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.

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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.

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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.

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 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.