Weekend Pictures - Visit to Seward Park in Seattle

The other day, we were coming from a trip to the cinema and Atala suggested we slot in a quick visit to Seward Park in Seattle, one we hadn't been to before. I wasn't dressed, as per shoes, for hiking, but he promised it would be a short one. So off we went. The breeze was surprisingly strong off Lake Washington, the water you see in the pictures, and it blew my wig every which way.

We spent just about an hour but had quite the adventure in that little time, including encountering a snake! I don't like snakes and if you're like me, you may skip the last two pictures. Otherwise, only the beautiful pictures are included in this post, hehehe...

Another visitor took this lovely picture

Choppy lake, even the ducks are huddling (below)

When I saw that the Amphitheater was empty...

I decided to practice my public speaking

A great stage for performing, I think

The snake! I almost stepped on it! Kept off the grass after that

Atala made me add this so you know how small the snake really was :)

Hope you all are having a great weekend? Mwah!

See Your Own Stories On Romance Meets Life

Do you have any love or relationship issue you're working through, and you want some input from some neutral people? I get these requests sometimes, and now I'm putting it out there in the open. Send an email to me (myne@mynewhitman.com) with the subject Dear Myne with details of the situation to help my readers discuss it and proffer suggestions and advice. You can be anonymous or you can say who you are, it's all up to you. I'm no psychologist, but maybe you'll get some clarity from the comments, and if asked, I will give a personal reply from my little experience.

Also, if you have some articles, an opinion on the news, or any dating/romance topic, please feel free to send it, as well as personal stories of how romance meets your life, including your real love stories and tips on marriage. Where not sure of how to start or what to write, send me an initial inquiry and I will reply with more direct details. For the marriage avowals, there is a set pattern to the post. Send me a request with the subject, Marriage Avowals, to receive the interview questions.

Hot Days and Cold Drinks - Original Zobo

The main pack

Some days are just so hot, you want a long drink to cool down with. I discovered Zobo while doing my youth service in Abuja and would always have an already prepared frozen pack during break periods in the school where I was a teacher. One of my pupil's mother made an awesome version with just a hint of spice and it made me go back for more every day.

You can imagine then that last year, when I heard that Zobo was being sold here in the US, I sent off immediately for an order. It arrived and there were several flavors, strawberry, lime, etc. They were all good but for me, none beat the original.

Individual satchets

A tall glass of cold zobo

So I ordered more of the original flavor, and a few days ago after unpacking from our DC trip, I mixed up one packet with water and ice, and went outside on the deck to chill out with a book.

I'm so glad we're back, I'm really loving the weather in our area since we returned, no rain, lots of sunshine but not too hot. I must confess, DC was just too hot for me, maybe I've gotten more used to this Seattle weather than I thought :)

So what's the weather like in your area, and what do you do to chill out?

Invisible Girl - Film Campaign Against Child Abuse

Invisible Girl is a non-commercial and online campaign short film (9minutes) narrative to reach out to young females especially for those who have once been or are currently victims of sexual violence or abuse. I recently finished Yejide Kilanko's new book, Daughters Who Walk This Path, and I was filled all over again with anger at adults who molest innocent children. I thought about how as a society, we really have to put up the means to protect our children before, and sometimes, after abuse happens.

Most of us (both victims and those who love them) are filled with shame and this invariable leads to silence (the proverbial sweeping under the carpet). But it really does help to speak out to stop the predators. And the victims may need to speak with someone who will believe them and can show support unconditionally.

Lowladee.com is marking their second year by producing and sharing this short advocacy film on sexual abuse against the girl child. "Labake is a young bright girl who wants to be like one of the famous leaders in the world. Soon she is sexually violated and her world comes crashing down. This video is dedicated to victims of sexual abuse/violence"

They began the online campaign series with a true life story from a victim followed by a video interview with musician Omawumi Megbele to encourage these children especially the young females. According to the editor of lowladee.com, the essence of the campaign is to;

reach out to wounded hearts and to encourage young girls to speak up instead of dying in silence. It is to spur parents to be on their feet and know that sexual abuse is real and can happen to any child, even right under one’s nose. The essence of this video is for us to realize that as a society its our collective responsibility to protect our children!

