On Bola’s Book “Build Boldly”: It’s the Authenticity for me!!!

Hey 👋🏾 you! Hope you all had a restful weekend and are refreshed for the new week. I did, and I’m so excited for a fresh start!

November 4th, 2021, an incredible woman named Bolanle Williams-Olley launched her book called “Build Boldly”. As soon as that happened, I ran to Amazon to get my copy. Trust your girl now!😂 For those that know me or have been following me for while, know how much value I place on my career.

Great book!

A little background on how I started following Bola on Instagram. I came across her Instagram profile back in 2019 and was just amazed at how much she has done for herself. For those that REALLY know me, you know there’s nobody I can’t send a DM to!😂 If our forever First Lady, Michelle Obama was reading her personal DMS, she would have read something from me, by now! In other words, I’m not too intimidated not to shoot my shot. What’s the worst that can happen? You ignore…and if you do, WE MEUVE!!! No hard feelings 🙂 So, as usual, I sent a message to Bola on Instagram, just praising her and telling her how much she’s inspiring people like me. I even asked her if she had a mentoring program even though I knew we were not in the same field career-wise. She said she didn’t. I still kept in touch with her though, from time to time with questions and some of my experiences in Corporate America and she was so gracious to respond to my messages!

One of the things I love about her is her humility and her willingness to help people, irrespective of their status! Help comes in different ways, and I can confidently say I have benefited from that help by her just responding to my questions and messages in general. Everything she wrote in her book, is who she really is and that is me talking from the conversations I’ve had with her, whom she has never physically met.

I have had a funny experience in the past, where I reached out to someone who actually runs a mentoring program. I was making inquiries about the program and said I was going to reach out to the individual once I’m ready. I then remembered that I didn’t really introduce myself properly in terms letting the individual know what my background looks like, career wise. I tried to correct that and this individual (whom I thought was the mentor, since it’s her personal page) told me to wait till I enroll in the program and that the mentor isn’t the one responding to messages on that page. Mind you, that page wasn’t a page dedicated to the mentoring program. It was a page that was more of a personal account, belonging to the mentor!😂 I was like whatttt? Don’t get me wrong, no one owes anyone their time to engage in any form of conversation. However, I still felt a direct response such as ‘ I’m busy’ or ‘I don’t discuss things like this on my personal page’ could have made more sense 😂😂, rather than making it look like you are not the one actually responding to my messages! I didn’t even bother enrolling any longer!😂 I have a mentor now though. ☺️

In Bola’s book, she shares her journey starting from being an international student. I found that really interesting and something I could relate with, being someone who also came into the country as an international student. She also shares her experiences at different jobs and how those experiences helped to understand clearly, what she should be looking out for in an organization she wants to work in. I could also relate with that because most times, when we go for interviews, they tell us what they are looking for in the ideal candidate. However, we as the candidates don’t take out to time to ask ourselves: What are we looking for in an organization that we want to work in? What culture do we want to see? What red flags should we be looking out for, in deciding whether we want to work in an organization or not. I’ve learnt that, in my corporate America experience, and seeing Bola reiterate that point in her book, made me realize I’m not alone! If a current CFO have had some funny job experiences in the past, and her story is still being written, then it means mine is clearly not over yet! 😁In fact, I’m just getting started! She also shared about the struggle of looking for a job, which I could absolutely relate with. Rejections can be devastating. At some point, you may feel like you are not worthy of anything good. It’s crazy! That’s when you begin to doubt your ability, not remembering the fact that you can’t get an offer in all the jobs you apply to. It’s not possible. You just have keep moving, knowing fully well, that yours will come!

In conclusion, she really inspires us to be AUTHENTIC and teaches us AUTHENTICITY by being an authentic person herself! I love the book and will definitely keep referring back to it, especially when I need some motivation. 🙂 It’s available on Amazon!

Have a great week y’all! See you when I see you! 😀

Welcome to my new City!

Hello! It’s been a really long while since I have been here! A lot has happened in between the last time I was here and now. I have moved from a rural city (Kirksville) to a more urban city (St. Peters), within the same state of Missouri of course; I have had to re write a certification exam which I eventually passed; I have changed jobs within the field of Anti Money Laundering; and I have met new friends in my new city! 🙂

One of my study days in the Library 😜

I’m going to be writing about my new city in this post! So, let’s just say the City of St. Peter’s is mix of Kirksville and St. Louis. Why do I say that? Kirksville is quiet and slow paced, which means lesser crime. St. Louis is a bigger city, very fast paced with a higher crime rate of course. I remember during one of our trips to St. Louis, our car was almost stolen right at the hotel where we parked it. Yea, that’s how crazy it can be. St. Peter’s is a mix of both because one has access to the normal things one will find in a big city, like Target, multiple salons, shopping mall, fancy restaurants and so on. However, it’s not as crazy as living in St. Louis. At least, we haven’t had the of experience we had, parking a fancy car somewhere. In other words, crime rate isn’t that high. One very good advantage we got from the move is the fact that my daughter has access to a better and a more diverse preschool. As black parents, we value diversity and we would really love our child to not be the only black person in her class!

