Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year 2013 Giveaway Hop

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Happy New Year! It is now 2013 for most people who are reading this. Timewise, I live somewhere close to the back of the world, so we have a few more hours to go. Still I'd like to wish everyone a happy, prosperous and productive 2013. I published a book in 2009 and in 2011, so the new year calls my name for a new book. I look forward to meeting that promise :)

In the meantime, you can enter my giveaway for my first two books, A Heart to Mend and A Love Rekindled. Two winners will get their choice of either book. Enter via the rafflecopter form below. Goodluck!

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Alero Roberts on Marriage - Marry your Friend

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Being a doctor, wife, mother, teacher, relationship expert and columnist with Genevieve magazine, Dr Alero proves that love, understanding, patience and wisdom are the basics for maintaining a good marriage.

Definition of Marriage: For me, marriage is exactly what the Manufacturer planned it to be: there’s the man and then the wife, who is designed to be a ‘help-mate’ for the man she marries. Think of the head and neck relationship; he’s the head and she’s the neck, separate yet inseparable, distinctly different and yet inextricably intertwined. He’s the leader but she gives him permission to lead and shows him where to lead.

How they Met: I met my husband Dr Seyi Roberts in ward A2 at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) on the morning of Monday, 8th of November, 1982. It was a consultant’s ward round and it was my first day of Neurology posting. He was a senior registrar just returned from his year’s training in Harvard. It was sparks all the way! I thought he was an over-rated, arrogant, bumptious creep and he thought I was a little miss ‘know-it-all’, too big for my boots!

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Movie Review - The Hobbit (An Unexpected Journey)

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Far over
The misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep
And caverns old...

Atala - Thus begin the lyrics to the Song of the Misty Mountain, a song which recurs throughout "The Hobbit", the subject movie of this review. And I have to say that if I had to choose a song to fit the movie, I couldn't have chosen better than this. It's a deep, soulful and haunting tune which evokes scenes of epic adventure full of perils and drama.

And there are certainly perils and drama aplenty in this film, as Bilbo Baggins, the eponymous hobbit, Gandalf the wizard and a company of dwarves go on an adventure to reclaim the dwarves' lost kingdom.

I was somewhat apprehensive about going to watch this; a few months ago, I had watched a Lord of the Rings trilogy of films in a marathon session, and I came away with a headache.

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Blogger Wedding - Chizy Marries Playboy

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Chizy is the blogger behind Chizy's Spyware, and on the 22nd of December 2012 at the Chapel Of Christ The Light, Alausa Ikeja, Lagos, she got married to musician and rapper, Playboy. According to her blog, "The ceremony was a combination of a historic church, a swanky reception and the most important element of all – a couple in love!"

I wish them more love and every blessing that comes with marriage. Some pictures from the wedding below.

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Unrequited Love - Let's call it The Friend Zone

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When I come across instances of unrequited love, I feel a small pinch in my emotions, or a mighty big pinch depending on who's telling the story. That's because even though true love has healed my heart I have felt that pinch in a personal way, mostly during my adolescent years of secret crushes.

You see a guy you like, you get to know them and they like you too. You begin to want to think yourself in love with them, but wait for it, they love someone already. You're like, shoot me now. Yeah, I know that's a bit dramatic, right?

Blame Les Miserables, the movie musical that came out Christmas day with Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway among others. There are several strands of stories in the movie, but this is not a review (which is coming soon btw), so I'm only going to talk about one of them - a love triangle with some characters.

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Blogger Proposal - Verastic Gets her Man

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So next to Bellanaija, when she was still a blog, the next blogger I knew was Vera. Her veratic blog was shared on a Nigerian community message board, and her articles too. I liked her voice and followed her blog when she mentioned she was also an aspiring writer. When I started blogging, she was also among the first to follow and encourage me. Since then, I've got to know her, speak to her on the phone and hope to meet her one day.

Now, if you've read a few of her older blogs, you'll know Vera is a romantic. If she's not talking about relationships and how she wants everyone to get it right, she's writing about meeting the man of her dreams. So I am very happy for her that she has met the awesome guy who - as is obvious from her writings, and speaking to her too - makes her heart sing.

Igwe, as she calls him, has put a ring on it and Vera decided to share some of the pictures on her blog for us friends and blogggers to see. I wish them more joy and blessings in their union. Enjoy pictures and video below...

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Season's Greetings with our Christmas Card

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Thank you all so much for this year. We're wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year in advance. Be safe and have fun.

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Betty Irabor on Marriage - It takes Two

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Being the Editor-in-chief of one of the largest selling magazines in Nigeria isn’t Betty’s greatest achievement; nabbing one of the best men in the world, giving him children and keeping her family together is.

On her Wedding Day: My wedding day was the happiest day of my life! All my sisters and friends were around to assist me in planning; it was a lot of fun. Thinking about it now, I remember feeling a bit of the wedding jitters, mostly because I was told one of Soni’s ex girls was planning to ‘storm’ the wedding; she ended up not showing up and it turned out to be the very perfect day.

