Monday, September 24, 2018

Film Review | Nappily Ever After

Last Friday saw the release of Nappily Ever After on Netflix, and trust me, Twitter has been talking! Based on the novel by Trisha R. Thomas, Nappily Ever After tells the story of a black woman's path to independence - independence from the pressure of conforming to a standard of beauty perpetuated by the very industry she works in.

Film Review | Crazy Rich Asians

It's not very often I go out on a school night. I'm that girl who's most likely to offer a well-curated excuse for missing out on after-work drinks or any other link up in the middle of the week but last week I broke away from tradition and went to see Crazy Rich Asians.


Sunday, September 23, 2018

***GIVEAWAY ALERT*** Win a Book and a Mug from Me!

True story: books are expensive. Especially if like me you prefer traditional books to ebooks. So, I was ecstatic when the opportunity to host this competition, courtesy of 4th Estate books came up. I decided to throw in one more from Penguin, plus my branded mugs, and there you have it! Three of you have the opportunity to win one of these amazing books and a mug from me!


Friday, September 21, 2018

What BlacKkKlansman Taught Me About The Irony of History
Every so often, I may switch things up on the blog a little, and I'd like to begin with this film review.

An Important Film
BlacKkKlansman, directed by Spike Lee and Jordan Peele, made its debut in cinemas across the UK, last month with much noise and media attention. If there ever is a time for everyone to be awakened to the effects of structural racism (in case you've been sleeping) now would be it, which is why this film is timely. So I went off to see what it was all about.


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Book Review | Stay with Me

Stay With Me is a heartbreaking tale depicting what happens when desperation collides with misfortune.

Barrenness, a woman's problem?
Set between 1985 and 2008 in Ilesa, Nigeria the novel tells the story of Yejide and Akin, who despite being married for years, are plagued with barrenness. Typical as it is in Nigerian culture, fertility issues are always placed squarely on the woman's shoulders. She's often blamed for having a hostile womb, or at worst being a witch. Stay With Me thus opens with the Yejide' s and Akin's family members invading the couple's home with a 'second wife' in tow, much to the couple's horror. "It is one child that calls another one to this world...once she gets pregnant and has a child, we are sure you will have one too", Akin's relative attempts to explain to (or taunt!)  Yejide. 


Saturday, September 15, 2018

What Has Madeline Been Reading?

Courtesy of Google
Don't you just wish that life would just afford us a few extra hours so we can get some of the important things done, like, oh I don't know...reading a good book? Well going on a blogging hiatus did relinquish some much needed time to get myself lost in between the pages of a few.


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

7 Ways to Rekindle Your Love for Reading

This blog post is in response to one of my lovely readers who left a comment under one of my posts. It read, "I really hate reading...truth be told. Would love if you write a post on how to enhance our reading skills."

Wish granted.

Finding the time to pick up a book in this busy life can elude the best of us - even for myself the book blogger! With the rise of more convenient ways to take in information such as videos and podcasts, it's easy to see why the world is foregoing reading. The gag is, there is so much material being published. All day, every day! There's no end to the number of books out there.

Most of us know we should read more, but we don't. So how can you encourage yourself to do something when you don't really want to do it? If you are in a bit of a reading rut, you may want to follow some of these tips:


Sunday, September 9, 2018

Book Review | Slay In Your Lane

When I first got my hands on Yomi Adegoke's and Elizabeth Uviebinené's Slay In Your Lane, little did I know the fuschia pink and gold number, with its title emblazoned in white on the front  was going to be a game changer for many UK black women, who for a long time have largely gone ignored, silenced, and uncatered for.


Saturday, September 8, 2018

Three Storytelling Lessons from The Bobby Brown Story

Courtesy of BET and
The much-awaited Bobby Brown Story, a biopic documenting the life of the "Don't Be Cruel" singer premiered on BET on Thursday, closely followed by a plethora of social media commentary. Depending on who your friends are on Twitter and Instagram, you might have found it difficult to escape from, as I did!

The height of my curiosity came on Friday night, which led me to plug into part one of the two-part series. The film closely followed the genesis of Bobby Brown's fame, his relationship with Whitney Houston, and concluded just as we were beginning to see drug abuse disassemble a successful music career. And trust me in between the hypersexualised scenes and questionable portrayals of some of my favourite artists, I did pick up a thing or two!


Thursday, September 6, 2018

Is Your Elevator Pitch Ready?

