8 December 2014

Summer Vibes + p l a y l i s t

Summah 2k14

sebenza - dirty paraffin// ebumnandini - doc shebeleza // worst behaviour - drake // groover's prayer - thebe ft zonke// amantombazane - riky rick ft okmalumkoolkat// party - beyonce ft jcole// caracara - ko ft kid x, yamnandi into - dj cndo ft dj lusiman // spin my world - dj kent ft the arrows// dont stop the music - rihanna// we cant stop - miley cyrus// summer fling - willow smith

I was going for a lot of things here. I mean for most south africans summer is a glorious couple of weeks in December and one week in January of total debauchery. We get off work, go home and be with the people who are the centre of our specific universes, spend money (if you have money),  fall in love and just generally act like these three - four weeks are our personal Forever. Camp Chair Culture flourishes in the summer and these are the songs I'd want to hear while chilling phansi komthunzi weumbrella.

With this playlist I feel I've covered turn up, Girls Owning Summer, falling in love on the dance floor and, of course, nostalgia, because reasons. I also added what I found to be two of the biggest songs this year. I strongly considered making *this* image the cover of this mix.

What's your favourite summer song?

Nomali Cele: putting djs out of work since '92 or nah?

3 December 2014

Mzantsi Hair Stars

south african women clelebrities with short hair, haircut ideas for black women,
source unknown

At any given moment I am wanting to do tens of hairstyles and get a buzzcut all at the same time. (Actually, I think I'll start a hairstyle scrapbook, oh wait...) I'm really enjoying the move away from weave -- particularly the boring, expensive remy with a middle part take on weave -- that South African  personalities are on. I'm an advocate for women doing whatever the fuck they want with their bodies and I love experimenting, straying from the in look even more. For a while, it seemed, the unwritten rule for people on our TV was the weave tied like durag look and most of the starlets conformed to it. This look as a choice, I advocate wholly, but if it comes from 'but I won't get x gig otherwise' then there's problems, suhn. Anyway, here my faves and their coiffure plural.

30 November 2014

On Solitude and Loneliness

fka twigs quotes, quote about loneliness, quote about being alone, is being alone okay?,

I'm at my best when I'm sitting on a bench and watching people interact across the way. I'm at my best when I'm reading a book and I dramatically close it because I just can't fucking believe what the fuck I'm reading -- then open it mouth slightly open. I'm at my best when I'm watching television and a stupid line of dialogue, which I repeat to myself, happens. I'm at my best when I'm in company and an inside joke or pop cultural reference happens and I get the happys. I say "I'm not talking to you" often when I'm sitting on benches, watching television or in rooms with other people. I thrive when I'm alone. I think out loud and talk to myself. I stress myself because this life thing isn't  going the way I'm trying to steer it. I talk myself away from the ledge and comfort myself and eat that damned biscuit. 22 years in and I don't think I'll ever learn how not to be best on my own. I believe this to be a gift, considering how my life is set up. Who better to be left in the world on her own than the champion loner? Who knows, I've probably adapted and come out this way.

17 November 2014

On Plus Size Fashion in south Africa: Maybe We Don't Want it Enuf

When I first had this thought it was one particularly shitty Saturday night where FEELINGS were tender -- more than usual anyway. You may remember the post I did about my abridged history ofwearing clothes as a fat teen and now in my early-20s. The post is word-y and full of expletives, so I've put a page break for the interested. Still appreciate your visit regardless. xx

south african plus size blogger, south african plus size blog,
Circa 2012 - here's how the dress fits these days, shoes are now gone the jacket's the best thrifting decision I've ever made. Ever.

13 November 2014

7 Ways to Improve Your Blog's Design

how to design your blog, tips for blog design, how to make your blog look good, tips for making a blog
LOL, double check your graphics.

Hi guys!

I'm a bit of a web aesthetics snob at times: I will roll my eyes and click off of blogs with red text, narrow layout or a wonky look in general. But my mind was seriously blown the first time I encountered an intentionally ugly blog. I was all 'yes, girl! Weaponise all your html + css knowledge'. I'm also never satisfied with how my own blog looks -- there's always an element/design alteration for which I can't find a tutorial. It can be frustrating and also why I'm unlikely to ever buy a template. As someone who enjoys reading blogs and lurves noseying in other people's lives and minds virtually, here are seven things, aside from content, that keep me on a blog and coming back for more. These things are what I think we can all attempt and see if our layouts don't look better.

1. Declutter your template

The are more than 900 blogger widgets currently, a number of which can be customised and used repeatedly and in different ways. This does not mean we should use each one -- but goodness did I try when I first started blogging! I even had an annoying html gadget that automatically played music when you clicked onto this blog!  I've had those 'grab one' buttons from other bloggers too. Another thing that, try as I may, I just can't make myself do it and that's the double sidebars! I just feel my content gets smothered. A blogger who does this look well is Lauren over at Glossary. It works for her. But do your best to make your template as sleek and organised as you possibly can. I'm constantly editing things in or out.

