Monotony aka Consistency


Aka boring as hell- Do you know how boring it is to do the same thing everyday? Especially when it's good for you?

Actually, let me rephrase- it's only incredibly hard and boring to do something everyday when it's good for you- and that's the thing about changing your lifestyle, dieting , losing weight , fitness, blablabla etc

Maybe it's the first of a month or someone just gave up their seat because they thought you were pregnant or shaded you or you just woke up with plenty ginger - so you decide to change- you buy shitloads of fruit and veg- you grill some chicken- you download insanity.

Day 2.5 and it's your friends birthday and the journey through small chops and birthday cake ruin your life. Suddenly , your lettuce is wilting and your chicken has gone off, lifestyle change paused- again.

I remember when I started running- I used to run 12 minutes every single day- rain, snow, hail, scorching summer , when I eventually started doing 3 miles a day, same thing- until 3 miles became a short run for fun and I could do 12 mile runs without having to catch my breath after (how the mighty have fallen).

But you know what? That shit was hard. Consistency means some days are bad and some days are good but ultimately , there are more good days than bad days or enough good days to make changes.

Consistency tends to look insignificant day to day but if you do 10 minutes of working out everyday, it adds up and is better for your body than doing one crazy 2 hour workout a month and never working out again. Sometimes when you're being consistent, you need to just pause the image of the 'end' because sometimes it seems tooooo far away. If you think of the 20kg you have to lose instead of the 0.5 you've lost, it's enough to make you give up.

But you know...just keep going.

Spoiler Alert: watched pots boil.

Losing Weight Is Hard

Losing weight is hard. 

It's crazy how it creeps up on you as well- one day you're pinching your non-existent size 10 "belly rolls" and moaning about your half a kilo weight gain and then like an hour later, you can't even fit your ankle into size 10 jeans.  These days in Lagos, all these 50 year olds with 4 kids are looking like 18 year olds and I'm here, 20 something and looking like a mama- we will not take it! 

Ah well for the next 31 days, I'm going to write about weight loss and my struggles- one day one day, I will get lose this belly... or die trying.

New Restaurant Alert: Due by Chef Dish

Hey there! It's been sooooo long since I did a food review but I went to a new restaurant on Friday and thought "why not?"

Due (pronounced dooh-eh) is a little cute restaurant on Adetokunbo Ademola in the Samantha Bistro family. It had a test run for a month before it opened officially on Thursday. It's divided into a cafe area and a restaurant area. 

Cute, no?

High chairs are cute, but they are certainly not made for you to hang around for hours

I don't know if it's because they just opened, but there was a limited menu, nothing else for it but to crack open a bottle of wine and try to decide.

I love handwritten menus, spelling and all

We asked if they had any starters and they had chicken wings, so we ordered those blind.

Since we ordered blind, I can't say what was in or on the chicken wings. I wasn't a big fan but I don't know that I can tell you why, maybe because it was fried and I don't like fried chicken? 

poached fish and mash

It also came with sweet potato fries

The poached fish was poached perfectly- it wasn't overcooked or over flavoured and the sauce it came with was very tasty. The mash was very homemade tasting (but like I make a good homemade mash, so that's not a bad thing). Sweet potato fries were an alternative to the mash, but I don't think sweet potatoes that aren't orange go with anything, my friend loved her fries though. 

We asked if they had dessert and surprise- they did! The menu was turning out to be full of random surprises. We had one each but I think its the perfect size for sharing- the cream had orange in it, which made it taste a lot more exciting. 

We were pretty brave ordering from a menu with no prices, but in the end it was pretty average. Everything was between N1500 and N4000 (except the wine).

Due is at 35a Adetokunbo Ademola, Victoria Island  (small black gate between Tantalisers and Chase Mall) and the entrance is up some stairs at the back of the building. 

Tips for the eat.drink.lagos festival

So last year,  EatDrinkLagos had a food festival. I don't know if anyone expected it, but the turnout was huge. It was in Parkview Estate and it basically shut down Ikoyi. Awks. More awks is that vendors anticipated numbers based on regular events and food was finishing left right and centre. From the goodness of my heart, I decided to write survival tips for anyone that wasn't there for the last one, or was there and otherwise pre-occupied by drunkenness, lateness or looking for parking space. 

1. COME ON TIME! I think this is pretty self-explanatory. I mean, you don't have to be there the moment the doors open, but if you're trying to do attending the reception time, you're on your own.

2. Bring cash (but like not too much, if thats not your thing)- I think people finished the money in the cashpoint opposite the venue last time. Luckily, this time, there's a great option that wasn't there last time- PayWithCapture. So as long as you have a phone (smart), you can pay (without network because etisalat is unreliable), but best set it up beforehand, so incase you're about to grab the last rib, someone else that thought ahead doesn't buy it before you- awks.


3. Wear Loose Clothing- Seriously, look cute, because apparently it's Tinder in real life, as long as cute doesn't involve unforgivably tight clothes- guys and girls, I'm looking at both of you- because tight jeans are for everyone (and not for the festival)

4. Look at the Menus and plan ahead- the festival website has a list of vendors and menus with prices and everything. Take time out before the festival to prep your list and budget. You cannot eat everything or drink everything, so be wise. 


5. Pace yourself but not too much- You don't want to try and eat everything in the first hour you're there, please- chill out. If you come early, you'll get good seats in the sitting area and you can take breaks. If your break is too long and your next on the list sells out, you're really on your own.

6. Bring some ziplock bags for takeaway- last festival, I sold cookie bars that were packaged for take-away basically and there will be other vendors that have things like that or things that you can make to be like that (with your handy ziplock bag)- there's nothing more painful than thinking the next day 'oh shit, I wish I bought that cake' or whatever. 

