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

 

 

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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dear autumn

2015, October

dear autumn,

i love the way you dress the trees (and the streets for that matter). in that fiercely fire-blazing kind of way.

and those crispy leaves. that “crunch” makes me giddy.

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the way you end the days with darker, cooler nights, that allow me to go home, wrap up and drink something warm.

i get to wear boots. brown ones, high ones, black ones and wedged ones. and my feet are oh so thankful.

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in some ways you make me forget that the harshness of winter is what’s next. deceitful? maybe. but your warmth lasts longer than i think it should. so i forgive summer for the lack of. well. sunshine.

pumpkins. cinnamon. hot chocolate. scarves and coats. bonfire night and fireworks. chocolates, golds and sunset yellows.

oh and i can also just about handle the cooler nights because christmas.

love,

me

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life lately according to my iphone + canon 100d

2015, August, Culture

hey, it’s been a minute.

life got a bit non-stop in july (family visiting from the states, i turned 30, went to paris + more) AND it’s not going to stop for a few more weeks (the next free weekend i have is not until 26th september). yikes!

it’s all good things so i can’t complain. too much. 

here are some life lately photos from my iphone and canon 100d.

also let’s just pause a moment to celebrate the 50mm 1.8 lens. as an amateur photographer. wow.

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^^it’s like i’m in paris every other month this year. not that i’m complaining one bit ^^

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^^ this is one of my bff’s ema. she’s hawt. in the #breakmeofapiece kinda way. she’s a yummy mummy, fashion & lifestyle blogger and one of the sweetest humans i know. go see what she’s all about –> elleserabelle.com ^^

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^^ i just need to share with the world these attractive cousins of mine #itsintheblood ^^

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^^ mum and i at my future sister-in-law’s hen party ^^

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^^ and me giving it a go with my photography and photoshop skills. SO much fun! ^^

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^^ the #bf getting real excited about a old school phone box. i mean. that face **insert kissing sounds** {i give you permission to judge the mushiness. but. i. just. can’t. help. it}

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^^ the #bf with his nephew. these two play fight and it scares me a little. but hey, they’re boys ^^

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^^ i’ve been 30 for a little over a month and it’s. fabulous. ^^

30 isn’t old. It’s a young mature.
– Melanie White

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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 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.

4 weeks to go…

2014, Culture, Fashion, February

saturday 8 february.

its midday and i have a full face of make-up on {which never happens}.

i’m sat in a chair with two bright lights veered off to either side of me and a camera in front. alan, our videographer, says “take 2” and “3, 2, 1…action”

off i go “i was born in sierra leone, in the northern province of makeni…moved to england when i was 4…” the rest of it is kind of a blur seeing as i was definitely apprehensive — this video is of course getting shown on a big screen on the night of the pageant. i stood up with sweaty pits.

the rest of the rehearsals were just fine, with walking patterns for the traditional outfit and the evening gown, as well learning the intro dance.

i’m not going to lie, apart from the filming part, it was fun! and i am in love the how different each nation of africa is. i mean, we have our similarities but the differences are so beautiful! as are each of the girls participating.

from my last couple of posts you’ll note that i was down in provo with my bff ema, just over a week ago. even though it was absolutely freezing, she braved the cold with me and we had a fun photoshoot.

i’m not usually keen on having my photo taken, and to begin with i had no idea how to pose – but ema is fabulous, told me to relax and we just had fun with it.

here are a few pictures from the day!

oh and there are only 4 weeks left till the pageant. not. freaking. out. at all.

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can’t thank ema enough.

**side note: it’s my last week at work. yessssssss**

m.

i’m STILL playing catch up // day 4: explore the neighborhood

2014, Januray

today’s assignment: follow five new topics in the Reader, and begin finding blogs (and bloggers) you love.

this was fun! i haven’t taken a moment to check out other blogs for a while.

topic 1.
photography. it has been on my mind for the last 8 years. gosh 8 years. but this year i plan on changing that. anyway here are some fun blogs i stumbled on…
picture by design
eva c. meszaros
oh so splendid

topic 2.
travel. because i constantly have the travel bug.
costa rica travel blog
travel tales of life

topic 3.
inspiration and creativity.
half craft studio
the possibility soul
urban nesting

topic 4.
culture. i am inspired by culture, cultural differences and the beauty of it.
slightly chilled porcupine 
champion since

topic 5.
writing. because i love writing, have done since i was a child. one of my dreams is to get a book published. actually its on my bucket list.
writing through the fog
live to write. write to live.

there you have it.

can you tell i am short of words today?

m.

my salt lake city

2013, June

you gotta love fridays. end of the week. beginning of the weekend. and with being a student and working part-time, i only work 8am-12pm everyday with no classes on mondays or fridays. it’s like a long weekend every weekend {ish}.

i had a couple of errands to run, like posting a birthday package to one of my besties back home in england {fedex tried to charge me $100 for a 10 oz. package whereas usps charged me $14….you what?!}, headed to the bank and then the library. i decided to take a few snaps on my walk; there really is no point driving around the downtown area {i also don’t have a car…yet} and because the weather was gorgeous! i really did fall in love with it all over again. there are dozens of little hideaway theatres, coffee shops, book stores.. not that i go in all of these places but it certainly adds to the character of the city. and i love that.

here are a few snaps!

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these were all taken on my iPhone and i used the aviary photo editing app to edit them. i absolutely adore this app…and i just wanted to show you a couple of before and after shots to show you what i mean:

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{a panda express fortune cookie}

this one might be a bit more obvious:

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before                                                         after

i’m no professional, but i sure do feel like one with that app! {and it’s free}

i’ve got some sewing projects to start this weekend, which i have delayed long enough, and a dinner party on sunday, it should be a great weekend!

m.