2. Readable Font

Dark font on a light background and a good size makes things easy for everyone. Computer, tablet and phone screens are hard enuf on the eyes, cut your readers some slack.

3. Images

Ok, I know I said these were things that made me want to read blogs in addition to content quality but I have to add this. Tiny or blury pictures do a disservice to your content. When I first started I took pictures and uploaded them directly to blogger and selected 'small' or 'medium' on the resizing tab. Not a good look. I now resize all my pictures to 650, upload them using html (hosted on photobucket) or directly to blogger and select 'use original size'.

4. Think About The Tags Gadget

This is another petty preference of mine. The tags cloud or list is made up of ALL the terms, phrases and words you've ever used to tag posts (unless said tag was deleted). Adding this gadget imports all these words to your sidebar. My problem, though, is seeing things that have nothing to do with your regular blogging/what you talk about often. I've used my tag cloud on my sidebar ~all the pieces~ as a navigation tool for people who read this blog to find the categories in which my ramblings usually fall: beauty, wardrobe, my writing, inspo etc etc. This, of course, is my preference and it gives this blog a less-cluttered look.

5. Make Things Easy For Your Readers

Do people who visit your blog for the first time know how to look for specific things? Is it Easy for them to contact you or skip posts they don't find interesting? Yup, not everyone will find every single post we write interesting. Is there a way to opt out of those posts? I will usually put a break in my wordy, personal posts as a way of saying "hey, if this isn't something you're interested in, you don't have to scroll through the hundreds of words I've written, skip on over to my other posts." I guess captcha (the text and numbers blogger uses to make commenters verify that they aren't bots) falls into this category too. It's up to you to decide whether it's worth it weighed against the fact that a lot of internet folk hate it. As a rule I try to get the captca (or word verification) correctly twice, if it doesn't work then ah well, I'll eat my comment. If you're afraid of getting spammed then maybe set up comment approval and see how that goes.

6. Get Mobile Friendly

This is a personal crusade of mine as I do a LOT of my blog reading on my crappy phone. I have gone weeks not reading some blogs, missed a lot of my favourite bloggers' posts because of this. Not everyone does their interneting sitting in front of a computer. Enable your mobile template and make it easier for those of us reading you on the move to keep up. If I open your blog and it crashes my shitty mobile browser, best believe I'll stop trying. Also, I adore disqus but I always have difficulty commenting on mobile, which is why I'll sometimes go to a blogger's FB or twitter and let them know my thoughts on a particular post. Mobile friendliness is very important in African markets where a lot of people use phones to access the interwebz. Think about it.

7. Be a Decent Person

Respond to comments when you can -- I've been awful at this as a result of my computer troubles. Don't take other people's words, pictures or ideas. Do your best to find picture sources and link to them. Most of us will use the odd picture for inspiration. I use them a lot as I have an inspiration feature on here. I too have been guilty of vaguely stating 'tumblr' or 'pinterest' as a source. Not cool. We all slip up, the disclaimer in my sidebar is proof and I hope it shows that I'm open to rectifying my slip ups. If another blogger inspired a post or series then state and link to them. When things have been given to you by brands or prs for review or when you have been paid to write posts LET your readers know. I've never received anything personally (but I have a disclosure agreement with readers of this thing).  It's the right thing to do -- even though it's not yet required by law here in Mzantsi. Your readers trust you and your opinion so don't lead them astray for some free swag. Always be honest and stay true to yourself. Share love.

Bonus: I enjoy nice blurbs that give me an idea about the blogger and the blog.

These things are what quieten the snob within me and make it easier for me to enjoy your content. Thank you for reading! Please share your tips and thoughts on ways we can all improve our blogs.


11 November 2014

On Setbacks

zora howard quote, how to get back on track in life, zora howard poem, fear in my 20s

Theoretically, I had a head start. I was out of high school when I was sixteen. Graduated from my diploma -- nope, I didn't actually attend the ceremony -- at nineteen and started trying to get jobs. Now, at twenty-two, with two awful working experiences on my CV I feel like a failure. As though I squandered that head start.

The jobs were awful in that I felt shit while doing them, I had a list of better things I could have been doing with my time in the back of my mind. I was convinced I'd be less depressed if I was working different jobs at different places where my presence was making a difference. Preferably writing the words to awful adverts. So I left. Both times. Each time I ran out of money and speed and heart within two months of deciding on a new start. The first time this happened, panic sent me running towards anything that would help me pay my rent and eat and raise my kid sister. That's how I landed at job number two. I left that in June and I hit the 'two-month mark' in August. I'm here, panicking again. Feeling ashamed of where I am in my life and how I'm going around in a circle of disappointment. Still trapped in a tiny room in which I can't even hear my thoughts most times. Ashamed that I haven't moved to a different stage of life since I was nineteen. That money is still such an issue, as is eating.