Throwback to my old menu

7. Take a break at my stall (3)- jello shots are a great non-stomach filling way to have alcohol- but I mean, mojitos do the job too! 

You're Gonna Get Murdered- Girls S05E06 Recap

The episodes that start with Marnie are usually the episodes I hate especially when she starts by saying 'you're playing aggressive guitar at me' , to her husband who is lightly plucking the strings to whatever. 

cute headphones though

i remember this guy- isn't this Marnie's ex?

Yes, it is! More than a little worse for wear.

Another Marnie monologue- 'Remember when you said you didn't love me and my life would never amount to anything other than being someone's wife? Well guess what? I am someones wife and I have a life.' The 'I have a life' part is questionable to me tbh.

So, her ex, Charlie is it? asks her to come to something but he has to buy her a dress first. I mean the whole thing sounds legit- not, but whatever. 

Marnie admires herself 

then full on launches into a monologue at the shop assistant. 'Yes, I'm only 25 and a half years old, but I've managed to fit in so much...' LIKE. WHAT. BOO?

still going on

Of course he's at the party to deliver cocaine, but Marnie also delivers some great negotiation skills for a threesome. I mean in the end she charged $600 *eeek* but it was the


she did it

So basically that crazy experience has bonded them and they are having like a wild passionate night

Guess what?

Half my album's about you, you were my family

predictable or nah?

One boat ride later...

omg Charlie is a drug dealer, he won't let them get robbed

he's crazy, he has a knife!

gun vs knife- oops

lmao- he real life took off her earrings that the robber didn't even ask for

Marnie- what am i going to do about you?


Charlie- um, I'm diabetic

I guess Marnie has a line because this is the point where she gets the f out. You go girl. Tide is really turning in my mind.

husband waits dramatically.

"I knew I shouldn't have married you, I didn't want to give up on yet another dream" - proud of Marnie and all but damn son!

Of course he cries.

This whole 'I climb into my best friends bed' dynamic of tv shows is one that I want- hey bestie, what say you?

Can Marnie have...redeemed herself? this episode? I am sooooo confused about my feelings right now


A day in the life of a Nigerian fashion buyer

*Since we did this diary, Bolaji left this job*

I work as the buyer for Grey Velvet Stores which is a retail store that focuses on African-made (more specifically, Nigerian-made) apparel. In the last year, we've expanded from an apparel-only store, to carrying other assortments such as lifestyle items and beauty products. As a buyer, I'm in charge of finding new designers to partner with and maintaining those relationships. With this job however, I get to wear many hats. So I handle not only buying, but merchandising, styling and, occasionally, PR.

I double majored in international business and fashion merchandising at Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY. The double major was a result of a compromise with my dad because, in typical Nigerian parent fashion, he wouldn't let me study fashion alone. And I'm grateful for that because my business background is especially invaluable in my line of work. 

The fashion department at my university was phenomenal at securing its students amazing internships. I got to work at Tommy Hilfiger and Carlo Pazolini as an Assistant Men's Merchandiser and Assistant Buyer respectively. 

I also got to spend a summer semester at the Fashion Institute of Technology (which I loved!). 

When I moved back to Nigeria, I started NYSC and worked at the primary school I went to (Greenwood School). While at that job, I interviewed at a few places looking for merchandisers. I remember being surprised that the industry here had grown so much that people actually knew what merchandisers were, and were actively looking to hire them.

Then I found a post on Instagram for the position of buyer and applied, and that's how I got my current job. 

A lot of buyers/merchandisers I talked to while at university mentioned that no two days are ever the same and I've found that to be very true. Some days are slow but most of the time it’s extremely busy with zero time for breaks. So, here it is, a day in my life-


- I finally roll out of bed, shower, get ready etc.


- I generally leave for work at this time as 


 one of the lucky few who works pretty close to home . My commute is about 20 mins long on a good day. I have to pay that Lekki-Ikoyi bridge toll everyday though, so I guess you can’t have it all.


- Once I get in, the first thing I do is check my email, and make phone calls. A lot of my work is relationship-based as I interact with the designers themselves a lot.


-  Informal design meeting with our in-house designer. 


 in charge of trend reports and forecasting, as well as, relaying customer buying patterns. We discuss  a lot of things regarding production like new styles, costing & sizing and so on. Throughout the rest of the week, we’ll have check-ins just to make sure we’re on the same page.


- Meeting with the PR/Brand Manger to discuss any promotional events that we want to have. Depending on what kind of event we’re having, we discuss what needs to be done. We’ll decide on graphics for the website and social media, details about sales, plan photoshoots etc.


- A slightly unnecessary phone call from one of the girls in the store. It’s usually to ask me a question that I 100% did not need to be asked, or they already knew the answer to. I try my best to answer like someone with home training.


- Lunch. Usually we order out as there’s a decent selection of restaurants in Lekki. This year though, I’m trying to bring in my own lunch (which is actually much harder than I’d anticipated lol).


- I’ll go into the store in Lekki and do some visual merchandising to make sure that the shop floor is as attractive to the customer as possible. This is much harder than you’d expect as you have to work with varying designers’ aesthetics and make sure they all work together to form pleasing visuals. During this time, I’ll also take note of what gaps in the assortment of apparel we have and how best to fill it. I’ll also speak to the sales assistants to get feedback on what customers have requested for and add that to my notes. If it’s a Tuesday, I’ll head to the Ikeja store instead (in the morning though, no time for that afternoon mainland traffic). Sometimes, our media manager is present, so I can pull items for her to photograph for social media.


- I head back to the office to finish up any work that needs to get done.


- Our official office closing time.


- When I actually leave the office. 

