OOTD: Oy Vey!

Hey dolls!

Wa gwan? Friday is upon us (YAAAAAAASSSSSSSS) so I just wanted to share a cheeky little OOTD. I really need to do these more often, but now that I’ve moved thousands of miles away/have no friends, I have nobody to take pics of me. So hey any readers in Accra who want to be my new photographer, please contact me. Please note you will need to buy me daily fried plantain. Shout out to my BFF/photographer Miss Fu- I MISS YOU.

Anyhoo I digress. This is one of my favourite outfits. I work in digital marketing, so even Monday-Thursday doesn’t really call for strictly corporate wear. But I never met a pencil skirt I didn’t like, so I tend to dress up a bit for 4 days and then go casual on Fridays. Let’s get into this relaxed Friday slayage…

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So the petit jacké is from Primark (where else). I featured it and my M&S jeans in a previous post. I love the pop of colour from the jacket, and the fit of the jeans… sigh. These jeans are everything I didn’t know I needed in life. Handbag is from H&M and my faux leather sandals are also from Primark. Pretty sure the entire outfit cost less than your Tesco meal deal lunch.

But my fave part of this outfit is the “Oy Vey” vest I picked up from Forever 21 last summer in Vegas! I say all the time that I’m a Jewish grandmother in a Ghanaian diva’s body. I’m always napping, asking male friends when they’re going to settle down with a nice girl, and saying things like “ooh I’m working up quite a schvitz.” So I yelped when I saw this vest. Love it.

So yah when work is over on Friday, just throw off your jacket, pop your hip and go! I would normally add a splash of red lippie, gold hoop urrings and a pair of cute animal print heels. And you’re ready to flee the office! For added #WinningAtLife points try hanging your jacket on your chair and slinking out. Nobody will know you left early!

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Ooh and if anyone wants to know about my hair (you should, because it’s fabulous), these are crotchet braids by my beloved hairstylist Cofo (based in North London). I dream it, and she always executes it to perfection! Check out her blog, and holla if you want her digits!

So what’s your go-to Friday outfit boo?

Love,
Adjpants

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Girls on Safari: Dominican Republic, Part Dos

Ola mis amores!

As effing usual, the 2nd instalment of my trip to the Dominican Republic is late. I keep telling you African time is a real affliction. Yes I’m always late, please just love me anyway! Teehee.

So where were we? The last time you saw Miss Fu and I, we were sipping cocktails and working on our tans. Tanning was going well and #OperationDarkChocolate was coming along nicely. Fantastic though that was, we were gagging to get out and explore La Republica Dominicana. So we booked ourselves on a cheeky Outback Safari tour!

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#Excoitment

From the second we got on that truck, we just knew we were in for an amazing time. Our guide was called Angel, and we loved him on sight. He was jolly, hilarious, and most importantly full of local knowledge and passion for his country. He told us he’d been born and raised in the Dominican Republic, and that he would never want to live anywhere else. Kudos to you sir.

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We trundled through the Dominican countryside, and I couldn’t get over how stunning everything was. The colours were so vibrant, the air was clear and the scenery was incredible. We drove through little villages, and then it was off-roading time! As we made our way through thick rainforest areas, Angel pointed out the cocoa and coffee trees all around us.

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Before we knew it, it was time for our first stop! We were taken to a little school in the hills, and peeked in to wave at the kiddies. At least I did. Some overly exuberant people with our tour group strode right into the classroom and got snap-happy. It made me uncomfortable, like Ma’am please have a seat! These children are in class so maybe don’t lean over them with your camera? Cretins. Anyhoo…

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Our next stop was definitely my favourite. We stopped at the family home of a man called Chappy, who runs a cocoa and coffee plantation with his wife. They gave us a warm welcome, and showed us how the raw cocoa is processed into cocoa powder and cocoa butter.

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We got to sample some of the delicious products. Chappy and Senora Chappy laid out some hot chocolate, cinnamon coffee, and fresh sugarcane. Obviously Miss Fu and I have no home training so we were chowing down long after the rest of the group wandered off. Everything tasted heavenly, and I bought some coffee and pure cocoa butter. Needed to make sure I spent the London summer stunting on these heaux with my luminous skin!

