October 15, 2018

Discover Georgia - Wild Safari

Hi there!

I have another Discover Georgia post for you today - this is my travel series, highlighting different destinations and tourist attractions within Georgia (because Atlanta is NOT Georgia, only a city). We visited Wild Safari in Pine Mountain, Georgia. It's basically a park that offers the safari experience - most of the animals are free to roam the park grounds - and you can either drive through in your car, or hop on one of their buses, and quite a few of the animals will walk up to you looking for treats! To be honest, when people talk about traveling to Kenya to go on a safari tour, I'm one of the least interested. It could be due to my fear of animals... I guess they're nice to see? Anyways, since I know I'm not going to visit a real safari, I jumped at the chance to go on this mini one right in our backyard. It was a fun experience, and everyone enjoyed themselves.

I'll let you enjoy the photos now.


October 13, 2018

BERRY VLOG - 12 Tips for Traveling with a Baby or Toddler

Does traveling with a baby sound like a hassle? I'm not going to lie... IT IS! But I've shared 12 tips garnered from traveling with my baby (now toddler) in the past year. I have taken Cocoa on 2 road trips, 4 domestic round trip flights, 1 round trip long haul international flight, and even gone on a cruise. She's visited 4 countries so far - Nigeria, Honduras, Mexico and the Bahamas. So check out this video and you might learn something that will make traveling with your baby or toddler on your next trip, just a little smoother!



October 12, 2018

Berry Lovely Links

TGIF!!!

Fridays can't come soon enough for me. I like having my weekends free (upgrade from my previous job). It gives me time to catch up on errands, indulge in a little self care, and enjoy time with Cocoa. And hopefully, since I think I'm getting back in the swing of blogging, I will have time to catch up on other blogs and Youtube. Share any links you think I'd like in the comments! And, check out MY links that I think you may enjoy.


October 8, 2018

12 Ways to Indulge in Self Care

Being a mother has certainly shown me how tough it is to be a parent. A lot of parents (mostly women in my opinion) tend to sacrifice themselves in the way of time and attention, for the sake of their children. The little time you do get to yourself is spent on chores, running errands, and the like. But I've realized that it's very important to intentionally take time for self-care. Self care does not mean that you're being selfish and neglecting everyone else's needs. It just means that you realize that you also need to be taken care of. In today's post, I'm going to share some of the little ways I indulge in a little Self Care, and I hope you'll share yours with me in the comments as well.


October 5, 2018

Berry Lovely Links

Hey there,

Thank God it's Friday! Even though I just got back from vacation on Sunday, I have looked forward to this weekend, so that I can just regroup and catch my breath. I've been thinking about going back to sharing some of the interesting things I read online, and decided to just take the plunge and do it today! But first, make sure you check my Instagram account (@BerryDakara) to see the CUTEST video of Cocoa dancing - she dances whenever food or music is involved!

October 1, 2018

Traveling with a Baby - Part 4 - Prepare for the Unexpected!

In my conclusion of this series, Traveling with a Baby, I'm going to share some of the unexpected surprises and challenges we encountered that came from our trip to Nigeria to visit my husband. 

For our 9 day-stay, these were the things that I packed for Cocoa and myself. I really thought I had done very well in getting everything ready and making sure we would be covered during our vacation. However, life was just waiting to laugh at me.

September 24, 2018

Traveling With a Baby - Part 3 - What I packed in my checked luggage

Oops! A thousand apologies for putting up this post now - much later than I originally intended to. I started my Traveling with a Baby series some time ago. In Part 1, I shared a few practical tips for travel with children, and in Part 2, I shared my Diaper Bag checklist. In this post, I promised to share what I packed for our 9-day trip to Nigeria.


September 21, 2018

BERRY VLOG: What I Have Learned About Motherhood

Hi there!

Thank God it's Friday! And since it's Friday, I thought I'd give you something fun to watch this weekend. I have committed to at least 1 blog post every week, and 2 Youtube videos per month. This is the second video for September and I shared 10 things I've learned since I became a mother. But guess who else features in the video - COCOA!!! It's a really fun video and I'm sure you'll enjoy seeing her antics while I try to film - this video was my third attempt to film and I'm happy with the results. Please don't forget to LIKE the video, but most importantly, SUBSCRIBE!

Thanks a bunch!


I hope you enjoyed the video. Have a pretty weekend!

September 17, 2018

A Day in the Life of a Working Mum

Hola!

How was your weekend? Mine was kinda busy - I had a fun time meeting with a group of women who came together to pray for their husbands. The hostess had reached out to me as a reader about a year or two ago, and then we finally met this weekend! Even though my blogging has been here and there, I know that it's been a blessing to me (and from what others have said, to them as well). 

