My Favorite Reads Giveaway Hop

AND THE WINNER IS ATOKE!

For this giveaway, I'll be turning it over to you and asking what your favorite reads are so far this year. The winner will receive a book of their choice up to $5 (including shipping) via Amazon or Book Depository. Entries close on June 6, and I'll announce the randomly selected winner within 48hrs and also send them an email.


To enter, leave a comment on this post in answer to the question, What's the best book you've read so far this year? Also include your email address unless I can contact you via your profile. Goodluck.

This giveaway hop is hosted by I Am a Reader Not a Writer and Rachelle's Writing Spot. Check the full list of participants below.

Lesson for Wives - How to be Submissive

I'm not going to say much as I believe the picture speaks loudly enough. Are you a woman, married, about to get married, or single? Have you been wondering how you can be submissive to your husband? Wonder no more! Just get under him, or should I say, allow him to sit on you. Beginning from your wedding day, of course!

 This is how to be submissive

I'm sure the witty readers will be able to caption this more aptly.

Disclaimer - OK, I'm just joking. I got this picture from a BB group's funny pictures. I don't know the couple or whether this picture is real :)

_________________

Myne Whitman - blogger, author, columnist, and founder of Naijastories.com.

Time Out - My Memorial Day Weekend in Pictures


With Monday being a work-free day for Memorial Day, it was a proper TGIF and a long weekend for us and we used it to unwind.

- On Saturday, we went to a friend's for a small get-together with great food, drinks, and very interesting company.


When did I last see Vita Malt? Not my favorite, though.

Loads of Naija music video including some new finds for me

New and old friends, awesome women!

The non-Nigerians were engrossed :)

- On Sunday, we went for a drive up a hill not too far from our place and the view at the top was worth it. Most of the houses in that area had wrap-around windows and you could see why. Then we found the perfect spot to take pictures. Atala has credit for that first pictures at the beginning of this post, I just love it.

No comment!

A street with a view

Simple serenity

Our city in the distance

wheeeeeeeee........

I love swings, I do

In touch with my inner child

- On Monday, we chilled out at home and watched a marathon of the TV show, Revenge . We missed a couple of episodes cos we were out and then decided to watch SVU on the rest of the days. But after the mind-blowing season finale on Revenge, I think we may chuck SVU to second place come next season.

This is an amazing show, highly recommended.

And so it's back to the grind again. How did you spend your Memorial Day? And for those in Nigeria, what are your plans for Democracy Day?

Dear Myne, He Lost Interest in me since getting on Facebook

Hi Myne, we've been married for going on two years now and most things have been ok. i mean we quarell sometimes like a normal couple but we have a way to soon get back again. but recently, my husband joined facebook and things have not been the same anymore. it's like he spends all his free time on there and completely neglects me.


i blame myself now because i was the one already on facebook and i asked him to join soon after we got married. back then, he rarely updates his page, but now, he's online all the time. he's also on nairaland but am more worried about facebook because it's like he's chatting to someone there.

for more than three months now, he has showed no interest in having sex with me, and i had to initiate the two times we made love since then. we don't talk like we used to talk before all this. when i try to talk to him or engage him in a conversation, he only makes some noises. if he doesn't say hmm, he replies ok or true, true. all the time he's saying this, he is typing on facebook or nairaland. am sure he's not really listening to me.

for the last two weeks, he now sleeps in our living room, and when i wake up early as four in the morning, he's still awake chatting. the straw that broke the camels back and made me lash out to him and we had a major fight yesterday is that i discovered that he has blocked me from his facebook page.

can anyone please explain what could be causing all this. facebook cannot be the only no reason for this change in behavior. i have done nothing to him, and he insists during our quarell yesterday that there's no other woman. am just tired, i was trying to get pregnant before all this but i don't know if its worth it and how long this marriage will survive after this.

he agreed we will watch tv and talk more and true, we're sitting in front of the tv but none of us is watching. he's gone back to chatting on facebook and i really don;t want to start nagging him. my mind is not even in all this anymore and i had to walk away to type this on my phone . i don't want to have a broken marriage but i also cant think of how to get my husband back to how we used to be.

Looking For Funke Akindele's Wedding Pictures?

Funke Akindele of Jenifa fame is one of the most notable comedic actresses in Nigeria. She has also shown off her acting chops in critically acclaimed movies like Maama with seasoned director, Tunde Kelani. Funke Akindele got married over the weekend and pictures are beginning to surface on several media sites.

Toast to happiness for Funke Akindele and husband

It seems a lot of her fans are searching for the pictures and probably due to the post I had made about Funke's role in her new movie, Married but Living Single, some of the searches are landing on this blog. So for those searching, enjoy :)


You may Kiss the Bride, Mwah!


Wedding Dance - Funke and Kehinde Almaroof


Traditional Wedding


Pre-wedding pictures

I wish Funke and her husband many years of married bliss. More pictures can be found on Jaguda.com and Linda Ikeji's Blog.

_________________

Myne Whitman - blogger, author, columnist, and founder of Naijastories.com.

Kelly Clarkson - Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)

This week has been a time of ups and downs for me, so this is a bit personal. But I'm sure so many out there can identify with this as well. Those who have had their heart broken in one way or another, by a significant other, a job they didn't get, losing someone they love, etc. What doesn't kill us will make us stronger for sure.

Hope you guys are having a good weekend?



You know the bed feels warmer,

Sleeping here alone,
You know I dream in color,
And do the things I want.
You think you got the best of me
Think you had the last laugh
Bet you think that everything good is gone.
Think you left me broken down
Think that i'd come running back
Baby you don't know me, cause you're dead wrong.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone.
What doesn't kill you makes a fighter
Footsteps even lighter
Doesn't mean i'm over cause you're gone
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, stronger
Just me myself and i
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger,
Stand a little taller
Doesn't mean i'm lonely when i'm alone
You heard that I was starting over with someone new,
They told you I was moving on, over you,
You didn't think that I'd come back, i'd come back swinging
You try to break me but you see

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger
stand a little taller
doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone.
What doesn't kill you makes a fighter
Footsteps even lighter
Doesn't mean I'm over cause your gone.
what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, stronger
Just me, myself and I

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller Doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone
Thanks to you I got a new thing started
Thanks to you I'm not the broken hearted
Thanks to you I'm finally thinking 'bout me
You know in the end the day I left was just my beginning..... in the end...
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone
What doesn't kill you makes a fighter
Footsteps even lighter
Doesn't mean I'm over cause you're gone.
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, stronger
Just me, Myself and I
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone.
I'm not alone

Will You Choose Your Pets Over Your Spouse?

