Wednesday, 18 October 2017

#MelaninTakesParis: L'espace Dali

Ever since I found out that there was a permanent Dali exhibit in Paris, I've been eager to visit.
The visit to the L''espace Dali was both educational and epiphanous at the same time.

I learnt a lot about this fascinating master of Surrealism and discovered how honest it was that he gave a visual space to his innermost thoughts on sexuality, femininity and religion (amongst other themes that were present in his work).

I will be sharing the pictures from my visit via my Instagram @tfortope on Friday 19th October, 2017 (AKA tomorrow) so follow me to get all the fascinating images.

(Update: I'm SOOOO Sorry, unfortunately due to some work deadlines I'll be unable to share the picture until Sunday 21st October, please forgive me and see you soon 😒❤️)

I highly recommend going to the Dali exhibit for anyone visiting Paris. One thing I've discovered about art is that you don't have to be deeply versed in art history in order to enjoy and learn from many museums and galleries, particularly not this one.
And who know, maybe as you learn about the artist and his/her work, you'll discover some things about yourself too.

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

#MelaninTakesParis: Cheap Eats (AKA mission impossible)

Let me just say right now: "Paris coΓ»te cher!"
Rough translation: This place is so freaking expensive, I'm not interested in flexing for the gram!

The cheapest way to eat in Paris is...........
wait for it............
In. Yo. House.

But this post isn't about the food in your house (I'll write about that later), it's about eating well and cheap in Paris. So here are three ways I have been able to cut down my food spending in Paris

1. A baguette:
A baguette is a long, slim loaf of french bread and it can be bought in any "boulangerie" i.e. bakery in France. Let me tell you, the French know how to make their bread. I've never had a wack baguette in Paris. In fact, it almost reminds me to Agege bread: jokes πŸ˜‚πŸ’πŸΎ.
And guess what: the standard cost of a baguette is one euro. It's really cheap and will last you two breakfasts.

2.  Eat far away from the tourist sites 
One time when I went to the Eiffel tower, I bought a samosa and a spring roll at a nearby cafe for 2 euros. One samosa, one spring roll. Do you know how small a samosa is? Don't be like me: find places to eat far away from the tourist attractions as the eateries there are likely to inflate the prices.

3. Supermarkets anyone?
France has supermarket chains that you can find pretty much anywhere in Paris (Monoprix, Carrefour, Franprix etc). The supermarkets are well stocked and you can get a lunch/dinner there such as pre-packed salads or sandwiches for well under 6 euros. I like to buy ingredients to make my sandwiches/salads for the week and I spend about 15 euros (that's 3 euros per weekday on lunch). 

It's amazing how resourceful one can be with limited resources. All in all, Paris is a beautiful city and I am deeply appreciative of this experience.
Thank you for reading.


Wednesday, 4 October 2017

#MelaninTakesParis: My #summer2017 in the city of light πŸ’¦πŸ₯–☀️πŸ’‹πŸ’Έ

This will be my second time in Paris and I can happily tell you that this beautiful city hasn't lost its charm. This time however, my stay in Paris will be a bit long-term (#creativenomadlife) so I have spent more time unpacking and signing paper work than sight seeing.
Nevertheless I'm grateful; it is Paris after all. Here are a few photos I took at the usual tourist attractions. Expect a few more posts on the blog detailing my summer break.

I regularly update my Instagram (including my Instagram stories) with snapshots of my trips so follow me on Instagram @tfortope to get dibs on where I'm going next!

Thank you for reading.

Monday, 2 October 2017

How I Slay My Fall Style On A Budget


Its been a minute since I wrote a blogpost. If you follow me on Instagram, you would know that I've been in Paris this summer.
As a born and bred Nigerian woman, I grew up in a tropical climate where the coldest day of the year would only require a light sweater with a camisola underneath. So, dressing for fall/winter has always been a learning experience for me. 

While it has been tempting to go all out and splurge on an entire closet haul for this new season, I’ve discovered that there are lots of summer pieces in my closet that can be reworked or combined  with newer fall pieces to make a dope outfits. Here are a few I came up with:

Look 1:
Thankfully, Paris isn't too cold and on days when the weather permits, I can wear my basic black tshirt from asos and pair it with these black tapered pants. I love a good "all black" look. I added these rings I got also from asos (Their summer sales are really good). 

