Birthday Photo Shoot

It was my birthday yesterday!

No Red Velvet this year

If you follow me on Instagram, you already know because I posted a couple of pictures from a birthday photo shoot I had. If you don’t follow me on Instagram, what are you waiting for? I’m @thejenniferabah.
Now, here’s the backstory for the photo shoot. I’m in a Whatsapp group with a number of my colleagues turned friends where we have random chats about random things. So a few weeks ago, a friend of mine (thank you Yejide!) mentioned in the group chat that there was a giveaway on Instagram for a free birthday photo shoot for anyone born in February. All you had to do was follow the studio on Instagram and leave a comment with your birthday. I did it just for fun and I won!

I did not think I would win guys! I’m not good at getting my pictures taken and I’m very awkward with posing and I can be quite uncomfortable with being the center of attention so when I found out I won I was like “Ewo! Who sent me!”.

Anyways, I’m really glad I won because the pictures are so good!

If you’ve seen a couple on Instagram, here’s more!

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On being MIA.

Hi guys!!!

It’s been so long! 

I know I’m always away these days, forgive me! 

It’s just that I’ve not been feeling like blogging at all which is so sad.

Sometimes, I have nothing to post about. Other times, I have stuff to post about but I never get to putting my thoughts in actual words. Most times, I’m just too tired or busy or lazy. 

I’ve not even been reading and commenting on other people’s blogs; many of you who blog know that I read and often like and comment on your posts but I’ve been MIA on your blogs for the longest time. 

Life just has a way of messing with you. 

Somehow, I keep getting busier everyday and too tired to be social; or maybe it’s all in my head and I’m just lazy and unmotivated.

I’ve taken out some time to think and though I haven’t found a strategy on how to post more, I’m going to put more effort and see how it goes from there; hopefully, I get my groove back.

I’m super grateful for everyone who’s sent me a mail or a message on Instagram or somewhere else or asked me in person why I’ve been missing on the blog. 

I hope that you guys will keep pushing and nudging me till I find my way back to being more consistent and more social.

Let’s slay the last month of 2016, shall we? I love you guys!

Jen.

Obsessive Habits

There’s one very obsessive habit I have.

I obsessively check and recheck things. I’m sort of “OCD” about it.
When I lock a door, I check at least 2 times that it’s locked. Sometimes, I’ll walk away after checking and then come back to check again. I didn’t know I did this until a friend said something along these lines to me one day, “how many times are you going to check the door? It can’t be any more locked that the last time you checked”.

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Write it down 

Hey guys,

I know I’ve been MIA; I’m sorry.

I’ve just had a lot on my mind and slowly but inevitably, blogging sank to the bottom of my priority list. I’m working hard to change this guys, I promise!

One thing that keeps me sane in my day to day life is mapping out everything I need to do.

Usually, I do this in my head.

This is almost always a big mistake.

I am someone who cannot even remember what she wore to work on Friday. My friends have often told me I have a selective memory; I like to think I’m simply plain ol’ forgetful.

So you see why mapping out plans and to-do lists in my head is a recipe for disaster?

I decided to start writing things down and storing things for later in better and more organized ways than just cramming them in my head.

Cue, note taking.

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Hi 2016!

Source: @coilyandcute

 

It’s the first day of the year and guess who’s back from an unplanned sabbatical!

In the days leading up to today, I was so excited and then 9pm yesterday comes around and I’m like “yeah, I’m going to bed guys”. In the words of Wizkid, “I can’t explaiiiin”.

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Goals versus the experience

Hey guys, 
I just dropped by to share some of my thoughts with you very quickly.
As I approach the 2 year mark (peep my countdown at the side/bottom of the page), one thing has been on my mind. Length! 
A major feature in my thoughts is “is my hair long enough for 2 years? It should be longer than this at this stage”. 
I’m going to share with you a quote from Okechukwu Ofili’s book, “How Stupidity Saved My Life: Life Lessons From An Overanalytical Engineer”

Unfortunately, it seems that as we get older, we lose that focus on fun. Instead, we focus on graduating at the top in college, being the number one employee at work, or being the best speaker in a speech contest. While all these may be commendable goals to strive for, what is not commendable is allowing them to displace the pleasure and excitement of the experience… We can all choose to embrace life more fully by moving our focus away from winning and instead enjoy the moment.

