Monday, December 9, 2013

Las Queridas

Chez Lucienne
Address: 308 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10027
Landmark - Red Rooster

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

India: Transportation & Shopping


Getting around Delhi can be quite the feat;  there were a number of options but our primary mode of transport were the autos (autoricksaw or tuk-tuk). Every auto is installed with a meter ; and we were warned to ALWAYS request for the meters to be turned on before boarding.  A running meter determines whether you pay 50 rupees or 300 rupees to your destination.   Luckily for us, we already mastered the head bobbing which pretty much means : yes, no, maybe, I don’t know. lol. Armed with the few words we’d jutted down from our 5 year old teacher Avaira, our negotiating typically consisted of vigorously bobbing our heads accompanied with words like “Nay – No” “Han-Yes” , “Bahad dam – expensive” “tikeh – ok” or “chello – lets go”.

Random fact – a lot of drivers don’t know where places are and so we had to have directions or be ready to make multiple stops for the drivers to ask for directions.

Train – I was very impressed by the Delhi Metro, the trains are clean and air-conditioned. They also have a separate cars for women which I think is really neat if you do not want to entertain unwanted male advances; and oooh get this!! cell phones work underground - I called Rosa who was standing next to me just to see – take note NYCDOT.
The tokens for the train are very inexpensive, it costs 25 rupees ($0.40) from Hauz Khas to Chandi Chowk – 20 mins train ride.  If, you do travel this route, let me warn you ahead of time, it is in your best interest to buy a round trip token before you get to Chandi Chowk.  Nothing, I repeat nothing will prepare you for the mayhem that is Chandi Chowk. Unfortunately for us, we had to buy our return token here - the lines were looooong, we got shoved around and people cut into the lines in front of us as if we werent there; it took at least 40 mins for us to get a token . In the famous words of Terri from Terri & Rachel in Chandi Chowk, “Chaos Reigns Supreme”.
Avaira's Cheat Sheet :)
Old Delhi (Terry & Rachel)

Monday, November 25, 2013

INDIA: Sightseeing & Restaurants

The Digs
Our abode a was nice, clean b&b and truly home away from home. We stayed at the Serene in Hauz Khaz a “posh” part of Delhi. Serene is a cute little bed and breakfast run by a well-travelled Indian man named Dhruv . He was away the night we arrived, but the caretakers made us feel welcome and comfortable. Serene as you will see on their website, consists a living room , dining area and a patio all of which we had complete access to and use of . Each room had its own bathroom which is a huge plus for me since my bladder discriminates. Every morning, we were greeted with a set table of toast/ paratha, tea, the most delicious apricot jam, fresh butter and fruits. After long days of combing the busy streets-noisy of Delhi, it was ever so nice to go a Serene environment.
Location: Haus khaz 
Rate: $40/night
Wifi Free
Service: Excellent

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

30 Things (version 3.0)

Photo by Jaimie Shaff

Approaching the big 3-0 as come with much reflection and introspection. I am welcoming the beginning of this new decade with a renewed zeal to fulfill set goals and write new ones. I am grateful to be alive 30 years after an accident that could have claimed my life and feel blessed to have had such an incredible journey so far, with my wonderful family, great friends and some of life’s amazing human beings with whom I have crossed paths with.  I feel grateful to have made mistakes and have learned from them and I am excited to see what’s ahead. In the spirit 3 decades of life, here are 30 randomly written important things I’d like to share.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

India: Juroon & Biya

Pre-Wedding – Juroon

The day before the wedding, was the Juroon ceremony when Gaurav’s (groom) mother officially welcomed the Elizabeth (bride) to the family. The venue was the perfect picture of romance with drapery of soft teals, peaches and gold accents. The ceremony took place in front a morol (a square shaped structure decorated with flowers and banana tree leaves) and commenced with the official greeting of the two mothers and exchange of gifts. After certain rights were performed, Elizabeth was ushered out and seated in front of the morol facing a mirror, which she was later required to throw out. Gaurav’s mom applied sindoor (red holy powder)  to the parting of Elizabeth’s hair signifying that she is now a member of the family and presented her with gifts she would need as she starts her new life.

