"" From Now Till 'I Do'...: September 2009

Loving Sky Plus!!!

0 Things the people are saying
Got Sky Plus installed this week and I love love love it!

I know I'm probably behind on the times, but I love how I can pause live tv, fast forward through adverts and record my favourite shows to watch at times convenient to me.

Isn't technology great, {sigh}!

8 ways to build your new community

2 Things the people are saying

Four months ago, I relocated to a new city, which was huge emotionally. I left behind a way of life I had known for 25 years and moved to a city where I felt like a tourist for such a long time. I didn't know where anything was, I didn't know anybody apart from Mr E and one or two old friends plus I had a new job. It was tough!

Today, whilst I can't quite call myself a local, I am pleased to say that things are starting to come together. I've settled into work, got myself into a routine with the daily commute, caught up with some old friends, figured out where my local Tesco is (both 24 hours and Express), and most importantly found myself a new church.

So what has worked for me as I’ve started to build my new community? Here are some of the things I did:

  1. Join a church. Seems quite obvious if you’re a Christian but even if you’re not a regular church goer, a local church is a great community to be part of. I find it helps me a lot, when trying to establish a new base. On my very first Sunday, we visited the local Methodist church, where we got to meet some of the locals in the area. Now whilst I wasn't sure at the time whether I would start going to this particular church, I found the members super friendly and they gave me some good advice on where local things were, short cuts to the train station and some history about the village, things I would not necessarily have known about otherwise. They were even kind enough to send a congratulatory wedding card around the date of our wedding, not knowing the wedding had been cancelled and that was really touching. Depending on your denomination you should be able to find a church quite easily using www.findachurch.co.uk and most churches have their own websites so you can find out more about services and mid-week meetings.
  2. Re-connect with old friends. It is a small world out there and more often than not you will bump into people you didn’t even know lived in your area. This happened to me and I discovered that a few of my childhood friends now live locally. We took the opportunity to meet up over dinner and this was really good in building a new friendship group locally as not only did we catch up but they also introduced me to other people as well.
  3. Transfer old networks. Back in your old community I’m sure there are groups whether social, religious or sporting that you belong to and there is nothing stopping you transferring them to your new place. For example I belong to OFNC who have branches all over the country and I know that in the major towns and cities across the UK, there will always be OFNC members there, who I can connect with. Do a little research, ask your old group, find out whether they have a base where you’re moving to, as that is something you can get involved in straight away.
  4. Be prepared to put yourself out there. Back in my old city I was very familiar with the professional networking circuit and was used to seeing familiar faces whenever I went to different events, a network which I had built over 2/3 years. I remember attending a woman's networking event here in Birmingham for the first time, having only been here for three weeks. I didn’t know anyone to go with, so I went on my own, I didn’t know anyone when I got there, so again I was on my own and it was completely nerve racking! Nevertheless, it forced me to make the effort to talk to people and I’m glad that I did as I had a great time and that evening I met three fabulous ladies, two of which I have subsequently met for dinner, and the other who I connect with through email and twitter. The great thing about these professional relationships is that they can help connect you to other relevant people in your field. Don’t be afraid to put yourself outside your comfort zones. Sometimes it’s in those situations you end up having the best time and learning more about yourself.
  5. Take up some new (or old) interests. I love singing and regularly sang in my old church choir. Having moved I would love to continue this at my new church. Now this won’t happen overnight but it’s something good to work towards and will help me get more integrated, thus building my community. I also recently joined the gym in an attempt to get fit for the wedding. Now to be honest I don’t really go to the gym to make friends as I’m hardly there, but I know some people who do. So if you’re that person get yourself down to your local sports facility and get involved, whether it be football, tennis or salsa dancing. Hobbies and interests are a great way to make new friends.
  6. Get out and meet the local business. The village (and yes they still call themselves a village) where I live is small! There is just one high street where you can find everything, such as the bank, chemist, baker, butcher, post office, grocery store and of course the fish and chip shop and curry house. I have made a point to visit most of them and in a village as small as mine, locals always know when there are new people about and start to talk to you, asking questions. Be open to this, they’re not being nosey (well sometimes they are), they are just keen to find out more about you as well as give you useful information. In terms of my neighbours themselves I have spoken to most of them, but it’s the usual ‘hi/bye’. I did ask to borrow a can opener from my immediate neighbour when I first moved in and that was probably the longest conversation I have had with any of my neighbours. I hope over time, that this will change.
  7. Join the Residents Association. May seem a little 'OTT' or old school but this has helped me to get familiar with the village where I live and its goings on. They also provide advice about safety, recycling and new things coming to village, as well as update you on things that are already in the village. Last week for instance, I found out that the local high school/college has it own sports facility which is open to the public in the evenings and you can use the gym, do dance glasses, play badminton etc – all at a greatly reduced rate than what I’m currently paying at my city centre gym. So finding that out has been really beneficial and I will be cancelling my Virgin Active membership pronto.
  8. Finally, if in doubt, Facebook it. When I am trying to find out something locally and I haven’t got a clue, I often post the question in my status on Facebook. This has worked on numerous occasions, more recently when trying to find a new hairdresser and your Facebook friends who live in the area or know the area will come back to you with an answer, which nine out of ten times, will be very useful!