I’ve enjoyed living in St. Peter’s. It’s such a beautiful city with modern houses. We have access to a great library; the beautiful Mid River Mall, which is a big deal for me because back in Kirksville, we didn’t even have a mall! The only main stores we have in Kirksville are: Walmart, Marshall’s, Shoe Sensation, and Bernard’s. In St. Peter’s, there’s really nothing you want you that you can’t find. If it’s not available in St. Peter’s, it will be available in surrounding cities like St. Charles and St. Louis which is between 10 to 20 minutes drive! Now, I have access to Target, numerous beautiful restaurants, fancy movie theaters (check out the movie theater in Kirksville to understand why I use the word ‘fancy’ here. Lol! ), salons, fun places to take my toddler to, and so on!

Can you guess the one that gets ME excited the most? The Salon!!!! I have not had access to a black salon since I left New York City. It’s been one hell of a struggle, finding a salon where I can confidently go in to get my kinky hair done. I moved to Portland, Maine and all through the time I was there, married, got pregnant and had a baby, I was doing my hair myself. It really got frustrating when it was getting towards the end of the pregnancy. I was frustrated with just thinking about how to manage my hair. I thought I had seen the worst of it when I got to Portland, Maine until I moved to Kirksville, MO. 😂 That was the height of it, and that really made me get a second big chop in 2019. I was tired of having the money to get my hair done, but not getting it done because I didn’t have access to a black salon. I was tired of the DIY life. DIY life was cool for me as an international student because at that point, I was really just managing my finances and trying to cut costs. At the point I decided to cut my hair in 2019, that wasn’t the case. I just wanted to relax and be taken care of!😂 When I decided to loc my hair in 2020, I had to travel down to Kansas City to get it done. Yea, that was crazy. I just thought if I could do that for the first 4 months, I will learn how to wash and retwist my locs myself. Thank God, I don’t even have to worry about that! 🙂 My new loctician is less than 10 mins away from me. 🎉🎉💃🏾💃🏾

So far, I’ve loved it here. 🥰❤️❤️

How have you all been and what have you been up to? Would love to hear from you in the comment section.

PSA: I changed my Instagram handle. ☺️ Kindly follow @aladyandherlocs.

My Experience Traveling with an 8months Old Infant and a 2years+ Toddler

Hey all :), welcome to my blog post this week! Yea, the last time I did this was about 3 weeks ago. I have had a few posts since I started this, so before you come for me to say : “Girl, why didn’t you give us something to read for some weeks now?”, ask yourself, have you read all the ones I’ve put out there yet?😂

On a serious note though, I just thought blogging about something every week may not feasible if I want be putting out good content. There should be time to reflect and recharge. Don’t you think?

Anyway, let’s get right into today’s blog post. I got another opportunity to travel alone with my toddler this weekend. It was a totally different experience from the time I travelled with her at 8 months. As a result, I thought it will be great to compare both experiences.

First of all, let me say traveling alone with an infant isn’t a joke. Not sure how people make it look so easy, but it’s not. Around April/May of 2019, our child was 8 months at the time and I was interested in taking a trip to Atlanta to see some of my family friends. My husband had to travel for work and wasn’t going to be available to look after her, so I decided to take her with me. He drove us to the airport and the journey started.

At that age, I could still use a baby carrier wrap for her. I had a back pack that was literally her diaper bag. In that bag, I had Diapers, Desitin cream to prevent diaper rash, Feeding bottles, Formula and Gerber Cereals. I made sure my box was checked in so I won’t have deal with any hand luggage. All I wanted to have on me was my child and the Diaper bag. Passing through security, I had to go through the usual procedures: taking off my shoes, taking out the things in the diaper bag especially because they had to examine the formula to be sure it is what I say it is. Lol!

Getting on the plane required another level of patience. Infants get cranky for various reasons. It could be that they are hungry, they want to sleep or they just want to have the freedom of crawling anywhere they want to without being restricted. Of course, if the reason is because they are hungry, that’s a problem that can be fixed on a flight. If wanting to sleep is the reason, one can also try to fix that on the plane. I say ‘try’ because, the baby may need to you to stand up and move around. The baby may be used to having to sleep while you sit on a rocking chair. These are things that can be difficult to do on an air flight. If the reason is that they just want the freedom to crawl anywhere and generally just be active, that’s also difficult to handle on a flight. So basically, you are stuck with doing what you can with what you have. The good thing though is almost everyone, if not all understand exactly what you are going through. So when the baby is crying loud and you are thinking of how you can control the situation so she doesn’t disturb other passengers, most people will let you know they understand it’s not easy. Fortunately for me, I got that understanding and support from those that were sitting close to me. Times she cried and I was sure it wasn’t hunger, I had to get up a couple of times and walk down the aisle to soothe her. It worked for the most part. We just had to take one plane so it wasn’t that stressful.

