Styling And Shoe Review

READ EPISODE 6 HERE It had been an amazing month having these sessions with Misan, Felix, Femi and Helen. If I had my doubts before, it had now become very certain that God orchestrated these meetings, and I was very hopeful that each of them would find healing, forgiveness and the strength to move on with their lives free from condemnation. That has been my life testimony. As each of them told their story, it was easy for me to relate. I had been there, I knew what it felt like to live a life that gave you pleasure and pain. A life that brought you so much fear and made you cry yourself to sleep, yet presented you to the world the morning after as bold and fearless. It wasn't a good place to be and I was there for many years. "Mummy, I want to tell you something. Do you know I was...

It's another Wednesday and today I am crushing on every woman reading this post because you are very beautiful. And no, it is not lip service or flattery. I know you are beautiful and you need to know it too. I have realized that a lot of people find it difficult to accept compliments. So, I say to someone, "You look so pretty" and I hear "Hmmmn, if I hear say I fine, me that I look like a baby whale". I used to be guilty of this but not anymore, now I take every compliment with a big smile and a very loud "Thank you". We spend too much time focusing on everything that is wrong with us and fail to acknowledge our gorgeous features. This dips into our confidence and ruins our entire look. There was one time I complimented on a lady's tall, slim and very shapy figure. She did a complete *yimu* and said "with this my overlong torso", I lost my balance. Sexy torso that we are jogging round the estate to have. Shout out to every woman who knows they are beautiful, accepts they are beautiful and owns their beautiful. If you're not in that league, it's time to fix it. I'd be sharing some tips on things I do to make sure my BEAUTIFUL is not eroded by my so called flaws. First, you need to understand that her beautiful is NOT your beautiful, stop trying to look like everyone else. While you sit around comparing yourself to the next person in the room, understand that we are all different and none of us is perfect. Ese is an urban retro chic, she loves her natural afro hair, loves the African vibe and you'd find her in vintage prints and mom jeans from the 60's. It's her style, she has mastered it over time, she's comfortable with it and carries it with confidence. Rita on the other hand is a girly girl, she loves her hair long and full, with edges sleeked and very well laid, she loves her short pretty dresses and has lovely legs to flaunt. She focuses on her strengths, exudes a lot of confidence and it looks good on her. We admire them and wish we could look like them. They are always well put together and look amazing. You can be them too, but you need to find your beautiful, accept it and own it with pride. Fat, skinny, long torso or broad shouldered, there's always something you can wear to hide your flaws and enhance your good features. The second thing to do is to find a go to outfit that ALWAYS works for you and then build up on styling it. Depending on your lifestyle, there must be that one look you can always count on. For me, It's a pair of jeans and a round neck Tee Shirt. I don't think I can ever go wrong with that and I have figured out different ways to dress it up to suit different occasions. I would wear it casually with flat sandals, flat shoes or a pair of sneakers to run errands. I would dress it up with a pair of killer heels, a blazer or an overload of accessories(statement earrings, a hat) just to spice things up. It never fails me. For you, it could be a dress but whatever it is, stick to it and find different ways to work with it. Never be afraid to experiment. Never say never. Fashion evolves, move with the flow without losing your personality. I don't like pink, I like to tell myself i'm not a girly girl and pink reeks of all things girly girl (*Sigh* I don't even know how I got that). Anyway, I would never buy anything pink until my friend sent me this pink kaftan. It was in my closet for months until one Sunday morning, I needed something quick and easy to wear to church and then I brought it out reluctantly. This look remains one of my favorite till date and I have bought two pink blouses and a pink belt since then. What's that one thing you say you will never wear? Try it today. If it doesn't work for you, ditch it and move on to the next but never stop trying new things. Another thing that works is to find expression through other things like your hair, make up, jewelry, nail polish and so on. When you can't be bothered to go the extra mile to nail your outfits back to back everyday of the week, you can express your style in that basic black skirt and shirt through an outrageous lip color or hair style. Come up with anything that will brighten up that boring outfit. Be extra with the length of your hair or that extra hair color, try on bright purple lipstick and see how it changes everything. If you never try, you will never know. Invest in statement pieces - Shoes with a pop of color or print, Chunky neck pieces, rings, bags, just about any fashion accessory that will not go unnoticed. This will help draw attention away from everything else. Ask questions, if you are not sure. Google is your friend. Next time you're stuck with an outfit, how about you type in the search box 'What to wear with a purple knee length dress', you'd be amazed the helpful tips and pictures that will come up. If you're still not convinced, ask a friend. There must be a friend you know who is fashion savvy and will be honest with you or better still engage the services of a wardrobe stylist. Take pictures. For every look you nail, take a picture. This will serve as a reminder on the days you feel off that you are actually very gorgeous. I do this a lot. Selfies, full shots, different angles, I constantly remind myself how beautiful I am and you can't tell me nothing. Put in the effort required, it won't happen over night. You don't have a team...