Notes from a falling plane

I'm jealous of the girl asleep next to me
I wish I could sleep on turbulent planes
I think that lack of ability to fall asleep on a flight that's shaking even though I'm not scared and I'm really tired says something deeper, maybe
There's something really forced about the glamour of cabin crew
The make-up, the hair, the uniforms that never fit quite right- either too tight or too loose
Sometimes I catch a glimpse of someone's face and know that they wish they could meet someone that'll take them away from their life
It's really shaky now
It's impressive the way people are eating meatpie - it looks really meaty as well
Do you ever wonder about the impression you leave on other people?
When people tell me stories like 'I met you and you were sooooo coool'- it's weird because I'm always thinking of the other person, I never think of myself as the other person- does that make sense?
It seems to be a little less shaky
It's weird that my heart hasn't been in my mouth
I hate flying - it's so weird how people love it, like people love long drives
I don't think I love long being in boxes
Sometimes, in Nigeria, I think of how there are bars on all the windows and how unsafe that is.
But then I stop because it's one of those things that can drive you crazy if you think about it too much
The seatbelt light is off
On one flight, I thought the smoking sign was the seatbelt sign and I kept thinking 'this is a really bad flight, isn't it?'
Nigeria is full of men
This flight is full of men
Now I actually want to eat the meaty meat-pie
Because hunger
And no seat belt sign

An Interview with the founder of Retrocode

 I'm obsessed with the business of retail and when I stumbled on the retrocode brand on twitter last year, I was super excited. It was a completely new thing in the Nigerian fashion retail space. The prices didn't make me scream, it had a super responsive founder, there was variety but it focused on one thing...There were a lot of exciting things! Eventually, I got the founder, Cohan to speak to me about the brand. 

How long have you had the idea for retrocode?

Honestly, I never had the idea for "retrocode", I had the idea for a regular clothing line called "code" instead, but at some point, I think around my final year in the University, I finally decided I didn't want a regular clothing line anymore (so I sold that idea to someone else) but yeah I'd say the whole idea of retrocode still came up really spontaneously.

The name is brilliant. How did you come up with the name?

Since I already had the idea to name my regular clothing line "code" and that didn't work out anymore, I decided to go with something that had "code" in it but still represented what my new line was about, which is hugely about designating the style of an earlier time, so "Retro" just felt like a perfect prefix.

Why did you start retrocode?

Honestly, I think I'd rather say, retrocode was something I had started for myself, I just wanted to have shirts that a lot of people didn't have, it was like this very selfish idea. Lol, then one time my sister just said "how about you made this public" and basically that's how I started .

When did you start retrocode?

Retrocode started in late February. 26th of February 2015 precisely.

What did you know about your customers before you started?

My first set of customers were mostly just close family and friends and when I decided to finally go public with it, my customers were twitter followers I'd been following for a while.

Are you permanently connected to social media?


Do you run all your social media platforms yourself?

Yes, everything.

It seems like you do a lot of things yourself. The marketing,the shooting, picking prints, interacting with customers and sorting orders. How do you find the time to do everything?

I actually have a team that works with me now. When I first started out, I did all of that myself but yeah I have a team of young men and women that work me, so to an extent it's been pretty easy.

What do you think makes retrocode so popular?

Judging from the feedbacks I've gotten from customers, I think it's the uniqueness and quality of each fabric. A lot of it is also based on good word of mouth and referrals from customers.

Who is your target market?

My target market is basically everyone who loves looking good, all demographics to be honest. That's the thing, retrocode is something everyone can wear, teenagers, youths even the elderly people love retrocode. It's something they can wear anywhere, I try to make sure there are pieces for every occasion.

What are your goals for the brand over the next year?

I have a lot planned out this year, like I just recently launched a denim line (dresses, shorts), so I have a lot planned for the year,there's going to be a lot of diversity this year. I'm working on a lot of different projects this year and also plan on expanding the brand so everyone around the world can have access to the pieces

What has been the biggest highlight and the biggest challenge?

Lool this, okay I can say that one of the biggest moments for me was when patoranking took notice of the brand and decided he wanted to be associated with it,then there was sheyi shay too, who also loved the pieces,everyone was talking about it, so yeah that felt really great, the biggest challenge for me was when retrocode trended on Nigerian twitter on new year's day, so there were like thousands of people reaching out for shirts and I had completely sold out, that was really challenging, having to tell these people that there was nothing available to buy at that time.

Why did you decide to launch largely on twitter on opposed to the traditional instagram platform used by other vendors?

yes this, I always get asked this a lot, for me, twitter just felt easier for me because it's a site I'm constantly on and I interact with more people there and I liked it because there on Twitter, people aren't scared to say how they feel about your brand and that was super important to me, I wanted to know what people felt about the brand, you can get away with selling wack stuff on Instagram but on Twitter someone's definitely ready to call you out, so I think that actually makes you more conscious about paying the littlest details to your brand and honestly twitter has been one of my hugest markets. So I'm grateful for that.

What and who are your influences?

This might sound ridiculous but I think old pictures of my parents, I even had this collection one time, "The Sylvia's Corner" collection it was mostly birthed by old pictures of my mum and her wardrobe because I am so obsessed with all of their style from the 70/80's and with retrocode I'm trying to bridge that gap between then and now like a cross between the style from the early times(70's - 90's)to the more contemporary style now.

What did you study and how did that lead into a fashion retail career?

I studied geology and that had nothing to do with my present career. Lol

Was your family supportive of your choice to pursue retrocode full time and if not at the beginning, how did they come around?

My parents were super supportive, my dad is actually one of my biggest supporters , when I started he always bought a lot of shirts for himself and even for his some of the staff, my mum also got a lot,my sisters and brother have been super supportive too, my sisters always patronized me a lot and told their friends about it, so it's been such a huge blessing.


noticed that


managed to stay very affordable. And a lot of Nigerian designers often use infrastructure as an excuse for their high prices. How have you managed to overcome those problems and maintain affordability?