Funnily enough, my wedding dress gave me a headache because the blouse just did not sit right. It had a funny shape and people kept adjusting it for me but I kept telling them it was the style. It cost me less than N30,000 which included shoes, bag and other extras. I no longer have it, but Sonia my daughter, would not have appreciated it if I passed it to her anyway.

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Date Night Movie Review - Lincoln

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Atala - I'm a fan of historical movies - I feel they are a great way to spark one's interest in the events of another time while being entertained at the same time (although if you're really interested in history, you probably will want to do your own research to roughen up the smoothed-out Hollywood storylines). With this said, I was very keen on going to watch Lincoln, even though I understood that the film wasn't a full blown biography, but would just cover the first few months of 1865.

I glad to say that I came away learning about an interesting sliver of history that I hadn't been aware of before. In a nutshell, even though Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Act prohibiting slavery two years earlier, he still needed to get an amendment to the constitution ratified by the House of Congress so that slavery's illegality would be made permanent.

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas here

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Let it Snow

Our Christmas tree went up yesterday after it was obvious the world was not going to end and we would all live to see December 25...just joking. Anyway, those following me on instagram would have seen the tree. However, we had gone for the symbolic lighting of the tree in a neighboring city weeks ago, which was when Christmas started around these parts. Shopping went into high gear and decorations and lights went up around the city center.

I chose for us to forego the lighting ceremony in our city and go for the neighboring one cos theirs had more adventure. While the highlight remained the lighting of the tree, following it was something called a Luminary Walk along a River Bank. I was sold.

I put on my parka and boots and prepared for a tramp through the dark woods. What it turned out to be was an almost magical walk along a trail lined with hundreds of luminaries - little paper lanterns placed in a row on the pathway. There were carolers, drum tattoo, and amazing decorations and light displays.

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Friday, December 21, 2012

The Magic of Marriage by Nena Ndioma

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The Sunday School topic at church yesterday centered on marriage. As the lesson progressed in the young adults class, I could see the longing in the young people’s eyes for an uncomplicated answer, an easy way toward ensuring they ended up with the right life partner – one who would ensure they maintained a joyful married life; one who would be there for the long-haul.

I explained that the solution lies in a combination of prayer and practicality. Prayer for God’s guidance and wisdom is essential, but after praying, you have to do your due diligence, using the wisdom He has given. You have to accept the guidance that He makes available (by not ignoring the red flags He shows you because you’re too much ‘in love’; by being open to listen to the impressions of others that have loved you and known you much longer than your suitor has, etc.).

Ultimately, you have to know how God speaks to you way before marriage – and you have to listen to what He impresses upon you when marriage time comes around – rather than ignore His voice and assume everything will turn out okay just because you ‘prayed’ and just because you’re a Christian.

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mid-Winters Eve Blog Hop Giveaway

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As this year winds to a close, I want to use this opportunity to thank all the subscribers and regular visitors to this blog. You guys have been awesome, leaving comments, sending emails, and being very very supportive.

In my giveaway, 3 lucky people will each win a $10 Amazon Gift Card (US, UK and Canada). To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter Form below. There are 4 entries, and you must leave a comment on this post to qualify.

Good luck and Happy Holidays!

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10 Women and 10 Questions on Relationships

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Djinee is one of the Nigerian musicians who has been around for a while but not really getting as much attention as the Wizkids of the day. I liked his debut Ego when I was still back in Nigeria and got to know he has some new singles out as well as a website. One of the singles is titled Lover's Rock and in the spirit of the song, Djinee decided to field 10 different questions on dating and love from 10 women. The questions are wide ranging and the answers, IMO, mostly on point. Different strokes indeed, enjoy

Susan: what was the lesson you learnt from your last relationship?

Djinee: To be less protective. With my last relationship I was too protective. Worried about her safety. Probably I was too obsessed. So I learnt to give some space.

Jemila: what do men want in a woman?

Djinee: Different men, different desires. Some men want trophy girlfriends/wives. The beautiful, model look-alike who they can show off to friends like a new car. Some men look out for women to complement them, good cooks, good lovers, good listeners… Different strokes for different folks.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Spaghetti and Tomato Sauce with Green Lima Beans

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Spaghetti and Tomato sauce is a regular in these parts but the Green Lima Beans addition was a first recently. Frozen vegetables were on a half-price sale at the store so I decided to pick a few new ones I had never tried before, one of those was green Lima beans. I wasn't too sure how it would turn out, so on the day I tried it, I decided to use it as a side to a more familiar meal.

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Bachelorette Ashley and JP's December Wedding

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Ashley Hebert and J.P. Rosenbaum are the third couple from The Bachelor series to ever walk down the aisle, and I am so happy for them! I was rooting for JP from like the final four during their season and so it was so heart-warming to know they would get married.

I finally had the chance to watch their wedding which was televised last Sunday on the ABC website and it was beautiful. The gown, the preparations, everything was just looking great. Most importantly, the couple looked so happy and were smiling all through.

Who remembers that they had a fake wedding shoot during their show? I sure did, and I found me a screenshot. It's funny but for Ashley's hair, the look almost the same. In fact JP has on the exact outfit - a traditional black tuxedo and bowtie. Maybe Ashley knew he was THE ONE even back then? They are just so cute...

