Sunday, September 25, 2016

September Playlist & Challenges


During the week whilst reading one of my current favorite blogs, The Nerdy Me, I was reminded of my 30 Day Challenges which I have neglected the past few months. These challenges in their own little ways have added to my life. Till this day I'm constantly reminding myself not to complain too much, something that recently came back into play when I started uni. This was my Some challenge. I also call on my head-space challenge back in ....yo pull myself out of my thoughts and ground myself.

For the month of October I'm going to try and work on my creative side as I think it needs some tender loving care. I'll learn a song a week on the guitar and piano and also read at least 2 books this month.

I'm excited to see how this goes.

But for now, without further ado, here is September's Playlist. It's a mix and match of everything.

Agnes - Glass Animals
Night 52 - Christine & The Queens
Jonathan - Christien & The Queens
Love Is Blind - Lapsley
White Winter Hymnal - Fleet Foxes
Broccoli - D.R.A.M , Lil Yachty
In The Name of Love - Martin Garrix, Rebe  Rexha
I Need My Girl - The National
Go It Alone - Beck
Peaches - In The Valley Below
Atlantis - Bridget Mendler
Drive - Glades
Intention - Kiiara
Don't You Cry For Me - Cobi
Dance For Me - Eugy, Mr. Eazi


Till Next Time My Pretties
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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Review: Irresistible Me










Jumper - H&M
Boots - Primark

In my last post I mentioned a collaboration with Irresistible Me, I also did a quick review of their Trinity Hair Combs which I wore to my Debs and absolutely loved. You can of course check it out Here if you missed it.

In the post I also mentioned that the Trinity Hair Combs were one of three accessories gifted to me to review and instead of lobbing them all into the one post, I chose to do them all separately because I had individual opinions on each of them.

The Rhea Headband was the first one of the three I wore.  You might remember from my Glasses Shop review that when it comes to getting things online, and I don't know why this is, I don't tend to expect the items I get to be of good quality. This probably stems from the many horror stories you read about whether to do with scam brands or funny YouTube compilations of failed online purchases. 

However once again, like in the Glasses Shop review, my fears were dispersed by the quality of the products I received from Irresistible Me. The packages arrived in bubble wrap which I wasn't quite expecting. I don't know why but for some reason I'd thought they'd come in decorated boxes and I'm a little sad that they didn't because their packaging is actually so pretty, as you can see from Leta from The Nerdy Me's review on their hair straighteners.

From the looks of it, the Rhea headband, is no different in terms of material and quality to the H&M headpiece I've been wearing as my go to the past few months. In fact I found that I preferred the coiled and thicker band to the H&M one as it meant the hold of the headband wasn't centered at one point on my head so it didn't hurt like what I sometimes encounter with the H&M one when worn for an extended period of time.

Although I also love the design of the flower itself, it does a lot for adding bling to a simple outfit. In fact I wear this headband as a daily accessory and almost always get compliments on its beauty weather I'm in work, college or just generally walking around.

The delivery was quite speedy too. I think it took about a week to arrive after it was sent. I am terrible for tracking my orders so this like my Glasses from the Glasses Shop was also a surprise delivered by the post man.

I love how easy and versatile it is and would definitely recommend it as a staple in your daily wardrobe weather to work, college or just socializing.

Are you a fan of hair accessories? What are some of your favorites?

On a completely separate note, I will be doing a mini refresh of Albatroz & Co. on the 2nd of October. Yay!!!! I just feel like the site could do with a few tweaks to keep it refreshing. 

Secondly, the votes are in from Twitter about the new blog signature and it seems that the majority of voters cannot read it as it is now so I'll be changing that up. Keep an eye on Twitter and Facebookwhich you can follow Here and Here  respectively, where I'll be asking opinions on what should become the signature and who knows, maybe you'll even get some sneaky previews of the new site *insert winky face*

Till Next Time My Pretties xxx
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Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Deal with The Debs








Alas, it is time to talk about the Debs. You may be one of the many people living outside Ireland and asking yourself, what is the deal with the Debs? For those of you who don't know what the Debs are, they are basically the Irish version of a prom and on Wednesday I attended my own Debs. However these were not my first Debs. At the tender age of 14, almost 15, I first encountered the Debs with the son of my mother's friend. For many reasons his Debs paled majorly in comparison to the one I attended on Wednesday.

