Landscape and pose

I was out with my sister the other day, when we stumbled across the most gorgeous location. I happened to have my camera (Nikon Coolpix L330 in case you’re wondering) on me, so of course we had to take a few shots.

I am no photographer but photography has always been one of my loves (hence my never-ending Instagram photos [@PaulaPaceSetter]), so, please enjoy these photos myself and my sister took.

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Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

HAPPY 3RD ANNIVERSARY, PAULAPACESETTER!

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Did you know, that the 31st of July marked 3 years this blog (yes, the very one you are currently reading) has been existing?! 

I find it absolutely amazing that my small blog, that started as a hobby because I was bored, has grown into the sophisticated lifestyle blog that it is today. Although, I am usually quite quiet about how many views we get, I will share that we have 15,000 readers from all over the world. It makes me smile that my little words, pictures and videos are reaching (and hopefully inspiring) thousands globally.

This post is mainly to thank every single person who has ever read my blog. I have continued writing for all these years due to your encouragement and support.

Stay tuned for more great work, more guest bloggers, more inspiring posts and more fun pieces.

And if you would like to learn the story behind the name, PaulaPaceSetter, watch this video!

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

10 reasons why I would not go on I’m a Celeb

To the wonderful people who have not yet had the divine pleasure of watching or knowing of the show, I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! allow me the honour of introducing it to you. I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here (I’m a Celeb) is a British reality TV show, where ‘celebrities’ are taken to a jungle in Australia to stay for a couple of weeks. They have to do creepy, scary challenges, such as eat bugs, just in order to win food. Honestly, it is one of my guilty pleasures. Absolutely love it.

Most of the time, the ‘celebrities’ are people that were on some show that only had one series about six years ago, or were in a band that had one hit about fifteen years before I was born. Basically, people who were once relevant and are no longer relevant, so they go on the show to try to become famous once again! Lovely. Shout out to the amazingly brilliant ITV producers who manage to make us, the Great British TV viewing public, tune in every night (or record the whole series then watch it in one go, if you are like me) with their fantastic writing. You guys are the real MVPs.

So, I was watching the show and wondering whether or not I would do I’m a celeb, you know, if I ever got famous. To be perfectly honest, I do not think I could ever bring myself to do it, and here are 10 reasons why;

1. I would spend most of my time fangirling (adjective: obsessing and acting crazy in the presence of a famous person/people) over Ant and Dec and that one lone relevant celebrity that IS actually famous and everyone ACTUALLY knows who they are. But mostly Ant and Dec. Sorry but they are freaking legends. I would honestly just stand there, wide-eyed, gawping and grinning at them (I bet I’m taller than Dec). They would actually kick me off the show as soon as I got there.

2. This is probably a big reason – I am scared of everything. Literally everything, I am not even exaggerating. From that first step into Australia (Actually, how would I get to Australia,  I’m scared of planes) I would be terrified. I would probably cry. A lot. I’d probably do a Gillian (if you know, you know;)

3. I would find everyone irritating as hell. I would get into so many arguments. Not because I’m argumentative but because in that kind of environment, anything and everything would annoy you. And it is the kind of thing where you can’t even walk away, trying to be the be the bigger person and everything. Like, where could you go? To the shower? Toilet?

4. The idea of cameras watching and following your every move freaks me out. I always say I want my life to be made into a reality tv show, but honestly I wouldn’t really. In the jungle, you can’t even discretely pick your nose without it becoming news in the Metro back home. Stress.

5. This one links with number 4 but I honestly think it is so significant it deserves its own number. Number five: the fact that women are constantly filmed parading in bikinis or showering or sun-bathing. I understand that here in England, we get no sun so the excitement of feeling the suns rays in Aus is overwhelming but this still bamboozles me. Obviously, no disrespect to the women, because they are obviously allowed to do what ever they want to. Some of these ‘celebrities’ are married, some have kids. And now their husbands have shared their wives, and their kids have shared their mother, with the entire male population of the UK. I couldn’t do it to the future beau. Other than that, how are they comfortable knowing that the whole country is judging their bodies. The whole country is deciding on who shouldn’t have had that extra jam doughnut on the helicopter ride into camp, and who evidently had spent weeks living in the gym prior. I just could not do that to myself.