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dear Myne - Am I Expecting too much from Him?

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...I have been communicating with some guy for about 6 months, we live in different cities, he has almost all the qualities i listed above and is 6'3 :). The truth is i have come to like him a lot and i think that is why it is hurting me now. While he calls, send me mails, would run errands for me (online), send romantic songs and all that, he is yet to ask me out. He says he is scared of women and doesn't want to commit until he is sure he is being led to marry this person.

The truth is i never had an expectation in my relationships. I grew up not expecting anything from anyone and try to give so much. I probably felt being with me was just enough, hence i hooked up with people that were lovely in their own way but totally wrong for me. Even though i walked in without an expectation, i soon get hurt by their actions, they not understanding me and feeling abused because my emotions was not in the kissing and stuffs.

At this stage, i will say i have learnt to be my own woman and i will love a good cerebral man, that can communicate his feelings and frustrations, love God.. read spirit filled, Loves me, from a great family ( am an orphan) and hardworking ( young and up mobile) and Tall! because i am almost 6ft in my socks ... Everything else is negotiable.

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Holiday Deals on Fekkai Hair Care Products

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When I was contacted by BlogHer to check out the various options available, my eyes immediately went to the Essential Shea family. And sure enough, it is a line meant specifically for African and African American hair. It's no secret that our hair is usually more dry than usual, and can break easily whether natural or chemically straightened if it lacks adequate moisture.

The hair care collection from Frédéric Fekkai was first introduced in 1995 and it was originally developed to meet the particular needs of different hair types. Frédéric Fekkai is a renowned style-maker and one of the most celebrated names in beauty and hair styling. In addition to providing exceptional professional results, Fekkai products feature luxurious textures and invigorating scents.

The hair care line is divided into regimen “families”, including: Advanced Care, Color Care, Curl Care Glossing, Repair, Styling and Styling Tools. Before his products are marketed to the public, Frédéric and his staff personally test every formula in his world-renowned Frédéric Fekkai Salon to ensure the highest quality and performance.

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Joke Silva on Marriage - The Man can be Vulnerable too

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Over the next few weeks as December wedding season progresses, I'll be running a series first featured on Genevieve Magazine about three friends, three weddings and three marriages of 20+ years. I'll start off with Joke Silva, that doyen of the Nigerian movie industry, and her husband, actor, Olu Jacobs.

The Proposal: Olu and I dated for a couple of years before we got married. I remember he proposed when we went for dinner and a Greek meal was served. I think he got the people in the restaurant involved in the whole arrangement; oh…it was just so romantic! He was living in England at the time though, so that was their custom and he was used to it.

The first years of the relationship: When I first met Olu, he was this dashing guy. He was just such incredible fun! We got along very well. I didn’t even know his age; I thought maybe he was in his late twenties, early thirties. I screamed when I found out his age. He was 39 and I was 20! Well, eventually it was my mum who gave me the go ahead because she saw how serious I was with him and hadn’t seen me that serious with anyone. My dad was worried about the age difference but my mum was able to make him see reasons. She also had the background of her mum being much younger than her dad and didn’t really see a problem with it. She felt it was something I could handle.


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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Date Night Movie Review - Silver Linings Playbook

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Myne and I were reviewing the movies that we'd watched since the start of 2012, and we realised that there weren't that many comedies in the list. There's a reason - we like comedies where the humour is sharp, intelligent and natural, but unfortunately, there haven't been that many of those kinds of comedies.

So when I heard that one; Silver Linings Playbook had received rave reviews at the Toronto International Film Festival, and two, it was a comedy, I immediately put it on my must-watch list, and when it came out, we went to watch it.

It turns out that there was a difference between what I expected and what I got. I had been expecting a more hilarious movie - maybe like a comedy of errors. But it turned out more to be a moving drama with many humorous moments, which was a difference that I didn't mind.

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Top 10 Sexiest Nigerian Bachelors by Emeh Achanga

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OK, I didn’t say eligible, I said sexy. This list is a compilation gathered from people’s opinion poll, twitter,facebook, and blogs. My sexiest bachelors are handsome , appealing, friendly, generous ,rich and of course, sexy. You might not agree with this list but If you look closely, you will realize that they are sexy indeed. These are men who are in relationships, single or snatchable. lol. So ladies, fasten your seatbelt, put on some heels, throw on that sexy LBD, as we enter the race of SEXIEST NIGERIAN BACHELORS.

10: UTI NWACHUKWU


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Friday, December 14, 2012

20 Children Dead in Connecticut School Shooting

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You think you've seen the worst that can happen, and then a day like this comes and breaks your heart all over again. Just last week in our backyard (Portland in neighboring state, Oregon), a gunman killed two people and then himself at a shopping mall. Today, the violence is targeted at children, while they were in school, and all these just a few weeks, days to Christmas. What is really going on?

NEWTOWN, Connecticut (Reuters) - A heavily armed gunman opened fire at a Connecticut elementary school on Friday, killing 26 people including 20 children in the latest in a series of shooting rampages across the United States this year, U.S. media reported.

