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A 30 something blogging about her love affair with Fashion.....among other things!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

All dressed up to say goodbye to 2017!

2017 is coming to an end.

What a whilrwind this year has been! Everything I knew and valued has been shattered. Everything I ever wanted came true but with a huge price. Yet, I am hoping that it was for the best.

Scarf -taken from an Indian outfit
Velvet shirt - (so old) gift from my Dad
Pleated skirt -thrifted
Leggings - India
Shoes - Next
Bag - Fair in India
Ring - (so old) HM
Pearl necklace - DIY

For one, I grew tremendously this past year. I started doing adult things, some things I never thought I would do or ever want to do again. But so is life. I lost a lot but I gained a lot as well. I learned every single day about life in general, love, family, work ethics, myself. I am getting to know who I am and what I am capable of. I know I am strong, I am resilient. I also know I am older (found out two gray hairs this year) and not as pretty as I used to be. But that is alright. I now think that it is okay to be selfish, to put myself first, to love myself before anyone else. I know what I want and I know what I do not want. I also express myself without filters. I still struggle with doing what I want and truly listening to my instincts but that day will come surely.

I realised that having the support and the love of my family was everything to me. I could not have survived 2017 without them. Furthermore, I came to know that my family was not only limited to my parents and my siblings. In fact, people both from my father and my mother's side have been there for me in ways that I never imagined. And I could not believe my luck. On top of that, my older friends were amazing. always there to listen to me (and believe me I did complain a lot) uplift me or tell me the truth. I met some new ones along the way who make me laugh to tears and that is important too.

My world has shifted and grown bigger. It is not confined to the same boring routine. And that is fine by me. I have not reached "stability" yet but a change is always a positive thing.

Really 2017 was hard but it was a blessing in disguise. I have many things that I do pray and hope for 2018. But I will keep them for myself for now. Instead I will share with you what I pray for the world: I pray that this year brings more peace and less war (terrorism), more joy and less bickering, more health and less diseases, more environmental stability and less disasters, more richness and less poverty.

I cannot end this note without thanking you, you my READERS. Thank you for taking the time to read me no matter who you are and where you are from. I am blogging because I like it and I do not plan to do anything else with this platform anytime soon. But who knows right???

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Friday, November 24, 2017

When you wear Pyjamas to work

I have to admit that one of the greatest joy I have as a working woman (well, you know expect from doing what I love, and getting paid) is dressing up in the morning. For years, I eagerly waited to get a job to build me a wardrobe suitable for work. And now that I have, it is a pleasure to pull clothes out of my closet, find news ways to style them. However it can often turn into a nightmare particularly when I am in a rush in the morning (because I overslept) and I realized that the blouse I wanted to wear needs ironing I do not either have the time or the patience to do.

On days like that I often opt for jeans and tee, but last time I got so lazy I borrowed my Mother's pyjamas.

Scarf - Sandaga market
Open sweater and tee ensemble - stolen from my Mother
Pyjama pants - stolen from my Mother
Mules - stolen from my Mother

Mind you, there are silky smooth pyjamas my brother got her as a gift from France. There are the kind of pyjamas fancy ladies wear to bed. I am not that fancy yet (even though I am working on it) so I decided to wear them outside.

No one noticed that they were jammies. And I was very relaxed the entire day. No tucking and pulling, no pressure on the growing muffin top. I felt great.

I wished I had more fancier clothes that instantly make you look put together without the hassle of ironing them. But in the meantime, I need to get organized and take care of my clothes during the weekends. I know some people who by sunday already figure out what they are going to wear the entire week. I tried it once and it was a game changer. But when the task is a bit daunting, I often decide what to wear the night before. Then I have enough time to try on the outfit, see if it looks good on me and do some ironing. It saves me time I can use to Watch Wendy Williams before heading out the door in the mornings.LOL

I am planning to get more wear of the pyjamas, maybe next time I can style them to go out for diner with friends.

 What you think?

Thursday, September 28, 2017

A la Camerounaise

Remember when I said that I was never going to change my style, because I like what I like (which is to be comfortable)?

Well I lied! My style is slowly changing. As my love life is in shambles at the moment ( I will get to that in a future post, I promise), I feel the need to go for a drastic change. I have contemplated the idea of cutting my hair (been there, done that!), dying it blond/ red or just forget this Hijabi thing all together. But as always, it is in the clothing department that I get to transform myself.