I know the issue of pets is a very delicate one. A lot of people consider their pets as their babies and we know a lot of women, if not all, will definitely choose their children over their husbands. I personally do not own any pets but neither do I see myself getting so worked up if Atala decides we should get some. Having said that, I'm assuming he would consult me before bringing the pets into the house, and only want one or two dogs or cats or some of the more common pets, like fish, birds, or mice.


Not all spouses may be so agreeable or reasonable. About a couple of weeks ago, I read about a girl who loved snakes and the blogger wanted to know if anyone would marry her and sleep in the same bed with her snakes. Of course most comments were negative. But that is before the fact, I mean, before you invest your emotions in a long term relationship. What if you're already married, and then your spouse develops a very strong love for animals to the extent of bringing hundred of them into your house?

"A man from southern Israel divorced his wife this week because she had brought 550 cats into their home. The husband, apparently not a cat lover, told the Rabbinical Court in Beersheba that he was unable to sleep in his bedroom because the surface of the marital bed was constantly covered with cats who refused to lie on the floor.

The man, in his divorce request, complained that the cats also blocked his access to the bathroom and did not allow him to prepare meals in the kitchen, the Hebrew daily Maariv reported Wednesday. When he sat to eat, cats jumped onto the table and stole his food.

The couple attempted reconciliation at the behest of the rabbinical court. The wife, however, was unable to part from her cats… and preferred to part from her husband." [Source]

Do you think the man shouldn't have sued for divorce? What about the woman that chose her pets over her husband? Maybe she just prefers her cats? Or she doesn't care for the husband anymore? What would you do?


_________________

Myne Whitman - award-winning blogger, bestselling author, columnist, and founder of Naijastories.com.

For Duets, John Legend and Robin Thicke Bring it!

John Legend is one of my favorite musicians, most his songs are just fabulous. For instance, We're Ordinary People, is just so full of Melody. I also love guys who play an instrument and the guy is not bad to look at either. He amazed me at the Sade Concert last year where he was the opening act, and when I heard he was on the new ABC show, Duets, I just had to tune in.

It was a good call, and by the end of the show, I was glad I did and know I'll be watching more episodes. While I wanted to root for John Legend's first partner, Johnny Gray, who happened to be from Seattle, it was his second duet with Bridget Carrington, that blew me away. They sang "Tonight (Best You Ever Had)" and you could almost touch their chemistry.


That is indeed what Duets are all about. There was the call and response, their voices matched each other note and pitch and they worked that stage! The difference was definitely clear between the first and second performance, and I'm hoping Bridget stays for a while.

Another stand out performance for me was Robin Thicke and his first partner, Olivia Chisholm. They dueted on his sexy song, ‘Lost Without You,’ looking into each other's eyes, and scooting up close and personal. Wow, it was getting hot even in my living room, and I was like, "get a room already", and then I wondered, maybe I should drag someone into mine. Believe me, it was that hot, LOL...



Seriously though, I wonder how the partners of these musicians must feel. And I don't even mean about watching the show. But knowing their spouses are meeting up with these beautiful people, and singing love songs and generating biology, physics and chemistry. At least they're doing all this in public and even on TV. Not like much can happen on the Duets stage, right? Like one old man said somewhere, nothing wrong with taking that heat back home at the end of the night!

_________________

Myne Whitman - award-winning blogger, bestselling author, columnist, and founder of Naijastories.com.

Splash into Summer Giveaway - International

The Splash Into Summer Giveaway Hop is from May 25th to 31st and whoever thought of, and timed this giveaway either knows the weather very well or has some control over it. Can you believe it's been raining almost non-stop for the past five days? Oh well, on this blog, the way I want to splash into summer is to pass that 1300 followers mark. I am also celebrating my books A Heart to Mend and A Love Rekindled, both sitting pretty at the top-ten books on the Worldreader book app. Thanks for all the support.


The winner will receive a $10 cash prize! The lucky follower should be able to collect their cash prize via Amazon Gift Card or Paypal funds transfer. Books (including shipping) of same value can also be shipped via Amazon or Book Depository. There are 4 entries in all, and it is mandatory you leave a comment on this post in answer to the question, What's your favorite summer activity. Entries close May 31, and I'll announce the winner within 48hrs and also send them an email.

To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter Form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


This giveaway hop is hosted by I Am a Reader Not a Writer and Page Turners Blog. Check the full list of participants below.

Who is Looking After Your Children?

"Statistics show that the effects of sexual abuse can prove to be traumatic to a child and lead to serious mental problems during adolescence and adulthood. It’s important to mention that most kids who were abused grow up to become abusers and dysfunctional themselves in some way, shape, or form. Please protect our children. They are our future."

Above quote is the second blogger I subscribe to who has mentioned a child abuse video circulating, (who even made that video?) and while I do not want to think about it, I know child sexual abuse by minders of whatever age is real. Blogger Neetah is a doctor, and has worked with dysfunctional families who have experienced child abuse, sexual or emotional, and has the following pointers to help adults to be more vigilant and supportive of the children in their care. You can read the full post on her blog;

1)      Handsome, rich men molest children. Beautiful, talented women molest children. Ordinary people you laugh with every day molest children. Family members molest children. Church members molest children. Parents or siblings molest children. Hired helps and neighbors molest children.  Married people molest children. You simply cannot tell a child sexual predator by looking. (But do pay attention to your instincts, which see deeper than a person’s surface appearance). Most child molesters are known and liked by others and they cultivate certain relationships in order to gain access to children. Whether or not a person twangs your intuition, observe the person closely and don’t let him/her have your child alone until you’re satisfied they are completely safe. Talk to others about them. Find out all you can.

2)      A child molester may hug and cuddle your child in healthy ways right in front of you and your child doesn’t resist or fuss. This doesn’t mean nothing’s happening. Molesters themselves say that they deliberately do this so that your child, the victim, thinks you approve of the way the molester touches them. A child assumes his parents know what’s going on, so when the molester hugs him in front of you and you’re fine with that, the child thinks you’re OK with what happens in private too.

3)      If your child develops changes in behavior such as having big-time mood swings, withdrawal from everything and everyone, fearfulness and crying on a regular basis or starts bed-wetting or changes toilet-training habits or starts having nightmares or if he or she is scared to go to bed or develops fears of certain places, people or activities then know it is time to do some investigating. Consult your child’s school and find out if your child has problems in school or with his or her behavior such as acting out sexual activity or being curious about certain sexual matters. Inspect your child’s body and look for unexplained marks such as bruises, rashes, cuts, limping, multiple and poorly explained injuries and observe your child’s private areas and look for certain things such as pain, itching, bleeding, fluid or rawness.