All fresh petals

Thursday, November 7, 2013

India: Farmhouse & Mendhi

The Ceremonies

Indian weddings are decidedly a lavish affair - at least this one was. The week long (5 days) festivities kicked off with a Farmhouse party; and by farmhouse I mean three-house enclave with a massive garden and pool.  Upon arrival, we were greeted with ever so attentive waiters offering endless cocktails and Hors d'oeuvres; and just when I thought I couldn't choke down another bite of some yummy deliciousness, it was time for dinner. After much face stuffing, catching ups and get-to-know-yous the dance floor was ablaze with Hindi hip hop and Spanish music thanks to uncle Tequilla. Amidst the twerking (joke), twirling and what-have-yous, I spied the beautiful couple from the corner of my eye in an intimate tete a tete that warmed my heart - perfect pieces to a puzzle. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

INDIA: Getting There

Enroute home

I still can't believe my trip to India has come and gone. After months of prepping, coordination and anticipation it all just seems so surreal. Unlike my previous trip to India this was different, one of my closest friends/roommates from grad school was getting married and I was not about to miss it for the world. So all of us roommates Rose, Rosa and I (Ches couldn’t make it at the last min) packed up our belongings and began our Indian adventure.  Before I launch into how awesome it was, here are a few technicalities some might be interested in.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Haunted Pumpkin Patch - NYBG

Nothing ushers in the fall like reddish-brown fallen leaves,  fresco weather and Halloween costumes. Last year, was my Yum Yum’s first Halloween and boy did I have some ambitious goals... gotta love the unrealistic expectations of a first-time mom.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Heart of India

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to go to India as part of my grad school final project. It was a year long project that took us (3 classmates & I) to the heart of India. We were required to conduct extensive research and analyze our findings - a learning opportunity of a lifetime. 

I have to be vague (i know annoying) because I am not sure how much information I can share (confidentiality n what not). The short version is that, I had an amazing experience I got to meet the nicest , kindest people who persevere despite the daily hardship characterizes their lives.

I did not to do any sightseeing which was a big downer - we came to work, and that was exactly what we did;  LOADS of it. Another trip to India looms on the horizon and I figured i'd share these pics to capture how different these two experiences might be. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Yum Yum's Bookcase

The past couple weeks have been unbelievably busy with preparing for winter and the launch of I+E.  Only few people know what I+E is but I’ll bring you up to speed on that very very soon J

Since I’ve got all my creative juices oozing lately, here’s  another  DIY post.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

DIY: Entryway Furniture Makeover

I was hoping to restart my apartment makeover this summer but somehow didn’t get around to any of the projects on my list. Now that summer is over, I find myself running helter skelter trying to  get it all done before the weather turns cold and miserable – gotta love procrastination. 

When we moved into our apartment last Oct, I looked evarrrrrywhere for the perfect foyer / entryway table but kept running into 2 problems - What I liked was outside my budget and I hated everything within my budget.

I ended up settling for an Ikea Micke desk which works nicely for us. We covered the cable hole with a letter holder and use the 2 drawers as a his&hers holding place for keys and other random crap.

Cost ?  $59 and a little imagination – I don’t think Ikea still has this but you can find it’s close cousin here 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Grace & Elie

You know how you have those friends that despite time and years, you’re able to pick up on your conversations from where you left off ?! Grace is one those people for me. She was my grad school “sibling”; the university had a program where second year students were assigned to first year students, to serve as peer mentors and she was/is excellent at it.

Through the years, our relationship has morphed into that of the prodigal sibling. We don’t get to talk as often as we used to but when we do, our conversations are deep, purposeful and raw. And often times, involves me picking her brain for advice on motherhood, marriage and entrepreneurship. 

Motherhood and precious Elie were the impetus behind Grace starting her eponymous baby clothing line “Grace & Elie”. The collection is predominantly inspired by her African(Ghanaian) heritage, so naturally, its full of prints and colors that tickle the senses. She worked on this collection right after her son was born – can I say Superwoman! 

When I became a mom, Grace showed up in style and showered Yum Yum with the most beautiful pieces from the collection. Here are few things my Yummers scored from Aunt Grace:

Onesie –  the cotton of the onesie is unimaginably soft and is simplistically designed with a cut out imagery of a dinosaur from a print fabric.

Bib – The bibs were my absolute favorite! The prints are vibrant and colorful and sure to make any spit-up look like a design, lol, more importantly, the back is made of an absorbent terry fabric. I always wiped YumYum’s mouth with the back for obvious reasons, I also loved the fact that all that messiness was nicely hidden.

Dresses – These spring/summer dresses are just gorg! see for yourself! In waiting for the perfect summer event for YumYum to wear them, summer has almost passed me by smh. Anyway, besides obviously being beautiful and comfortable, they  Adjustable!!!  So even though YumYum got them in 18months sizes, she can wear them well past 24 months by adjusting the shoulder ties and the purple dress can be worn as a skirt! How smart is that! Told you she’s superwoman.

Tuck in the straps and you have a skirt! 

I swear to you she wasn't prompted to twirl :) 

Check out more of her designs at Grace &Elie
Emma says thank you Aunt Grace!!!

We are very proud of you.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Healthy Lifestyle Update - July

Written last week in July. 

