Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Baking With Daisy from Daisy Brydon Creations

On a morning in May, I had an appointment at an office but it was closed when I got there. Daisy's bakery was close by and it was raining so I asked Daisy if I could stay in her bakery. I ended up spending my day in Daisy's bakery.   

Given that I was with her for awhile, I was interested in how Daisy started her business and I asked her questions about it.  Daisy was an actress but was suffering from insomnia and depression. To cope with this, she started baking in the evenings when she got back from acting. She had a mentor who advised that he couldn't help with acting. He asked if there was anything else she did and Daisy said "I kinda bake." That was the beginning of the business and she started the business in her grandmother's kitchen. There were challenges she faced at the start such as figuring out profit margins and turnover. Her bakery has grown since then and she's moved the bakery out of her grandmother's kitchen. Her bakery business has been running for four years.

Watching Daisy work made me realise how baking and cake designs require creativity. Daisy specialises in creating sculpture cakes and is able to show her creativity through her cake designs and recipes. She taught me how to make vanilla biscuits as she makes biscuits for her customers. I thought people only bought biscuits from supermarkets and the like. Apparently, clients sometimes want customised biscuits.

Staying in Daisy's bakery reminded me of my mum's bakery in Lagos. My mum is also a baker and has been running her business for about 20 years. When I was younger, I helped out a bit in the bakery but never learnt how to bake anything from start to finish. As I've grown older, I've developed more interest in baking and running a small business like my mother's.

Going back to Daisy's, her cupcakes are amazing. I tried her carrot cupcakes with Italian Meringue icing. The icing is quite light so it didn't feel heavy.

You can check out Daisy's work on Instagram at @daisybcreations and she's recently launched a new product- Whoopie Pies and you can check out her Whoopie Pie Instagram account @whoopsiedaisybakery 

My mum's business is on Instagram at @cakesetcetera_bakery and she's available for orders in Lagos. 

Sunday, 29 May 2016

VLOG: Nigerian Wedding at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire

I attended a wedding with my family in Buckinghamshire on the May 2 Bank holiday weekend. The wedding was at Heatherden Hall in Pinewood Studios, the production home of many films including Star Wars and James Bond movies.  I'd never been to Buckinghamshire so I didn't pay attention to the location of the venue when I saw the invitation card. Well, I googled how I needed to get there and that was it. It was when I got there that it dawned upon me that I was at a major British TV and film studio.

We stayed at Pinewood Hotel and that was where I got ready. I couldn't travel from London in my heels and outfit. 

I recorded a vlog on my time there. There was a lot of dancing and party food, but didn't record the food for you. 

The wedding was also featured on Bellanaija

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Book Event Recap: New Nigerian Writing with Cassava Republic Publishing

This year, I've been reading a lot of African fiction so I was excited when Cassava Republic said they were hosting an event where I could meet some African writers. To say a bit about Cassava Republic, they are a publishing company whose mission is "to change the way we think about African writing". They launched in London in April but I think they've been based in Nigeria for about seven years. They had some events around the time of their launch in the UK. One of the events was An Evening of New Nigerian Writing and this was organised with Dulwich Books, a bookshop in South East London. I learnt about the event on Cassava Republic's Facebook page. 

I picked up three of Cassava Republic's new releases there and I met the authors of the books- Leye Adenle, Elnathan John and Sarah Ladipo Manyika. There was a deal where I could get three books for £25. I felt buying the books at the event saved me from having to order it online on a later date and wait for it to get delivered. I'm glad that Cassava Republic is establishing their presence in the UK as it's a platform to showcase the works of African writers. A lady I met at the event told me that this was my first of many book events. 

One of the books I got

In the video, I mention the two other books I got and share a recap on the event. 

One of the issues raised at the event was whether people were reading less? Do you think we, as individuals are reading less?   

Friday, 29 April 2016

Book Review: Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Adichie

I thought I had read Purple Hibiscus while I was in secondary school. This was because it was required reading for the students below me at my secondary school. I thought I borrowed it from one of them. However, when I picked up the book to read this year, the story seemed very unfamiliar to me. That was when I realised that I had never read it before. 

Everywhere I hear about African writers, Adichie's name is mainly mentioned so I was interested in reading her work. I share my thoughts of Purple Hibiscus in the video below. 

Have you read any of Chimamanda's books? If you have, let me know which one you liked the best.  What books have you enjoyed lately and would like that I check out?

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Living in London (or visiting): Travelling within the city

After graduating from university last year, I moved to London. Living and studying in a small city- Nottingham for three years didn't prepare me for the London commute. I've been living here for a couple of months now and wanted to share a few things that help with moving around in London. Given that I don't drive, public transport is my best friend.

You can watch the video below to listen to my experience commuting within London and the sites that help me plan my journey and these sites could help you too.

If you have any stories of travelling within London, share them in the comments section. I would love to read them.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

I learnt how to skip on YouTube! The Benefit of Online How-to Tutorials

I used to skip on one leg and wondered why I didn't know how to skip with both legs. Then, I thought where I could learn to skip? YouTube! I doubted if there would be an online tutorial on skipping  since it's just learning how to jump over a rope but found that YouTube had a couple of tutorials. I selected one and watched it.

My skipping rope

The video motivated me, gave me tips on how to skip and explained why skipping is good for my health. I grabbed my trainers and skipping rope and went outside to skip. I tried using the tips for the tutorial and struggled at first but I kept trying. One thing YouTube tutorials have taught me is the importance of practice. I know how to skip with both legs now but I keep practising in order to get better. I used to think I would watch a tutorial once and know how to do the exact thing a YouTuber does in one attempt.

If you don't get it the first time, try again. It's not just YouTube tutorials but even recipes I've tried online. Things may go wrong the first time but you never know it may get better the second time. When things go south, you can still enjoy the results that you created. It doesn't have to be perfect.  

This tweet reflects what happens when you're expecting a perfect style after watching a hair tutorial and the results are disappointing. However, we keep going regardless of the results

What is your favourite online tutorial and what's it about?

Photo credit: Naturallytemi (Instagram)

Monday, 29 February 2016

How Saving Became A Priority For Me

I didn't start saving till I was twenty and I started by putting coins into a tin. Then, I moved on to saving in a bank account. Saving seemed like a way for me to prepare financially for large expenses- like going on a holiday or as a backup for tight times. My mindset on saving changed while listening to a podcast where Arese Ugwu, a personal finance expert spoke about how saving can help with generating income. This helped me understand that saving isn't just a way for me to store money for experiences or purchases that depreciate or end the minute the experience is over. For example,  the money I spend on a holiday ends once I return from the holiday. Meanwhile, I can invest in property or other assets that can generate income.

This doesn't mean I won't spend part of my savings on a holiday or on other things. It's just that now I plan to allocate my savings in a way that adds value to me financially and I can still have treats from time to time. Saving requires that I control how I spend. I created a budget for the first time over Christmas and failed at following it but I hope to try again. Having a mental budget is what I run with now but I want it to be more concrete. In the mean time, I'll remember that "there's rice at home" so as to control my spending on takeaway or eating out.