4)      Observe the child’s behavior how he/she is with the other parent. Fathers have been known to molest their children and this usually happens whilst the mum is asleep or out. If your child never likes staying at home alone with the other parent or insists on following you every time you step out, it’s an inclination that this child feels safer with you. Find out why.


5)      Teach your child that NO ONE should be touching their private areas. That it is not ok for anyone. That if someone does, your child should tell you and NOT be afraid. Make yourself a safe person for your child to talk to. If you get angry whenever your child fails or misbehaves, or you get upset a lot in general, be certain he/she will learn never to tell you anything. Molesters know this. They watch for this type of relationship between a parent and a child so they can exploit it and gain the victim’s trust with patience and kindness.

6)      Listen to your instincts. If you feel a deep disquiet or unease around someone, simply don’t let that person have access to your child–especially not alone time.

7)      Don’t put your faith in the presence of a group. A child molester can and will single out a child while on group trips or during group play. Child sexual predators like this because they know they can get alone time with their victims.

8)      Make sure your child gets plenty of healthy attention, love, and physical affection at home. This prevents your child from having the vulnerability that predators look for in potential victims. A healthy, well-loved child with good self-esteem is less likely to be targeted. In a sense, molesters are looking for victims who are already victims.

9)      Let your child know that he/she can say a strong “NO” to a molester and you will back him/her up completely. Let them know that they can fight or run away or tattle and you will stand by them 100 percent. Molesters make threats about what parents will or won’t do to a child if he tells, so you have to have that trust with your child.

10)   If your child spends a lot of individual time with someone, ask your child carefully phrased questions about whether the child has been exposed to any sexual material of any kind. Kids are curious. If it’s presented to them, they’ll probably watch and listen.

11)   If you suspect your spouse may be molesting your child, watch closely. Do you feel like somehow, subtly, you’re being cast as the bad guy to your child, while your spouse is the good guy? Abusers gradually block communication between their child and the other parent, and damage the trust in that relationship.

12)   If you’re a parent married to a step-parent, be aware that all the statistics show a significantly higher incidence of child sexual abuse among step-parents than among birth parents. You may be thrilled with your new spouse’s interest in your children but ask yourself; is he gaining their trust while undercutting you or your relationship with your children? While you want to back up your new spouse, you also want your children to know they haven’t lost you to your new spouse and that you trust them and support them.

13)   Children often keep molestation a secret because the molester has threatened that they will be taken from their family if they tell or that he will be violent to them or to their family or he has manipulated the child into thinking it’s his/her fault and that if anybody gets punished, it will be him/her or he has won your child’s love and trust with treats, attention, and “love”.

14)      If you suspect that your child has been molested sit your child down and ask these questions GENTLY and without any show of emotion that may distress the child. We recommend the mother does this alone as sometimes fathers may be the culprits and that this is done in complete privacy so that your child feels secure. Also make sure they understand that while you’re asking them questions, they are not in trouble in any way whatsoever. You may need to continually reinforce this, as children have a tendency to take any serious comments from an adult as meaning that they have done something wrong. Here are some questions to ask:

“You do know that between your legs is a private area, don’t you?”

“Has anyone touched you in your private area besides yourself or stroked your chest or bottom?”

“Has anyone asked you to show them your private parts?”

“Has anyone asked you to look at their private parts?”

If these questions are not asked in a proper manner, they may lead to an innocent victim being accused falsely of child molestation, a crime punishable by prison. If it turns out that no one has touched them, or asked to be touched, be happy and show them that you love them.  Do not be over enthusiastically relieved, because if you do and you have cause to ask them again at some time they will simply answer in the negative to please you.

15)       If your child has been molested, do not confront the person who has done anything to them. Immediately contact the police and do not speak to anyone else about it whatsoever. This is very important. The police will pick up the suspect and get a child psychologist to question the child again. If you are a health personnel dealing with a case involving molestation, immediately admit the child and report to the necessary department, do not release the child to the parents. This is essential in Nigeria because many parents due to the shame take their children home and simply do nothing about it, eager to forget it happened. Some beat the children and blame them for the molestation and the child predator continues this act on the child or another child. Other times, a member of the family may be responsible for the abuse and the family may seek to protect the person. As a parent try to remain calm and make sure your child understands they have done nothing wrong and they are not in trouble in any way. Make sure to smile a lot at them, they need you to be strong and comforting. Even if your child has answered in the positive, it is still possible that nothing untoward has happened. This is why it is very important to get a skilled child interrogator to find out the truth.

Touch of Spice by Nicole Bassey

Who says Nigerians don't read or cannot write about sex? With my two romance novels dominating the most-read books chart on the Worldreader Book App, they wanted more. Therefore, Naijastories.com is co-ordinating a writing contest for Worldreader to acquire steamy love stories written for an African audience. The story below is one of the 35 submissions received and you can enjoy more of the Touch of Spice series and Vote your favorite on the NS Polls Page.


Touch of Spice by Nicole Bassey - Rating - 18+

Keseima added a touch of spice to the pot of goat meat pepper-soup. She tasted it and smiled to herself, her mother-in-law would love it. She brought it off the fire and put a small pot of rice on, the smoke brought tears to her eyes but she bore it bravely. It could have been worse as her late husband Udeme used to say…. Udeme, the name brought bittersweet memories to mind. She remembered their first kiss, their coded jokes and their second honeymoon. He was so strong, so kind, and so thoughtful. She had thought it would last forever until that fateful Saturday three years ago. He was driving down from Port-Harcourt to see her at Uyo where she was doing a post graduate program in nursing. A group of nomadic cattlemen lost control of their herd, they ran across the road and a petrol tanker rammed into them. Udeme was two cars behind but all that remained of him was charred broken bones.

They tried to hide the news from her but it was only a matter of time. She wept uncontrollably for months and sometimes felt she was losing her mind. Three years later she still missed him but she knew he was gone for good. Her mother-in-law said it was time she considered settling down again as she was not getting younger. She knew that but it was not that easy.

At thirty-two she looked several years younger. She was 5foot 8inches tall with a full 40D sized bust, a narrow 26 inch waist and a generous backside. Her beniseed brown skin was smooth and shiny. Her face was oval shaped framing large luminous eyes that made grown men turn babies. She was a beautiful woman. Her friends made jokes about her being made on a Friday night; hence the extra care and exceptional good looks.

All through her teens she was always fending off male advances. Marrying had helped; in Africa touching another man’s wife was taboo. But young widows were fair even desirable game. Many loose men sought out widows because they were thought to be mature caring and sex-starved. One man had told her “You had better let me touch you now before you run mad from desire”. Recently her desires had begun to worry her, she found herself craving a man and nothing she did seemed to quell it. Usually she would drown herself in work and only come home to sleep, but now she was on vacation.