T’is the end of the month meaning another healthy lifestyle check in. If you’re curious about how my mankofit challenge went… well… whad had happen’d was…

I got bored of coming up with recipes and I fell off  the challenge... yea i know...wha whaaa... I later got back on… but did not entirely follow the grocery list - I had a yogurt here n there, then some chocolate and it went south from there.

My first couple weeks of following the challenge strictly brought my weight down into the 130’s – I’m currently swinging between 138-139 and I kiss 140 on a bad day. Although I didn’t lose a ton of weight, I’m getting closer to my pre-pregnancy weight (134-135) – I feel the need to add that I’m trying to make a lifestyle change here, so I make a conscious effort not to be too hopped up on the numbers and the goddamned scale. Here are some recipes I’ve tried since.

Brown Basmati Stir-fry: Rice/ Chicken/ Kale/ Portabella Mushrooms/ Balsamic Vinegar/ Salt 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Half of A Yellow Sun

Photo from

 A while back I had this idea to start a magazine that showed the positives of my continent. It would cover everything from Business, Tourism to highlighting Africans making strides in and out of the continent. I conducted an extensive amount of research but somehow never followed through on the project – I guess I got a job and later grad school – huff!! excuses. Anyway, during my research, I stumbled on Chimamanda Adichie… devoured her books - Purple Hibiscus , Half of A Yellow Sun -  and rushed to get an autographed copy at her book signing in Union Square.

Side Note: Check out her latest book "Americanah" I hear its riveting and controversial

Chimamanda is best known for “Half of a Yellow Sun” a story about how the political-cultural tensions in post colonial Nigeria tear a family & a people apart. The story touches on many issues from loyalty, interracial/ethnic relationships and the economics of  a newly independent country. You can read more here.

I was very pleased when Ivory, my bestie told me the book had been adapted into a movie. With the major roles played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton and Anika Rose. I was even more pleased to see iconic Nigerian actors in the movie – although, I doubt the movie was shot in Nigeria but I digress.

Photo from

Photo from

As I poured through the book, I realized how little I knew of the Biafra war; a civil war that erupted as a result of the Southeastern peoples desire to secede and a war that was largely an impetus for MSF. Growing up in Nigeria, I do not remember being given a detailed account of our history in school - specifically that history. I mean sure, I’d heard of The Biafra War but only in passing along with other historical facts like the death of Herbert Macauley. - (If there are any ACC readers out there, do you guys remember being given a detailed account of the Biafra War? ) - I also lived and went to school in Lagos (a Southwestern city), so perhaps that has something to do with it. idk.  One of my favorite writers Chris Abani (please check him out he is AMAZEBALLS) also agrees that the war was not discussed in detail for fear that it would reignite tensions – like that was not already happening.

I often tell people that I learned more about my country and continent after I left – perhaps such is the nature of immigration and holds true for every immigrant; but, Half of a Yellow Sun put a lot of things in perspective for me with regards to who I am and where I am from. It gave me pride and it made me sad because although ficitious, the events were very real and linger till today.

Ethnic riots were commonplace when I was younger; when these riots would begin, parents would rush to pick their kids from school and scoop the neighborhood kids as well;  schools and businesses would shut down until the riots were over, and once it was done, everybody returned to business as usual. I cannot count how many of these broke out when when I was a child, naturally, I was simply happy to have a day off from school and never thought more of it. The book opened my eyes to how sheltered we were, how my parents did an excellent job of making sure we were not really exposed to the dangers of  everyday life of a Lagosian – some are not so fortunate. Thank you mum and dad.

In the book, what resonated the most for me  was the fact that that generation of returnees (odenigbo who I think is somehow reminiscent of Ojwuku ) were ready to die for change, for progress... to make a better country for us. I finished the book with a rekindled ache to be an agent of change - you know, to stand for something; like those people - no like those heroes. They did not forget who they were; they went back home to BE the change. Alright,  I'll stop myself here before I start a pity-party about how my hunger to "do-something" fizzled. Point is, this a must - read! This is not just another African- war tale, but a compelling illustration of the human quest for betterment and resilience in the face hardship - at least that was my takeway. 

Half of A Yellow Sun is going to be featured in the Toronto Film Festival this fall and I think released next year. Watch the Trailer here

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Day at the Museum

As a relatively new mom, I face the old age problem of being able to spend time, .. no – quality time with my little one.  By the time I get back from work and blah blah blah, I end up spending barely 2 hours with my Yum Yum before she’s off to bed. And of course, in a typical mom fashion I worry about how this might affect her development. So, last weekend I decided to have a mummy-daughter day. A full on Yum Yum day with no distractions of chores and to-do lists – at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan.

