My Favourite Products for 4c Natural Hair Care { Inecto Naturals, Rose Water & Indian Hemp Hairdress! }

After years of keeping my hair low, I decided to grow out my hair and take a step in caring for it in a better way. But it wasnt so simple. It can get very overwhelming to know what products to use and the exact routine to follow for washing, moisturizing and protecting.

After sifting through various blogs and receiving hair care tips from any naturalista I know, I decided I was going to dump everything I gathered and just start simple : shampoo, conditioner & lotion/cream for moisture.

I soon gathered the products that worked for me and these became my essentials for a simple hair care routine.

natural 4c hair care products inecto hungary - the ash tree journal


Shampoo: To be honest, I seldom use shampoo in my hair care routine as i have read, and later confirmed to myself that shampoo can be a bit dehydrating.

Since my hair type is 4C { Find out your hair type here }, I know that it does not retain a lot of moisture. 4C hair is believed to be one of the most fragile hair textures, making it more prone to damage and breakage. That means people with this hair type should look for products that deliver hydration and moisture and won’t strip strands of their natural oils. Therefore, I use shampoo once a month, or once for every two washes.

My shampoo is from Inecto Naturals, which is a Hungarian product. I love the Argan oil range because it makes my hair shine, and my curls are well defined too. It is vegan so that is a plus.

natural 4c hair care products inecto hungary – the ash tree journal

Conditioner: For me, absolute moisture is important for me, when choosing a conditioner. My conditioner is also from Inecto Naturals from the same argan oil range. I love how my hair feels soft and detangled after I am done conditioning my hair. I use the conditioner for co-washing too.

natural 4c hair care products inecto hungary - the ash tree journal
natural 4c hair care products inecto hungary – the ash tree journal

Aftercare: After Shampooing and conditioning, to keep my hair constantly moisturized, I use shea butter at all times! ( Read on how I make Shea Butter at home here .)

When my hair is in a protective style, I love to use the hair cream from Iuza. This cream has been an essential since childhood. It promotes my hair growth and makes my hair very easy to manage.

natural 4c hair care products inecto hungary - the ash tree journal
natural 4c hair care products inecto hungary – the ash tree journal

These are the essential everyday products I use for my natural hair. I love how my hair has become easier to manage and has grown so well in the past few months.

What products do you use to care for your hair?

Chic And Easy Summer Outfit – How I Styled This Floral Skirt

When I think about summer, I think bright, colorful, and fun. I love to incorporate patterns and colorful bright summer tones, along with my usual blacks and whites. 

I purchased this skirt a while back, while I was in the search for different outfits that I could use to switch up my style. I have been gearing towards more “feminine” way of dressing. I want a more feminine look, but still casual in some sense.

The fun thing about this skirt is that it can be dressed up or dressed down, but how about right in the middle? I think with this look, I aimed to achieve the said “chic and casual look” I have been trying (and hopefully not failing) to explain.

Pairing this skirt was easy. I opted for this white, off shoulder blouse because I thought it fit just perfectly for the look I wanted to achieve.

Since we are all about bold colors, it’s no surprise that my bag stands out in this daring, mustard yellow color.

For shoes, I went with these clear, semi block heels because they are my absolute fave! I could walk in these shoes all day!


the ash tree journal style post, how i style floral skirt for the last day of summer

Top: H & M

Skirt : Pull and Bear

Bag : Stradivarius

Shoes : Steve Madden

the ash tree journal style post, how i style floral skirt for the last day of summer

What do you think? Did I manage to style this properly? What other ways would you style this skirt?

Quarantine Diaries : Life Updates, Including A Room Transformation ft. Photowall Sweden (Discount code attached!)

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, read my disclaimer here

theashtreejournal life updates
theashtreejournal life updates

It feels kinda surreal putting this post out here. Heres why: Corona Virus has changed the world. `It has brought fear, panic, anxiety and chaos everywhere. everyone (read: me) is losing their minds, mental health is at stake and whew! It’s wild out here.

This lockdown maybe driving you nuts but you’ll get through it!

Okay, let’s talk updates on my life today. You all know that I secretly love sharing these types of posts even though I don’t have a lot going on in my life right now.