I spent what little money I had been given on a diploma that I hoped would somehow get me a foot in at an advertising agency. I took out a loan while at my first job and went to evening classes for three months 'learning' copywriting to better position myself to get my foot in at an agency's door. Four years after my last exam toward my diploma and I still want to try to do the thing I set out to do -- write adverts. I want to know if I'm cut out for it or if I'll even be all right -- at the very least -- at it. With my stubborn and obsessive nature, it's guaranteed that I'll always wonder, should I keep letting the scramble to pay rent get to me, about what could have been. Maybe I'll get an agency job and find out that I'm just as shit at that too -- I just owe myself the confirmation either way. To get it out of my bones, so to speak.

I keep hoping that all this is a derailment -- a detour -- not a shameful failure.

9 November 2014

I've just landed in another atmosphere

So I'm sure you've been thinking that bitch just dropped the first gen Macintosh of posts and then pulled a disappearing act on us. Who does she think she is???

I'm me.

I'm also poor, which is very sad face.

But I'm on the internet again because strangers can be so kind to me. It's beyond words. Also, that mac of posts has been updated with more songs of carefree.  Hold your applause.

This is a pic of all the makeup I own. I spilt it when I wanted to draw on some brows for you ~ cater 2 you style ~ then I remembered I have a bb pic from a while ago of me with purplish brows.

i luh you papi

Dunno what's that in my eye...

I feel like posting rando hair pics for no reason other than vanity. My hair is so dry and neglected that I'm strongly weighing just cutting it.

Last week I noticed, for the first time that this tree blooms jacarandas. I've lived here for a while. Have I been sleep-walking through every spring? Ok in honesty, the only blooms I cared about were that of peach trees. Idc

I sold my camera last friday for R1, 300.00, which was just enuf to catch up on my rent and pay back the taxi fare money I borrowed to go sell the camera. I'm not bothered to have sold a possession to survive. I'm bothered I couldn't get us a few meals out of the sale as well. I'm practically Buddha. Right? Meals have been spread so thinly that I'm worried my body might be feeling some type way.

I'm about to queue up some old posts that I wrote on the memo pad of my blackberry curve 9320 while sad-facing about not being able to afford internet.  I'm quite far from 'back' but I'm still here.

As always, thank you for stopping by.

badgal is back on instagram. So happy to be alive

16 August 2014

Self-care in the Time of Flawless

8 August 2014

Wear a Crop Knit Three Ways

I've been talking about my most recent personal thrifting trip on my facebook quite a bit lately. I only bought myself two items on said trip -- a pink v neck knit that will look great with jeans and a-line skirts and this (champange?) crop. I've been enjoying the fat crop top on international girls for months now and when I came across this baby I had to have it.

6 August 2014

How I Write: A Blog Tour

This post is an interesting and possibly redundant one. Full disclosure: I think more about writing than anything else. I spend more time thinking about writing than actually writing. This is all because writing is so important to me it scares me. The lovely Haley Rankins who writes one of my favourite corners of the web, here, tagged me on the blog tour challenge -- read her response to the prompt here.

1. What are you working on?

I have a slew of writing haunting me because I'm a procrastinator, because I get scared and leave things unfinished, because I feel things. I started an essay in May -- the fifth anniversary of my mother's death was coming up -- but have left it alone since because I felt less than. There's also the short story that morphed itself into a novella, I leave it for weeks then write the smallest details until I can taste them. I'm working on various blog posts, including a blogging resource. I was working on an interview, which just wasn't coming together so I left it alone. I haven't written in my journal in months because I always gravitated to it when the tears wouldn't stop -- I didn't like that.

2. How does your work differ from others of its genre?

I'm a black feminist in Africa. I'm a black woman. I'm a dead mother's child. Is this even relevant? Probably not. I hope that my fiction work but especially my essays speak to this. I certainly do not blog as much as many lifestyle bloggers do -- I'm a loner too, which makes the life part of my blogging a bit bare. I put myself in my blogging (and writing) as much as possible. My writing (on the internet) differs from that of other life bloggers because nobody reads it. Yes.

3. Why do you write what you do?

I got on the internet because I needed to document my life -- when I wasn't being lazy -- possibly to feel less alone. I write a life blog because it feels a little like confessional poetry. Jk. Dunno, what else could I write about? What else do I know more that what's been (not) happening in my life?

In terms of my other writing, which isn't blog geared I write to share my perspective on usually universal things. I hope to "describe things for a living" as Joshua Bennett put it. Or live to describe things. 

4. How does your writing process work?

Haha. I get a decent idea, write a sentence and run away. I feel guilty somewhere alog the line and write a bit more in my kakberry's memo pad. I run some more.

5. Tag three writers to answer these questions.

If you read this and would like to do it then please do and tell me about it so I can check your process out. I tag Anja (sorry, I know this may end up being about your day job, don't let it because I'm not paying you! lol), Heather and Khensani.

Thank you for tagging me, Haley, and thank you for reading

- Nomali

4 August 2014

Skincare Lately.

This post has been a long time coming. I had halfheartedly decided, before the latest adjustment to the old skincare regiment, that maybe I should go back to strictly the greenbar, {sometimes} vaseline, LOTS of water and a prayer bacause my face just wasn't cooperating or doing what I wished it would. What that is is to just to stay reasonably moisturised and heal scars and blemishes faster than the current rate. But as you can see from the photographs, I haven't resigned myself to my childhood skincare routine, yet. Here's what I've been doing skincare-wise lately.

The first time I bought this pair I was actually looking for the Neutrogena Grapefruit wash I'd last used a while back and a generic toner because the Neutrogena one hadn't been all that -- especially considering the price. Sadly I still haven't been able to find it at my local Clicks. This cleanser is pretty good with all the granules. I'd been using a creamy wash before this but it didn't feel as clean as this does -- yes, I'm officially weird about creamy face washes. Transparency: I don't know what the fuck the toner is actually supposed to be doing. I know that the cotton ball I use to tone/wipe always looks like there's been some dirt removed and whatever.

First came this baby, which I use mostly everyday unless I feel like some vaseline then it's whatever. I'm very careful now when I pick up products that promise to "remove impurities" because one time a product was convinced that my melanin was an impurity and my skin is still trying to recover from the trauma. The first few weeks it seemed like this Garnier moisturiser was working miracles on my spots (it was probably my imagination) but it's stagnated. I still like it though but will probably slow down on it when it gets warmer because though it is light, it has nothing on the Simple moisturiser.

Fun Fact: when I was in grade nine, Thandiwe Zwane told me that her older sister, who was in matric, used bio oil on her face at night. I think I told my mother and she tried it for a while back then. When I asked my sister to pick me up some when she went to the mall I was planning on using it on regions that are neck down -- it being winter at the time and all. I've ended up using it on my face every other day and I really feel good when I've applied it, mostly because I'll probably be indoors all day and I won't look all shiny to the world. When it gets hot I'm likely stick to the before bed rule.

Aqueous cream! When last?! I think we can all tell that I'm sort of a Clicks products addict. Has this been a successful winter in terms of keeping the ash far, far away? Nope. But I'm on my way to recovery. I also alternate between vaseline and the zambuk when I'm giving the lip crayons a break. I put some cheapo tissue oils, which I forgot to photograph, in the aqueous because dry skin is just not nice.

Thank you for stopping by.

31 July 2014

7 Little Blessings of Being Unemployed.

As mentioned in my catch up post, I'm currently unemployed and even though I'm now, slightly, stressing about it because money it really has its moments. These are the 7 little blessings of being unemployed.

1. Sleeping in.

This is the best thing ever. I don't have to wake up at 05:30 or sleep early or anything.

2. Self dates ally willy nilly.

The day I stopped at my most recent job was the fifth anniversary of my mother's death. I was feeling beat. So I went to Hyde Park, after collecting all my stuff from my desk drawers, to fetch my books, buy new books and cake and watched Maleficent in a cinema all by myself. It was a moment of calm after months (maybe nearly a year) of tense, holding my breath. I also went to an art show by myself in Newtown on possibly the coldest night.

3. Breathing

What I've learnt from my previous jobs is that I'm always highly-strung and stressed and panicking when I'm employed. This is a combination of never knowing how long I'll have a job and the pay cheque to pay cheque life.  I've been breathing this last month.

4. Walking, running and all that.

These are all things I could be doing easily right now because I've the time. Granted, I'm not doing them at present but I could if I weren't so lazy.

5. I read a book.

I binge-read the bulk of Americanah in two days and a bit. It felt SO good because I hadn't been able to quiet my mind down long enuf to finish a book. Then yesterday I drifted through the last few pages and now it's finished.

6. Re-invention, true passions and all that.

My ultimate goal (for the next three - five years, at least) is to work toward being a creative consultant. Lol. I actually see myself, dunno if I've mentioned this here before, in a small, sunny office writing copy and creative solutions with clothes on a rail. An office where people can stop by for some oj and some thrtifting. It seems possible now. Maybe until I desperately need money and settle for the next job I get. Again. But of all the things that come with not having a job this is the best one. The possibility of EVERYTHING happening, the possibility of it being the time right now.

7. Planning and leisurely pacing.

Yesterday I made a short grocery memo pad that I called "groza". I've been making many other lists that have to do with this blog and life. #Blessed.

What little blessing are you currently enjoying? 

Thank you for stopping by.

Photos are from this photo set, called The Right to Idle by the critical, as in v v v important, Jenny Zhang.

28 July 2014

Catch up.

Hello blog reader (s)!

I recently had my half-birthday, hahaha that's not really the sort of thing I keep track of -- my actual birthday is shit enuf. Anyway. I feel like it's been a while since I've written here so I decided it's time you and I caught up.

I was writing a short story, which turned itself into a novella, but I got scared and lazy so I stopped. I'm terrible that way. I'm reading Americanah, which I could have finished last Wednesday but I've put it down to save it somehow.  

I'm unemployed again. I really feel like we talk about my lack of employment, shitty job situations and all of that A LOT, you and I. But yes, I'm back on the market. Back to stressing about rent for a place I hate with all my heart and money for food. Nobody said being alive would be easy, right? I actually liked this job. The environment was mostly good and fun, the work had potential to be great but sadly I was being pushed in a direction that required me to do things I was rubbish at while ignoring the stuff I rock at. So we mutually parted and, like, two weeks later they were implementing ALL the things I kept suggesting we do, suggestions for which I kept getting shrugged at. Now I don't have to worry about my future prospects because duh I'm going to be homeless and starve soon. That's a bit better than feeling inadequate and waiting to be fired, right? Riiiight, you guys?

