Me lately: 5 Loves and a life decision.

March 28, 2015 Naija girl next door 11 Comments

   Hey you guys, I hope you're still there.
I haven't posted nearly as much as I've been wanting to lately. The explanation is simple:

    My work in the past three weeks has been the most stress I've ever had to undergo. Makes all my previous postings seem almost chilled in comparison. I have lost weight, my clothes don't fit, my skin is rebelling and I don't even care.
     I've been in the newborn ward and the babies... they are draining my body of everything I didn't even know I had. For two years now I've been trying to decide whether to specialise in Paeds (kids) or psychiatry. A really major life choice for me.

Life Decision
    These three weeks have smeared black paint all over paeds in my mind.
The babies are cute, and when they respond to treatment and do well, JOY! Worth the stress without question.
 On the other hand, when they die it is heartbreaking. Breaking the news to the parents, especially the mum is the worst thing ever.
Another factor in this decision is the amount of work. As a student I didn't spend much time in the newborn ward; many people trooping in is not the best for them; so I didn't know how much work was involved.
The babies are so fragile, the ones born premature especially, so you cannot leave anything until the next day even if you think you might faint...then you start all over again the day after. Having to do this indefinitely during residency is a pill I cannot swallow.
So yeah, I will not be a Paediatrician.

That felt final. Sad, but I'm at peace with it. I haven't talked this much about work on this space ever...

   On a much much lighter note, the actual post I planned- my 5 loves. Some are new, others not so much. Nappyhaired did hers and reminded me it's been a while.

NGND Hearts:
1. Taylor Swift's Wildest Dreams

If someone had told me even last year that I would be rocking out to Taylor Swift's music, hard girl like me, I would have laughed and belched in their face. But here I am, hot on the heels of my love for Blank Space, loving and screaming along to Wildest Dreams. Who woulda thunk it? I'm definitely wide open to anything this girl does from now on.

2. Flats
Comfort has taken over these days. I'm losing my talent and skill with heels. Yes o, say nothing. Please don't tell my mum.
  And ooh, I filled out a questionnaire months ago that I had even forgotten about, only to get an email that I had won a pair of Thandos shoes for it. Who no like awuf? Can't wait to get mine. They're @teamthandos on Ig.

3. Minions

Kai, they are the cutest, funniest, most adorable creatures ever. Bunnies, kittens and puppies please step. I've loved them since Despicable Me 1, and ever since part 2 there's been a minion-shaped hole in my life, I want one so bad! Too bad they're fictional. I have a track record sha, I pined hard for Piglet from Winnie the Pooh back in the day...

4. Porsch stores

New fashion retailer set to launch in Nigeria. I was contacted by them, saw the pictures and I was really impressed. Like, I WANT. I'll put up a post on this in a minute.

5. Plain yoghurt

Why have I not ever had unsweetened yoghurt before now??
I got a 750ml bowl from Spar for N350 (that's like $1.70 these days right? Sheesh) and Dios mio, it is amaaazing with fresh fruit. I slice into a bowl and top with spoons of the cold creamy yoghurt. Yum! I was surprised how well it went with pawpaw. I'm on my second bowl, just had it with bananas tonight.

So what's going on with you lately? Big, little? What are you loving? You know I love when you talk to me.



Wash day files: hot oil treatment and my go-to style

March 20, 2015 Naija girl next door 21 Comments

The Wash Day Experience is 1!

This link-up has been amazing. I got introduced to blogs I may not otherwise have found.
    (Almost) every week I get to be part of a community of ladies with hair of every kind; long, short, natural, relaxed, transitioning- who do everything from a water-only regimen (yep. Absolutely nothing else) to inversions to using jell-o in their hair! (protein treatment).
    Everyone is so sweet and supportive. Picture bubbles and sparkles all over the place.
It also put my blog out there and my views went up up.
Shout out to KLP of who created this and to Jen of Congrats you guys.

   On to wash day
It was week 4, so it was time to shampoo.
 I had to do a hot oil treatment a few days after my last naughty protein treatment that left my hair a bit dry.
Hot oil treatment- I warmed up extra virgin olive oil over hot water and put it in my hair in sections, then twisted up each section afterward.
 Washed with African Naturalistas shampoo, conditioned with African Naturalistas Moisturising and Detangling Conditioner. It's actually an instant conditioner as par the instructions, but I used it as a dc for almost an hour and it clearly wasn't meant for that purpose, so it's my own fault my hair didn't get that freshly dc'd feel.
Oh well.
I noticed my strands clumped on contact with the conditioner. It was pretty where I have curls...