 Currently, I Am


Half tops, Skinny outfits and anything that screams summer. Spring is actually here, and I am sad that I do not get to enjoy the transition from outside but I definitely think that staying home safe is much, much, much better than increasing the chances of spreading the virus and stressing the healthcare workers more.

life up date on Ash how i'm spending my time in lockdown during coronavirus pandemic / theashtreegram
How I’m spending my time in lockdown

{ Admiring }

All the health care workers that are working so hard in this trying period, to contain this crazy pandemic. I’m also so proud of the nurses because as a future nurse, I know how difficult it must be to work long hours, on your feet. Sometimes you forget to eat or rest just because you have tons of patients to take care of. I admire the dedication and hard work our nurses are showing.

I am also admiring a lot of content creators that have managed to show their most creative sides, even with the constraints that come with being in lockdown. My Instagram feed has been filled with so much creative stuff that I think I should probably make a post on my favourite content creators at the moment.

Comment below if you want to see a new post on my favorite content creators at the moment!

{ Wishing }

I had gotten some beauty supplies before the lockdown. I could still make online orders and technically go to the store as well, but I am so paranoid that i have refused to leave my home nor trust the delivery companies. I am slowly getting out of the feeling of paranoia though, because Hungary is currently almost clear of new cases of coronavirus infections.

{ Determined To }

Study hard for my board exams which come up in a month! I’m going to be a Registered Nurse, soon!

{ Craving }

NIGERIAN FOOD. I have been craving so much Nigerian food of late. I just miss home and I am tired of eating snacks and “foreign food”. I just need to find a good day to do some shopping and get some Nigerian food products!

Check out my food posts here

{ Excited To }

Redecorate my room! I recently partnered with PHOTOWALL SWEDEN and got sent a sweet wallpaper design, complete with tools, manuals and all the information you’ll ever need.

I was so excited to see that the wallpaper I ordered, {which was this sweet marble finish btw}, was very matte and not reflective. This means that it would be great for backgrounds for my pictures. Also, I would be sure that the sun doesn’t directly reflect on the opposite side of my room. Hence, I can still retain the cool temperature of the room. Putting it up has been easy so far too, not until I had a small wrist injury and was unable to finish the putting up process.

I cannot wait to see the final outcome!

Shop on their website with my code : theashtreejournal25 for 25% off until June 2020!

{ Unsure About }

What the future holds post COVID-19. I am very scared of the impact this pandemic has had on the world. In terms of economy, job offers, travel opportunities, health, etc. There is a whole lot of uncertainty everywhere and I am one of the people affected, just as others.

{ Listening To }

A lot of chill Afrobeat music, otherwise known as Nigerian alternative music. My playlist includes Tems, Odunsi The Engine, Santi, Melvitto, Wande Coal, Fireboy and Oxlade.

Check out my Spotify playlists here

This has been how I have managed to spend my time in lockdown so far. I look forward to being outside again and creating more content.

Don’t forget you can shop wallpapers, posters, murals, wall designs on with my code theashtreejournal25 for 25% off! Don’t forget to tag my Instagram with your posts @theashtreegram.

Get in touch :

Follow me on instagram : @theashtreegram { }

How have you been spending time in lockdown??

Fashion : LindaMelinda White Collection Opening Party (featuring Dadoswonders and more!)

Thanks to my good friend, I was opportuned to attend my “first opening party” by a fashion house. Imagine how amazing was it that it was by one of my favorites, Linda Melinda.

The creator of the idea, Linda, is a modern mother who is constantly striving for a balance between family and work. She loves her little boy, who also inspires and motivates her day by day in her work, which is creating clothes for modern women.

linda melinda opening party SS19 by the ash tree journal

The opening party happened back in september but seeing as i have enough time now, and going through my gallery, I had to share this brand with you guys.

The theme of the opening party was subtle, cool and beautifully minimal. I loved the all white dress code we all had to follow, I think it represented the brand perfectly.

Other amazing brands I discovered in the Paula concept store (which houses many conceptual brands) included Macremewonders by Dalma Dénes.

About the brand and its mission statement :

Linda grew up in Budapest and became a woman and mother in Cyprus, combining the lightness of urban style with the sophistication of a Mediterranean village feeling. After gaining experience in many different fields, she realised that her true passion is indeed fashion. She created the Lindamelinda brand to turn her sense of fashion into wearable artwork, creating comfortable yet feminine silhouettes.