Let me summarize that quote in terms of hair: “Many of us are obsessed with and focused on length and hair goals and making our hair do things we see others do. We forget to enjoy the little successes and failures, the things our hair can do, the experience. We are so focused on other things that we forget to enjoy the moment”
That’s why I will never understand people who ALWAYS have their hair in a protective style to protect their hair and gain length. Why bother when you can’t enjoy the hair you protect and the length you’ve gained because your hair is always covered up.
I’m not innocent as I explained earlier. Many times I allow length to rule my thoughts and I look at my hair with disdain because it’s not as long as I want/expect. Thinking about it, my standard of length is based on other people’s hair. I forget that my hair is most probably different from theirs and that I am on my own journey. I forget to enjoy the experience. 
This quote really made me think. It applies to so many things in life. 
We let our goals, both self imposed and those imposed by society, cloud our minds so much that we forget about enjoying the moment, enjoying the experience, enjoying the journey, enjoying life.
If you are like me and you are guilty of not enjoying the experience (whether it’s hair, work, school etc) for any reason at all, let’s all hold hands now and scream “I repent!!!!”.

What I wore: Charlie Harper

One day I had nothing to wear so I went to my mum’s closet and grabbed this oversized shirt. It was quite big but I actually liked it.
I thought I looked like a female version of Charlie Harper(Charlie Sheen’s character on Two and a Half Men).
 
Fun fact: The day I wore this outfit, I sat on a table at work and literally five seconds later, the table and I were chilling on the floor. I was so dazed that I just sat there on the floor for some minutes after. The table broke y’all! I need to hit the gym or something. My butt broke a table!
 
 
Tip: Laugh with the people laughing at you. When you get home cry to the Lord to wipe their memories overnight. Alternatively, move to Cotonou and start a new life.
 
 
 
(Edges in need of Jesus and edge control)
 
 
Jeans: Random (I always wear them rolled up because they’re too short)
Top: For my mama
Shoes: From Jumia
Bag: Borrow pose

Pounds and inches

Bonjour mes amis,

How have you been finding the first few days of 2015?

My year started off with a cold. And as someone who likes to sleep in their underwear(TMI or nah?) with the AC on the coldest, my cold is not getting any better.

I spoke to customers(My new job is in customer service) all day yesterday in the most irritating, nasal-congested voice.

Anyways people, while thinking about 2014 blog wise, I realized that I wasn’t the most consistent blogger at all! I had only 24 posts in the whole of 2014! That means 2 a month basically. I don’t think those are good stats. I’m thinking 4 a month i.e 1 a week should be the worst case scenario for a blogger. Scream not when I tell you that my other blog only had 1 post in the whole year! So this year, my aim is to be a bit more consistent with blogging.

I have thought about it and seeing as I might not have hair related stuff to talk about every so often, I might be dabbling in and posting other random stuff and tidbits of my thoughts and life on the blog. What do you guys think?

For today’s random dabble, let’s rein ourselves back in to the title of the post.

I need to lose some pounds and inches in 2015!

At the risk of giving you guys the story of my life, I used to be quite skinny and then I was quite fat and then I lost weight and now I don’t know what I am.

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In 2015 I need to get that crop top body for real! Know what I mean? Who’s with me!

I need to cut out the junk food, eat healthy, watch my portions, not drink my calories, throw in some exercise(this is the hardest for me), think positively and just basically do it!

The reason why I’m blogging about it is so that I can be held accountable. By the end of 2015, I can look back on these words and see if I met or failed my goal.