My Past and Recent Experience With The Debs

For starters, I knew all the girls I had attended school with and some of their dates whereas at my first Debs, I literally knew the one person, my date. And not very well might I add. I had previously settled on the idea of not going to my own Debs based on the experience of the one I went to and boy was I right to change my mind, because Wednesday was by far one of the best highlights of my year so far. It was a much welcomed break from starting college and work, just getting to be around my friends, almost all of us together in one place, dancing our hearts out and the night away. 

I'll also not fail to mention the hotel manager's attempt to save me from an allergic reaction. At the dinner tables, as dessert was served, I asked if the suspicious looking topping on my chocolate cake were nuts or white chocolate shavings. The manager told me they were not nuts but then took my plate away, which I was pretty disappointed about because, it was chocolate cake. I took another plate of cake from a waiter walking by and again the manager took it away this time returning with a fruit salad drenched in some alcoholic drink. So in the end I just swapped it with a friend of mine and we both lived happily ever after.

The Outfit

If you follow me on Twitter, where I live, then you know that the thing I was looking forward to most about the Debs was wearing my dress, and I'd say I wasn't alone in this. I got this dress made in Ghana when I went back in June. At a visit to the seamstress, I was able to design the dress I wanted. I had not initially thought of wearing this dress for the debs, I didn't want to appear tacky in my African wear or silly, in fact my own mother tried to convince me to change my mind and buy something more....conventional? But two weeks of being infused by my roots and I was all up for it. 

Accessories & Shoes

The goddess Trinity Hair Combs were one of three pieces of hair accessories kindly gifted to me by Irresistible Me who for a while I'd been wanting to collaborate with but couldn't because I was unable to use their products at the time. Having natural hair, I had no need for the extensions they offered and their splendid looking straighteners were a no-no for my hair as I do not apply heat to it. I did however recently read a review on their straighteners by one of my newest favorite bloggers, Leta of The Nerdy Me and it's definitely worth checking out Here.

I loved the way the hair comb just tied my outfit together and made me feel like a Goddess at the same time. I had initially planned on going silver with my accessories but I'd have been mad not to go for these. I got A LOT of compliments about them and had many people asking me where I got them too and now y'all know so you can go grab your very own pair. I'll be doing separate reviews on the other two pieces in the next 2-3 weeks because I loved them all individually too much to lob them all into the same post, so definitely keep your eyes peeled.

The rest of my accessories would you believe were found in my mother's bedroom, like everything I own but the earrings are from Debenhams Mood Women's section.

The shoes I stole from my mother, surprise surprise, in my defense, she does have great fashion sense, and a bigger budget than I ;) I do however know that she got them from Bershka.

Make-Up

Once again, if you follow me on Twitter then you already know that up until Wednesday I had no intentions of wearing make-up. Partly because I didn't like the process and partly because I didn't know how to do it. But as Wednesday's Post revealed, I must confess that I have grown to actually somewhat like the process. Albeit it took me about 2 hours and a billion tries to get the make-up, and fake eyelashes on. My dried up liquid eye-liner ran out and my gifted test tube mascaras also finally ran out but apparently I didn't look as bad as I thought I did in the end.

All in all, I have nothing bad to say about this night. I loved every single bit of it, especially the breakfast rolls we received the next morning from the hotel whilst we were leaving. And guess what? I get to do it all again in 3 weeks when I go to my best friend's Grads!!

Hope you enjoyed this post guys and gals! Had you heard about the Debs before today? And I'd love to know about your own Debs or Prom experience.

Till next time my pretties xxx
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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Get To Know Me Better







I'm writing this between fits of pure excitement and indifference? Why? I have one hour before I leave for for my debs and all the emotions I have been repressing are finally catching up to me and I cant deny the excitement anymore. However I didn't want to keep y'all hanging as it is Wednesday and that means a new post tonight for all my pretties. 

