A CONFUSED STATE OF MIND

summer time cotton parker

Now with the lighter mornings, I wake up with a jolt convinced I have overslept and it’s the middle of the afternoon. Exasperated by the ever changing weather which is constantly catching me out; umbrella, sunglasses, gloves and hat all squashed in my bag for fear any minute now it could rain, hail or be blazing hot sun, whilst on my walk my home from the office. The topic of conversation for the past week has been speculation as to when the clocks will change, it happens the same time every year, yet we all sit in fear of whether the clocks have “fallen” back or “sprung” forward, as if it’s a conspiracy to rob us all of an hour of sleep, I’m not sure as to why British Summer Time clock changes occurs (adds to Google list for later), but anything that messes with my sleep routine can’t be good. Even as I write this post it’s Sunday morning 27th March and the clocks have indeed change, so what time is it? Did my phone update automatically? Am I late or early? Who knows and what am I doing today?

 
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After checking my iPhone, iPad, the internet …. Oh and the microwave, I finally trust I actually know what time it is and remember it’s the Easter weekend.

 

My confused state of mind is illustrated in my sometimes chaotic outfit choices as I layer on random items of clothing when the temperature suddenly drops or the wind decides to literally sweep me off my feet. Case and point: Good Friday, I decided to go out shooting with my sister for her trainer (sneaker) blog “For The Love Of Kicks” in preparation for world Nike Air Max day, which is a thing apparently. The sun was out which seemed to surprise us all with temperature highs of 16 degrees when a few days ago we barley reached 4 degrees in the sun. But you need not worry about me as I was well pre-prepared, at the bottom of my bag was my classic Rayban’s and I threw on my favourite cotton parker …umbrella also packed just in case.

 

Look book My Magnolia Sky

Look book My Magnolia Sky

 

Topshop cotton parker, H&M stripped jersey top, ASOS Farleigh mom jeans, Nike Roshe Run trainers, Ray-Ban sunglasses and the ever faithful Jaxon hat.

 

BRITISH SUMMER TIME
I distressed my ASOS jeans myself, interesting evening with the cheese-grater.

 

Outtakes from my shoot  “For The Love Of Kicks”

 

for the love of kicks

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First time Supper Club

Jason's Little Kitchen

It’s Saturday night and I find myself in the depths on Maida Vale accompanied by my trusty friend Steph in search of an elusive parking space. The reason for our North-West London expedition, is we will be attending our first ever “Supper Club”. It’s one of those things I have often heard people speak about, but like the concept of eating Kale I don’t think I really understood. Steph in her wisdom had signed us up a month before and after the previous chaotic week; being a bridesmaid (more about that in my next post) I welcomed the chance for a relaxed Saturday, whilst being fed good food.

But what were we to expect, as I said my experience of Supper Clubs was limited/ non-existent, so with a quick google I found various definitions, including being described as:

“An underground restaurant, sometimes known as a supper club or closed door restaurant, is a social dining restaurant operated out of someone’s home, generally bypassing local zoning and health-code regulations”

“The overriding purpose of Supper Club is the consumption of meat and alcohol by like-minded individuals in a suitably comfortable environment.”

Well I can’t say the google search helped much, but we had paid in advance and nothing else planned, so off we went to Jason’s Little Kitchen Supper Club, in search of good food and company.

Jason owner/ creator and host describes the experience as:
“West African supper club based in London, which plans to bring and share authentic homemade West African dishes using organic and locally sourced ingredients”

We sat on communal tables, decorated in traditional Kente cloth and Ankara wax print fabrics that encouraged the interaction between diners, adding to the relaxed atmosphere as we discussed which wine is best served with Chin Chin.

We ate:

 

Jason's Little Kitchen

 

Ghanaian Tuna Pie

 

Jason little kitchen

 

Spinach Stew and Rump Steak, served with Yam and Plantain

 

 
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Chin Chin Crumble (Who knew such a thing existed?)

 

The food was impeccably presented, a welcomed surprise, being of West-African decent myself I am used to the “pile it high” method of serving food, presentation not being a top priority. However on this occasion each dish was thoughtfully presented the result being traditional Ghanaian cuisine, served in a gourmet fashion.

 

As an added bonus Preet Sahota of Edgmond Wines was on standby to offer expect advice as to the best South-African wines to accompany our meal. In answer to the previous question: KWV “The Mentors” Noble Late Harvest goes well with Chin Chin Apple Crumble, though be warned this wine is very sweet and may not be to everyone taste.

 

 

Overall it was a great evening, a mixed crowd average age ranging from late 20s to early 30s provided good conversation and interesting company. Not forgetting the whole restaurant wishing me a happy belated birthday, the highlight of my year thus far.

Jason's Little Kitchen

I will endeavour to attend again, any opportunity to support those bringing a positive light to Africa and if they feed me good food, even better!