Truth be told, I am sure that even when things were perfectly normal at home, I would still go with a style change. The reason being that I am influenced at work. Women at my job are very simple and casual but they can turn the heat up from time to time. My favorite day is Friday when almost every one get to dress up in Traditional Attire. As someone who does nit have many traditional attires, I am amazed at all the designs and styles put there. My eyes are feasting and my brain is calculating. Then I go on a rampage asking everyone where and how they got such nice clothes. "You covet what you see every day."they say. Well, I have been seeing and I have been coveting . As a result, I am constantly visiting my tailors to get them to make me new stylish and trendy "Senegalese Traditional Attire" like this one:

Dress - Uniwax fabric given my baby brother and tailor made
Scarf - Reliance Trends (India)
Wedges - Ouakam market
Earrings and necklace - HLM market

This dress is called "Camerounaise" which means "Camerounian woman". I guess it is because Camerounian women wear this type of dress. I really like it because it is roomy; it hides all the curves (See I have not changed much). Women in Senegal appreciate them and they love to have them made in breathable fabrics that they mix and match. For this dress I used an Uniwax fabric my brother got me from Ivory Coast and an eyelet fabric I bought at the market. The result is just perfect. Plus it has pockets. I am surpisingly very happy with the whole dress.

I have another one in silk fabric that my other tailor made for me. I cannot wait to rock it next friday.

So what do you do when your love life is in shambles? Share in the comments section!!!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Brunch at the Pullman

A few weeks back, something unusual happened to me: I won! I played a game on the Instagram of Karelle, who is a very famous food blogger here in Senegal. And I won a voucher for a brunch for two at a very nice hotel in town: the Pullman Teranga Dakar.

I was surprised at first because I have never won anything in my life. And believe me I have tried my luck on many games. This time I was just playing without really hoping to win. I was so excited because, I have been wanting to go eat at the Pullman for quite some time now.

 I originally wanted to give the tickets to my parents for them to enjoy. But upon speaking with my baby brother, he told me that those tickets would be wasted on them since they are old and cannot eat that much (it was a buffet!). So I saved the idea to treat them for later and decided to take my kids and best friend instead. My baby bro and his fiance also joined us.

I have been to the Pullman for work before and I fell in love with the decor. The first thing I noticed was this vibrant picture of Omar Victor Diop - a Senegalese photograph I follow on Instagram- of a model wearing african print dress with the same print in different color in the background. That picture is so eye catching that I could spend hours just looking at it. Passed that picture, I also noticed the unusual furniture and the african touch on the decoration. The eating area was bustling to my surprise because that brunch is not cheap. We had to wait to be shown to a table because we did not make reservation. There was a young and hip crowd, all dressed casual and all on their smartphones. Finally we were shown to a round seating area outside with a beautiful view of the sea. The only problem was that the lack of air conditionning and the flies. But we did not let that rain on our parade.

Scarf - Sandaga market
Dress - (so old but never been worn before) HM
Pants - Thrifted
Shoes - Westside (India)
Earrings - HLM market
Necklace - gift from my Mother

My kids dove right in, chosing to eat all the sushis available. You have to understand that ever since we left Japan, they have not been able to enjoy their favorite food. I went for a healthy mix of salads (avocado, carrot, beet roots) with some seafood and sushis at first. It was very fresh and tasty. I was having a good time, eating, chatting with my family and taking all the sea view in.  At some point, I even met some aquaintance I have not seen in a very long time.

My first plate: Carrot, tomoao, cucumber salad with some marinated avocado and beetroot, some sushi rolls, chinese noodle salad and cocktail shrimp
I took four more plates after that!

My eldest only ate Sushis and sweets

Chicken and Beef barbecue skewers

We spent a good two hours eating before we went down to enjoy the pool. The kids were so impatient to go that they did not even finish their plates. The pool was packed as well. We were told that we needed to come earlier to reserve a seat. They were lot of foreigners on the grounds but also some local people. Everyone went inside the water that looked so refreshing on that hot day. As for myself, I decided to use the free wifi (they gave us password at the reception) to catch on social media. I was so stuffed and drowsy that I immediatly regretted not bringing a swimsuit. Truth be told I did not have one at hand. My brother and fiance also did not have any but that did not stop them from purchasing them nearby. I promised myself that next time I come, I will have to bring one.