I have a small task for you. In twenty seconds tell me about yourself. GO!

How did you do? 

Last month at the BBB Mixer (read more about it here), one question I encountered the most was, "so tell me what you do?". It's funny how although I know in my head what I do, knowing how to package it in a twenty-second presentation, in a coherent and interesting way, takes some practice. 

If you've ever been close to crumbling at the “tell me about yourself” part of a job interview or would like to learn how to put your best foot forward at a networking event, then stick with me. 
An elevator pitch is a business term used by professionals, and is a way to sell a company’s products or services in a nutshell. Entrepreneurs use it to summarise the premise of their businesses, and people in general, use it as small talk at social events. It's normally around twenty to sixty seconds long - basically the amount of time it would take for you to move from one floor to another in a lift! 
We're going to learn how to take this concept and use it to form an attention-grabbing pitch. 

Disclaimer: If you are reading this and are a pro at the elevator pitch please note that these principles are for beginners.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Back Like I Never Left | Updates

I'm baaaaaaack!

In my last post, when I mentioned I would be on hiatus, I didn't expect the time to breeze by. Honestly, three months have felt like three weeks, but true to my word, I am here. 'So why hiatus?' You might ask.

I'd like to be candid. Back in June, life was hectic to say the least (when is it not, eh?) but a lot was going on. I was settling into full-time work after going part-time for a while, and boy did those two extra days per week makes a difference! Secondly, I wasn't doing too good healthwise, but thankfully your girl is on the up. Also, for those of you who have been following me on Instagram, you'll know that I am working on a major project at the moment. Keep reading to find out what exactly what it is!  But for now here are some updates.


Monday, June 11, 2018

How To Go on a Blogging Hiatus Without Abandoning Your Readers

Hello ladies!

We are back again with more blogging tips! This time we are focusing on how to take a break from blogging without just abandoning it altogether. From time to time, we'll all need a break because life can get overwhelming, but it can be confusing with for your followers if you abruptly stop posting with little explanation. What you don't want is for your readers to think you have totally quit the game when in reality you only went to rest a little.

Like all responsible adults, it's polite to let the neighbours know and to inform your family if you'll be out of town for a little while, and I am going to share some tips with you on how to do that with blogging.


Monday, June 4, 2018

SPOTLIGHT: Book Reviews By Tara

Meet Tara!
Our SPOTLIGHT segment is back! Today's focus is on African American mother and grandmother Tara.  Tara is a book reviewer just like me! Her brand, Book Reviews by Tara is dedicated to the promotion and honest commentary of books by black, indie authors. Outside of her work with Book Reviews by Tara, she is self-employed and the owner of a real estate transaction coordinating business.  Tara's story is real inspiring. Read what Tara had to say about books, reality tv, and  Essence Magazine when we caught up with her. 


Thursday, May 31, 2018

Bookmarked! May Edition

Image courtesy of 19th & Park
Hi! It has been another busy month, with of course the flagship events being the Royal Wedding and my birthday! Today's post is the last for the month of May, which means it is time for another edition of Bookmarked! where I bring to you some the quirkiest and heartwarming bookish and communications news.

This month's edition features golden statues, a bit of black girl magic and women book warriors. Read a couple of the links and let me know which is your favourite!


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

31 Life Lessons in 31 years

Tomorrow (Friday) is my birthday! whoop whoop! Despite my happiness, I must admit that I'm feeling a little more reflective than excited. This is quite in contrast to last year when I  welcomed my new age with much care-freeness and enthusiasm, and declared to the whole world that I was going to be 'fun and flirty at thirty'.

A  year really can make a difference and with more life experience, my thoughts are a little more profound this time around.

31 is a bit of an odd number to mark out for a post like this, however, that will be my age for the next year, so without much further ado, here are 31 life lessons I learned in 31 years.


Monday, May 21, 2018

Seven Reasons Why Reading Is Good For Your Mind

Hey ladies!

The earlier ascent of the sun each morning, followed by later sunsets is a good indication that we are approaching high summer. And as much as that precious vitamin D is putting most of us in better spirits, there are still many for whom the approach of summer makes little difference. Come rain or shine they have to fight a daily battle with their minds and emotions.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and I'm really glad that a whole month has been set aside to remind people of the need for us to develop more of an understanding of mental health issues. I thought this post could provide a sound backdrop to speak about the benefits that reading, be it a book or magazine has on the mind.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

This Is How You Become a Freelancer

Hello ladies!