The Jasons of the Kitchen
Jason's Little Kitchen
For more on Jason and his little kitchen see the website: jasonslittlekitchen.co.uk

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It’s my Birthday and I can cry if I want to….

My Magnolia Sky Birthday

Tales from the forgotten festive babies…

As I wake-up I instinctively reach for my iPhone to be confronted with a deluge of messages, as to today is actually my birthday. I quickly scroll through replying my thanks and appreciation surveying who actually remembered this year, the absent messages sometimes saying more than those who have sent me an essay of words.

I have mixed feelings about this day, which marks when I first entered the world. Along with the usual issues with getting older bringing you closer to the inevitable end, it’s a feeling of excitement and genuine dread, resulting in a ball of anxious energy that fills my stomach with butterflies and awkward knots. Sprinkled with those odd moments of sadness that tinge your day, you dare not mention for fear of being reprimanded by your friends and family “It’s your Birthday… cheer-up, you should be happy”

As my 30 *coughs* something Birthday falls upon the closing of the year in that strange lull between Christmas and New Year. When most are still recovering from their festive hangover and anticipating the New Year’s celebration, I’m quietly turning a year older.

That reminds me a special mention to all the festive babies, the forgotten few whose special day is often overshadowed by the birth of Jesus. “No I don’t want a joint Christmas and Birthday gift and no you can’t owe me one after you get paid in January and no I won’t be combining my party with the New Year’s celebration and finally no you can’t use that leftover Santa paper to wrap my gift.” My middle name Abiodun literally means being born during the festive period, another blatant reminder from my parents, anyway as usual I have grossly digressed, back to the point.

Christmas wrapping paper not acceptable for birthday gifts..

 

Christmas wrapping paper not acceptable for birthday gifts..

I can’t help but take a retrospective look at the last 12 months events. The highlights include my summer in Asia, finally setting-up my blog and building new relationships. I also think about the things I’m not too happy about, it’s hard not to think of everything I am yet to achieve. In this modern age of social media it’s too easy to measure your own success against the achievements of your peers.

I’m constantly confronted with the statement “by now I should have…..”
Been married, had a small litter of children, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, paid off my student loan, reached my goal weight, registered my nectar card. The list is long and deep, covering a range of topics, which cloud my thoughts on a daily basis. It doesn’t help with the added pressure of comparing oneself to the “modern women”, which includes looking like a 20 year old, while having perfect children, still dressing effortlessly fabulous and thighs that defy the laws of physics. All the while maintaining an amazing career and showing the rest of us you can have it all; I’m talking about you Beyonce!

Whenever I’m feeling this way I think of the Billy Joel song Vienna.
“Slow down, you’re doing fine
You can’t be everything you want to be
Before your time”

However rather than dwelling on the things I’m yet to do, or even may never do I will focus on what is actually within my control. Firstly by asking myself the following:

Three things I have learnt about myself this past year?
Three things I will be doing differently this coming year?

Answers to the above in my next post, now I’m off to eat cake without any guilt, because it is my Birthday and I can if I want to.

Thanks to all my friends and family who despite me do all they can to make this day special.

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LOOK BOOK: SUMMER FLORALS ON THE STREETS OF SHEUNG WAN

STREETS OF SHEUNG WAN

MY HK TRAVEL DIARY PART 2

Ok so it’s my first week and I have finally acclimatised to the time difference and the high humidity. Having also mastered the MTR metro system I feel confident moving around HK, however the only issue I have now is not really knowing where I should go. Living in London most of my life, there is not much of the city I haven’t seen, I’m used to finding the most obscure and random places that you won’t find on Trirpadvisor of Timeout. Whereas in HK I was the novice, therefore had to convince my work colleague to show me some of the places he would go in the city he calls home.

So we headed over to Sheung Wan, located on HK Island close to Central. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I would describe Sheung Wan, as traditionally nostalgic mixed with modern architecture which is synonymous with HK. The ladder multi-level streets and cobbled pavements add to the charm though keep in mind when selecting footwear (fashion flats would be a good choice).

I knew we would spend most of the day out and about so opted for an outfit that was comfortable and practical for the afternoon activities.

Today I wore Summer Florals: French Connection lime chiffon top, Debenhams cut-off washed jeans, New Look floral Kimono and River Island chunky gold sandals.