Fast forward to this weekend, my baby girl is all grown! I decided I wanted to visit my Brother and his family in Philadelphia and take her with me. I considered taking a stroller this time around because I obviously can’t be carrying her like I did in my previous trip. Also I wanted to ensure I won’t be chasing her around the airport just incase she thinks we are at the airport for some fun and games. I changed my mind about the stroller and decided we can do without it. Glad it worked out. She was more excited than me to get into the first plane that took us from Kirksville (where I live) to St. Louis. In fact she slept throughout the flight! Something I still find difficult to do! Lol! Like how do people sleep on a plane that’s up in the air😂 with turbulence every once in while??? That first flight was about an hour. We then took another plane from St. Louis to Philadelphia. We had about an hour and a half lay over. I had to keep my toddler engaged while we wait. Took her to a restaurant where we both sat and ate. We also used that to relax while we were waiting to board our next flight.

It was almost time to board the next plane, so we had to leave the restaurant and head on to the gate. We got to the gate and had to wait a little to start boarding. Through this next flight, she was fully awake but just chatty. There was no crankiness. I kept her mouth busy with cookies, milk and water. It was a smooth flight and I’m grateful to God we arrived safely.

One thing I’ve learnt is that with kids, it really gets easier as they grow older and more independent. I’m definitely looking forward to more trips with my baby girl!❤️❤️❤️

I hope you all have a great week!

On Systemic Racism: Where do we draw the line???

Hello my people! Hope you had a restful weekend?

This week, I thought I’d share my thoughts on the #BlackLivesMatter Movement. This past week in the U.S, has been filled with News of one violence or the other. It’s like every single day, there’s either a mass shooting happening somewhere or a police shooting of an unarmed black person happening in another place. It’s has truly been exhausting, to say the least! One good news we got this week though, is that justice was served in the trial of Derrick Chauvin! *Sigh

As a person of color, I am not in denial that this country has a lot of issues with systemic racism. I am also not in denial, that racism is a problem that affects the world in general. Let’s be clear on this though: that each and everyone of us have a part to play in fighting racism. It starts from the home. As we all should know: “Charity begins at home”. Children aren’t born to hate other people for any reason whatsoever. Children are taught to hate. My toddler for example loves to interact with other kids regardless of how they look. My plan is to teach her to continue with that attitude and show love to people whether white, black or red!

There’s been a lot of conversations around what happened to 16 year old Makhia last week. We had just heard about the conviction of Chauvin when this incident with Makhia occurred. The first thing I saw on social media was that a teenager called the police for help, the police arrived and found a knife in the hand of the teenager and then shot her. I’m not quick to jump on using hashtags without knowing what truly happened. So while I sympathized with another tragic death of a black person, I waited for more information. Glad I did.

I’m an Attorney by training and I’ve learnt to carefully look at facts and analyze these facts before drawing a conclusion. My ability to look at facts and analyze them does not suddenly disappear just because the situation involves a white police officer and a black person.

When the murder of George Floyd happened, the whole world watched and saw the injustice that happened to that man. It was so evident that he did not deserve to die that way. George Floyd was not resisting arrest. Even if he did, that excessive force by Derrick would not have been justified. George Floyd was not armed. Even if he was, as long as he wasn’t using it to threaten the police officer or other people, that excessive force would still not have been justified. The whole world saw and knew this and agreed on this. The police force agreed on this. I used the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag on my social media account to lend my voice to this movement and to really let people know that we all need to come together to fight this systemic racism.

When the killing of Daunte Wright happened, I was also mad. Why will a police officer with that much experience mistake a gun (with a very dark color) for a taser (with a very bright color)? I believe the contrast in the color was intentional to protect people from mistakes such as this. I may be wrong, but that’s what I think. It won’t make sense for a gun to look exactly like a taser.

Shortly after people took to the streets of social media for Makhia’s case, the body cam of the police officer involved in the shooting was released. What I saw in that video is absolutely different from what I had seen people say on social media. That got me thinking. Why will you put that kind of information out on social media and not tell us what exactly happened? Why will you wait for us to find the truth ourselves through a body cam video? Looking at that video that shows the deceased trying to stab someone else, made me realize that police officer was in a DIFFICULT SITUATION.