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Uncle Chappy is a real G. Just look at him on the packet with his wife! He was kind enough to show us around his beautiful family home and grounds. I don’t think I have ever seen anything so lovely. The colours fam…

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The fun continued as we were taken to see how coconut oil is made. Honey you know I’m all coconut oil everythang so that was awesome. Then it was time to shop! We got to sample some traditional dranks. We sipped some aged Mama Juana (you might remember the “Dominican Babymaker” from Part Uno) and then I was introduced to vino de piña, which is pineapple wine. You have never tasted anything so divine. There were all sorts of delectable items available.20150519_121521

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We also got to see how cigars are rolled by hand, which was awesome. Just a few seconds with his deft fingers, and BAM! Done. Bawss moves.

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El Bae, Miss Fu.

We then had lunch at a country ranch, which was amazing. Heaps of fried chicken, grilled beef, salads, and rice. While we ate, Angel plied us with drinks to keep the party going. It was such a perfect afternoon, and the view from the ranch was breathtaking.

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We hopped back on the bus and made our way to our final stop: boogie boarding at Macao Beach! It was just… guys I want to say it was beautiful but that wouldn’t do it justice. Like, Carol can I get a vowel or nah? No words! Look at it!

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I grabbed a board and looked out at the ocean. I was nervous cos I didn’t fancy drowning on such a beautiful day. The ridiculously hot guide who had joined our tour group asked, “You need help, mami?” I was all “YES HI I NEED EVERYTHING FROM YOU,” so he took my hand and led me out into the water. We went out so far that my tootsies were no longer touching the ground. I lay on the board and Hottie McAdonis held it still, while watching for the perfect wave. He suddenly asked, “Ready?” I was like “Gah! No!” He yelled, “Hold tight!” And I turned my head and saw this huge swell of water right behind me. I barely had time to scream “Jesus fix it” before he let go…

And WHOOSH! I was borne up on the crest of this gigantic wave, shooting towards the shore at high speed! It was like nothing I’ve ever felt before; complete exhilaration and pure joy. I was laughing and shrieking, and I felt like I was flying! I couldn’t get enough, and spent the rest of the afternoon on my #Surfboardt

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And just like that, it was the perfect end to yet another perfect Dominican day. We got on the truck to make our way back to the resort. The rumble of the engine started to put me to sleep… I tasted salt on my lips and felt sand between my toes. As I drifted off, my last thought was, “I don’t want this trip to ever end.”

I can’t wait to share the final instalment of my Dominican adventure- coming soon darlings (I promise, I promise)!

Amor,
Adjpants

On Beauty.

My loves. This is the post that I started to write over a year ago and continuously lost my nerve. Today I read about Auntie Oprah’s epic faux pas and I thought, “the time is now.” In Oprah’s O Magazine, there was a fashion segment about crop tops. The line was “If (and only if) you have a flat stomach, feel free to wear a crop top.” This foolishment finally gave me the courage to share this post. Today we’re going to be talking about positive body image. It’s something that I’m passionate about, and something that’s very close to my heart.

It’s about to get REAL in here so I’ll give you a chance to settle in and get comfortable *sips tea* And we’re back. Like an alarming number of young girls, I grew up thinking that I was ugly. There, I said it. I was a shy and anxious kid, always hiding behind a book so people wouldn’t look at me. As a teenager I felt like if I wasn’t going to be attractive, then I should at least be funny. I used humour as a defense mechanism, constantly trying to please others because I was worried that I just wasn’t good enough.

I hid my body in clothes so shapeless that even Miranda circa Sex and the City Season 1 would be like “NO BISH.” At one point I was wearing baggy Dad Jeans from the supermarket, with my brother’s hand-me-down t-shirts #FixItJesus. I felt like my body was offensive to others. And then one day I met someone who changed my life. She was an ultra- glamorous girl I met at university, who noticed me trying to blend into the background, and slowly brought me out of my shell. One day I tagged along while she went shopping, prepared to sit outside the dressing room while she tried things on. But she hung up an armful of clothes and pushed me into the cubicle. I tried to protest but she gave me a sassy little dress to try on.

When I walked out to show her, nothing could have prepared me for her reaction. She was screaming “yaaaaassss” and told me I looked beautiful. I said that people would stare, that they would mock for me pouring my round body into such a form-fitting dress. She just laughed. “If they’re going to stare, why not really give them something to look at?” Why the eff not indeed? In the face of her matter-of-fact certainty, I actually bought the dress.