...not so much where my hair is relaxed

All the clumping went away when I rinsed. #tougherthannigerianhair
Leave in- my usual. Shea Moisture Restorative conditioner, sealed with my oil mix.

I let my hair dry unstretched because I was soooo tired and in the morning I was ready to panic because I had a convention to go for and my hair...

My SOS style has become to just pin both sides down. I'd fuss a lot and then do this, and it finally looks like I'm getting somewhere. It works on just about any length of hair so you should try it on one of your struggle hair days.
After pinning down the sides with bobby pins or styling combs, I

  •  leave the rest of my hair free usually when it is curled and defying gravity or
  • Coif the front and pin the ends under and out of the way as a protective style. This is my default since it's usually for work or
  • Make the back into a big flat twist and tuck the end under.

That's my sister in the background. I have no words. She's crazy

Even with my hair missing the dc effect I liked that it looked right and full of health so no complaints. I got some compliments, always good for the soul ya know.
 How was your wash day? Finally ready to join the link-up? Go on, you know you want to ;)


Restaurant Review: BBQ & Cravings

March 13, 2015 Naija girl next door 6 Comments

TGIF? Aren't you lucky. I'm spending mine in the hospital as I'm on call.

If you follow me on instagram you already know I like my food. I love to cook and I love to go out and discover food and have fun. Naija girl wakabout.
  Imagine my surprise when I had to find out online about BBQ & Cravings from Tuke's Quest.
It's plainly visible directly across the road from my street at 4th roundabout, Lekki so I'm facing it each time I go out and yet somehow I missed it.

After reading her review I stalked their instagram page, called the very next day and dragged the first friend I could reach for a late lunch.

I found the look of the place endearing. Small, bamboo-walled eating area with great pictures on the wall.

The Legend

Red gingham tablecloths with wet wipes and sanitizers. Thoughtful.

It's all about functionality, no frills. You would feel very comfortable in joggers and flip-flops. The seats are basic, no cushion for your bumbum. If you mind. I didn't even notice, this is an afterthought. I was too busy building anticipation after seeing all the testimonies on the white wall.

Now, the food. You pick a meal and it comes with your choice of two sides and a (soft) drink or water. I'm a foodie but I have been told I have a small stomach so my friend and I decide to start with one meal and get another if we want more. Waste not, want not.

We got the ribs, and picked the aromatic rice and potato wedges as our sides. The waiter said it'll be ready in 15 minutes. In Nigeria that could mean an hour, but he was right on time.
Together, we can defeat African Time *right hand on chest*.
Because you eat with your eyes first

Took this guy's advice and dug in
well, except for the rice
Oh my word. It was goooood. Everything on that plate was yum! I made like Tuke and poured the rest of rice on the barbecue sauce the ribs left behind.

     I want to try everything on the menu. This is my goal.
I don't even believe how filling it is. We were stuffed after round 1. If you're fitfam/not a big eater/counting calories/short on cash, try it out this way, or maybe you could pack it up if you leave anything on your plate.
I could probably finish a meal by myself because it's so good, but afterwards I would be useless, uncomfortable, whiny and most definitely unable to drive.
The whole meal came up to N3700 thereabouts, extra water included. Tres reasonable.

Of course I went again, bout a week ago (a week ago!)
It was friday night and much fuller than the last time. There was this large group of friends obviously having a good time, sharing gist and all. Then they started getting really loud. They got into an argument about politics and economics and got progressively louder until I couldn't even hear myself speak. On top of all that our order that we were told would take 10 minutes took about 40 minutes. I wouldn't have minded because I could see they had a lot of customers and I was in no rush, but the noise...
My friend who's usually sweet and accommodating was really irritated by the rancour and had to tell the waiter to urge them to shut the blip up keep it down.
   They did turn down the volume (thaaank you) with the occasional rise in passion and hence pitch. I thank God they don't serve alcohol. It could get mad.
Anyway the food came- we had picked the "Build your platter" option and chose Bbq turkey and turkey gizzards, with curly fries and aromatic rice as our sides. Another home run. Bill was N3000. I kid you not. Stuffed again.

The damage

Understand that your lipstick will be gone.
We finally managed to pick ourselves up (I didn't have to drive this time, yay!) and I let the car seat all the way down, stretched and curled up like a cat. The noisy group who had finished their food a long time ago got up right after we did. Why?