She had been thinking of visiting a cousin in Abuja when Mama called to say she was ill. Instantly she knew she couldn’t be anywhere else. She had picked up some foodstuff and drove fifty kilometres to AdiahaObong Commercial Secondary School Omum Uyam where her mother-in-law was the principal. She met Mama huddled up under a stash of blankets. The doctor had diagnosed malaria and given her some medication. She was a little better but the chills and rigors persisted. While Itoro, Mama’s maid helped with the tepid sponging, Keseima got busy in the kitchen. An hour later she was done, the savoury dish of rice and goat meat pepper -soup revived Mama instantly.

“Thank you my daughter” Mama said as she pushed away the empty plates.

“My pleasure Mama” Keseima replied

Itoro carted away the dishes and Mama retired to her room.

It felt incredibly hot and humid in the little bungalow. She had to cool off somehow….Yes! She would go swimming in the stream!

There was a little stream inside the school premises, mostly it was just a part on the landscape but it also served as an alternate source of water during power cuts and as a quasi swimming pool as well. It was off limits to students and most teachers were too busy or too boring to bother. She hadn’t brought swim suit but she an old spaghetti top and a pair of bum shorts that would have to do. She wore an ankle length loose gown over her makeshift swimming garb and started off to the stream with a faint smile on her lips.

Thankfully the stream was deserted. She found a dry rock by its banks and removed her gown. Seconds later she was doing backstrokes in the balmy blue waters totally content.

####

Ubong noted the blue car parked outside the principal’s house with interest. It meant Keseima was around. Keseima, the girl he had to meet when she was married and had to want in vain. That had changed with the death of her husband. He had been about to tell her how he felt when he was selected to do to Dubai for twenty-six month advanced computer course. It was perfect for his career but a bad blow to his love life. He thought of walking up to the house for some sort of surprise visit but rejected the thought. He would find a way to see her without raising Mama’s eyebrows. Now all he wanted was a swim so he rode his mountain bike towards the stream.

He padlocked the front tires and rested the bike on one of the numerous palm trees . the last twenty or so meters were a steep slope best negotiated on foot. As he approached he could see a lone figure doing near perfect backstrokes. Something about the swimmer seemed vaguely familiar then he realised why, it was the woman he had dreamt of for the past two years. Suddenly his heart was racing and he felt his lips get dry. He dug his arms into his pocket and muttered under his breath” This is your chance brother, use it!”. He removed his T-Shirt and jeans and took a plunge. This was make or break.

Keseima suddenly noticed she had company. She paused mid-stroke and wiped the water off her face. Whoever it was must have dived underwater, she could see ripples coming closer…. Vwoooshhh!!! She felt her feet leave the floor and suddenly she was being cradled in a man’s arms. She panicked and began to thrash violently until she heard him say her name.

“Keseima! EASsssssy” Ubong said chuckling “You would make a great cat you know, excellent scratching and screaming skills”

PUT ME DOWN! Keseima Screamed.

“I will in a bit” Ubong replied “but first you have to kiss me”

“What???” Keseima shouted” are you out of your mind?”

“Yes my dear I am totally helplessly thoroughly foolishly crazy over you” Ubong said “but that, my dear is another matter, first my kiss.”

With that he released her gently and encircled her waist with his left arm and grabbed the back of her head with his right. She froze. He nibbled along her jaw line, light feathery kisses that felt like flower petals, his arm were stroking the small of her back and lightly massaging her neck, her shoulders, and her arms. She felt herself relax and her body respond to his touch. He drew her closer still and then planted his lips on hers. She stiffened but he persisted till she had no more fight in her. She kissed him hesitantly at first but when he probed a little further she surrendered and matched his rhythm with hers. She felt something in her melting but suddenly it was over.

“That is better.” He said smiling “I missed you girl”

Her eyes fluttered open and a wave of guilt hit her. She had enjoyed that. She had actually enjoyed being kissed by someone she hadn’t seen in ages and even then on a purely platonic level. She must be more starved than she thought.

“Great,” She replied “it’s nice having you back in the country. I am sure you made us proud overseas. Now if you’ll excuse me I just must get home.”

“Hmm, the lady is in a hurry. Perhaps she ll take me home with her i know how to cook a few things and cleaning is my middle name” Ubong said.

“No, I am fine” Keseima mumbled as she stormed out of the stream. Ubong followed her

“Baby, relax Okay? I am sorry; I shouldn’t have jumped on you like that okay? I don’t know what got into me please.”

With trembling fingers she slipped on her gown and her slippers.

“I am fine, Ub, seriously”

“No you are not” Ubong replied “I have upset you and i must make amends, please Kesi, let me make this up to you. I swear, this wasn’t meant to be this way, please. I just wanted to wade up to you and say hi. Then I was going to ask about your job and your love life. Then if you were still listening i wanted to ask you out to watch the Ten Villages football finals tomorrow.” He shook his head ruefully, “I guess I just told myself that if i didn’t kiss you now i might never have this chance again, i am sorry Keseima. Please give me another chance.”

And she had. They exchanged numbers and he called her every day. He took her to all the nice places there were to see, the museum, the beach, the monkey reserve. After about a month they were at his place watching a movie when he started to touch her arms. She didn’t object so he scooped her closer and peeled off her mini-dress. She pressed herself towards him and unbuttoned his shirt. He undid her bra with his right hand and caressed her with his left. She nibbled his neck and his shoulders. He slid off her panties in one fluid movement.

“You are amazing baby, so, so amazing” he said

He turned her over and showered kisses all over her neck, her shoulders, her back, her thighs, her legs, her feet. Soon her entire body was awash with desire.

She reached for him, “Ub, Please, come in!”

“Of course my dear” He chuckled “Let me get dressed first.”

He pulled open a condom, pinched the tip and rolled it on in seconds.

He straddled her and gently plunged in to her dripping wet depths. He rocked her gently at first but gradually increased the tempo till they were both dizzy with pleasure and he heard her scream his name as she climaxed. He came seconds after. And his first thought was – Yes, this is definitely bliss.

Debate Tuesday - Are Women Really Woe To Men?

I don't know that the Debate Tuedsay will become regular again but it's been a while we had one of them, so this is a throwback. Ladies, now don't be distracted by Will Smith as you read the text beside him. Yes, I saw I am Legend, and yes, it is true what the synopsis on the poster below says, but come on!


Some men will blame women for all and everything, including the fact that they cannot spell their names. It must be a woman's fault somehow. What say ye? Male perspectives will be much appreciated.