The gunman was dead inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, state police Lieutenant Paul Vance told a news conference.

Vance said there were 28 deaths in Connecticut - 20 children and seven adults from the school and another person connected to the suspect at a house in Newtown. The total included the shooter, who media said was a 24-year-old man. The New York Times reported that the gunman killed himself at the scene.

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50 Ways to Love and to Romance your Partner

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The top "how to" search in the United States is How to Love and, according to the recently released Google Zeitgeist, the top search is the same for Nigeria too, where the #2 is "How to Romance". Below is a list of 50 practical and inexpensive ways to show love to the one you're with, and be romantic.

Romance Meets Life - L is for Love

1. Write "I love you" in the steam on the bathroom mirror after he takes a shower.

2. Offer a back massage with some good smelling lotion.

3. Write a poem. Then use Google Translator to translate a poem into either French or Italian. Then handwrite it out with the translation on the back side. Or better yet, greet your partner at night and read it to them with passion and then hand them the translation.

4. While in public, declare "I love you, Matilda!" (not Matilda, but your partner's name.)

5. Make a CD with a few songs that are meaningful to your relationship.

Romance Meets Life - How to Show Nigerian Love

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Prank Call Gone Wrong: DJs Respond to Nurse's Death

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It was a shock to hear last week that one of the nurses who answered the phone when two Australian DJs made a prank call was dead, and had committed suicide. The DJs, pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles called the private hospital where Kate Middleton was admitted for morning sickness to get some laughs for their readers. No one could have foreseen it would end this way.

From what I can tell from news reports, the nurse who killed herself, Jacintha Saldanha, was the receptionist who picked the call, and then actually transferred them to someone on the ward. I listened to the call myself and she did not say more than a couple of sentences. I found it difficult to make the stretch from the prank call to the apparent suicide for a wife and mother of two teenagers.

To be honest though, I don't know her, and I don't know what she may have been going through even before the prank call, maybe the prank and the backlash she expected from family, friends, her employers and the general public became too much, the final straw that broke the proverbial camel's back. As might be expected, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, the two Australian DJs behind the hoax, are totally broken up as seen in a recent interview.

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Permission from my Mother by Nena Ndioma

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Few African mothers (bless their hearts) will ever encourage their daughter’s divorce. Mine is no different.

I’ve never had a particularly easy relationship with my mother. Now that I look back, I can see that this partly stems from the fact that while I’m a ‘born’ communicator, my mother’s communication style is pretty indirect, and therefore difficult to decipher. Understandably, our communication styles clashed too often for us to get along terribly well while I was growing up. With the passage of time, we’ve gotten better at communicating – or, rather, at accepting that we communicate differently, and at (sort of) trying to meet each other half-way.

I broke the news of my divorce plans to my mother gently, but clearly and directly. I broke the news over a period of weeks, repeating the same message several times to give her time to absorb and make peace with it. Each time, in her characteristic communication style, she shrugged it off like an uncomfortable shawl, nervously laughed a little as if to help take away the sting of the unpalatable message, assured me breezily that the marital situation would get better … and then changed the subject.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My Unrelaxed Hair Journey So Far

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From the early days of the Big Chop when I wrote this first post about my haircut back in April of last year.

I had a hair accident in March after I removed some weaves, and this led to the worst hair tangling known to man. The only solution? Cut it all off. Well, I'm comforted knowing my hair grows quickly. With time I'll share more with you guys about the hair journey.


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Crazy for Cowboy by Roxy Boroughs

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Synopsis/Blurb: She’s through with cowboys. But this one’s the ‘reel’ deal.

Equine veterinarian, Emily Grant, has had her share of cowboys, and they always break her heart. After vowing to give them up forever, Brandon Hollister strides into her life.

He’s a different kind of cowboy, one that works on the silver screen. But is he just playing the part when it comes to love? Or can this sexy hunk get past a case of mistaken identity to become the man to win Emily’s heart.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Dear Myne - How can I get my Husband to love Kissing?

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Please how can i get my husband to love kissing and engage in it. I love kissing and its one thing that turns me on for love making. I practically compels him to kiss me every time and we only manage to lip-lock for about 30 secs or less. We've talked about it several times through the years( been married for 11+ yrs) and no improvement. No amount of touching lubricates me like kissing.

Once in a while he succumbs, and it brings me on and we have a very good love making. Can i really do anything about it or is it absolutely an african thing of our men not liking kissing? Am talking about kissing in the privacy of our room. Thanks

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How I make Egusi Soup with Spinach

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Egusi soup is one of my favorite soups and I usually have it in the freezer after making a big pot. Sometimes I have to wait for a trip to the African store in order to make it, or I use what I have at home. Of course the basics have to be there, like the egusi itself, but most of the other ingredients can be improvised. This particular recipe is quite simple and traditional, as you'll see.

I cook two types of Egusi, one with bitterleaf and with the egusi boiled in the meat stock, and the other type with a more bland vegetable - ugu, kale, spinach, waterleaf - and I fry the egusi in the oil I'm using. This difference in preparation makes for a change in taste, flavor and texture and I love the versatility it gives me. Below is my recipe for the Spinach Egusi Soup.