Today I want to share what the typical weekday is like in my world. I think that a lot of working mothers will relate to this post, and agree that it is TOUGH! 

September 10, 2018

How to read your Bible consistently

Hey everyone,

How was your weekend? I hope you had a fun one. I had a pretty good one with my sister's birthday on Friday, brunch with my cousin and Cocoa on Saturday, taking my niece, nephew and Cocoa to the park on Saturday evening, and of course, shooting our weekly talk show Tea With Cubes yesterday! I feel like my weekends are always packed, and I long for a Saturday where I have no plans but to sit home and laze about.

Today I want to write about reading my Bible, and share some tips that have helped me be a little more consistent than before. I'm far from a perfect Christian, and I wish that I was much stronger spiritually, but I know that keeping up with my devotional and prayer time, I will grow over time.

September 7, 2018

BERRY VLOG - Na Me Suffer Pass

What's up everyone? Weekend is here finally!!!!!

Today I'm sharing my latest Youtube video where I chit chat about how sometimes when you're feeling down and telling someone about your problems, they tend to downplay them. For instance, they'll tell you about someone else who's worse off than you, or tell you that you should even be happy about one thing or another. They don't really let you feel your emotions, and kinda brush you off.

I'm not saying anyone should wallow in their sadness or despair, but sometimes you just need to be able to acknowledge how you feel and talk about stuff, to start the process of letting it go. So without further ado, here's my video on "Na Me Suffer Pass!"


Please make sure you subscribe to my channel today. I'm committing to at least 2 videos a month, and I'd gladly take suggestions on topics to cover :)

September 3, 2018

I posted for 31 Days straight on Instagram

Hi everyone,

Welcome to September! It seems like the year just started and it's already ending. I'm not sure if I've accomplished a quarter of the things I wanted to do this year. But there are 4 months in the year left - a little over 120 days, so I really should do what I can to make them count.


August 29, 2018

DIY Ankara Kimono Vest

Hiya!

I didn't mean to be gone this long since my last post. Thanks for all the love you sent my way! I'm getting my groove back and the desire to create is stirring within me. That desire led me to my sewing machine a couple of weeks ago. First of all, my title is misleading. I got some fabric from my dad's friend after I had Cocoa. In his culture/tribe, they gift a woman some George fabric when she has a baby. I'm not one to tie it as a wrapper, so I started trying to figure out how to best use the material in a way that I would wear it multiple ways.

The fabric looked similar to plaid to me, and the first thing that occurred to me to make was a sleeveless kimono/vest. I think I might make a skirt or pants when I get the next urge. Anyways, check out the photos below. I hope you like them :)

August 18, 2018

Old Love and New Love

Today I did something that I haven't done in a long time. When you go through a particularly tough time, like I've mentioned a few times, you can begin to lose yourself. When you laugh, the laughter is mostly hollow. When you smile, it doesn't quite reach your eyes. You subconsciously carry a weight on you that makes you slouch. You slowly stop doing the things you used to enjoy. You forget or lose the will to do the things you used to love. I stopped writing. I stopped twirling. I didn't want to play with makeup anymore. I can't even remember the last time I listened to Flavour! *hang on, I'm about to play my favorite song of his - Destiny*


August 12, 2018

My Breastfeeding Story

Last week was World Breastfeeding Week, and I thought now would be a nice opportunity to share how breastfeeding went for me after the birth of Cocoa. But before I get into it, can I just say that sometimes I still feel astounded that I have a child. As in, I have a daughter! It's just amazing and I thank God every day for her life! From sharing our struggles to conceive, and then our pregnancy, and labor/delivery - it's just amazing. Cakes and I have really been blessed and shown immense grace by God.

July 29, 2018

It is Well... Or is it?

Hey there,

Thanks for the love I got from my last post, where I shared why I haven't been blogging. The comments, the calls, emails and DMs were almost overwhelming - I actually cried while reading and responding to some of them. It's reassuring to know that there are people out there who have love for you and uphold you in prayer - sometimes I feel like I have an army of human angels praying on my behalf, and I'm really grateful.

A post shared by Berry Dakara (@berrydakara) on

July 19, 2018

Why I Have Not Been Blogging

Who remembers the days when I used to churn out at least 4 or 5 posts every week on this blog? I remember the years when my total number of blog posts throughout the year topped 200 (see my recaps in 2014 and 2015)! I don't know if I'll say that was the peak of my blogging, but it really seemed like the sky was the limit at the time. I think that living in Nigeria kinda fostered my creativity, as there were a lot of events to go to (that helped me learn how to churn out multiple posts from one outing). I was definitely in my comfort zone blogging-wise, and then I moved back to Atlanta.