6. I am much too awkward to go on the show. This is a real problem, please dear reader, take this seriously. You know that bit where the celebrities are meeting for the first time, with their guarded smiles, polite handshakes and unsure hugs – yeah, that, I couldn’t do that bit. My introduction would be a mixed of statements similar to, but in no way exclusive to;

“Hi, I’m Paula. Yes, the Paula of telly.”

“No. No, I swear I AM actually famous.”

“So, who are you then?”

“Omds, my mum used to watch you on telly. Before I was born. Wait.. Was it TV or radio? I think it might have been newspaper.”

“Wow! I remember you! You look so… different in real life.”

“I used to love you when I was much younger.”

“Do you have Twitter? Follow me when we get out if here. Oh… Instagram then? Okay, ask your granddaughter to instead.”

You see, I just haven’t mastered the art of small talk and conversation yet.

7. I am quite picky about what I eat and drink so I would probably just starve. They have meals like Ostrich and Emu – am I a goat to be eating that, please? I would fully eat rice, beans and porridge every single day. And to drink, they ways give them ‘treats’ of alcohol. “Do this challenge and everyone gets a beer” – but I don’t freaking drink and I don’t freaking want a beer, so that is a waste of my participation, to be perfectly honest. I would probably ask for mango juice, or apple if they didn’t have mango.

8. I would probably have super crazy mood swings due to lack of better food than beans, rice and porridge. I do not deal with hunger very well.

9. Feeling obligated to say, I would probably miss my family and friends. I would end up crying every other hour, moaning about how I miss my dog. And I am not a pretty crier.

10. Finally, the biggest reason why I probably would not and could not go on I’m a Celeb is that my mum probably wouldn’t let me. She saw a snake make a cameo on the show once and assumes the show is of the devil (obviously). My family would probably disown me, then tell everyone at church to disown me. That would be bad.

So there you have it, ten perfectly legitimate excuses reasons why I could never and would never do I’m a Celeb, even though I love watching it. But then again, the money…

I hope you enjoyed this post. I had a lot of fun writing it. Do not take anything I have said too seriously, it was a joke. Mainly ;)

Peace&Love.

Paula ox’

Blue on Blue – Long Sequinned Gown

I was feeling myself today.

I am no fashion blogger as you can probably tell from my blog, which is mainly filled with posts of me ranting about life and people and everything in between. But today, I wore this dress and felt like a Queen. If that doesn’t qualify me to write this post, I do not know what else will, to be honest.

The dress (not #TheDress but still The Dress, do you get me?) –
2015-05-17 14.03.53I don’t know the technical term for this dress but, it is a figure hugging, blue, sequinned, ankle-length gown with a high neckline and thigh-high slit at the back (not too bad for a novice, if I do say so myself). I paired the dress with a pair of blue suede platform heels and a simple silver choker necklace.

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Peace&Love… and all things blue;)

Paula Melissa xx

I’m a First Gen

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Hello, my name is Paula and I am a First Gen.

What is a First Gen?

A First Gen is someone who is born in a country their parents migrated to. My parents were born in Nigeria, I was born in England. Therefore, I am a First Gen.

What is significant about being a First Gen?  

Being a First Gen is hugely significant because you have to learn to combine two (sometimes even three) totally different, and often clashing, cultures. Your friends at school are allowed to stay out all night and go raving or partying, whereas your parents at home have a set curfew for you and expect you to go to night vigil with them on Friday night. See.. clashing. Being a First Gen is significant because you have to carve your way through life incorporating both aspects of who you are and where you come from.

What is a common struggle you, as a First Gen, have had to deal with?

When people ask me where I’m from. To which I reply confidently, “London.” Then they say,

“No really! Where are you from? Like from, from?” And I reply a little uneasy

“umm.. London.” They then arch their eyebrow, tutting and shake their head whilst waiting for me to try again.

“No, we mean where are your parents from?”

“Ohhh! Nigeria!” 

“So, you’re Nigerian…”

“What me? No, I’m… No, I’m British Nigerian.”

The struggle is real. After years of this same exact conversation I’ve taken to answering the initial question with, “I was born in London but I’m originally from Nigeria.” Saves time and energy.

Do you consider yourself more Nigerian or British?