That has been one of the biggest challenges too, like I've had people who have literally screamed about how "affordable" the pieces are, they usually always think it's pretty expensive, but yeah it's really not been so easy but that was the mould(that most Nigerian designers sell


products at ridiculous prices) I actually wanted to break , I want people to understand that you can still have really great clothes with a nice quality that's not overpriced and it can be unique and exclusive, I think the fact that making money wasn't my original motive makes it all easy, retrocode is a very personal project that I'm very passionate about, so I still manage to find a way to manage all of that.

Do you love retrocode? Say why in the comments! 

Rihanna has finally released ANTI

And it's not bad. It starts off with that vintage Rihanna sound. But quickly tapers off into her newer pop sound. It is super super laid back. The only sort of party song is her single with Drake, 'Work', so in that way, this is a completely new direction. Even Rated R which was a heartbreak album had 'hard' and 'rude boy'. This is a softer calmer take on love and it's not bad.

Anti will stream exclusively on Tidal for a week and an deluxe version with new songs will be released on Friday. 

Oh So Nutrition Nut Milks

The first time I tried Oh so nutri was at hans and rene. I bought 3 smoothies. I loved the packaging and branding and everything but I ABSOLUTELY hated the smoothies. They were thick and lumpy and some of the ingredients, though interesting, didn't necessarily go together.

I started the whole 30 on the 4th of January. 10 days into it, I was dying for a latte, infact, I was dead. My whole whole 30 (see what I did there?) was about to fall apart because of coffee. Sigh.

I remembered that Oh so nutri sold nut milks that I'd never tried because I'm broke and everything, but I was desperate so I called them. Their minimum order (N3,000) scared me off the first day but then I was like what the hell, I AM desperate and ordered 4 bottles.

It arrived in the cutest box. Things like branding and packaging excite me. The bottles were laid in an ice pack! An ice pack! It's such a basic thing but I've ordered so many juices and smoothies and I've never gotten an ice pack. Heck, I've never sold anything with an ice pack in the box (note to self).

I ordered two cashew milks, one almond and one coconut. I've tried all these milks from packets before and I thought cashew was the most like regular dairy milk. I tried them all and they were so bloody creamy and sweet. When I tried the coconut milk, I thought back to starbucks not coconut milk coconut milk latte-smh. I warmed the milk and put some coffee in. I took a sip and LORD! Just in case I was biased from my 10 days of not eating processed food, I made my friend try it. She was amazed. It tasted like a really creamy, perfectly sweetened cup of coffee. Maybe a little too creamy which is good news because a little can go a long way.

I immediately started factoring the milks into my weekly budget (jokes). If this is what nut milk is supposed to taste like, I never want dairy milk again!

You can order from Oh So Nutrition at The nut milks are N850.00 for 250ml and delivery is N500.00. 

The 24 Hour Worker- Kitchen Butterfly

Friday, 18th December 

Brymo’s on at Afropolitan vibes and I am dead set on going – I love Brymo. But first, home. It’s a busy weekend. Today there’s the Christmas pageant at the Children’s school, Afropolitan vibes, setting up for the opening of my first photo exhibition and lots of food prep to do – for canapés at the opening and for the 


. Lets just say it’s the beginning of the mother of all hectic weekends and the only thing that’ll save me is my list. 

I'm fanatical about lists and crossing items off them. My lists live In a physical notebook , which I never leave home without. They are my canvas – I move, plot, plan, record, and basically get my life done off my lists.


White chocolate in a pot on the stove top. I'm making some 

minted caramelised white chocolate sauce

 for the festival. Its Dami’s 


. I take photos of the chocolate, as it changes from white to caramel. I do it for myself and for the ‘gram. I love 




I'm done. The sauce is packed in jars. I leave for school because I need to buy water. 



I'm at school. Things are about to begin. I watch my daughter play the violin and I'm happy she’s getting lessons at school. I haven’t managed to organise music lessons since we moved to Lagos so I'm glad that this year, she chose to join ‘BAND’ – a music elective (Outsourcing 101). 


I'm not going to get to Afropolitan vibes. I'm still at school. There will be no singing and dancing to any of my favourite songs by Brymo – Femi, Down, 1 Pound because I hear the traffic is legendary and I have no desire to sit in it. Sigh. Sometimes, you have to know when to squash that desire and quit. 


I'm home. I have a long list of things I want to make for tomorrow so I begin. 

Zobo pepper sauce

. Pawpaw chutney. 

Agbalumo chutney


Bed. I love my sleep even if I think I have a sleep debt that can never be repaid. 

Saturday, 19th December 


I'm up. My first-ever photo exhibition opens today at the Kongi Harvest Gallery in Freedom park. It's called ‘Postcards from Lagos’ and I have 20000 things to do. The children have a school Christmas party. I want to say ‘inconveniently’ but *lips sealed*. Thankfully, it’s close to the house so I’ll manage. I have things to make for the opening and the food festival is tomorrow! 


We arrive at school party, it’s barely begun. I leave the children to go home and finish a few things off. 


I’m done with the last of the prep – making puff puff, and hummus – not to go together though; devilled eggs, zobo, pita crisps. Everything is loaded into the car and we’re on our way, via a friend’s house to pick up her daughter and the Christmas party venue.


We’re at the gallery. I start signing the photos with red permanent marker. It is surreal. I sign the photos with a signature I've had for years – my art signature – which is different from the one I use for my cheques. I'm calm and shaken at the same time. Are these my photos? Mine? Damn. Unreal.

