11 thought-provoking quotes from Dear Ijeawele by Chimamanda Adichie

It feels that I haven’t had a chance to sit down and actually focus on anything blog related in a lifetime.

I’ve missed this feeling. And I only have my annoying iPhone to thank, there’s always a problem with it. Luckily I have my upgrade to look forward to next month, so I may move on to something else, but probably not as I’m a sucker for punishment.

Anyway, I digress. Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the Southbank Centre for their annual Women of the World Festival (check it out) where one of my all time favourite authors – Chimamanda Adichie – hosted a talk all about feminism.

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First of all, I have to thank Stylist magazine, as I had no idea that this festival even existed until it was printed in their magazine. As soon as I saw that the talented and sometimes controversial Chimamanda was talking there, I booked my tickets immediately as I’ve literally dreamt of having the chance to sit down and quiz her about her books, since I finished Half of a Yellow Sun, and although this was hardly a one on one, the chance to see her in real life was good enough for me lol.

Ever since reading a few of her books, I have been a die-hard fan of Chimamanda, I mean she’s even featured on Beyonce’s tune – if you haven’t heard of her, what have you been doing?!

Two weeks ago she released a short essay called; Dear Ijeawele or a feminist manifesto in fifteen suggestionscheck my insta – in response to a friend who asked her how to raise a feminist daughter, which she also discussed in depth on stage and let me tell you the whole experience was life!

I’ve never really liked labelling myself as a feminist, as I feel it has soooo many negative connotations, and in my opinion, you either agree with the equality between men and women or you don’t, but Chimamanda discussed many great points, during her talk and in her book, that after listening and reading I proudly say ‘I’m a feminist’.

She shares so many suggestions, some of which really did have me chuckle, so I thought   I’d share my favourite quotes with you, although I do recommend that you read for yourself as it’s such a quick, humorous and thought-provoking read:

  • Be a full person
  • Never apologise for working. You love what you do, and loving what you do can be a great gift.
  • ‘Because you’re a girl’ is never a reason for anything. Ever.
  • The knowledge of cooking does not come pre-installed in a vagina.
  • Being a feminist is like being pregnant. You either are or you are not.
  • Reject likeability.
  • We have a world full of women who are unable to exhale fully because they have for so long been conditioned to fold themselves into shapes to make themselves likeable.
  • Never treat marriage as an achievement.
  • Kindness matters… but teach her that her kindness should never be taken for granted.
  • To love is not only to give but to take.
  • If you criticise X in women but do not criticise X in men, then you do not have a problem with X, you have a problem with women

There are so many quick-fire quotes from this book, that I’ll always have in mind, especially in the fight of feminism. Have you pocketed any quotes from this book?

Do you label yourself a a feminist? Have you ever read any of Chimamanda’s other books, if so, which is your favourite?

 

5 Reasons Why I HATE Twitter Chats

After reaching my one year milestone on this blog a couple of weeks ago, I stupidly promised myself to join at least 2 twitter chats a week.

Let’s just all laugh together 😂

My advances to become a somewhat ‘better blogger’ wasn’t actually unachievable, but I’ve come to the realisation that I actually hate twitter chats (well, most of them anyway).

When I first started blogging Twitter chats were the bomb.com!

I would e-meet other bloggers, interact and find new blogs, as well as discover blogging events which definitely helped me network and ultimately turn my blog into what it is today, BUT, after being back on the twitter chats for just over a week, I’ve realised that my goal to join 2 twitter chats a week may have been a bit of a reach.

Let me tell you why…

  1. No shade, but there’s only so many times a year, never mind a week, where I can discuss my favourite disney movie. I get it, we all love disney and it’s a great past-time to re-live our awesome 90’s childhood, but I’m a grown ass 20 something year old woman who’s got shit going on. Let’s get real.
  2. The choice of topics is an issue. Blogging is so diverse – from the people to the subjects. I mean people blog about any and everything, so why do we always end up discussing the same topics and throwing around the same answers and buzz words? It’s like we know what others want to hear, what makes us sound good and what sounds a the right level of controversial. Let’s get real.
  3. I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t been an active part of the twitter chat community for ages, but is it me or is everyone besties? Everyone has something witty to say, a sure-fire comeback. I can’t lie, it makes the chats fun and very interactive, but it just makes me wonder is it all real? Are you really as animated as that sassy GIF you just tweeted or are you sitting in bed with a straight face, going back and forth, just like me? Plus, we have the whole follow/unfollow debacle which just grinds my gears. Let’s get real.
  4. Everything moves so bloody quickly. I know, I know. I feel as though my inner-granny is taking over. Even as I type this I’m imagining an older version of myself walking across the TL with my zimmerframe, but I would love if Twitter slowed down, even by a milli-second. Like, I’m sure I’m the only person who answers a question forgetting to use the chat hashtag? 😪
  5. I never have enough time to dedicate a whole blessed hour to a twitter chat.

