Author

Onyi Moss

This travel post is coming to you with love from London. Each time we visit London, we’re always in awe of how beautiful the city is. It makes for a nice city break away from Manchester which I can say is very similar to London without the hustle and bustle which can sometimes be draining especially if you live there. Funny enough, the latter is what most of my friends who live in London love about the city. We arrived in London this time to enjoy a short weekend break where Craig got to attend a concert at the Royal Albert Hall by one of his all time favourite composers. We stayed at the Green Rooms Hotel, an arts hotel that fit right with our aesthetics. Hence why we didn’t miss a chance to take a self portrait.

We did a lot of walking as that’s how we tend to discover hidden gems. We didn’t fail to go on the tube too every now and again as we always enjoy a ride on the underground. This time we found a CD on a chair left behind by an artist with the words “THIS IS MY ART. TAKE ME. GIVE ME. FIND ME. LEAVE ME…”. I of course opted to take it which turned out to be a good decision as I can’t stop listening to his song titled Last Page. His name is Sam Way.

I got a chance to spend some time with my friend, Simi. We talked out the blogger lifestyle and had some really positive brainstorming sessions. It’s always good to be in the company of folks who get what you do. As we didn’t get a chance to do our usual coffee diaries series, so we decided to stop for coffee just before catching our train back to Manchester. We ended up at TAP Coffee, which was 15 minutes walk from Euston Station. There we enjoyed a nice cuppa in what looked like an American cafe. Afterwards, we headed to the train station where our train was delayed for at least 3 hours. We had to find alternative routes back home. Still, we had the most amazing time and look forward to visiting again. To see what we got up to, be sure to catch up on our latest vlog.WITH LOVE FROM LONDONTAP Coffee London***If you want to edit like me, you can! Get my Lightroom preset or grab a copy of my eBook here.***

November 12, 2017
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How to transition into full time blogging

For those of you who have been following my blog, you’ll know that I recently transitioned into full time blogging. Before I quit my full time job as a financial accountant, I was a little scared of not being able to get steady campaigns to keep me busy let alone meet my financial needs. Since then, I’ve found myself pretty busy balancing my blog and keeping up with campaign deadlines. I have worked with brands like Instagram, Pandora, Haig Club and very recently French Connection, to mention a few. Considering I don’t have what many folks today would class as a huge following, the question I keep getting asked is “how do you do it?”. Having made an assessment of my behaviour towards my blog in the past year, I’ve come up with 3 key things that I believe have led to the successful transition into full time blogging.

How to transition into a full time blogger

1. Perfect your craft

Before even considering quitting a job that is the source of your livelihood for something that can sometimes be  uncertain like blogging, you have to make sure you possess the skill set required to perform the job. This could be developing your writing skills as well as improving the quality of your imagery. I spent a lot of time in the last year honing my photography skills. I remember dedicating my evenings and weekends to this cause. I barely had a social life but it was the sacrifice I was willing to make in order to get to where I want to be. The result of this hard work will become evident in your work as you continue to develop your skills. There is no compromise with this especially if you want to stand out in your niche. If you’re looking to improve your photography skills, be sure to pick up a copy of my eBook “The Blogger Photographer”.

2. Learn to manage your time

Time management is a must. Without it you’ll fall behind on personal goals you’ve set yourself not to mention campaigns you’ve already agreed to. This best way to go about this is intelligent planning and prioritising. Don’t say yes to every blogger event or campaign you get invited to. Carefully sift through them for ones that align with your long term goals and dedicate time to them accordingly. Remember you’ll also need time to perfect your craft like we discussed in one above so be sure to make room for that as well. You’ll need to spend a vast amount of time creating content to build your body of work which you can reference to brands when putting forward a proposal. No brand wants to work with a blogger who rarely puts out content. The more you put out, the more you grow in terms of skills.

3. Establish key contacts

This is one of the most important thing you need to work on before going full time. Key contacts here would include other bloggers (people you can gain insights from and in some instances collaborate with), and PR/brand contacts (to propose campaigns and potential collaborations). Finding fellow bloggers to connect with is easier than most people think. When approaching a blogger, be it online or in person, make sure that you’re both in the same niche and stage of growth if not you could be perceived as a social climber when targeting more successful bloggers. This is not to say you can’t do the latter, just make sure your goals align and the quality of your work does too. Finding PR/brand contacts has become quite easy too thanks to LinkedIn. You can also build relationships at blogger events. To make sure you get invited to blogger events, consider switching to an Instagram business account so brands can email you directly, alternatively you can leave your contact email in your bio. Using hashtags local to you in your posts also helps. For example, I’m a Manchester based blogger and one of my key hashtags is #ManchesterBlogger. I’ve been able to build long term relationships with bloggers and PR/brand contacts by applying these things.