In great news, I guest blogged for the Legit blog. It was awesome! I really pushed myself to write that (after much procrastinating) because I'd said I would. My word is all I have.  Read my post here if you're interested. My sister was all "why don't they have you write for them often?" I don't know.

I was at an Edgars ages ago (in early June?) to buy bras (because what else do you do in life when you have boobs) so I decided to also buy my first lip crayons. They're pretty convenient and make for a more moisturising option than lipstick. I bought  Revlon and Rimmel sticks but unfortunately found out later that I hadn't chosen the matte ones. The Revlon counter was pretty bare so I didn't get a choice of any of their vibrant hues. My first reaction, to the Rimmel crayon especially, was a meh shrug that stemmed from me expecting else entirely. But with time and repeat use I've come to like the little sucker.

Wearing the Rimmel lasting colour rush.

I have a new twitter account, same user name same boring tweets if you're looking for me. I'd had my old twitter since 2011. After I got my first job. Before I got my first Blackberry. When I went to visit my grandmother I hadn't seen I years. When I was 19 and (mostly) fresh from college. So I'd spent about two years over-sharing and trying, shit hoping, to forge meaningful relationships with other humans on the internet. Wanting to attain 500 followers. I remember the day I hit the 500th follower then went back to 496 or some shit. Then it stopped feeling like mine aka nobody following me cared what I was tweeting. Lol. It also felt like I was a sort of outsider. I know, a loner on the internet? Whut!? Like everyone was friends with everyone else and I was sitting by myself live-tweeting taxi rides. I still follow most of the same people with the new account because they're funny and thoughtful. Maybe I'll even get over nobody DM-ing me.

I have new items up on my store, sales of which will probably help me pay my rent one of these month ends :D. The store, though currently offline, lives here and i tweet for it here

Lastly, but most exciting of all is that I have a computer again, my computer. A boy cpr-ed it back to life and I'm very grateful. This will make it possible for me to write here more often and seek out freelance copywriting gigs and all that delicious young adult stuff. I've also been tinkering with the blog's design. There are a couple of posts coming up -- including an interview and a skincare update!

I hope you're well. Thank you for stopping by, lover

18 July 2014

Review | My First Time Using X-Pression Hair Extensions

x-pression hair extentions, purple braids, black and white braids tumblr, braid fibre review,


Even though I'm still struggling with whether I should go back to growing my hair or whether I should cut it again I went ahead and got some braids put in. Yup! I've purple twists in now. And they're sort of amazing. I'd been meaning to get the style and colour for the longest time but between procrastination and feeling constantly busy (even though I hardly ever do anything) it would be about a eight weeks before I eventually sat down for about FIVE HOURS. This certainly reminded me why I only got very short -- so short they were a bit of a crime -- box braids, a bob and a straight back in 2013. Getting braids is so much admin. And if I hear "you just have too much hair" one more time...

11 July 2014

Book Craving

On Snakes + Bone

I always pre-face any of the million times I over-share my love of Yrsa Daley-Ward's words with this: seeing her share at word 'n sound, in Johannesburg, was one of a few truly good things about my 2012. It had been a long year but an even longer day. I'd gone to see Joshua Bennett, and though his set was lovely, Yrsa stole the day. She moved me to my core. There I was, in a crowd of strangers, all by myself and this wonder started sharing all these stories. Stories that could have been mine or those of women I grew up with and knew.

In 2013, when her short story collection came out I had to have it. The same feeling came over me when Bone was released. I'm yet to get my money right and get both books, which I'm certain will make my life infinitely better, into my hands.  But if your internet and money life is correct and you're looking for something beautiful for yourself or one of your people then I recommend Yrsa's words.

What books do you currently have on your wish list?

Thank you for stopping by.

30 June 2014

Why I'm Excited About Forever 21 Coming to Jozi

Hey you!

This is just a quick post to stop this place from resembling a graveyard. I've had this post in the recesses of my mind for a while. 

I don't remember now where I first heard about Forever 21 heading to South Africa but I know I was a bit disappointed as that first report only indicated a store in Cape Town. Fast forward weeks and I hear (again, I can't recall where) that there's a Jozi location on the cards. The Johannesburg location will be in Rosebank, if I'm not mistaken and the reports are accurate. I've never actually been to the actual MALL park of Rosebank but I've been in the area a few times. Hey, it'll only be two taxis to some fashun for this fattie! ^_^

I'm really excited about this development and I hope so much that they bring their plus line along. This market needs it. A lot. Maybe the presence of a clothing store that takes fat girls and women's sartorial needs seriously will shake things up and spurr all the local retailers into action. Action that will see proper clothes that are on par with trends designed for the plus girl. Action that may lead to a plus model appearing on campaigns.

forever 21 south africa, where to buy plus size clothes in south africa, plus size summer clothes south africa, where is forever 21 johannesburg,

\___(collage illustrating all the Forever 21 goodness)____/
Of course, there are plenty other international brands coming this here, which are you most excited for?