So, the word on the street is that you want to be a freelancer. On a blog post I wrote a while ago about how I got into copywriting, one of you lovely readers asked in the comments section,"how do you suggest starting to do freelance writing? What is the process of submitting articles?". I couldn't really answer directly, because there are several ways to eat your gari (grated cassava), abi? 

I started to think about the methods I have used or even considered, and thought I'd share some of these with you. This blog post offers some very practical tips so you may want to note down 2-3 actions you will take immediately to get you on your way to your freelancing dream. 


Monday, May 14, 2018

Who's That Girl? / Blogger Q & A

My birthday is fast approaching (can you tell I am excited?!), and I thought I'd use the occasion to be a little more transparent with my readers! So I took to my Insta stories and asked y'all to ask me anything for this Q&A post - much like how the YouTubers do. I was willing to answer anything (within reason!) No subject was out of bounds.

So, I have collated questions from all six of you (lol! well actually seven because two of the questions were quite similar). I ain't mad but we gonna have to definitely do something to get that engagement up sis. In the meantime, keep reading to find the answers to the questions you asked


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Guest Post: Top Tips on Returning To Work After Maternity Leave

Ladies we have a guest today, so let's be on our best behaviour! Only joking. But guys you know that this is the place we as women can turn to for great communications, career and life advice. And I only want to be putting out content that will add value to our lives. So when it came to this topic, there was no one better I could think of than Winnie. She's an HR professional and a new mummy who knows her stuff when it comes to returning to work after maternity leave! So please enjoy, and leave your comments below. And once you are done, please visit her blog!

After seven great months of maternity leave, it was finally time to go back to work. Whilst this was always in the plan even before giving birth, and I had mentally prepared myself for it, it was still emotionally challenging! For the last six months, my life had been dedicated to being a mother and I had started to lose my sense of self. Also, as I knew most people take a year off for maternity leave, I felt very guilty going back to work so early.

I'm so blessed to work in an organisation that gives mums six months of full pay during maternity leave. Mums are then given statutory maternity pay for the next three months and then no pay in the last three. I am so grateful for the six months I got to spend with my daughter and will forever be grateful to have been paid fully in that time. It wasn’t financially viable for me to stay at home after that so after taking an extra month of annual leave, it made sense to go back to work.

Nearly a month in, it has gone very well and whilst I miss my daughter so much during the day, it’s been great being back at work. For any mums returning to work after any period of maternity leave, here are a few bits of advice based on my experience.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Master the Public Speaking Game!

Ladies! Many of the blog posts from the communications academy have largely covered how we can be great writers, but we are yet to learn how to kill it as public speakers. As great as my writing is, I one thing I sucked at was dazzling an audience with my amazing speech giving skills. Improving this skill has been a battle but gradually I am overcoming this by volunteering myself for more client presentations at work.  Being a Sunday School teacher, and having to speak to a class of teenagers every week also helped mightily.  I have also had the privilege of seeing incredible speakers such as Kweku Adiboli, Karen Brady, and Bishop T.D. Jakes (yes, I was at the Potter's House!) speak and have tried to study how they do what they do. I would like to share a few tips on how to master the public speaking game.

If you are a college or university student, work with clients or as an educator, speak at church or at any other social space or plan to be an MC then this is a MUST READ for you.


Thursday, May 3, 2018

Book Review: Freshwater

Ada is born to a Nigerian (Igbo) father and Tamil mother. 'A fat baby, with thick black hair... [who] screamed a lot'. But unbeknownst to her parents, Ada is no normal baby, but a child 'with a foot on the other side'; an 'Ọgbanje' and 'daughter of Ala', as she is described by Akwaeke Emezi, the author. Ada is a manifestation of what happens when spirits occupy a body. However, the spirits, referred to as 'We', lie dormant in Ada's body until later in life.


Thursday, April 26, 2018

Write the Vision

I am ever cognisant of the need to pay attention to the way I communicate with myself. That's not to say that the words I speak are always positive, but my conscience is always stirred with a mild panic each time I catch myself 'slipping'. I remember once pleading with God to not seal my fate when out of frustration I screamed, "Aargh! No one will ever find me attractive!" (Forgive me, I was in my early twenties.)

Monday, April 23, 2018

Guest Post: 5 Signs You’re Gonna Be a Successful Content Creator

Hello ladies! I hope you've had a nice weekend! The direction of this blog has shifted slightly (for the better!) over the past months, and I'm really proud that has become a place we can all come to, to learn how to write and blog better (me included!) To help me in this endeavour, I have brought on a guest to speak to us about how we can all achieve blogging perfection. Please keep reading!