I have had this conversation with some friends and I keep using the phrase “Difficult Situation”. I use the phrase because the officer literally had seconds to decide how best to protect the lady that is about to stabbed before his very eyes! The video also shows two adults standing on the side, one of whom kicked the head of another lady. So many thoughts came to mind as to how this tragic death could have been prevented. These adults that were present saw the police were already there. At this point, no one should be trying to defend themselves. If they do, that will be taking the law into their hands. If someone really called the police for help, should that person be the aggressor when the police arrives? If the adults that were there could obviously see that the police was now there, could they have cautioned the teenager to drop the knife and not attempt to stab another person, seeing that the act alone could put the girl in jail? People say “oh the police officer did not wait to find out what happened before shooting”. My question is how long did he have to find out what happened while seeing another lady about to stabbed? Does knowing what happened make the act of stabbing another person right? Past police officers have talked about how they were trained to act in situations like these. May be we should be advocating for better training of police officers in this case and teach them how to de escalate without killing people. However, I think it’s safe to say that officer acted in a way he was trained to act.

I understand that my community (the black community) is mad at how blacks have been treated in the past and is still being treated badly today. We have every right to be mad. My question though is: where do we draw the line between the just actions of a police officer and those that are unjust. I think there should be a line and we shouldn’t be calling all police encounters with black people racist. If we are calling every incident racist, I don’t think anyone will listen to us and take us seriously. That will then affect a situation where it is so clear that something unjust has actually happened.

Black Lives Matter and I sincerely hope that everyone who has lost any member of their family to police brutality, get some justice and accountability in the end. My heart goes out to the family of Makhia and regardless of what happened, it doesn’t change the fact that this was a tragedy. I hope and pray the family finds peace.

Finally, we all have the responsibility to do better and make better decisions.

Have a great weekend guys! Please feel free to let me know your thoughts.

What Dating is like for International Students in the United States!

Hi! Welcome back to my blog! This week, I thought I’d share some of the experiences international students have with dating in the United States. Some of these experiences are mine and I will definitely indicate when I’m talking about myself. While some are just experiences of random people.

Let’s start from how I came to the U.S as a single woman. First of all, while I was in the University I didn’t get the chance to be in a committed relationship. I had one or two people that were interested in me at some point but I was kind of in this ‘FriendZone’ 😂😂 that everyone thought I was in a relationship with this other person. I was not…I think I was also waiting for this person to tell me how they felt about me so we could get the relationship going…well he didn’t and I ended up using 4 years of my time being in this friend-zone!😂. No regrets though! Everything happens for a reason. I learnt a lot from that friendship I had with the person. I got wiser no doubt and would not advise anyone to be in that kind of situation. It’s important for people to define their relationship.

After graduating, I got into this relationship that I thought was a committed one. I remember reaching out to someone I barely knew on LinkedIn because I was trying to help my ex secure the job of his dreams. Hahaha! Things we do for love 😂😂…but Baba God had a bigger plan! He eventually gave me an already made man! One that already has a job and everything going well for him. I just needed to pack my bags and move to my husbands house!😁😁 Let somebody shout Hallelujah! *In Pastor Adeboye’s voice*

That relationship ended close to the time I was planning to come to the U.S. We had planned to pursue graduate studies together, his plan wasn’t coming through as mine was and he thought the best decision was to end the relationship. Of course I felt hurt like most people will, but we meuuuuveee!

Being an international student in the U.S and trying to date is especially hard for women. Let me tell you why. First of all, you have to understand that the percentage of women who are ready for a committed relationship is way higher than the percentage of men who are ready. This means a male international student is more likely to find his future partner faster than a female international student will. This is just what I have observed by my experience and those of other people I personally know.

Second of all, as an international student, you understand your journey more than anyone else. What I mean by that is, some of the people you will meet here know nothing about Optional Practical Training (OPT) year. If you don’t know, OPT is the year or years (depending on your program) that allows you to remain in the country to work after your graduate studies. The fact that they don’t know is not their fault. This is especially because they did not get into the country as an International student. Some of the people you will meet were born here or brought here by their parents. Simply put, it takes an international student to understand another international student’s journey!

As an International student trying to get into a serious relationship…you are looking out for two things:

1. Some one you really care about and who really cares about you in return

2. Someone who is stable, immigration wise. Stable can mean he or she is a citizen; he or she is permanent resident; he or she is on a work visa or on his or her way to getting there.

My dear Brothers and Sisters…those two points are important. People should not feel bad when they add the number two requirement to their list. I alway say something, a blind man cannot lead another blind man. They will both fall into the pit. If you did not come into the country as an International student and you find someone you really care about who came in as one, you have to understand that one person will have to lift the other person up.