Thank you for stopping by.

19 June 2014

7 Things | i'm gonna make this place your home

I was a bit shocked when Thursday rolled around last week and I hadn't written a single word on here. I'd like to believe that I'd been writing/photographing a lot more for this nook if I had a computer that wasn't dead (and I wasn't lazy?) that I currently am. Here we are, two posts in three days. It's remarkable!

This pic belongs here.

These are the seven things making me happy this week

  1. Short weeks with Tuesdays like Mondays but you're secretly pleased because the day after your Monday will be a Wednesday. I know I was!
  2. Avocados, bruh. I lucked out with the creamiest avos I've had in the longest. I actually sliced one, lightly salted it and ate it from the skin (with a teaspoon!) and just enjoyed myself.
  3. Laughing about silliness with my sister until I was crying.
  4. Works in progress. Writing stuff that means a lot to me and makes me giggle is fun. A week from now it might be left in my phone's memo pad to lie unfinished forever or I might think it was the silliest idea ever but right now it's making me immeasurably happy. #Feels
  5.  Boys making me laugh. One boy. Clearly laughter is a theme this week. #Blessed
  6. Cool-ish emails that boost the ole blaaaarger ego. If only a bit.
  7. Being (mostly) off Twitter. I feel like I can breathe.
And you, yes you, reading this little thing. You're always my happy thing. Thank you for stopping by.

- Nomali

PS: I wrote this yesterday in the late afternoon, then proceeded to have the worst evening. I still wouldn't take anything from this list. Just rereading it has made me feel lighter.

17 June 2014

There One Where I'm Too Lazy to do my Hair

Lately what I wear, to my job as it's the only place I go and actually bother putting trousers and a bra on for, has pretty much been based on can I throw my long-lost denim jacket over it and still be warm/ put together? If only for a little bit. Work being the only place I ever go means that I can tend to overdress, i.e the first time I wore my loud ass orange dress. It's overdressed because I essentially work in someone's home office. That's it. The other side of this coin re my style is that I can pretty much wear tracksuits, which I sometimes do and it leads to rut land. I suppose this is possibly one of the causes of my not dressing like myself, the never going anywhere I mean.

This post is possibly me begging the internet for friends and pleading for people in Johannesburg to ask me to go places with them. Sure, I'll definitely say no but ask me anyway. Do a good deed. Or whatever. OK, maybe let's wait for spring. Ask me in the spring and I'll say no with the sweetest voice you can imagine.

You may notice that the title is lamenting my laziness as far as getting those twists I desire put in is concerned. I know exactly what I want to get but I just haven't been able to kick my ass into getting it done because meh. Also it's so bloody cold. Imagine sitting outside for three to five hours in this cold.  I bought the hat (faux-headwrap/turban?) thing ages ago and never got around to wearing it. I feel it would be improved (and I'd look less Zion Sunday School Leader) if I had the braids I want peeking out. Oooh, look at me being art direction-y.

Anyway.This is what a 10-second timer gets you:

 jacket: Thriftted// dress & scarf: Jet// shoes and socks: Ackermans// turban/headwrap/hat thing: Street Vendor

My feeling is that the internet needs a detailed pic (with an instagram filter!!!) of my turban/headwrap/hat thing. I actually wear it backwards because I feel (yes, own that thang) that the pattern at the back is batter than the front. Oop.

- Nomali

6 June 2014

Accents, Cents and Sense: Why is South African Advertising so Awful

The Problem with South African advertising. Trust me, there are many.

5 June 2014

Seven Colours | My First Happy List

When I first thought of the 7 Things feature it was meant to be a celebration of the little things (and the big things!) It was meant to get me out of my head and help me pay attention to the good things that happen everyday, things that may go unnoticed of be forgotten after the initial incident because I'm naturally inclined to zoom in on the negatives. It was meant to be lessons, looking back and gratitude from each week.

So with these day-one [slash invention] vibes back on my mind I decided to try sum' sum' different for this week's 7 Things. It's only been a year since my last one, no big deal. One of my fav bloggers, Camie of Wild Spirit, has had one of the loveliest features on the internet. The Happy List is where Camie writes about the best things from her week or at that point in her life. It's the little things making her happy at the time. In the past months she's opened the feature to her readers in the form of a link up because happiness is best shared with as many people possible, duh. If you're into the whimsy (dyed hair, LANA DEL REY and gorgeous photography) check Camie's blog out. Or her insta.

So, yeah. I'm linking this week's 7 Things with all the other babes linking up to The Happy List.

1. Cereal for supper. I was feeling rather battered by Monday and so I curled right up after arriving where I stay. My sister generously makes me a bowl of Rice krispies (cold milk is so next-level better in winter) and we watched survivor.

2. Old new clothes. Best ever! I bought the dress in Feb when I was looking for a sports bra (I still am). The shoes are from 2012 and had been worn once previously. 