Do you remember the “still a better love story than Twilight" joke? Well, there’s one more love story that should be added there and then it’s probably high time we forgot about that joke all together. It’s marketing and content writing. Nowadays, almost 90% of companies use content marketing as a tool in their marketing strategy. Of course, not all the texts are excellent, read-worthy and compelling. But what makes one a great content writer? Since it is the profession of the present day, and it will probably be so in the years to come, it’s a great thing to learn how to be an excellent content creator. We made a list of five simple questions for you to answer:


Thursday, April 19, 2018

SPOTLIGHT: Meet Tega Baah

Meet Tega!
There is an army of amazing women rising up in our generation, and it's only fair we know who they are, which is why I am so excited to share our first ever interview on the blog! This will be the start of an amazing series, where we'll shine a spotlight on incredible creative women. Our only stipulation? They need to love reading! 

We begin with Ghana-based Tega Baah. This 'Ghagerian' superwoman is a filmmaker and a fellow lover of books. Her story is so inspiring, and we just couldn't resist the opportunity to peel back the layers of fabulosity which make up this powerhouse of a woman.  We caught up with Tega and asked her to share what she had to say about reading, film production, keeping the faith and natural hair!


Monday, April 16, 2018

Dust that Dirt Off Your Shoulder! (How to Deal with Criticism)

Criticism is never a nice thing to receive because as humans we thrive on praise (although it can sometimes leave us with reddened cheeks!). But, be it about our appearance or a project we have sweated over, criticism can leave us with a considerable lack of confidence, and even cause us to question the motives of our faultfinders. 

If you are sensitive like me, the effects of criticism can be devastating. I remember crying my eyes out after learning that a handful of my wedding guests had said some unsavoury things about my special day! Thankfully, I have grown a pair since then (I hope) and can share some things you can do to 'dust that dirt off your shoulder'.


Thursday, April 12, 2018

How To Write a Pretty Damn Good Book Review!

Hello! After my last post, I thought we should revert to something a little more technical. But hey, thanks for all of your interest and comments on the whole #visabae debacle.

Now, this post is for the avid book readers and those who enjoy my book reviews, and for those who would like to write a review of their own! 
Being able to write an intriguing review with honesty that will pique the interest of potential readers and have them run to the bookstore or navigate to Amazon is a great skill. There are many new authors needing exposure for their work, and fellow bloggers, I can't do it all alone!

So, I would like to offer a few tips on how to write a pretty damn good book review! Of course, each person will have their own style, but I believe that these tips are essential!


Saturday, April 7, 2018

Bloggers, How Do We Strike the Balance Between Real Life and Virtual Reality?

Hey ladies. Please allow us to go off topic today. I want to speak on a current trending issue which sparked a bit of a twitterstorm and had the YouTube world shook! 

So on Wednesday, my sis and fellow blogger Missy May posted this on her Instagram. I urge you to read her caption then come back. This was in the same week Zimbabwean Youtuber RLT released this viral video. If you can't be bothered to watch the whole thing, I'll break it down for you. RLT
 is a Youtuber and Instagram babe who uploaded a sobbing video on her channel, explaining to viewers that her current visa was expiring within a month, and that she needed her followers to contribute towards the £2300 it will cost to pay for British Citizenship. She opened a GoFund Me page and asked if her viewers would drop "even just a pound each". #Visabae was a hashtag thus created to capture the plight of this young lady and the criticism that followed.


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Watching Ghanaian Celebrities Flirt and Showing You How to Reframe a Question

Happy Easter and blessings to all of you!

Most people would know that I am a big fan of YouTube. If you don't, you may want to read my about page! My interest in YouTube covers everything from lifestyle to fashion, to beauty, cooking, conspiracy theories and Christian teachings. 

I have recently been catching up on a popular Ghanaian cooking competition show on YouTube called Dining with Cooks & Braggarts which is hosted by the beautiful Ghanaian-Nigerian actress Yvonne Okoro (my girl crush!). Two celebrities are pitted against each other to prepare some of our fave Ghanaian dishes, and whilst they cook, she interviews them. In the latest episode, we see the Ghanaian politician, Kennedy Agyapong compete with his son, Ken Takyi Agyapong.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Bookmarked! March Edition

Image courtesy of Instagram @jennifer.garner
Yet another eventful month! As this is the last post of March, I am bringing to you another round up of books and communications related news from the far corners of the web. You might have noticed a slight change to the name of the previously titled "Stories we Loved" series. I decided to get clever and rename our beloved series 'Bookmarked!'.