According to this published article on Marie Claire HU, the LindaMelinda brand aims to provide high quality, demanding products to confident women so that they can also express their own personalities through their attire. “I love my family and I love contemporary fashion. My clothes are made for women like me. For working mothers who are capricious, passionate, scattered, but harmony always remains a part of their lives. Lindamelinda women are imperfect, inaccurate, but humorous, attentive, curious and see life as art, the designer says. – We want to give our customers the opportunity to hide in trendy and easily elegant clothes; and a style that can be worn by real fashion lunatics alike, but also by those who love the style but aren’t yet sure how to personalize their outfit. ”

Related posts :

Food is usually my favorite part of any event and this opening party did not fail to impress! The dessert was provided by Cake by Fari and they were just fantastic. As you may or may not know, Gin tonic is my absolute favorite cocktail and you guessed it, Gin tonic was served as a cocktail option. Gin was provided by Hendrick’s gin and tonic water was from hungarian brand, Kinley.

I have to say that this party was quite interesting, and I had a lot of fun learning about sustainable, minimal and yet high quality fashion.

I also met incredible fellow bloggers, fashion designers, photographers and fashion enthusiasts. I loved the warm environment and how friendly the whole place was. We all wasted no time to build new connections and make new friends.

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The 3 Things I gave Up To Live A Better Life

Being an adult is a constant motion of making decisions that are meant to make your life better and more purposeful, all while hoping that these decisions are actually the right ones and don’t eventually come back to bite you in the bum. 

Personal growth is something very important to me as i am intentionally trying to better myself each day. I am aware of the hard work it takes to personally want something for yourself and go for it, despite the obstacles that may present. 

Because of this personal growth process, I had to give up a few things to make sure I was on the right path to this development of oneself. 

I gave up the FEAR OF FAILURE

Life isn’t a bed of roses, and most definitely, you are not promised the fact that you’ll succeed at everything you try your hands on. I learnt to give up the fear of failure because I know that we all fail at different things, at least once in our lives. The good thing is that when you are not afraid to fail, you know that you have the power to always change your narrative, to get back on your feet and tackle the problem with even more confidence, information and drive.

The good thing is that when you are not afraid to fail, you know you have the power to always change your narrative, to get back on your feet and tackle the problem with even more confidence, information and drive.


In a world where everyone wants to be on the side of constant criticism of others, I decided to be on the opposite spectrum. I decided that instead of responding to people’s content or ideas with criticism, I try to see the good in all of it and offer my help on how to improve or on areas I feel could be improved. This has made my communication with people so much easier and I know that it has made people more comfortable to come to me with ideas, knowing that constructive suggestions would be made, regardless. 


“Recovered people pleaser “should be something that I should add to my bio or something. Although I never really considered myself to be a people pleaser, because I have been trained to have the idea in my head about not caring about what people think of me. 

But as an adult trying to navigate life, I can say I may have receded in my ways in the sense that I noticed I had to do some certain things or act a certain way to please people and I thought that made me seem kinder, etc. False.

If you find yourself in that situation, allow me to be a perfect example of a recovered people pleaser. I can single handedly tell you that you do not have to live your life based off of how nice you are to them, and by nice, I mean sucking up to them. There is so much peace of mind in knowing that you can go through life the way you want, without having to think  of what someone thinks of you. 

Related post : On being 25..lessons learned

What steps do you take to live a better life?

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If you like this post, please share it with your friends and don’t forget to continue the conversation in the comments section.

Love, Ash.x

Other posts you may love : 22 life lessons

Tasting Hungary’s Countryside Food At Farmbistro, Budapest.

Not sure why it took me so long to write this post, I visited Farm Bistro over a year ago and loved it. 

I feel like it always takes a long time to do things I want to do, almost like I get one chance and I want to do it EXACTLY right; basically a fancy way to procrastinate. But that’s beside the point for now…

Farm Bistro is a small cute cafe located at the Buda side of Budapest. I had a quick morning shoot in that area and before my client arrived, my friends and I decided that breakfast would be a good idea. We found this place by chance, actually.

There are certain shopping-related keywords that can instantly increase the value of a food product in our eyes. Just think about it: it simply feels better to bite into any food that is termed free-rangeorganic, or fair-trade.

Foods and drinks made from such ingredients tend to taste better, as well. Farmbistro identified this correlation and offered these kinds of products in a cozy, cheerful little place.

I loved that this place is a cute and family-friendly bistro, perfect for groups and friends, with outdoor seating as well for the warmer months.

On The Table :

Since it was really early and we wanted something quick, we all opted for eggs. Some scrambled, omelette and fried sunny side ups. For drinks, we had coffee and hot chocolate. 

I love how the food was served fresh and was made from scratch with special dietary adjustments, if needed. 

The interior was very warm and welcoming. I loved the colors, green is one of my favorite colors so i felt very comfortable and relaxed as soon as walked in. They claim that everything in the bistro is made from Hungarian products (you can even check what is from where) and prepared onsite, but what does “everything” really include? 

Farmbistro has perfect ingredients for a breakfast, light lunch, afternoon snack, or dinner: sandwiches, quiches (450-550 HUF), cup desserts, and cakes line up in the refrigerated display, but they have soups (350 HUF) as well. The ingredients change seasonally, and come in pairings such as squash and apple.

I hear they even offer a kind of pastry, called batyu – the house specialty, which comes in various versions stuffed with fruits, vegetables, or meat (420 HUF).

As for drinks, you can choose among fruit juicessyrups, or even coffees. Additionally, it’s important to note that we don’t have to reach deep into our wallets in order to pay for this rural freshness – the prices couldn’t be friendlier for the quality provided.

the ash tree journal cheap breakfast at farm bistro budapest

Have you been to farm bistro??

5 Ways To Deal with The Stress Surrounding Social Distancing | #COVID-19

The world has officially separated into two main groups: the rule followers, observant of social distancing and hopeful of flattening the curve; and the risk-takers, who have been storming the world’s beaches, bars, and burger joints in spite of the coronavirus — and government and public health efforts to curtail its spread.(Psychology today).

The new coronavirus has pushed dozens of countries to implement strict isolation methods to prevent a global health crisis.

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch


Social distancing means keeping a safe distance (approximately 6 feet) from others and avoiding gathering spaces such as schools, churches, concert halls, and public transportation.

Quarantine involves avoiding contact with others if a person has been exposed to coronavirus to see if they become ill.

Isolation involves separating an individual who has contracted COVID-19 to prevent them from spreading it to others.

Being with others is a natural need for we humans, making social distancing a little hard for most of us. It’s particularly challenging when it’s an abrupt, unexpected, and dramatic shift from lots of face-to-face time to very little. Leaving college in the middle of the semester, working remotely when you’re used to lots of in-person conversations, or losing work hours that would have put you in the company of other people. This is a dramatic shift to the standard level of social interaction that we’re used to and have come to expect.

{ Stressful times heighten our need for connection }

It’s definitely during the most stressful period of our lives when we want to be in the company of others. This provides an emotional comfort and makes us feel better.

But how can we be better at social distancing? Once we acknowledge that our need to be with other people is an essential part of being human (See Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs), when we know that being with others is our default, we can then shift our focus on what to do without exposing ourselves or transmitting the virus.

The sad reality is that we need to set aside our normal responses to feeling bored, alone, or longing for human interaction and find other ways to satisfy these social needs. Maybe you’ve just met a potential romantic partner and want to keep seeing them(#hashtagsisisme), or you’re desperate to be with friends and fearing you’re missing out, or you’ve been with your kids and want a break, all of our normal drives are to make plans with other people.

But social distancing is not social disconnection.

Photo by Canva Photos Team

Here are some ideas and tips on making the transition to working at home and staying isolated:

  1. Maintain a Routine : Continue to get up at a similar time as you usually would and start your day and try to stick to your regular work hours. It’s also helpful to prepare for the start of your day by having a shower and getting dressed (even though you don’t have to).
  2. Plan your meals and eat healthily : Without a set lunch hour it can be easy to forget to eat a proper lunch or instead you snack throughout the entire day. Set your meal times and plan then ahead of time, eating healthy has a significant impact on our mental wellness.
  3. Create an office space : If you’re able, create an office space/work area in your home so you can set the tone for work as well as take breaks away from your workspace.
  4. Avoid Distractions :
    We all know there are many distractions when we are working from home so do what you can to remove them during working hours. It can be helpful to schedule time for checking emails and engaging in social media so that we aren’t thinking about checking them while we are working.
  5. Connect with others : Working from home can make you feel very isolated but so as others. You could use this time to connect with friends and family. Schedule video meetings with co-workers or take intentional breaks from work to interact with others, including those who may be home with you.

