Happy New Year 2013 Giveaway Hop

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

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit the other stops on the hop for more chances to win great prizes!

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Certkiller - http://www.certkiller.com/exam-640-822.htm
Examsheets - http://www.examsheets.com/exam/350-001.htm
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Realtests - http://www.realtests.com/

Alero Roberts on Marriage - Marry your Friend

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

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

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

The Proposal: Anyway, long story short… we were married within two-and-a-half years, although I’m still not sure if he actually proposed. On our fourth date, which was more like a one-on-one tutorial, he sort of said, “You are exactly the person I want as the mother of my children!” And I kind of answered, “Oh… Okay.” But to be fair, he courted me the old fashioned way and I got the flowers, candle lit dinners and chocolate galore and four (wonderful) children.

Marriage so Far: Our initial opinions of each other have been reversed. I must confess that having Damola with Down’s Syndrome made us focus our energies on him and the other children, which meant that we felt united in a common cause – to ensure that he had a good quality of life. That meant we were more often pulling as a team and not nit-picking each other’s fault.

Building a Family: However, the main challenges in our marriage have been about finances really. I had three children in three years and Seyi was elated. I remember he was like a little boy on Christmas morning when each child popped out (and yes! He was there in the delivery room each time). But then we had the fourth, he got worried. One of the most effective contraceptives I know… the cost of SCHOOL FEES!

Is there a Manual to Marriage?: Seyi is a great DIY (Do-It-Yourself) person and as with every appliance, tool and device we get, he always has the manufacturer’s manual handy. The same goes for our marriage; we consult the Manufacturer’s ‘manual’ and regularly return the marriage to the factory for ‘servicing’ and ‘overhauling’(laughing). We try to fill in the gaps and cover the lapses as quickly as possible.

One of the biggest misconceptions people have about marriage is that life owes us a good time, meaning that we are somehow entitled to a good life, fulfilling relationships, fantastic jobs, great husbands and achieved children. I really do not know where or how people form these misconceived ideas. So who then has to marry the man who does not have a super duper job, or the one who lives in a dense neighborhood or who will have children who come bottom of the class? Get real! We all have dreams and aspirations and the guess what? Life happens.

To the brides-to-be and their knights in shining armour, smell the roses, smell the coffee and remember that when the shining armour comes off, the knight will have a whiff of body odour, feet of clay, blind spots here and there, be intensely dense about the finer points of a lady’s needs, still want hot dinner, cold beer and Saturdays out with the boys. But hey, so what?! He will also love and cherish you. Make sure he gives you what you need to get dinner on the table and beer into the fridge and work all the hours God gives to ensure the children’s fees are paid as long as he gets a little space to watch Arsenal, Chelsea, Man U, etc on TV or at the viewing centre with ‘the boys.’

Women Empowerment and Sex: Women have recognised that they need to become, and remain economically empowered. When girls grow up seeing their female relations disenfranchised in marital relationships, they don’t have to be rocket scientists to realise that they need to have better than average income generating skills to ensure the same doesn’t happen to them.

The latest development of the desire to ‘play the field’ is not something I’m outraged about, as my profession allows me exposure to the seamy undersides of human behaviour and the desire to ‘sample variety’ or simply ‘put the spice back into our marriage.’ This is universal and more widespread than we think.

Now, on if it is right to ‘Do it’ before the “I do,” let’s be honest, sex complicates matters when it is the focus, rather than when it takes its natural place within a marriage. Seyi always says, “In a good marriage, sex contributes 10% but in a bad marriage, it suddenly contributes 90%.” I can now see how true that is!

Final Words: Before my wedding, my parents’ advice to me was to be patient and not jump to conclusions – from my dad and from my mum it was to “always make sure dinner is available.” But I would say the secret to a more lasting marriage, honestly is, “Less of me and more of Thee, Lord.” Also both my mothers were right when they said, “At the end of the day, it certainly remains patience and wisdom that work in favour of any marriage,” oh yes! And marry your friend.


Click their names to read the feature on Betty Irabor and Joke Silva.

Source - www.genevieveng.com

Movie Review - The Hobbit (An Unexpected Journey)

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

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

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

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

But this was very different. While the Lord of the Rings trilogy took itself all seriously with complicated plots full of Nazgul-this and Sauron-that, this was a much more light-hearted film which was much more straightforward to follow, while still keeping me at the edge of my seat with dramatic scenes where the adventurers encounter all kinds of monsters.