What do you think? The name is a lot less cumbersome and seeing as this is a book blog and all...(oh, never mind!)
I'll stop waffling. Here are some of the items that caught my eye this month


Friday, March 23, 2018

The Skills You Need to Make It as a Badass Blogger!

I am sitting here wondering whether Spring will actually make an appearance or if it plans to be fraudulent until Summer. Anyhoo, a couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about how I became a copywriter, which generated a lot of interest, so I thought I'd expand the gift of my knowledge to blogging and give you some advice on how to be a badass blogger!

I have previously mentioned that I have been on/off blogging for around ten years, and although I have progressed hugely, I made some mistakes on the way. But most importantly, I've learnt loads.

If you want to become a professional blogger, there are a number of essential skills you will need. It is never as simple as merely signing up to a website development platform such as Blogger or WordPress and then typing up your thoughts. There is a lot more that goes into it than this! With that in mind, read on to discover the essential skills you need to have if you want to make it as a professional blogger this year.


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Book Review: Confessions of a Frustrated Millenial

Ladies, have you ever read a book that spoke to your soul with such clarity? Well, I have never identified with a book so closely in a long time as I did with Confessions of a Frustrated Millenial. I started the book whilst waiting for my flight from Los Angeles to London, and was almost done by the time my flight was due to land. That's how unputdownable it is! 

Confessions of a Frustrated Millenial focuses on the lives of three women of colour from Chicago, who are in their late twenties are plagued with the real struggles of being a millennial. All three graduated from different colleges ('university' to my UK peeps) with big career dreams which eventually morphe into desperate situations of unfulfillment and disillusionment. 


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Dashed Dreams and Renewed Hope: Why I got into Copywriting

As a child, my mother would always tell me "pay now, play later". This simply meant that if I committed my childhood to books, if I slaved away behind the desk in the first section of my life, I would definitely enjoy the promise of a successful career with no ceilings to smash through. Doors would just swing open and life would be a lavish cocktail of designer suits, dinner parties and holidays. Sure enough, I clung to my mother's words and worked my proverbial butt off. At primary school, night time reading was always complete and homework was always done.

Even at secondary school my coursework was always attacked with the knowledge of my dream job waiting at the other end. This continued through sixth form and university (bar a tiny, crazy period of  raving and missed deadlines in my first year of university!)


Sunday, March 11, 2018

"Life is Pure Adventure..."

"...and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we will be able to treat life as art."
-Maya Angelou, author.

Having said that, I am on one such adventure! I've decided to take a mini break. I am currently 'adventuring' in LA, California so there is no Sunday blog post this week. But I'll be back on Thursday.


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Ghana Independence, International Women's Day & Ama Ata Aidoo (A Review)

Oooh, March really is a busy month! Today is International Women's Day, two days ago it was Ghana Independence, and on Sunday it's Mother's day in the UK! I couldn't possibly choose what to base this blog post on, so I thought I'd go combine two of this month's themes and focus on a woman writer from Ghana.

Please allow me to introduce you to Ama Ata Aidoo (whose birthday is also in the month of March). If you are a regular frequenter of this blog, you'd know I constantly rave about Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie who is a Nigerian author. But when it comes to Ghanaian authors, Ama Ata Aidoo definitely deserves all the accolades.


Sunday, March 4, 2018

Spring is Here and Five Ways to Spring Clean your Blog!

Finally, spring is here! And whilst the weather might not quite be playing ball yet, I would like to reassure you that warmer days are yet to come. Don't believe me?  Just peep out of the window at seven in the morning and you'll see that the world is becoming a brighter place.

The arrival of spring ushers in the need to spruce up our homes. Many people will be clearing clutter and cleaning away the cobwebs. But, if this is not you please rest in the knowledge that I am not judging you :) But what I will insist on is that you dust off the cobwebs from your blog. I mean, how long have you been blogging? Months? Years? Are you still sure that all your information is up to date?

Don't worry if not. I am about to guide you through how to spring clean your blog. Go back as far back as you want to. It can be in the past twelve months, or even since your first post and do the following:


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Book Review: Year of Yes

Happy world book day!