Don’t get me wrong guys, I do enjoy a few chats and I get that Twitter chats take a lot to run and host every week, but for me a lot of it is cliche, so… I’m revoking my earlier promise and will only be joining chats when I’m genuinely interested in, and not just because I said I would 😝.

We’re probably all as guilty as each other when it comes to these points (or nah), but maybe it’s time for a change?!

What chats do you enjoy joining and why, do you have any pet peeves when it comes to Twitter chats?

 

Life Begins with a Bottomless Brunch

Living Hygge is something we’ve all become obsessed with.

Enjoying life’s simple pleasures may take on different forms to different people, but since taking on the responsibilities of being a proper adult, enjoying going out and exploring has become one of life’s pleasures for me. After all, life shouldn’t begin and end with work.

Bottomless brunch has been on my cards for a while, which is why I sought to find the best bottomless brunch in the city… well one of the best according to Time Out.

Villandry ticked all the boxes for me and after looking at the menu £35 a pop seemed like a great deal, especially as this bottomless brunch features never-ending prosecco!

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Sitting right in the middle of Great Portland Street, Villandry stood out in all it’s glory, it was so pretty.

I was greeted by very welcoming staff and sat my pretty table for two waiting for my Mr to arrive.

Considering they seemed to have very strict booking rules, the staff were very understanding as we were about an hour late (the booking supposedly lasts 2 hours, but I think they don’t mind how long you stay depending on how busy it is), but they assured me that time only starts from when the first prosecco is poured – result!

Once bae and I were both seated, we scanned the menu and ordered food pronto – by this point it was about 12:30 and we were both starving.

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I opted for poached eggs and avocado on rye bread he and a Full English!

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My boyfriend is not a big drinker but as he didn’t drive and we both caught the tube into central London, he let loose and had like 5 glasses one after the other –  literally never seen him like that.

The staff were really friendly, and kept topping up our glasses, it was a bit insane, especially as it was so early. The only time I’ve ever had ay alcoholic beverage at that time is on holiday.

About 30 minutes after we had eaten we decided it was time to go. Too much prosecco had been downed and we were actually acting like a couple of fools. Plus, we wanted to have a walk around Oxford Street. To be honest I think they were surprised we were leaving so early.

All in all I would rate Villandry an 8/10. The mood and atmosphere was spot on, the waiter ensured neither of our glasses were even half empty, but I have to say the food let the experience down – as it looked lovely but it was just OK – I would say The Breakfast Club is better quality. I also noticed that a few groups who came in after us, were served before us, which I feel is plain rude.

Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a nice picturesque spot in London to hang and have a good time with the girls this is the place, but if you’re looking to chow down on a nice brunch with prosecco being very much an after-thought, this place isn’t for you.

I would love to try another Bottomless Brunch just to have something to compare Villandry to…Have you been to any nice spots for brunch?

 

Kew Gardens Orchid Lates: Valentine’s Day Done Differently

Happy Valentine’s Day lovies!

Today people around the globe celebrate love *hubba hubba* and as I love, LOVE, I thought I’d share a cool Valentine’s date night idea that you can enjoy tonight with your bae or your gal pals, if your owning single life.

I’ve lived in London all my life and I’m still finding new things to do and places to explore.

Kew Gardens has been on my list of things to since forever, which is why my boyfriend and I visited as a pre-valentines date.

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As of late finding a date-night destination which doesn’t consist of food, drinks and a film has been a complete myth, which is why we opted for a date night with a difference.

Think culture, arts and a botanical garden, and the obvious choice for us was taking a visit down to Kew Gardens latest botanical installation – Orchid Lates.

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We joined Kew after dark for an intimate night viewing of tropical flower displays inspired by the vibrant, colourful plant life of India.

Set in the Princess of Wales conservatory they had pop up food and drink options also inspired by Indian culture as well as a stalls which included Henna and drawing.