The CDC and the WHO recommend several basic measures to help prevent the spread of Covid-19:

  • Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Contact a health worker if you have symptoms; fever and a dry cough are most common.
  • DON’T touch your face.
  • DON’T travel if you have a fever and cough.
  • DON’T wear a face mask if you are well

It’s important to practice good hygiene, like hand-washing — which protects not only you but also others. When considering the ethics of spending time out and about, Vergara suggests reframing your view of hand-washing in the following way: “Wash your hands before you go out to protect others, and wash them again after the activity to protect yourself.” That goes for visiting the ATM, the grocery store, and the like.

More on Vox website | Psychology Today

How Are You Managing Yourself During This Period?

Here’s Why Teddy Coats Are A Necessary Fashion Item. (Shopping Links Included)

When I think of teddy coats, I think of comfort, warmth and style like no other. I’m late to join the bandwagon though, because almost after two years, I’m only just owning a piece.

Anyway, we all know that fashion has its own rules and thankfully, teddy coats aren’t yet cancelled because I love how this coat can directly transform my look from pretty basic to a better basic look, lol.


the ash tree journal on teddy coats and why they are the must have fashion item

The teddy coat in the last 2 years hit. it. off. Teddy fur was the fabric of the season and in high demand. Most fashion bloggers worth their salt had a selection of teddy coats and me? I was still dreaming of that baby but never put real effort to get one. This season, I decided to get one off sales at Reserved, Budapest. And I am happy I did so.

Teddy fur, shearing, Borg, whatever you want to call it, is a dream fabric for winter and when there’s a trend that’s also warm and cosy we grab that trend and we hold onto it with both hands.


  • It’s as soft as a teddy bear/ your favourite blanket (don’t lie and say you don’t have a blanket/teddy bear)
  • It’s trendy
  • It’s like leaving the house in your duvet


I got this jacket from Reserved Hungary which is unfortunately sold out online and in stores but you can find similar here on ASOS.

I got my T shirt from the men’s section in Bershka which you can find here

As usual, I paired my T shirt with leggings and simple white sneakers from Sinsay which you can find here.

the ash tree journal on teddy coats and why they are the must have fashion item

Do you own a teddy coat? How do you style your teddy coats??

The 3 Ways To Keep Going, Even Without A Support System 

Be strong, be fearless, be beautiful. And believe that anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you.

the ash tree journal how to keep going even without a support system

Hi lovelies, how is everyone doing?

It’s been a while since we had a little chit chat blog post talking about positivism and going through life with some motivation, all that good stuff.

So today, I thought I should talk to you all about something which has been not only a big struggle, but it’s also something I have learned to overcome with time and that is doing things without a strong support system in your corner.

You just started a business, a blog, a YouTube channel. Something. You’re feeling very excited about this project and naturally, you tell your closest friend or family member about it. But he/she is just not as excited as you are. Because of this, you get less motivated to continue the awesome project you thought off in your head and with time, you stop or lose the passion.

That’s not so great is it? So what do you do when you have no encouragement from your family, or friends? Grab your note, and cup of tea and read on!


Sometimes when we start off on something, we often depend on the validation of others to keep this thing going and when that validation doesn’t come in handy, or when it is expected, we lose the passion. Remember why you started this journey in the first place, was it for the validation of people, or was it for yourself?


And that’s totally okay. You have to remember that sometimes your friends or family can never understand the angle you’re taking in life sometimes and they may not be as enthusiastic as you’d like them to be. While this can be depressing and saddening, you have to know when to not resent your loved ones for trying to talk you out of your passion. Just simply smile and accept the fact that family and friends do not understand nor are they helpful; and you resenting it won’t change them. It will only end up holding you back.


