Food Review – Paris Bakery Ibadan 

Paris Bakery, Ring Road, Ibadan

Guys, unfortunately I have no pictures. I lost all of them.

The first time I heard of Paris Bakery was when my friend, KO posted a really attractive photo of ice cream and I just had to know where it was from. Alas! It was in my dear Ibadan, land of my roots. I couldn’t visit immediately because of obvious distance constraints. But, immediately I got to Ibadan, I visited.

Sigh. I had checked out the space on Instagram before ‘we’ visited. Did it live up to its expectations? Honestly, I was expecting the Mona Lisa and got the Campbell Soup Can instead. Both are stellar, art-wise but I’ve never heard of an attempted theft of The Campbell Soup Can, no offence to all lovers of Andy Warhol; I am a lover, not a hater. Some parts of the space looked pretty run down already, despite the fact that it was a new business. I am not understanding. I remember that the Ice cream Machine for cones had a pool of ants on its surface. I definitely knew I wasn’t getting any cone ice cream from them, ever.

Ps – My sister complained about it to the staff when we entered. We left about 45 minutes later, nothing changed.

So, we went on to order our reason for coming, the ice cream! I noted that they had limited great flavors unexpectedly but as I said earlier, I was thinking Mona Lisa. They didn’t have my staple, mint. Mint ice cream is life, people of God. If you haven’t had mint ice cream, well, I have no words for you. So, I got White Chocolate and Red Velvet instead.

My white chocolate was fantastic, it made me very happy. Taste-wise, I think it was really great. I’ve been hooked to White Chocolate since then. The red velvet was a mistake. I might have sworn off red velvet forever, except if its Hans & Rene of course because I’m scarred. Generally, the texture of the ice cream was quite grainy and had this unpleasant after-taste. It made me feel as though the ice cream machine needed to be washed. Maybe psychology was playing tricks on me, maybe not.

My sister got cheese cake with a strawberry glace, I didn’t but I tasted it. I can’t remember what it tasted like. Hence, I’ll say it tasted pretty forgettable.

We decided to have burgers as well and chicken wings. I had been craving burgers for a while and theirs looked good enough. The burger was great, juicy and the patty, definitely not tough, enough dressing – Hallelujah! It was a great burger, not the best but it attempted to be and got a B+

The chicken wings, can’t remember so I’ll say it was forgettable. That same day, I had wings from KFC and I can remember all of it. That’s a ‘fast food’ restaurant.

The service was alright for a fast food place/ supermarket. Yes, fast food. I think Paris Bakery attempts to be gourmet but hasn’t quite nailed it yet. The burgers and wings took so much time and it was really unnecessary.

Oh, and I caught the manager smoking as I went to get my burgers. The burgers and wings were made at the exterior side of the space, like a detached cubicle. My meh point is don’t smoke, your lungs will thank you. However, my better point is if you will smoke, do it where customers or potential customers won’t see you, for goodness sake! That’s bad for any restaurant. You can smoke in the back, in the staff toilet, anywhere but not ‘ita gban gban’.

High points, it is very affordable for a really large portion. I think we had three scoops for #900. Before you say that the service was proportionate to the price, stop it. Is air for breathing not free and the same quality everywhere? (at least 80%)

Another high point, they actually have a supermarket inside the restaurant. I think I like that, others might not but it’s genius for marketing.

Would I visit again? Yes but will I expend my own hard earned cash (or handouts from the ‘rents)? I do not think so, mate. But I am interested in visiting again. One, to see if they finally cleaned up their act, pun intended and to give the ice cream another chance.

I visited Paris Bakery early in the year and wrote this since then. So, things might have changed. I actually hope they have. I’ll visit again and do an update soon.

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Slay On A Budget – Hair

So, I’m back again! If you’re new, welcome to the blog. Slay On A Budget is that important lifestyle part of the blog that shows you how to achieve more for less, way less! And it’s usually something I’ve done so, it’s practical.

My Goddess Faux Locs

I’ve wanted locs since I could remember. Probably since I discovered Chloe x Halle but every time I asked someone about it, the process was expensive and long! But I really wanted it. I mean, and even more since the Pantene commercial. If you’re anything close to me, you would know I’ve been living off Chloe x Halle’s hairspiration vibes, majorly.