A post shared by Berry Dakara (@berrydakara) on

July 6, 2018

My Two Dream Summer Destinations

Hey y'all,

It's been a while. So much has happened but I haven't forgotten you guys, and I still owe you the final parts of my Traveling with A Baby series (Part 1, Part 2). I will get to them, I promise! Speaking of Travel, I'd like to share my Dream Summer Destinations with you. I was chatting with an old friend yesterday, who's currently visiting a city that's on my Travel Bucket List - Rome! As a matter of fact,  my dream Summer Destinations are in Europe!

Summer's a great time to travel to Europe, mostly because that's when the weather is most friendly - that's very important to me. Of course, it might be tough to find cheap flights during the summer, but it certainly isn't impossible. We've been able to travel in the past while randomly browsing for summer sales, like when we visited England and Scotland two years ago.

Italy
I've been to Italy once before. But I was a little infant, so of course, I don't remember anything about it. But there's just something that fascinates me about Italy. Did you know I studied Italian for a year in college? Unfortunately, the language didn't stick, but I still know a few phrases here and there. Rome is one of the biggest draws for tourists in Italy. I certainly want to visit some day, and take in all the beautiful sights and architecture, like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. But what I'd really like to do when I visit Italy, is go to a smaller city, like Bergamo or Veneto, that still hold all the charm of Italy, but with much fewer tourists.

Spain
Spain is yet another country that I visited with my parents as a baby, and would like to see today with my own baby. Speaking of Cocoa, she just turned 1 a couple of weeks ago! Anyways, Spanish is another language I am fascinated by, and I also took a year of Spanish too. And nope, I can't speak it either. I need to relearn all these languages. If I'm being honest, one of the reasons why Spain is attractive to me is their music, Paso Doble dance, and Antonio Banderas!!! Speaking of Antonio, I watched him portray Pablo Picasso in the National Geographic series, Genius. Again, I'd really like to see the stunning architecture - very popular with tourists is the Sagrada Familia.

So these are my dream vacays for any summer. Of course, yours may be different. You can always do the usual thing and find cheap flights from Lagos to London, or hop on a flight from Lagos to Dubai like Cakes and I did in 2014 (see part 1, part 2 and part 3 here).

What's your one dream destination for the summer?

*This is a sponsored post on behalf of TravelStart.*

April 18, 2018

Traveling with a Baby - Part 2 - Diaper Bag Packing Checklist

In part 1 of this series, I shared a few tips on what I did before and while flying with Baby Cocoa on her first flight to Detroit, and her second much longer flight to Lagos, Nigeria. Flying with a baby can be daunting, especially if you're traveling alone with the baby. I won't lie and say the international flight was a breeze. Baby Cocoa is a generally easygoing and cheerful baby. A lot of passengers on every single flight we've been on always complimented her, and said how sweet she is and told me how lucky and blessed I am to have such a happy and friendly baby. Honestly, during a flight from Abuja to Lagos, she allowed one of the air hostesses to carry her off!

April 16, 2018

Traveling with a Baby - Part 1

At the end of March, just before Easter, I flew solo to Nigeria with Baby Cocoa. I don't know if I mentioned that I traveled to Detroit with her at the beginning of March and I was nervous about flying with an infant. Traveling to Detroit was short - less than 2 hours - and I did a little research about traveling with a baby beforehand. I knew that since she's under 2 years old, I would not need to buy a ticket for her, as she would travel in my lap. I did need to call the airline ahead of time, to ensure that they had her information (especially for international travel). I also found out that it would be best to bottle feed a baby just before take-off and landing to prevent air pressure in their ears. Our trip to Detroit was a breeze - Baby Cocoa is a light-hearted and cheerful baby, and I got a lot of compliments on my happy baby!

March 21, 2018

BERRY VLOG - Dear Womb Watchers

Hey y'all,

I just posted this video on Youtube in response to a post I saw on Instagram. @Firsttimemumdotcom posted questions from her readers regarding how to reply people who make invasive comments and ask rude questions about when they're going to have their first, second or hundredth children. I really just don't understand why anyone feels the need to ask those kinda questions directly, or out loud. Yeah, you may be curious, but how about you just keep your curiosity to yourself? I know a lot of people mean well, but more often than not, you're making the woman/couple uncomfortable. You don't know what their situation is so please just stop!


March 19, 2018

Having Faith and a Plan B

I am not the best Christian out there - VERY FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR from it. I wish I was a much stronger Christian who made sure to read her bible daily, pray daily, set aside scheduled time to commune with God, discern God's voice and instructions easily, quote 50 Bible verses without blinking, etc. I'm sure most of you understand what I'm saying. I've struggled as a Christian almost from my teenage years - back then, I think I was piggybacking on my friends' relationships with God, instead of developing my own. Fast forward to now - sometimes, I get so knocked down that all I can see is darkness, and the only prayer I can muster is a weak, "Help." At other times, I'm telling anyone who has ears that my name means God answers prayers, and that He does.