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Is Kissing Part of the African Culture of Love?

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After watching a Nollywood movie recently, I was wondering about Nigerians and kissing. Is kissing part of Nigerian or African culture? I didn't have to think too far to know the partial answer to that. After writing "you may kiss the bride" into our wedding program - and getting the approval of the officiating priest - the Bishop who handled the vows refused to say it. He was using the booklet o, but when he got to that part, he said "not on his watch" and skipped the lines. I was so mad. Can you feel that I'm still beefing? LOL...

Anyway, no one needs to tell me that some Nigerians, and not just the older ones, are not cool with kissing. I  remember also when I had to meet Atala at the Lagos airport once and jumped into his arms for a kiss when he came out. Most people were like hey, stop, what is that, move on. And no, we were not blocking anyone. But there is the question, is it the kissing that they aren't used to, or the public nature of it?

I decided to make Google search my friend, thinking of a little debate after Kiru Taye's first historical romance was published and a Nigerian reviewer felt the love scenes were probably unrealistic. But the question remains, who really knows? These things were not documented as far as I know.

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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Hope Springs review and Blu-ray Giveaway

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Hope Springs was billed as a comedy that tackles issues of marriage, and seeing that the main actors, Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones are favorites of ours, we decided to go see it. The movie, which is out on DVD and Blu-ray this week, turned out to be more serious, a mixture of comedy and drama and a very touching one at that.

Kay (Meryl Streep) and Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) are a devoted couple, but decades of marriage have left Kay wanting to spice things up and reconnect with her husband. When she hears of a renowned couple's specialist (Steve Carell) in the small town of Great Hope Springs, ME, she attempts to persuade her skeptical husband, a steadfast man of routine, to get on a plane for a week of marriage therapy.

Just convincing the stubborn Arnold to go on the retreat is hard enough—the real challenge for both of them comes as they shed their bedroom hang-ups and try to rekindle the spark that caused them to fall for each other in the first place.

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ASA - The Way I Feel | Music Video Romance

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This is from the "BEAUTIFUL IMPERFECTION" album which I have and listen to quite often. I really don't think this is the best video for the song though it makes sense in a quirky way. Still, it's not bad. Tell me what you think.

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Date Night Movie Review - Life of Pi

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Atala - I had read the book of the same name by Yann Martell many years ago, and I remember enjoying the first half of the book, while feeling the second half lacked the same compelling narrative. Still, I remembered so little of the story that I felt that there was nothing to be lost by going again to see the movie. Perhaps Hollywood would work some magic to make the story more palatable.

As it turned out, the film follows the novel quite closely. It's primarily about a Piscine "Pi" Patel, young man who is shipwrecked while he and his family are sailing from India to Canada with a collection of animals from the zoo that they owned in India, with the events narrated by Pi (now grown up) to a writer.

It starts with a very tender and sometimes amusing description of his life in India, and goes on to describe how, when the ship is wrecked, he is the only human survivor, as every one else perishes in the sea. Well, yes - Pi is the only human survivor, but not the only survivor. Floating along with him in his lifeboat are a hyena, an orangutan - and arguably the deuteragonist of the story, a Bengal tiger with improbable name of Richard Parker.

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Some Wedding Magazine Covers I'm Liking

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The handsome and dapper actor/TV presenter, Chris Attoh is on the cover of WED Magazine's latest edition - The Dress Issue - along with Entrepreneur/TV personality/ex model, Isio Wanogho.

Donning a white ball gown with a sweet heart neckline accessorized with diamond earrings and a colorful bouquet, Isio Wanogho smiles on with Chris Attoh, dapper in a black suit with a fuchsia bow-tie on the cover of the new issue. Inside the pages of the magazine, the two personalities who are also entrepreneurs according to the mag, strike different poses in more outfits.

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RWoWA Make a Christmas Wish Giveaway

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Hello, friends of RWoWA. Running from December 7 to 13, we have a few goodies for you that we hope will fulfil your Christmas wishes. Here are what we have on offer and how to win them:

First Prize: A $10 AMAZON GIFT CARD offered by romance author, Kiru Taye. Check out her latest contemporary holiday romance, ISLAND BOUND out this December.

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Omotola Jalade on Love, Marriage, and Parenting

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Unquestionably, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde is a superstar. She's an actress, mother, wife, businesswoman, activist and philanthropist. One of the first movies I saw her in was Mortal Inheritance where she made me cry, and she went in to steal the show in others like Abused and Scores to Settle.

I was not so impressed when I saw her as I started Beyonce and Rihanna, which I didn't finish, but then I saw how she had improved in Ties that Bind and I was a fan again. Now, I'm looking forward to seeing her in Ije and Last Flight to Abuja.

Recently, the press has been on about an up close and exclusive look at Omotola's personal life in a new reality series OMOTOLA: THE REAL ME! According to the PR; "Audiences will join the famous actress as she launches her latest movies, expands her business interests and takes on all the challenges of being a ground-breaking celebrity with fans across the continent. At the same time she remains devoted to her marriage and her family, working to maintain a balance between her professional and personal responsibilities."

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Previously on 'Scandal' - #WhoShotFitz

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Who else is following this show? Last week's episode of Scandal ended on a shocking scene of the president Fitz Grant being shot while attending his birthday dinner. Immediately, ABC launched a #WhoShotFitz campaign on Twitter exploring the theories and questions behind this storyline.

I have joined the hashtag #WhoShotFitz and have been following the tweets of the cast and other fans in anticipation of this week's episode, "Happy Birthday, Mr. President,"

According to the promos, in today's episode, Olivia returns to work at the White House to manage the catastrophic crisis, and we learn more about the first few days of Fitz's presidency through her flashbacks. Check out the videos below. I tell you, no one writes love and sex like Shonda Rhimes

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Same-sex Marriage Licenses granted in Washington State

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At the elections last month, Washington state where we live made history as one of three U.S. states where same-sex couples were by popular vote, granted the right to get married. The law that legalized same-sex marriage took effect by midnight today, and from the news, gay and lesbian couples eager to exchange vows have been lining up the marriage licensing offices since yesterday.

It was back in May this year that President Obama in an interview made comments supporting same-sex marriage. Some were outraged and others happy. I am all for equal rights for everyone though I admit that on the gay marriage issue, my thoughts are still evolving.

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Soul Mates and Second Bests

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I'm sure most of you are familiar with the concept of soul mates - two people who, across the vast expanses of space and time, meet, fall in love and spend the rest of their lives together. They are united in love especially because for each one, the other is the most special person in the universe.

It's a very captivating idea, especially because most people want to feel that they are the most important person to someone else. So it's no surprise that it's an idea that has sold a ton of songs, books and movies.

Now I think it would be great if the only couples who ever got together were soul mates. But in reality, not everyone gets to meet someone who thinks they are that most special person. Sometimes, they're in the wrong place, or they're searching at the wrong time. Sometimes, they're just too different from anyone else to find the person who will love them right back.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

In Memory: Enebeli Elebuwa’s 2012 Movie “Save Our Soul” now Free on iRokotv

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Enebeli Elebuwa was a great actor, one of the first remarkable ones out of nollywood, and one that has stood the test of time. It was obvious acting was his passion, and even in sickness and in health, he continued to practice his chosen profession. Enebeli Elebuwa has featured in more than 100 movies, many of them on iROKOtv, some include; Ona Lojin, Save Our Souls, Heart of A Fighter, Last Dance, Private Husband,The Billionaire and The King and I.

Many people are saddened by the death of this veteran actor, and Enebeli's memory lives on in our hearts, and in the hearts of Nollywood fans who have had so much to say about him on the iROKOtv Facebook page. Rest in Peace Enebeli Elebuwa

In memory of his death, iROKOtv is making “Save Our Souls” featuring Enebeli Elebuwa, Kenneth Okonkwo,Oby Edozie and Segun Arinze, FREE. The movie tells the story of four Nigerians from different walks of life, each of them has been recently diagnosed with advanced cancer and each copes with their diagnosis in a different way, from relying on religion, to turning to alcohol. Even in death, he lives us with a message in this movie; “Your Health is Important, always go for regular checkup".

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Water Carafe from Uncommon Goods - Review

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Christmas is around the corner and it is time some of us begin to wonder what gifts to buy for others, or even for ourselves. Recently, I took part in the UncommonGoods Product Review Program and requested for a couple of products, a drinks Carafe and an alphabet necklace.

First off, the site was easy to navigate and I was able to browse around and find what interested me. I was also impressed when they arrived within a couple of days of putting in my request. I was interested in doing the review because I was first intrigued by the name, Uncommon Goods, and when I checked out the website I liked the variety they offered to shoppers with the wide selection of both regular and quirky gifts.

There are products available for both children and adults, and even Atala for whom it is very difficult to find gifts liked several things on the site. So, while navigating the site was easy, selecting the gifts to request was quite difficult. Why? Because there are so many really good looking and interesting products to choose from.

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Book Blast - The Salacious Marny Ottwiler by Bridget Straub

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Book Information

Release Date: November 25, 2012
Genre: Contemporary/Chick Lit 
Formats: Paperback/Kindle

About the Author 

Bridget Straub is an author, artist and mom who has been writing for as long as she can remember. When she’s not blogging at bridgetstraub.com she is painting or spending time with her family. “The Salacious Marny Ottwiler” is Ms. Straub’s third novel. Also available, “On a Hot August Afternoon” and “Searching for My Wand”.

The Salacious Marny Ottwiler Synopsis

After several years of living life in the fast lane, bestselling novelist Marny Ottwiler vows to take control of the chaos that has invaded her everyday existence. This proves to be easier said than done. Over the next year she rides a roller coaster of experiences that are chronicled in hilarious detail. Follow along as she navigates through fame, family, friendships, and the writing of her next blockbuster series of books. Oh yeah, and the choice she has to make between two loves.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Kate Henshaw on Domestic Violence and Divorce

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Domestic Violence and Divorce are hot button topics in relationships and marriage discussions among women, and often, many who face these issues keep silent for fear of being stigmatized. It is certainly not what most of us wish for, but sometimes they happen. Kate Henshaw (Actress and TV Show Judge) says in a recent interview, that when they do, a woman has to know that it's possible to "stand up, dust yourself and move on." Her thoughts...