I realize although Albatroz & Co. is my own personal blog, I don't always share much about me until I end up having some sort of emotional breakdown and it all comes flooding out in jumbled up words and intense emotional posts. So I thought I'd do something about it and start of with these few get to know me questions.

If you'd like to see more personal posts on Albatroz & Co., head over to my Twitter and vote your opinion on the poll which will be pinned to my profile. Also it's not too late to voice your opinion on the new blog signature. That poll runs for 4 more days then decisions will be made.

I went on Pinterest to find some Get To Know You questions that weren't too deep but still interesting and this was one that looked pretty good. Now without further ado here is the post.

15 Questions To Get To Know Better

Q1: Where were you three hours ago?

Answer: I was trying my very best to get my makeup to look somewhat decent and not like I just fell into an over-packed make-up bag.

Q2: Confession

Answer: I've never done a full face of make-up myself. The last time I wore a full face of make-up was for my school play and it was done by someone else. I don't know why but I didn't enjoy the process or the finished product very much. With that said, after today, I think I'll be venturing more into the world of beauty. I am quite intrigued.

Q3: Bad Habits

Answer: I actually have so many bad habits it's not even funny. Maybe someday I'll do a mini post on my bad habits. What do you think? For now, the one bad habit that jumps to mind is my need to psycho analyse everything everyone says, over and over again. I more often than not end up driving myself mad more than anything.

Q4: Favorite Color

Answer: Neon pink. Don't ask me why, I just love that color.

Q5: What color is your toothbrush?

Answer: Blue.

Q6: Can you drive?

Answer: I have had 10 of my 12 required lessons but because my mam wouldn't let me use her car for practice, I stopped because there's no point learning something you can't practice.

Q7: Birthday

Answer: 27- September- 1997, that's in two weeks people, TWO WEEKS!!

Q8: Addiction

Answer: *insert inappropriate drug reference followed by an apology* 

I'd say my addiction right now and probably forever is Chinese and Indian food. Can't get enough of it.

Q9: Pet Peeves

Answer: I hate, HATE repeating myself. I don't know why but it drives me up the wall.

Q10: Last person you hugged.

Answer: My little sister who just arrived at the house for my debs reception. She's going to the same secondary school I atteneded and she's wearing the school uniform and she looks the cutest!

Q11: Zodiac Sign

Answer: Libra. And I am such a Libra.


Q12: Something you miss.

Answer: The ignorance and bliss of childhood.

Q13: What song is stuck in your head at the moment?

Answer: I don't mean to sound pretentious but yesterday I wrote a song, which I haven't done in a while, and it's stuck in my head because of how much it reflects how I've been feeling lately.

Q14: Eye Color

Answer: Black, like my soul. Not really, just really, REALLY dark brown.

Q15: Favorite Quote

Answer: 'Be yourself; everyone else is already taken' Oscar Wilde. This quote basically sums up for me why we should all embrace the people we are, our talents, flaws, inhibitions etc and stop comparing them to others because no matter how hard we try, no two people will ever be the same.

Hope you enjoyed this post.

Till Next Time My Pretties xxx
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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Four Eyes













Photo Credit: Stephanie @ Ma Petite Fiche

Glasses - GlassesShop.com
Jacket - Bershka
Skirt - H&M

So a while ago I checked into my inbox and found an email from a lovely lady asking me if I'd be interested in trying out their product for them. The product in this case was their glasses. Now being a person who needs and wears prescription glasses, I was a little skeptical of how you could order prescription glasses online in the first place, let alone have them be of good quality. I'll admit, I don't shop online often for anything. I'm almost certain the last thing I bought online were some glow in the dark paints I bought for a D.I.Y project in December and that's about it. So the idea of anyone forking out money online for what could be a basic necessity of someone's everyday life with the risk of disappointment just didn't fill me with confidence.