I understand the fears that people may have. “Oh, I need to date someone who will love me for who I am and not for papers…bla bla bla”. That’s why you have to really know the person to be sure that’s the person you want to be with. Also, to be sure you are the person they want to be with! Immigration status should not be the reason you cut someone entirely off like they have one disease that can’t be cured. I had to constantly remind myself of my worth and what I will be bringing to the table in marriage, eventually! Otherwise, this immigration status of a thing will make you feel like crap!

I remember I was once introduced to a guy who was on H1B (work visa). I was getting to talk to him and know him but can you believe that we never saw eye to eye. Maybe he was looking for a citizen to be with though because this guy just ghosted me for no apparent reason. I wasn’t looking down on him because he only had a work visa. I was willing to get to know him. Anyway, as soon as he ghosted, I also meuved!

Another person was introduced to me. I also had not met this person eye to eye before he ghosted me. We were talking on the phone and chatting. This was in the middle of my graduate studies and I was beginning to look for job opportunities for my OPT. He even offered to assist me in this job search. Maybe while he was trying to find a job for me, he learnt that I won’t really get a job for just OPT (being a one year work authorization). Most employers will rather give jobs to people who will not require work authorization (that is, the employer filing a work visa for you) in the future. I just did not understand why one will just decide to ghost another person. At least one should have the courtesy to let the other person know. So, I was there wondering what was happening with this guy. Tried to reach him via phone call and text, no response. Eventually, he reached out some months later and started apologizing. By that time I was already irritated by the whole thing and wasn’t even going to continue with the discussions we were having.

When I began to think about these things…I realized these people may actually be ghosting either because they are not ready to commit or simply because of my immigration status! They just automatically judge you like you can’t amount to anything without them. I have friends that had similar experiences of people ghosting them and it’s just crazy why guys do that. Just come clean and tell the person you are no longer interested.

My husband was different. 🙂 He didn’t come as an International student though. He came into the country on H1B. However he understood the path of most international students. The first thing that drew me to my husband was the fact he came with good intentions and he articulated those intentions well. He told me how serious he was and the fact that he wasn’t here to play games. I really appreciated that because trust me I had seen a lot of unserious people in my life 😂🤣. The first time he came to pick me from my house on a date, it rained and this man came to look for me in the rain. ❤️❤️❤️

I believe in God and I know he is the Master Planner. Most times, we try to make plans on our own but He makes the ultimate plan!🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾 Thankful for everything!

I hope you enjoyed reading this! Thanks for reading to the end!😂 Have a great week!

3 reasons I started blogging!

Hey y’all! Welcome to this week’s blog post. It’s always good to see you come back 🙂

This week I thought I should share why I decided to start blogging!

1. Let’s secure the bag Sis!

I’ve always been a story teller on my insta stories. Most people who have been following me know I’ve shared different personal stories on my platform. Some of these stories were stories that I could have been reluctant to share, but I shared them anyways. Based on that, I’ve had people tell me why not start blogging. At first I thought that wasn’t something I was ever considering. Then again I thought to myself, I share a lot of my experiences with different products (without any compensation) because I just enjoy doing so , I can as well be an influencer and make extra income on the side. Who doesn’t want extra income? Lol! Let’s just say blogging/influencing is my side hustle :D. I understand Rome was not built in a day and it may take sometime before I finally “blow” but it’s okay…taking it one day at a time and and just enjoying myself while at it. 🙂 I hope you were not expecting to hear ‘I have a passion for…” Please dear 😂

Even if it’s passion, it’s okay to be compensated for it!😁

2. Something different:

Another reason I decided to start blogging is to just enjoy doing something different aside from my regular 9-5 job. I love my job and I’m not even considering leaving the field for any reason. However, getting to relax on a weekend and doing a ‘job’ that’s totally different from the one I do during the week, gives me certain level of joy! Just doing my thing and loving it!

3. Additional Community:

By now you all know I live in a small community…you are probably tired of hearing that!😂 I love the fact that this blogging/influencing side hustle gives me another community to interact with. I love the engagements! Technology has really made the world small and when I get to chat with some of you, it feels like we are all in the same room! Please keep the engagements coming 😉

I appreciate you all!❤️🥰

Do you have a side hustle too? What’s your reason for going into it? Would love to hear from you! Have a great week 🙂

Brands that work for my Acne Prone Skin!

Happy Easter everyone, especially those of us that celebrate it! I hope you are having a great one and you are grateful to the One (Jesus Christ) that gave it all for us. For me and my family, we are just home…lol not doing much.

On my Instagram feed , I have shared some of the things I do, to manage my acne prone skin. If you are not following me there, please do 🙂 My handle is @oyinloluwafasehun. I thought I’d share my experiences with certain brands I’ve used on my acne prone skin.

I’ve always had issues with acne for a very long time. My mom says I took it after my Dad and I agree with her after seeing some of my Dad’s old pictures. That man had a lot of acne when he was young! I did not really care about it until around 2014 when a friend of mine introduced me to his friend who recommended some products to me. I remember spending N10,000 out of the little salary I was earning then, to just take care of my skin. Those products work though.