I remember almost every detail and emotion, feeling when I took each photo. I even remember some thoughts. I smile when people ask how I ‘make’ time for all the things I do. There’s no making time, there’s just doing because I've discovered that the art of making time is the mother of procrastination.

So I take up 5 minutes here, 5 minutes there and do things in bits, and bites. Most of the photos in this exhibition were taken with my mobile phone, from the back of a passing car because I hate sitting up front (long story but involves whiplash from multiple collision while not wearing a seatbelt when I was 15 – I always wear my seatbelt. Even when I sit at the back). 

I think you have to perfect the art of being who you are where ever you are, even if that’s in Lagos traffic, and often. 


and I'm rushing to lay out the table. I feel behind. Am behind but I'm trying to stay focused. I wonder if there’ll be a flood of guests, if I’ll sell all the photos today. 


All’s set and we sit, waiting for the first guests. Two photos are bought in the first few minutes – rainy ones of Lagos. I feel like an artist, even if I'm an unintentional one because to be honest, I've been taking photos all my life with no thought to ever seeing them line the walls as art. 

#Thankful. It makes me think of Steve Jobs and the 2005 

Commencement Speech

 he gave at Stanford. In it he says ‘Find what you love and do it’.  

Sunday, 20th December 

I keep saying try very many things, even the seemingly random ones. It’s the only way you’ll know what you like versus not. Though I don’t like how little sleep I give myself, I love the art of doing. 

Nosa & Folly's

 warning to be at the Festival gates by 11am have me on my toes. 


We’re all packed. In the car. 

10. 52am or so. 

We arrive at Park View. We offload the car and begin setting up.


So much for lists – well, not really, we've forgotten the salads at home. Tomi – my right hand has to go get them. I love working with people even though it doesn't always seem like it. I'm learning a lot about delegating with clear instruction and the power of communication. I'm learning because I still mess up many times but like I said, I'm learning.


Our first customer comes as we’re putting final touches to the table. He orders the (amazing if I might say so myself) Smoky Snail Jollof Rice. People ask me how I think up some of my recipes and I shrug. Some I can identify clear paths and the others, God, the universe gifts me.

Sometimes I let my mind wander and play with combinations, many gorgeous things have resulted. I think we have to be courageous when it comes to testing the boundaries. I don’t say fearless though, but we must do it in spite of.

I'm sold out in a few hours and for the first time, am able to leave my stand and check out other vendors. I sample some awesomeness – Shaki Toasties by 


, the most delicious build-your-won-cupcakes by 

honey's cupcakes

 and more. The festival ground is heaving – I don’t think anyone was ready for the turn out. 

I get home, exhausted. There’s work tomorrow and lots of big events this week so no rest. 

Thursday, 24th December 

In the week, I’ve been to see Postcards from Lagos again, done some mad shopping and made decisions, decisions, decisions. It’s the week of my #Big60 event – an annual popup restaurant hosted at the gallery of

A Whitespace Creative Agency

. The theme this year is in conjunction with the British Council, sponsored by 

Style Vitea


 It is the first time I’ll be in a professional kitchen and I'm a bit afraid. 

Everytime I come to a crossroads about making decisions, I reread Steve Shapiro’s ‘

The Art of Decision making

’. He says ‘With the right mindset, any decision is the right decision’. Complicated? No. I want to forget all this as I spend the morning, afternoon, evening prepping for Sunday. I’m frantically working through my lists. My friend Tomi of

 Heels in The Kitchen

 who encouraged me to ‘apply’ to cook at #Big60 has been a rock – I ring her to talk about random stuff like plates and cutlery and teapots. 


We stop to buy berries and last minute stuff for Christmas day and beyond. Then we head to A Whitespace for dinner – not mine, but another Chef’s. 


We've been home for a couple of hours and I've been prepping for Christmas day. We’re having lunch with friends and I want to take a few things, plus I want to have puffpuff chicken balls for breakfast so I make the batter just before I head to bed, and leave it covered in the fridge. 

Friday, 25th December. Christmas day


I'm up. Resting for a few minutes before I throw myself into the day. 


I get an email asking if I can fulfil an order for food to be delivered to a rig offshore on the morning of Boxing Day. Because it’s for people who are away from family at this time, I say yes and proceed to call myself crazy because I’ll be out for most of the day. 


The first batch of Puff puff chicken balls are out and they’re banging. I cant even tell you how delicious they are dipped in zobo pepper sauce. This is mostly what I have for breakfast. 


We settle down to breakfast. Unlike the past, it’s food that has been co created - the children have done so much and it looks stunning. We eat and laugh and give thanks for the year. They can hardly sit still – they want to open presents and see who got what and who still owes what. 


We leave for Sangotedo – it’s the furthest east I've driven in Lagos. I'm petrified – I drive and have driven since I was 16 (and that’s a pretty long time) but I don’t enjoy it much. Half an hour later, we arrive. 

It’s 6pm when we get back home and prepare to go to dinner at another friend’s. 

01.30 am

We’re home. Everyone goes to bed and I'm up making the cakes and stuff that will be picked up at 5 am. I imagine I’ll only need a couple of hours but I'm up till 7am the following morning. 

I've made carrot cake, brownies, peanutty chicken skewers, zobo for pick up. I've also multitasked and made blackberries poached in zobo, rhubarb poached in tea and tangelo zest. I've made the chocolate and salted caramel mousses that will fill my crepe cake. 

The food to be picked up is ready at 4.54am. The driver doesn't make it to mine till 5.30am. I hand him the box with the goodies. Rather than go to bed, I feed my OCD and clean up a little. I'm not a very tidy person but there are certain things I like to do – like tidy up as I go along in the kitchen. 

Saturday, 26th December 

It’s 7.12 am when I head to bed. Exhausted to the bone. 

And 9.36am when I get up. And to an email ‘Received!! About to open’ with a host of smileys and 13.51pm when I get another one full of praises and love and ‘It tastes like she (Ozoz) made all this with love!’. There’s very little that soothes a soul, my soul like this – touching people with my food. 

Chaos central. 

Its 2.30pm and my friend Tomi has come back from the store with chicken for tomorrow’s event. We’re headed out but I want to marinate the chicken. I open the first pack and it’s off. As are all the other packs. I want to cry because of the dual task of returning it (and the resistance I'm sure will follow) and sourcing better produce…on an already busy day. 

It’s 8.04pm when we get home with all the vegetables that need prepping. The checklist comes out and we work non-stop. 

Sunday, 27th December 



6.40 am. 

Wake. It’s the day. #Big60. The day passes in a blur. 


someone comes to pick up a batch of Chicken suya puffpuff balls. I know. I’m crazy. 


Another person picks up 4 sets of canapes and drinks for an event 


We leave for the Big 60 Kitchen. 

I love most of it. I understand why I’ll never work in a restaurant full time. I cannot stand the pressure. I love sharing my food with people. I'm confused. I haven’t fully processed the day so I can’t write much. 

Monday, 28th December 

1.30 am 

we finally get home. Exhausted. Elated. Fulfilled. It’s the perfect day to wrap up a year that has stretched me left right and centre. 

2.30 am. 

I fall asleep xxx 

My Whole 30 Experience far.

It's day 16 of Whole 30.

Let me start from the beginning.

Whole 30

 is a 30 day eating plan that excludes  artificial sugar, processed food, alcohol, grains and legumes for 30 days. You can eat eggs, meat, fruit and veg. At first it sounds bat shit crazy but it's actually one of the healthiest meal plans I've been on in years (2 years) and I'm loving it. The hardest part of Whole 30 is making a concious effort with remembering what you can and can't eat. It's harder than it seems. But once you master that, it becomes pretty easy. At the end of the day, it's only for 30 days.

I haven't had a perfect whole 30 experience. For one thing, I've weighed myself twice (on day 4 and day 11). You're not supposed to weigh yourself or take measurements because one of the biggest points of the Whole 30 is to break unhealthy relationships with food- but hey- 2 out of 15 days is not bad. Also on day 4, I had dinner with the lovely

Kitchen Butterfly

 and drank some zobo which contained sugar. Now, on the rules of the Whole 30, you're supposed to start again if you cheat or make a mistake, but I'm an adult that made a choice and I'll be damned if I start again.

You're also not really supposed to snack and my Lord, I'm a snacker. Eating actual meals is generally really overwhelming for me. I haven't eaten a real meal since day 13. I'm just so bored of everything I'm allowed to eat, so I've been eating nuts and drinking coffee and orange juice (fresh) and  zobo (unsweetened). I don't think snacking is really a habit I even want to break to be honest, but I actually need to learn to eat more food and to eat more food at mealtimes. However, I've massively improved from the first few days when all I did was eat bananas. Bananas and yam (which strangely is allowed).

On the first day of whole 30, my entire focus was on weight loss. I mean, we all tell love stories about health but weight loss always hides underneath those stories and I straight up wanted to lose like 10kg in 1 month, I specifically researched weight loss stories of whole 30. 3 days in, my goals shifted more towards my other goal- giving up sugar forever and it's been on that ever since. It feels really different to be one of 'those people' that cares more about health than aesthetics. Don't get me wrong, I still want to lose 10kg, but I'm okay about not losing it right now.

What else? I'm finding it pretty easy but read what I said earlier. I haven't really deprived myself so I have no reason to feel deprived. I've given up sugar 2 years in a row for lent, so it helps. There was a time in my life where I used to dream of chocolate bars in bed but lent changed that so now I have the ability to stick to whole 30 which I'm pretty sure I didn't have before.

I'm waiting for my skin to glow though, but I'm not sure that will happen in 30 days. When it happened during lent, it was towards the end, but ah well. 


If there's one thing that has frustrated me since I moved back, It's the lack of information. Nigerians are extremely secretive people, they value hoarding information. Maybe that prevents robbers from trailing your car from the airport, but it definitely doesn't help when deciding on a career or finding out a review of something. In general you guys, having a secretive culture isn't useful to us.

I started What Dami Did to be a 'what dami did and how she felt about it incase you want to find out first before trying it' which is why a lot of my posts are reviews. I just like the idea of googling stuff in Nigeria and finding some damn information! Anyway, to break the secretive trend, I'm launching a couple of series.

The 24 Hour Worker

Having a side hustle is a full on Nigerian trait. It seems like everybody wants one or is trying to get one. This series will give you a glimpse into the lives of people that are currently juggling full time jobs and starting a business. This feature won't be about people hating their jobs and putting it minimal effort till they can leave because I have a moral issue with people using their employers in this way. It will be about people who like their jobs (whether or not they plan to do it forever) and are doing (or starting) a side hustle that they may or not pursue full time.

12 hours in the life of...

Have you ever met someone in Nigeria that had a super interesting job and wondered, how the hell did they get here? 12 hours in the life of gives you a glimpse into the life of people that have these jobs. It's nice when you talk to someone that's at the start of their career sometimes. Too many times, I read interviews with people that have 'made it'and even though the interviews are inspirational, there is a disconnect between the beginning and the end. Sometimes, I come away feeling frustrated- 'but how did you start' and 'how did it develooop' and in a country like Nigeria where progression paths are as much a mystery as fried ice-cream, it's even worse. I hope this series provides some answers. It's not going to completely de-mystify stuff because Nigeria is mostly figure it out as you go along, but maybe it will give more people an idea about where to start.