However, I decided to be open minded and give it a go, just because I also knew the 'what if' scenario had I rejected the offer would have driven me mad. These Glasses from the Eyeglasses Online that I had chosen arrived two days ago. Being home alone, I don't tend to answer the door much unless I know someone is coming, partly because I am lazy and partly because I hate turning down door-to-door sales people, I've been in their shoes and it's not easy being on either end. It was by chance that I was already up and moving when the post man knocked on the door and surprised me with this little beauty. I was completely taken away from the minute I opened the box.

I chose these glasses because of how simple yet dark and grungy they were. I mean, I already own two pairs of glasses so I was looking for something that would be completely different to them. The company also produce Prescription Sunglasses which I was tempted to go for because the weather was really picking up at the time. However, seeing as this is Ireland and summer for us is a 10 days of the year affair, I figured I'd get more wear out of something else.

The process of the order was actual quite simple. You go to the Glasses Shop website. If you need prescription glasses, you have to have your RX and PD which your optometrist should be able to give you. You may or may not have to collect this information in person like I had to do, but I'd assume depending on which opticians you're with, you may be able to get them over the phone, like I had hoped to be able to do. For the record, Vision Express require a physical presence.

With your required information, you go online and its basically the same as any online order. You browse the glasses selections and there are many, pick the one you want, select any add-ons like anti-glare, colour changing in the sun etc. I chose the anti-glare add-on for my glasses because neither of my other two had it as it was too expensive at the time I got those and I certainly noticed the difference when the sun came out.

The glasses arrived with a case and cloth in a small rectangular box just big enough to fit the case in. They were in mint condition as far as I could tell and have lived up to their requirements. The prescription lenses were perfect. It took a few minutes for my eyes to adjust to the new prescription the way they have to my normal ones. There was no pain or hassle, just popped them on and I was ready to go.

I paired it up with this somewhat 90's vibe outfit because I really liked how it went with it. All in all, I had a pretty good experience with the Glasses Shop and if you want your own pair of prescription glasses, sunglasses or whatever floats your goat, you can use the code GSHOT50 for 50% off so bargain!

What have been some of your latest online conquests? 

Also quickly before I go, I've decided to give Albatroz & Co, a bit of a face lift. Nothing major but as I do not want to go offline any time soon, I've decided to do it little by little and then maybe have a little overnight reveal? As in I set a date for the new and improved Albatroz & Co. to be unveiled instead of random little bits here and there. What do you think? 

Something I definitely couldn't leave too late was my signature, which I obviously had to change because seeing as Theresa is no longer my name, it was a little confuzzling. You can check out why I changed my name HERE where I explain everything. 

Also by heading over to my Twitter Poll you can let me know what you think of the new signature. I was a little afraid no-one would be able to read it but after conducting a small test on the few people around me at the time, I figured I was good to go. But if you're having trouble reading it then definitely let me know or click that box in the poll ;)

I hope you had an eye opening experience of the wider market of online shopping from reading this post and let me know what you think of these fab new glasses. And also thanks to the Glasses Shop for my spanking new set of eyes.

Till next time my pretties xxx

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Wednesday, September 07, 2016

A Letter To My Ex-Best Friend








Before I start, I'd just like to say that I actually had a post scheduled for last Sunday but when I went to publish it, I realized I did not like what I had written. Having reread the post, I was faced with paragraph upon paragraph of what could only be described as complaints and self-pity. You see, towards the end of last week I found myself being bummed out about a few things, my family, starting university, getting back into a working routine and thinking too much about life and the people in my life etc. and not quite having my bearings, I was all over the place. 

It all began on Monday with a trip up the mountains with a friend which brought me to these beautiful foggy sights. Whilst others complained that the fog took away from the beautiful views that could be seen on sunnier days, I was in complete disagreement. The fog added a sense of mystery and an undeniable beauty to the forests and it's windy paths and I couldn't get enough of it. Besides when the sun did come out, it wasn't that pretty anyways.