I have a great level of respect for Sophia Webster - her personality and then her footwear designs. I have followed her life for the longest time now and it keeps getting better. It's super amazing when a sketch from your imagination is brought to life and people pay a fortune to wear them. Pure creative genius and that is what Sophia Webster is, with so many designs that have sold out since she launched her brand in 2012. British born and married with three girls, I read in a recent interview she granted how she manages work and family. Sophia Webster: “Whatever you’re doing, if it’s a factory visit or you’re spending time with the kids, you have to focus on what you’re doing [in that moment], otherwise you’re conflicted. If I’m away for work I try not to think about the children at home. I just focus on that and put everything into that and vice versa. If not, you’ll be at work wishing you were at home or you’ll be at home answering emails. Try and separate the two.” (source: footwear news) Photo Credit: CNN She also talked about how her kids influence some of her designs. Like the Bibi Butterfly Shoes, named after her daughter, they were created when she was teaching her five year old, who always wore the left pair on the right foot, the proper way to wear her shoes. Bibi Butterfly Shoes The design made it easy by forming a butterfly when the shoes are worn on the correct foot. Whether with her immediate family or her fashion family, she's always hands on and puts in her back into everything she does. I believe this has contributed a lot to her success over the years. Sophia and Hubby From her Mommy and Me line to her Say I do collection, her collaboration with PUMA, her famous Rosalind heels and the angel wings/evangeline collection, you can find at least a pair of her designs in the closet of every luxury shoe collector. At one time or another, local and international celebrities have been spotted on the red carpet or on the streets in a pair. With Sophia Webster, there is something for everyone. From The I do Collection Mommy and Me Evangeline Sandals Rosalind heel Sophia Webster X Puma Did I mention she is a creative genius? With many awards bagged from her outrageous and daring creations, enjoy a few of her designs below and tell me why she's a mom we shouldn't crush on. If you need a pair of luxury shoes to splurge on, look no further. Flamingo Sandals Lilico Mid Heel sandals Rosa Jelly Sandals Iris Crystal Feather trimmed Mules Lola gem Pumps...



"You are such an idiot, you are of no use to me Helen. I don't even know why I am still with you, if it is not that I feel sorry for you. What gives you the right to go through my phone? What?" I raised up my hands to protect my face as Kayode attempted to slap me again.

I was nineteen and in love with this twenty nine year old guy. It was my second year in the University and he worked at the bank as a marketer. He was my first boyfriend and the first man I gave myself to. I gave my virginity to Kay and with it, my heart, soul and senses. When we met, he was the best thing that ever happened to me. He was sweet and caring and treated me like I was the only thing that mattered in the entire world.


Read Episode 3 Here   "Femi, Feyiii, I don't want to get into the car before you guys, and please remember to put your bottle of lotion in the bag."   "Ok mummy". We replied in unison.       I can't describe the love I got growing up with my parents. It was comforting, it was uplifting, it was simply indescribable. It was just me and my older sister, Feyisayo, and they dedicated all their time, money and love to us, although with large doses of discipline to keep us in check. It was another family day out and this time we were going to the beach. Every Saturday, my parents made sure we did something together as a family.             No, we were not your typical spoiled rich kids, I remember that at the age of four, my mum would make me climb a kitchen stool to wash my plate after eating. We practically had to do everything by ourselves. Any maid that was employed had no business minding our business.           We grew up in love, lived in love and we were taught to show love. We were more than comfortable, we enjoyed the luxuries of life, we had the best of everything, but my dad made us understand the value of money and how to earn early in life too. For anything we asked for outside our basic needs, we were made to work for it.       Looking back now I feel like they knew they were going to leave us too soon and wanted us to be able to survive the harsh realities of life. Feyi and I were really young when we lost our parents but they had taught us enough to keep us going for the longest time.           "The earlier we bury them, the better o sister mi. Let us all move on with our lives. I know it is painful but for how long will we leave them in the mortuary?". My mum's older sister Aunty Tolani said, as she tilted her head gear to the side.       "I see reason with Sister Tola, Aunty Mobola , their younger sister said. I don't know why Uncle Layi's friends are making such a fuss about the whole Ikoyi Vaults. Is it the location that matters or that the dead is buried?"       I listened in anger as my mum's sisters and cousins talked about burying our parents like they were going to bury stray dogs. My dad was an only child and an orphan and save for a few of his cousins and his close friends, he didn't have much of a family. I grew up knowing my mum's family as the only extended family we had and now the decision as to what will happen to us was in their hands. We weren't exactly close to any of them as they were quite lousy and aggressive in their ways. My mum had been the only different one from the lot.       My dad's best friend and two of his cousins opposed all the lousy suggestions my aunties made concerning the burial, and did everything within their powers to give my parents the most befitting burial they could get. Watching the pall bearers lower their caskets into the ground and making Feyi and I pour sand on the caskets as the Pastor performed the final burial rites, I felt a chill from deep inside and a sense of emptiness. Real fear overwhelmed me.               I looked beside me to see my sister, she looked numb and unaware of her surroundings, she looked like she was in a trance. I was just ten years old but I felt years older and I knew that things will never be the same again.       The day right after the funeral, my dad's best friend, Uncle Segun, two of his cousins and my mum's sisters Aunty Tolani and Aunty Mobola held a meeting at our house.       "We can't say thank you enough for standing by us during this very rough period. Aunty Tolani started, we appreciate your support and the show of love. A ni fi iru e san fun ra wa o (You won't experience such sorrow as payback). At this point we need to think about these children and take decisions concerning their future."       My heart skipped many beats as I listened.         "You can't be thanking us, Uncle Segun cleared his throat as he started in reply. Layi and Bisola were more than friends to me,  it's my loss as much as it's yours and the well being of Feyi and Femi is as important to me as it is to you."       Nothing had been said, but I couldn't shake off that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. As I looked at all the faces in the room, wondering where my sister and I would end up, Uncle Segun seemed the only person that signaled any form of hope of a happy future. They asked Feyi and I to excuse them while they continued with their meeting.           "I'm so scared Femi, what do you think will happen? Are we going to leave the house and move in with one of them?"  Feyi asked me, as she started to cry again. All she seemed to do was cry and it was okay with everyone. I on the other hand wasn't allowed to cry. I was told I had to be a man, I had to be strong for my sister.     "I pray we would be allowed to stay with Uncle Segun if we have to leave the house, at least I'd get to play video games with Sesan." I said in reply.           I guess God wasn't answering prayers at the time. The final decision had been taken and we were going to move to Aunty Tolani's house, our house was to be locked up until they took a decision on what to do with it. We were to pack our things and get ready to leave the following day.         I remember Uncle Segun didn't look happy as he left after the meeting. As we walked him to the car, he promised to call and visit us often enough and also...