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For me this date night was everything and I’m not exactly the most in touch with nature. But, having the chance to stroll around a haven of flowers and plants, my boyfriend and I were left to our own devices, bantering, laughing and enjoying the scenery – it really just took us back to the basics – we talked about everything and nothing, and of course posed with ALL of the flowers.

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So, if you’re still on the hunt for something to do today or any other day throughout this month of lurrv, miss the hustle and bustle of touristy attractions and consider Orchid Lates, it’s on until the 2nd March – trust me you’ll love it.

Enjoy today and let me know what you’re up to today, I’d love to know x 

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One Year On…

Today riannemitchell.com turns one!

And I feel it’s only right to dedicate a whole post to my blogging journey.

Since I was quite young I always wanted to have a successful blog. I’ve always loved writing, and enjoy sharing my experiences, however, it wasn’t until this day last year that I plucked up the courage to actually make this blog a reality.

It’s still surreal to me that people read my blog (like I actually have real like subscribers-eeek). People who tweet me, like my sh*t and follow me on multiple social platforms. Although I’ve hit many milestones, a year on and I’m feeling a mixture of emotions about being a ‘blogger’. There have been ups and down, great events and PR invitations, as well as the chance to become involved in something big, where I’ve been able to make friends and craft real relationships with fellow bloggers as well as companies.

But, I can’t lie, it’s been hard. Hard to balance life, working full time as well as creating content to blog about. Hard to choose what events to attend, because who wants to take Annual Leave for an event that’s totally cool but will have no relevance on my blog and last but not least, majorly hard to keep up with ever-rolling timelines of social media – because who cares about what was tweeted 10 minutes ago.

But, in some of life’s crisis’ there’s always a silver lining and one thing that I read very recently taught me that if I want an interest or hobby of mine to succeed, I need to work at it full time and put in the same amount of time and effort I put in at my 9-5 – which really put things into perspective.

So with that in mind, I’ve listed a few goals that I’d love to achieve and look back in a years time and say check! (and sometimes that means going back to basics)…

Goals

  • To grow my blog presence – I still can’t believe people actually read and comment on my blog, but I wana go global baby! (maybe not global but definitely bigger and better)
  • Post 2 times a week
  • To join at least 2 twitter chats a week – I mean who doesn’t love a good twitter natter
  • To grow a travel & lifestyle blog that people actually go to for date night ideas, travel destinations etc.  – I love finding new destinations from publication like Time Out so why not gain a real review from moi
  • To comment on blogs that I love reading – This is the hardest thing for me as i’m always reading something, so I feel it’s only right to show appreciation if I enjoyed the read.

One year on, and for the first time I’m feeling confident about my vision for this blog, so as I switch things up a bit, I hope you all stick around for the journey.

See you on my next post x

5 Podcasts you NEED to listen to

Hey guys,

I’m back in full force, and let me tell you…there’s reason for it!

Living with very limited internet connection for nearly 3 weeks has made me really… really value internet connection. I mean lets be fair… it practically rules our every second.

But, when it’s suddenly taken from your fingertips is it any wonder why we… or matter of factly speaking I was left not knowing what the hell to do with my time. It’s actually crazy how much my life is consumed by online shopping, blogging, social media and everything else that comes with owning a smartphone.

While my phone was practically out of service, I had to become creative with how I managed my ever depleting data (there’s just never enough is there?!) so instead of downloading movies on Netflix I decided to discover, subscribe and download different podcasts. (Just click on that little purple icon, you wont regret it)

Podcasts literally saved my sanity. I had no idea that podcasts were a thing (again) until Christine put me on to one, on our trip to Paris and it’s now become a personal fave.

Keep reading and let me fill you in on podcasts you NEED to listen to just because… or if you ever find yourself in your bedroom that doesn’t have a TV and no friends to call (Yes it was hell and some tears were shed but I’m seriously living for the moment when I can laugh at this 😫😂)

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The Read
This podcast is my absolute fave. If you love keeping up with music, pop culture, sipping and spilling tea, take some time out with the cool kids; Kid Fury and Crissle as they throw the utmost shade at celebs you love to hate. They literally make my Mondays worth living and have me dying with laughter at my desk and on my commute. Each episode lasts at least 2 hours but it’s still not enough.

Pandolly
I have been a fan of Pandora Sykes forever – she has the coolest blog and is Fashion Features editor for The Sunday Times Style. Little did I know, that she’s teamed up with her buddy and dating columnist Dolly Alderton to bring you feminist debates, news, and general girl talk without any limitations. If you ever wondered what privately educated women talk about, plug into Pandolly airwaves and be a fly on the wall for an hour or two.

