"Style is the perfection of a point of view" – Richard Eberhart
Author: Bonita Valli
Bonita Valli is my diary. It was initially an outlet for my hair journey and my personal style, but in the same way those things are evolving, so am I. So while I figure it out, I've decided to make BV a journal of my thoughts and experiences. Feel free to like, comment or share any of my posts. If you don't that's fine too. But if you DO share, please reference this source and if you DO comment, remember that kind words build up.
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Jodi Picoult is my favourite author. Taiwo and Wura raved about her so long that I absolutely HAD to read her books and she never let me down. Well, not until I read Picture Perfect. It started off GREAT. Kind of reminded me of social media- everyone seems to be having a great time, toned bodies, eating great food, living lavish lifestyles, until you peel at the layers and find that a lot of people are lonely or seeking attention/validation, some are simply lost in a journey of self-discovery. I’ve gone off on a tangent. Let me attempt to reel this back in.
Halfway through Picture Perfect, I didn’t think I’d make it. The story line was one of perpetual habitual repetitions and I was getting bored. I made it to the last chapter when a switch finally flipped and reigned it back home.
I expressed my thoughts to Taiwo and discovered that it was one of Jodi P’s early books. Comparing that to her more recent publications, her growth has been multi-dimensional. I’ll delve a bit more into her writing style with next month’s read. Get excited! LOL
BV Rates: 5.5/10
Ps: Eid Mubarak to my Muslim Brothers and Sisters out there.
PPs: Trying a new text setting where I show a large initial letter… I think I like it…
I think I finished reading this book in two weekends. (It’s a real struggle to read during the weekdays because I have to balance reading with work and I’m not great at balancing. I try, but it’s not often that I get very far.) The entire time I was reading Queenie, I was pissed! I (used to) judge people that make(/made) bad decisions and Queenie exercised very limited self-control and self-awareness (I found myself screaming at her with every chapter)! Accordingly, she was subject to my full wrath and resolute judgement. I’m unapologetic.
The writing style wasn’t particularly memorable, but on the bright side I loved the use of (black British) slang and the insight into that stereotypical world. [Most? Some?] black people abroad get caught up in this balancing act of staying true to their culture yet fitting in. I don’t know about you guys, but at some point, I faked the British accent, laughed when I was supposed to, did all I had to, just so I would NOT stand stick out. Eventually, I realized that it was a waste of time. Who was I trying to impress and for God’s sake WHY?! was I even trying to impress these strangers?
Queenie gives you a good idea of how tedious it is to be totally lost in a cultural mishmash!
Would I recommend this read? Probably not. But if you happened to pick it up on your own accord, I’d happily engage in conversation.
BV Rates: 6.5/10
Ps: So far, I’ve decided NOT to write much on the plot of the books I’ve read. I hate spoilers. But if you’d like a brief summary, let me know and I can incorporate those in the coming posts.
Pps: I’ve started using BV Rates. Thanks Laitan *smooches*
Wonder was an easy enough read. I’d watched the movie numerous times (I think I cried the first time) so I knew it was a storyline I liked. It was supposed to be an easy kick-off. A light enough read to get through quickly and still stay interested. I find that the books I’m most interested in are the ones that let me into each character’s perspective and Wonder did just that.
In hindsight, it wasn’t the greatest kick-off. I already knew where things were going, and the movie did it so much justice that finishing the book wasn’t a priority. (Confession: I finished it in February!)
For that reason, I’m not rating this book. Not in a it’s-not-worth-rating sense, but in a I’m-not-in-a-position-to-rate-it-because-I-already-watched-it sense. Am I making sense?
What I particularly liked about it though (beyond the storyline) was the ease in which you could read it. To expatiate, let me put it like this (the same way Wura broke it down for me) if English is your second language and you want to better understand how to string sentences and correctly use grammar, this would be my recommendation.
*I’ve been trying to upload a picture of Wonder for the past 48hrs with no joy, so pretend I’ve inserted a picture here and when it finally uploads, I’ll edit this post 🙂 *
KF Rating: N/A
Ps: I’m trying to think up something more interesting than “KF rating”. Any suggestions?