One thing I’ve also noticed about my skin is that traveling from one country to another causes me to break out. It doesn’t matter if the country I’m traveling to is better than where I’m coming from, in terms of nice weather, 24/7 electricity and so on. I noticed this after I took my first trip out of the country in 2013. I had just finished my law school exams and awaiting one of the most important results in my career. I travelled to the UK to just ‘relasss’ (relax) and be taken ‘kiaruf’ (care of). My brothers thought I deserved it…God bless them for me☺️.

As soon as I got to the UK…a day or two after I landed, I started battling with acne. I was shocked because I felt, this is Abroad nowww??? 😂 Shouldn’t my skin be fresh???.

I had this same experience when I came to the U.S in 2015. I literally used the first few months trying to get what works for treating my acne. It became better after while. I think at some point, my skin adjusted.

I have also discovered that stress causes me to break out. After writing my New York Bar Exam, I had another battle with acne. Thankful to my husband who also suggested some great products for me to use. They definitely worked! God bless him too. ☺️

I have put together a list of brands that I have used and that has worked well for my acne prone skin and allowed me to glow at the same time 🙂

1. BoldenUSA:

I came across a toner from this brand around March of 2020 and when I say it’s amazing, you better believe it is! Finding something that works for black skin may be tough for you, like it was for me at some point. Here is some good news: this product is #blackowned and so when I came across it, I was excited to try it out! I love the fact that it puts into consideration oily and acne prone skin. I’ve been using it for a while now and I definitely recommend it. Also, you can get 15% off any of their products by using the code: OYIN15 ☺️

2. Good Molecules:

I also love this brand. I use their discoloration correcting serum and it’s been great! I also use their Niacinamide Serum and their Pineapple exfoliating powder which I really love!

3. Hyper Clear:

This is a brightening clearing vitamin C serum. This helps with hyperpigmentation. I have a lot of dark spots on my face as a result of acne and this has also helped a lot to reduce it. I also need to add that this is #blackowned!

4. Neutrogena:

I currently use the Rapid Tone Repair correcting cream. I need to let you all know that this can be too strong for your skin if you are using it twice everyday (which is the recommended use). After I realized it was too strong, I reduced it to once everyday.

5. Acne.org:

This right here is a must have just because if you have an acne prone skin, you want to make sure you have something that specifically takes care of it, even if it’s one acne that pops up. That’s what this brand does for me. It came in handy when I recently had a break out.

Recently I had this bad break out around my neck area. I’m not sure why it happened because I had not recently travelled, neither did I think I was stressed. At some point I thought it was my toddler holding my neck after she got back from daycare, that caused it 🤣. These breakouts caused a lot of dark spots. I had to even take a break from some of my daily skincare routine because I thought I had a bigger problem in my hands that I needed to deal with first before going back to my ‘paparazzi’ skin care routine.

Anyway, that’s just to tell you that with acne prone skin, you really never get rid of the problem. You just try as much as possible to manage it and avoid it. The acne.org brand helped with the acne and then I tried to look for something to help with the spots. That’s how I found the Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair Correcting cream. I wanted something stronger than I have been using and something that I can start seeing results quickly. I think it worked. See the next picture.

Like I said earlier, the rapid tone repair is very strong. So please, reduce use if you have to.

Also, I know I mentioned a lot of products. I don’t use all of them concurrently. That’s just because some of these products contain the same ingredients. The rapid toner for example has vitamin c in it, so there no need to use my hyper clear serum.

In conclusion, find what works for you and stick to it. I’ve been able to find these brands that work for me and hopefully, I stick to them 🙂

Have a great week 🙂

Two years in my small community!

Hi there! Glad to have you here this week. Hope you all are well :). This week I thought I’d share my experience in living in two extremely different cities

If you’ve been following my blog posts, you’d know my first point of contact when I came to the United States was New York City.

Coming from Lagos and with my experience living there, I wasn’t surprised at always seeing people on the go! For me, NYC can be described as a civilized Lagos! You will encounter traffic jams in Manhattan for example, just as you will in Victoria Island. The only difference is that people are more inclined to follow traffic rules here, compared to Lagos where some drivers don’t really care and they are not usually held accountable for their actions. Also, you can always use the trains to beat some of these traffic jams.

One of the things I love and miss about NYC is the access to anything you will need as a Nigerian despite your being abroad. For example the African Food Market. I also miss my friends of course, the Owambes, the October 1st Carnival in Manhattan where Nigerians gather to to celebrate Nigeria’s Independence Day. I miss the beautiful scenery that is Times Square! Oh and I miss Hillsong Church!