Whilst my friend tore down the mountain biking trails, I went on little hikes to the various viewpoints. Being completely immersed in nature always evokes feelings of gratitude and deep contentment. It makes me feel as if anything is possible which when you're standing in a forest on a mountain, can be expected. It also makes me feel safer in my thoughts and triggers many things for me. Any time spent in nature can have me crying with happiness or sadness, feeling prepared for the world or buried under its weight.

On this particular day I found myself reflecting on the topics that have been causing many sleepless nights for me. It seems every time I feel I've come to a stand with them, they rear their ugly heads further down the lane and the false sense of security I'd lured myself into falls apart, over and over again.

One thing that always comes up to mind in my sombre moments is also the one thing I don't think I'll ever be able to get over. It is even more brought into focus at this time of my life where I am starting university and worrying about making friends and whether they'll be the right group of friends, whether we'll have lots in common or not and so on.

I am the kind of person that values the relationships I have with the people in my life. There is nothing better than knowing someone else wants you in their life as much as you want them in yours and then puts in the time and effort it takes to fortify your bond. It is a game of giving and taking but respecting each other enough to not abuse either and most importantly not taking each other for granted.

I learned this lesson the hard way and it will live to be my biggest regret in life. If you fail to see the value of the people in your life then how will you be able to appreciate them? Six years ago I hurt a very dear friend of mine and I am not proud of it. The stab of pain and at times loss of breath the sight of them evokes in me is one of an unrequited love the movies will never be able to capture. When they say you never know what you have until it's gone, believe me when I say, you don't want to understand it on this level. She was my best friend and I took her for granted and ended up losing someone very special.

In an attempt to seek some form of closure with this topic, I've decided to write them a letter which they'll probably never read because the truth is, it hurts too much. However in the case that you are reading this, just know that each and every word of this letter is true. I can't let what happened to us stop me from making friends

A Letter To My Ex-Best Friend

The deleted Facebook request hurt, the fact that you cross to the other side of the road every time we meet hurt, ignoring my attempts to start a conversation hurt but not as much as staring at your freshly painted red door that hot summer afternoon. The look of pure disdain on your face still flickers behind my closed eyes when times get bad and I miss you too much. I sometimes wonder what we'd be like if we'd stuck together but I can't let myself go down that path, it too like everything about you hurts.

This must've been how you felt. I guess because I don't really know. Those short walks of you trying to explain how you felt never really reached an end. You always had to go home when it got too much for you. You didn't say anything but I knew. You were in pain and I was fumbling for words. What was I to say except sorry? The damage was done but I thought we could repair it, only I didn't know how.

To tell you the truth I still don't know what I did. There was foul play I didn't know how to fight. Twisted words and opinions I couldn't begin to defend, still cannot defend because they have no roots.  I took you for granted and didn't give you enough time, for this I am deeply sorry but whatever you were led to believe, I never broke your trust in me and I never will. I still see your aunt and cousins and we share a smile. Sometimes I wonder if your dog remembers me, he was only young back then.

I sometimes think...hope life will bring us together again, you'd think with all our mutual friends we'd cross paths more often but I'm always watching you walk away from me instead. Besides, I still won't know what to say, how to act, how you would feel. God knows I only wish you the best in life and if that means walking on never colliding paths then please be happy.

I was bad to you, I know that now but I would like to thank you for teaching me the importance of friends and helping me become the person I am today. Maybe someday we'll be able to try again but holding my breath these six years is killing me and I can't do it any longer. I wish you a long, happy and joyful life even if you've changed your mind about marrying Nick Jonas.

Till We Meet Again
Nana
xxx
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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

August Playlist


So it's that time again to catch up with the tunes. Here's the hottest tunes I've been listening to the last month whilst commuting to work and back or just chilling in the park under the rare Irish sun. Hope you enjoy!
Song - Artist

Never Be Like You- Flume ft. Kai
Closer - The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey
Flourescent Adolescent - Arctic Monkeys
Afterlife - XYLO
I'll Be Good - James Young
Sure Thing - Miguel
Lose It - Oh Wonder
Technicolour Beat - Oh Wonder
Weak -Wet
Let Me In -Grouplove
Only Love - Ben Howard
We Won't - Jaymes Young, Phoebe Ryan

Till next time my pretties xxx


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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Truth











How many of you would change your name if you had the chance to? A person's name is often the first thing you learn about someone. It is the thing that sets them apart and identifies who they are from everyone else. It is one of the very few things in life that I believe you can trust people to be honest about. However for the past six or so years and the almost two years I have been writing on Albatroz & Co, I have been lying to you all.