Well, it's about time ain't it?  But yes the book review for Year of Yes is finally here! But I tell you, it is well worth the wait because Year of Yes is one helluva' book, and this is going to be a cracking review!

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen me post this picture on the 27th January with the promise of a review, then this one on the 24th February just to let the world know that I hadn't forgotten to honour my word. In fact, it had been so long since I began the book that by the time I was ready to start the review, I had to swing back to the first chapter for a quick reminder on how it starts.

Who is Shonda Rhimes?
OK, now what is Year of Yes? It's the memoir of the author and screenwriter Shonda Rhimes,  served with a measure of humour, and finished off with a sprinkle of motivation. But before I go on, I think I need to share with you a little bit about Shonda Rhimes. 


Saturday, February 24, 2018

Bookmarked! February Edition

Courtesy of Marvel
Can you believe February is almost over? Wow! Wonders will never cease! But the end of the month signals it's time for another edition of Stories we Loved, where I reflect on my personal favourite communications and bookish articles, and the news stories that got chins wagging. 

With Valentine's Day, the 100th anniversary since women won the right to vote, American Black History Month and the release of Marvel's groundbreaking film, Black Panther all taking place in the same month, February has been quite eventful.

So without further ado, here are the Stories We Loved: February Edition

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Ten Ways Black Panther Destroys Narratives about Africa

Image courtesy of Marvel
I watched Black Panther with hubby and some friends last night, and even after a night's sleep, I'm still buzzing! I didn't really want to write about Black Panther, not because I didn't think it was going to be a groundbreaking film, smashing box office records and raking in over $400 million worldwide in its first weekend, but because there are already so many articles, blogs and analyses about it and I thought my voice would be drowned in the millions of others on the internet. But then again, how could I not say anything? If you have seen the film you'll know what all the hype is about, so please indulge me a little, ok?


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Why People are not Reading Your Writing

I didn't mean for the title of this post to sound so harsh, but I needed to grab your attention! What I actually wanted to say was "five ways to make your writing more legible". 

With that said, I know in this day and age we are a generation who does not have the patience to sit and read through long or bulky articles. A study on people's online reading habits showed that 6 out of 10 people will share an article without reading it until the end.

With so much to read or watch, I find myself hurriedly skimming over text and even omitting a few of the middle paragraphs if what I'm reading is too long. Frankly, it is a very bad habit. I mean, what happened to taking our time to fully immerse ourselves in the fabric of the text? Whatever the reasons are, and whether rushing our reading is the virtuous thing to do or not, this is the current trend. 

So I am going share some tips to make your writing more "scannable", ie more attractive, easier on the eye, digestible - however you'd like to describe it.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The 5 Love Languages and 10 Ways to Say 'I Love You' Without Actually Saying It.

I recently began a book called The 5 Love Languages. I am not going to lie, I never finished it! It could be because I had already heard so much about what the love languages are. I even took the love languages online test! I've discussed love languages with my best friend, and I've discussed it with my husband, so I think by the time the I actually ordered the book, there wasn't much for me to actually look forward to.

For those who haven't heard about the 5 Love Languages, it is a book based on research carried out by Gary Chapman, who concluded that the reason why relationships break down is not because of a lack of love, but because of too much of the wrong type of love. He summed up his findings in his groundbreaking book. What unites us as human beings is our emotional need for love, but we all differ in the kind of love we need or the kind of love that makes us feel good. 


Saturday, February 10, 2018

Valentine's Day and My First Erotic Novel (Review)

As a teenager,  I never had a Valentine. Who would want to take out the fat girl with the coca-cola bottle-thick glasses, and chunky corn rows atop her head? Not when there's Emily with her shiny brunette hair and Becky with her slender proportions!

Don't feel sorry for me though because, until the age of around seventeen I would have much rather engrossed myself in a good book, and whatever I couldn't make a reality, I lived vicariously through fiction. Whether it was by reading about rich teenagers going on weekend shopping sprees (we didn't have money for that) or reading about a hot hunk's pursuit of his sexy love interest protagonist (I was anything but), books gave me the life I wanted.


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Do These Ten Things And You'll Never Run Out of Blog Post Ideas

Blogging is difficult. That's the truth. I find that the writing itself is not the problem, but when you also have to be a researcher, editor,  photographer, social media expert, marketing pro and general multitasking guru, the business of blogging can become tedious.

In addition to just about maintaining your blog, keeping it afresh with interesting blog topics can be difficult - especially if you are trying to stick to your niche and adhere to a blogging schedule. 