Well, I finally got to take the step! I had been wearing a wig for a month and I was done, like so done. So, I asked my sister to get me crochet faux locs and sent her like five pictures. Sister dearest came back home with Bomba Locs and not Goddess Locs which is the Chloe x Halle signature. I was not happy.

She got one pack for #1,500 and I used 3 packs because my hair isn’t the fullest. It’s not like I don’t like Bomba Locs. okay, I don’t – simple. It’s not my style, it was so regular and I like to think that I’m nothing near regular.

So, how did I take it from zero to hero? Keep reading!

You know how everyone says Google is your friend? They are really saying the truth. I wasn’t sure it existed but I started to google How To Turn Bomba Locs to Goddess Locs and oh my, I got so much info! Good info! Also, I wanted individually installed crochets aka the one without all-back, Google helped in that department as well.

So, what we did. We plaited each pack of Locs into two big braids and wrapped thread around it. After that, we dipped it in hot water and voila! It loc-ed so goddess! At installation, my sister put my hair into tiny braids and used the crochet needle to install it into each braid, tucking the rest of the braid in. It took perhaps an hour and it was a bit painful, at some point but I think that’s me though.

All in all, it was a straight forward process and I’m loving my Locs! I haven’t really seen any downsides yet, no frails, no nothing. I hope I don’t. If I do, I’ll make sure to update this.

All I spent on this hairdo – #4500

THE NAIJA DETECTIVES SPECIAL 

Naija Detectives Season One is coming to a close, pretty soon. We’ve got two episodes left and it’s done. So, I decided to do a special. I’ve been searching for inspiration to write Episode Five and after this, I felt all shades of inspiration. 

Please, leave comments and tell me your favourite character. 

Titilope: Hello guys, welcome to the Naija Detectives Special. With me in the studio, I have the amazing cast of Naija Detectives; Fiona, Remi, Oba, You and JK. Gregory should be here, but he’s missing.

Fiona smiles. She is dressed in her usual ensemble, a black dress with a leather jacket. She is flanked by Oba and Remi at each side. Oba is tapping away at his phone while Remi looks like he can’t be bothered. You are very anxious and are sitting beside Oba. JK is sitting beside You and keeps glancing at his watch.

Titilope: Fiona, who is your favourite out of the lot?

Remi cocks his head and coughs, popping his collar.

Fiona: Everybody but Remi. I can’t pick favourites. Everyone is a darling in their own right.

Remi: Of course.

Fiona: Remi, can you shut it, seriously? Why are you so insufferable?

Remi : But you love it.

Fiona: Ugggghhhh!!!

Titilope: You, being the newbie, can you tell us your most remarkable experience in your few months of being with the agency?

You: Umm. They are too many. But, I feel like the best is yet to come, you know. I’m starting sole assignment next episode and I am so excited. 

Remi: Rookie behaviour. (mimics) I am so excited. 

Titilope : Which brings me to you, Remi? My first question for you would be why…

Fiona: Like why do you think you are all that, Remi? Let me tell you now, you’re a great agent, I agree but a shitty person, most of the time. The other time is just me, giving you second chances.

Remi: So much angst, Fi. Ahh. Sorry oh, no vex.

Titilope: As I was saying before Fiona cut in. Why do you keep bullying You? Is it because he upsurped you as the baby of the team? 

Remi: As if. It’s the rites of passage. They do it everywhere. If you’ve seen The Game, you’ll know what I mean. At least, I didn’t dye his hair blue.

Titilope: Point taken. Now, JK, we’ve always wondered what your name meant. 

Remi: JK Rowlings, obviously.

Titilope: Are you serious?

JK: Why am I here please? I have an important meeting today and if it’s to answer paltry questions such as what JK means, count me out! 

Titilope: I apologize, JK. Thank you for honoring our invitation. Henceforth, we promise to ask you serious questions only. 

JK: (mutters)

Titilope: Oba, you have been so quiet and glued to your phone. 

Oba: Yeah, I mean. No questions were directed at me. So…

Titilope: Let’s fix that, shall we. Oba, what do you do besides being an agent?

Fiona: Ahh. Oba ke? My coconut head overachiever of life.

Oba: Well, I volunteer for a lot of things like charities and stuff. I’m into coding and I teach free coding classes when I’m less busy. I’m also a french and russian translator. Then, there’s the hospital.

Titilope: Wow! You must really have no time for girls. 

Oba: (breaks into a smile) Well, I guess I don’t. But…

Titilope: But..

Oba: There’s this one girl I like.

Remi: It’s a lie! You, Oba, you like a girl. I was already thinking you played for the other team.

Fiona: And even if he does, so what?

Remi: But Fiona, I wasn’t talking to you.

Fiona: Oh, so I don’t have a right to freedom of speech? Because I can certainly inform you of about seven laws that state I do!

You: These two! They are always at each other’s throats. I mean, when Remi is done with me, of course.

Titilope: Guys, guys, focus. This moment is very important. Oba, please go on.

Oba: Well, I like someone but it’s not going to lead anywhere. She likes someone else.

Fiona: She’s not worth it then. Any girl would be lucky to be with you, Oba.

Everyone (even JK): Awwwwwwww

Titilope: Speaking of being with, Fiona, can you tell us anything about your love life?

Fiona: Mostly, the lack of it. He’s never going to see me for who I truly am. 

Remi: Lucky dude! 

Gregory hurriedly walks in.

Gregory: I am so so sorry. I needed to take care of a few things at the agency.

Titilope: No problem, Gregory. Welcome.

JK: I don’t believe this. Why am I here, please?

Titilope: I was just getting to that. Being the head of the agency, you have worked with a lot of teams. JK, will you say this team is the best you’ve worked with so far? 

JK: (scoffs) Which team? These ones?

Everyone: JK!!!

JK: You all can’t take a joke. For goodness sake! They may not be the best I’ve worked with. But, there’s just something about them. Their team-work is top-notch. I think that’s the most admirable thing about them. Don’t be fooled by the bickering. They are a strong unit and they get the job done.

Everyone: Aawwwwwww

Fiona stands to hug JK

JK: That’s enough. (He brushes imaginary dirt off his clothes)

Titilope: Moving on, Gregory. I remember, in Episode Two B, you were so aggressive and adamant on Michael Emu being the culprit. What was up with that? 

Gregory: (scratches head) Errrm. To be honest, it was my guts but obviously, it was wrong and that happens. Your guts can fail you.

Titilope: Noted.

Titilope: Fiona, you kept the card from Episode Three, what’s the plan?

Fiona: Well, keep reading and find out.

Titilope: So, it’s almost the end of the first season. What has been your favourite and worst moments each?

Fiona: Episode three, definitely. The whole of it for favourite moment. Then, worst moment, of course, Laptop Gate. That chief is one of the most insufferable people I’ve ever met.

Remi: Alas! Fiona learnt a new word.

Titilope: Oh Fiona. But, that was a really risky move. 

Fiona: Yeah, yeah.

JK: It’s very simple, it’s the risk and reward principle. That’s why they are in very much demand.

Titilope: Noted. Everyone else?

Remi: Worst moment was when I had to be rookie’s driver for an episode. The little rat! Favourite episode, the first. Murders are my kryptonite.

Oba: I’m not sure if I have a worst moment. Favourite moment, none because they were all great.

Remi: Such a nerd.

Fiona: Leave Oba alone.

You: The first episode was definitely the worst. I had such a long day on my first day at work and it had to do with gruesome kills. Gee! Favourite moment was my birthday before it turned sour. I never really got to thank everyone for everything. You guys are great, excluding someone. And, the time I got to work undercover as Lee, minus Remi being my driver.

Remi: That’s obviously because you had a shity time in uni. And ditto!

You: Alright, guys.

Gregory: (phone rings) I have to leave.

Titilope: But we are not finished yet! 

He leaves anyway.

Titilope: Sigh. JK?

JK: Seriously? (Leaves as well)

You: I really don’t understand that man.

Fiona: He’s a really sweet person underneath all that gra-gra. 

Titilope: Before we wrap this up, does anyone want to give up teasers or expectations of Season Two?
Fiona: (bursts into laughter) The writer is asking the character? Yeah right. 

Remi: All I want is a hot chick. Bring a hot rookie to the team next season. Then, it’s going to be lit.

Titilope: Who told you I’m bringing anyone?

Oba: Hopefully, next season, I’ll have more time to visit the hospital.

You: I honestly don’t know. It would be nice to automatically skip all the martial arts classes and become a master. 

Titilope: (bursts into laughter) I’m a writer not a magician, silly. But, we’ll see. Any last words? 

Fiona: Shout out to TA, one of the avid readers before our writer flopped. Girlll, you rock. Thank you for being a reader of our episodes and I apologise on this shithead’s behalf for not updating. 

Titilope: Sighhhh. Don’t badmouth me, I brought you into this world and I can take you out.

Remi: Who cares? Get me a hot chick. That’s all I desire.

Oba: No words.

You: I just hope my sole assignment is great and I get to skip martial arts.

Titilope: There you have it folks, the cast of Naija Detectives Season One. Exclusive to http://www.thesemiwriter.wordpress.com ONLY.

Watch out for Episode Five of Naija Detectives coming soon! 

Food Review – Nok By Alara

I don’t usually do food reviews but my favourite food blog has been slacking lately and I thought of the many beautiful food pictures I (or my sister) have taken that may never see the light, except for maybe Snapchat. Besides, I’ve really not got much to do, except read for my test, exams, assignment, make breakfast/ lunch and read updates of my novel. Not much to do at all.
A few weeks aka months ago, I, actually ‘we’ visited Nok by Alara for my birthday. I didn’t go on my birthday though but it had been in my head to visit for a while, so it was just it. Nok by Alara is a really beautiful restaurant. I think I can call it afrocentric. The hosts are dressed in Ankara olekus and there’s an earthly Nigerian vibe to everything. We were going to stay outdoors but changed our minds later. The space, inside is absolutely sophisticated. 

I especially found the chandeliers and the photo-covered walls to be everything and more.
I had checked the menu online before we went and read a lot of reviews so I low-key had a few must-haves. I unfortunately might not be able to recall some names but I’ll try my best. In a way, we had starter, main course and dessert but not purposely lol. We looked through the menu and picked different items that appealed to our taste (and pocket). Some, we shared. Others, we bought plates of each.

The portions at Nok aren’t so bad. I actually thought the food was going to be really small, thanks to a certain review but they weren’t! They were alright. I’ll just run though a few things I had.
The Duck whatever. It’s some type of French name, I’m sorry. Those were absolutely fantastic. The Calamari Suya, it is not my cup of tea, I think. It wasn’t really wow but definitely not meh either and perhaps the fact that Calamari means squid has something to do with it. The vegetables side to the calamari, I think ended up going into my Jasmine Rice. 

The dip, a sort of bean paste dip was really great but then, that might have to do with my love for Gbegiri. Jasmine Rice and sauce. I didn’t really love it but I didn’t hate it either. The sauce was probably forgettable, I can’t remember. I should have settled for jollof, like the much sensible others but no. The chicken wings were chicken wings, better than basic though. The Naan was maan! I loved it so much. It’s a type of Indian bread. At Nok, it came with a dip. Finally, the Baobab Ice cream and cake, I think. It was quite tiring, maybe overwhelming as well lol. Probably because I already had a lot to eat. My own birthday treat but after a few spoonfuls, I was done.

I think I would go to Nok by Alara again, definitely. It is affordable, chic and the food, generally is fantastic. Sure, it is not the best I’ve been but the space makes up for any inadequacies, not that there was really any. I’m not rating, nah fam. But yes, I would certainly advice you to go to Nok. Go with someone fun, most of the food are Nigerian delicacies with some unbelievable twists. 

Yes, you can take her or him there on a first date. The portions are alright, satisfying actually. I went home really full. But that could be because I had like six different items. But yes, go, flourish and have fun! And biko, go during the day so that you’ll have worthwhile pictures. If you don’t mind a full, busy and albeit noisy restaurant, you can visit in the evening and during weekends. However, if you aren’t about that life, it is advisable to visit earlier.
Bye!