The pool

One could also enjoy the beach

Lounging by the pool

Because there will be a next time for I had way too much fun and ate so well. I now understand why the place was packed amid the price tag. I need to indulge from time to time. I always limited myself to little pleasures. But once in a while, I think I can afford to go wild. I may not go to the Pullman every week or every month but I will try to go as often as I can, even if it is just to sit and enjoy a cup of tea for the place is really soothing.

Cake display
The view of Corniche from the Pullman.
Can you spot the Presidential Palace?

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Mint condition

 Ever since I moved back home more than a year ago, I have not really been shopping. I checked stores at our mall that were highly overpriced. And those at the market were not any better.
However, I was given life when I returned to the Saturday market. This market located near my parents house in the subburbs is filled with goodies, second hand items from overseas but also new stuff like under garments and fabrics. We can haggle the price therefore I always manage to get a good deal.
I have to admit that I have been going there every other week. My favorite things to score are shoes. I always look for quality, size, wear and tear and of course the brand. I found shoes from Michael Kors, Steve Madden, Target and more. It is kind of hard to score the nicest ones because they mostly come in smaller size. But I did get lucky once. (Or twice)

Scarf - borrowed from my Mother
Top - Liberte 6 market
Jeans - Liberte 6 market
Shoes - Saturday market
Earrings - Gift
Whem am busy on Saturdays and can't go, I fall back on another small market located in the same area that is open every day called Liberte 6 market. I also indulge there for the prices are highly low: tops at a dollar or less and so on. On my last trip I also found bags.

The last place I absolutly go wild for is my Mother's closet. I already told you that she was a hoarder, which means that not only does she have a closet bursting with clothes, she also kept some old ones on separate suitcases. I raided her closet for traditional clothes since I do not have any yet. And she pulled out some she does not fancy anymore. I took them to a tailor to refashion them. And boom! I had four new outfits for less than a price of a fabric. Last week, she show me some of her old work clothes and I scored two pencil skirts, a jacket (I am still on the fence about that one but) and a coral pleated skirt that was alas too tight ( I am still trying to figure out what to do with it). I love shopping in my mother's closet. She still has some fancy stuff. I steal her scarves, bag, shoes and jewelry all the time. That is what mothers are for. And do not worry she borrows my stuff all the time too.

This outfit was totally thrifted. Nothing is new. It cost me like $20. The dress which is really an oversized top (2XL) can be worn off shoulders. But my fave part of the entire outfit are the shoes. Their color caught my eyes. They were platform which I always wanted to have but never dare. But the heels are not too high and very highly comfortable. Plus they are in suede and they were never worn. I rocked them for the first time at my cousins for Easter and they could not believe they were minted.

I am not sure I will go back to shopping at the malls with what I experienced so far. Boutiques are ridiculously expensive and the attitude of the attendees horrible. If I am going to splurge I prefer to do it at a place I am treated well at least. "Never say never" is my motto. So only time will tell if I find a shop with brand new stuff I fancy..Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

When after work turns into a Fashion shoot

  I went to my first "After work" the other day. For those who do not know what that is, "After work" is when colleagues get together for drinks or diner after work. Oups! I forgot to tell you! I started working for an international aid agency recently. I finally found myself a job that I also happen to like. Praise the Lord! I have been working for the last few months. It is challenging but I get to learn so many new things. And the best part are the people I get to work with particulalry the ladies. I enjoy them, every single one of them for they all have interesting personalities. They are also hilarious. I spend my days laughing. And I could not be more grateful to God for that!

Since two of my co workers were leaving (sad part of my job: people do not tend to work there for a long time), we decided to surprise them with an "After work"/ farewell party. We went to Marina Bay, which is a seaside hotel with a fabulous pool located in a hip area called "Almadies". Other former co workers joined us as well. We settled outside where we could admire the pool view under the shade.  We started complaining about work as usual until someone pointed out that we should stop talking about it. Then we ordered drinks and snacks. I had the "Bouyakah" juice which was a refreshing mix of Baobab fruit juice and mint among other things (Absoeffinglutlydelicious!!!) and some salmon avocado maki sushi that melted in my mouth....Yum!!!