As a woman, and also as a celebrity, what are your views on domestic violence?
My views are very strong. Anyone who knows me would know that I am in the forefront of anything concerning domestic violence. I am an ambassador for Project Alert. Domestic violence has been with us for long. It’s just that these days, there are more people who are not concerned with keeping quiet. Titi Arowolo is dead, there are so many other people who have died. People think that if you are working in a bank or if you’re some big woman, you can’t be a victim of domestic violence. That is a big lie. It occurs across all social levels.

I once read an interview where you mentioned you were a victim of domestic violence in a relationship.
(Laughs) I’m laughing now and I’m glad I can laugh. It’s good to be able to look back and laugh at your problems. Yes I was a victim of violence in a relationship and it wasn’t pleasant. So I can really understand where a lot of people are coming from. I didn’t have the strength to stand up and move on my own. I had to go on my knees and pray to God for help. Each time I tried to move on, there would be apologies, and I was afraid to step out and start a new relationship but I’m glad I’ve come through it and now I can help people in similar situations.

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Should You Get Back together with an Ex?

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When Taylor Swift was doing the TV rounds to promote her latest album Red, the single that she performed most often was the one above. She told the ladies on The View why she wrote the song from her experience with some exes who sometimes refused to remain in the past. She laughed a lot as she told the story and I could see where she was coming from, if the ex was a real cuckoo.

But what if the ex was one of those, the one that got away. Someone you thought was your soul mate until something happened to break you guys up. I have sometimes heard from friends and other women how they dream that some of their exes would come back one day and say they made a mistake and should never have let them go. My romantic heart actually wrote two exes back together in A Love Rekindled, lol. Below are some pros and cons of getting back with an ex...

Don't Take Them Back Because...

1. You Can Never Make It Like It Used to Be
Some relationships simply can't withstand that moment when the magic ends. No need to get back together and beat a dead horse.

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Recipe for Spicy Lentils with Spinach

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Lentils was one of the foods I discovered when I moved to the UK from Nigeria and faced the scarcity or exorbitant prices of Nigerian foods in Scotland. Lentils were available in the shops and the price was right. When I made it too, the taste was right. Lentils, I believe are Indian by origin and the best I ever ate was by an Indian friend with loads of curry. Since then, I also make mine with all the spices I keep around, just not too much.

Ingredients

1 bag lentils, picked and rinsed
3 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium sized Onion, chopped
2 or 3 large tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
2 cubes of maggi or knorr (optional)
I bag of frozen cut-leaf spinach leaves, thawed
Salt to taste

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Monday, December 3, 2012

The Fears of Marriage by Amma Twum-Baah

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It used to be that men were the ones who feared losing their independence to marriage. Today, a rising number of women are beginning to experience this fear as well. Blame it on women having more freedom and control over their own lives, but this fear is real as I found out in the many email responses I received when I posted the question on my Facebook page. While the reasons for this fear are common, they are also varied in terms of experiences and the perceived end results.

But despite this fear, many women still say they won’t think twice about making that proverbial trip down the aisle. Others are so scared that they have ruled out the idea of marriage altogether. Here are some of the reasons women gave for being afraid of marriage (in a follow up piece, I’ll tackle the relationship between these fears and the general misconceptions that exist about marriage):

I’m Afraid of Losing My Freedom: Ah, FREEDOM! Who doesn’t cherish freedom? Personally, I left home when I was 19 and moved to the United States to live the independent life. I lived with a family friend for about two years before branching out on my own. I’ve been on my own since. I’ve learned how to survive on my own and how to create and fix my own problems (I did a lot of that too – creating messes).

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Genevieve Graham - Sound of the Heart

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Genevieve Graham graduated from the University of Toronto in 1986 with a Bachelor of Music in Performance (playing oboe). While on a ski vacation in Alberta she met a really cute guy in the chairlift line-up and they skied together for two days. After the second day she decided she had to have him ... permanently. The couple (now husband and wife) subsequently moved to Calgary and brought two beautiful and talented daughters into the world. They have recently settled in a small, peaceful town in Nova Scotia and are loving their quiet life.

Writing became an essential part of Genevieve's life a few years ago, when she began to write her debut novel, "Under the Same Sky". Her second book, "Sound of the Heart" was released on May 1, 2012.

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Date Night Movie Review - Skyfall

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Atala - I'm not really a James Bond fan - that's more Myne's department - so I was very lukewarm about going to watch this. Still, I like to keep an open mind, as Myne's choices have turned out to be very rewarding experiences (e.g. Cloud Atlas, which I reviewed a while ago). So I went along with this, hoping I'd be charmed by the Bond magic.

The film opened with a thrilling chase as James Bond (played by Daniel Craig) is in hot pursuit of a man who has stolen a hard drive with information that could compromise the safety of MI6 agents, and it ends with him getting shot and apparently falling to his death. Unfortunately, for me, that was the high point of the film - while there were several other reasonably compelling action scenes later on, none of them came close in making my eyes pop open in astonishment.