So there you have it, some of the things that have worked for me. I’m sure that there are more, so feel free to leave your own tips below.

Financial blessing from above

0 Things the people are saying
Today has been a great day. No today has been a fantastic day!

If you have ever read Matthew 6:25-34 and doubted these verses, please don't!

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Matthew 6:25

Today out of nowhere, God did a great miracle for Mr E and I and we are truly thankful!

p.s. If you're in doubt whether to pay your tithe, or think you can't afford it, just do it and see what God does.

{sorry if this sounds so cryptic - I will fill you in soon}

Commuting disturbance

0 Things the people are saying
So I'm on my way home from work about to settle down to 20 mins of tranquillity and a guy walks onto the train, music blaring.

Why do people think its appropriate to play their dance/house/garage/hip hop (delete as appropriate) music without headphones, for all to hear. No mate, I do not want to hear your music!

The daily commute is supposed to be a time of peace, reflection and catching up on my sleep. However, more often than not, it is disturbed by the youth of today who think I do not have access to MTV and wish to hear their latest offerings live. I'm sure it's not just me. Looking around the train I can see others who are just has frustrated.

What can one do? You daren't say anything for fear of being knifed/attacked/beaten up/mugged (again delete as appropriate) because clearly someone who has no issue with 'blasting out the tunes' with no consideration of others, will have even less of an issue, giving you 'what for' if you challenge them.

I dunno what do people think? What would you do?

Count it all Joy

0 Things the people are saying
'Count it all joy, always remember, life will get better it's gonna get better
No matter the weapon it will not prosper, things will get better it's gonna get better'

How many of you recognise the above lyrics? They're taken from the Kirk Franklin's song, 'Better', one of my favourite tracks on his 'Hero' album.

James 1:2 tells us to 'consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.'

I read this on Monday in the Word for Today and it really touched me. Sometimes life throws us curve balls and believe me the balls have been curved recently but the great thing about this verse is that it reminds me of why we go through these situations. God wants to make us stronger people, help us to mature and become well developed and through the trials of life we learn to lean on God's grace and trust Him to deliver, as he always does.

Through human eyes we don't always see the big picture, but God does and He always wants the best for his children. 

So remember if you're going through a trial today, count it all joy, life will get better it's gonna get better.

The long and short of it!

0 Things the people are saying
Keeping with the obvious hair theme of the past few days. Check out this great article on long vs short from Boundless.

Patiently waiting...

0 Things the people are saying
Apologies, if I'm generalising, but why do black salons think it's okay to keep you waiting for ages? Anytime you want to get your hair done, you need to book out a whole day for what should only be a two hour appointment.

Scenario 1:
I went to a place last Friday for a 3pm appointment. At 4:20pm I was still waiting to be seen and there was still someone ahead of me.

I walked out.

As I was leaving the guy at the front desk shouted out to me, 'could you not wait?'

'COULD I NOT WAIT! I'm sorry but I think one hour and twenty minutes is long enough time to wait if you ask me! This is so not good!'

'Sorry' was all he said, as if it were normal. I was so annoyed!

Scenario 2:
On Saturday I visited another salon, on recommendation. My appointment was for 2pm and I arrived at 1:55pm. And get this - I was seen at 2pm on the dot! The whole salon experience was completely different from start to finish.

Call me a cynic but this second place was not a 'black' salon and their approach to customer service was poles apart, amongst other things.