Movement Series

I watched


 channel 4 segment on moving back to Nigeria and it was all land of milk and honey and whatnot and I was like.... Nigeria is whatever you want it to be. It can be a land of milk and honey (if you're into that sort of thing) or it can be a land of pure water. Whatever it is pretty much up to you. I'm speaking to people that decided to move to Nigeria after they had whole adult lives set up abroad. So basically, people that lived and worked abroad before they decided to move here or non-Nigerians who upped and left their countries for here in their adult lives. I think it's good to see the move from the point of view of choice and not just student visa expiring. I'm also going to talk to people that lived and worked here and decided to move back abroad (because they exist too).

There will also be loads of features and interviews that don't fit neatly into these categories. If you're curious about a specific job, let me know and maybe I can find someone that has it! 

Lessons I Learnt in 2015

Hey! This year, instead of making new year resolutions (which would have been the same as always) I made a list of lessons I learnt in 2015. It didn't make me feel as stressed to do that as it usually does to make New Years Resolutions, so maybe that's a lesson. 

This is the kind of person I am- I think of a new idea- it's great , it's the greatest thing in the world- I start it and not enough people buy into it- I go aaaah fuck this, people are stupid - and stop. Meanwhile , it's me that's been stupid and impatient, not other people. I learnt to keep at things even when there's no immediate validation or reward. 

I'm not always right
Oh Lord. The downside from researching and researching and researching and being obsessed with facts and figures and reading everything under the sun is I think I'm right unless I'm provided with irrefutable evidence that I'm not. It's very annoying, I'm very annoying. I still think I'm right a lot of the time, but it's not all the time anymore. 

I complain too much
One day I was in the middle of a rant that something that was unimportant, something that if I hadn't complained about, I'd have gotten over really quickly and I realised that I was obsessed with complaining. Sometimes, I didn't even really feel that bad about things I was complaining about, I was just complaining for complaining sake. I learnt to complain less. I still catch myself complaining uselessly sometimes, but I catch myself and stop. I'm happier. 

I've learnt to be honest and that honesty doesn't always lead to kumbaya- infact, it usually leads to 'omg you're a weirdo' or puts you in some trouble but it establishes early on who you are and sets a solid base for a long term relationship, romantic or otherwise. 

Sometimes, when you have any to do something really brave, a lot of people's first instincts is to tell you, you can't do it- straight up can't. I've come to realise that a lot of the time, it's just a projection of their own fears on you and their acceptance is irrelevant to whether or not you can actually do it, so do it or don't do it but never let it be based on someone else's fear. 

London Photo Diary

I had a break from work and I wasn't going to go anywhere, but then last minute, London called. I love London because it's more or less like not going anywhere, it's even more familiar to me than Lagos. I had a list of things I wanted to do- mostly eat to be honest but then I got there and was really tired so I ended up abandoning my list and doing nothing. I walked around the city and listened to music. It's so different from this 

holiday post

 where all I did was eat. I was really insecure about even putting up this post because it's just sooo boring, but it's exactly how the trip was. Perfect. 

detox kitchen London
Detox Kitchen

This was the only place on my list I actually went to. They have an excellent cookbook and blog and I had to go and try some recipes in really life. Also, amazing matcha latte!

Selfridges, London

This girl was glittering in MAC. I love that she posed when she saw the camera.

Starbucks London

My local starbucks had these adorable drawings of their baristas on cups. Should have made them draw one of me.

I spent a lot of time with my 


Muji Stationery Store

Muji and Paperchase are my favourite stores. I obsessively buy these notebooks, so imagine my happiness when I went and there was a stamping stand. I spent a good 20 minutes there buying and stamping things. 

Just a regular day on the streets of London. Why not?

Bobbi Brown Covent Garden

Cookies on branch birthdays

London is hardly the greenest place, but I spent so much time appreciating 'nature' because it's non-existent in this grey place called Lagos.

I actually cooked sometimes. I even made jollof rice. I never ever ever ever cook.

Ping Pong London

Ping Pong is literally the only time I went for dinner and I don't think it counts because it's ping pong. Me and 


 really went in though. Probably ate all the meals I should have eaten out in bowls of dim-sum.

I went on a few runs because it felt so good to run in a park!

The beginning of a deliciously messy night. 


Recently, me and my boyfriend broke up a little after 2 years together. For some reason, because I didn't fall apart, I thought I came out of it unscathed. I didn't realise I was reeling until after I stopped reeling. I didn't suddenly become a completely different person, it was more subtle. It was the way my interactions changed and there was this self imposed lightness in my relationships with new people that just wasn't real. Slowly, slowly, I started to be myself again and I realised all the shit I'd been doing. In a way, it was funny. In a way it wasn't. At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter in the big scheme of things. Any relationship I inadvertently ruined was probably going to fall apart anyway.

But it made me think of identity and how it changes. It took me years and many lessons in self esteem to discover my identity. But it seems like just when you find it, you have to find it again. After uni, I went on a journey to find myself. I ended up in London in a job I absolutely loved and friends that felt like an extension of myself. I ran, I ate, I spent lots and lots of hours walking around and listening to music and sometimes had street parties with people I barely knew. Life was perfect, but it had to end and I moved back to Nigeria.

Everything was immediately different. My style had to change- messy quiffs and ripped clothing were generally frowned upon. My friends were no longer an extension of myself. I had to completely re-learn everything. My identity was in complete freefall. I started to re-shape a new identity, then I got into a serious relationship- before now, I had entered commitment only halfway but this time i entered it completely. With that too, came a new identity.

Law school, nysc, a new job, a new city, a new life plan and an old relationship and yet again, I have to re-shape my identity. But it gets easier, some things don't change. I've found a way to still be me, even when I'm re-finding my identity.