Let me now tell you about this small city I currently live in, called Kirksville. It’s in the state of Missouri . It’s soooooooo far from what NYC is like! We have two Universities here and it makes sense that we have those here because it means lesser distractions for students! If this city is ever bubbly, it’s the students that make it so. The two Universities are: Truman State University and A.T Still University. We don’t have a big shopping mall like you will see in other cities. Can you imagine that? The main stores we have here are Walmart and Marshalls. The small JC Penny store we had here was recently closed due to the pandemic. I’m not really mad at the lack of a big shopping mall though, because I’ve always done most of my shopping on line even when I was in NYC. I just needed to add the fact that we don’t have, so you understand where I’m at! 😩

Having lived in both extremely different cities though, one thing I appreciate about my small city is that everywhere is close. I find it so easy to quickly drop my toddler at her day care (if her Dad isn’t the one taking here there) and come back to clock in at my work desk at home. I love the very spacious and clean houses. I love the lack of traffic jams! I love the fact that we have lesser crime rates. So far, I love the peace and quiet!

The interesting thing is that the city of Chicago is 5 hrs away from me by Train. I’m also three hours away from St Louis which is a big city in Missouri. I am 90 mins away from Columbia which is also bigger than where I currently live. When I visit these places, I try to enjoy that big city experience before returning to my peace and quiet! Lol!

This experience has taught me that even if I find myself back in the big city, I will definitely choose living in the suburbs, than living in the main city!

It’s been 2 years and some months I’ve been living here and I’m grateful for my small community.

Have a great week!

My Journey to the “American Dream” as an International Student- Part 2

Hey 👋🏾 🙂 ! How are y’all doing? Thanks for joining me for the second part of this series!

St. John’s University gave me almost half of the total tuition. I had to figure out the rest. What if I tell you I wasn’t particularly sure how that was going to happen, but I took the risk anyway! 🙈Before leaving Nigeria, I knew about the possibility of taking a student loan. However, as an international student, you will need a co-signer. Obviously, you can’t blame anyone if they don’t agree to be your co-signer because this will affect the individual’s credit score, also if you are in default at any point in time, this individual pays for it. So yea, it’s a big deal! It was difficult getting a co-signer but I eventually did, thanks to a very close friend of my Dad that lives here in the States. I also had to live up to my promise to not be in default at any point in time and thankfully, I did. 😀 Student loan is all paid now!

Cost of living in New York can be expensive, as expected. I got connected to a classmate ( in the Master’s program) via email while I was in Nigeria to figure out how we could both get accommodation together. I connected with her on Facebook and we started chatting about the options we both had. We eventually decided getting a place in Queens, NY may be too expensive for both of us. She lives in Staten Island and suggested I could come stay with her family while we commute together to school. That is still one blessing I’m forever grateful for. Yes, I moved in with a family I barely knew ! Lol! They turned out to be family! My family! Huge thanks to them, I also lived rent free!

My student loan still did not cover the entire balance of the tuition. I almost had to leave the program and come back to continue it some other time, but God works in miraculous ways! A new Dean of Graduate studies came into office and offered me an additional scholarship. With that additional scholarship and what I got from my immediate family and friends, I was finally able to complete this tuition. Talk about it taking a village!!!

Finished the program in December of 2016 and then applied to take the New York Bar Exam in February 2017. My classmates took this exam in the summer of 2016. But as at that summer, I knew I was not mentally ready to take it. So I did not try! Not with what I was going through with my tuition. By the way I had to do my program in three semesters as against two, so I could breakdown my payments. The amount of courses you take determines how much you pay for that semester. So ideally, I should have graduated in summer of 2016 and then taken the bar exam. I did not. I shifted it to finishing the program in December of 2016 and then joining the graduating class of 2017 to celebrate, and that’s because Commencement happens only once a year!

Writing the New York Bar Exam also requires some money which I was able to come up with. Now I had to put in all my efforts to pass this exam once. I had heard about how difficult the exam can be. I even reached out to some people who I knew had taken the exam and passed. I googled Nigerians! That’s how I met Osar O. She graduated from UI and had taken the exam like a year or two before I did. Sent her a message via LinkedIn or so and she was so pleasant in answering some of my questions. I put in all my efforts in that exam and told myself: “If I fail this exam, I won’t re write it unless I knew the reason I failed.” That’s just common sense though because if you don’t know the reason you failed, there’s a likelihood you will fail again. You should know the reason why you are failing at something because it helps you to improve on those areas and come back stronger. Thankfully, I passed 😀

Had the opportunity to work for one year. During that one year I already got married to my husband and moved out of New York City. He being a permanent resident, was able to put in a petition for me to also become a permanent resident. During the time I was waiting for that to happen, I ensured I remained in status. Also, during that time, I got an employer to file a work visa for me. Which is why I say it’s not impossible. However it took some time for that to eventually happen especially because my field of study is law. While I was on that work visa, my green card came through.