By the way, I had tequila shortly after and felt zilch. I'm usually very lightheaded but the food was a big cushion.
Next on my hit list: A burger. The pictures on instagram are insane.
What I want to see: A fuller drinks menu. Lemonade would be great, as would non-alcoholic chapman and plain unsweetened juice. Not everyone drinks soda. I don't.

Would you go? I'd love to know how you find it.  If you do, see if you can spot my writing on the wall signed naijagirlnextdoor :)

Eat well,


Naturals in The City 10

March 11, 2015 Naija girl next door 16 Comments

Hey guys, hope your week has been good so far.
I was at NITC 10 on Saturday and I was privileged to be a speaker! The theme was "Making the most of what you have".

I'll just apologise now for not taking enough pictures. In fact this time I took way fewer than previous meetups (CN3 and NITC 9) but have beefed up this post with pictures from posts by Nappyhaired, The kink and I and Nigerian and Natural so never fear.

The event started with AB, hostess with the mostest, breaking the ice. She got everyone talking about why and when they started their hair journeys.
Next up was me, talking about how to get more out of less with hair products. Uzo of Don't Touch the Hair was right on it, live tweeting the event and has it all here for ease. She's a rockstar.

Nkechi Ofoegbu of Formula Botanica spoke next. She's FFFlawless. I wish I could have captured her skin for y'all to see. She spoke my language with caring for your skin using natural stuff around you eg yoghurt, lemon, honey (aye aye!), clays, avocado, vitamin c, rosewater etc. I hung on her every word and took copious notes.

Fola of Folasoasis came up to me and I instantly recognised her. She's just beautiful, with a matching personality and sunny vibes.

Dr Patrick Ijewere's talk about making the most of our local foods. He spoke of highly nutritious foods we rarely pay attention to: Tiger nuts (aka Aya, Ofio, Aki hausa), Moringa, Dates (Dabino), and even about getting enough sunlight. I can give myself a pat on the back for eating local stuff (Right now, udaraaaaa) but I can always do better.

Lastly, Isioma raved about loving yourself and accepting your self, looks, hair, situation. She was upbeat and funny; and everyone was so hyped afterwards! I was hopped up on self loooove meself...

To round up, we had a hair panel made up of five of us, all with very different hair so we had the same questions, different answers. Goes to show how it's all about what works for you, no hard and fast rules.

I got so much out of this meetup. I couldn't spend time at the vendors', just picked up my order from The Kink and I stand (you can now shop here) which was manned by guys! Big ups to the men that get involved in hair matters.

I don't even know how I missed a free hair consultation
I had a great chat with another Sandra (Hey girl!), she's awesome, as people called Sandra tend to be :p :p

Also met Bolu. Just lookadat face, hair, style, dimple...
AB and Bolu

 If you weren't there this time, try and make it to the next one in a few months.
Until next post...



Two wash days and a perm rod set

March 05, 2015 Naija girl next door 13 Comments

   I promise I've been washing my hair even though I haven't posted two wash days. I was extremely naughty my last wash day and I've come to report myself to you guys.

First wash day
That was week 2 of my regimen and I picked ayurveda because it's been so long.
My old twistout was a mess
 I finger detangled with oil before I began.

       Added a few tablespoons (total) of amla, shikakai, methi and bhringraj to warm milk (creamier than with water) + 1 tbsp honey + coconut and olive oils + a teaspoon of castor oil as par the Hairlista challenge.
Massaged into my hair and scalp for an all-in-one strengthening and cleansing treatment.
I rinsed out after an hour. I wanted to get my hair in a bun/ponytail, not an easy feat with hair 15 months post relaxer... so I took advantage of the running water to rake through and get my hair together.
 My hair was missing that soft feel that conditioner gives as ayurvedic treatments are not meant to soften, but it was stronger and I was happy.
Tshirt dried, applied my Shea Moisture Restorative Conditioner and sealed with my oil mix.
Put hair in a ponytail and pinned flyaways.