Their major campaign partner is MediaCon, a rape crisis center in Nigeria, with professional counselors and legal backing. You can call Mediacon’s confidential help lines: 08023331036, 08058207164, 08099522487 or email them at helponline@mediaconcern.net and counsel@mediaconcern.net

Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop

I'm just back from an amazing summer getaway and I feel like sharing the fun. The winner of this giveaway 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, Why do you love reaing? Entries close July 5, 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

Check out other participating blogs too!

Dear Myne: He Can't Stop Talking About My Looks

When I was younger I wished I was as beautiful as any Miss World, but with age, I realized that we all have our unique peculiarities and that beauty was no buffer to difficulties or heartache. Or what do you say to someone in the situation below where her beauty has become a thorn in her flesh?

Hi Myne. I read your blog most times. There's just one issue that has been bothering me.I will like you to post it in your blog, maybe suggestions from people might help. I am a lady in my early twenties, a christian and quite old fashioned and very reserved. I know am beautiful,but at times the compliments from guys gets annoying. when i get to meet them, they just can't stop talking about how pretty I am.

A young pastor that that was asking me out once told me, he just could not resist the temptation of talking to me and all that, {and this makes me wonder and worry that, how did i tempt him? i so hate provocative dressing, and i don't even believe in flaunting any part of my body...the last thing i would ever do is to make a man fall into sin}.

The most disguisting part is the way some tend to stare at my breasts {I am busty}, even in church. When I am talking to some guys, i sometimes feel like slapping them because the eyes are fixed on my chest.

There's this guy that has been asking me out for over a year, he's a great guy, but the only thing holding me back is the way he can't stop talking about my looks, I sometimes feel that's the only thing he likes.

And i sometimes worry that a man may just marry me for my looks, it leaves me wondering that what if i get old and don't look the same. it's really keeping me from dating and at times, i feel am just been too hard on myself, i really don't know.

Tribute to Nora Ephron - Best Rom-Com Quotes

My history of reading loads and loads of romance novels and watching truckloads of romantic comedies and enjoying them made me choose to write in the romance genre, and Nora Ephron, though she told her own stories through scripts and movies, was an inspiration.

A few days before we travelled to DC, Atala was searching for someone's email address and ran across a thread of emails we had exchanged more than four years ago. He then proceeded to read them out loud, and it was funny and amazing recollecting how we had started. An online friendship that paralleled Nora Ephron's You've got mail, which explored internet romances. I had watched that movie over and again long before I met Atala. However, he is also a fan, and was the one that first informed me of her passing.

Nora Ephron, "American filmmaker, director, producer, screenwriter, novelist, playwright, journalist, author, and blogger", died last Tuesday at the age of 71 from a form of Leukemia. She wrote several of my most favorite romantic comedies including Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally, among others, using the interaction between her characters to highlight issues in relationships and love. And she did it in a realistic but at the same time fun manner.

In my own writing, I am still trying to work on something she showcased brilliantly through the actors who translated her writing to screen, that chemistry and banter between her couples, simply electric! She made you smart and gasp at the acerbic wit, think at the punchy philosophy and cry, just as laugh, at some the lines. It was amazing.

Below are some of my best quotes from my favorites Nora Ephron's romantic comedies. May her soul rest in peace.

You've Got Mail
What will NY152 say today, I wonder. I turn on my computer. I wait impatiently as it connects. I go online, and my breath catches in my chest until I hear three little words: You've got mail. I hear nothing. Not even a sound on the streets of New York, just the beating of my own heart. I have mail. From you.

Sleepless in Seattle
...it was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together... and I knew it. I knew it the very first time I touched her. It was like coming home... only to no home I'd ever known... I was just taking her hand to help her out of a car and I knew. It was like... magic.

When Harry Met Sally
I love that you get cold when it is 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle in your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.

Not Perfect - Making Marriage Look AND Feel Good

Who believes in a perfect marriage? Not me. Who believes in love forever? I know I want to. Sometime ago I went on twitter and in my mentions, someone had tweeted, : "I love what Myne Whitman and her Atala share. Fun, christian, romantic marriage."  Of course, it created a warm place in my heart when I read it. Still...still... I can't let my head swell.