Seattle Rain Spoils My View of a Solar Eclipse

Last weekend was another reason to rail against the poor weather in this side of the country. While most of the other places on the West Coast were enjoying views of the solar eclipse that happened on Sunday, the rain and clouds over Seattle ruled that out for us. I've been looking forward to the eclipse for a while now, and was very hopeful since we had excellent weather most of last week.

AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Johnny Hanson

That bright run ended on Saturday and the whole of Sunday was all bleh. And to think we actually drove several miles to see if we could catch it in another part of the county. It got dark for a while but the clouds were just too thick. Well, thank God for pictures and video. Did anyone else manage to catch this?


REUTERS/Lucas Jackson



_________________

Myne Whitman - award-winning blogger, bestselling author, columnist, and founder of Naijastories.com.

So, When Are You Two Going To Get Married?

No, no, I'm not asking you that. I was only imagining that's the question Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, then girlfriend, had to answer a lot of the time. They dated for over nine years, and for a lot of people in America, that is a loongg time, longer than some marriages. In Nigeria, where overly long dating/courtship/engagements are not really encouraged, I can imagine the question would be even more common to long term but unmarried couples.


When two people are exclusive with each other for a long time, and are open to others about their relationship, those around them begin to mark time for them. People assume the lady is wasting her time and chances with other men, plus her biological clock is ticking. Others think the man is using her, and will dump her when he finds who/what he really wants.

Many believe they are sleeping together, and for those who think that way, this devalues the worth of the woman in the man's eyes, after all, why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free. I certainly do not subscribe to this way of seeing things. Then again, is there some sense behind societies' disapproval of long dating/courtship/engagement periods?

According to those who have studied these things, two years is the optimal time to date and get to know each other. These researchers say this gives enough time for those in a relationship to really get a fix on each other's personalities and stuff like how people react under stress. However, I don't think time is the only factor, and may not even be a determinant, at all. A couple can date for 3 months and within that period, one loses his job, or develops a health problem, something traumatic that they're able to overcome together. This will certainly bond them closer.

So, length of dating/courtship and if it graduates to marriage depends on individuals and their specific circumstances. If a couple meet in university, it is more likely they will date for a longer time, than those who meet at thirty. My parents got married after just a few months and they are still happily married. And then you hear of some couples that date for 10 years, get married and then are divorced within the year. True story.

Some of you may already know ours. I met Atala on a messageboard and we sorta, kinda, anonymously knew each other for a year online before we tentatively started talking. That lasted for two months and then broke down. We got back together one month later and began to build the foundations of a real relationship. Four months after that, he proposed and we got married two months later. It's a confused timeline, but I like to peg it at 6months of dating.

That's quite short by some people's standards, but at least we didn't get the whole, "so, when are you two getting married?" I think that question puts a lot of pressure on the couple, and especially on the woman about marriage. This can skew the couple's perspective and prevent them from really focusing on the important things.

The time to begin to think about marriage is when you feel you know the person well enough that you are confident that they are the person you want to, and you CAN, spend the rest of your life with them. All the rules about dating and timing really become obsolete when things click between a couple.

In such a scenario, rather than the number of years a couple has been together, it's more a question of finding out if both of you have compatible relationship goals, what expectations you have about marriage, and whether each partner, as an individual, is mentally prepared to be life partners in a marriage.

But what if all these things align, and you and your boyfriend/girlfriend/fiance are exclusive but there's no ring, no proposal and no firm wedding date after two years? How long will you wait? Three years, five years, seven, ten, or more? What will you do, give an ultimatum, or just walk away?

To the general readers, how long do you think a couple should know each other before they fix their wedding date, (and I mean a date no more than a year or two from the engagement)?  I'm interested in the opinions and experiences out there. In terms of experiences, I want to hear it from the married peeps.

Hope you all had a good weekend, BTW? Congrats to the Chelsea supporters sha, make una enjoy, *under my breath* for now.

_________________

Myne Whitman - award-winning blogger, bestselling author, columnist, and founder of Naijastories.com.

Facebook Founder, Mark Zuckerberg Updates Status to Married


There are several relationship statuses on Facebook. There's single, there's it's complicated, there's in a relationship, and there's married. Mark Zuckerberg, changed his own status from In a relationship to Married just this evening and it's got everyone buzzing. There are almost half a million likes to the update which came with the picture below.

But isn't that why it is called Facebook? It is the social networking site to allows us to indulge our ego, voyeurism, or paranoia as the case may be. You have to update every detail of your life with a picture, and now there's a timeline to make sure everything is in chronological order. Talk about nerds and techies, but hey, we fall in love and get married too, and the latest is Mark Zuckerberg :)

The founder of Facebook,  is certainly one that takes his own medicine. I checked out his wall today, and he adds pictures to almost all his updates, and has organized his timeline all the way to when he was born. There are pictures of him and his girlfriend dating back to 2009, and his goal of 2010/2011 was to learn Mandarin Chinese to help him communicate better with her family.

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan have been dating for almost ten years, since they met in Harvard, and now that she has graduated, they decided it was time to get hitched. Apparently the wedding was a last minute revelation to the friends that were invited, they initially thought they were going to the girlfriend's graduation party.


Zuckerberg and his girlfriend were already in the news this week with Facebook's Initial Public Offer, marking his 28th birthday, and Priscilla Chan also graduating from medical school.

I'm sure this week or even this month will be one they won't forget in a hurry, with lots of achievements, milestones and happy days. I wish them even more joy and all the love that comes with marriage.

Fun Facts - Mark Zuckerberg is worth billions of dollars, he designed the wedding ring, and the ceremony took place in his home backyard with less than 100 guests. :)

_________________

Myne Whitman - award-winning blogger, bestselling author, columnist, and founder of Naijastories.com.

Hidden Ville - An Upcoming Comic Series

About a couple of months ago, one of my favorite bloggers, Mike's Frequency, contacted me to discuss his recent project. A friend of his who is an artist, Korede Awofuwa, had started a cartoon blog and Mike wanted me to check it out. I liked what I saw and Mike said I should expect a cartoon version of my FB profile. Below is the outcome of that discussion.


Since then, Mike and Korede have gone ahead to set up a full scale comic seies. Korede is the author of ‘Be the Difference’, he studied Electrical and Electronics Engineering at Covenant University where his love for the paintbrush grew amidst waves of complex circuits and theorems.

Korede has recently launched his company Koryarts Ventures, an artistic company that renders art services such as graphic designs, album cover artworks, drawings, paintings, handmade cards and photography works. He is launching the first product of Koryarts, a comic series titled ‘HIDDEN VILLE’ with the help of a team of creative individuals.


Genre: Fantasy, Action
Launch Date: June 2nd, 2012

Hidden Ville comic series tell the story of how a young boy named Kiba, who happens to be among seven extraordinary beings, born with supernatural powers struggles to scale through many adversaries coming his way. From difficult training sessions on how to control his powers to dealing with all forms of enemies which include villagers, warriors and even countries, his strength and character will yet face many tests. Seal comic in an attempt to take readers into a fantasy world is subtly filled with humor and can be enjoyed by all ages.

With its splendid storyline and conceptual pages, Hidden Ville is set to be an outstanding release into the market. For the comic screenshots, visit the Koryarts Blog, and watch the video trailer below.


Copies of Hidden Ville will be available at Cinemas and Bookshops in Nigeria after the launch. Sales on Amazon will follow soon after. Get Yours Now!


Oko Mi by Ju Spice - Romance Meets Music

Oko Mi is Yoruba for ‘My Husband’ and is Ju Spice's first single. The song is dedicated to all husbands and men that will be man enough to tie the knot. As well as the heart-felt lyrics, I love the traditional elements in the song and which also infuses into the video - simple and sweet. Enjoy and have a lovely weekend.


"Ju Spice is a Contemporary Soul singer whose earthy music has a blend of High Life, Juju, Hip-Hop and R&B. Married and blessed with a kid and with another on the way, she is a Gospel minister and presently the Music Director of Church Reloaded, Warri." Bellanaija.com

The First Year of Marriage - Two Becomes One?

I read a thread on Nairaland sharing on the first year of marriage and it surprised me how even though most people's marriages are different, in some cases, you see yourself in the midst of many. It was also interesting that a lot of unmarried peeps reading commented that it was a very useful topic for them because they didn't really know much about marriage or what to expect. Who really does?


This got me thinking, and one day I'll share a full post on my own first year. Suffice to say that I equally asked myself at least once, are you sure? The answer by the time the night was done always came back positive. 

Anyway, I was mostly nodding as I read, lots of familiarizing sex, some wow, some not so great. Some clashes of personality as iron tried to sharpen iron, some intensely beautiful moments that even words cannot describe, the long, lazy days, the days you miss your family so much, you cry. Then add to that being in a new place, trying to make new friends, find your feet, re-organize your goals and accept changes, physically, mentally and emotionally, it is a trying period for me, I tell you.

However, I'll not trade those memories for any thing. There's just this thing about marriage that either brings out the best or the worst in you, and when you go into it with the right mindset and the right person, it matures you like nothing else. Some of the responses on the NL thread included the following;


- "best time of my life, still feel a warm sensation when i remember, plenty plenty rocking, fun fun fun, discovering new parts of the house and every place we could have s3x."

- "Half on half. The first half was great and we were in honeymoon land and the other half was the most stressful time of our marriage;"

- "It was hell, the only good thing was my girls nd my head that came out of it. I also appreciate others wonderful experience nd i expect to have a blissfull one in my next marriage"

- "It was not much fun actually. Sure, we were in love, innocent and a bit overconfident... but we also argued a lot, doubted, were scared about that BIG commitment"

- "Unfortunately, mine wasn't rosy at first. Even after dating for a few years, marriage was still a different ball game."

- "I don't know why i felt the way i did, immediately i got married, for some reasons i felt i had made the wrong choice (maybe because i had few guys that wanted to marry me then too)"

- "Spent in bed.From the bedroom to the hospital bed,back to the bedroom with 2 boys to mother.

- "Wasn't fun at all. It actually hit me right in the face that I couldn't just get up and leave after an argument. I loved my space and then I realised that ooops, I will be sharing my space with someone else."

- "I dated my husband in a long distance relationship , although i saw him every month. My first year of marriage was not what I planned. But I learned patience and discovered how much I loved my husband and how I could go through anything for him."

- "Five Months in and going steady, no quarrels at all, both of us respects each other, i have grown to know her for 5 yrs before wedding and i know when she is about to get in a mood and how to handle it,"
Certainly, there were some differences from my experience, for instance, we put off starting a family immediately, and we're obviously still together. Still, it's not surprising that at least one of the respondents broke up in their first year, a lot of stats out there support that a lot of I do's don't go beyond the first six months. Especially when there is no good rapport between the couple or worse still, negative interference from the extended family.

But, enough of my jabbering. I'd like those who are in the institution to share.

Also, those in between single and married, that is, double without the wahala, do you think you have a fair idea of what the first year of your marriage will be like?

Those single, do you think you know yourself enough to know how you'll bear up under the most extreme frustrations? Or maybe it only seems so in the heat of the moment :)

Let's discuss...


Love in Bloom is Sweet Romance

For the past few days, it's been all sunshine and flowers over here. The rain is staying away and the sun is bathing everything in sweet warmth that is just hits the spot, not too hot yet. It gives me this light feeling inside and on our plenty walks I want to stop and smell the flowers or pluck some to put in my hair.


Love is definitely in bloom in this corner of my world and it is just the perfect time for this giveaway. Featuring Lighthearted/Contemporary Young Adult and Sweet/Clean Adult Romance, the hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Portrait of a Book.

I really enjoyed reading the following book after winning it in a giveaway and want to share the love. I will be giving away a copy of Found in Translation by Roger Bruner and his daughter Kristi Rae Bruner.


When Kim Hartlinger—eighteen and spoiled—arrives on a mission trip to Mexico and discovers, to her chagrin, that she’ll be doing construction in a remote village without plumbing and electricity, rather than evangelism in a medium-sized town with a fast food joint . . she has only two choices. “Rough it” (which isn’t exactly what Kim had in mind when she signed up for this trip) or turn around and head home. Will Kim be able to touch the villagers’ hearts with the Gospel? Or will her time in Mexico be up before she gets the chance? Goodreads

To be eligible to win this book, fill in the rafflecopter correctly. Winners will be contacted with 48hrs after the end of the giveaway and have the same time to respond.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Below are other blogs taking part in this giveaway hop. Good luck!

Unconditional Love - Tribute to Donna Summer

Donna Summer, the disco queen, passed away today after a long battle with cancer. "Summer [was] known for her many hits, including "Hot Stuff," "Last Dance," "She Works Hard for the Money" and "Bad Girls," among many others, and won five Grammys over the course of her career.Born Donna Gaines and raised in Boston, Summer began singing in her church and decided to pursue a career in music in the late '60s. After performing in musicals in Europe, she released her first single, "Sally Go 'Round the Roses," Aol Music

Getty Images

Most of Donna Summer's songs had the disco trademark tune and who can forget classics like She Works Hard for the Money, Last Dance, I Will Go With You, and Unconditional Love? I Will Go With You is a powerful ballad, full of soul, and my type of music, but Unconditional Love left a lasting impression on me from way back when. Donna Summer collaborated on it with Musical Youth, and the songs has one of those catchy tunes that stays with you long after you've finished listening to it. And then there was the video with small children who back then were around the same age with my siblings and I. You can imagine that we memorized the lyrics of the song and performed it on one or more occasions.