I hope you’ve found my blogger tips on how to transition into a full time blogger useful. Let me know in the comments what other topics you’d like me touch on. How to transition into a full time blogger***If you want to edit like me, you can! Get my Lightroom preset or grab a copy of my eBook here.***

November 9, 2017
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Party Looks Ideas

The girl in velvet; like an open book, she wore her heart on her sleeve for all to see. Still, there was something very curious about her. She sends home letters stained with red lipstick so everyone would know what a great time she was having. She didn’t particularly know how to dance, but that never stopped her from moving to the rhythm of life. Just like velvet, she is smooth with her words. She once willed it to conquer a childhood fear.

The girl in velvet; she understood the essence of time. With every passing season, she found a reason to wear it. Choosing colours to suit her mood. Pink was for days she visited the old and dusty bookshop, in search of hidden treasures, and had enough pocket change for peonies. Blush was for those special moments she spent with the one she loved. And black was perfect for any day, to show the strength she possesses despite her fears. Something about embracing life makes her feel very hopeful. She can see her story unfold, after all, she’s dreamt of it a thousand times over. Love remains at the core of what she does. She understands that without passion, there’ll be no spark.

The girl in velvet; she takes her relationships very seriously. Her mother once told her, “relationships are like hand woven blankets, with no two ever the same. But trust remains the thread that pulls it all together into something beautiful”. This stuck with her. And with every friendship, she’s discovered a new side to her. One that can sometimes be full of surprises. The girl in velvet; she lived so she could add more pages to her story.French Connection Bijou Stitch Strappy JumpsuitAutumn/Winter Party Look IdeasFrench Connection Ines Suiting JacketFrench Connection Core Chunky Clasp Link BraceletWhat To Wear To A Christmas PartyFrench Connection Autumn Winter 2017 PiecesIn this post, I am styling pieces from French Connection’s latest collection. As we’re fast approaching Christmas, this is the best time to put together new looks for the busy party season. The first look is something I would wear to a Christmas party. I love how the jumpsuit gives off  a 70s vibe and when paired with the jacket, makes it quite formal. The second look gives off the feeling of a fairytale unfolding in New York. The coat is very Autumn/Winter appropriate, paired with the tulle skirt, it added a lot of character to the outfit. It was put together as a date night look. Some pieces never go out of style, like velvet. It can come in the form of a very chic jumpsuit, a blazer or even an accessory like a choker. It’s one of those fabrics that tend to work really well with other textiles which gives you options when putting together an outfit. You’ll sometimes find velvet pieces which have been designed with other fabrics such as tulle and silk, resulting in a very unique piece. For more velvet style inspiration, take a look at these pieces by French Connection. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post as much as I’ve enjoyed creating it. Let me know which looks you’re going for this season and which pieces never go out of style for you.French Connection Leonie Faux Fur Jacket French Connection Alisa Multi Buckle Ankle BootsFrench Connection Luna Sparkle Midi Skirt What To Wear For A Date NightFrench Connection Reversible Rain MacDate Night Look Ideas For Autumn WinterFrench Connection AW Party Looks Ideas

ONYI – LOOK 1

Ines Suiting Jacket

Bijou Stitch Strappy Jumpsuit

Fearne Suede Ankle Wrap Heels

Bee Charm Necklace

Core Chunky Clasp Link Bracelet

Dream Multi Rings

Chain Strap Bag

 

ONYI – LOOK 2

Luna Sparkle Midi Skirt

Leonie Faux Fur Jacket

Clee Crepe Light Vest Top

Alisa Multi Buckle Ankle Boots

 