-Do you want to lose some weight in 2015 as well?
-Any weight loss tips to give?
-What do you want to be held accountable for this year?
-Anything you’d like me to post more about in 2015?
-Anything you’d like me to start posting about in 2015?
Please share!

Whatever your goal might be this year, don’t forget to put it in words, make a plan and work towards it.

Hair vs face

Hello beautiful people. Ça va?

In the course of your healthy hair journey, there are some things you do that end up being detrimental to your face(especially acne-prone skin).
-Oiling your hair may end up leaving you with bumps along your hairline and on your face. Either the hair rubs against your face or you mistakenly, absent-mindedly touch your face with your oily fingers or someway somehow, the oil from your hair ends up on your face.
-Oil and hair products transfer from your hair to your pillow and eventually your face leaving you with acne.
-In the course of washing/deep conditioning/hot oil treatments etc, products end up on your face.
Etc

On the other hand, in the course of your battle to maintain/achieve blemish-free, beautiful skin, there are some things you do that end up being detrimental to your hair.
-Face wash/scrub/mask/cleanser/toner(with ingredients like SLS and co) ends up in your hair, especially your edges which more often than not are the major problem areas you are battling with in your hair journey.(Also body wash/soap ends up in your nape region when you wash your neck and also on the hair behind your ears when you wash behind your ears).
-Face powder/foundation ends up in your hair(edges) when you are trying to get a seamless application.
Etc

All these are issues that I am facing and I’m sure some of you are too.

It can get really annoying. I mean, how annoying are those tiny painful pimples around your hairline. Sometimes after washing my face and I think face wash got on my edges, I will go and moisturise my edges but then hair product gets on my freshly washed face -_-

So dear people, who else is suffering from hair vs face issues? How do you deal with them? Who has overcome these issues? How did you do so? Who has possible solutions to spill?

Please share because some of us(I) need to know.

Xoxo

Can hair just be what it is: hair.

Sometimes the way people take hair so seriously baffles me to be honest.
I’m not talking about haircare here. Let me explain what I mean.

I’ve seen posts about how the natural hair community discriminates within itself based on hair type i.e looser, silkier curls are preferred to tighter kinkier coils. The posts said this is evident in the way women with looser curls(think Type 3a-4a) are featured more on hairspiration posts/Instagram pages and even on product containers/ads. They also state that people tend to want that kind of hair and refer to it as “good hair”. Some even say this is because the hair looks more like caucasian hair and they will begin to give you a lecture on slave trade in the post.

To be honest, I have pictured myself with looser curls and imagined how pretty they would look. This doesn’t mean I have low self esteem and I hate my God-given hair as some posts go on to state.

Then there are the ones who say that texturized hair isn’t natural(I actually have no opinion on this but would like to hear yours), those who do twist outs, bantu knot outs and co are trying to mimic looser curls and thus have low self esteem(na wa), those with dyed hair are no longer natural(Please oh, my hair has been dyed), those who heat style their natural hair aren’t proper naturals, those who don’t use only organic, all-natural products also aren’t proper naturals etc

You would think being natural is like having one invisible panel somewhere inspect your hair strand by strand then stamp on your forehead “Accepted” or “Denied”.

Another angle is the ‘war’ against Team Natural and Team Relaxed. To be honest this is the most ridiculous one.

The “natural hair nazi” as they are often called will say people with relaxed hair are relaxing their hair to be beautiful based on the white man’s standard of judging beauty or they are trying to look like the white man or they have low self esteem and hate their heritage etc.

At the beginning of my hair journey I was almost pulled into the natural-hair-nazi hole because most of the sites I went to for help looked down on relaxed hair. Later I came to realize that it was some form of hypocrisy if I did the same. I mean I had relaxed hair! To me it’s kind of like having an abortion then later becoming pro-life and then proceeding to vehemently look down on and bash those who are pro-choice. The fact that you’ve experienced it should make you understand and allow you to empathise(for lack of a better word). I was never relaxing my hair because I hated my heritage and wanted to be like the white man. So why would I, now being natural, turn around and say that those with relaxed hair hate their heritage and want to be like the white man.