When celebrities you like, and who have been together 14 years split, it makes you think and keeps your feet on the ground. Johnny Depp is a favorite and since I knew him, he's been with Vanessa Paradis. They have two children, and have lived all over the world. What could have happened? I'm not even going to guess. I hear they did try to remain together but it just wasn't working.

Recently too, Pastor Chris Okotie announced he was splitting with his wife of four years, with the following words, “Stephanie and I are no longer married. We have separated. You can see she’s not in church today. It’s due to irreconcilable differences and you should please respect our wishes at this time because there is no going back.” This would be his second divorce.

Who remembers this post I made on what makes a woman a good wife?

It went viral almost instantly and continues to be one of the most popular and searched posts on my blog. And the search terms show that lot of women do indeed want to know how to be the perfect or good wife to their husbands. And that is as it should be, we all want to be happy and enjoy a great marriage. We all want to have and to hold, to love and cherish, and all the good stuff. But marriage is rarely a walk in the park, and never a fairytale.

Don't get me wrong, Atala and I are happy. What we are not, is perfect.

We're just ordinary people, and we make mistakes just like all human beings do. Our marriage is not perfect. Like my wifehood, it is a work in progress. Don't be too carried away by the pictures of our vacation trips, and how we try to get out and about to keep active. I couldn't possibly take a picture of us having a disagreement now, can I? :)

Seriously though, we do not quarrel much. One reason I think is that we're very well suited in our temperaments, none of us is very volatile. And while we can be passionate when having celebral debates, we work to be solicitous of the other's feelings when it is a personal disagreement. That is a benefit of marrying someone you care for and love deeply.

It makes it easier to keep sight of them when annoyances, big or small, explode in front of you. As they will.

What I keep at the back of my mind is how petty some of these irritations are. Like the other day, I wasn't hungry and Atala had to make his dinner. There were a couple of soups left out, a single and a double pack. It pinched the compulsive in me when I went into the kitchen later and realized he heated up the double pack instead of the single, and then had leftovers. I took a deep breath, counted to three and helped him clear up, LOL...

What I know also helps us is that we intentionally make time to spend together. And we do enjoy each other's company. Luckily we share the same interests and can do a lot of the activities together, like writing, movies, walking, travelling, coding, reading, etc.

On those days when one of us is in sour mood independent of the other, we either try to coax each other by chatting and laughing, or we simply give them room to sort out their mindspace. This is because sometimes, your partner's state of mind is not about you or the marriage. This is why I shake my head at those who get married thinking it will automatically guarantee them happiness.

If you think it's that easy, forget about it. Marriage, maybe even more than most other relationships, requires a lot of work. And I think it is imperative to have a solid base of compatibilty and love to start you off right and sustain you in the dry periods. I listed some steps to a successful relationship in a previous post, and these are the same I also work with.

- Always be honest, be open, and be truthful
- Try your best to be reliable and show appreciation
- Trust each other
- Communicate, and communicate some more
- It is imperative to respect each other

Who else has other tips on how to make marriage look good AND feel good too? And how can couples keep away from splitsville?

Voting for my Local Park to Win a $100K Grant

Helping My Favorite Park Win a $100K Grant

Remember the Coca-Cola America Is Your Park campaign? I've been doing my best to help my favorite local park garner as many votes as possible. One thing is for sure, every vote counts if I'm to help my park win that $100,000 grant. Last year, park supporters cast more than 13 million votes for their favorite parks, and do you know who won? Oak Park in the small town of Minot, ND!

I followed the online trail to discover the secret to their success, and as I suspected, it was promotion all the way! Everyone in the Minot community got involved and campaigned for their park. They held events in Oak Park, mobilized through online communities, got hometown celebrities involved and voted nonstop.

Now Coca-Cola has made it easy enough for anyone who is interested to try to replicate that. Check out the America Is Your Park inspiration video below and the following tips from the LivePositively.com/parks app to help get your favorite park to the top of the leader board.