CRAIG

Leather Chelsea Boots

Reversible Rain Mac

Rebound Stretch Extra Skinny Jeans

Cotton Wool Mixed Stitch Jumper

***Sponsored post***

November 6, 2017
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Welcome back to another round of the stories behind our daily Instagram uploads. I can’t believe we’re on the fourth one. And I’m totally enjoying doing it. Right, let’s get into the stories.This shoot was a bit of a funny one. While strolling through town, we came across this bike by the sidewalk on a busy street and thought it would be the perfect prop for a street style self portrait. To my right were office folks gathering and peaking through the window, trying to figure out what the hell we were doing. To our front was another very curious audience who couldn’t stop staring even as they crossed the street. There was one man in particular pretending to have gone past but kept sticking his head out from the corner of the building and peaking, to make sure he understood what was really going on. Now that cracked me up big time, lol. Although uncomfortable, we weren’t giving up. Looks like our desire to succeed was greater than our fear of failure.It was a very busy day. We had a key campaign deadline to meet which saw us spend all day in front of our computer, editing and writing. I remember going back and forth between the kitchen and my office desk for tea and toast. To keep up with our daily Instagram upload, I had decided that I’d post a photo from a previous shoot. But later that evening, I received a blogger mail with this cute denim short as part of it and I couldn’t resist trying it on. I loved it so much so that I asked Craig to take a picture of me wearing it while I went about my tea and toast routine. I didn’t think much of the picture at the time but somehow it managed to become a hit on Instagram as it got a lot of engagement. These shots were taken while we were roaming The Northern Quarter in town on what would appear to be a sunny autumn day. To get the self portrait, we had to put or camera on the road. Which was quite the risky thing to do as a car could have easy swung by and knocked it over. Thankfully, it wasn’t quite a busy road. We did get a lot of folks look at us like we were crazy, lol. Being a self proclaimed plant lady, I thought this plant shop where I usually frequent for house plants was a lovely backdrop for a shoot and so I asked Craig to get a shot of me stood outside of it. This shot was taken as part of the new Bio Oil packaging campaign. While out shooting with my close friend Mimi, I thought it would be a good idea to make use of the flowers (which formed part of the shoot) and they seemed to fit in pretty well. To get the full story check out my recent blog post titled “There’s Something About Mimi”.Still exploring more of Manchester, we went out on this day and found ourselves at the arts and crafts centre in The Northern Quarter. It had beautiful shops full of hand made unique pieces. Craig fell in love with a quaint little coffee shop where we ordered a latte and tea to drink. While enjoying his latte, I thought it’d be nice to grab a candid shot of him and so I did.

***If you want to edit like me, you can! Get my Lightroom preset or grab a copy of my eBook here.***

November 1, 2017
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Welcome to another week in black and white series. Like I did with the last post, I’ll be focusing on the key message from our week. Going about our daily affairs (which usually consists of shoots and catching up on blog work), it kind of hit us that we were living out our dreams. It got me thinking, how did we get here? Arriving at the answer was fairly straightforward. It was very obvious to see how we got here. How did we get to the point of quitting our jobs to focus on our blog? It turns out that we found the time to do a lot of blog related work when we both had full time jobs. I remember my routine quite well. I’d be at my desk, day dreaming about blog content and looking forward to learning new editing techniques on YouTube. When I actually got back in from work, I would practice editing until I was exhausted. During the summer months, we would shoot almost everyday after work. Our weekends were classed work days too. Slowly but surely, every minute spent learning and growing started to add up. Before we knew it, friends and strangers would approach us, asking photography related questions. We had somehow become experts on the subject matter.

The more we did, the more we got seen. This translated into brands finding us and wanting to work with us. Our success thus far hasn’t been built overnight. We knew absolutely nothing about blogging when we first started out but we were hungry to learn all we could. We found the time amidst our busy schedule because it mattered enough for us to do so. It turns out that finding time to do the things you’re really passionate about is the start to living the life you want and dream of. If you can see it in your mind, you can definitely achieve it. The beauty of life is that it’s never too late to start. I’ll be the first to admit that it might not seem easy in the beginning, but you at least have to try to give yourself a fighting chance by trying and doing.

