words to live by

2015, December, Inspiration

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



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



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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words to live by

2015, Inspiration, March

“It is better to grope in the dark and wade through a million errors to reach the truth than to entrust oneself to someone who knows not that he knows not. Has a man ever learnt swimming by tying a stone to his neck? So let me go my own way even if it is the wrong one.”
Sudhir Kakar, The Seeker: A Novel

“We must embrace the darkness as well as the light in order to truly understand life.”
Andrew Fairchild

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
Napoleon Hill

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Michael Jordan


“If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced. ”
Vincent Van Gogh

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, I used everything you gave me.”
Erma Bombeck

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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**



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. 


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.

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



2014, Career, Inspiration, May

// i’ve spent a lot of time over the past few days looking at other people’s lives through facebook and instagram mostly. i keep wondering how everyone has it all together. and i should stop doing that. because aren’t we all making it up as we go along? but i can’t stop looking. maybe this means a social media break.

// i do this ^^ because i’m trying to hide from figuring my life out. i don’t know, i don’t know, i just don’t know.

// i need to be on a beach somewhere reading a book. or sitting in a café in rome drinking something luscious of the iced kind.

// the best thing about today was spending sometime with a lovely boy. he tickles my heart that one.

// back to the life thing. i thought i had a plan. turns out i don’t. i’m in a figuring out phase. it’s been 2 months. and nothing seems to be coming together. i’m mostly referring to my career here.

// this post is becoming a bit of a debbie-downer so i want to leave you with something positive…

Quote 20 May


happy new year!

2013, December

i can’t believe this is my last post for 2013!

what are your plans? i’ve been sick for the last few days, since christmas day actually, so i’m not up for anything too social…looks like it might be a quiet one with the roommates! and maybe running out at midnight to kiss a random stranger.

have you made any new year resolutions? to be honest this year i resolve to have more faith. my life is so up in the air at the moment i have to have faith that everything will work out! and i believe it will.

in the mean time here are my favorite quotes for 2014…

“and don’t worry about losing. if it is right it happens – the main thing is not to hurry. nothing good gets away.” john steinbeck

“if life throws you a curve ball, you learn to swing.” a rascal flats song

“we are what we repeatedly do therefore excellence is not an act but a habit.” Aristotle

here’s to doing something in 2014 that scares the crap out of you.

NYE 2013

happy new year to each and everyone of you!