Hey ya’ll,

So if you’ve been keeping up with the blog, you’ll know that at the end of last year I brought a Sony A5100 mirrorless camera to kick start my blogging journey with. As I complete beginner to the world of photography, I opted for this model as I needed something fairly simple and portable but still with sophisticated manual settings similar to a DSLR and, interchangeable lenses. The two biggest selling points for me were the built in wifi and the 180 degree screen. 

So after playing around with it and the kit lense (30-55mm) for a good 7 months I finally realised I wasn’t going to achieve thst sharp portrait images I needed with the basic lense it came with. 

I had done a few photo shoots with someone who was using a much older 12mp canon camera and I couldn’t for the life of me understand why it produced better quality images then my 24mp Sony. So me still thinking it was all about the camera, I proceeded to google the camera, and surprisingly found it for under £100. At this point I was very tempted to buy it along with the popular 50mm lense and maybe even sell my Sony (smh) However, following some research and conversation with more experienced bloggers, I opted to upgrade the lense to a Sony 50mm. 

I went ahead and brought the 50mm lense (retailing £250) at my local Sony store in excitement.. only to find, the 50mm f1/8 appeared closer to a 75mm on my camera. What I never took in account was the crop sensor on a micro four thirds camera. (If your not sure what this is, definitely look into it!) I absolutely loved the quality of the images but there was no way I could take a decent selfie. I eventually returned this and was offered the Sony 35mm f/1.4 OSS instead.  

I had done a bit of research in between time however, and discovered the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN E mount was a great alternative. It was down as a ‘contemporary lense’ meaning it can be used as a standard everyday lense. It was a great budget lense at £250 as well compared to another popular lense zeiss Touit 32mm.  It seemed sturdy, and was going to give me a 45mm look on my camera.( The Sony 30mm would appear as a 50mm) I watched a few comparison videos on YouTube but for some reason I was more drawn towards the Sigma. I purchased this on Jessops online as it wasnt available in any of London stores. My first impression was that it was definitely larger and heavier. Other than that, the quality of the images were just as good, I really didn’t notice any differences. One thing I did notice , was the sound it made when it was autofocusing. It was a little distracting at first, but not a major issue for me. 

Now, seeing as I’m new to the world of photography, I didn’t feel qualified enough to do a ‘review’ simply because my experience with lenses is limited. I couldn’t really give an accurate description without something to compare it to. However, I have had it for about 2 months now and briefly had the Sony 35mm  so I thought I would share my honest unbiased (and very basic!) thoughts for the non tech heads on the pros & cons. 

Pros 

  • Sharp images 
  • Reasonsble autofocus 
  • Saturated colours 
  • Great creamy bokeh 
  • Easy to use and fairly light 
  • Shoots well in dark conditions 

Cons 

  • Larger & heavier than the Sony 35mm
  • Slower autofocus than Sony 35mm 
  • Noisy autofocus 

All in all, the Sigma 30mm is a great lense for people like me, just starting out with limited knowledge. It’s a big step up from the kit lens with still a reasonable price range. For a blogger, it has all the important features for both photos and videos and it’s a nice lense for honing  your photography skills on. 

At the present moment in time, I’m absolutely loving the lense and I’m just taking my time exploring and learning how to produce a great picture. . I have really fallen in love with capturing images lately,  funny cause I used to hate photos! However , by the end of next year I’m definitely planning on purchasing a DSLR canon or Nikon – not a recent model, just a great quality satisfactory one, and probably second hand. I’d like more variety of lenses to play with and a more sophisticated camera (mine is a mirrorless). I’ll probably make it my portrait camera and use the Sony for video’s. Until then, I’m definitely a happy girl! 

What was the first lense you brought?

Xx


(test shot of my son using the Sigma)

 

Hey Everyone!

So summer is finally upon us and I’m so excited about getting out of the country and switching up my usual heavy lab coat for cute skirts and blouses. I’m planning on spending half of my summer break abroad and the half back in London. One of my favourite things about travelling  is packing my suitcase (yeah, okay I know I always leave it until the day before) and buying those essential travel items. In todays post I’ve put together a few things that I would call essentials for my beauty bag this summer. Some of these products were included in the monthly subscription Glossy box and others were purchased by me independently. The Glossy Box products pictured  have been selected from the last 3 boxes which is why there’s quite a lot of things displayed. One of my favourite purchases was the babyliss mini hair Iron. It’s perfect for straightening  those small baby hairs to achieve that perfect blend with wigs or weaves, I really don’t know why it took me so long to find it!. I also really love the detoxifying charcoal body scrub for achieving that perfectly smooth skin. I’ll be doing a ‘what’s in my carry on bag’ with tips on how to do some light and effective packing, avoiding the long queues and some tips on long haul journeys, make sure you stay posted!