October 31, 2017
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I read somewhere that “the best friendships are those that have survived the test of time, conflict and change”. For the past month I’ve been thinking of ways to collaborate with other bloggers in my niche and what better way to start this than with a friend who I can certainly say has become a sister (fact; we’ve been told we look alike on many occasions). There’s something about Mimi that makes everyone she spends time with see her as their best friend. I can’t count the amount of people who have claimed her as their bestie but between us, I’m the number one bestie, lol. Mimi is the kind of girl when you continuously tell her about someone will immediately act like she’s known the person a lifetime upon meeting them. She just knows how to make you feel welcome. I’ve actually known Mimi for over twenty years now. We both went to the same boarding school back home in Nigeria. She was the social prefect which shouldn’t come as a surprise given her personality, and I was a house captain. The funny thing is that we weren’t all that close back then but we were very cordial and social towards each other whenever we found ourselves in the same space.Mimi moved to the UK right after we graduated from secondary school. I remember seeing her pictures on Facebook and thinking she was having a fabulous time over there which made me dream even more of visiting. Once I was done with university, I moved to the UK to further my career as a chartered accountant. I was residing in Birmingham at the time and Mimi in Manchester. We kept in touch and met up a few times. Then that turned into calling each other everyday and now we can’t stop being in each other’s lives. I have very fond memories of Mimi coming to visit me in Birmingham and helping me with my paper rounds (yes, being a paper girl was my part time job). A couple of weeks ago I wrote (in the post titled “how the law of attraction saved my life”) about how a close friend let me move in with her and her family when I was going through a rough patch. Well, you guessed right. That friend was Mimi. She was the reason why I packed up and moved down to Manchester. We had the most amazing times. One time we went to a popular roof top bar  as spinsters in a bid to treat ourselves to a girls night out. We got all dressed and took pictures to share on Facebook (that was before Instagram was well known). We were quite the broke spinsters as we opted for the 2 for 1 cocktail deal. Once we were done with our drinks (which by the way took less than 15 minutes), we couldn’t wait to leave as we were bored out of our minds. We ended up ordering some Chinese to the bar then took a taxi home, lol. Thanks to Mimi, I’ve had the experience of being kicked out of the cinema as she’s one to converse and laugh out loud during a movie screening. She’s always quick to cry even at the most silly things. One example of this was when we were both catching up on Glee over dinner, in the episode, one of the students was turned down for a job they really wanted and happened to take the rejection quite well considering how badly they wanted it. The next thing I heard was Mimi nearly choking on her food from crying as she was upset about him not getting the job. Knowing Mimi, I can’t promise that she won’t cry when she reads this post cause that’s just the kind go girl she is. I guess that’s why I feel like I can open up to her as she’s not afraid to show her emotions.When we planned this shoot, little did we know that our faith would be tested. Mimi just acquired a bike and it was the obvious prop to use for the shoot. We chose our outfits carefully to compliment the bike. We made flower arrangements with the flower shop next to my Church. We were in very high spirit, and so was Craig who was excited to shoot us. Come the day of the shoot, it was pouring it down. All of Manchester was wet. It turned out we had planned our day without taking into account the weather. We ended up leaving my apartment around 2pm for a shoot that was scheduled to take place before noon (shows our concept of timing). Once we arrived at our shoot location, it turned out to be closed due to a private event taking place. We found a nearby pub where we stayed and ordered lunch while we gathered our thoughts. Craig feeling quite sorry for us said “I’ve just looked at the weather and tomorrow seems to be a better day, can I suggest you ladies move your shoot till then?”. I was feeling nearly defeated at the time but something in me kept saying this is just a test, you can make this work. So I said, let’s look at the weather by the hour. Upon checking, we could see that the rain would stop within half an hour with the rest of the day being just cloudy. You could see the excitement on my face once we discovered this. We enjoyed our meal and set out with the intention to go to a new location. On our way there, Mimi spotted this beautiful road with trees on both sides which looked quite magical. She said “What is this place?”, and I screamed “This is exactly what I pictured in my head when we thought of this shoot. Stop the car!” By then then rain had completely stopped and we still had time to shoot before it got dark. We wasted no time playing around and shooting. We even had time to get some footage for a short film which you can watch here. Seeing how everything came together in the end was so rewarding. It felt like we had yet again conquered another challenging day, making it even more memorable.

ONYI / JUMPER – M&S / JEANS – NA-KD (use code Onyi20 for 20% off) / SHOES & BAG – PINKO

MIMI / BERET – H&M / JUMPER – RALPH LAUREN / JEANS – TOPSHOP / SHOES – ASOS / BAG – FCUK***If you want to edit like me, you can! Get my Lightroom preset or grab a copy of my eBook here.***

October 30, 2017
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This week was a very pleasant one. We got blessed with a few sunny days in Manchester given the very stormy weather we experienced last week. On this particular day, we were more prepared than usual. We knew it was going to be a beautiful day with lots of sunshine so we started our day pretty early. We knew exactly where we were going to as we had been there before. A pub with a back garden that reminded us very much of Mykonos thanks to the white and blue theme, not the mention the seaside aesthetics adopted. You could say we were in holiday mode as we dressed to match the mood of the day. Stepping out in denim and knit, we were ready to catch our train to in East Didsbury to enjoy some tea and coffee in Ye Old Cock Inn.

As it was early afternoon on a weekday, the outdoor space was empty which meant we could roam free. And roam free we did! I had some tea while Craig enjoyed a nice cup of coffee. We were feeling so at home that we forgot to take pictures of our beverages until we were done drinking, lol. Afterwards, we wandered round taking pictures and even got some footage of our day which we pulled together for an Instagram story. We headed back to the train station where we soaked in some more sunshine. I could see our train fast approaching and it looked like it would make for a great shot. Craig wasted no time making sure we captured it. It was really lovely going out on what felt like a city exploration made even more memorable thanks to the glorious weather.

ONYI / DENIM JACKET & JEANSNAKD (USE CODE Onyi20 for 20%off) / SHOES & BAGPINKO

CRAIG / JEANS SHORTS – NEW LOOK / JUMPER – NEXT / TRAINERS – ALDO***If you want to edit like me, you can! Get my Lightroom preset or grab a copy of my eBook here.***

October 29, 2017
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