As you gain experience in blogging you kind of learn where to look for ideas, to keep your blogging inventory bountiful. But if you feel you need a little assistance here are some ideas below.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Code Switch Part II: Speaking to Get Ahead?

Hi ladies.

In part one, I discussed life as a child and how language weaved itself so intricately into my existence. Click here to read it!

In 2005, I started my degree in French and Linguistics, which opened up my world beyond black and white. It was now no longer important to use language as a means of being cool. I was sat in a classroom with students from around the country, and around the world. There were mature students and young professionals. I was amongst some of the most intelligent people and if I am being honest, I was intimidated. But in the midst of it all, I learned a fast lesson: that in the grown-up world, especially when trying to learn a modern foreign
language all pretense had to be put aside. I quickly became humble and allowed myself to be taught.


Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Code Switch Part I : My Life in Languages

Code-switching is a linguistic practice which refers to the alternating between two or more languages, dialects or registers (for example the Queen's English vs. Pidgin English) in a single discourse. Many people do it, including members of my family who'd often switch between our native Ghanaian dialect (Ga - a melodic, tonal dialect) and English in a single conversation. This is also often the case for bilingual people and students of foreign languages.


Saturday, January 27, 2018

Bookmarked! January Edition

The Jack Jones Literary Arts Team - Image courtesy of Google
One thing I do to keep me up to date with current stories is to set up Google Alerts. I also watch a lot of news and love to browse the Flipboard app, which is amazing for delivering stories you are interested in direct to you.

What I will be doing monthly is collating the best of these features and news items based on what trended and what I took a particular liking to. I will try and make them as relevant to the world of books and communications as I possibly can, but we all know there is more to life than that, right?

So without further ado, here is my first post on Stories We Loved, January edition.


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Book Review: Dear Ijeawele, A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

With 'adulting' in full swing, it is often very difficult to finish a book in one sitting. In fact, I never do it. So I knew I had a good one when I was able to devour this beautiful piece entitled Dear Ijeawele: A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions in a single evening. (That, and the fact that it's quite a short read - eighty pages in total).

Dear Ijeawele, a non-fiction literary piece, written in letter form, is from my all-time favourite author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and proves why she continues to hold that prized spot in my heart. In her introduction, Adichie explains that her childhood friend, Ijeawele, asked her 'how to raise her baby girl a feminist', so she decides 'to write her a letter, which she hope[s] would be honest and practical'. And this sets off the tone for the rest of the book.


Saturday, January 20, 2018

How to Apologise Sincerely (Featuring H&M)

With the storm surrounding the H&M debacle, aka "monkey gate"* calming down, I thought it was time to reflect on lessons learned. Whilst I have my own opinions on the company's sense of judgement, what I'd like to focus on is the apology the company's spokesperson issued after news of a bit of marketing gone wrong went viral, and the global fury which ensued. 

The company firstly issued an apology along the lines of "we apologize to all those we have offended". This apology was disingenuous for the following reasons:


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Madeline's Must-Read List for 2018

I need to read more. Seems like a strange comment to come from a book blogger. But contrary to what you might imagine I don't spend all my time pored over a book. Also, if I am going to produce lots of great content for you, I feel I may have to step up this year.

So today I am sharing a short list to which I have added to my "to be read" pile. This compilation consists of books that have been released in the last couple of years and books that will be available to read this year.


Saturday, January 13, 2018

Blue Monday and the Problem of Speaking for the Sake of It

How are you today?

This week we've had Blue Monday, which is apparently the most depressing day of the year. The 15th January 2018 has won the undesirable accolade for the following reasons:


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Three amazing books I read but never reviewed

2017 was such a topsy-turvy year for me that it affected my blogging. If you were following me last year, you would have noticed that I took a big break from blogging (just look at the archives in the side panel!)

One thing that I did manage to keep up with was reading. One thing Kindle Reads have allowed me to do is to download books at a whim - which I love! Today, I would like to quickly share with you three great books I read but didn't get to review.

These are not full book reviews per se, but a brief on what they were about and why I loved them.


Saturday, January 6, 2018

Book Review: The Smart Money Woman

The Smart Money Woman by groundbreaking author, Arese Agwu was a book I picked up hoping to learn a few lessons from. However I only had to read the first few pages of the sample I'd downloaded before I realised that I had chanced upon a life changing literary masterpiece.

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