Start Online
  • Vote at LivePositively.com/parks from now until July 15, 2012. After you vote, share with your social network simply by clicking the Share button.
  • Set up a Facebook page to spread the word and rally everyone around your park. Share regular status updates on how your park is ranking on the leader board.
Gather Together at the Park
  • Get active in the park. Bike, run, rollerblade or play games with your friends and family.
  • And while you’re there, encourage everyone to vote! Each Fourquare check-in from the park earns your favorite 100 more votes. Check out LivePositively.com/parks for more details on voting from the park.
Get Out the Vote!
  • Use the toolkit found on LivePositively.com/parks to help organize your community and empower others to get involved.
  • Send emails, letters and tweets to community leaders, park groups, local celebrities and more telling them about the campaign and why your park is so special.
  • Print out the flyer found in the toolkit and post all over your park. Ask park-goers to use their smartphones to cast a vote on the spot!

As you can see from the pictures above, I am doing what I can and continue to do so. What about you? How have you been promoting your park? Check out the video below.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Only legal residents of the 50 U.S. (and D.C.) who are at least 13 years old and reside within the U.S. at the time of participation are eligible to vote for a Park. Participate on behalf of a Park by: July 15, 2012. The 3 most popular Parks will be offered a grant and there will be 1 Wild Card drawing at the end of the Contest to award an additional grant.  To participate, for Official Rules, and complete details including grant descriptions, visit www.LivePositively.com/parks. Void where prohibited.

Blunted on Reality - Chinedu Achebe (Guest Author)

Chinedu W. Achebe is a Nigerian of Igbo descent who was born in Richmond, Virginia. He received his bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Houston and currently resides in Houston, Texas. He is the oldest of three siblings and though he works in the finance sector, he recently decided to start sharing the stories he has in him.

Chinedu Achebe's first book, Blunted on Reality, follows the life of Obi Ifeanyi, a Nigerian born American who is coming of age after the historic election of Barack Obama. As Obi confronts challenges that impact his family, career, and romantic interests, he is forced to examine his past and present choices to define his future. Sound interesting?

Enjoy my interview with him on the journey so far.

When and Why did you begin writing?
I think that I have always thought about writing my whole life. But I didn’t feel like I had a compelling story to tell. It wasn’t until after the presidential election victory of Barack Obama did I start thinking about possibly writing about this moment in history and tying it to some experiences that I have come across in my life. I thought I would do a nonfiction story, but decided that writing a fictional account would allow me to be more creative and expansive of certain situations.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
 I didn’t feel like that until after writing the third chapter of my book, that is when I realized that I had actually developed a sustainable and interesting storyline.

What books have most influenced your life most?
I would have to say it would be No Longer at Ease by Chinua Achebe. The storyline of Obi Okonkwo was very intriguing to me on how he tried to balance  his traditional roots in modern day 1950s Nigeria.

Chinua Achebe of Things Fall Apart, is one of the most famous writers in the world, are you related to him? Did sharing the same name with him encourage your writing?
I am not related to Chinua Achebe, but I do get asked the question a lot. Ironically, he and my mother are from the same village of Ogidi in Anambra State. I don’t think sharing the same last name as him encouraged my writing. I feel that every author gets his/her inspiration to write from within themselves and everyone is shaped by the times and experiences that are in front of them.

Are there other people that have inspired or supported your writing?
I would say that I have always liked the work of Spike Lee. In my opinion, he always used his movies as a way to inform and entertain his audiences about a particular social or political message he wanted to bring to the forefront. That was a method that I tried to use while writing my book.

- The Writing Life
What are your current projects?
At this time, I am not working on any new projects. I am doing some exploratory planning on writing a second book, but nothing is concrete right now. I know for the foreseeable future, I will be working on promoting and marketing Blunted on Reality.

What do you do and do you see writing as an alternate career or will it remain part time?
I currently am working in the accounting/finance industry. I think for the time being, writing will be something that I will do part time. But who knows what the future will hold for me in regards to my writing.

Can you share a little about your writing routine?
I don’t have a particular set routine in regards to my writing. I usually write some things down to give myself a framework to start from. After that happens, a lot of my ideas just start flowing from my brain to the laptop. I also like to listen to jazz and hip hop to help me mellow out as I write.