I pray no one reads this and condemns me, saying I’m disowning my country, decieving myself, trying to be white… I’ve had enough of that over the years. Simple answer: I feel more British (*draws a breath in quickly*) and let me explain why.

I was born in London. I’ve lived here ALL of my life so far. (In a few months I am taking a huge step and relocating to Sheffield to study.) The only time I have ever been to Nigeria was when I was aged 2 or 3 (My mum cannot remember the exact details and obviously I don’t remember because I was a baby) and I stayed a couple of months. A tiny holiday to the Homeland when I was an infant does not quite equate knowing, living and understanding Nigerian culture. I cannot even speak my language of Igbo (shoutout to all my Igbos!), I cannot even imitate a Nigerian accent so how can I be more Nigerian than British???

I will say, however, as I have grown up, my Nigerianness (yes, I made that up) has also grown because I have become more interested in Nigerian culture. The food (!!!), the politics, the movies, the music and the fashion. But I still do not know enough to contest with my British culture. I am learning more and more and I love learning more and more about Nigeria. Yes, I am not white and yes, I am British. Yes, I am British and yes, I am also Nigerian.

What’s one thing you hate about being First Gen?

I hate that your parents feel the need to pin all their hopes and aspirations on you.

“You were born in this country, why cannot you not go to Oxford or Cambridge?”

“You will be a medical doctor/lawyer in Jesus name, amen” *prays intensely*

“You have all the opportunities in the world in this country and you want to become a fashion designer, an actress, a journalist. You’re trying to kill me, isn’t it?”

Like no. Maybe I don’t want to go to Oxford or Cambridge (they don’t do Journalism anyway!!) and what’s wrong with being a fashion designer. Obviously, not all Nigerian parents or First Gen parents are like this (Thank God my parents are not (fully) like this) but it is a large majority.

The worst thing is when you’re First Gen and the eldest sibling…………………………………

What is the best thing about being a First Gen?

Life is always fun. When you’re a First gen, life is full of spice and variety. You might have fish and chips for lunch today, then gari and okra soup tomorrow. Or you might have a roast dinner on Sunday or ackee and saltfish with home-made dumplings. Life is different everyday because you are ALLOWED to pick and choose bits if both your cultures. I repeat, you are ALLOWED to pick and choose as you like. I know this one girl who managed to incorporated Nigerian tribal clothes into her everyday wardrobe. She’d literally be wearing black skinny jeans with a crop top created from her mum’s gele. Talk about being a proud First Gen.

I love being a First Gen, despite the daily struggles we may face. One thing most First Gens will agree is, being a First Gen means your parents will not let you fail. Let me rephrase that, you are not allowed to fail (by fire, by force loool).

I got the idea for this post when I watched the trailer (below) for a new show called First Gen. It really got me thinking and made me realise I am a First Gen and totally PROUD. I also did the Nigerian Tag (also below) with my younger sister, so check that out too.

 

 

Udo na ịhụnanya (That’s ‘peace and love’ in Igbo, we thank God for Google translate lool)

Paula Melissa xx

My day at a deaf youth event – VIDEO

You can find inspiration in anything, especially when you do not expect to find it. My mum invited me along to a deaf youth event she was asked to speak at. I went along, not really knowing what to expect. I left that evening with inspiration and a whole new perspective on a side of life I didn’t really know a lot about. What better way to explain my day, than in video form. Enjoy!

I really did not know anything about being deaf, sign language and everything of that sort. It feels good to have my eyes opened.

In many parts of the world, deaf people are somewhat segregated, hidden away in small colonies. People do not expect them to have a life, do not expect them to be funny, beautiful, inspiring people. This saddens me because of course they are.

You can find inspiration in anything. Even in people you have never really known about. Even in people who cannot hear.

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

#DearMe – VIDEO – What would you tell your younger self?

#DearMe

So recently, I kept seeing YouTube advertising this #DearMe hashtag. After a little bit of digging, I discovered it was part of a celebration of International Women’s day. The hashtag accompanies videos where YouTubers say words of encouragement and advice to their younger self.

Here’s the original video on YouTube.

It inspired me to think about what I would tell younger Paula. What should she have known that would have made growing up a lot easier? So I filmed this quick video!

Enjoy, and think, what has changed in your life? What have you overcome growing up? What would you tell your younger self to worry less about?

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx