My 2018 in One Word + Lessons Learnt

/ 5:19:00 pm
*dusts cobwebs off blog*  Hey beautiful people, how you doing?

I recently asked you guys on Instagram how you would describe your 2018 in one word and it was interesting to see the responses. It seems a lot of people had a challenging year but with growth and lessons learned too.
Personally, my year was "constant" because while I can't say I had a great year, it wasn't a bad one either. I may not have grown as much as I'd hoped in certain areas but for the most part, things remained constant and for that, I'm sorta thankful and I learned a lot of new lessons too.

And as I look back I realize that it may seem like we are not accomplishing much when we're not marking major milestones like getting a new job, more money, married, children or traveling. But that fact that we are still here and alive at the end of this year is a blessing that we can not discard. The fact that we survived and are still standing strong cannot be overlooked. Plus let's not forget all the lessons learned and new experiences gained as it's all a big part of our growth.

1. Money
I learned a lot about money this year, from the management to importance and even unimportance of it,  I learned it all. This year had me shouldering much more monetary responsibilities which were both stressful but humbling. Being in a place where I could even help is a blessing. The bible said it best, "money answers all things" and that it does. 2018 had me taking unsponsored collabs for the blog which eventually turned out to be sponsored with some of my best offers yet. Everything is not about the money at times, sometimes you work for free, add value and then once the results are clear, money comes in.

Related: Before the Number was the Passion
2. Consistency is key
I have been blogging consistently for 5 years now but this has to be my most noteworthy year. From finally gained traction and being offered opportunities I could only dream of in the past, to working with amazing brands. This year I made the most $$ I've ever made in this thing. Now it may not be huge but coming from zero balance, this means everything. We are slowly turning this passion into a profit-making business and it's amazing! This year I realized more than ever how important consistency is especially after my failed attempts at my weight loss and skin care goals. On the fitness front, I even gained more weight this year.  I would always start out strong but then fall off the journey due to one thing or the other and then gain all the lost weight right back and some more too. However, it is not over until it's over.  I recently got some new gear and I'm more determined than ever.

Related: On Almost Quitting Blogging, the Journey So Far + Lessons Learnt

3. Blogger friendships
I had an eye-opening experience which had re-thinking and accessing everything. I'm quite nice, very open and tend to always expect the good out of people which unfortunately is not always reciprocated and sometimes taken advantage off. I've learned to be more cautious in my blogger relationships and friendships as a whole. I realize that not everyone who engages with your content really likes you, other have ulterior motives and that's fine. I'm smarter now so thank God for that experience.
Photography by Ruth Audu

4. A different mindset
I struggled a lot with complaining about my 9-5, feeling unsatisfied,  stuck and conflicted with the choice of weather to pursue passion or stability which could fuel passion. I've realized that if you want to eat you've got to work, life is hard and money is important. So now I'm focused on being the best I can be in my 9-5 and staying positive always. 
I was also shown an eye-opening scripture in the bible which changed my mindset on how I see others. For the longest time, I've been a little critical/judgemental of immodest dressing until I recently stumbled on a scripture (Rom 14:1). I was reminded that we are all at different levels in our spiritual growth. And while some of us are already eating food, others are still drinking milk and that's fine, salvation is personal thus you can't expect people to do things the same way you do. We all go at different paces.  

Related: Why Dress Modestly 

5. God is always God
I struggled so much with doubting my faith in the midst of a difficult situation which made me angry at God and even distant from him. I wrote all about this in my Sarah Speaks on God Where are You. Through this, I realized that God is God no matter what. I may not understand why certain things happen, but I will keep the faith and continually work to stand strong in the face of troubles.

About the outfit
The star of this outfit is this stunning neckpiece from Aham Jewelry. I asked for African inspired and she delivered. The amazing thing about this Made in Nigeria brand is that all their designs are unique and different for each woman. On my feet are my new favourite mules from Beaufeet, an Abuja-based made in Nigeria footwear brand. These mules have been on repeat since I got them and for N8,500, I am so impressed at the quality. I just had to get another pair which I can't wait for you guys to see very soon.

Necklace: Aham Jewelry ||  Mules: Beaufeet ||Top: Zaful|| Culottes: Thrift 

*dusts cobwebs off blog*  Hey beautiful people, how you doing?

I recently asked you guys on Instagram how you would describe your 2018 in one word and it was interesting to see the responses. It seems a lot of people had a challenging year but with growth and lessons learned too.
Personally, my year was "constant" because while I can't say I had a great year, it wasn't a bad one either. I may not have grown as much as I'd hoped in certain areas but for the most part, things remained constant and for that, I'm sorta thankful and I learned a lot of new lessons too.

And as I look back I realize that it may seem like we are not accomplishing much when we're not marking major milestones like getting a new job, more money, married, children or traveling. But that fact that we are still here and alive at the end of this year is a blessing that we can not discard. The fact that we survived and are still standing strong cannot be overlooked. Plus let's not forget all the lessons learned and new experiences gained as it's all a big part of our growth.

1. Money
I learned a lot about money this year, from the management to importance and even unimportance of it,  I learned it all. This year had me shouldering much more monetary responsibilities which were both stressful but humbling. Being in a place where I could even help is a blessing. The bible said it best, "money answers all things" and that it does. 2018 had me taking unsponsored collabs for the blog which eventually turned out to be sponsored with some of my best offers yet. Everything is not about the money at times, sometimes you work for free, add value and then once the results are clear, money comes in.

Related: Before the Number was the Passion
2. Consistency is key
I have been blogging consistently for 5 years now but this has to be my most noteworthy year. From finally gained traction and being offered opportunities I could only dream of in the past, to working with amazing brands. This year I made the most $$ I've ever made in this thing. Now it may not be huge but coming from zero balance, this means everything. We are slowly turning this passion into a profit-making business and it's amazing! This year I realized more than ever how important consistency is especially after my failed attempts at my weight loss and skin care goals. On the fitness front, I even gained more weight this year.  I would always start out strong but then fall off the journey due to one thing or the other and then gain all the lost weight right back and some more too. However, it is not over until it's over.  I recently got some new gear and I'm more determined than ever.

Related: On Almost Quitting Blogging, the Journey So Far + Lessons Learnt

3. Blogger friendships
I had an eye-opening experience which had re-thinking and accessing everything. I'm quite nice, very open and tend to always expect the good out of people which unfortunately is not always reciprocated and sometimes taken advantage off. I've learned to be more cautious in my blogger relationships and friendships as a whole. I realize that not everyone who engages with your content really likes you, other have ulterior motives and that's fine. I'm smarter now so thank God for that experience.
Photography by Ruth Audu

4. A different mindset
I struggled a lot with complaining about my 9-5, feeling unsatisfied,  stuck and conflicted with the choice of weather to pursue passion or stability which could fuel passion. I've realized that if you want to eat you've got to work, life is hard and money is important. So now I'm focused on being the best I can be in my 9-5 and staying positive always. 
I was also shown an eye-opening scripture in the bible which changed my mindset on how I see others. For the longest time, I've been a little critical/judgemental of immodest dressing until I recently stumbled on a scripture (Rom 14:1). I was reminded that we are all at different levels in our spiritual growth. And while some of us are already eating food, others are still drinking milk and that's fine, salvation is personal thus you can't expect people to do things the same way you do. We all go at different paces.  

Related: Why Dress Modestly 

5. God is always God
I struggled so much with doubting my faith in the midst of a difficult situation which made me angry at God and even distant from him. I wrote all about this in my Sarah Speaks on God Where are You. Through this, I realized that God is God no matter what. I may not understand why certain things happen, but I will keep the faith and continually work to stand strong in the face of troubles.

About the outfit
The star of this outfit is this stunning neckpiece from Aham Jewelry. I asked for African inspired and she delivered. The amazing thing about this Made in Nigeria brand is that all their designs are unique and different for each woman. On my feet are my new favourite mules from Beaufeet, an Abuja-based made in Nigeria footwear brand. These mules have been on repeat since I got them and for N8,500, I am so impressed at the quality. I just had to get another pair which I can't wait for you guys to see very soon.

Necklace: Aham Jewelry ||  Mules: Beaufeet ||Top: Zaful|| Culottes: Thrift 

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Style an outfit from work to date night
Style an outfit from work to date night
Style an outfit from work to date night

So what happens when you have to go to work and have a date night or after-work activity. There comes in the art of learning how to make the most of your wardrobe basics to transition your outfits. And today in collaboration with Opeyemi's Diary once again, we are showing you how to transition your outfits from Day to Night. Recall our previous collaboration on how to mix prints here

To change up your outfit from work appropriate to date night, here are simple tips and options
1. Pair a simple pencil dress with a blazer and pumps for work. For Date night, take off the blazer and swap the pumps for open-toe sandals.

2. One can always decide to layer a white shirt underneath a sleeveless dress, jumpsuit or top with a low neckline. Then for date night, remove the shirt underneath and there you go. 

How to transition an outfit from day to night

3. Another option is to wear your typical work wardrobe basics like your trousers and skirts with button up shirts, then for date night, swap the classic shirt for a crop top or sleeveless piece, something that shows a little skin.

4. Always keep in mind that your accesories will make a huge difference too. Opting for lace up sandals as opposed to pumps or a clutch in place of a structured bag, can easily transition your outfit from work to after-work appropriate.

5. Most importantly, invest in the right basics, this offer ease when transitioning from day to night. For example, notice how both Opeyemi and I incorporated a blazer and pointed pumps into our outfits. Those, in my opinion, are two work-wear basics that you can't do without.

I hope you found this post helpful. How do you transition your outfits from day to night?
Now head over to Opeyemis Diary to see how we transition our outfit from work to date night.

Don't be a stranger, talk to me!
How to Hide Belly Fat, Food Babies in Bodycon Dresses
How to Hide Belly Fat, Food Babies in Bodycon Dresses
Body-con pencil dress
 So how do you hide belly fat, love handles, muffin tops,  food babies, rolls or imperfections in fitted clothing? Because as much as a lot of us may love Body-con or pencil dresses, unfortunately, they draw a whole lot of attention to our imperfect areas.
Here are a few tips on how to dress to hide belly fat
1. Using a purse or bag as coverage.
Bags and purses are your best friends in hiding abdomen fat, simply wear a crossbody bag across your body or hold up a clutch very close to your stomach region and you're good to go.

 2. Good Shapewear is Key
I'm not even talking about spanks, corsets or girdles, I know how uncomfortable those can be (they are important too). What I mean is the huge difference the right undergarments can make in the outlook of your body in your clothes. Properly fitted underwear and a bra can remove bulges and harsh lines. Avoid underwear that cuts you off at your stomach or region that has the most fat. In fact, opt for high-waist panties or ditch the typical underwear and go for a knee length high waist pair of tights. This will save you from thighs rubbing and harsh lines.

 3. It's all about the fit
My advice is to get a dress in a size bigger and tailor it to fit you but make the stomach region lose. I find that when I wear dresses that are a bit looser in the stomach region, attention is drawn away from my abdomen hence hiding the flaws.
4. Peplum and Belts 
Opting for a body-con dress with peplum is a great way to hide belly far perfectly. Belts are also great for breaking up a look and offering more coverage too.

Photography by Ruth and Blessing Audu 

Finally, finally consistent exercise and a good diet will save you from all this stress, trust me, but it's work though.  Now if all else fails, hold your gut in (suck belle) but then that's a lot of work too.

I'm wearing two dresses from Virtue Clothiers in this post. I wore the blue one backward and added a red belt, I really love how it came out looking with all those red accents. The dress is the perfect work look. It comes in grey too. The second dress has to be my favorite from the colour to the sleeves, I love that it has a wrap style at the top. Unfortunately,  I couldn't find this dress but check out some similar ones, here and here

Virtue Clothier is a Made in Nigeria brand that sells affordable basics for women on Jumia Nigeria. This brand is no stranger here as I've styled several pieces form them in the past, see here. Most dresses cost less than 5K and are eligible for free shipping. 

This post is sponsored by Virtue Clothiers 

How do you hide belly fat? Please share your secret? 

Don't be a stranger, talk to me!
how to mix prints stripes polka-dots and floralhow to mix prints stripes polka-dots and floral

A great way to have fun with fashion is to mix and match contrasting prints! It's one way to stand out and make a fashion statement too. However, mixing prints if not done right, can look horribly wrong but then again style is personal so that might be subjective.

Anyways I thought to bring in Abuja based blogger, Opeyemis Diary to show you guys how we style mixed prints. What I love about Opeyemi's style and blog is first of all how modest she is and yall know where I stand on this. I also love how she works ankara and supports our Made in Nigeria brands. We had so much fun and laughs shooting these pictures, it was actually quite hard choosing serious pictures.  I've never met anyone who laughs as much as she does. I actually have a rant about our shoot day in the end though but let's talk about how we mix prints. 

how to mix prints stripes polka-dots and floral
how to mix prints stripes polka-dots and floral
We both kept it basic by going with a monochrome black and white colour scheme and also both incorporated stripes. While I paired my striped high waist trousers with this polka-dot top, Opeyemi opted for a floral midi skirt for her striped top.

My top was thrifted at Nyanya Market for N400 (see places to thrift in Abuja) and I previously styled it with a polka-dot skirt as a dress in this look. This time around, I really wanted to show the beautiful cut of the top. 


How to Mix Prints
1. Keep it simple: Opt for neutral colour palettes like black and white when pairing prints, you really can't go wrong with this no matter what print you mix.
2. Stick to similar patterns: For example, one can wear polka-dots on polka-dots but perhaps in different colours or sizes.
3. A mutual colour: When mixing and matching contrasting prints, make sure each pattern has a colour in common. 