Hopefully these rings last a while because I have a bad habit of misplacing my rings. The nails are actually press-on nails I got from H&M.
The boots are also from H&M and they are quite comfortable.

Look 2:
I participated in the craziness of Rihanna's Fenty Beauty launch and I was able to get my hands on her lipgloss. That gloss is the truth! Its perfect for fall and personally I'm over the liquid lipstick trend.
I got these shades from asos (I'm telling you, their sales are good!) and the rest are things I already had: basically just props for this flatlay that I slayed πŸ’†πŸΎπŸ’πŸΎπŸ˜œ.

For this look, I paired an old crop top from Zara and a dress from &otherstories. I also took my black cardigan as "weather backup".
Lip glow from Fenty Beauty. Face glow from God πŸ‘‘ and MAC cosmetics.

I then added my asos shades to complete the look.

Look 3:
On colder fall days, I have no choice but to wear a coat. I got this stylish dark blue coat from stradivarius. It was my first time in their store and I found some stylish and affordable items.
I paired the coat with an old dress from New Look and primark jeans.

I really enjoy dressing for this new weather, so if you have any suggestions for this Nigerian girl πŸ™‹πŸΏplease let me know in the comment section or on Instagram.

Thank you for reading.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Blonde (Braids) Ambitions

I'm running out of titles already, can you tell? 😭
No matter the weather, I love a good jacket. I got this jacket from new look. When it arrived, I was a bit surprised because I didn't expect it to be this long and I struggled to style it in the humid Lagos weather. However I recently started peering it with sleek pants in my wardrobe and it worked. It instantly dresses up any look as you can see from the pictures.

I spent some part of my weekend listening to two interesting interviews: the first was Jay-z's interview with rap radar podcast and the second was the controversial interview that Nigerian rapper M.I. Abaga had with the Loose Talk Podcast.
Both interviews were quite informative and gave me insight on how tough it can be when you get to the top.
I'm not at the top yet but there's nothing wrong with dressing for the occasion, is there?
After all, in the words of M.I., "Confessing confessions of flexing till my pocket is vexing.".

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

All the wahala that comes with shopping online: the Konga and Mr Price Saga

If you're a bargain hunter like I am and you rarely buy things full price (unless you’re absolutely in love with the item), I’m pretty sure you love online shopping. Shopping online allows me to compare prices and procrastinate before hitting that “pay" button (just to make sure I’ll still want the item tomorrow πŸ˜‚). 

The trill of receiving a package is also another reason I love online shopping: It’s like getting a gift from "bae” aka ME πŸ’πŸΎ.

Asos has been my favourite shopping site for several years. I decided to take a break from international sites because of the recent rise in custom & shipping fees which can sometimes be up to or more than the value of the order. 
A few months ago, I opted to shop locally as I wanted to get a midi dress and costume rings. This turned out to be a “wahala” (trouble) shopping experience. The two sites I tried were and Mr Price. I have friends that have worked in e-commerce and a major problem they have is ensuring that there isn't up to date information regarding availability of stock. This was the problem I faced.
After finding the costume rings I wanted, I tried to make a card payment and was told that my payment was denied. However, the money was deducted from my account πŸ™„. I opted for payment on delivery but the item never came. 

I then had to go to GTBank to request a reversal. The payment was never reversed, instead my Jumia wallet (an online wallet which you can top-up and pay for Jumia items from) was credited with the money which I won't be spending anytime soon because Jumia na stress
It’s safe to say that I’ll be taking a break from Jumia for a while.

Meanwhile, I bought two outfits from Mr Price and paid the delivery charge hoping to get my TWO items. Only one item was delivered. When I reached out to the customer service email, the reply was that it wasn’t available. Why didn’t you notify me before delivery though sis

E jebi, e ba ti charge mi fun nkan ti mi o gba!(Yoruba language sarcasm) πŸ˜’

I love the fit of the midi-dress from Mr Price, I think next time I’ll stick to shopping in their physical stores.
Honestly local e-commerce needs to be better in order for me to shop for local fashion online again. Have you shopped online in your country? What was your experience?