Two words (actually three or four 😕) – sushi and foodie buddy.

THE GIRL IS BACK!

 

 

Story Time – My First Korean Drama

I guess the Korean movie craze started within my age group or generally, about three years ago. But, I never caught up with it. My best friend loves them, she used to tell me about Boys Over Flowers but I never watched it.

Fast-forward to 2016! I watched my first Korean series called The Heirs or The Inheritors. Between my splitting headache and eye issues, it was an okay watch. I enjoyed it, not because it was a great movie or it has a great story but I loved it because the actors are something else and Kim Tan & Cha Eun Sang or something are goaaalsssss.

Yes, that boy from Boys Over Flowers, he played Kim Tan, he is quite worth the hype and his face is pretty. I think the most pleasing to the eyes was definitely Sunbae and Secretary Yoon’s son, they’re splitting the award. For girls, Rachael was cute but Cha Eun Sang was perfect. I thought Kim Tan’s real mum and Cha Eun Sang’s mum were beautiful.

You don’t understand, right? Me too 😂

Even though, I watched three long seasons in three difficult days, It was nice. I wouldn’t watch it again though. Each episode is so long. That was pain! And some parts were just unnecessary and annoying, cue Young Do. He’s not a fine boy, like no meen. And his character was horrible, no sugar coating, horrible. They should have at least made him cute to balance it but no, ugly gets ugly. To be honest, I think he’s cute in real life and that’s the look they were going for.

ps – I found out, he is really cute in real life after all.

Would I see another Korean movie?

I sincerely doubt it.

NAIJA DETECTIVES – Episode Four, Part B

The chief stands up in protest.

‘You can not just come and search my shop like that! Biko, this is violation. Laptop, kwa? You want to spoil business for me! What is this nonsense?’

‘We just want to have a little look around and we would be out of your hair in no time’, Fiona explains gently.

I mentally roll my eyes. Fiona is being too nice, legit. We have a warrant, I don’t think we need his permission, honestly. But I’m just the rookie so I take the back seat here and watch it all unfold.

‘Oya, take phone!’, the man gives his phone to Fiona to speak to someone at the other end of the line. 

Fiona sighs but takes it anyway.

‘We have a warrant. With all due respect, it is within our power and in fact duty to do so…. What do you mean?’.

—————–

Fiona

It’s so absolutely annoying! I don’t understand these people or this country. So bloody confusing, to be honest. I’m weak. Before we were able to search the store, bloody problem. After searching, no relevant information or leads! 

And the man had the damn audacity to actually report us, especially ‘the girl with the dada hair’ being me, for our brash conduct. What the hell! I was so nice and super agreeable.

JK literally bashed me. The irony. I want him to hold me in his arms, not scold me like a baby. 

I chuckle.

Talking about arms, he certainly looked as fine as hell today. And his toned arms, in that sleeveless jumper made my day!

Fiona, stop acting like a school girl with a crush!

Hold that thought. 

But damn crushes.

Someone clears their throat behind me.

It’s Remi. Uggh. 

‘Mama Fiona, who is the unfortunate person you are crushing on o? Let me tell them sorry’, he bursts into laughter.

I mentally face-palm, I had no idea I was thinking aloud.

‘Remi, are you really messing with innocent, seer me this sweet afternoon?’, I smile sweetly, subtly threatening.

‘Don’t do what you’re thinking. Don’t even try it!’. 

‘Good boy, now bye!’, I blow him a kiss. 

You, watching it all unfold burst into laughter, much to Remi’s chagrin.

Rookie, he barked.

————-
The internet is still bustling with tweets, posts and more, #BringBackOurGirlsPartTwo’s campaign is never ending, at more than two thousand tweets per minute. Many organisations have pledged support for Nigeria in cracking this, also the international community continues to support the cause as more and more influencers show their support. 
—————
Oba
I’m so uncomfortable with this #BringBackOurGirlsPartTwo saga and us, not being on this case. It has become such a national issue, I would rather be doing that than Laptop gate. 