In fact, I found the plot of the film rather weak - the villain of the piece is a disgruntled agent who wants revenge on Bond's superior, so he launches an elaborate plot involving computer hackery and subterranean tunnels. And the ending which - in the tradition of all thriller movies - should have ended in a titanic struggle between Bond and the villain was very flat and left me feeling "so that was it?"

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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Sarkodie ft Efya - Am In Love With You | Music Video Romance

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Sarkodie is a Ghanian rapper and I found this video while I was watching another one, No way by Becca and MI. One can easily hear the similarities between the two songs, and another thing that is encouraging is the quality of the song and the musicians - Efya is also a lovely vocalist. Enjoy...

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Her Knight by Hannah Onoguwe

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The streets had decongested as the day drew to a close and became more of a joy to drive through. It was a typical balmy night in Ibadan, but Eniola didn’t feel any of it as the air conditioning in the car licked over her skin. The air outside was undoubtedly warmer, and right now she was glad it was out there- beyond the cocoon she currently inhabited which smelled of fairly new rich leather and a combination of car deodorizers. The odor was a bit too overwhelming in delivery, she mused, but to each his own. The present company wasn’t much, either, but beggars couldn’t be choosers. At least the evening would soon come to an end. And she wouldn’t be too sorry, either.
When the Benz drew to a stop for no apparent reason, Eniola was surprised but not unduly alarmed. Giving Uncle Edwin an inquisitive look, she asked what the matter was. She hadn’t heard any strange noises and they were still a considerable distance from her house. Maybe he wanted to answer the call of nature- a call men seemed to answer wherever and whenever.
He had half-turned in his seat to face her, his square face relaxed in a smile. “Nothing. I just thought we could talk a bit.”
She tucked a strand of braided hair behind one ear. “We’ve been talking for a major part of the evening,” she said slowly.
“Yes, but there are one or two issues we’re yet to touch.”
Eniola’s heart sank. Did Nigerian men have to be so predictable?
“What issues?”
“Come on, Eniola. You’re not a child. You should know that I like you… I like you very much.”
Actually, she’d been hoping the interest she’d witnessed in his gaze on occasion had been a trick of the light. “So…what exactly are you saying?”

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Happy December and World AIDS Day

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Today, December 1, is the start of the last month of the year, the countdown to Christmas and also World AIDS Day. I want to congratulate everyone for coming this far, I can't believe the year is almost gone, I am very thankful too for health, and family, and love. And in the spirit of all that, I want to also commemorate the AIDS day by sharing some ways to help limit the spread of the virus.

1. Be Faithful, Abstain or Use Protection

For those who have a regular sex life, being faithful to one person if you're both HIV-. If you're not with someone you trust implicitly, please abstain from sex. If you must, condoms are still the only means to protect against HIV, STDs, and pregnancy. There are now female condoms as well as the male, so more options for everybody.

2. Get Tested and Know your Status

Back in Nigeria, some say AIDS no dey show for face, but that is because it is HIV first, with little to no symptons. It takes a while for the symptoms of the virus to show, so the only way to know your status for sure is to get tested. There are many free and/or voluntary counselling and testing centers around. Take the test, get your results and try to live a more responsible life - positive or negative.

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Is This For Real? Journey to the Altar Series

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Hello everyone, I'm starting a new series titled Journey to the Altar. Some of the brides and would-be brides, will share with us a brief snapshot of their journey to the altar. Our first contributor wants to remain anonymous, but that does not detract from her funny and heart warming story. Enjoy...

How did you meet your fiance?

Hmmm...I went to spend the weekend with my sister in school because I was so bored at home. She and a couple of her friends happened to be organizing a send forth for a friend of theirs so I tagged along. That evening, I got my hair done, did my nails...needless to say I was feeling like a fine girl. Being that I wear glasses, I dumped them for my contacts. Unfortunately, one lens dropped and I couldn't find it so I was left with just one 'working' eye because I refused to wear my glasses. Lol.

After getting ready we headed to Swé bar (only if my parents knew my whereabouts that night). Anyways we got there, I was having a very good time; I was high on power horse, I was very happy. In our group we were just generally enjoying ourselves and being a mess, next thing this guy comes to ask me to dance...I'm like err ok, when the guy was beginning to get in my space I practically ran away. *covers face*.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Rollercoasters of Life

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I remember as a child and my biggest test of my endurance would be writing my exams and waiting the couple of weeks or so for the results to come out. After a while, it wasn't even that nail-biting. After coming in the first ten most of primary school, you kind of begin to take it for granted that you will always excel.

And somehow, that has been true in most cases for me. I got one of the top scores in the common entrance exams and got admited to the best school in town, I got the highest score in my state to get into science school for my senior secondary, I was among the top three results in WAEC in my school and I got admission the same year. I was also the best graduating student from my department in university.

It wasn't all rosy though. Yes, I passed JAMB, but I didn't make the cut-off for my first choice which was to study medicine. I may have passed top of my class to graduate university, but I did not make First Class. It took me four years after graduating - after waiting for a scholarship that never came - to get a "good job". And another two years before I could begin my master's programme.

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