It was like somebody had flicked a switch, and in the light everything looked different. It was a whole new way of thinking. Was my body soft and fleshy? Yes. Did that mean I had to be ashamed of it? NO. The seed had been planted.

A few years later, I stumbled across an Instagram hashtag called #HonorMyCurves and I was hooked. Thousands of pictures featuring beautiful women, of all shapes and sizes. What they all had in common was confidence. These women were wearing all the latest fashions. Hotpants, bikinis, body con dresses. The next thing I noticed was the positivity of the comments- everyone was so supportive! And it only got better from there- I soon realised that there was a whole community of women celebrating each other through the  #bodyacceptance #goldenconfidence and #EffYourBeautyStandards movements.

Now, we all know that some people are sour and miserable and cruel, so there is always that one knob-jockey who tries to slide into the comments with “you’re all disgusting/you should lose weight/you’re putting your health at risk/you will die” Let this be a quick reminder to the haters that YOU CANNOT MAKE JUDGMENTS ON PEOPLE’S HEALTH BY LOOKING AT THEIR BODIES. Yes, there are some risk factors associated with being overweight, but there are also many slim people who are at risk of chronic diseases. May I invite you to have a tall glass of shut the hell up? It is nobody’s responsibility to police another person’s body. Stay in your lane.

I love my body. I don’t want it to look any different. The reason I try to exercise and eat clean is because it makes me feel strong and amazing. I need that strength to kick body-shamers in the face.

On vacation in the Dominican Republic recently, I was trotting around in bikinis and hotpants. Fresh out of f*cks to give, I was serving a disrespectful amount of backside and largesse of thigh. And guess what? I felt amazing. This from the girl who used to go to the pool in baggy shorts and an oversized t-shirt!

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None of this would have been possible a few years ago.

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image I love you guys and I want nice things for you, so I’m adding a list of my favourite body positive Instagrammers. Trust me- you need these women in your life.

1. @HonorCurves: We love her because she is a ray of sunshine and positivity, a true inspiration.

2. @GabiFresh: We love her because she is an incredible fashionista who changed the game when she coined the term “fatkini” and showed plus size women everywhere that swimwear belongs to us, too.

3. @essiegolden: We love her because she is gorgeous and so supportive of her followers.

4. @NadiaAlboulhosn: We love her because she is fun, FIERCE and wonderful, and her style game is ice-cold.

I once read something where a woman said, “I want to wear a figure-hugging dress, but first I need a figure worth hugging.” Honey I’m here to tell you that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Your body is worth all the love and hugs in the world. Because God gave it to you.

And He never makes mistakes.

image Love,
Adjpants

p.s. Eat it, Oprah.

How Adjpants Got Her Groove Back: Dominican Republic, Part Uno

Darlings!

It’s your Caribbean Queen here, back in the country and reporting for duty. I just got back from paradise, and I can’t wait to share the amazing experience with you!

Last year, my homeslice/travel buddy/BFF Miss Fu mentioned a Caribbean getaway to celebrate our birthdays in May. We chose the Dominican Republic and did some research. When we came across Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa, it was a done deal. Their website described the resort as being “secluded in a lush tropical paradise.” YAAAAASS BISH.

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Miss Fu and I tore thangs up in Cuba a few years ago, so we were totes looking forward to the trip. The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean nation bordered by Haiti, and it’s known for its white sandy beaches and sizzling bachata and merengue music. The people are ethnically diverse; of African, European, and Native American descent. All these things piqued my interest and made La Republica Dominicana my dream holiday destination.

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Before we knew it, it was May 14th and we were OFF, hunty! As our plane touched down in Punta Cana, we peered out of the windows, practically climbing over each other for the first glimpse. I squealed at the sight of the heat shimmering off the concrete, and the thatched roofs of the airport buildings. As we taxied to our gate, I noticed crowds of deeply tanned “gorgoisie” (my word for the gorgeous bourgeoisie dahling- you can borrow) sipping dranks on balconies. At the airport. #WinningAtLife

We made our way through customs and immigration, and out into the sun. Moments later, we met the uniformed driver who would be taking us to our resort. He was a tall, jolly black man (who looked not unlike my Uncle Kwabena), and he broke into a smile when he spotted us. He shook our hands and cried out, “Mi colores! Mi familia!” He gestured to his skin and we realised he was excited because our complexions matched his. Throughout our time in the Dominican Republic we would hear delighted calls of “Oye morenas” (hey brown girls) and the ever-passionate “Familia!” I loved it.