It was (is!) a fresh start on a couple of fronts. On a more obvious note, it was literally the new year, January 1, 2021, but beyond that, it was a rare opportunity to teach myself to improve my vocabulary, be better well spoken.
When people describe me, I always wanted one of the words they used to be REFINED. POLISHED, you know… an all-round LADY and for whatever reason, reading was going to help me accomplish this. On that evening, round the dinner table with friends and family, I decided I was going to read at least one book a month through 2021.
You see, the thing with reading is that it opens a window to exposure beyond the physical. A direct path into minds, thoughts, research… other people’s imagination and sometimes, their experiences.
I’m six months into my reading journey (I honestly doubted I’d last this long) and (I can’t believe I’m saying this), I don’t want to stop. I’m cumulating memories, fantasies, findings; and it’s shaping my mind.
Will you fly with me on this journey?
Ps: Shout Out to Taiwo for encouraging me to do this. My initial reaction was a STRONG NO! I’m not sure if people still blog but in all honesty, I don’t care! I’ve missed this.
1. I get easily (and quickly) excited. It’s usually about the smaller things… gestures, gifts, little wins….
2. I can sleep through just about anything (I think it’s a gift), but the night before I headed to Abeokuta, my excitement kept me up! Yeah, I was surprised too
I’ve lived in Lagos for the better part of my adult life and never once considered experiencing Nigeria’s own tourist attractions. So my friends and I decided that instead of sitting on a flight to the ends of the earth, we’d do what we could about experiencing the local terrain.
Abeokuta was the first adventure (only took an hour and a bit to get there) and even though only 3/5 of us made it, we had fun! Our first stop was the Obasanjo Library. Although the staff tried to kill my spirit (we weren’t allowed to take pictures unless we were using their photographer 🙄), I learnt a lot about who is arguably the best President we’ve ever had.
The Olumo Rock (Under the Rock) was definitely my highlight. We got a bit of the history in word and song (I love varied expressions) and it pushed us physically (some of us anyway… I climbed the stairs. Wasn’t about to risk my pride climbing mountains). Let’s not get into the peace that comes with sitting on Ori Oke (top of the mountain). It’s very easy to have a one on one with God there.
Before we get into the pictures, here is a list of simple tips/things to pack when going on such trips in no particular order:
Wear light, comfortable clothing and trainers. Sandals or slippers are a NO from me
Stay hydrated with water and pack light snacks
Take your camera. Don’t be too fussed about how you look, it really doesn’t matter. You will re live certain moments through your pictures
Go in a group. I went with TVP Adventures and they made it so much fun… so easy. We played games on the bus, they had a photographer, they provided drinks and snacks, face towels, etc.
Don’t forget your power bank
Sunglasses and SPF are a MUST because the sun is intense
Put on your FitBit/Apple Watch/ whatever step/fitness tracking device you have. You’ll amaze yourself. I’d hit 10k steps before I even got to Olumo Rock!
Ladies, don’t bother with makeup. Trust me on this one
Pack baby wipes and a face towel
Go with an open mind. Don’t take yourself too seriously
See Nigeria through my shades….
I was the President for all of 30 seconds
On our way up the Olumo Rock
Quick break for a story
Play the song
Any ideas of where my next adventure should be?
Ps: I lost a friend of mine recently. She was my age. How does that happen??
It’s been a while since I did a perfume review. It’s crazy, I wear perfume every, single, day but somehow, for whatever reason, I’d never say I was/am big on it. I do love the idea of having a scent… that smell that rewinds people deep in nostalgia. A flashback, a memory, a unique moment, one person! Yeah, I love that. It’s that kind of reminiscent feeling that I want to leave people with when they catch my scent. But let’s be real, there are far too many options out there for me to tie myself to that one singular smell, right?
Taiwo pretty much swears by the Cartier La Panthère so I thought it would be good to pick up on my perfume blogging here. She’s been wearing it for about 3 – 4 weeks now and can’t seem to put it aside, so she recommended I wear it. After all, the scent is not just a smell, “It’s an experience”. So, I put down my current favourite, Dior’s Joy (Leah, you did this to me) and went with one spritz of La Panthère. Because from the first whiff I could tell that anything more would probably have been overpowering.