Is Blunted on Reality your first novel? Do you intend social and political issues to be a major theme that runs through most of your work?
Yes, this is my first novel. Yes I do. I feel that my writing gives me a platform to discuss these issues while still merging the everyday situations that people go through as well.

- General
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I would like to thank them in advance for reading my book. My hope is that everyone appreciates the perspectives of the characters and the topics that they are discussing and overall just enjoy the book.

Where can we find your books to buy?
Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Waiting Till You Get Married for Sex

I love me some Megan good, I think she's a sweet actress and she's really beautiful. Recently, she and her fiance, now husband, DeVon Martin, got married after some weeks of publicity where she stated that they were waiting till they were married to, you know, get it on, have carnal knowledge of each other, have sex, make love, or whatever name or term floats anybody's boat. Even Franklin appeared on Oprah's show and talked about their mutual decision to stay celibate until they were wed.

Just look at that picture up there, isn't it just so sweet? I think so, especially knowing the above.

Some people who have read some of my old posts on this issue, especially Christianity and Sex -What's a young girl to do and Abstinence for the mature singles, went away with the idea that I promote pre-marital sex. I didn't bother to debate the specifics then, because in a way, I do. But the core of that last post is that the decision to have sex or to abstain should be a personal one.

There are other factors that I think also play into the whole should you wait for sex or not. First of all, having sex with any random person is out of the question, as is unprotected sex.

Also, like I noted in the previous posts, if you're Christian and your conscience strictly guides you away from intimacy from your boyfriend or fiance, there's a reason, heed it.

If you believe it is for you, then we come to the next step. The self awareness and discussion with your partner on the issue of sex is strictly for mature couples. Sometimes, age does come into it though some people are more psychologically mature than their age mates. Still, I don't think the decision may be the same for a 20 years old as for a 29years old. I may be wrong though.

Another factor is how long you both date each other. If the courtship is just 6 months to a year, I think it is easier to deal than people who date for 5 - 10 years. It is said that Megan Good and Franklin met on the set of Jumping the Broom, which she starred in and he produced, and started dating soon after filming wrapped. So that means they've been together for about a year plus.

At the end though, it is the choice of the couple to make whether to have sex before or after marriage.

Sometimes though, marriage is the only thing that will ensure complete trust between a couple. Some of us have so much baggage from the past and it is not anybody's fault. So when you are in love when such people, really in love, you have to accept them as they are.

Also, abstinence can be a mutual decision so that the couple can have a remarkable memory for their wedding night.  Most times, it will be worth it, if not on that night due to exhaustion or travel, at least during the honeymoon.

What I will say again is that sex between two people who love and trust each other can be beautiful. Ditch your sexual hang-ups in time and make sure the person you marry is someone you can be completely open with and you'll surely have a great time.

P-Square - Beautiful Onyinye ft. Rick Ross

P-Square recently signed a promotion and distribution deal with Universal Music Group, and off the back of that released this video for their song, Beautiful Onyinye. The video features American rapper Rick Ross. Most Nigerian hip-hop artistes are going international, which is good, but it is even better that they are able to keep the core of themselves. Enjoy the video below.

The Nigerian State: 'Violence has been deregulated'

Who remembers the prediction of Nigeria's breakup come 2015? An op-ed piece in the Daily Times of Nigeria does, and the writer, El-Nathan John is angry. He is originally from Kaduna State in Northern Nigeria and is angry about the quasi-religious violence going on in his hometown. I don't know that we should only get mad when our states and communities are affected, but his piece is germane to the on-going debate about the state of Nigeria.

Is Boko Haram abiding by the tenets of Islam when they bomb Churches? Are the Christians in Kaduna wrong to have struck back in the face of the constant bombings of Churches in Northern Nigeria? Are those who are killing really doing it for the Christians or Christianity or are they being manipulated by higher forces, probably political? Should religion even an issue at all, or is it rather a front for what really ails us as a country? What is the way forward for Nigeria?

What is certainly not a way forward is violence. Neither is trading blames and pointing fingers. We make noise on social media but what I wish for is a way to be able to reach those 150 million out of 160million Nigerians who do not have access to the internet, and sometimes not even radios and television. Still, somebody is talking to them and giving them false or incomplete information. Let us find a way to educate the masses and inform them of what some of us already know.