3. My Twitter hiatus lasted all of three days before I had to log back in to tweet really important stuff. But I'm back again on the wagon.

4. My long lost denim jacket. I don't think I'm ever taking it off again.

5. Finishing a first draft I've been procrastinating on. It's not much, just a little essay.

6. Feeling good. Not worrying about things obviously not going right/my way but being okay and just laughing anyway.

7. These two posts by Heather of Fabric of the Heart.

Here my jacket looks more rad than it'll ever be. 
My camera battery is dead apparently. That's how we got here. Anyway. This shirt dress is very short and I'm so in love. I was just thinking about one of the looks I've had at the back of my head, obsessively, for the longest time. Upon someone pointing out they could seem my undergarment worn over the tights because of admin reasons (and it's kinda cold) and me not caring, I had the look in my head again. It stems from wearing itight/shorts under my school tunic all through high school because chub rub be some hurt. Without fail there were people always on someone's back because their undergarments were showing because they're "not meant to be seen".  So I've had something like this on my mind for the longest but have always restricted it to jean skirts/jean shorts/jean dresses to be part of that whole look. Of course, Rih wins because hers is mesh and the shorts are jean undies. I keep telling y'all, I haven't been dressing like myself for the longest. But today was a good bash at it. I look like me. :-) Maybe this will be the summer to fulfill all my aesthetic longings, eh?

- Nomali

2 June 2014

Singin' Swingin' and Getting Merry Like Christmas

This Dress Reminds me so much of my mother. She had this foul-tangerine two-piece she'd thrifted and she loved it so. I'd stopped wearing all the halter tops I had because boobs and would go on to live in boxers and pretend timberlands and a red hoodie sh'ed given me the first year of illness and the year she died. The two-piece, which I think was made of some weird organza material (say that's a thing) really looked nice on my mother and suited her personality to a t so despite my teen-faced lolz she WERKED it. This dress, on the other hand, is not my style. At all. I'm more of snore than these brazen prints and the orange would suggest. And oh, I'm way into my new shoes!!! Maybe not for eight-hour days in the winter but yesssss, man. I'm a fan. I bought the shoes and dress yesterday. 

The what must I do with my face? struggle is so real. And the leg lift? lol.
Dress: Ackermans (on sale) // Boots: Mr Price // Jean Jacket: thrifted // Neck piece: street vendor// Dead attitude: Monday morning.

You've seen some of my scars so we're totally bonded for life. I can't believe that I hadn't wore this jacket since 2012.

30 May 2014

A Song Flung up to Heaven.

Awul iPhone3 pix

I was around 14 years old when I first read Dr Maya Angelou's autobiographies in a jumbled fashion. I started with the last volume, in which she mention starting to write Caged Bird. I clung onto her relationship with her brother because all I've ever had is myself. I now know and admit with no shame that I long for that sort of connectedness and belonging WITH someone. I read these books and talked to no one about them. Not my own mother or the girls and boy I spent a lot of time with at school. Not the people all over the country with whom I exchanged letters. The worlds of Marguerite Johnson (and her lived experiences) were my experiences by myself. Even when one of the girls I spent most of my school time and I stole a copy of I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings from the school's dusty library and read it in turns -- I never spoke to her about it. It was between Angelou and myself. I have not yet read every book in her autobiographies.

My mother died when I was 17 and as the daughter of a dead mother all that  stands out vividly from what I've read of Angelou's life -- in her own words -- now is Vivian Baxter. When I first became obsessed with becoming a Mad Woman and self-identifying as A Mad Woman in the making I had women like Baxter and Angelou herself in mind. I also had my mother's mother in mind. I know more about both Angelou and her mother than I do my own mother's mother but all three feature highly on the wide spectrum of women who've influenced me and have coloured my life. Even her beautiful but very traditional life with her grandmother stands out for me. She lived.

She became a young mother, was a rape survivor and was so in control of her life. Dancing and singing and healing. Going where her heart and good conscience took her. 

I bought her essay collection Letter to my Daughter from one of the pop-up book stalls that are spread thinly all through my Jozi. This was at beginning of the height of the depression -- a height I've been living through for the last couple of years. I'd read the collection between 14 and 15 and wanted to revisit it. I still do. As soon as I can focus enuf to absorb a book from start to finish. I know the day is coming. I feel better more often than I feel like weeping in corner now. Most days are mending.

As a black girl born into the life I was born into I feel lucky to have had (to continue to have) Maya Angelou's words and generosity in her writing.

This marks the second time in the last six months I've sat in taxis filled with other people having FEELINGS because a great person had just died. 


My life is me publishing things days after writing them now.

- Nomali

26 May 2014

Something to do until the wars start

These are not my pictures

I don't like where I live or the food I eat. I haven't enjoyed what I've done in the three years that I've been out of college and working. The boys I've sat beside at movies or kissed haven't felt like more than "well, I could be lying in bed and reading erotic fiction." I prefer reading erotic fiction. I always feel as though my current life is "something to do until the wars start." The war being the big picture and perfection and not now. My life is waiting. My life is questions.