Donna Summer was 63 years old. May her soul rest in peace. Though she had her share of the troubles of fame, she will forever be remembered for the amazing voice, talent and beauty she shared with the rest of us.


What man
you know it's a bright and shiny day.
I want to say something to you
I love you just like ja do.
We know a place
where ja's people can run free

A new kind oflove and we call it Agape.
Don't take too long to find
true love transcends all time

That non-reacting
everlasting love.
Give me your unconditional love

The kind of love I desenre
the kind I want to return.
Give me your unconditional love
. . .
Don't try to change or tear your brother down.
Let him make his mistakes and he will come around.

Hasten just to pray and ja's true word obey
In non-reacting
everlasting love.
Give me your unconditional love
. . .
Give me your unconditional love
. . .
Give me your unconditional love
. . .
Give me your unconditional love
. . .
Hasten just to pray and ja's true word obey
In non-reacting
everlasting love.
Give me your unconditional love
. . .
Give me your unconditional love
. . .
Give me your unconditional love
. . .

My Big Fat Nigerian Wedding - Creativity or Extravagance?

I was reading a blog the other day by an expat who attended their first Nigerian wedding in Nigeria and was amazed that there were over 10 priests. The blogger joked that it was as if the planners of the wedding wanted there to be as many ministers as possible witnessing the marriage so that no one can deny it took place after the fact. I smiled as I remembered my own wedding. There were two bishops, 3 Archdeacons and about 7 other priests.


In any typical Nigerian wedding, there are at least 2 or 3 priests and then you have to talk about the 200 - 1000 other guests that attend, and the masses of money paid for photography and video for the big day. Of course, it is not about witnesses, but about the Nigerian way of inviting as many friends and family as you can to celebrate with you.  This ties back a bit to my post on destination weddings and the recent CNN article on the wedding boom in Nigeria.

"There's always been this joy around weddings, but now there's also this whole creativity: It's more like a production, and nobody knows where it's going to stop," he said. "People just imagine it and make it happen."

Themes such as a "snow wedding" would involve decorating the entire hall to match the concept, he said.

"Ten years back, you would normally do all the arrangements for the wedding yourself or with your friend," he said. "Now, for every aspect of the wedding there's a vendor that can help you."

The trend has been driven by the many young Nigerians living overseas, who had introduced ambitious ideas for wedding themes, along with the concept of the wedding planner: a professional event organizer who could realize the happy couple's vision for their big day, typically at their parents' expense.

Osunkoya said families typically put much effort and expense into the event, as a wedding was an important status symbol -- although "not in a negative way."

"It's showing how well you've done, and for the bride and groom, this is their time," he said.

"Most times in Nigeria, the parents take care of the wedding -- and there are many weddings where it's just a blank check," he said. "It s a thing of joy to have your children married, so most of the time, the parents want to go all out. That's where you see total creativity." [Source]

The last paragraph was true of my parents. While Atala and I contributed to most of the wedding expenses, my parents covered the rest of it, and when I baulked at the number of priests who were to officiate, my dad took that over too. You see, it wasn't free and that was what I found strange. Most of them said they were coming as a favor to my parents who are knights in the church but still they were to receive 'thank-you envelopes'.

But even then, the priests honorariums were the least of our expenses. And Nigerian weddings are not just big, in terms of numbers. By the time you add the costs of the  ashebi, refreshments for everyone, venue, couples' outfits, etc, you begin to see how fat a wallet you need to pull off your wedding. In 2009, we spent over 2M and that was me being finicky and frugal. Imagine.

I wonder what weddings cost these days, especially these big, fat, wedding planner events?

With hindsight, I have to add that once a couple manage to cut their expenses to meet a budget, you kind of forget the stress of it all after a while. As far as you remember to delegate enough not to be overwhelmed on that day, but enjoy the beauty of sharing a memory with your love. It's a bit like what they say about labor, you forget the pain after the baby comes and  that the outcome is totally worth the pain.

Also, when you remember that the wedding is just one day and that you have the rest of your lives to look forward to and plan for, it helps to put things in perspective.

_________________

Myne Whitman - award-winning blogger, bestselling author, magazine columnist and founder of Naijastories.com

An African American Finally on the Bachelorette

Do you think there'll ever be a African American man or woman as the main star on the Bachelor Series? I am just catching up on the season premiere of The Bachelorette and got to see that the guy below came on as one of the 25 contestants in the first episode. Unfortunately, he has already been kicked off by Emily who is the Bachelorette of the season. He wasn't the wackiest of them all but I guess he's not to Emily's specs.

Lerone [ABC.com]

About a month ago, the news were abuzz about the racism that has been observed in the TV Show. Two African American men had sued ABC and the show producers for not giving them the same chance to get on as contestants on the show as other white applicants. The cited their short auditions and the fact that since the inception of the show, no African American has been the star of the show, and there had only been a handful of black or minority contestants.

At this point, after watching 5 of the series back to back, I am even wondering whether they should even bother. The show seems to be losing its shine for me. Of the five couples I watched hook up, only one pair are still together. Funny thing is, apart from one of them, I saw their breakup on the cards even before the finales rolled. It was as if they undermine themselves, maybe they're really not there to find love or someone to marry, but just to be on TV and get to kiss and see as many women as they can. Hmpf.

I'm still watching though, let's see what Emily does with her season. Maybe being a single mom will mean that she is more focused and knows what she wants.

Ego Massaging - Also Known As Giving Compliments

Mmm... yeahh... oh yeah, that feels really good.... yeah.... mmhh? Oh, excuse me. You just interrupted me as I was enjoying a good and nourishing ego massage from Myne. Ego massage, you wonder? Should I even be admitting this in public?


Hi there, this is Atala. Let me step back a bit and answer the question for those of you who are wondering: what exactly is ego massaging? Simply put, it is the act of making someone feel better about themselves with the power of words aka giving compliments. It is about making them feel more confident, more optimistic and filled with more positive aspirations by making utterances that resonate with their ego.

In fact, ego massaging is part and parcel of our culture, right from the moment we are born - we are given positive, aspirational names such we are guaranteed to get a mini ego-massage every time someone calls our name.