I was born and named Nana Ama Fosua Addo on the 27th of September 1997 in Kumasi, Ghana but most people would know and have known me for a long time as Theresa. However Theresa Addo does not exist, and never did.  Let me explain.

I moved to Ireland at the age of 9 and started school where Nana was used as my first name. Now aside from the fact that it made me seems like someone's grandmother, I didn't mind so much. You see Nana is more of a title than a name. Most Ghanaian people would have the prefix of Nana as part of their names which translates to King, Queen, Princess or Prince depending on gender and age. It is a nobility more than anything else really. It was not until the ' Nana-Banana' name calling and singing began that I started having a problem with my name. I mean there is only so much Hey Jude and Rihanna's What's My Name a 12 year old can take. Till this day neither songs can be heard without a feeling of mild irritation and disdain trailing behind it. I mean even the teachers were at it too. They found it hilarious and I found it frustrating although I knew it was just in jest.

And so to prevent further name calling and a lifetime of pent-up frustrations I decided to do something about it when I entered secondary school and changed my name altogether. In my 12 year old mind it made more sense to go for a completely new name than you know, just using my 'middle name' Ama, as it would be seen. So I chose Theresa, which was..is my catholic name and for six years plus, have been known as Theresa by new friends I made at school and outside and teachers. My colleagues at work knew me as Theresa and I even managed to open a bank account in the name Theresa Addo which completely perplexes me because HOOOWW!? It was opened through a school programme but I had assumed they would check all applications with the school data base and would correct it, why I do not know. But now I have a bank account I cannot close because I cannot prove I am Theresa Addo...because I am not! It's all very confusing.

A few months ago before finishing secondary school, I started thinking about changing my name back to..my actual birth name. I, for some reason felt as though I was living someone else's life that wasn't really me. Playing a character than myself. I toyed with the idea of changing it to something wacky like Sunshine for college but then that would be defeating the purpose of actually getting in touch with myself so I took another look at my name. *short break* Yeah I know, this sounds absolutely mental! I shouldn't even be changing my name at all! *end break*

The idea of being called Nana just didn't sit right with me because as far as I am concerned, it is not a name. It'd be like being called Miss all the time. Ama was a name I had always disregarded as unoriginal because of how it came about. In Ghana every day has a boy and girl name and as I was a girl born on Saturday, I was called Ama which I'm not gonna lie, I now think is pretty cool. After all, its not every country that has a naming system for it's people. 

Fosua was too hard to pronounce, which you would've figured out if you tried to say it just there. Pronounced Fo-su-ya, it was my grandmother's name on my father's side. And well Addo was my last name. You're probably thinking why doesn't she just use the name she was given? Well I am an awkward individual that is why.

My love for the Italian language and the fact that I am a hopeless romantic would eventually help me decide. In Italian Amare is to love and the word Ama translates to he/she/it loves. So in that sense I felt Ama was perfect and oddly similar to my Chinese name,  Tai Ai which means Too Love, loosely translating to Loves Too Much and given to me by a Chinese speaking lady I once met in England. So it is because of it's unique Ghanaian roots and strong romantic connections in the Italian language that I've decided to use the name Ama. Not because it's my actual name or anything. 

On my visit to Ghana, I decided to have this shirt made to symbolize and help remind me of my African roots, to accept and cherish them. I also got to design it myself which was pretty cool too. It has been awkward and confusing trying to explain to people why my name is no longer Theresa or why I'd like them to try and call me by a different name because in fairness, it is a little nuts and I get that. 

And so I ask you again. If you had they chance to to change your name, would you? And what would you change it to and why? I'd love to know.

Hope you enjoyed reading this crazy post! Till next time my pretties.

AMA


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