There are succulents I could be buying -- they look cute and I remember chewing on them as a child. My history of wild plants I've eaten -- both edible and not -- is colourful. There are wall mirrors and shrines I wish to erect. There's my business idea and yoga practice at the foot of my bed most mornings.  These are the things I see at the end of the tunnel that is my current life. Nice things I deserve. The anxiety comes from figuring out how to get there. How do I get a job I enjoy 99 percent of the time? How do I cook all the food I love and want to eat often, when I can barely get out of bed most days? How do I care for succulents in a place that feels like my personal hell? How do I erect mirrors and creative objects in a place that hardly big enuf for me to breathe in let alone create? And time. I've been keeping time for over five years and it makes me shrink. Each birthday is a reminder of all the time spent not loving or walking every second.

This state has, often,  felt like lack of gratitude and whining. But sometimes it has also felt like self-esteem, like there's more and I deserve all of it. It is in this state, of awaiting the war, that I battle these feelings within me. I battle myself. And I rally around myself. These brown hands are the ones that unflinchingly wipe the tears away, without fail. This voice is learning to not chastise or invalidate feelings everytime. I am always thinking of a plan.

I've listened to Big Sean's verse on Control for three consecutive days. //// This was written on Thursday, so make that six days. I've listened to that verse for six days.

20 May 2014

Inspire me | Girls of Blaze x A Fashion Friend x Bee Diamondhead

Since last week, I can officially say with little hesitation -- i.e don't call the internet cops on me -- that I'm obsessed with stylist and Marie Claire fashion editor, Bee Diamondhead . While I was dealing and coming to grips with my newly found obsession Ms. Diamondhead dropped this awesome look thing through A Fashion Friend for Girls of Blaze. You probably remember the original lookbook done by Solo, I think this is a solid interpretation//take on the Puma Girls of Blaze Discs aesthetic


Bee wanted amagoda aka maphondo aka bantu knots for this shoot so she rolled her sleeves up and gave her models amagoda.

Her tumblr and instagram are worth checking out. She's (in my opinion) part of the cool kid crowd I so loving wrote about here. BUT she's a Cape Town cool kid so that's a whole other level of narce.

6 May 2014

10 gross things that show we care about people

(and are therefore not disgusted by their humanity or germs.)

People are gross by nature and the more comfortable we feel around people the more we show of that grossness. If you've ever cared about someone or had someone care for you then you're likely to have experienced this fuckery.

1. Share a straw.

I share straws with my sister often and I've shared straws with boys in the past. It's a gross habit if you think of it but it still happens because if someone you like is drinking something delicious asking to use your own straw is waay out of mind.

2. You ask them to check weird shit on your body.

Who do you ask to look at that sudden bruise, weird bump and hair on your body? Especially when it's not in awkward places. Nothing says I don't think you're a total waste of space like "hey, does this bruise on the side of my thigh look green or blue to you?"

3. You know what I mean!

If you're unfortunate enuf to have a bigot care about you or feel comfortable around you then sooner or later they will share one of their disgusting beliefs with you hoping that you will "know what they mean" I hope you never do.

4. Phone to say hello.

I detest speaking on the phone. Don't phone me. But I have phoned a couple of people for no reason at all in the past and it wasn't a not gross thing to do. rme

5. You tell your worst best jokes.

As in, the most disgusting. Because hey, you care about this person and they deserve to know the real you. Toilet humour and all. [I have repeated the jam/peanut butter thing from HIMYM once. Not as a joke but as a reference. :(]

6.  Gas shitty behaviour.

If you've encouraged a sociopath then consult a doctor and//or the police. I'm talking mild stuff here. Like laughing when your bff does something extremely terrible and unkind -- think Rih x Melissa Forde. Not only this but you also encourage their judge-y, jerk attitudes. Like, naaaaw. Stop it. Real love calls you out.

7. Thumb and swipe

My mother did this A LOT when I was much younger. If we didn't look put together she'd tell us off then swipe her thumb in her mouth and wipe away whatever mark was on our faces. Nothing says I care about you more than this gesture. Ever. Unless we count the following.

8. Bucket Buddies.

Someone holding your braids away from your face while you weep and vomit is right up there with the grossest but heart-warming things known to humanity. It's a totally solid gesture.

9. Speak through the door

When your person (friend, lover, friend you want to be a lover et plus) is in the loo and your latest joke cannot wait the two minutes and you stand on the other side of the door and chat away because you waited all day to come over and tell them. You want to get them laughing, you don't care about the rest or giving them privacy. .

10. Morning kisses.

Apparently lovers kiss first thing in the morning. I don't like the taste of my mouth in the morning, what would possess anyone to kiss it or have me kiss theirs? Oh, ja, feelings.

Which of these have happened to you or at your hands? Trust me with your gross past actions so I know it's real.

30 April 2014

How to do a high bun with box braids.

Days ago I shared my total envy of my sister's box braids. When I was shooting her I shot while she did her favourite top/high bun - it really took her less that 30 seconds. The pictures are contained in this post. Call it a pic-tutorial.

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