A few things before I tell you how awesome her day was :) 
Children’s Museum of Manhattan (
Address:  212 W 83rd St  New York, NY 10024
Admission fee: $11 (children & Adults) ; $7 (seniors)
Children 12 months Under – Free 

The Museum had 4 floors each with activities for different ages. This is not the place for your 10- 12 yrs old – at least in my opinion; It's like a mini arcade with interactive –educational games. One of the reasons I was excited about the Museum is the classes being offered. We set out for her to attend the Mural Wall Painting classes (for children 4 & under) and  Art & Craft class (not the correct name) also for ages 4 and under. 

While we waited for the first class to begin, we stumbled on the “City Splash”, an area in the back of the building with water games – buckets of water. There were different water contraptions filled with toys; all the children were given smocks so they can have a perfectly dry splish splash. She had such great time fishing out the little toys, that it was a problem when we had to leave for the Wall Mural class. 

The second floor was every toddlers dream come true with vibrant with colors and life sized toys. She got distracted by a screen at the entrance that plays nursery rhymes upon touch.  Then there was the Alphagator which terrified her at first, but she later warmed up to when she saw other kids around it.

Oh and the Mural Wall Painting I was so excited about? Yum Yum hated it. She hated having the wet paint on her hands. She held up her little palms until I wiped off all the paint, she didn’t even attempt to wipe it on the wall. Yay for me I guess? My walls at home are safe. Anyway, she was happy to play with glow tubes right next to the mural wall. 

The Art & Craft class, she loved! With non-toxic glue, colored glitter, water color, a bunch of colored stringy & fluffy stuff -  the kids were all set to get their creativity on. And yes my daughter tasted the glue, I guess she thought it was yogurt. #thischildofmine.


We wrapped up our visit with a quick stop at Dora’s place on the 2nd floor with Yum Yum squealing “Ora, Mehmmy Ora!!!” the entire time. I made a metal note to make this our first stop next time – hopefully Dora’s still a hit when that time comes.

We spent a whopping almost-4 hours at the Museum and I was more than ready for some reprieve from children screaming in excitement to those having meltdowns because they didn't want to leave. Luckily, Yum Yum was pooped and ready to leave. At the stroller checkout, she quietly sat in her stroller when I unfolded it – very unusual behavior for her.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Color Run NYC 2013

​I’d been DYIING to do the color run for the past 2 years- no exaggeration, but they seemed to always sell out by the time I get to the website. Sohhh, this year, I Nancy Drewed that sucker and got in as soon as it went live. #patmyselfontheback. 

Tryna look strike a cute pose, little did I know I was going to get color bombed in my ear, 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Some Clean Dishes

Happy Fourth!!!

The day for hot dogs, burgers and all that good stuff thats not so very good for you. On July 30th mankofit launched an "Eat Clean Train Dirty" 30 day challenge on Instagram and twitter.

For those who do not know who mankofit is, this is what I know. Mankofit whose real name is Massy is an NYC (Dominican) Personal Trainer, Athlete and Body Builder. She has an insayine body and is popular for adapting contortion-type (i use this term loosely) moves to her exercises. Might I add that she is absolutely gorg. Anyway, one of the things I love about her is the positivity she exudes, she brings a refreshing approach to working out. Love her!

So far, here are some for meals I've made . I will try to post pictures periodically throughout this month for those who might be interested. Is anyone out there on an eat clean regimen? Please share some of your recipes.

Sweet Potato Mash/Broccoli/ 1/4 Avocado/Grilled Tilapia

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Her debut

I could not think of  any other way to honor you but to share your awesomeness with the world. So as I sit here at 3a on week day jamming to Got it Bad, I guess the short version of what I'm trying to say is that I love you, I appreciate you... and I thank you for being 


you are all that and a bag of are destined for greatness

In you, I've learned to be strong, believe in myself, be patient, selfless, optimistic. I know that I unleash the bitch way too often than necessary and I'm sorry for this. I am working on putting that heffer in check - just give me some time. Know that you are loved so deeply, I lose my breath just thinking about it. 

....and I pledge to shave my legs and put out more ;) 

Happy Belated Father's Day 

Her Dedication 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Viva Mexicooh

View from our room 

Day 3
We originally planned to visit Tulum, which is a stoned walled Mayan city (ruins), its most popular architecture is the Castillo located on a cliff overlooking the ocean. The math did not quite work out so we decided to spend the day at our resort. The entertainment crew kept us occupied with performances and also rallied people to join in volley ball games, drunken tequila in the pool. At the resort's kids club there were video and craft games for the children amongst other things. Unfortunately Yum Yum couldn't partake in any of their activities since they only baby sat kids 4 & up. Day 3 was pretty much food – sleep -beach – sleep - food – pool – beach- sleep- food- sleep. I inhaled everything within sight and gave up sucking in my tummy.

Kid's Club

Over processed volleyball shot - Hubs is the furthest right

Peek a Boo

They nap while I labor in the sun for perfect shots

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