I type the hashtag into my search engine. Oh wow! This is officially an international crisis, I mutter. 

—————
 You

Fiona stops me as I walk into the office. ‘So how did you do?’, she asks. ‘How did I do what?’, I ask her in turn. ‘ Don’t play stupid, silly. You know what I mean, your progress assessment’. 

‘Oh that’, I scratch my head, finally understanding. Lord knows how she knows these things.

‘I got my e-mail this morning and I actually have been doing not bad. I’ve made really good progress on most of my categories except self defence’. ‘Martial arts?’, she asks. ‘Martial arts, to be exact. You guessed right’.

And my first sole assignment is coming up. I explain all this to Fiona. She is definitely much more excited about it than I am. Typical Fiona! 

‘About martial arts, the instructors are pigs so its always hard at first. Don’t beat yourself up. My first sole assignment was a bomb though. It was so awesome. I got to go undercover in a drugs mission, find out where the drugs were coming from and going to. Basically an information mole for them to bust the whole operation. Do you want me to read JK or Gregory to find out your sole assignment?’

‘Yes, yes, please’, I plead.

‘Dreams haha’.

—————–
Oba

So they are protesting about this in the capital already. I scroll down my Twitter feeds. But no, Laptop flipping gate is our problem. And we wonder how Trump became president? I tried to talk to Gregory to at least give us, me an angle to this. He didn’t listen. Told me we weren’t done fixing Laptop gate so I should ‘deal with that’. 

Fiona knocks.

‘Check Channel 55, I think we may have a lead on Laptop Gate’. 

————–

Fiona

And I knocked the smug face off his stupid face. It’s funny how the last time we were here, he didn’t want to shut up but now, he’s as meek as a mouse. Ha ha. Telling me how sorry he was and uncooperative, because he knows very well that an action would be brought and he could be an added party. I’m sure you’re wondering how we got here. A certain part of the country has been trying to secede for a while and has been causing trouble. Apparently, one thing led to another and led to Laptop Gate because a ‘fighter’ decided to take it upon himself to our explosive devices in the laptops to show them ‘how serious we are’. I would say the heart of man is desperately wicked but that should be Rookie’s choice of words because I’ve seen worse. Way worse.

‘See you in court, Chief’.

————

The whole nation is still shocked from the recent kidnapping scandal of three daughters of prominent business men in the country. Aimed to become another Bring Back Our Girls Saga, everyone flew into action, with the international community tailing behind. However, more scandalous was the news that it was all a joke. Apparently, the three daughters of the leading business men were just joking and didn’t think it would escalate quickly. In an apology letter issued openly to the whole nation. They admitted being ‘careless, callous, irresponsible, childish and didn’t stop to think once of what outcome their actions might bring’. There have been no further comments.

My name is Kolade Johnson. Reporting, Ocean Tv.

(Lol. I was in a super hurry to be done with this episode so its not the best. It was dragging on for so long and I just had to just deal with it! We are officially two episodes away from the end of Naija Detectives Season One. It’s a bitter-sweet thing for me tbh. I can’t wait to start Season Two and bring new characters, more crime and more and more action)

I made mistakes, so what?

Mistakes are not uncommon. They are a constant in life, accept it or not. You need to make mistakes to grow. Trust me, I know. That rhymes.

Okay. I made mistakes, so what? 

I’m someone that seldom regrets things.

Weird, right?

I like to believe that I absolutely don’t regret anything I’ve ever done or didn’t do.

There’s nothing, well, there’s only one thing I absolutely wish I didn’t do but then, I needed to fall so I would know how to fly. 

I think we need to embrace our mistakes.

You are not perfect. Get that.

You are not flawless. Get that.

Sometimes, you don’t gat this. Get that.

It’s crazy how someone could do everything right 99% of the time yet, the other 1% is just so haunting. 

I think, naturally, as Africans, we are taught to be too in control. You can be in control but it’s okay to be vulnerable.

Its okay to make mistakes.

When you make mistakes. Not if, when. Because you will make mistakes.

So when you do, don’t wallow in them.

Hold your head up high.

Learn from them.

Don’t beat yourself up.

Rise above them and,

Move on!