A particularly favourite scene of mine was Bilbo's encounter with Gollum, the degenerate hobbit who lives in a dark cavern. The scenes with Gollum were one of the few bright spots in my unhappy experience watching LotR, and I enjoyed no less the way his dual character was displayed as he switched from wide-eyed innocence to outright malevolence. Too bad he can't have his own movie.

So all in all, a fun, enjoyable experience, and worth the 3.5 stars that it gets.

Myne - I am a big fan of the LOTRs trilogy and when the initial previews of The Hobbit came out last year, I convinced Atala to do a marathon of the movies with me so we could relive the middle earth adventure. Those initial previews hooked me in with the Dwarves' song, and after watching the LOTRs movies, I just couldn't wait for this instalment. I wasn't disappointed.

I almost was after the later trailers skipped the soul stirring song in favor of longer scenes of fights with orcs and goblins. But after the relatively long movie experience which we saw in IMAX 3D, I was fulfilled. I got the full treatment of the song, and a rollicking action film to boot.

The Hobbit stays mostly true to the LOTR story, trying to tie them together and bringing back characters we already know, like Gandalf (of course), as well as the Lord of the elves, and Galadriel. In addition, there was the new characters of the dwarves to follow on a new adventure, and adventure full of portent and danger, but also fun and brotherhood.

Any Lord of the Rings fan will surely enjoy The Hobbit. I really did and I give it a 4.5 stars.

Have a great weekend and have fun at the movies if you do decide to go.

A Blogger Wedding - Chizy Marries Playboy

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

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

You can also see some pictures from the couples pre-wedding photo shoot on Chizy's blog.

Unrequited Love - Let's call it The Friend Zone

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

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

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

Eponine (in the picture above) loves Marius, he loves Cosette, he only wants to be friends with Eponine. Wait, there's more! Marius also wants Eponine to help him find and romance Cosette. This is no longer a pinch, talk about a dagger to the heart. Hmm...let me not lie, I cried for Eponine.

After we came back from the movie, I read a few articles on the unrequited love scenario, now popularly referred to as friend zoning, and most of them seem to assume that only men are friend-zoned. I can assure you that women get friend-zoned too by men they are interested in, and may have even openly expressed their love, only to have it thrown back to their face.

But whether it happens to a man or a woman, it is not a place I wish on anyone. I know it is futile to think that each person should only fall for those that'll love them back, but I can't help wishing it.

Who else has ever felt that pinch of unrequited love, or been friend-zoned? How does it feel?

A Blogger Proposal - Verastic Gets her Man

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

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

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

The ring and Vera's waiting fingers

The proposal cake

And Vera cried

And cried some more

Vera and Igwe

Vera and Funmie - best buddies

You can see even more pictures on Vera's blog here and here.

Season's Greetings with our Christmas Card

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

Betty Irabor on Marriage - It takes Two

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

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

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

Marriage so Far: There’s still a lot of sparks although I didn’t like him much when I first met him. I really wasn’t impressed by the fact that he came across as a ladies’ man; he always had girls dripping from his arms (even though I was never short of suitors myself), but I figured it had to be because he was a TV personality. The very first time I saw him, he had on a white suit and had bushy hair and I remember thinking, “really?” But again I thought, “not bad…” because he had a warm smile although I didn’t get to know him until a few years after I first sighted him.

A Husband as a Cheerleader: He is kind, self-giving and tolerates my excesses. Honestly, only a tolerant man like him could have married me; I am too stubborn. I always tend to want things my way. If I hadn’t married Soni, my destiny perhaps would probably have been diverted; he got me interested in the media. When I met him, I was a rookie PR girl who was totally clueless about an assignment I needed to deliver. He just happened to have saved the day for me and it was like payback time when he asked me out. He was in a relationship but I charmed my way into his heart. That was the beginning of a relationship that ended in a marriage 9 months after that first date.

I have to say this: I don’t know many men who believe in their wives’ abilities like Soni. He is my biggest cheerleader and my children of course. When I decided to go into publishing, he gave me all the support I needed even though neither of us knew what it entailed. When I feel I am hitting rock bottom, he would sweet-talk me into my strength. I am always amused when he goes: “Do you know who you are? You are Betty Irabor!”

He would then begin to roll out my list of achievements until I am good to go again. Soni is not easily fazed by challenges; he is an optimist and I am learning to tap into his optimism. Recounting my story, I feel lucky and blessed; I’m always grateful for the way my life has turned out with my husband and my children. We had some anxious moments when we had to wait six years on that ‘street called hope’ for our daughter, after the birth of our son, Ruyi, but we never got to the stage of trading blames. I have a great relationship with my husband and it’s only getting better.