It took a while to get this point, but I’m grateful for every part of the journey. I’ve learnt to trust the process, wait if I have to, believe in myself over and over again and just know that it will be okay! If I had to do things differently, I would have taken my science courses more seriously because if you are coming to the U.S for a post graduate degree and you want the opportunity to work longer than the 1 year I had to work and possibly get an employer to file a work visa for you, your best option will be doing a STEM course. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics. If you fall under any of these fields, you have better chances of having a smoother journey than I did.

I hope you found my story inspiring . Please don’t hesitate to share with an international student who needs to hear a story they can relate with. Also follow me on Instagram (oyinloluwafasehun) and dm me with any questions you may have.

Have a great week!

My journey to the ‘American Dream’ as an International Student- Part 1

Helloooooo 🙂 ! How are you all doing? Before I proceed with the gist for this week, can I just reiterate how grateful I am for all your support. I have seen support from people since I started this blogging journey and I must say I really get the ginger to do more when I see you all support me the way you do. Thank you. A dupe. (Yoruba language) Na gode! (Hausa Language) Daalu! (Igbo Laguage) Gracias. (Spanish).

Let’s get to today’s gist :D. I get questions from people like me (lawyers), who want to pursue a post graduate degree program in the United States. Some of these questions come from people who have already taken the bold step of coming to the U.S. Some other questions come from people who are still in Nigeria and are looking forward to coming to the U.S. Having the right information and doing more research before embarking on any post graduate journey is key and that is why I hope to share some of the things I have learnt through my journey as an international student in the field of law.

The reason why I did not choose to do my post graduate studies in the United Kingdom (U.K) was because at that time, international students had to leave the U.K immediately after completing their Master’s program. There was no option of staying back for at least a year (like it happens in the U.S) to get some working experience. The question for me then became: what will be the point of spending so much on a postgraduate program, and one can’t even stay behind to work for a while and earn some money back in foreign currency.

What I did not know though, is how rare it can be to file a work visa for an international lawyer in the U.S, which will eventually affect what happens after the one year you are given to work . Please, before you people come for me, I am not saying its impossible, it’s just rare. Let’s leave that story for another day. So many factors contributed to my decision to leave for my post graduate degree in 2015. However, the most pressing one will be the fact that I was just tired of living and working in Lagos. lol! That might sound as a wrong reason to go for Masters…but I was honestly tired. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always wanted to do more than a Bachelor’s degree. I even expected my would be spouse to want more than a Bachelor’s degree otherwise, we were not heading the same direction. Silly me, as if its by force lol!

I put in my application for different schools and with the help of my eldest Brother, I started negotiating scholarships with these schools. There are different types of scholarships out there and so I implore you to do your research well o because law school in America can be very expensive. Also there are great resources out there now like consulting firms that provide these kinds of services. They walk you through the process of gaining admission and getting scholarships. Of course you will still do some work on your part, but these consulting firms can guide you, to ensure you are looking at the right places. You can dm me on instagram and I’ll share some recommendations 😉 The two major types of scholarships I know are merit based and need-based. My understanding is that if you graduated top of your class, there are certain scholarships available for you. I did not make a first class from my Bachelor’s degree. I made a Second Class (Upper). Not bad so I’d still give myself a pat on the back :D. I started negotiating for mostly need based scholarships. Applying for need based scholarships is just simply saying I will need some financial support to pursue this degree as I do not have enough. I used the word negotiate because you can really negotiate with these people. The good thing about these schools is that they listen. Feel free to ask for what you want. What’s the worst that can happen? They say no. We still meeeuuvvve!

The first admission I got was from University of California, Berkeley. However, it was only after I gained the admission, that I realized I had made the mistake of choosing a program that just wants me to come to school and once I am done, I’m heading back to my work in Nigeria. In fact the program expected me to go back to work in Nigeria when I’m on school holidays. Who has that much to be flying up and down? I think it was called Professional Track at the time. What I should have chosen was the Traditional Track. That professional track is for the big boys and big girls of Lagos who are already earning enough to live comfortably in Lagos…lol! Unfortunately, I was not in that category!

I got some other admissions from schools like University of California, Hastings. Can’t remember the rest right now, but I eventually chose St. John’s University School of Law in Queens, NY. I chose St. John’s for various reasons: First, it’s location which is New York City allowed me to be able to commute without worrying about owning a car. Secondly, they were going to prepare me to sit for New York Bar Exam. Thirdly and probably the most important, they had offered me the highest amount of scholarship.

I hope you join me next week for part 2! 🙂 If you know anyone that will find this post helpful, pls share! I also hope you found it enlightening.

Have a great week!