Category Archives: Friends

“So Lonely”— An Original Song Written by Uche Aguh & Performed by Timi Komo

Who can tell where love begins or ends or even where it’s going? A love story can change in an instant. Watch as this couple journey through this tricky thing we call love.

So Lonely on Vimeo.

Song written by Uche Aguh and sung by Timi Komonibo. Video directed by Toni Akindele.

Oh, The Places We’ll Go: New Orleans

In 2014, I Will…” New Years resolution post, I mentioned that I wanted to travel and make more memories with my friends. I’m excited at the progress I’m making already. In January, I went on a family cruise to Cozumel. At the beginning of February, I went to New Orleans to celebrate my friend Vanessa’s 25th birthday.

I’ve been friends with Vanessa since my freshman year in undergrad. When she randomly told me about her birthday celebration, I immediately said yes. I didn’t even stop to think of the cost or if my schedule would permit me to come. All I knew was that this was an opportunity to celebrate my friend and make memories. I’ve learned to stop overthinking and waiting for happiness to come to me. In life you have to be intentional and purposeful. I know the kind of life I want to have– one filled with love, adventure, and laughter.

VAgwu2014_blog3648x2432-001 Jan 31, 2014 11-44 PM VAgwu2014_blog3648x2432-001 Jan 31, 2014 11-48 PM VAgwu2014_blog3648x2432-001 Feb 1, 2014 12-10 AM

Being at school for the past few months, I haven’t seen my college friends in a long time. In our time apart, I’d forgotten how much I like them and enjoy their company. These people knew me when I was Timi the awkward freshman, Timi the teacher, and they love me just the same as Timi the friend in grad school miles away. I have grown with these beautiful people and I am excited to stay in touch and grow old together.

My trip to New Orleans was only a weekend, but it was enough for me. For this one time, I was content to just be with them again. We honestly didn’t have a extensive itinerary: we ate, we went downtown to Bourbon, we went to brunch, tried some beignets for the first time, had a masquerade dinner, and went home.
VAgwu2014_blog3648x2432-001 Feb 1, 2014 11-58 AM VAgwu2014_blog3648x2432-001 Feb 1, 2014 12-59 PM VAgwu2014_blog3648x2432-001 Feb 1, 2014 1-34 PM

But the weekend reminded me that sometimes it only takes a couple days of fun to remind you to live more fully.
VAgwu2014_blog3648x2432-001 Feb 2, 2014 12-17 AM VAgwu2014_blog3648x2432-001 Feb 2, 2014 12-018
Special thanks to Vanessa, who orchestrated this whole birthday shindig. It was great and it gives me something to think about for my 25th birthday in May.

VAgwu2014_blog3648x2432-001 Feb 1, 2014 10-13 PM
The birthday girl and I

Look out for my next trip post. I’m going to somewhere nice and warm for Spring Break!

Street Style: Ashley B.

Ashley Branch

Syracuse University: Magazine, Newspaper, Online Journalism Graduate student

Streetstyle_Ashley1.17feature 2432x3648 2432x3648-006 2432x3648.17 2432x3648 2432x3648-001

I met Ashley when we first started graduate school in the summer. I remember always peeping her outfits and admiring the way she put items together. Ashley is an artist, lover, and coffee drinker. She’s a talented writer and a future journalist. Today she’s dressed in a casual, but chic, layered style. I have no doubt that she did indeed wake up like this (insert Beyonce soundtrack)

Streetstyle_Ashley1.17 2432x3648 2432x3648-015

Ashley’s combination of bright colors, patterns and textures are spot on. She’s wearing a mustard 3/4 sleeve knit cardigan, a rust knit circle scarf, beige chiffon bird-patterned blouse, leather skirt, black tights, gray ankle socks, and cognac oxford shoes.Streetstyle_Ashley1.17feature 2432x3648 2432x3648-006 2432x3648.17 2432x3648 2432x3648-006

Streetstyle_Ashley1.17feature 2432x3648 2432x3648-006 3648x2432.17 2432x3648 3648x2432-002

Photo cred: Mel of

We couldn’t have made this shoot happen without the fabulous Mel Nicole. Follow Mel on Instagram @bymelissanicole  and on Twitter @msmelinicole

Follow Ashley @AshleyBranch_14

#31WriteNow: We Crave Authentic Relationships


These days, my natural disposition is calm and collected (most of the time). I have been reading more and spending more time alone with myself. As I’ve gotten older, I have found myself gaining more introversion traits.