About an hour later we were driving up a long, curving driveway to our resort. Listen- I have never seen anything so beautiful in my entire life. Gleaming mahogany floors, soaring ceilings with ornate fans, and everywhere lush flowers and swaying palms.

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We could barely contain our excitement as we were led to our room. It was stunning- decked out in white decor with splashes of red and lime green. I opened the curtains and…

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It was like looking out on the Garden of Eden. Also… how could there just be a peacock chilling on our patio? PARADISE, that’s how. We soon realised the resort was full of flamingos and peacocks, taking naps and preening for the gawds.

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By this point all the travel, excitement and shrieking had tired us out, so we were like “quick nap, then we’ll head out to explore.” Needless to say jetlag knocked us out, and we woke up in the middle of the night like “BRUH”

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(Introducing the gorgeous Miss Fu, who stays ready so she never has to GET ready!)

Early the next morning we headed out for a jog, excited to check out our new home for the next ten days. They say a picture paints a thousand words so lemme just leave these here real quick…

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Right?! Next was breakfast! Freshly showered and gleaming with shea butter (we didn’t come to play), we headed to one of the resort’s many restaurants. As long as I live, I will never forget the reception we got. Let me tell you a little something about Dominican men. These men are SO FINE that they look at you and you forget your name and address. The good news is that you’ll never need those details again, because you are now drunk in love. And they’re not just easy on the eye. Their swag is on ONE HUNNID. Charm? Yaaaaass. Twinkle in the eye? Check. As we sashayed past the juice station, I caught the eye of one of the waiters and he gave me the most thoroughly salacious wink I’ve ever seen. Miss Fu and I giggled, and suddenly men were hurtling across the room towards us. Pulling out our chairs, declaring us “caliente” (hot) and “linda” (pretty), elbowing each other out of the way. I think someone was injured in the fight to pour Miss Fu’s drink. By the time we finished eating, I was ready for permanent Dominican citizenship. They had me like “AND I AM TELLING YOU I’M NOT GOING” (you’re gonna love me Carlos).

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We spent the next couple of days in the blazing heat, sipping cocktails and frolicking between beach and pool. Things escalated when someone urged us to try the national drink: Mamma Juana. A potent blend of rum, red wine, honey, tree bark and local roots and spices, Mamma Juana is also known as The Dominican Babymaker. It’s reputed to have aphrodisiac qualities but of course I couldn’t possibly comment (I can) on whether that’s true (it is). As the bartender poured us a shot each, he laughed and said “It gives you potential!” HEY NOW!

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As we languished on pool mats, I trailed my fingers through the water and bopped along to the merengue blaring from a nearby speaker. The sun was warm on my skin and the Mamma Juana was warm in my belly. I remember being happy and calm. In that moment I thought, “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

Hope you enjoyed the first instalment, pumpkins! Look out for Dominican Republic: Part Dos, coming soon! Besos!

Amor,
Adjpants

OOTD: Springtime Fine

Oh hey pumpkins! So spring has finally sprung in London and I am beyond thrilled. The sun is out, temperatures are rising and everywhere is green and lush. But my favourite thing about springtime? Flowers. I love flowers, and the entire city is in bloom.

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So when I stepped out for Sunday brunch recently, I was serving flower power realness. Get involved…

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I love this outfit. It’s casual but feminine, with just the right amount of YAAAASSS. The statement piece of course is this floral jacké (when a jacket is really fancy it becomes a jacké). I picked this up 2 summers ago at Primark and I’m pretty sure it cost me £12. With a piece like this, I like to keep everything else simple. I went for my favourite black sleeveless tee (£5), also from Primark circa 2013.

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Now let’s get into these jeans real quick! As a curvy girl, I find buying jeans to be a tricky process. I have a lot of “bawdy” and a backside that won’t quit. My bum is like, “AND I AM TELLING YOU… I’M NOT GOING.” And that’s fine- I love my figure and I keep an eye out for things that flatter it. These jeans are the Petite Sculpt & Lift Skinny from Marks & Spencer, and they were £35. Oh yes- M&S of the sensible court shoes and diaphanous undies. But if you wade through all that stuff you can actually dig out some gems! Also no shade to M&S because they’re really starting to fix up. I rolled these jeans up ‘cos I’m teeny, and I like the uber-casual feel this adds.

