. s seems completely and utterly impossible. it doesn’t seem to bother you so much that you haven’t had a boyfriend yet though. you’re just enjoying being a 16 year old. you love your friends, your family and your life. and all the endless possibilities, all the things you are dreaming about. you’re excited about life. keep it that way.


i wanna tell you of a few of things:
– in just a couple of years you’re going to face your first biggest trial. it’s going to hit you like a ton of bricks and that ton of bricks will rest on your chest for sometime. it gets a little easier but this will help you grow. and will help you learn how to forgive. this experience will begin to teach you the real meaning of unconditional love.
– the friends you made will stay friends for a long time. in fact, including your cousin, there are a couple who you’ll be friends with for many, many more years to come.
– that girl, let’s call her miss c, the one in the year below who hates your guts for some unknown reason {which we never really find out}, she teaches you to stand up for yourself. she teaches you to be strong in front of a bully. you don’t know it yet, but it will help you in future scenarios.
– continue to be honest in all that you do, even when it’s tough. people will come to recognise that in you and it will play in your favour in your career.
– you skin colour does not define who you are and who you are supposed to be. when someone tells you you speak a certain way or your lifestyle isn’t typically “black” ignore it.
– in 2 years you’ll get to travel to italy on your own. this is where you catch the traveling bug. and it will never leave you.
– boys. some will break your heart. some will like you but you won’t be interested. you’ll go on lots of dates, with an array of characters. it will definitely give you stories to tell. but there will be one, you won’t him meet for another few years, but he will love you like no other. and he will leave an impression on your heart.
– that shyness eventually leaves as you challenge yourself to do scary things like moving to a different country on your own!

i know. it’s a lot to take in. i could go on but i don’t want to overwhelm you. best advice i can give you? be patient with yourself. you’ll have some regrets but do not regret what these experiences give you, they shape you into the person you will become. you will make mistakes, you will cry until are no tears left and you will cry some more. you will laugh and laugh till your stomach hurts as if you’ve done 1000 crunches. you’ll learn that life has it’s ups and downs, but really happiness isn’t some destination you’re racing to get to with your cup of cocoa and plate of biscuits. no, you learn to love those pockets of joy, because they’re worth it.


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.


rainbows are for birthday girls

2014, Family and Friends, February, Food

i mentioned in my sacred gifts post that i was in provo visiting my bff ema and her husband besmir. well it also happened to be ema’s birthday the day before so i decided to make her a birthday cake.

i wanted something fabulous, fun and one of a kind {not to be cheesy but that is ema all over!}.

then i thought, rainbows are for birthday girls.

ok i didn’t really, but a couple of years ago i made a rainbow birthday cake for one of my friends and bless her she liked it but it looked like a bit of a disaster **note — there is no photographic evidence**

so naturally i wanted to try it again!

i started with 2 boxes of cake mix and food coloring.

Cake Box

Food Coloring

got mixing and went from this:


to this:


it was so much fun!

baked for about 15mins – making sure i didn’t over cook them {as i usually do!}.

then stacked the cakes and used a medium sized bowl to cut around the edges so it would be round…and when i say ‘i’, i mean my roommate as you can see from this pic!


and voila!


i had used two cans of vanilla frosting, one for the layers and one to cover the cake. my genius roommate korinne then decorated the cake with ema’s favorite flower.


it was definitely an adventure getting this cute thing down to provo in a car, but there wasn’t too much damage by the time i got there and it was delicious!

**these next few pictures are from ema’s blog our love in bloom**

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i know i’m not a professional baker of any sort but it was fun, i think it turned out ok and ema loved it {most important right?!}.

happy friday and hope you have a wonderful weekend!


life lately

2014, Family and Friends, February, Food

oh the woes of first world problems. i’m leaving utah in 5 weeks so naturally i want to eat all the goodness i’m not going to be able to enjoy once i’m back in england. yet…i’m trying to lose weight in time for the miss africa utah pageant.

yes. the woes of first world problems.

anyway a colleague at work {who spent some time in england} had told me about this little café in roy, utah, that served legitimate fish and chips. well as about legitimate as you can get for utah. i was a little skeptical because i’ve had “fish and chips” before {i guess going leatherby’s – a very american restaurant – should have given it away}.

well i was wrong, and it was delicious.

and just fyi we ended up going to the one in layton, and unfortunately the one in roy is closing down.

if you’re in utah and crave a good ole’ plate of fish and chips i highly recommend the little taste of britain.

Little Taste of Britain

Fish and Chips!
***brad and korinne didn’t want a picture taken…i did it anyway and i’m not ashamed.

i really do love food.


day 6: add a new element

2014, Januray

today’s assignment: publish a post that includes a new-to-you element.

i didn’t even know you could embed an instagram photo…so you’ll definitely be seeing more of these!

because he is one of my favorites of all time, and texts from this guy are, well, epic.

*it didn’t embed. and i am way to tired to try and figure it out…but if curiosity gets the best of you click on the link and see who i’m talking about!*