This is beyond religion. This is beyond tribe. This is simply about distribution of wealth among the elite. Unfortunately, a lot of us internet activists are among this elite, and until we begin to have grassroot movements, I have to question how honest our intentions are. Yes, including myself.

Read El-Nathan's I am Angry
You can read Temie's No Good Men

Calling my Readers in the DMV Area, I am in DC!

Yes! I am in Washington DC, and I'd love to meet you. Yes, you. Because someone has to tell me why it is so hot here. I can't believe I'm missing the cold of Seattle :)

Atala and I are spending a few days in Washington DC for our vacation this summer and I hear there are quite a number of my readers and blog followers in this area. So if you live within the DC, Maryland and Virginia area not too far from Obama's house, and you want to meet up, contact me at myne@mynewhitman.com.

But why would you want to meet me, you ask? The following are reasons you may want to come...

1. Because you want to see me in person.
2. Because there will be your choice of drinks, paid by you of course.
3. Because you are my blogger friend :):)
4. Because you like my writing, or have some personal questions for me.
5. Because you want me to autograph your copies of any of my books!

Really, I want to meet you guys. I have already booked one or two people. Vera is doing shakara for me, somebody please beg her :)

PS. There are clues in the pictures for those in the know. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Non Traditional Wedding Outfits for Men

Now, no matter how much I like to believe that I can think outside the box, I had the charge of shopping for my wedding back in the UK and the most non-traditional I got for Atala and his groomsmen was to pick a dark brown color for their suits instead of black.

I saw the pictures of Bobby Brown's wedding to his new wife, Alicia Etheridge, and I was reminded that not all weddings are traditional in the sense of a black tux for the groom. Sometimes one or both of the people getting married may decide to go for a different look.

For instance, our wedding colors were chocolate, burgundy and cream and I did discuss with him and he outright refused my suggestion of a white ivory suit. We compromised by having lovely wine-red ties and pocket corsage.

To be honest, it was a tough time for me, as I'm sure some of our fellow bloggers currently getting ready for their wedding will testify (Sisi Yemmie and Angel's beauty, how is it going?). I had, consciously and unconsciously, picked up all this wedding etiquette and ideas growing up as a young adult and of course, everyone and my mother had a suggestion too. But it can get too stuffy at a point, and before you know it, you begin to feel like you're just going through the motions.

When you or your would be groom are not too conventional, but you do want your wedding to be nice and trendy, it may be worth it to discuss ditching the princess gown and tux for something less traditional, especially for the men, cos we women, ah, we want that white/cream/even red gown, lol...

So some non-traditional ideas for men?

1. A different color suit than black and a cravat or bow tie. Vest and waistcoats are very trendy or you may ditch those for a cummerbund. And popping bright colors for the accessories will definitely make everyone more cheerful.

Chidi Mokeme and Wife

2. A stripped down version of any of the cultural Nigerian outfits. So a babanriga, buba and sokoto, Isiagu top, etc. I think Bobby brown got his look above from an Indian outfit. The one below looks great too.


3. Pick a them. You can give free rein to your imaginations. From beach bum look, to Micheal Jackson, to looking like the last king of scotland, it's your wedding, just have fun. :)

MumaGee and Husband

And I think that's what matters at the end of the day. Forget about what older people will say, parents will always be nostalgic and reminisce, but once the bride and groom love and support each other, I think their primary aim should be to make their partner happy.

What do you guys think? Did you go the non-traditional route with your wedding outfits, if you're already married, and if you're yet to plan your wedding, will you?

It's Good to be Me - Seagram's Ginger Ale Review

There’s this one memory that always comes to my mind when I think of enjoying soda. This is something that happened over ten years ago. That day in university, the temperature was hotter than boiling tar and just as cloying. We had just finished a 2-hour lecture by a tedious professor, and I was drained. Luckily, the tuck shops weren’t too far away from the study hall, and five minutes later I was in one ordering a small bottle of soda or mineral as it's known in Nigeria.