Now I'm not saying all Black salons are bad, but how hard can it be, to not overbook clients and to stick to time. Salon owners of the world, I plead with you!

Anyways, hair has been done and it's now a lot shorter than when I went in, (but in a much healthier state). Think Chanelle from BB or Posh Spice. I'm still getting used to it and I'm not sure I completely love it, but time will tell and it will always grow, right!

Ladies, share your salon stories, what's the longest time you've had to wait to be seen?

The 'Mane' attraction

4 Things the people are saying
So I've been thinking about wedding hair, well actually hair in general and what to do with mine. My hair is relaxed at the moment and has been for the past two years.

Prior to that, it was natural, after I underwent the 'big chop' at University. For those of you who don't know, the 'big chop' is when you decide to go natural after having relaxed or permed hair and rather than transitioning (which takes ages), you chop off all the relaxed bits and let your natural hair grow out.

I honestly couldn't remember what my natural hair looked like and it was so ravaged by relaxing and poor maintenance, I literally went back to my roots, with no regrets about how I would look. You see that's the great thing about University, people just accept you for who you are!

I kept my hair natural for three years, wearing weaves and braids to keep it manageable, often confusing people at work with the variety of styles!

Over the years I have learnt a lot about hair care, particularly around the right products to use and how to take care of my hair properly, whether it is natural, relaxed, braided or weaved. Whilst it hasn't always been easy, patience is key and I am pleased to see improvements in my hair all the time.

Some of the things I have personally learnt:
- you can wash you hair more than once a week
- ingredients such as petroleum or mineral oil, do nothing for your hair except coat it with product (Lusters Pink Cream - you know who you are!)
- products work differently on different people
- too tight braids are bad
- bonding glue is bad
- natural oils are good
- regular trims are good
- co-washing is good
- hair does not need to be 'retouched' exactly on week 6 (I have gone up to 12 weeks)
- you should always wrap your hair at night (can't promise I do this religiously)
- sometimes it's good to air dry (but not when you're going to work the same day!)
- a good hairdresser is hard to find, but once you do find them, they will be your friend for life

I thought for good measure (and for laughs) a trip down memory lane was in order. Check out some of my hairstyles from days gone by.

Simple is best
First visit to the Big Smoke
Not really hair, but a cute pic!
Rockin the braids - Aged 7 with sis
I think I had braids here and then cut them
Braids again
My first 'bob'
The day I met 'Yaki'
Hair extensions ('extensions' being the operative word!)
The Big Chop!
My Afro!
Graduation canerows!
Holiday braids which I rocked a lot post holiday
My friend
My first and last encounter with bangs
The 'poof' and back to the 'creamy crack '
Super sleek extensions 
My Rhianna inspired look

25th Birthday

Ten Guidelines from God

2 Things the people are saying
I came across this on my daily blog roll and it really touched my heart. It is all so true!

Effective immediately: Please be aware that there are changes YOU need to make in YOUR life. These changes need to be completed in order that I may fulfil My promises to you to grant you peace, joy and happiness in this life. I apologise for any inconvenience, but after all that I am doing, this seems very little to ask of you. Please, follow these 10 guidelines....

Life has dealt you a blow and all you do is sit and worry. Have you forgotten that I am here to take all your burdens and carry them for you? Or do you just enjoy fretting over every little thing that comes your way?

Something needs done or taken care of? Put it on the list. No, not YOUR list. Put it on MY to-do-list. Let ME be the one to take care of the problem. I can't help you until you turn it over to Me and although My to-do-list is long, I am after all... God. I can take care of anything you put into My hands. In fact, if the truth were ever really known, I take care of a lot of things for you that you never even realize.

Once you've given your burdens to Me, quit trying to take them back. Trust in Me. Have the faith that I will take care of all your needs, your problems and your trials. Problems with the kids? Put them on My list. Problem with finances? Put it on My list. Problems with your emotional roller coaster? For My sake, put it on My list. I want to help you. All you have to do is ask.

Don't wake up one morning and say, "Well, I'm feeling much stronger now, I think I can handle it from here." Why do you think you are feeling stronger now? It's simple, You gave Me your burdens and I'm taking care of them. I also renew your strength and cover you in my peace. Don't you know that if I give you these problems back, you will be right back where you started? Leave them with Me and forget about them. Just let Me do my job.