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The Receipts
The ultimate girl talk. When I’m talking to my girls this is kinda what it sounds like. The Receipts podcast is hosted by four women from different walks of life who just happen to be friends. Controversial they may be, you can be sure to get the real from these ladies, who will have you nodding, chuckling and wanting more.

Champagne Room (available on soundcloud)
Please Urban Dictionary the name of this podcast and you’ll get the vibe lol. If you know you’re the bad and boujee type, the Champagne room is for you! The perfect evening podcast. Turn on when chilling at home, and get ready to turn up and these girls -will have you mmhmmm’ing in agreement.

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Cut The Chat
OMG. Ever wondered what guys talk about in the barbershop? Check this podcast out! Hosted by four inner city men, you get to know a general consensus around hot topics like Chocolate City, music and more important hot topics like the recent inauguration. Please Check it out…

So there you have it. If you’re ever in need of a pick me up, plug into one of these podcasts and be entertained.

Many thanks to Starbucks for being the real MVP and providing me with free wifi during this tough time 😂

Perusing Paris:

I cannot believe it’s been over a week since my impromptu weekend away in (insert French accent)… Paris!

A girly trip away is sometimes, in fact always needed, and who better else to spend it with than the blogging gal pals… if you don’t know who I’m talking about check this post. I mean who else truly understands the art, and struggle, of capturing the perfect Instagram post? Only the blogging queens, that’s who! 😂

Our trip was short and sweet, but definitely a barrel of laughs. We fit so much in (thanks Chrissy) that I feel like I actually saw Paris and experienced a little bit of culture – although now that I think of it I didn’t try a croissant – major faux pas! 😱

Whether you’ve been to Paris once ,like me or more there’s so much to do and see. So if you’re planning a romantic trip to France with bae or simply want a have a girly weekend away with your besties, here are some places you should definitely and visit…

Louvre
We visited the Louvre on our first night and it was everything! I’ve always seen so many pictures of people doing the whole pinching the tip thing (lol) but to actually be there and take in the view was something else. We didn’t actually go inside, but just seeing the beauty of the architecture and surrounding buildings was enough, plus, guess I can explore further next time 👍🏾

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Eiffel Tower
Who goes to Paris and doesn’t see the Eiffel Tour?! Like, seriously it is amazing and steeped in history. Did you know it’s re-painted every 7 years and it takes 60 tonnes of paint to cover it? Absolutely crazy! It is recommended that you see at least once in daylight and again at night because it’s truly spectacular, and you really get to see its personality and detail in different light.

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Notre Dame
I can’t believe I got to visit the backdrop to one of my favourite Disney films 🐵. To be honest I was left a little disappointed. I don’t know what it was but I thought there would be more. Nevertheless, the cathedral is beautiful and there are plenty of places to eat nearby.

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Sidenote: If you have the chance to visit don’t let any of the artists outside draw a caricature of you, absolute waste of time and money – if you saw my instastory you know what I’m on about 👀

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Champs de Elysee
There are no words to describe how charming and beautiful this avenue is. I felt so Parisian just walking up to the Arc de Triomphe. There’s only one way to see the Champs de Elysee and it’s at night – definitely the perfect destination for a romantic late night stroll.

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River Cruise and River Seine
If you love to immerse yourself in local history, I would really recommend taking a cruise down River Seine, which is practically next to Notre Dame, so not far to walk. The hour long trip was only €12 and it took us past really cool landmarks  It’s so picturesque and definitely worth the trip if you want to see a lot in one go. Before you take a boat trip, don’t forget to visit one of the many love lock bridges and attach a lock that’ll be there forever… or at least until they take it down – One bridge has collapsed 11 times due to the weight of locks.

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Places to Eat

When you go to France it’s only right that you eat right too so hit up these places.

Street Vendor Crepes 

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La Pere Claude 

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PaperBoy Paris 

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Paris was such a dream. So multicultural and historical. Exploring in -4 degree temperatures is not exactly my ideal holiday, but definitely a trip to remember. I can only imagine just how much the beauty of the city shines through in the summer months.

Paris seems like a distant memory but, 2017 is all about new adventures and travels so I can’t wait to share where I’m off to next…

Have you been to Paris, what was your favourite thing to do? Also, what’s your favourite French word?