I will never forget that first gulp as the drink chilled, and at the same time burned its way down my throat. I had a repeat of that experience recently as I tasted Seagram’s Ginger Ale. It was very hot the day I went to pick it up, along with some other stuff, at the grocery store. By the time I came back and lugged my purchases inside, I was sweating. Tugging open at the 12-can pack which was quite handily tabbed at the corners to make it easier, I brought out the still-cold-from-the-store can, pulled the tab, and took a long gulp.

Hmmm…talk about bubbly…I was rewarded by the crisp and effervescent taste, light with just a hint of ginger that adds to the zest as the drink goes down. It was certainly one of those moments I said to myself, "It's good to be you."

I popped a couple cans in the fridge and set to making dinner. When Atala came back from work, we wound down the day on our deck while enjoying the light evening breeze and a glass each of Seagram's Ginger Ale.

Atala pointed out the very small taste of citrus, and I found that the pack lists citric acid in the ingredients. I asked him to describe the drink, and he said it was smooth and subtle, with a nice invigorating burn in the back of your throat after you swallow. What is it they say about great minds?

Seagram’s is now under the Coca-Cola label, and the Ginger Ale is described as “a canned refresher course on enjoying life with no regrets”. I was not surprised to learn it won the 2009 World Cup of Ginger Ale in Chicago; it does taste really good. With zero fat, no sugar or caffeine, and very low sodium, this is one drink most people can enjoy without too much of a guilty conscience.

My Verdict - a chilled can of Seagram’s Ginger Ale is definitely a refreshing experience. However, because I'm trying to cut down on the calories, I will be checking out the Diet Ginger Ale which has zero calories.

Also on my radar to try will be the new line of Seagram’s flavored sparkling seltzer water with flavors including Key Lime, Orange Citrus, Blackberry Raspberry and White Peach.

To connect with other people who love Seagram’s Ginger Ale, like their Facebook Page.

joining the Facebook page, you can install the Good To Be You (GTBU) App to celebrate your friends’ major milestones and great moments by giving their Facebook photos the stamp of approval.

Choose one photo of a friend's major milestone like a graduation, wedding or birth, or simpler moments like a day at the beach, and stamp it to remind your friends just how good life can be.

Remember, a GTBU stamped photo will also be posted to the Seagram’s Ginger Ale Facebook page so make sure to get permission from your friends first!

Ken Weds Barbie In True Yoruba-Nigerian Style

I was minding my business on Facebook a few days ago when I saw this image above. I was like, who is this fierce groom, and then I saw the title beside it, Black barbie and Ken's Nigerian Wedding. Of course I had to check it out. I was blown away by the full set of pictures which I got permission from the photographer, Obi Nwokedi, to share with you guys.

Obi Nwokedi is a London based photographer who photographs weddings, fashion, portraits, and occasionally, social events, concerts, and night life.

Obi says "I'm afraid, I don't have any emotional story about getting a camera as my 14th birthday present, or how my father before me was a photographer. I'm a regular IT analyst who a couple of years back, simply happened across some amazing photos online, and a passion was ignited. So after loads photography books, thousands of images shot, countless hours on photo forums, and several years later, here I am, using my God given talents to do what I simply love doing".

I have to say, he does it pretty well. Enjoy the Wedding Pictures of Barbie and Ken...

Get the hair done first

Update final details on your ipad

Gist with friends to settle your nerves

It's time to dress up

Best Friends Forever Aso-ebi

Yes I am ready

I'm going out to meet my man

The fierce groom

No matter how tough, he still has to bow

Reading the proposal for all to hear

I'm looking for my man, seen him?

There he is

And now I can rest awhile

Item 7, Rice and Stew Very Plenty

The entrance

Dance Dance Dance

Ken is digging it!

DJ is playing their song

Of course, money will be sprayed

We'll keep on having fun till we drop!

I really loved these pictures and I hope you did too. While the photoshoot is titled Nigerian wedding by the photographer, I think it is more of a Yoruba wedding. And what an amazing one too, the tiny accessories, the fashion and the style. And I've not even mentioned the photography, the attention to detail is awesome, the shots, the angles, the story-telling, everything.

Please visit Obi Nwokedi at his Website, see the complete Ken and Barbie Photoshoot at his Blog, and like him on Facebook.