When the Love Bank is on red: We do have our roforofo moments but we work it out. A marriage where couples don’t communicate and bear grudges is likely to be an unhappy one. Talk it over and don’t keep digging up the past. Forgive…forgive…forgive. What I know for sure is that Christ is the foundation of a good marriage. Having said that, I would like to add that when the time comes for anyone to choose a life partner, choose a partner who is not embarrassed to say “I am sorry” when he is wrong and never makes you feel small so he can appear taller.  Marry for all the right reasons and never for what you can get out of it when you haven’t put anything in.

Marriage takes Two: They say the future of a marriage lies in the hands of the woman but I say it takes two. Marriage is one of the world’s biggest collabs between two strangers. It has no manual; you learn on the job. It’s no surprise that given the chance I would choose my husband all over again; I already did with the renewal of our vows 12 years after our first wedding. We have our differences but after 28 years, you find a formula that works.


I first featured Betty and Soni Irabor in the Nigeria Power Couples piece.

Source - www.genevieveng.com

Date Night Movie Review - Lincoln

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

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

The film follows the political twists and turns as Lincoln works to get the amendment passed, and the opposition he encounters from various interest groups - ranging from hardline Democrats who are vehemently opposed to banning slavery to radical abolitionist Republicans those who think that the amendment does not even go far enough in banning slavery. It makes for fascinating political theatre, and it shows how even Lincoln and his cabinet members have to resort to all kinds of devious measures (including offer inducements to individual politicians) in order to get the amendment passed.

The film also tries to show Lincoln's human side - portraying the relationship between his wife (who dearly wishes the war would end so that her son would not have to fight in it) and his son (who does want to fight). But I felt that this was a sideshow that wasn't really needed in a film which was primarily about Lincoln the politician, not Lincoln the family man.

I also felt that Lincoln came across as too 'holy' - there were numerous scenes in the film when, instead of responding to a remark in a colloquial manner, he would go off into a flight of oratory. It felt kind of unreal - but perhaps that really was what Lincoln was like, so I shouldn't blame Daniel Day Lewis, who turned in a great performance as the 16th president of the United States.

In conclusion, I'll say the film was good - not a history-making kind of good, but good enough for 3 and a half stars from me.

Myne - The real Lincoln has always been an interesting character for me, and so I was interested to see this movie that showcased a sliver of his life and what made him a man of history. I am writing this review a day after watching another reflection of Lincoln in the History Channel's MANKIND, a history of all of us and I believe I have a fuller knowledge of the man behind the myth and inspirational stories and words.

The movie starts with Lincoln at the scene of a battle of the American civil war, he is meeting with surviving soldiers who hero worship him and quote the words of his Iconic democracy speech back at him. It is a perfect set up for the rest of the movie where he gives out more insightful nuggets, and shows also that he is a man with heart, and one who does not mind getting his hands dirty in the mud of politics.

In order not to spoil the movie, I won't say more than that it is a worthy movie. Daniel Day Lewis is great, and Spielberg also gets amazing acting from the others in the cast, including Tommy Lee Jones. I give the film four out of five stars, and expect that it will be referenced for years to come.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas here

Let it Snow

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

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

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

Ready, set, go :)

The Luminary

The lighted walkway

A proper Scottish Drum Tattoo - took me all the way back to my time in Edinburgh

Light displays and decorations

The enthusiastic carol conductor

Wrapped fot the cold - a Bell Orchestra

More lights, including on a giant crane to right

Aloha Entertainers

Light display of a toy train. The walkway was also packed with people

Nearing the end of the walk and an anticipated hot drink

I was so glad we went though I was quite cold by the end of the walk. We met up with a friend and instead of just drinks we opted for dinner. It was indeed a lovely start to Christmas.

Have a great weekend, and happy holidays everyone!

The Magic of Marriage by Nena Ndioma

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

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

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

Not completely satisfied – still hoping to find the ‘magic bullet’ – a young lady in the class turned to an older woman with at least thirty years of marriage under her belt, who happened to be in the class, too.

‘Can you give us some advice on what exactly we should pray about? What should our prayer points be, exactly, as we prepare to meet our life partners?’ she asked eagerly.

The older woman being addressed thought about it for a second, and then wearily gave an answer, pointing out that every Christian woman wants a partner that knows who God is, can go to God in prayer, etc. These were, thus, examples of things to pray about.

The young ladies took down notes furiously as she spoke. They took copious notes during the entire class, come to think of it.

As I sat back and watched this scene, I silently blessed the young ladies and wished them well. My sister’s long-standing argument also rang in my ears: ‘There’s an element of luck in this thing,’ she has always maintained. Although I disputed this when I was younger, the older I get, the more I’m tempted to agree with this assertion.