I want you to forget a lot of things. Forget what was making you crazy. Forget the worry and the fretting because you know I'm in control. But there's one thing I pray you never forget. Please, don't forget to talk to Me - OFTEN! I love YOU! I want to hear your voice. I want you to include Me in on the things going on in your life. I want to hear you talk about your friends and family. Prayer is simply you having a conversation with Me. I want to be your dearest friend.

I see a lot of things from up here that you can't see from where you are. Have faith in Me that I know what I'm doing. Trust Me; you wouldn't want the view from My eyes. I will continue to care for you, watch over you, and meet your needs. You only have to trust Me. Although I have a much bigger task than you, it seems as if you have so much trouble just doing your simple part. How hard can trust be?

You were taught to share when you were only two years old. When did you forget? That rule still applies. Share with those who are less fortunate than you. Share your joy with those who need encouragement. Share your laughter with those who haven't heard any in such a long time. Share your tears with those who have forgotten how to cry. Share your faith with those who have none.

I managed to fix it so in just one lifetime you could have so many diverse experiences. You grow from a child to an adult, have children, change jobs many times, learn many trades, travel to so many places, meet thousands of people, and experience so much. How can you be so impatient then when it takes Me a little longer than you expect to handle something on My to-do-list? Trust in My timing, for My timing is perfect. Just because I created the entire universe in only six days, everyone thinks I should always rush, rush, rush.

Be kind to others, for I love them just as much as I love you. They may not dress like you, or talk like you, or live the same way you do, but I still love you all. Please try to get along, for My sake. I created each of you different in some way. It would be too boring if you were all identical. Please, know I love each of your differences.

As much as I love you, how can you not love yourself? You were created by me for one reason only -- to be loved, and to love in return. I am a God of Love. Love Me. Love your neighbours. But also love yourself. It makes My heart ache when I see you so angry with yourself when things go wrong. You are very precious to me. Don't ever forget that.

(source )

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Four weddings

0 Things the people are saying
Has anyone watched 'Four Weddings' on Living TV? What do you think?

I watched the Celebrity version yesterday. So much bitching, so much cattiness and so much wasted extravagance - I mean come on, £200k on renewal of vows! I know what I would spend £200k on and it wouldn't be fairies and men on stilts!

As for the show's concept itself, I don't know, it is funny to watch sometimes, particularly when they had the Nigerian couple and all the other brides were there bang on time and the service didn't start for another 1 hour and a half and they were surprised. We just thought that is so typical! But at the same time it really superficial and can bring out some awful personality traits in people? I mean who gives anybody else the right to judge whether your wedding is 'good' or not. It's your special day and like the saying goes 'what anyone else thinks of me, isn't really any of my business'.

It did get me thinking though, apart from the fact that you are privileged to witness the joining of two people before God, what do you think makes a good wedding? 

Choosing your TEAM for the big day

0 Things the people are saying
There are so many people involved in bringing together a successful wedding, don't you know! I call them TEAM ACE (ace is our initials - cheesy I know). Each of them has a part to play in making your special day come together, it's really important that you take time to choose your team members properly.

In TEAM ACE we have:

- our church and officiant
- our reception venue
- day of coordinator
- photographer
- videographer
- caterer
- designer and printer
- bridal and grooms wear
- seamstress
- cake maker
- hair and make up
- registry

Anyone who knows me, knows that I research to the end and if I need to find out something, I will be on Google quicker than you can say 'can you find..?'

We started 'planning' our wedding back in September 08 and I refused to buy any bridal magazines until the New Year, because I wanted to see how far I could get with the Internet only, plus it'a cheaper, right! I was amazed at all the things I could find. There were different websites, blogs, e-zines all about weddings, showing inspiration ideas, actual weddings, DIY projects - you name it. Some of my favourite are listed to the right of the post.

I also found that because there are no geographical boundaries online, you can get the opinions and insight from people across the Globe and are not restricted to things that are local. This really helped me when I was looking at traditional Nigerian weddings to get an idea of what to expect.

Alongside all of this, when I got engaged one of my bridesmaids bought me a wedding planning binder, which was a fantastic gift - thanks Em! It arranged all the different things you need to do into sections and allowed you to do your research, make notes and plan for your wedding. I also bought 'The Wedding Book' by Mindy Weiss, which I had seen recommended online. Mindy a world renowned Wedding and Event planner, put all her planning advice and tips down into a wedding book and I found it particularly useful especially around wedding etiquette and traditions.