What essential items do you pack for a summer vacation?

xoxo

 

1. Got2b – Blasting freeze Spray

2. Got2b – Spiking Glue

3. Hair burst – Healthy Hair Vitamins 

4. Snail Essence – Wrinkle Soothing 4D Mask

5. Daily Concepts – Exfoliating Body Scrubber 

6. Papanga – Hair Bands

7. Himalaya Herbals – Purifying Neem Face Wash

8. Spectrum – A10 Fan Brush 

9. Sleek – Power Plump (Colossal Coral)

10. Batiste Stylist – XXL Volume Spray

11. Monuspa – Soothing After Sun

12. Manna – Glow Illuminator

13. Caudalie – Moisturising Sorbet

14. PawPaw – Multipurpose Soothing Balm 

15. Oolution Eye Love – Eye Contour

16. 111Skin – Space Defence Bright Eye Lift Gel

17. Bellapierre Cosmetics Banana Setting Powder 

18. Ruby Blush

19. Scrub Love – Detoxifying Activated Charcoal Body Scrub (Cucumber & Bamboo)

 

Hey ya’ll,

So a little over a month ago I debating whether I should cut my hair or just relax it. After growing it out from a high top I’d been rocking,. I admittedly slacked on consistent hair care and it was uneven and plain boring. I suppose the sheer fact that I was prepared to literally just get rid of it all made the prospect of chemically treating it more justifiable. Prior to that, I happily had my hair cut weekly for about a year and a half, and maintain a fade which was oh-so very liberating! I was over tight ass weave, complete with the migraines, missing baby hair’s and an empty wallet. I loved how low maintenance it was, but, all good things must come to an end. I eventually just grew it out in braids and wore wigs.


I had been natural for 10 years, more or less before team natural was popping, simply because I didn’t like how relaxed hair felt.  Now that I think about it, It was probably due to the negative childhood memories of my mother relaxing my hair as a child. I loathed the whole process, the Vaseline around my hairline  (have always hated the feeling of thick mineral oil on my skin), the intense feeling of your entire head being on fire and the matching chemical burns to prove it! Yeah, it was a mess. As soon as I was able to do my own hair it was a wrap.

I never was really part of the NaturalHairNazi, it was a simple case of doing what I felt was most comfortable and best for me. I never used any kind of heat either, again, because I just didn’t like how it felt. I loved and was super proud of my hair in it’s natural state, it’s strength, versatility, and volume. What I struggled with however, was that high maintenance part. Since my hair is naturally 4C, those kinks and coils were nothing to play with. The time consuming untangling if I did as much as touch it, falling asleep without a headscarf and waking up to a fizz ball mess, I’d dread wash days because it took too long, and I’d skip the 3 part moisturising system and opt of a little oil spray here and there. It’s work, work that I just wasn’t prepared to dedicate so much time to anymore. It was daunting, and it made me avoid wanting to do it altogether. On top of everything else, I work out frequently, so having to rinse my hair so often was a nightmare. When it was all said and done, I’d rarely wear my natural hair out because of the fear of rain and having product run down my face, the harsh drying cold London weather and getting more tangles. I felt like, is the point of protective styles to keep it protected for ever?  After all the time, effort and money we put into maintaining it, it just didn’t make sense to me anymore. Neither my real hair nor myself was benefiting from any of it, so what exactly was I trying to achieve?


Eventually I thought, it’s not by force. I was at a friends house for the weekend and I just randomly told her, you know what, relax my hair girl. I want to be able to enjoy properly caring for my hair again, wearing it out whenever I want to, and being able to achieve some new hair styles I’ve been limited in doing. (like the one in the pic!) I plan to have it professionally retouched every 3 months, to minimise chemical exposure.

There’s a pressure of being ‘natural’ these days, but if anyone knows me, they know I don’t conform easily. I do what I think is right for me, as long as need be. Relaxed hair doesn’t mean I love my hair any less (or more!). It just means at this point in time in life, it’s more manageable. The natural movement is a lifestyle, and beyond hair. It’s the food you eat, the products you use, the way you take care of your body as a whole and how you choose to represent yourself. Few people have everything in line, and to me, the pressure on having natural hair is a little too over the top for what it is.

Don’t let anyone bully you into doing something your not ready or comfortable with. Natural or not, it doesn’t matter if you don’t enjoy it. I guess the question I’d ask someone considering a hair change is, what do you have to prove and what do you have to lose?