But as much as I enjoy being by myself, it’s not very conducive for for making friends and getting to know people. One thing that makes socializing difficult is the fact that I despise small talk. It’s so insincere and full of fluff. I dislike initiating small talk or being small-talked to. As you can imagine, talking to strangers for extended amounts of time is torture for me. Or at least it was until I changed my mindset. I realized that small talk is what you do with people whom you have no interest in ever getting to know on a personal level. If you ever want to get to know someone, you have to engage them in two-way communication– you listen a little and talk a little. As lame as it may sound, I have to actively remind myself that I am a human being who craves authentic relationships. Authentic relationships don’t happen over night– you have to put in work.

Yesterday evening, I went to a family dinner with members of a church I had started going to with a friend from school. Before I went to the dinner, I remember flexing my jaw and clearing my throat for the amount of speaking I was about to be doing. I was prepared to run through my script of small talk pleasantries that typically sounded something like this:

Where are you from?...Oh that's nice...I'm from Houston, Texas...Uh huh, I AM quite far from home...I'm in the graduate school program studying...

As soon as I walked through the door, one of the hosts pulled me into a hug and I knew that I would not have much use for my script that evening. Let me explain: I have been waiting for the feeling of belongingness in a church or small group of friends. I feel a version of  it in my grad program– that sense of camaraderie and mutual respect. But what I felt in that simple hug enough for me to let my guard down. We sat down, a motley crew of broke graduate students, teachers, pastors, parents, and their children, and ate a family dinner of baked ziti, corn, and meatballs. We had nothing in common except for our faith and love for God. I surprised myself by how much I talked to people (and how much Vernors Ginger Ale I drank). I felt very relaxed and comfortable when I realized was surrounded by people I would love to see again. It’s hard to waste time with small talk when you really want to get to know someone.

I am enjoying getting to know the wonderful people around me. They are so kind and genuine. That is something I specifically prayed for when I decided to come to Syracuse. I want to meet people I can call friends and be able count on for friendship and counsel. I won’t let a little introversion get in the way of that.

Funny enough, when I look at the qualities of extroverts and introverts, I would say I’m a little bit of both. I hope I can maintain that balance. I think everyone can use a little bit of introversion and extroversion in their lives. It keeps us from going crazy.


If you haven’t already read BuzzFeed’s 27 Problems Only Introverts Will Understand, check it out!

#31WriteNow: Friendship and Fish Tacos

Today was a day of celebration for my friend-classmate, Julia, and her family so we decided to have a friendship dinner.

Step 1: Rub the spices onto the fish
Step 2: Slice up tomatoes and veggies
Step 3: Pan-fried the fish (medium heat)


Step 4: While the fish is still moist, mashed it with a fork and lower (or turn off) the heat


Step 5: Put the fish on a tortilla, add cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and any other toppings
Step 6: Sit down and enjoy with friends

Dinner was full of great food and great company. I hope we can make these kind of hangouts a repeating thing. These ladies are so much fun and we always end of talking and laughing long after the food is gone. I’m glad to have them in my grad program.

Jennifer, Julia, and I (left to right)

I don’t know Julia’s recipe for the fish tacos but I will definitely ask her for it so I can share the wealth. I love fish tacos, so I would definitely put it to good use.