I wore in a bun for almost a week then did a perm rod set. Yes I got perm rods =D.
3 packs of grey and 2 packs of white (12 in a pack). I need one more pack. Had to put in 4 tiny bantu knots when I ran out of rods

2nd wash day
Week 3: It was supposed to be another all-in-one with the SM Purification masque, but I also included in my regimen that I will do protein treatments as needed. My relaxed ends were starting to get this "why-bother, tired-of-life" look- thin, stringy, no volume whatsoever.
Protein treatment: I had yoghurt which adds both protein and moisture, so I mixed about half a cup with one egg. I added nothing else because I had planned to wash and deep condition anyway.
I covered for an hour with a plastic cap and then washed with Shea Moisture Red Tea and Babassu baby wash [reviewed] on my scalp alone. The runoff cleansed my hair and afterwards my hair felt really good.
    My ends were revived and my hair didn't have the hard-ish feeling that comes with an egg treatment so I *confession time* skipped my dc and even my leave-in conditioner. *Hides*
Whaat? I only wanted to enjoy the volume and not have it weighed down. :(
Ok ok, I was actually lazy.
I sealed my damp hair with my Savvy & Chic Shea Buttercup and it felt decent. I have been doing simple updo's for work ever since.
These were 4 large, roughly done flat twists with bobby pins in place to make sure no scalp shows.

Why you should never skip your dc after a protein treatment- I didn't retain much moisture this week as a result and I've had a little more breakage from the dryness.
When I wrote this last night I was doing a hot oil treatment to remedy my situation.  More about that next wash day post.

How was your wash day? Join The Wash Day Experience to share.



Going Organic | Product Review: Shea Moisture Red Tea & Babassu Wash and Shampoo

March 02, 2015 Naija girl next door 2 Comments

Hello fine people... How are you guys doing?

   This is a review of a product I've been using on myself for months- full name is Shea Moisture Red Tea & Babassu Baby Head-to-toe Wash and Shampoo w/ carrot oil and shea butter.  Yes it's meant for babies.
Mine says Red Bush instead of Tea, and mine doesn't have "Protect & Soothe" at the bottom. I guess they altered the packaging.

Price: Around $10 if you're lucky enough to buy in the US. I got mine at The Kinky Apothecary for N2700, best price I've seen. (With the current exchange rates, that's now somewhere in the realm of $13 ).
Packaging: 355ml/12oz in a short, stout, squeeze bottle. The waterproof layer of the label is starting to separate-

Smell: It's ok. I expected heaven (from the few reviews I found) but it just smells like a cross between tea and soap. Good thing is: it's a mild scent and it smells nothing like "baby".
Colour and consistency: pale champagne colour in the bottle, clear when it's poured out on your palm. More watery than I'm used to but doesn't make a mess at all.

Ingredients - beautiful.
Deionized Water, Decyl Glucoside (Coconut Oil), Lauroyl Lactylate (Palm Kernel), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Orbignya Oleifera (Babassu) Seed Oil, Daucus Carota
Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Aspalathus lineraris (Rooibos) leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Aloe Vera), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Guar, Essential Oil Blend, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower (and) Lonicera Japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle) Flower Extract.
      *Certified Organic Ingredient
  So it's all-natural and chemical-free but not all-organic.
Boasts a long list of NO's

"Bathe skin gently with this sulfate-free ultra-moisturizing organic Shea Butter body wash and shampoo. Soothing Aloe Vera, moisturizing Babassu Oil, and healing Rooibos extract cleanse and nourish baby's
delicate hair and body."

Straightforward. Apply small amount, lather, rinse.

My Assessment
Cleansing- It's really mild. So mild that I use it to wash my FACE. My highly sensitive face... and it gets off my makeup, except eyeliner. I got none of those my usual reactions to cleansing products. It leaves my skin very clean minus that tight, stripped feel. Same for my hair; no tangles or dryness.
   Someone asked if it can be used as a clarifying shampoo. I would say yes. It's gentle but cleans thoroughly.

Cost effectiveness- It surprised me how a  little goes a looooong way. I only need a small drizzle on my sponge, I agitate it and it lathers richly. I've used it everyday for going on 4 months and it's only now about to get used up.

For my hair it doesn't lather as much when I use directly on my scalp which I don't mind; but if you do, swishing a little in a medium bowl of water makes it lather much more and is always more than enough to wash my whole head.

This is a personal preference. I like my face/body wash to do a little more than clean without stripping. I tend towards dry skin so I like to come out of the shower feeling like there was a little lotion involved. This wash won't disturb what your skin makes naturally, but it won't add any extra moisture.
If you prefer the perfectly pure feeling straight out of the shower, this is the one.
    As a shampoo, no complaints.

All in all, I am satisfied. I love that it's so mild a baby can use it daily, and how I only need this one product for my hair, face and body.
Definitely buying more from the SM baby line. I'll get the Raw shea one next by tomorrow or Wednesday.
Have you used this product before? Do you think you might want to try it?