What Happens When you Big Chop in Nigeria

The first thing you learn is that it's a shared decision between you and everyone else. I learned this for the first time the day before I cut my hair. I mentioned the idea to someone at work and she followed me in the elevator begging me to re-consider because people don't like girls with short hair. 

I learned it again afterwards when people approached me with horror and sadness. One girl went on about it for so long. Why I did it and why I shouldn't have and why she preferred me before I did it, that someone else stepped in and told her off. The irony is that only a year before, the first time I met her, she had just big chopped herself.

It blows my mind that something like cutting my own hair for my own personal reasons can have such a strong impact on people that really don't care about me much in their day to day lives. It's almost like their strong disapproval is supposed to serve as a punishment for daring to step outside the acceptable lines of what is 'done'.

One girl said to me that short hair is only acceptable as a look if you're a 'model type'- skinny with long limbs. Off course the unspoken implication was that I wasn't a model type and it would therefore be foolish for me to try it.

I find these comments amusing and a reflection of just how deeply we are taught as Nigerian women to internalise self-hate. We are only allowed to love ourselves within acceptable confines of whatever beauty is defined as at the time. It's not just hair. It's the way you dress and whether or not you wear make-up and how much of it you wear. It's the style you choose to sew aso-ebi fabric in and whether or not your body type is acceptable at a moment in time. I've been called 'edgy' and 'weird' and 'alte' because I dared to stray from these very narrow standards of what is acceptable and apparently, I have strayed again by daring to cut my hair without regarding myself as different or interesting or brave because of it. 

Kajuru Castle, Kaduna State, Nigeria Review

Once upon a time, I stumbled on photos of kajuru castle online. It looked too good to be true. I showed some of my friends and they basically ignored me. It just sounded like false gist. Fastforward to earlier this year and a bunch of people I knew went. They loved it, so when another opportunity came to go, I hopped on it real quick.

I edited down from 119 pictures. At first, I was thinking, OMG, I need to show the views, it's so beautiful, but honestly, there are so many pictures of the castle already online, Just google 'kajuru castle.' Some of the photos look fake but trust me, it looks exactly like the photos. This is basically going to be more a practical guide of what to expect if you decide to go there. 

We drove from Abuja. There were 20 of us so we rented two buses because you have to take all your food and drink basically. Think of it as staying in an empty but nice house. It was a 3 hour drive, fairly straightforward.

So much excitement when we got to the little gate. That road ahead looks normal, but its so steep, and you have to drive up it. We started the drive and stalled midway, we all screamed, imagined our deaths and came back down really slowly. After that, we decided to just walk up and let the driver take his chances (with all of our luggage).

Our bus had fewer people and a careful driver. The white bus managed to drive up easily. 

So exciting walking up to the gate of the castle and beginning our little tour.

There are 5 bedrooms in the castle, all with two single beds which can be separated or joined together. Most of the rooms are in a tower (one room on each floor) and the master bedroom in the main house. The master bedroom and one other room have en suite bathrooms and the other rooms have a bathroom each but not en-suite.

Old ass crocodile!

The dining room

The kitchen (not pictured) has gas and two fridges and plates and pots and stuff. Many meals went down there.

The couches were specifically prepared for us as extra sleeping area because we were such a large group, which is why these cute mosquito nets are on them. They were actually really comfortable but apparently the castle maximum is actually 12. 

Master bedroom

Everyone basically put their stuff in here and I think 6 of us slept in here. It was pretty comfortable.

The sauna



It was so hard to find a time when the pool was empty to to take this photo so I waited till everyone was in the sauna. (or almost everyone).

There's space to have a party. I think you can also go up just for the day. They have a tower of speakers and you can play your own music. We had some pretty amazing playlists. 

They only accept one booking a time, so you don't share the castle with other guests, which is nice. 

I'd go back there again and again. 

Breakfast at Bistro 7

Listen. Bistro 7 is my favorite resturant in lagos and it's been for two years. I cannot articulate why. It's not particularly cheap and the food doesn't blow my mind away. But I like the consistency. Also, the fact that you can kind of see into the kitchen which allays my health and safety concerns. Their cocktails have never dissapointed me and they are the only people I know that have a green tea latte. I've tried to review it twice before now. One time, my memory card decided to fail me and that was a really good spread. the second time, I took pictures of chairs and tables and forgot to take any pictures of any food. So yah, that was a bit silly. The other weekend, I went there for breakfast on SATURDAY and SUNDAY so I kind of had to do a review. I'd say breakfast is the best time to go there because it fills up quite quickly at other meal times, especially on the weekend. 

Don't you love that they have actual breakfast cocktails? I have never tried a bloody mary and never say never, but I don't think I ever will. Tomato juice and vodka? Lord no. 

No doubt this is an overpriced meal, but hollandaise sauce, real ham and poached eggs in Lagos? Sometimes you just have to pay a premium on things that aren't available. Capitalism and all that.

These pancakes are quite sweet but very decent. 

Ah, a good mimosa. 

Before you judge this sunny side up, I asked for it well done, I'm not sure what was going through my mind at the time, I think I was very hungry.

Iced coffee? Yes please. (I love drinks)

Bistro 7 is at 273 Kofo Abayomi Street and is open on weekdays from 11am-11pm, opens at 9.30 ish on saturdays and is closed on Mondays

The evolution of Naturi Noughton

Remember this girl on the right here?

This girl on the left here with the glittery flat stomach?

I actually LOVED 3LW. I had their album on repeat for months. 'Getting really tired of your broken promithes promithes....sing it again, sing it again....ooooo'

This eager singer?

I actually loved FAME. Corny ass singy movie- it was awesome! Loved it so much, I bought the soundtrack afterwards.

Well, hello there princess!!