So if this is what ego massaging can achieve, why is it condemned at all? Well, the problem is that there is a right and a wrong way to go about ego-massaging. This is why ego-massaging is an art - it is not for the unskilled person who thinks that it is about opening their mouth and uttering complimentary words. Oh, no. On the contrary, a skilful ego-massager will know the following:

He will take time to understand the nature of the ego he is massaging. Just as we have different personalities, different tastes and differing backgrounds, so also we have differing egos. Some egos are the size of a pea and require little and infrequent massaging; some some, at size of a watermelon, are much more 'high maintenance'. Some egos are as smooth as silk and respond easily to the gentlest of massages; others are as rough as high grade sandpaper and should be massaged with care. So the skilled ego massager knows that words of praise that might suit one ego at a particular time might be a complete turn off to another, and he will take time to observe the responses of the ego to gentle probing before deciding to 'go in deep'.

He will offer sincere compliments of praiseworthy qualities in the ego-massagee. I'll state this upfront now: Insincere flattery is NOT ego-massaging. Only the person in desperate need of an ego-massage will appreciate being told he is in fantastic health when he weighs over 20 stone; in fact, that comment is in danger of being viewed as sarcastic.

So the expert ego-massager will take time to really understand the ego-massagee. He will not just praise the ego-massagee for having this or showing that, but he will cite specific instances where he has observed this happening. In fact, the skilled ego-massager will take care to cite instances that the ego-massagee did not even know that anyone was paying attention to - and this offers an additional boost to the massaging, as it tells the massagee that he is so important that people pay attention even to the minor things he does.

I should point out here that there are three kinds of praiseworthy qualities: the ones the the ego-massagee knows about and appreciates, the ones he knows about but does not appreciate and the ones he does not even know about. The good ego-massager will identify the first type fairly quickly; the great ego-massager will identify the second type of qualities, and convince the massagee why he should appreciate them; but the truly superior ego-massager will dig deep down into the psyche of the massagee and unearth the third type before polishing it and presenting it to the massagee in the form of a deep, stimulating massage.

He will time his ego-massages appropriately. The skilful ego-massager understands that the effect of an ego-massage is amplified if it is delivered when the massagee is prepared to receive it. Unlike the charlatans who go about braying out praises at full volume, irrespective of the occasion, he will wait until the massagee is in need of an boost to his confidence, or when he is facing discouragement, or simply when he is relaxed enough to be receptive to sincere compliments.

So there are some of the hallmarks of a skilful ego-massager. In fact, there are some ego-massagers that are so skilful that you aren't even aware that your ego has been massaged until long after they're gone... and the warm glow you feel afterwards stays for you with days.

On the other hand, as I mentioned in passing, there are those quacks who peddle compliments like crack cocaine to those who display a disposition to entertain any kind of ego-massaging, no matter how insincere it may be. Such a situation can get out of hand, where the ego-massagee begins to live in a fantasy world in which he has all the desirable qualities as described by quack massager - and because he likes it in this world, he is in constant need of continuous quack compliments to perpetuate this fantasy. I think that this is what may be going on in the corridors of power in Nigeria, where powerful men surround themselves with a coterie of quack sycophants to massage their ever expanding egos (which I guess must be the size of Zuma Rock).

The bigger problem with this kind of quack massaging is that the massagee believes so strongly that he has the abilities described that he attempts to act them out. Now I'm a big believer in positive thinking - but ain't no amount of positive thinking that can make a chicken fly or an ant lift an elephant. And so it is with these hapless massagees - they end up inflicting their ineptitude on others who unfortunately bear the brunt of a poorly implemented action or policy.

But I must not dwell on the downside of ego-massaging. The reality is that done right, giving compliments is a healthy and important part of our human interaction. It is the lubricant that keeps the wheels of human discourse turning. So as you finish reading this article, I charge you to spread the good vibrations amongst your fellow man by sincerely complimenting them for something they have said or done.

I exhort you to ask the question - "Have I massaged someone's ego today?". If not, you can start by massaging mine by telling me how much you enjoyed this fantastic article...


How I Take care of My Skin


I'm talking about my skin today because I was reminded by the last meme I took part in - 11 Question Tag - where I answered questions about my beauty regime and my favorite beauty product. While I'm not a cosmetic junkie by any means, I try to use a small number of good quality skin care products to take care of my skin, especially my face. While it's not susceptible to acne, the sun is a different matter altogether and I have noticed that generally, my face tends to be darker than the rest of my body.

You see, when you do not use products with sun protection in a tropical country like Nigeria, the possibility of sun damage is very high. A few years ago, I began to notice the uneven skin tone down the sides of my face. Funnily enough, I never realized how susceptible I was to sunburn until I moved to the United States.

I had gone to the beach with Atala wearing a halter-neck bathing suit and without sunscreen. It was my first summer here after a very dreary spring and I was lapping up the sun like a dog starved of water. However, I had to beg for us to leave after some hours. My back was on fire. You guessed it, I had sunburn on my face and my back. It was so serious that I had to use medication for almost a week after that.

I have since learned my lesson, and since then all facial moisturizers and body lotions I use must have at least SPF-15. Thankfully, as I crossed the big 3-0 and continued to take care of my skin, I've been seeing some improvements. I'm still not the kind of woman who uses lots of products or tons of makeup. I find what I like and what works for me and I try stick to it as long as it remains available.

More than name brands, I think it is the function of the product itself that makes the most difference. For instance, I notice that for cleansing, facial wipes are nicer to my sensitive skin than say, cotton balls and toner or astringent. It is also good to know where your skin falls into in the ranges used by a particular skin care regimen. My skin is combination/oily and any time I use a product outside this range or one without this definition, I usually break out in small rashes or worse clogged pores.

These things don't bother me so much any more because with age, I now know that the conditions are usually not permanent and rarely life threatening. Another thing is that the older I get, the more comfortable I am in my skin, and I've found that I've moved beyond coveting the smooth skin on other people. I also worry less about what other people think of me and my skin issues because, at this point, I know I am more than my skin.

With that said, I don't want to look older than my age. I am enjoying my thirties and looking forward to all the rest it has to bring, as well as beyond. My mum is a beautiful woman and in her 60s now. She still takes great care of herself. Same with my sisters, one of whom just finished her NYSC. Why am I saying this? Because I want to look great right next to all of them.

So I'll ask you the same questions I did in the tag, what is your beauty regime and your favorite beauty product?


PS - Let me use this opportunity to say thanks for bearing with the ads on my blog and supporting the sponsors. I really appreciate it, and hope to continue bringing value to my readers both through my content, reviews, giveaways and more.

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