(image source)

Brides to be out there -  in all of this make sure you have a clear idea what you and your fiancĂ© want for your wedding, because it will help you as you make decisions around who to work with and what is or isn't important for your special day.

Over the next couple of weeks we will begin our 'How we chose our...' mini series - so stay tuned. We won't be revealing some vendor details until after the big day, but we will give you insight into how we chose them.


0 Things the people are saying
Pride makes you value other people's opinions over those that really matter
Pride makes you want to keep up with the 'Jones' when clearly there is no need to
Pride stops you from telling the ones you love, how much they mean to you and how much you appreciate them
Pride stops you from apologising when you are clearly in the wrong
I don't want to be proud anymore

The 10 Commandments of Marriage

0 Things the people are saying

The Ten Commandments of Marriage -- by Ed Young

1. Thou shalt not be a selfish pig. The enemy of any relationship is selfishness. The opposite of selfishness is love. A good description of love: when the welfare and satisfaction of another person comes to means as much to me as my own.

2. Thou shalt cut the apron strings. When a wedding takes place in a church, another hidden ceremony occurs. In it, the groom unconsciously switches over to his bride the qualities and faults of his mother—and hereafter expects to find them in his bride. The bride switches over to the groom the qualities and faults of her dad. The ideal happens when each recognizes the expectations they’ve created, cuts loose from them and comes to know the uniqueness of their own spouse.

3. Thou shalt continually communicate. Unless we are fully known, we cannot be fully loved. And how else do we become known, down to our very core, unless we let our spouse know of our fears, hopes, dreams, anxieties, and insufficiencies. We’re usually afraid to do for fear of rejection. But the risk is worth taking. It’s the only way to be loved the way our heart wants to be loved.

4. Thou shalt make conflict thy ally. Disagreements are not sought. When they occur, they are opportunities to communicate, understand, compromise, and solidify the relationship. The absence of all conflict demonstrates that either the relationship isn’t important enough to struggle for, or that both individuals are too insecure to risk disagreement.

5. Thou shalt avoid the quicksand of debt. Money can become a bone of contention, an instrument of power, an expression of selfishness, and a destroyer of important realities. Prudent spending flows from mutually set priorities and a responsible maturity.

6. Thou shalt flee sexual temptations—online and otherwise. Sexual pleasure is wonderful, but it speaks of spiritual and personal realities far more profound than feeling good. A mature and growing love relationship always includes an element of exclusivity. The language of sex is directed solely to my spouse.

7. Thou shalt forgive your mate 490 times. The 490 number comes from the biblical encouragement to forgive not only seven times, but “seventy times seven.” One of the primary benefits of marriage is to teach us fallible humans how to forgive. Forgiveness is a manifestation of love.

8. Thou shalt keep the home fires burning. Building a good marriage and building a good fire are similar. At first, the paper and kindling make a brilliant blaze. Then the blaze dies down and you wonder if the fire will fizzle out and leave you in the dark. You blow on it and fan it for all you’re worth. Sometimes it smokes and brings tears to your eyes. But if the materials are good and you invest enough time, energy, and interest, the logs catch and the fire goes on and on.

9. Thou shalt begin again and again. Nothing in this world that is worthwhile occurs suddenly. The closeness and love we yearn for doesn’t happen quickly. If we stumble on the way, we must get up and “go for it” again and again.

10. Thou shalt both make peace with change. We stay married by making peace with what can’t be changed. We also stay married by adapting to change, to the changes that—with or without our consent—occur in us, in our spouse, and in our marriage. Spontaneity, creativity, and freshness become interwoven with flexibility, adaptation and acceptance.

Back to skool!

0 Things the people are saying
September is here, which means summer is over and it's time to go back to school/college/university (delete as appropriate).

I love September because for me this is my 'new year', not January. I set my goals, reflect on the past year and focus on the future. I also love the Autumn/Winter season as well, it's my favourite. Woolly jumpers, long coats, knee boots - love it.

Congratulations to all those who are off to University, especially my brothers, whom I am very proud off. One will be studying Medicine at Oxford, UK and the other at Pamona College, CA.

This is a special time of your life enjoy it.

(Image source)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...