March 16, 2018

I Have a Dream

Following my last post, while promoting it on Instagram, I started to dream...

If I had no limits, I would...

March 14, 2018

BERRY VLOG - My Skincare Routine

One of the few things I miss about being pregnant is "the glow." As in, my skin was just yummy! A lot of pregnant women complain about their faces getting darker, but I personally didn't notice it until AFTER I gave birth to Baby Cocoa. From what I remember, my skin was the best it ever looked. Maybe it was due to being pregnant, or because I was forced to drink water, or my incorporating a skincare regimen. I mean, I was on bed rest, so I didn't have much to do anyways.


March 12, 2018

On Losing Pregnancy Weight aka Snapback

Hey y'all,

I announced in January that my sister, cousin and I were starting a new live web-based talk show called Tea With Cubes. We have completed 5 episodes so far!!!! You can catch us on the FIRST and THIRD Sundays of each month at 4pm EST (9pm Nigerian time) on Instagram and Facebook. If you missed any of the episodes, please subscribe to our Youtube channel and catch up with our Hot Topics segments and our various discussions.

March 11, 2018

Happy Mother's Day!

To my readers who don't live in America, I want to wish you a Happy Mothers Day.

Last year, I wrote a very heartfelt post to mothers who have lost children - whether through miscarriage, infants or small children (I really should have included grown children and adults too). But this year, I want to speak to the mothers-to-be, particularly those who are still waiting and trying to get pregnant.

March 8, 2018

International Women's Day

Today, women across the world are celebrating each other. International Women's Day has been observed for over a century, with the aim of reaching Gender Parity - the equal access to resources and opportunities, regardless of gender. There are still places in the world where women are second-class citizens, simply because they are women. Even in the most developed countries, women are still sidelined, harassed, broken down, shut down, beat down and more. It needs to stop!

March 6, 2018

On Dreams

I used to be the girl (or woman) who had an overactive imagination. That imagination fueled my creativity. It caused me to question and even challenge why things could not be done. It gave me a boldness and confidence to speak up when internally, I wanted to shrink into myself. Having the ability to dream and imagine what could be, caused some fear, but also excitement within me. But somewhere, sometime within the past two years, I stopped dreaming.

February 21, 2018

BERRY VLOG - Why I Cut My Hair

It's been almost 2 weeks since I took the plunge and cut off a lot of my hair. I must admit that once or twice since then, I have wondered whether I made the right choice. But for the most part, I like my short hair. I can just wash it and go - all I need to do is fluff it with my fingers.

February 14, 2018

BERRY VLOG - I cut my Natural Hair

They say a woman's hair is her crowning glory. Well, this past weekend, I tapered that glory! If you follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter (@BerryDakara), then you have already seen the new me!

Check out the short video of me at the salon :)


January 8, 2018

New Year Goal - Losing Weight

It is 8 days into the year and most of us are still on the high of a new year, fresh start, renewed energy, and hopeful beginnings. In the past I have shared some of my personal and blogging goals here. However, in my 2017 fog, I lost myself and also what my goals had been. As I have been picking up the pieces and being restored by God, some of my life goals are coming back to me. I am still working on what I want to see happen in my life this year and the years ahead, and I'm glad I'm making some progress.

January 7, 2018

BERRY VLOG - Happy New Year

Hey y'all. In my attempt to get back to creating content and putting up posts and videos, I had to remind myself to just do it. I initially wanted to make sure that my first video in a long time would be made under "perfect" circumstances - peace and quiet in the house, makeup done, better lighting, etc. But then I realized I was just looking for excuses. Life isn't perfect and as much as I would like to have all the graphics and interior design back-drops that everyone on Youtube has, that's just not my situation right now. I'll improve with time but I needed to simply start again. And so here's my first video of the year - with a special guest!


Don't forget to tune in to Tea With Cubes today at 4pm EST (10pm Nigerian time). We go live on Instagram and Facebook - @teawithcubes so follow us!

January 4, 2018

Throwback - Maternity Shoot Photos

That's how in my dense fog of the last half of 2017, I managed to NOT post any of my maternity shoot photos! I could have sworn I did, but while looking through my blog a few days ago, I was astonished to see that I never did. I know the song says "it's too late to apologize" but apologize I shall, and you have already forgiven me, so woot woot!


January 3, 2018

Something is brewing - Tea With Cubes

If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed my teaser about something brewing. Well it's time to reveal what it is!

January 1, 2018

Happy New Year's Day

New Year's Day across the world always comes with the hopes and dreams of positivity, possibilities and renewed purpose for most people. I am also one of those people. 2017 was not my best year, even though it was the year of my biggest testimony. Something I learned last year was that life is a cycle of tests and testimonies.