Thank you for reading.



Sunday, 3 September 2017

Ladybug & Tope for Summer 17

Sometimes with the busyness of youth (which is ironic considering most of us don't even have kids), we find it difficult to keep in touch with people. I had been planning to meet up with my friend Felicia of Ladybug By Ene. We met up recently and discussed at length. From the pictures below, you can tell that I was quite happy to see her.

We also discussed about fashion (as we always do whenever we link up) and I showed her this lovely dress I got from Desire 1709, a Nigerian retail brand which is about to launch its first in-house label. This dress is from the upcoming collection.

Thank you for reading.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Limitless Shades of Grey

If I thought last year was a rollercoaster, this year certainly did not give any warning regarding the twists and turns that would plague every life decision I made this year. Never the less, as they say in Lagos "the ministry is moving" and sometimes dressing up is the only thing that seems to go according to plan in my chaotic schedule.
I recently spent some time cleaning out my closet. When cleaning your closet, sometimes you find forgotten pieces you got a while ago which are still stylish today. That was the case with this Zara dress I bought last year. I love it because it is a bit off the beaten track and looks like chic overalls.

I also found a grey colored skirt which was gifted to me three years ago.
I'm not usually a "skirt person" but this grey skirt had the right amount of uniform vibe without making me look like a school girl (This is another rarely worn piece I found while cleaning my closet).

I hope you have a wonderful week, I certainly intend to.

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Things I Found On The Internet: Vol. 002

What to Do When Your Friends Start Moving Away

 Hello! *Waves slowly like the socially awkward child that I am*. 
When it comes to friendships, I sometimes form an emotional dependence on my friends. Because of this, I can be quite sad when any of my already FEW friends has to move to another city or another country (why do the real ones have to be so far away?!!!! 😭). This article I found in relevant magazine addresses how to respond to an inevitable part of our 21st century lives. One particular part of the article stuck with me: 
"My mentor in college had a saying that has stuck with me: “Community will never come find you. You must go find it.” Whenever our friends move away, we must not sit back and wait idly for others to take their place. Instead, we must continually seek out and cultivate new relationships within our churches, communities and neighborhoods, trusting that over time (not overnight) new friendships will form.”

Nuff said, click here.

That time the internet tried to body shame Karrueche Tran

Source: Madame Noire

Karrueche is a model and TV actress on a TV show titled Claws. 
But that isn’t why we’re here today. 
A few days ago, Karrueche posted a bathroom selfie on the set of her tv show. She was dressed in a bikini as her show's character "Virginia". Apparently her body type didn’t fit into the usual voluptuous body that some online users were used to seeing. They then resorted to making unsavoury comments about her and her body type.
I’m not going to discuss her motive for posting that picture or the morality of her post because she has the right to do what she likes on her social media page, I personally will not follow any page whose content I dislike. I’m also not going to post a link to the image because she decided to bring the picture down.
What was interesting to me (and anyone that had common sense) was that people online had a problem with her body type! These are probably the same people that will criticize women for surgically modifying their body parts, so I’m confused 🀷🏾‍♀️.
We have all seen these dumb body shaming memes that make fun of women for not having breast or buttocks in the proportions that are commercially acceptable, just because they dare to love themselves. Our perception of what "decency/modesty" in dressing is, should not distract us from the truth that body shaming is wrong. My observation: No matter what you do, people will still talk. So "do you”!

Nihun Lohun by Monsur Awotunde

Ever since I transitioned to being a creative entrepreneur (emphasis on entrepreneur meaning work, work, budget, free work, more work), time ain’t my friend. You know all those things you thought you’d get to do when you start working for yourself? Yeah no, still no time. 

I missed two art events I really wanted to attend this year, “Fabrics and Dyes” by studio of Mode and “Redemption” by Adeola Olagunju. I’ve decided to make time to attend at least one exhibition before the year runs out; such events give me inspiration, which sometimes helps my work. Rele gallery is currently showing an exhibition of paintings by Monsur Awotunde titled “Nihin Lohun”. I hope to catch it during the week before the exhibition end on 27th August. Find out more information about the event here.