READ EPISODE 1 HERE     "Baby, will I see you tomorrow?, I'm missing you already".     "I'd call you, I have to go now, I'm running late for my meeting" I held out the envelope of money to her and waited impatiently while she touched up her face. I leaned back as she tried to lean in for a kiss and faked a smile.       She was happy to take the envelope, I was happy to see her go.       I tried to find my way to the Ibeno beach, that's where the therapy session would be taking place today. Great choice by Yemi I must say. It had been a long week and an evening at the beach front was all I needed. It wasn't my first time in Uyo, but the first time I'd be staying longer than a weekend.       My name is Felix, I'm forty five years old and a Senior Manager at one of the top Consulting Firms in Nigeria. I am in Uyo on official duties and would be staying in town for about three months. I was having lunch at the Le Meridien Ibom Hotel the day I arrived, when I met Yemi and a group of other guys while we exchanged banter on the Premiership League. I got to find out he was a Therapist when we exchanged business cards.         Two nights later, I had brought Sharon to the restaurant to have dinner before taking her to my hotel room. We ran into Yemi and exchanged pleasantries. For the first time, I was conscious of the fact that I couldn't properly introduce Sharon to him as she wasn't my wife. I felt embarrassed and ashamed. I knew then I needed help. I called Yemi the following day and he was sensitive enough to have read through my shame the night before. He told me about a group therapy session he was putting together and that's how I got to be a part of it.       In my Bermuda shorts and crisp white shirt, I walked down the beach trying to locate the group and it didn't take long before I found them. Everyone looked a lot more relaxed than the first meeting. We had gotten to know a bit of ourselves even though we hadn't established the various reasons why we were there.             I took my spot on the floor beside Helen after saying hello to everyone and apologized for being late. I couldn't help but notice her shoes, a pair of  Valentino espadrilles. I had gotten my wife the same pair on my last trip to Italy.                 "I'm happy to have you guys here and I'm really excited about going through this journey with you. You all know my story and my deep struggles with drug addiction. If anyone had told me I'd make it out alive and sane, there's no way I'd have believed that, but look at me now, ten years and counting, free from the bondage of getting high. Like I always say, the first step to freedom is acknowledging that you need help. The fact that you made the decision on your own to be a part of this session has freed you from whatever you are going through."        I tried to listen as Yemi spoke but my mind wandered away to the early years of my life.         "Have you seen my mummy, I'm looking for my mummy" I cried as I walked around the compound asking everyone I came in contact with.       "You're looking for your mother, where else can she be na, ashawo wey leave pikin go dey freak with another woman husband." That was the response of one of our neighbors to me.       I was about seven years old at the time. My dad died when I was five years old, leaving me at the mercy of my wayward mother. I had heard over and over again how it was her promiscuity that led to the heart attack that killed him. I was an only child, so I practically grew up on my own.         I walked back quietly to the front entrance of our flat and sat out there while I tried to do my homework. I was hungry and needed to pee but had no access into the house. I slept off and it must have been over two hours as it was starting to get dark, when a Green Volvo car drove in. I got up slowly from the bench as I watched my mother shamelessly plant kisses on the neck of the man behind the wheels while he fondled her breasts and gave her an envelope.           I peed on myself.         *****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************           The beach front is supposed to be peaceful, serene and the perfect place to relax and let go of all your worries, but the memories I held of the beach were a complete opposite. I remember pain and tears, pain from the sting of the cane on my bare back, tears of hopelessness and the need to run far away from the people that were meant to protect me.         My name is Helen, I am forty five years old and a successful Fashion Designer. My designs have been to the runways of Paris, Milan, New York and London and grace the closets of top celebrities around the world, but not many people recognize me as the face behind my brand. I have a team who represents the brand at every show. Creating designs is my escape from the reality that is my life and so I put in my all into every piece of work I make. Fashion is my thing and not only do I create my designs, I dress the part in the most subtle ways.                   "Good for nothing girl, you can't amount to anything, are these the results your mates are bringing home?" I cried as my father threw my report sheet in my face.       "I'm just tired of this girl, see ehn Helen, you will not disgrace me in this house. Go and wear your shoes, let me take you to prophet for deliverance. You need it, three days with the blessed man...


      Following my experiences with Adeyinka, my lover at the factory when I worked at Foot Garden, my affair with Uncle Wale and my broken marriage, I had learnt not to put anything past anyone. People go through life in different ways and life just happens to happen. But growing older has made me understand that I am responsible for my choices.         I wouldn't say I was shocked when Rahmat announced her affair and intentions to get a divorce. She never really talked about her marriage, but I have always felt she was too intellectual to be in a polygamy setting and not with a crude man like Alhaji Abubakar. What surprised me was how she had managed to keep the affair a secret, but then again, I should be the least surprised, my affair with Uncle Wale still remains a secret.        


      We all knew Rahmat's decision to leave her husband wasn't going to be a walk in the park. I couldn't get over her announcement that afternoon at lunch with the girls. She didn't talk much about her marriage but I safely assumed she was happy. To think she had been having an affair for 2 years and she had been able to keep it so discreet, that was another level for me. I wonder who this guy was.         I was in a no judgement zone but it just made me question a lot about life and people and choices and my conclusion again remains, do what's best for you. Rahmat looked really beautiful in her full length dress. Abubakar left no stones unturned to make sure he did everything she'd want to have the best party ever. There were top government dignitaries and business moguls to share the day with her.      

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          *****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************         I had 'fallen in love' with Uncle Wale, every inch of me knew it wasn't right, I was dying on the inside of guilt. Simi and her mum, most especially her mum did not deserve this from me. I struggled. Every morning, while I prayed, I'd vow to end the affair, but it never happened. The moment I saw him, my resolve would disappear. He became everything to me and he was such a kind lover, understanding, patient, gentle, generous, funny, a sound board for all my crazy ideas.