How? Choosing the right relationships involves surrounding yourself with the right kind of encouragement and support that you need for this journey. It is said that we become the 5 people we hang around with the most, therefore, we must choose carefully. A support group is a great place to find friends who can be positive and supportive and can also hold you accountable on a regular basis.

I can specifically say that for blogging, I have found amazing support groups online that have helped me to stay motivated through this journey and that has been a blessing.


Guaranteed, when we are excited about something, we always want to let people know. But if this news falls into the wrong hands of people who do not support you or are constantly trying to bring you down, then you can expect that everything will take a different turn. Sometimes, -and this is a major thing I have learned to do-, if you find that someone isn’t particularly excited every time you bring up something you love, a change of subject or basically leaving out conversations that will lead to this topic is the best option. And perhaps for your own sanity too.

From my perspective, it is very important and imperative for us to have a positive and encouraging support system. And as disappointing and hurtful as it is to have a lack of support from friends and/or family members, you can’t let that keep you from finding the support system you need and constantly chasing your dreams regardless.

Yes, it will take a lot of effort to do so, but remember that with hard work and God by your side, you can achieve anything you want in life!

the ash tree journal how to keep going even without a support system

Now it’s your turn! Do you have the support of family and friends? If not, have you been able to establish a support system for yourself? Tell me how in the comment section below!

First written in 2017 *

The Importance Of Reflecting On The Last Decade & A Simple Message For The New Year

As family and friends have gathered on New Year’s Eve and in the New Year, thoughts of the last decade – whether intrusive or subtle- have come up. I mean, the start of a new year is upon us, it’s only normal to celebrate the year to come and “zone in” on the one we have left. 

2020 marks the beginning of a new decade. For many of us, it feels fresh to start a new decade, especially as growing adults. And I can imagine, that the term “decade” can bring in a sense of confusion, especially with the reminder that we are getting older and much closer to our death. We have lived many typical days, filling it with many, many mundane things and haven’t really thought much about our existence.

In a moment, our minds deviate and we think: Where has time gone? How is it already 10 years past? And then, the big questions come up in our minds : “what have I achieved this year?” “What would I change?” “What will I always remember?” 

But, why bother with the past? What is really the point? 

The time was there. Now, it’s ticking, toking. Tik. Tok. Before you know it, it’s just about gone, again. 

Each year end, I try to avoid the waddling thoughts that lead me to reflect upon the year spent. I surely avoided it in 2018 & made just one active resolution for 2019 ( See here

Sometimes, the moments of disappointment and grief may be sharper than the moments of pride and hope. Now, we have 10 more years to digest the weight of hope and loss a little bit more. But then, what if we don’t look back? What if we allow the memories to fill and avoid the panic of time passing? 

{Reflection can feel like exposure}

Reflection can feel like exposure

Reflection can soften the edges of the sharp memories that stand out the most. Reflection can bring back those in-between moments. As we tease the moments that are quieter, we can paint a picture of life that is happening and life that has happened. Through reflection, we can bring back memories and we can breathe life back into a moment. And then we will really see the past decade for what it really is : Our lives.  

The truth is that we have all lived, we have lived every moment in the past 10 years. The last decade did not exist simply to give our future a lesson or trial that made us stronger. Our years are more than just a checkbox or steps we have to climb. 

Be encouraged that when you venture back into your memories, you are not alone in facing disappointment, regret and grief. Hear me when I say, you are not the only one. 

{The New Year}

In the new year, let us remember that our years are a measure of us, who we are. They are all worth remembering. If the past 365 days weren’t made valuable by the achievements you have to show for them, then perhaps they are just valuable, because you are. 

As we approach a new year and decade, will you be brave with me? Are you willing to hold space for the memories of the past and what they have to offer?

We can sit in the discomfort of a large chunk of time passing before us, and in it, remember that we existed for each moment whether they make us proud or bereaved. We remember that though we can never hold a moment in time, we can always hold space for life. 

We remember that though we can never hold a moment in time, we can always hold space for life. 

In the New Year, I want to acknowledge that 2019 probably brought a lot of hardships and ultimately, growth with it. You might still be in the middle of a difficult time, but a new year is always a symbol of hope and new beginnings.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to keep to “resolutions”; be grateful and be gracious with yourself.  Wherever you’re planted, bloom with grace. Don’t listen to lies, surround yourself with positivity and truth-filled people. Finally, accept the fact that you are a beautiful work in progress. No one has ever been like you, no one will ever be, so embrace all of who you really are. 