Syracuse Week 1 via Instagram

Screen shot 2013-07-06 at 2.56.10 PM
Our grad school welcome gift– iPad mini! I sure know how to pick my programs. #praiseGod #newbeginnings #gradschool
Screen shot 2013-07-06 at 2.56.28 PM
Cereal for lunch. I’m not a huge cereal person but I may become one. My bowl is too cute and Multigrain cheerios are sooo good!
Screen shot 2013-07-06 at 2.56.44 PM
Screen shot 2013-07-06 at 2.57.04 PM
My new bike, Huckleberry Schwinn (Huck for short)
Screen shot 2013-07-06 at 2.57.16 PM
I solicited the help of my goofy sister to name my bike. Her recommendations were hilarious.
Screen shot 2013-07-06 at 2.57.28 PM
Got this color-changing egg timer from Dollar Tree. Put it in the pot with the eggs. Turns white when ready. I’m lame for being so impressed.
Screen shot 2013-07-06 at 2.57.37 PM
Green Lakes State Park. So pretty! And crowded for July 4th holiday…
Screen shot 2013-07-06 at 2.57.48 PM
The Dean of our school invited the grad students for a welcome bbq. The entrance of this picnic was through the woods.
Screen shot 2013-07-06 at 2.58.00 PM
Vegan milkshakes from Strong Hearts Cafe. Left to right: chocolage oreo, orange Julius & strawberry, chocolate mint. Coconut lime cupcake. All delcious!
Click to see blog post.
Screen shot 2013-07-06 at 2.58.17 PM
Friday lunch with classmates. It’s back to sandwiches next week. #japanesefood #bentobox #chickenkatsu #sushi

Adventure Time: Biking in Austin

This past weekend was my last weekend in Texas before I moved to Syracuse. I wanted to spend it doing something fun and adventurous. The weekend was awesome and beyond my expectations.

I arrived in Austin on a Megabus with my sister, Ney. The ride cost $12 departing and $12 returning. We chose the bus not just to save gas but because we both hate driving. It was nice to get a nap in while we were on the road.

I met up with some friends for brunch

We were celebrating the birthday girl, our friend Victoria.

Happy 24th Birthday, girl!


Brunch at ZTejas in Austin

After brunch, we went on a bike tour with Austin Bike Tours and Rentals!

zipfun 546x541.41 AM
Here’s the whole group. We’ve know each other since undergrad but I didn’t get to spend time with everyone.

The tour was a great bonding experience.

We took to the streets like a female bike gang. We had a beautiful view of the city.

We stopped a few time along the tour:

2013-06-22 15.25.09
Sweaty and huddled at a local bar at one of our stops

We went to check out Barton Springs. It was many of us’s first time there. We had snow cones and treats in the snack shack.

zipfun 551x551.58 AM

We even took a drip into the spring.

2013-06-22 16.37.37
The water was refreshingly cool.

We cycled through a couple more streets and headed back to return the bikes. It was a great experience. Although it was a little on the pricey side, a Groupon helped lessen the cost.



We went to Cheesecake factory. Here’s my meal:

2013-06-22 22.31.54
Looking at this scrumptious meal, I’m still sad that I left my leftovers in the fridge.

After dinner, Victoria surprised us with gifts. I had never seen a party where the birthday girl has gifts for her guests. I was blown away by the thoughtfulness of the gesture.

2013-06-23 00.03.59

Each of us got a box with “Victoria’s Secrets” inside (heheh). No not underwear, but some items that were some of her beauty secrets like her favorite kind of lipstick, moisturizer, rice paper (to reduce shine), etc. It was a cute idea that I will most definitely steal at some point.

2013-06-23 00.06.53-1
Us, our gifts, and birthday-girl Victoria (in yellow)







Happy Birthday, Victoria! May God grant you the kindness, happiness and friendship you have bestowed on us!

Good Eats: Benjys and My Partner in Crime










I’m glad Jenn and I got to catch up. This chick is my partner in crime. We go back to sophomore year in college when we first became resident assistants. We had so many crazy moments in that job and made some great memories. We always joke that she will be my Vietnamese bridesmaid and I will be her Nigerian bridesmaid. We’ll see who makes it to the alter first lol.

The restaurant, Benjys on Washington, was a great choice for a dinner with friends. It has a laid back atmosphere, with light upbeat music in the background. It has dimmed lighting, which gave the room an intimate vibe, even though there were people all around. There’s also a rooftop dinning option, which I enjoyed the last time I went to Benjys. The meals were moderately priced. All the plates in the picture above were below $20, I believe. With its complementary birthday dessert and complementary valet, I definitely recommend this place!