I think there are two things involved: you can either do your due diligence and respond to red flags as actual danger signs – or you can hope that ‘luck’ will shine on you. When I search through my inventory of friends and acquaintances with happy marriages, I find that each person falls in either of these two categories - luck or due diligence.

I have friends and acquaintances that got married way too young – before they even knew what life was about. I know of some who got married to their own converts not long after the conversion – something we were always warned against when I was a younger, unmarried lady. Some got married to obviously weak, not-too-committed Christians who suddenly ‘sat up’ where the things of God are concerned right after the wedding. Others ended up married to people they barely knew, with no real courtship to speak of. Although I’m certain some marriages borne this way end up back-firing, each of the people that I have in mind have been happily married for years.

So, although my Christian world-view clashes with the notion of ‘luck’, I’m beginning to think there’s got to be some element of luck involved, at least some of the time. However, depending on ‘luck’ in finding ‘The One’ is a precarious way to go, as luck is, by its very nature, unpredictable and unpromised.

If I had to do it all over again, I would go for doing my due diligence. I would be much more business-like about it (which I find that men tend to do really well), doing my research to find out if partnering with this person would be a good ‘business deal’ or not – and if not, telling myself the truth about this – and honoring myself enough to listen to me (i.e., God within me).

If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t stifle myself to keep the peace, or to squeeze myself into the portrait of the perfect potential wife. I would just be me, knowing that this would be more than enough for whoever is really supposed to be in my life for the long-haul.

In not insisting on ‘being me,’ I was complicit in the demise of my marriage. I thought that not asking too much of life, of my marriage, was smart. Safe. Brilliant. I thought not asking too much would ensure that I got everything. I thought it was my magic bullet.

I was wrong.

In my bid not to ask for much, not to be demanding, not to expect much, I gradually began taking on more and more responsibility in the relationship. I honestly thought that this sacrifice would solidify my place in my spouse’s heart. That I would be paid back with gratitude and everything else that comes with it. I thought my husband would, as a result, ‘arise and call me blessed.’

I see now that it seemed easier to me, at the time, to take on more and more responsibility, to do with less and less of him, than to confront the issues in the marriage that were eating me alive. It was easier to try and be Superwoman, managing on my own, than to talk everyone’s ears off about our actual issues, until I found a real remedy.  I see now that it was easier to be Superwoman on the outside, than to precipitate a process that would lead to a never-ending cold war between us. I would rather be Superwoman back then than contend with a cold war.

And so, behind the demeanor of the perfect Christian wife, standing by and submitting to her husband, hoping against hope that God would see me and rescue me like He did Sarah … was a palpable fear. I was scared to death about the direction in which my life was headed. I felt like I was in a fast race car, spinning out of control – and I was not the driver. All I could do was sit in my seat, holding on for dear life, and pray like crazy for God to keep me safe.

I essentially became lazy about my own life, without really realizing it. It was easier to try and juggle multiple balls in the air than to take the time to decide what I really wanted out of life and what I needed to do to get there. At least, with all my responsibilities, I had the excuse that I was too busy doing ‘noble’ things to think about myself. It was easier to believe that God would take care of it all, and that my only job was to be faithful to Him. As long as I took care of His business, He would take care of mine. Taking responsibility for myself was not in my job description.

Well … you know what they say about faith without works.

These are some of the things I wished I could have said to the young ladies in the youth Sunday School class.

I didn’t, though.

They were hoping for a magic bullet, and who can blame them? We could all do with a little magic in our lives.

Mid-Winters Eve Blog Hop Giveaway

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

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

Good luck and Happy Holidays!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Mid Winter's Eve giveaway blog hop is hosted by I Am a Reader Not a Writer and Oasis for YA. Several blogs are taking part, with lots of amazing gifts for book lovers. So if you're interested, Check the full list of participants below.

10 Women and 10 Questions on Relationships

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

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

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

Jemila: what do men want in a woman?

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

Ijeoma: My boyfriend talks a lot, and it’s embarrassing. How can I get him to shut up when he needs to be?

Djinee: You might cause a fight if you are derogatory and insulting in your correction because anyone, male or female will feel slighted. Correct lovingly like you care what people think about him. Never shut him up in public.

Ayoka: what should a woman look out for in a man when she’s ready to make that final decision to be with him forever?

Djinee: The truth? You will never know. Some people can keep up their acts for years. Encourage your man to be free and make mistakes. Then you’d know what you can and cannot live with. When the man looks too perfect, 9 out of 10 something major is wrong.