We were chatting loud about everything: men (some handsome dudes were passing by!), how hard it was to find a good one, politics, sex, kids, how rude our waiter was...well everything with laughter.

Scarf - old
Polka dot jacket worn as a cape ( was way too hot to be worn properly) - Max fashion India
Ruffle top - Westside India
Pants - thrifted (HM)
Shoes - thrifted
Earrings - HLM market

Peep the Henna I had done for Eid

All of a sudden, we started taking pictures. There were group shots at first then gradually some of us started getting into pairs to take blog worthy pictures. I have to admit that the decor was incinting us to do so: bright vibrant paint, pool and beach, cute flower paths, nice wicker outdoor furniture....Originally I did not want to take outfit pics because I just wanted to relax and enjoy myself. But I had to join in on the fun as well. Friends of mine took my  pictures with their phones (mine is crappy). By the time I arrived home I had received 155 pictures on my phone ( my phone has no memory left). That is how crazy we were that day.

We separated at around 7:30 pm for some ladies lived far away and wanted to get home early. I did not  feel like leaving because I was having way too much fun. I caught a ride with a former colleague. I made a mental note to come back in that marvellous place again maybe with the kids. They would love it as well!!

The Bouyakah juice 

The salmon avovado maki sushi with pickled ginger

Caught laughing out loud!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Ramadan Lethargy

Hello dears.

How are you?

And for those fasting, how is your Ramadan so far?

We are in the last week of Ramadan and I am feeling great. I cannot complain.

However I could not help but notice a certain lethargy that has engulfed the town and the people living in it. since the beginning of Ramadan. For starters people go to work later than usual because they are still trying to catch some sleep between the time they eat and pray in the morning and the time they go to work. It is harder particularly for women who wake up early to cook something for their families. Even when you get organized and cook something the night before going to bed, you still have to get up earlier to heat it up. And most women I know are not content on cooking something simple, like ordinary breakfast. They want to make elaborate meals that would please their families. They feel the pressure more than anybody else, and they sleep also less.

This lack of sleep can have some serious consequences on the body and the mind when one is at work. We find it hard to concentrate. We are on the edge because we lack both sleep and food. Therefore a little thing can set us off. In the city, people are at their worst when it is rush hour as everyone tries to get home before dark. At 4:30 pm already there is a huge traffic. One can get stuck in a traffic jam for 45 minutes. It is nice when you are sitting in an air conditioned car, but when you are standing in an overcrowded bus with no air, that still has a long way to go before you arrive at your destination, your nerves are tensed. It is the time you often witness people raise voices at strangers, swear at each other and even fight. They lack the endurance to bear it all, which is the meaning of Ramadan itself.

Blouse and top set - old from my Mom that I altered
Golden mules - HLM market
Golden scarf - Pune, India
The only area I have seen booming is at the markets, especially during the week end. Women, who enjoy the fact that they do not have to cook lunch, go shopping. Granted no one is there in the wee hours of the morning, but from midday till late, people are shopping for goodies they will eat later, fabrics and accessories to get ready not only for Ramadan but for Eid. For some reason or another, Senegalese people think that during Ramadan, they should dress in traditional attire. It is somewhat due to the fact that traditional clothes are considered modest. Women and men alike would rival in wearing their best casual traditional attire to the office but also to visit family and friends during that time. I have nothing against it. Actually I am all for it. My only issue is that some of the modern Senegalese attire is not modest at all from over the shoulder tight fitted dresses to sheer lacy peplum tops, those outfits can be quite sexy. To me, the whole purpose of Ramadan is then lost.

As for myself, I do lack the sleep because I usually do not sleep much anyway. I am hungry and cranky but I try to do my best not to explode. I usually avoid going to markets except for food. Every year I used to have this policy that I would not enjoy shopping during the Holy month. But this year I broke that rule because I have decided to get my Eid outfit ready early on instead of waiting at the last minute. The previous years when I got to celebrate it at home, I was lucky enough to be gifted one dress. But since I can afford one this year, I already have it made by my tailor. I also went crazy and bought several shoes, particularly mules for my traditional outfits (for some reasons traditional outfits work best with mules in Senegal).Going at the market where you find sparkly and shiny new things is beyond tempting but I am stopping myself now. Or maybe I need a new necklace or two… (GOD save me!!!)