I’m going to skip the packaging because there’s nothing particularly beguiling about it. A bit of a letdown really as the bottle, although very boxy and quite masculine in appearance, harbours the mask of a well chiseled Panther. It’s like a buried secret only exposed in temperate lighting, at an undefined angle.
The scent is mature, musky, with a wood-like undertone…. It can’t be bullied…. It’s powerful! It smells like a CEO, DOMINANT. Dissecting the smell now, I can see why Taiwo likes it. It reveals everything about her argumentative side – the side I debated with at about 12:20am on White Supremacy but let’s not get into that – It’s definitely not my scent but like I said, I see why she likes it. It smells expensive… Like a lifestyle!
YouTube has been intermittently schooling me on photography over the past couple of weeks or thereabout. So, at about 1:00am, I pulled out my DSLR and thought it would be a great time to put my skills (and new-found knowledge) to the test. How did I do?
Have you tried Cartier’s La Panthère? Any thoughts?
Ps: I need to learn about photo editing next. This is really looking like a new hobby
Pps: I’m off on a trip tomorrow which I’m really excited about. Can’t wait to blog about it next week
I missed the Oscars. Not intentionally….. not unintentionally either. My interests snoozed comfortably round the spectrum of indifference. I’m not bummed about missing it, like I said, I’m just “a little late to the party”. And not late in the cool, “fashionably late” kinda way…. the Nigerian kinda late when you miss the whole damn thing… and then some!
At some point over the past week, Sky News showed their typical 30 second or so entertainment news highlight/s and I came across Lady GaGa’s Oscars outfit. I haven’t had an “OH MY GOD!” moment in a long time, particularly concerning the red carpet, but this…..! This was definitely one!
Black dresses are always a classic but the contrast against The GaGa’s [monotone] pale skin and bleached blonde hair was ordained by the fashion gods. The exaggerated hips were an instant reflection of McQueen’s quirkiness and the pleated skirt that expanded to floor length was breath taking, but the opera gloves and Tiffany’s necklace screamed classic Hepburn from about a mile and a half off. We all know nothing screams classy like Audrey.
Now that we’ve got that dress out of the way, let’s take a minute to appreciate that necklace shall we?
Taiwo and I (and secretly Wura) are forever fans of How to Lose a Guy in 10days. It’s like… our go to movie. We’ve reached the point at which we recite the lines! So as much as I did/do appreciate the Alexander McQ dress, the real game changer was in fact that US$30mn Tiffany’s gem that had Wura pretty much scream (via whatsapp of course) “She’s wearing the Isadora!” LOL! That’s right, the Tiffany’s necklace had me 99.99% convinced GaGa was wearing the Harry Winston Isadora! (You can’t say/write that name without the exclamation mark. It would be criminal.)
The rock sized canary yellow gem, supported by “miniature” white gems delicately laid between both of Lady GaGa’s collar bones and had my jaw on the floor for the best part of the next 5 mins. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a rock that big, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a rock that worthy! It was breathtaking, spectacular, literally jaw dropping. It just dazzles!
Hair & Makeup
You don’t wear a necklace like that then decide to show off beach waves or silky straight hair do you? It’s got to be an up do… you know… to show off the master piece. Oh and as for the make up, gotta keep it natural looking and simple. The Oscars is no carnival!
Since I saw the Gaga’s outfit, I haven’t bothered googling any other star’s outfit. It would be unjust!
This is the part where I usually ask who/what was your favourite look of the night, but today, I won’t even lie, I’m not interested. LOL
Ps: I’ve been lusting over a yellow dress very much like Andie Anderson’s on How to Lose a guy. But the price… my goodness the price!
PPs: Why was Andie carrying that horrible bag?
PPPs: I’ve always been a fan of Harry Winston. When I lived in a bubble I often fantasized that bae would propose with a Harry Winston… *sigh*