Shall we talk accessories? My cross-body bag and cut-out sandals are both from Primark. Can’t remember exact prices but they were so cheap, they practically paid ME to take ’em. The 50s-style tortoiseshell sunglasses I got from River Island years ago. Instant chic for just £10.

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And that’s it! A fresh, affordable spring outfit. I refuse to spend a lot of money on designer clothes (I need that cash for lipstick and travel). Whenever someone compliments me on what I’m wearing, I take great pleasure in telling them how little I spent on it. Why should I be embarrassed?

I’m my mother’s daughter, and she taught me to hunt down a bargain. She also taught me this: The dress doesn’t make the woman, the woman makes the dress. *Snap and a twirl*

Love,
Adjpants

Happy Birthday Rosie! ♥

Today is my homegirl Rosie’s birthday! Festoon the streets with glitter! Let balloons fill the sky! LET THEM EAT CAKE!

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I’m always going on about how much I adore this chick, and I’ve missed her every single day since moving back to London. She is my pumpkin, my moon and stars, my liebschen. Let’s do a quick recap of why I love her:

1. She makes me cackle to the point of tears. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… she has the face of an angel, and swears like a sailor.

2. The very first time I went for after-work drinks with Rosie, I hesitated before doing a tequila shot and she yelled in my ear, “Go on! That’ll put hair on your balls!”

3. Her lifestyle & fashion blog, A Red Lip and a Nude Shoe, is EVERYTHING you have ever needed, and more. I save up her posts greedily and then binge on the fabulosity and eleganza. So much YAAAAASSS. I couldn’t be more proud of Rosie, and I know this is only the beginning for her.

So please join me in raising a glass to Our Rosie! Happy birthday dollsnatch! I love you. A little somethin’ special for you below…

Love always,
Adjpants

OOTD: Ghanaian Independence Day Slayage

Friday March 6th, 2015, marked 58 years since my home country Ghana declared its independence from colonial rule. Formerly known as the Gold Coast, Ghana was the first sub-Saharan nation to gain independence. This is a source of great pride, and we have so many reasons to celebrate. Every time I go home, I’m excited and awed by our progress. Yes, we still have some work to do but as the great Kwame Nkrumah said, “Forward ever, backward never.”

I wanted to celebrate the day with my nearest and dearest, so I got my friends together for a night of Ghanaian food, fun and as always, tomfoolery.

What did I wear? GLAD YOU ASKED *flips hair*

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I wanted to serve African Queen realness. For this I always turn to ankara (West African wax print). I wore a gorgeous strapless dress with a cinched waist and a full skirt. Last time I was in Nigeria my lovely Auntie Safi had this made for me. Oh, the fierceness.

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I wore it with my favourite grey coat- you may remember this from my previous OOTD post! You know that one item of clothing that makes you feel fierce and powerful? Chile, the second I put this coat on, you can’t tell me NOTHING. Just try me.

I added a black & gold belt from Primark to cinch my waist even further- because I’m disrespectful like that. I completed the look with a cascading gold leaf necklace from Forever 21, because my mummy always says, “A queen should wear gold.” Final touches were my favourite black Mary Janes from Clarks, ASOS faux fur snood and Primark black patent clutch.

Now let’s serve face, hunty.

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The lighting wasn’t great in the restaurant, so I hope you can seeeee! I wanted to feature the colours of the Ghanaian flag, so I went for a green smokey eye, paired with a classic red lip.

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I used the Sleek I-Divine Eyeshadow palettes in “Garden of Eden” and “Storm” on my eyes, and Maybelline’s “Red Revival” on my kisser.

What did we eat? Everything! I was so excited when I saw the menu- all my old favourites were there. Banku (fermented corn and cassava dough) and roasted tilapia, fufu (pounded plantain, yam and cassava) and groundnut soup, fried yam… and chofi (fried turkey tail). LAWD, the chofi! Jesus be a fence to high cholesterol.

It was good eatin’. That cute belt had to come off real quick, fam. Didn’t even make it past appetisers. I went home so full that I fell asleep standing up in the elevator.

Side note: I’m thrilled to be heading off to the motherland this weekend! Really looking forward to spending time with my family and EATING ALL OF THE THINGS. Look out for “Love, Adpants: African Edition!”

So my darlings. Until we meet again, as we Ashantis say, “Ebeye yie”… It shall be well.

Love,
Adjpants