4Stripes are you best bet, they go with everything!
5. Try something new: Don't be scared to add a pop of colour or even mix random prints, you never know what will work until you try, just have fun.

Photography by Ruth Audu

We actually took these pictures at Dune Abuja where we were almost kicked out. First a little backstory, I've taken pictures at Dunes several times and have never had any issues in the past. Unlike other public malls in Nigeria where the security guards block you and tell you pictures are not allowed, these people don't bother or stress one, they just look at you. In fact, there was this one shoot I had that I changed three times in their bathrooms and even took two outfits there for about an hour or so and no one told me nothing. Thus I suggested we shoot here but can you imagine after about 15-20 mins of shooting, we were approached by a mumu security guard who suggested that we leave, that the cameras were watching and we had stayed for too long lol. Mind you I've never had issues before and I was so sure the rules had not changed. 

Anyways, we decided to leave as we didn't want to get into trouble but on leaving my car scratched the bumper of another car and we were told to wait. Due to this, we had to see the manager (oga at the top) who we spoke to about the fact that we were just here to take pictures. And he said that there is no problem taking pictures (right in the face of that security guard). Guys, I felt like Esther in the bible when Mordecai was killed by the King with his own invention. And that overzealous security guard watched as we took our pictures and said nothing. Sigh, I always say the issue with most places that stress bloggers with this no camera policy is the foot soldier. In my experience, the bosses of such places usually don't have issues. I hope we overcome this one day, it's getting better a least.  I'm still not over that victory, I kept thinking in your face (umeh untuh)

I guess with every annoying life experience, there's a lesson to be learned
1. Everything happens for a reason, had we not hit that car we wouldn't have been able to finish using that location to shoot and we probably would never come back to shoot there, thus losing a good stress-free spot to take blog pictures. We would have also wasted time moving to a new location. Also while shooting at Dunes, we discovered new spots in the area so yass!
2. God's going to put all those who oppose you to shame. Look what happened to that security guard lol.
3. God can use a bad situation for your Good. We scratched a car but got to finish our shoot

You might think oh it's just a blog shoot, but I want you to think about how we go throw similar situations in life. 

Back to the collab, be sure to stop by Opeyemis Diary to read her take on how she mixes prints and catch up on her other awesome posts. We also shot another look so stay tuned for that! We transitioned pieces from day-to-night actually. 

How do you like to mix prints? Any tips? Bloggers do you have any annoying stories to tell about shoot day in Nigeria?


Don't be a stranger, talk to me!
Y'all are probably tired of me and polka-dot prints right about now. I'm sorry, not sorry though. Polka-dot prints are one of the hottest prints of the year and rightly so because let's face it polka-dots are such a classic. They never go out of style either! And today in partnership with Virtue Clothier I will be showing you four ways I styled this dress from the brand.

Virtue Clothier is a Made in Nigeria brand that sells affordable basics for women on Jumia Nigeria. This brand is no stranger here as I've styled several pieces form the brand in the past, see here. Now, this dress (here) is part of the legit black Friday deals on Jumia and is currently on sale for N2,999 with free shipping! Let's hop into this, shall we?

Look 1
I wanted to incorporate retro vibes and red accents. Hence I opted for a red beret, alien shades, pointed shoes, and a big buckle belt to cinch in my waist. I also added a yellow blazer for more color. This is my favourite look!
how to style a Polkadot print pencil dress
how to style a Polkadot print pencil dress

Look 2
I styled the dress as a top by wearing my all-time favourite black pleated skirt. And then I added a pop of yellow with my repeat offender mules. I see church wear appropriate all over this. 
Look 3
I added a blazer over the dress and swapped the shoes for the first red pumps. The cut and fit of the blazer gives me vintage/retro vibes which I just love. This is the perfect overly modest work look.
Look 4
I brought out the dress in all its beauty and kept the blazer, this looks screams boss chic to me. Like I'm ready to sign those billion dollar deals but I'm doing it in style!
Photography by Ruth Audu

I love this dress, it's one of my recommended picks from the brand. I loved the thickness of the material and the overall fit on me, it's not too tight which is how I prefer my pencil dresses. Before I forget, I wore the dress backward because I prefer the look of it. In my opinion Virtue Clothier pieces fit slightly bigger. I'm a size 10-12 normally, I tend to go for a 12 in pencil dresses so as to give me more room but I thought to go for a size 10 this time and to my surprise, it fit just right, not too tight and yall know I've gained weight.


Again the dress (here) is currently on sale for N2,999 with free shipping! Check out some other amazing deals on Virtue Clothier as well. I'll be sharing a few more of my favorite pieces from this brand shortly, stay tuned!
This post is sponsored by Virtue Clothier

What's your favorite look?

Don't be a stranger, talk to me!

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