Then there are the people with relaxed hair who think natural hair is tacky and rough and ugly and unprofessional and every other negative word in the dictionary. They are quick to comment on posts about natural hair and state their ‘opinions’. They will say stuff like “so you think because your hair is natural, you are closer to heaven abi. Please get over yourself” or “all of you claiming team natural don’t know how tacky and unkempt you look. Go and slap a relaxer on that ugly head of yours and shut up”.

I believe whether relaxed or natural, it is about one’s preference so please can we all park in our lanes and mind our own business. To each her own. Leave it at that.

Another new twist I saw recently was the opposite of the looser-curls-preference situation.

I recently joined this natural hair group on Facebook. Sometimes when I’m bored, I go there and read through posts and comment as much as I can. I also have a good laugh because there are some really funny posts I see there e.g “Please I am in the market right now. I need to know the Yoruba name of glycerine. Urgent answer needed”, “Av nor use realizer for 2 month nw because I use Protective kit but my hair is still strong. Which realizer can I buy for my hair to realize well”, “Where can I buy olive oil, egg oil, glycerine oil”, “what is BC and who are those that do sell it” etc.(Lord forgive me for posting these but I had to).

I digress.
So I saw a post on the group by someone and the person had a picture of their natural hair. She had loose curls like say 3c. And of course I knew she would be bombarded with at least 10 comments saying “hmmm this is not natural hair”(This happens on the group a lot when people with looser curls post pictures). Lo and behold the this-is-not-natural-hair comments poured in and the lady was patient and polite in replying them saying it was her natural hair. You see the problem is that there are a lot of Nigerian members and most of them only know natural hair as the kinky, 4c, thick, no-shine hair; they have never encountered 3b,3c or 4a hair and do not categorise those as natural hair.
So the comments kept pouring in and there was one who went on to say that the lady did not have the right kind of hair for the group and that she was jealous because she didn’t have kinky hair and that the group only celebrates proper natural hair. I’m thinking “errmmm but this is her natural hair”. The admin of the group tried to remedy the situation and explain that the group had members from different countries with diverse hair textures and that natural hair comes in textures besides 4c which Nigerians are used to.
Babe no gree oh. She finished the whole group with insults.
I don’t know if it was the same post or another but someone else said “this is not natural hair” then people explained that it was and that the lady in the picture wasn’t Nigerian and that natural hair comes in different textures. The person now came back and said “I know but this hair is not natural”. More people posted and explained further that she could be mixed or she could be African American and the person still came and said “I’ve heard but I say this hair is not natural”. LOL!!

Without digressing too much, I’m just showing you that there are actually people out there who consider natural hair to only be proper kinky hair. They don’t classify looser, silkier curls as natural hair.

The whole hair thing is a hot complicated mess.

I believe we should all live and let live. Everyone is entitled to their own preferences. To be honest you won’t catch me preaching the natural hair gospel to someone who didn’t first ask me about it or ask for advice(When last did I follow my church for evangelism that it is hair I want to be preaching).

No matter how your hair grows or how you choose to wear it, do you! Don’t let anyone bully or intimidate you. Don’t look down on your own self too; love the hair you have and rock it with confidence. The goal should be healthy hair because healthy hair will always look good.

It’s just hair. Don’t take it so seriously. There are more pressing issues e.g They have not still brought back our girls oh, I don’t have power supply half the time and PHCN is still bringing ridiculous bills, N50 rice at the buka you frequent is now too small to belleful a baby, when is Shea Moisture going to be affordable for the masses in Nigeria etc

Do share your thoughts; I would love to hear them.

P.s: Eid Mubarak in arrears to my Muslim readers; I hope you had a good one(even though you didn’t send me some juicy fried ram meat)

Jen