Happy New Year!

Written & Edited by : @theashtreejournal { Instagram }

Post Inspiration : Darling, Magazine

2019 Year In Review : The Most Defining Moments From The Year (Finding myself, Losing a Parent,And More)

It’s December 26th, I’m sat on my couch, currently reminiscing on the year 2019 and all it has brought. And, I feel…empty drained. 

2019 was a very busy year for me mentally, emotionally and even physically. If I am to describe 2019 in a tweet, I’d quote this very tweet right here: 

Man this whole year has been a rollercoaster. You see that saying “nobody’s got you”, it’s a big lie. When in your time of need and loneliness, the people who leave are just leaving for your own good. There are actually people who want the best for you. I have people like that. -@chemicalbrodar

Most of what were the defining moments for me this year were life changing events that I never in a million years, saw coming. Nevertheless, in the words of my Nigerian people : We LOCOMOTE.

Here are the most defining moments from the year 2019:

{I set out travel goals for the year and met them}

2019 was a pretty big year in travel for me. I set my goal at the beginning of the year, on twitter, by the way, to travel to a new country every month till the year end 

I can proudly say that I tried. I really went out of my way to see other parts of the world in my own little way and I am happy about that. 

Side note : I know that I owe you guys a ton of blog posts concerning my travels but I will get them out. Better late than never, right?  

The thing I loved the most about my travel experiences so far was the fact that I solo traveled, and also met up with a strangers and traveled with them. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and made incredible friends out of people I had just shared a bus/plane ride with. 

I also have to add that, my favorite country visited, out of all 9 of them this year was, Montenegro. I went there in April and I still can’t stop reliving the memories I created with my best friends while I was there. It wasn’t a wild trip, and it definitely wasn’t one I did a lot on, but with the fact that the country was so warm, the people were incredibly nice, the food was heavenly, and I spent 6 days there with my best girls, who can really complain? 

It was exactly what I needed. 

{I finally took up Volunteering..}

Volunteering has been something I’ve always had a passion for. Just helping in a little way that I can at any time gives me the utmost joy. So you can imagine my delight when Angloville reached out to me to join them in a volunteer programme. I had no hesitation. 

Angloville volunteering program is an English Immersion programme where they create small communities where everyone can understand everyone. Based on this, English language speakers from all over the world come together in a cozy place, interact with people of all ages and teach them English language in the process. How amazing is that? My first experience was in Lipowy Most, Poland, where I had the most amazing experience and came home fulfilled. I learned a lot and had a very nice time with the fellow volunteers, children, and everyone I encountered. 

{My dating life went south..I think}

I may be using the term, “love”, too loosely here, now that I think hard about it. But I think I fell in love, this year. Sure, I liked a few guys, even attempted being in an exclusive relationship, but it always just seemed to go south. And of course, I was blamed for most of why it did. On my inability to be at one place at a time (because I spent the year traveling and involving myself with a lot) and I was emotionally unavailable (I mean I had a parent with a terminal illness who later passed away).

However, upon reflection, maybe it is true that I was unable to invest in a relationship at that point, or at any point this year. I’m also only just learning that it’s okay. It’s okay to stop fighting. What’s yours will come, for sure.

I don’t have to worry about anyone who left my life, neither do I really need to invest in people and turn them into chapters when they were only meant to be pages.

I still have amazing people around me who love and support me constantly through every stage of my adventurous life and I’m honestly just loving the freedom of experiencing different things and people.

{I made the face of a brand, and also took my photography to another level.}  

My love for photography went over my love for blogging this year. But, I cannot really complain, I mean it’s still part of content creation, right? I loved how this year put me more behind the camera and with the right friends and practice, I was able to book at least 5 brand shoots and in front of the camera, I booked at least 8. That’s something. One of my favorite shoots, of course, would be the one I did for ginte accessories.

The shoot was fun, the accessories were lovely, and I loved walking into Home of Fashion and seeing my face there. Trust that I made all my friends go there to see me and be a fan. Lol.

Check out the website, here.