Anyway, if you are Muslim like me, I wish you a pious and joyful Eid. May your prayers be accepted, your Duas answered. Ameen

Monday, May 29, 2017

Neighborly behavior

Sénégalese people are known to do whatever they want or like no matter what. What only matters to them is that "gnu dem" ( they advance) as they say in my country. As long as they get what they want, the ends explains the means. For example, they might take a wrong way even on the highway if they are in a rush to get to work. They will not queue at the store but instead force their way in. They will park any way they want without thinking of the next car. 

That was not the case in the past. People were thoughtful and caring particularly between neighbors. They tended to keep the peace and even had nice relationships. For example, a woman would send lunch over to her next door neighbor. Or she could go and borrow sugar if she ran out. During events, she could borrow chairs from her neighbor or even her entire house if there were too many guests to fit into her own. Some neighbors became so close, they ended up being family. 


Blazer - thrifted 
Shirt - Max, India 
Jeans - gift
Loafers- M.G. road 
Bag (pictured below) - gift
Watch - gift 

However nowadays, people live like westerners. You barely know your next door neighbor. You barely great them when you pass them on the streets. Even worse, you live as if you are alone, making loud noises at indecent hours, laughing like a James Bond movie villain or banging on doors. That was the case with my downstairs neighbors before we moved.To be fair, we lived in the same house. He rented downstairs and we rented upstairs. Both flats have independent doors. But since our flat is pretty open with big windows giving into their garden, we could hear everything that is going on downstairs and I am sure they did hear us too. Yet they were too loud. They had younger kids who screamed instead of talking. Plus they liked to slam the doors. The adults had animated discussions particularly late in the night. Moreover they enjoyed loud music. It was driving us crazy. We  never complained and tried to make less noise. But there were times where we had to say something. One day they were so loud at 11 pm hat I had to shush them from my window. 

I thought I would have peace in my new neighborhood but I was wrong. We made the mistake to have a house next to an open field where the kids play soccer. It meant that every day, they would come in that field and play. The soccer matches itself do not bother us. It is the singing and drumming and the cheerings that go along with it, that gets on my nerve. One day they were banging so loudly that I had to say something. I asked them nicely to stop the noise or at least go bang somewhere else and they just laughed at my face. Could you believe it? Kids barely older than my own two boys were defying me. When I could not take it anymore, I took their makeshift drums (empty plastic bottles) and threw it away in an empty lot that was barricaded. It felt so great for a minute until they jumped the barricades, retrieved the bottles and started banging again. The week end, they started their concert again and this time my husband intervened twice; at first he was nice but when he realised they would not listen, he confiscated the tanks and put them inside the house. I think they got the message now.

When I lived abroad I have to admit that I was not always the best of neighbor. My vice is that I love to listen to music loudly. And some of my neighbors were not too happy about that. One of them completely lost it one day and banged so violently on the wall we shared that one of my framed photo fell and nearly broke. I banged back at the wall and infuriated, he came banging on my door. If not for my then boyfriend now husband it would have turned ugly because I was not ready to back down. Since then, I mature and now I use my headphones when I want to listen to music. When I get crazy neighbors I just think that it is karma and sigh.

Still I wish my Sénégalese people use common sense and think of others before thinking about themselves first. The other day the entire road leading to my place was blocked by a huge tent being build because somebody would be having a party the following day. I have nothing against people celebrating but when this celebration stops others from leading a normal life., it becomes a problem . I could not even go through with my car let along park in front of my place. I had to do a u turn, circle the entire block to go around and find a parking near my flat. And to top it all there was no warning, no excuse. My personal favorite (sacarsm) is when this neighbor organises religious chantings every friday that are so loud you can't barely here yourself think ( he uses a megaphone to blast the sound all over the street). And you cannot say a thing because it is religious. You complain and people will say that you are a non-believer.
 What ever happened to good behavior we were so proud of in our country?

As for myself, I am a poor neighbor. I like to keep to myself and would not like to entertain a relationship with my next door neighbor like my folks do ( particularly when those neighbors are the nosy,  always up in your business type).
 However I would greet them if I meet them on the streets. And I would try and disturb them as little as possible ( because since we all share a wall, I am pretty sure I will do something one day that will disturb them). That is the least I can do. And if every one did the same, my country would be a better place! 

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