Are you natural or relaxed? What made you choose?

xoxo

 

Hey guys,

So one of the current trends I am absolutely in love with is the returns of braids and the swinging beads. That ‘African Nubian Empress, I am a Queen, B*@ch Don’t pull on my beads” vibe, and I am totally here for ittttt! I really don’t think they can ever go completely out of style, it’s like the ultimate black girl’s childhood hair-do. Even before the Alicia Keys ‘Fallin’ video, braids n beads were poppin, but now there’s the added modern twist to this old skool look to make it look grown and sexy. What makes this hairstyle so appealing right now is that they are low manipulation, perfect for the summer heat, unlike single plaits, doesn’t take hours to achieve, and gives you the chance to be creative, youthful and colourful. The beads can easily be purchased online or at your local beauty store. I’ll definitely be rocking these in a month or so, all the way down to my ass, baby hair layed, with a million beads at the bottom rattling away singing to the hair gawwwds.

What’s your summer hair do?

xoxo

Braid1braid4

 

 

Hey everyone,

So this post is a little (fine, more than a little) overdue, its something I’ve wanted to write about for a while but was a little unsure how I wanted to write it. Im planning to do regular posts on fitness therefore I thought it would be right to start off with a little history with fitness and working out.

My relationship with the gym kind of resembles that of a smokers first attempt with a nicotine patch. They start their journey with high hopes and enthusiasm only to crash and burn, and then kind of yo-yo for a few years until they finally get it together. It was unhealthy, inconsistent, and I lacked a lot of important knowledge that would have made things a whole lot easier.

Growing up I’ve always been on the chubby side. I used to hate working out and avoided P.E at all costs. My elder brothers would tease me and created an oh – so affectionate song to sing about my weight and then proceed to cry with laughter every time. Even my parents made little jabs here and there, it made me self conscious kid and I eventually shifted a little weight by skipping meals at school until I was considered ‘ideal’.

My first encounter with the gym was at 18 in 2010, right after having my son. Fitness First was cleverly situated right outside university and I very quickly signed up within the first week. I was absolutely obsessed with getting rid of the baby bulge and look like a actual 18 year old. I had absolutely no idea about exercise and was a little too stubborn and impatient to properly research or ask for information. In my mind, gym was really just a synonym for ‘treadmill’ sooo,  I proceeded to sprint 1 – 2 hour everyday, 7 days a week, Yep, EVERYDAY. Never glanced at a dumbbell or even once. I really don’t know what I was thinking, but I was not gonna stop until I got what I wanted (stubborn Sarah came out to play) I was just so focused. What makes it worse was that my eating habits were absolutely disgraceful. Breakfast was a chocolate bar but more often just a steady supply of oxygen. My first solid food would come at about 4/5pm and that would be crisps and other rubbish. And theeen, right after my intense cardio session, I’d experience the classic hunger pain and then stroll my little butt over to McDonalds (it was on my way home) and eat whatever I wanted, reasoning with myself that I was making up the calories that missed during the day. I mean seriously?!  What a joke I was.*cries fake real tears*

I kept it up for the first 6 months of university and upon my return home, was greeted by the look of shock and horror on my mothers and sisters face. I had lost so much weight I was basically skin and bones. As a naturally big girl, the results were striking. However, despite being told I had become way too slim, I saw something completely different. I still had a whole lot of stomach fat shift and it was the only thing I was concerned with. Eventually though, I became discouraged, I had lost all my natural curves and along with it, motivation. I finally eased off and then left the gym but for some reason kept my membership for the duration of my degree.

Fast forward 2013 I joined Pure Gym right by my house, and for the first year and a half I probably visited 4/5 times.. I know, I know, I know… Mid 2014 I got my issh together a little and devised a semi assed workout plan of weight lifting only. Although there were several breaks in between, I kept up the routine, and finally saw some gains I actually quite liked. The routine involved lots of squats, stomach crunches, several leg exercises and a few classes.

Now to the present date, I’m finally in a position where I am confident with the direction I’m heading in, I’ve gained a substantial amount of knowledge and adjusted my routine regularly and accordingly. Ive switched up my diet and frequently  read up on ways to improve my training. My biggest achievement is the consistency of training x4 days weekly and pushing myself even when I’d rather be having an apple pie in front of the TV. No matter how lazy I feel, I force myself out to the gym and kill the routine every time. Working out goes far beyond your body guys, the mental strength is the biggest reward for me. I literally becoming a new person and proving to myself that everything and anything that I put my mind to is possible.

I’m currently creating a new routine which I’m planning on posting in a few weeks or so. It’ll be a sort of  3 months boot camp series that I’ll be updating and documenting with monthly progress results. I’ll be including the full details of the routines as well as weekly diet. Ive put a lot of planning and conducted a whole a lot of research into this one and I’m super excited about starting! Check with me soon to see how it all unfolds x