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mossonyi

The most beautiful girl in the world; she wore her dreams on her wrist and like a charm she made them come true. She paid no mind to the naysayers. If she could see it, she could reach for it. She packed an almost empty suitcase not forgetting the two things she needed to store her memories – a journal and a really old camera. She sent postcards home and stamped it with kisses so that everyone would know she was fine even in the most trying of times. Seeing more of the world has opened her eyes to so many possibilities that made her dream even more.

Somehow she found herself in Manchester. A city whose symbol is the worker bee. It didn’t take long for her to become one. Off to the  nine to five she goes every weekday. But she must remember to live her passion afterwards. The night is full of work and she buzzes with excitement at the hopes of doing only the things she loves, until morning comes and she must work again. Not for long she says, as she dreams of the white house she’s always wanted by the beach with a boat to match. Something about sand in her shoes makes her feel grounded. And the wave of the ocean is like music to her soul. She rides the tides just as she knows how – dreaming that everything will be okay. After all, in this journey she found out more about herself, discovered her passion and fell in love all over again. Giving up is not an option. How else can she help the other girl who doesn’t know the strength she possesses within? The most beautiful girl in the world; she lives so that others can live, she loves so that others can love, and she dreams so that others can dream.

This blog post has been sponsored by Links of London, a luxury jewellery brand that allows you to create pieces that are personal to you. In this post I am wearing the Sweetie Sterling Silver & Diamond Pave Bead Bracelet personalised with the addition of three charms that hold meaning to me. The first being the Sterling Silver Postcard Charm, the second the Sterling Silver Bee Charm and the third the 18kt White Gold & Diamond Anchor of Hope Charm. I find that it helps to always have something that reminds you of the things that make you happy. That way it’s easy not to lose sight of it. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post. Let me know what charms you would go for and why if you were to personalise a bracelet.

May 8, 2017
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It feels like it’s been a while since I did a style post. I can definitely say spring has come around judging by the weather this past week. With much sunshine coupled with wind (as to be expected when living in Manchester) and parks  covered in petals of blossoms, I thought I’d share an outfit that will always be in season when it comes to spring. Pink is definitely the colour of spring as it elegantly matches the trees in bloom. Made with ruffles, the outfit tells a different story. Perhaps one that reminds me of my trip to Mexico where I saw beautiful ladies adorned in ruffles dancing with so much passion. It’s hard not to see life the same way – a dance of passion. I try to remind myself everyday that life is what I make of it. And so I ask myself ever so often, will my dance be remembered just as I recalled the dance from seven years ago or like smoke in the air will it be forgotten once the fire is out? I never hope for the latter. I try my best to keep the flame burning within where it is hard to quench. In my quest to stay alight, here I am adorned in pink ruffles and denim to match. A statement made to show spring just the stuff I’m made of. A great man once said “live your life with passion”. That, I intend to do.

Top – Lasula (enjoy 24% off using code MOSSONYI)

May 6, 2017
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As I said before, my trip to Nigeria was one to reconnect with family. As I’m originally from Nigeria, this post won’t completely be from a tourists’ perspective but I will try my best to give clear instructions about navigating your way around if you do decide to visit. My family resides in Abuja which is the city where I was born and raised. With my last visit being circa six years ago, I decided it was to go back to the motherland. We thought Easter would be a great time to visit as most people would be on holidays which would also give us the chance to travel to our country home in Anambra State.

The Journey

With Abuja airport being closed down for renovations we had to fly through Lagos which was a first for me. If you’re like me who likes things to work as they should, then my advice to you would be to avoid going through Lagos. The system at the airport is designed to extort money from you. The whole experience reminded me a lot of some of the reasons why I left Nigeria. There were so many unnecessary checks and stops with each person asking at every chance “anything for me?” Another term for “do you have some money for me?” It is very disgusting how people paid to do a job get to behave in such an unprofessional manner. I made a point of it not to give them a penny. If you do, you’ll end up broke even before your holidays begin. The unnecessary checks means your flights will always be delayed and not to mention how poor the state of the airport is. Thank goodness we only spent a night there. The following day we flew to the East to head to my village in Anambra State. There we spent Easter with extended family members and captured static and motion pictures for my blog and vlog. We really enjoyed our time here as we were surrounded by nature and great food. If you’re looking to explore Nigeria as a foreigner, I’d advise you have a trusted Nigerian indigene to accompany on your travels as it’ll make navigating your way a lot easier. We visited Nkwo market, the Church and took long walks. We felt very much at home here.

Transportation

Sticking with one driver to take you around is always a good idea. Taxis seem to be the main mode of transportation in cities like Lagos and Abuja. Lagos has Uber which means you can download the app and get exploring. We were lucky to have my kid brother assume the role of our chauffeur in the city. You have the option to take public transportation like buses or shared mini yellow cabs. My brother told me about the existence of a train line which operates from Abuja to Kaduna where we initially planned on going to spend some time at Kajuru Castle but couldn’t make it in the end. We hope to hop on this train during our next visit.