Tina: “Lovers’ Rock” is such a beautiful song. I hope songs like that can revive the lost romance in society; can it?

Djinee: Thanks, Tina. Though I didn’t make the song for restoration purposes but I sincerely hope the listener gets to enjoy the song anytime it plays.

Helen: People pay too much attention to the physical. Is that why we have too many bad relationships and disastrous marriages?

Djinee: That’s one of the many reasons. Relationships are seen as businesses nowadays. People x-ray what they can profit from it. Now we are human, we will always falter and just like in companies, erring employees get suspended or sacked, same way relationships end. You dig?

Bimbo: Is it in a man’s DNA to be promiscuous?

Djinee: Promiscuity is no more likened to a particular gender especially with current trends. But it’s neither in any of the genders’ DNAs to be promiscuous.

Nneka: what’s the best way to communicate because I realise me and my boyfriend argue so very often that I’m thinking of just ending the relationship.

Djinee: The problem I see here is that the only time you guys trash out serious issues is when you are angry and arguing. My 2cents? You both should sit together one day when you’re not arguing or angry, maybe over drinks and talk about your issues. It might do well to even write them down. If you really care about each other, you’d wanna correct lovingly.

Lamide: should sex make up for an otherwise dull relationship? My fiancée and I have very little in common except when it comes to great sex. Is that enough reason to stay?

Djinee: As much as great sex is important, it isn’t the only factor. When you realise you can get sex anywhere then you’d have to crave for some other fulfilment. When you are facing the travails of life, great sex won’t fill the void!

Josephine: My friend’s boyfriend is very manipulative and always wants to get his way. He has turned my friend into this zombie! How’s the best way to tell her to dump the douche bag?

Djinee: I usually don’t encourage 3rd parties in relationships, Jo. You might not get the correct picture of things. One thing you need to find out is why your friend is still staying put. Is she gaining one way or the other from the relationship – financially, emotionally, or otherwise? Your friend has to learn to be happy with herself and by herself. Self-reliance is also key. That way a man coming into her life doesn’t feel like he’s ‘God’ breathing life into a ‘worthless’ being. He will see her as someone he can grow with. When you tell her all these, hopefully she’d see the sense. Otherwise it’s really difficult pulling a girl out of a relationship like hers, especially when she feels she’s gaining somehow.


BTW, if it turns out that this is my final blog, with the world ending tomorrow and all - according to the Mayan calendar for those who still haven't heard - let me use this opportunity to say, it's been great knowing you all, and see you on the other side :)

Spaghetti and Tomato Sauce with Green Lima Beans

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


1 pack of spaghetti
3 large tomatoes, chopped
1 meduim onion, chopped
2 habanero peppers
2 tablespons vegetable oil
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 small onion, sliced
1 cube of knorr
1 pack frozen Lima beans
Salt and spices to taste

Directions for tomoto sauce

1. Blend the chopped tomatoes, onions and habanero peppers.

2. Heat the vegetable oil in a sauce pan until lightly smoking, and then pour in the blended tomato mixture.

3. Add salt, knorr and spices to taste.

4. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.

5. Once the mixture is dry and you can see the oil bubbling separately, add the sliced bell peppers and onions.

6.Stir well and then remove from heat.

Directions for Spagehtti

1. Put a pot of water to boil, enough to cover your pack of spaghetti.

2. Add a pinch of salt and a couple of drops of oil.

3. Boil for 10 mins, or until the spaghetti is as soft as you like it.

4. Drain in an large colander and pass cold water quickly over it.

Directions for Green Lima Beans

1. Pour the frozen green Lima beans into an oven safe dish.

2. Add a pinch of salt and cover with water.

3. Cook according to the directions on the package. Mine said to cook for 10minutes.

4. Remove from the microwave, and check that it is done. Drain.

The green Lima beans turned out to be a wonderful addition to the meal. It had this soft but chewy texture that I liked, and I think it might even come into play as a main dish in our rotation. As you can see from the pictures, we added some chicken cos we love us or meat.

For those new to Lima beans, it's actually great more than taste-wise. Check out details here. Some other recipes I try out with new-to-me foods include celery, aubergines, and squash. Are there any other vegetables you have tried recently, or want to suggest to me?

Bachelorette Ashley and JP's December Wedding

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

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

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

And now for the real wedding pictures.

Pictures courtesy of ABC.com

According to reports, Ashley and JP were not too sure whether to allow the ABC television cameras to capture their special day for millions of viewers, but it all worked out in the end. I'm glad they did, I enjoyed watching it and I'm cheering them on for many more years together.