I regularly come across interesting content online which I want to share with friends, or on the blog however I've always found it difficult to place because I never quite know what title to give such a post, how it'll be structured or where on the blog such a post would be placed. This series is a solution to that (plus I personally need something to refer to when I'm gisting with someone about "this cool recipe I found" or "a photo series I think you should check). I hope this gives a brief description of what to expect and if you have anything interesting you think should be shared on this series (an instagram post, a weblink etc), please leave in the comments below.

Thank you for reading.


Saturday, 29 July 2017

Cooking Diaries: French toast by a Nigerian

My first taste of French toast was at Transcorp hotel during the Calabar trip I went for in December 2015.
It was part of the breakfast buffet options we had during our stay and I probably had it all the time.

I remember telling my roommate/coworker B* on our last day "I don't know what they put in this bread, it tastes creamy and chewy", she then suggested I google the recipe and try it myself (can you imagine; I had been so caught up in going to the same spot and selecting the same options that I never bothered to check the name of the dish/food!). I practically forced her to try it out and she agreed it was delicious.
I took note of the name and when I got back to my room, i bookmarked the French Toast recipe I found on I was also pleasantly surprised to discover that there were different variations of French Toast including savoury flavours.
Its so easy to prepare  and I love that the main ingredients are 3 everyday items you can find in any kitchen: Bread, Milk, Egg.

1. Whisk the eggs and the milk together.
2. Cut each bread slice into 2 diagonal or rectangular shapes.
3. Lightly grease a large frying pan with butter.
4. Soak the bread slice into the egg and milk mixture.
5. Fry the soaked bread slice in the frying pan.

This is the basic foundation for any french toast recipe however I wanted to make it in a unique way. I decided to make three flavours: Honey & Cinnamon; Basil; Suya spice.
I made the suya spice from the scratch using the recipe I got from Kadirecipes. To flavor the toast, simply add the condiment to the egg and milk mixture.

Here are the pictures:


Suya spice 

Honey & Cinnamon 
My favourite was the Suya flavoured toast hands down. That nutty taste combined with the sweet creaminess of milk ehn, it was a "gustatory lituation".
I invited my family members to a tasting session however the old folks in my house picked Basil (*rolls eyes all the way to my village*). I guess at the end of the day, it's a matter of preference and any french toast is better than no french toast πŸ˜‹.
On the weekend when you're less busy, why not try it and let me know what you think?

Thank you for reading.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Friday at HSE Gourmet Cuisine

If you are active on Instagram and/or you read eat.drink.lagos, you've probably heard of HSE gourmet cuisine (P.S. is it HSE gourmet cuisine or HSE cafe 🀷🏾‍♀️?). I had seen several pictures of the restaurant when it launched last year, particularly its avocado, bacon and smoked cheese salad which seems to be a customer favourite (if the pictures I see online are anything to go by) and I thought it seemed like to good place to check out whenever I wanted to eat out. Fast forward to last week, I had an appointment in Lekki which took most of the day.
When I was done, I decided to check out HSE since I was in the neighborhood.
Its a quaint space, quite cute. 

They had an ipod stand and I was told you can play any song you want. I think that would be suitable for groups i.e. office groups, bridal showers etc.

I ordered:

  • The insta - famous salad
  • Chicken croquettes
  • Peach & Passion Fruit Sangria Iced Tea
I had no prior plans to order the salad but when I saw the menu, I decided to go with the safest bet. I ordered chicken croquettes because I enjoyed eating them at Bistro 7 in Victoria Island a while back. Unfortunately, HSE's croquettes had more flour than chicken 🀦🏾‍♀️. Oh least the salad and the Iced tea were lovely.

They're located at Plot 2 Emma Abimbola Cole Street, Lekki 1, Lagos
You can also find their menu online here (which is great if you're on a budget and want to plan your restaurant spend).

BTW, I've been thinking of incorporating some healthier Nigerian meals (preferably vegetarian) into my diet, what do you guys think? Your suggestions will be much appreciated either on my instagram or in the comment section below.

Thank you for reading.

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