Things To Do

Abuja was our next stop. A place where we would spend a lot of our time. Having arrived after a road trip lasting at least eight hours, we were in the company of immediate family. And for the first few days we were stuck at home babysitting my sister’s kids who were a handful to say the least. To avoid not exploring the city, we had to come up with a way of incorporating the kids into our movements. We took them swimming at Transcorp Hilton Hotel which has a lovely atmosphere. You’ll find a lot of tourists here and most likely pay at least five times the amount if you so decide to purchase anything. If you’re on a budget like myself then you’ll be better of eating and drinking before visiting the poolside or bringing some light snacks and drinks along with you. At night time you can enjoy good food, live music and drinks at the hotel bar. Just beware of how unprofessional the artists are as they’ll approach you for some money, lol. Another spot to hang out at night is Beer Ban where you can play pool as well as eat and drink. Something worth noting is that smoking is permitted indoors in Nigeria so you’ll be inhaling a lot of secondhand smoke while in bar type spots. Abuja is full beautiful of streets with big mansions but I wanted to capture the essence of it’s roots which is why my images showcase more of the culture. My brother took us to Life Camp where we found a Fulani settlement with beautiful hut houses. We also visited the Arts and Crafts Village where I purchased a lovely straw hat for the equivalent of £2. It is the best place to buy hand made cultural pieces. Be sure to always bargain as the prices aren’t set in stone. We also visited the Zoo. Although, I must say, the scenery was more exciting than the animals we encountered.

Food

We enjoyed a lot of good food. Lucky for us we had a Suya joint right next to our family home. Suya is basically roasted spicy meat accompanied with rich organic vegetables. Craig thought this to be the best meal ever. I also got him to try one of my personal favourite, Sharwama. It is a popular Lebanese delicacy made in Abuja. It’s a crunchy wrap made with well spiced meat, vegetables and mayonnaise sauce. The best place to get tasty Sharwama is Chicken Capitol. There are so many restaurants offering Nigerian delicacies which you come across while going about. If you prefer continental meals, then places like Chicken Republic might have you covered.

My Experience

All in all, going to Nigeria was a great experience for me. I got a chance to reconnect with family and show Craig my roots. I used to have a love hate relationship with the country but challenged myself to revisit the things I once used to hate to see where I stand. I’m happy to say I’ve made peace with it all. Find out more about my journey in my Nigerian vlog.

April 29, 2017
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I got the chance to try out the Glitzbox jewellery subscription service which is due to launch in May. This is in essence a jewellery loan service with an option to buy if you like it enough to keep it. As a jewellery lover myself, I  found it all very exciting. The best part of this service is that it is tailor made to meet your needs. How is this done? Upon subscription, you’re asked a series of questions which include imagery to help determine your taste in jewellery. Based on your responses, a jewellery box will put together for you by the Glitzbox team which adds an element of surprise. When I received my jewellery, I was quite pleased to see how well the pieces selected matched my taste. The box came with relevant information such as the details of the jewellery designers and timescales for returns and purchases. The beauty of it all is that you’re not tied to a contract and you can pause your subscriptions whenever you feel the need to which gives you a lot of flexibility. There are currently four subscription packages available, offering a variety of jewellery and benefits. To see the packages on offer, please visit the Glitzbox website.

In my box came some badass rock star earrings by Ros Millar Londona very leafy ring by Ivy + Mango, a bracelet by Mei-li Rose and one of my absolute favourites, an initial engraved ring and necklace by Crux London. Also included in the box was £30 worth of credit to purchase any piece if I so choose to. Depending on the subscription package you opt for, this can go up to £60, allowing you to invest in unique pieces. I am currently enjoying a very sunny break in Nigeria and these pieces have blended in very nicely with the aesthetics. I am very much looking forward to receiving my next GlitzboxAs you folks are always so lovely, Glitzbox are offering three of you £5 off your first subscription package when you use discount codes Mossonyi1, Mossonyi2 and Mossonyi3. Don’t forget to tag the Glitzbox team on social media when you receive your pieces.GLITZBOX JEWELLERY SUBSCRIPTION

April 21, 2017
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My week has been full of travelling. We first set off last Wednesday night by train to London where we caught our flight to Nigeria the following morning. Only that we had to first make a stop in Instanbul and then board a flight to Lagos. We arrived Nigeria on Thursday night. I had almost forgotten what it was like to be here until we quickly got reminded by a hustler at Murtala Mohammed airport who wanted $50 from us in the name of “fast track”. You’ll be pleased to know that we did not succumb to his antics. Within two hours in the country, I asked Craig his impression and he said all I can see is everyone exchanging money for something, lol. Welcome to Nigeria! We spent the night in Lagos where my brother met up with us. He ordered the best Dominos pizza ever. It was called the chicken suya pizza. The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel and headed to the airport where we had to board our flight to Enugu, again, not without a lot of kerfuffle. We arrived at the airport to find a delay with the check in due to the bizarre luggage control system. After checking in at the counter, you still need to follow your luggage to make sure it gets checked in. After clearing security and arriving at the plane, you still need to make sure your luggage arrived to be boarded on the plane. We had to identify our luggage before taking our seats. In the end our flight was delayed for an hour. While flying, Craig got a chance to see Nigeria from the sky and was mesmerised by how beautiful it looked.