{My dad passed away…}

At the beginning of the year, my dad fell very ill and was later diagnosed with cancer. And it was terminal. The funny, yet sad thing about this was that I had only been home last, 4 years ago. Which means, I hadn’t seen him since 2015. I was devastated at the news. I was thrown off balance, I had no idea what to do. He was flown to America to receive treatment and he somewhat got better, and then in May, it was a downward spiral from there. I was even more devastated. Thankfully, I was able to see him for just one day, when I visited America later in July.

Let me tell you this: dealing with a terminally ill parent is never something anyone should go through. I was affected in a lot of ways. I cried, a lot. I negotiated with “God”, prayed constantly, and did all I could, in my power, to at least help the situation but in August 2019, he passed away.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I am what everyone calls a daddy’s girl. Life has really not been the same without him. His constant love and support, especially for my blog had always been massively incredible. My heart still breaks at the thought. What? My pops, gone? In all honesty, I am still in a lot of denial shock and I still have no idea how to process the news. Coming to terms with this major life change has been hard. But, I just have to know that strength will come and it will keep me from giving up. Rest in peace, dad. 

Happy Fathers day | The Christmas Tag ft my dad

Whew, 2019 was one hell of a year but did I die? NO! So here’s to 2020.

I’ve always thought of 2020 as my breakthrough year and I can’t wait to come back to this space in one year and celebrate my survival, whether I win, or I lose!

Until then don’t forget to bloom where you’re planted. xo

Written & Edited by : @theashtreejournal { Instagram }

Featured: Ginte Accessories { Instagram } | Angloville { Instagram }

Photography : 3 Easy Ways To Improve Your Photos, Effortlessly!

the ash tree journal how to improve your photography in 3 easy ways

It’s no secret that photography has become more and more popular with the rise of new phones and DSLRs . Everyone has become a master at taking pictures and sharing it on social media. For one, Instagram has become an online portfolio – a way to showcase your brand effortlessly and it’s no surprise that businesses have caught up and are on track.

I have struggled with building a good Instagram feed worth being satisfied with and I cannot tell you how after almost a year of trial and error, I finally have something to stick with…for now.

Have you been struggling with getting the best pictures out there? Are you like me who wants to have very beautiful pictures, effortlessly? Read on for more..

Tips On How To Take Better Photos..

1 | Visualization

One thing I often do, even more involuntarily these days, is daydream. Yes, daydreaming about shots and different ways to capture a certain picture.

As content creators, we are constantly visualizing and creating things in our minds. I used to think this was a typical lazy man’s dream but I promise you, visualizing your subject and the kind of final product you would want others to see, really helps to produce better pictures. One way to help your creative juices flow, is by using visual aids, which can be of plenty inspiration for you – Instagram and Pinterest are my favorite social media sites to use. I have created a lot of board on Pinterest for this reason and on specific topics and it has greatly improved my photography.

Follow me on Pinterest!

Follow me on Instagram!

2| Angle & Composition :  

This is a crucial part of picture taking that I really didn’t take into consideration for a long time. Many shots can be given added impact by simple changes in the camera view.

The camera angle marks the specific location at which the camera is placed to take a shot. These different camera angles will have different effects on the viewer and how they perceive the object that is shot. The most common angles include : Eye level shots, Bird’s eye view, low angles, high angles, worm’s eye level (aka ground level) and many more.

The camera composition however, is the way you position or combine the different elements within the frame of the picture to form the final image, such that the viewers eye is immediately drawn to specific parts or areas of the photo.

PHLEARN has the best tips for the perfect composition in pictures.

3 | Its all in the Lighting

The better lit your subject is, the clearer your image is likely to be. If possible, aim to take your pictures outside with natural, bright light, or turn on lights when shooting inside. If you’re turning on lights in a room, be aware that artificial light affects the color and can also cast shadows on your picture. The trick is to centralize the light and avoid shadows by taking pictures at an angle where it wont show. If you are outside and you have bright sunlight, avoid shooting into the bright light as your subject might end up as a silhouette. Instead, back the sun, and have the subject under the sun.

Personal tip : Shady places are my favorite places to shoot because the pictures are much much easier to control when editing.

Photography is fun, and it can even be more fun, when you get better results.

What are your favorite photography tips?

breast cancer awareness month the ash tree journal