Styling And Shoe Review

READ MISAN'S BACKSTORY HERE READ YEMI'S BACKSTORY HERE Being at Helen's birthday party and seeing how well everyone was doing gave me a certain kind of joy I couldn't quite explain. If I didn't have bills to pay and a family to take care of, therapy sessions is something I'd give for free. Everyone is going through something - fighting a demon, lost and confused, tired and about to give up. Everyone deserves redemption - 1st is the God factor and then comes an empathetic listening ear. It's been about 2 years since they all started their journey to healing and we have managed to stay together through it all. It's almost always difficult not to develop a bond with your clients even if it's just for the moment of therapy. For some reason, each one of them kept me close to their hearts and homes long after their sessions were over. I was especially happy for Helen who had shared with me about a month ago that she was pregnant. As I listened to her husband Alex make the toast that evening, I smiled, knowing that she deserved all the love and every word used to describe her. Getting married and starting a family had always been my desire but I also knew I wanted to do it the right way and most importantly with the right person. I had dated a handful of women in my adult years but none of them connected with me on the level I would have wanted. I found that most of them were only desperate for the ring and the title that came with being married. The live band was now playing and as I watched Misan sway to the rhythm of the music, my mind wandered through the events of the past year. "Yemi, will my life ever be the same again?.She asked as she sobbed, her chest heaving. What is this evil spirit that wants to destroy me? Tonia was the only one person I truly bonded with and loved genuinely outside my immediate family. Now I have completely ruined that bond, will she ever forgive me? How will I be able to look at that boy in the face? I just want to die, I can't live with this shame, I cannot" It was one of our therapy sessions. Misan's story had gotten to me a lot, I felt so much compassion for her and I knew it would take a lot to take her through all the phases of her situation and help her overcome them, but I was ready to go all the way. "Hey Misan", I said as I tried to calm her down. "I'm glad you have been able to acknowledge and accept that there is a problem and you are willing and ready to take responsibility and face the consequences of your actions. We're going to win this together, I promise you." I said as I stretched out my arm making a fist with my hand for a fist bump. I continued "First, I need you to forgive yourself. Yes, you have messed up and in as much as most of what you did is tied to your experience with Mike, it is no justification for your actions. And now that you are determined to leave that dark place, you need to forgive yourself, forgive Mike and then move on". I paused again. "Do you have any idea where he is?" I asked searching her face. She looked exhausted, my heart ached seeing her like that. "It's been years and I intentionally blocked out all memories of him or anything that will bring me in contact with him. The hurt cut too deep and all I wanted was to bury it" She answered. "I understand that, but most times, burying our issues without addressing them is a recipe for emotional damage" I said, "however it's not too late. It's okay if you wouldn't want to see him again, I would give you an assignment that will help you confront the experience, release it and truly forgive him. Are you game?" She nodded slowly. I put her through some mental and emotional activities for the next couple of weeks, and week after week, we'd meet to have a review before moving on to the next task. I got her to track down all the boys she had been involved with right before Kevin and fortunately, they were all within reach and willing to come to therapy. I had free one on one therapy sessions with each of them and after a few sessions, I was confident enough that they were ready to face the world without becoming predators or still being preyed on. Misan wanted me to follow up on them even after their sessions for the next few years and I promised her I would. It was a liberating experience for me and it pleased me even more seeing the freedom she got from it. Over time and through the course of therapy, I had grown very fond of Misan. I liked her from the very day we met but it was a feeling I dismissed immediately, making sure to keep things professional. She was caring, she was kind, she was witty and very intelligent. With us spending a lot of time together, I could no longer deny the feelings I had developed, but I was careful enough not to allow it get in the way of my work. I didn't want to take advantage of her vulnerability but I knew I wanted to marry her. ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************ I had never been so anxious in my entire life. The day I had been dreading for so long had come and I couldn't put myself together. I was a nervous wreck. Yemi kept assuring me that everything will be okay but I didn't understand how. I was about to meet with the woman who called me best friend and sister from another mother, the woman whose trust I had betrayed, the woman who caught me in bed with her teenage...

READ FELIX'S BACKSTORY HERE "So Felix, all of these is a result of assumptions. You have no proof, you have no evidence. You are acting off of one text message you saw over a year ago. Did you at anytime ask your wife about that text?", Yemi asked, as we sat at a corner of the room in the jazz club."I wasn't ready for a confrontation. But tell me, what else could it be Yemi? What else? I remember the content of that text message so clearly. The guy, man, sender, whatever (I gesticulated with a wave of my right hand), had sent her money. Money she obviously requested for. He mentioned he had enjoyed her company and would love to see her again. He even offered to send more money if she needed more. Why would a man be sending money to Moji if he wasn't sleeping with her? Yemi sat back and kept his eyes fixed on me. I knew he could tell I was struggling with my thoughts. I knew he could tell I did not believe my thoughts. He remained quiet for a few more minutes and asked. "Do you trust Moji? Before that text message, for all the years you've known her, has she ever given you any reason to think of her as the type of woman that would have an affair for money or any other reason for that matter? " I looked down as I circled my right index finger around the rim of my brandy glass. That was a question I had asked myself many times over. "To be honest man, no. Not in a million years would I ever think she would cheat on me and that is why I couldn't get over that message. It was too much for me to process and then deal with. But if it was work related, she would have mentioned it, wouldn't she?" I asked him, hoping he'd understand my line of thinking. "I want you to be very honest in answering this question Felix. Does this have anything to do with your mum and how she treated your dad?" He waited for me to respond. My face tightened and my brows creased into a frown."I don't know Yemi, I don't. I mean, how different are the situations? With everything my dad did and sacrificed for that woman, she would still sleep around for money. Isn't that what women are about?. Look at the ones I had these flings with, all about the money, each and everyone of them, searching for the highest bidder" I answered, tired and frustrated. Talking about the whole situation was dragging me in many directions and that still voice kept telling me I had let things get out of hand. "I know you love your wife and you want your marriage back to what it used to be. But first, you have to let go of all the assumptions that have clouded your reasoning. You are going to have a conversation with Moji, a conversation you guys should have had months ago before things got this bad. Are you ready for this?" Yemi asked. "Yes I am", I answered with a deep sigh. I was nervous, anxious and worried. One thing about me that everyone complimented me for was my ability to always appear well put together and in control of everything around me. But today, it was different, I was a mess, vulnerable to the core. I was determined to get through to the end of this and I was glad that I had Yemi to go through it with me. Right after our session, I tried to set up a date with Moji. She would not take my calls or respond to my messages. I had no idea where she had gone to with our kids and it took the help of her best friend to get across to her. She finally agreed to meet me for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. I got up from my seat as I saw her walk in. She looked so beautiful with her hair up in a bun, just the way I liked it, very minimal make up and soft pink lipstick. She was wearing a white bardot blouse and white shorts that accentuated her curves without looking indecent. I pulled out a seat for her. "Thanks for showing up Moji, you look beautiful" I said, my eyes fixed on her. "You didn't leave me any choice. Why are we here Felix?" She asked. I was a nervous wreck, I didn't know where and how to begin. "Things have not been okay between us. I know I messed up, I know I shut you out and I have been an asshole, the one I promised I wouldn't be to you. Listen Moji, I am sorry, I am sorry for...

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...

READ EPISODE 5 HERE

 

"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...

READ PREVIOUS EPISODE HERE

      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.