We arrived at Enugu after less than an hour from take off where we caught up with my other brother who drove us down to my hometown, Alor in Anambra State. There we met my parents and other extended family who had been awaiting our visit. As a kid, we usually traveled down there almost every year for Christmas. I remember dreading it because it was such a long drive and I found it quite dull and deserted. But after living in Manchester all these years and taking up photography, I have started to appreciate nature a lot more. We stayed at our family home which was surrounded by different kind of trees. Craig was excited to explore the town and took long morning walks with my brother who showed him Nkwo market and other monuments. We had a lot of guests coming to the house to see us. There was loads to eat and drink and we didn’t waste any time tucking in. It was good to see really old family photos which brought back a lot of memories. On Easter day, I and Craig got shown how to hold a live chicken which was the one of highlights of my visit. Craig got to see animals he had never seen before and hear the crickets at night. He also experienced proper rain which he thought was very meditative as it made beautiful sounds when it hit the roofs and tree leaves surrounding us. On Easter Monday, we were back on the road. This time heading to Abuja, the city where I was born and raised which is where I’ll see you lot in next weeks posts. 

April 19, 2017
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I’m shedding my skin in Alor London. Yes, that’s right. Every year just after winter I tend to shed the dry skin that was brought about by the cold weather and it usually takes a couple of months to lose them all. This time this isn’t the case. Seeing as I’m in Nigeria at the moment, the tropic weather has been nothing but good to my skin. It’s been extra warm and humid. I’m currently in my hometown where my parents were born known as Alor aka Alor London (although I couldn’t tell you how this name came about) located in Anambra state. I thought it’ll be nice to show Craig my roots and what better to do it than to take him back to where it all began. We’re surrounded by a lot of nature. Standing outside our bedroom balcony we’re blessed with the view of beautiful orange trees and a big ole ditch. Being surrounded by nature means I have very limited access to the internet. I’m having to share my brother’s mobile phone data which he turns into a hot spot which in turn slows it down. So getting this blog post up might be quite the challenge but I’m very determined to stick to my schedule.

After taking in the view, I knew I had to start capturing the beauty of it all. I got dressed a vey summer appropriate Parisian Bardot top together with my mom jeans and loaned my brother’s straw hat which was gifted to him by a guest at least ten years ago. Our balcony was the starting point. It somehow reminds me of Italy even though I’ve never been. Something about the white pillars and the orange trees made me feel so at peace. When we were done, I asked my brother to drive us around so we could take in more of this wonderful place. We stumbled upon a gate with overflowing branches and I knew I had to take some shots there. The funny thing was that as I child we used to visit once a year for Christmas and I mostly dreaded it cause I thought it was dull and remote. Having grown up and taking up photography, I was longing to visit again cause I now know what I thought was dull and remote was in fact peaceful and bliss. I’m looking to enjoy the remaining days we have left here before we head to the city where I was born and raised, Abuja. Until next time, wishing you all a happy Easter!🍃☀️🍃Alor London 🍃☀️🍃

April 16, 2017
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There’s actually Paris in Manchester. The truth is that there are different countries in Manchester. You don’t always need to travel to a particular place to be reminded of it.  Manchester as a city is very diverse with a number of languages spoken by very eclectic individuals full of character. It is very easy to get distracted by the city life. Albeit, it doesn’t come close to the hustle and bustle of London. Keeping an open eye will always lead you to a destination that is reminiscent of somewhere in the world. On what would seem a very cold and windy spring weekend, I was lucky to find the outdoor seating area of Cote Brasserie (a very French restaurant) quite empty as folks sat inside to avoid the cold.

Of course I’m never one to let not so great weather get in the way of getting that shot. It was a given that I had to capture my outfit which blended in very nicely in this beautiful Parisian outdoor setting. Coffee ordered, which arrived with complimentary filtered water, I was ready shoot. Showcasing the killer piece that is this show stopper Asos fedora hat, you could see the Bohemian Nigerian come out again. Wearing  my favourite Ego mules which are perfect for spring, paired with skinny black jeans and a tank top, my light coloured denim jacket was the perfect shield from the very cool breeze. In the end, I was one happy Parisian. And now I’m looking forward to exploring more of Manchester to be transported to even more destinations.
Paris in Manchester

April 12, 2017
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