STREETS OF SHEUNG WAN

The multi level ladder streets, where old meets new

STREETS OF SHEUNG WAN

STREETS OF SHEUNG WAN

So much more to come My Hong Kong Travel Diary

AFRICA IN THE CITY

African Summer Festival 2015

It’s Saturday afternoon and I’m in a quandary as to what to do with the rest of my day, having dragged myself reluctantly to the gym for my weekly punishment I was feeling in an inspired mood to get out and about (any opportunity to hit the streets with the Nikon).
Several of my friends had told me to attend August in Africa Summer Festival, presented by The Africa Center at London’s Covent Garden, a celebration of all things amazing and African inspired. However central London on a Saturday isn’t one of my favourite things, especially since the week before I made the mistake of trying to shop the sales in Oxford Street on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Let’s just say the day ended with me having to express a few choice words to a complete stranger about the importance of common sense and decency. From that point I vowed never again.

I actually love Covent Garden, it’s an eccentric  mix of old London, mixed with modern shops and restaurants, however there is a reason I avoid it on any given Saturday, due to the very high volume of people in what is considered a very small area of space. It becomes a real challenge to traverse the streets to avoid collisions with tourists and general “out of towners”, whilst trying not to photobomb every other picture. Hence why my reluctance to attend the festival, however I needed to run a few errands, so as I was going to be in the area anyway it seemed rude not to attend, also an opportunity to celebrate the wonderfulness that is Africa.

Upon arrival in the Piazza we found a large stage, where DJ Oya Bun was currently playing an array of upbeat Afro Beats to keep the waiting crowd entertained. The atmosphere was relaxed and happy encouraged by the very fortunate good weather. As I said previously I hadn’t really intended on attending the festival so hadn’t checked the timings for the line-up, a quick google search later I realised we had missed a number of opening acts, which included; Ali Kamara, Simo Lagnawi, Bonga, Taalim and later in the evening Fuse ODG.

Undeterred we decided to explore the festival further, more importantly, do some shopping, which was perfectly timed as we managed to catch the beginning of an on the street fashion show, showcasing African inspired contemporary fashion, all put together by Vou Brown, fashion boutique located in North West London (I will be visiting in the near future)

Africa Summer Festival

 

 

The Men’s fashion did not disappoint

 

After the show we were able to shop the looks straight off the cobbled catwalk. My purchase of choice being an Ankara print turban, for those days when my hair is not looking quite ready for outside eyes and fabric covered earrings by Gitas Portal to add to my already too large collection.

African Summer Festival 2015

 

Overall the afternoon turned out to be a fun day it was nice to see young and old experiencing Africa’s finest. Showing the continent is more than a news headline but is rich with colour, culture art and fashion in its many evolving forms. Also a great precursor to next week’s event of Africa Fashion Week London, which I’m sure many of you will be attending.

Let me know if you attended the festival, your comments and feedback  are always welcome. Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and follow me @mymagnoliasky

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MY HONG KONG ADVENTURE PART 1

MY HONG KONG

Those that know me will understand my career requires a ridiculous amount of travel. Within the last 12 months alone I spent a considerable amount of time in Asia including; HK, China, Vietnam and even Bangladesh (check out my Dhaka photo diary).

My almost full passport is evidence of my frequent visits to HK and China, including a 5 week stretch last year where I was able to fully engross myself into the culture, the people and the way of life. My weekdays were spent moving around mainland China busy visiting factories and meeting with manufactures, whereas the weekends I would return to HK and literally try to squeeze in as much as I could to learn and discover more about this intriguing and amazing place. I wanted to fully utilise this unique opportunity to try and get a taster as to what it could possibly be like to live in Asia more specifically HK. From when I first visited back in 2009 I felt the potential that one day could this be a place to call my home. Though don’t get me wrong this was mixed with some obvious reservations, including being a women of colour throwing myself into an environment that is not only different culturally to what I am accustomed to but also the reality of living somewhere that is not as ethnically diverse.
MY HONG KONG


 
 
MY HONG KONG

Over the next few weeks I hope to share my HK diary, from the people I met, to the beautiful sites all from my own unique prospective.  So make sure you come back to see more about my HK adventure and to make sure you are the first to know, subscribe to the blog or follow me on ALL the social media @mymagnoliasky

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Do comment below and tell me your experiences in HK, Asia or even to tell me about your amazing blogs, I’m always looking for great content to add to my reading list.

SOMERSET HOUSE

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London Fashion Week, the latest art exhibit, concerts of just hanging out in the court yard. I always find something to do at Somerset House, hence why it’s one of my favorite places in London.

AFRICAN FASHION: SOSOME POP-UP SHOP CAMDEN

SoSoMe

Last summer I visited my dear friends Jennifer’s pop-up shop located at the Collective 159 Camden high-street, London for her fashion label  SoSoMe. An elective mix of African inspired prints, in modern shapes and silhouettes.

I look forward to seeing more of this growing brand at this years Africa Fashion Week London. 

SoSoMe

 

The brand is not just about prints, spotted this sequin tunic
SoSoMe

The brand creator/ designer herself was on hand to personally talk you through the unique pieces from the collection.

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The Collective is a great space showcasing upcoming talent and new brands.