This blog was created to serve as an inspiration to all who read aspire, to love and to live a life of purpose.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Red Carpet Fashion: The 2013 Oscars | 85th Academy Awards


I hope you all had a good weekend.  Here's something to make it better....captivating red carpet fashion from the most stylish awards ceremony, the 85th Academy Awards aka The Oscars which is going on right about now. Enjoy!

 Olivia Munn in a Marchesa dress. A bit messy but I love the satin!
 Adele in a Jenny Packham gown
 Anne Hathaway in Prada. Simple much?
Amanda Seyfried in Alexander McQueen
 Jane Fonda in a yellow Versace number
 Charlize Theron in Dior Haute Couture. Her new look is hot!
 Catherin Zeta-Jones in a Zuhar Murad dress. She doesn't age!
 Jennifer Garner in a plum Gucci gown. The color is just glorious!
 Jennifer Hudson in a Roberto Cavali Couture dress
 Jennifer Aniston in Valentino's Haute Couture
 Jessica Chastain in an Armani dress. Its beautiful!
 My girl Kelly Rowland in Donna Karan. Love how the slit is not typical. Stunner!
Naomi Watts in an Armani PrivĂ©  gown
 Octavia Spencer in a Tadashi Shoji gown
 Kristen Stewart in a Reem Acra gown. Too busy and horrible fitting. Not impressed. 
 Queen Latifah in a Badgley Mischka Couture fishtail dress
 Sally Field in a Valentino dress
 Reese Witherspoon in a Louis Vuitton gown
 Salma Hayek in an Alexander McQueen dress. Love the details on the top
 Sandra Bullock in Elie Saab
 Renee Zellweger in a Carolina Herrera gown
 Zoe Saldana in Alexis Mabille. Look at that tail. Beautiful!
 George Clooney and Stacey Keibler in Naeem Khan
 Fan BingBing in a Marchesa dress. Not so sure.
 Kerry Washington in a strapless Miu Miu dress. Simple and nice.
 Nicole Kidman in a L'Wren Scott dress
 Halle Berry in Versace
 Amy Adam in Oscar de la Renta
Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Face Couture. Very Regal.

It was soooo hard to pick a favorite. I'm so tempted to say Kelly Rowland but you know I'm biased....So maybe you can help me.....tell me which one you absolutely love :-)

Stay Inspired....

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Must Read ~ African Moms: Be Patient with Your Unmarried Daughters by China Okasi

I read this article today by China Okasi, a Nigerian journalist and thought, "Oh my! This makes too much sense not to share!" Read, then scroll to the end for my two cents. 
(CNN) -- Moms everywhere like to ask their unmarried daughters dreaded questions like: Why are you still single? Are you married yet? Anyone catch your eye? Especially around Valentine's Day.

Sure, we've seen Carrie Bradshaw agonize over the issue, watched Bridget Jones' awkwardness around it, heard Amelie's lamentations au Francais, and we've even heard from the lovable Mindy Kaling vis-a-vis her Indian-American perspective. But, we haven't heard the modern African woman's story.

Being an unmarried African woman in her childbearing years is like being a manicurist with a hand tremor: very odd and rather tricky. She is expected to marry early and marry well.

African mothers, then, are in a deep crisis. They immigrated to the United States with the hopes that their daughters would get a good education and fulfill the American Dream. But they never considered that, along with having all that modernity, their daughters would, like the rest of America's young, empowered women, be so "late" in marriage.

Granted, African moms are not alone in their hopes. But still, some of them seem particularly affected. What shall they do?

Well, first, they might accept that their daughters have not just a "double consciousness," as W. E. B. Dubois termed it, but rather infinite consciousnesses, complicating their very blackness. If an upper middle-class girl has one or more African parents, for example, she has likely schooled in the United States or Europe -- maybe even a generation after her own parents have.

And she has likely spent a fair amount of time in London via Lagos, a common lifestyle practice for those of formerly colonized African countries. If she has lived down South, say in Texas, for some time, she has likely acquired a George Bush twang for survival sake. If she has taken up a neuroscience residency in Boston (which, of course, she must, if she is African), she might now sound like Matt Damon's sister. And the minute she wins an accolade in some not-so-diverse department (which, of course, she must, being African), she'll be labeled the "first African-American" to have done so.

In short, she is global. If she is living in a melting pot like New York, she is global on steroids. Naturally, global girls outgrow such local traditions as arranged marriages, dowry and bride price, which have not been exclusive to African tradition (see the English period drama, "Downton Abbey") but have certainly lingered longer in homes of African descent.

African moms need to accept that globalism has allowed their daughters to know the world better, and as a result, seek partnerships more wisely. This process of self-determination takes a tad longer to form than setting up an arranged marriage.

Thankfully, my mom, educated in America, a New Yorker and rather global, has not been as insistent on marriage with me. But it seems like only yesterday her older sister, my aunt, warned about the dangers of waiting too long, or being too educated, to be married.

Really, if you've watched Maggie Smith's blunt character, Lady Violet Crawley, in "Downton Abbey," you have watched my aunt. Despite being an accomplished woman who acquired a Ph.D. later in life, she praised my graceful exit from my doctoral program. I'd just turned 21 when I'd chosen a rather eccentric doctoral study. In her words: "What man would marry a 20-something-year-old Ph.D.-holder?" It would be too intimidating to men.

"I'd do better to tone it down a bit," she suggested. Which brings me to my second plea to African moms. If you want your daughter to be as happy or happier than you have been in marriage, it makes no sense that she should dumb down the colorfulness of her character, the boldness of her spirit and the fire that made her the "first African-American" this or that in order to appease those who are potentially intimidated by her.

If you'd never match a conservative Christian with a flagrant porn star, it's not clear why today's educated woman should edit herself in hopes of attracting a feeble idiot. Yes, she'd be married, but then she'd live only to repress herself for someone else's ego -- and what kind of message would that be for the children?

You see, dear African moms, global girls need global boys. Not intimidated ones.

We can sit and try to make sense of why one kind of match would work or not work for a global girl, but we must concede that love is messy and unpredictable. Love is not like your daughter's medical career with a blueprint to follow, or like a GPS map that can calculate the distance between Addis and Accra.

Yesterday's woman wanted marriage. Today's woman wants love -- and marriage, if it turns out that way. Olivia Pope's character in the TV series "Scandal" spoke quite unapologetically for today's woman when she said: "I could probably give all this up, and live in a country house and have babies and be normal. I could. But I don't want to. I'm not built for it. I don't want normal and easy...and simple. I want...painful, love."

Extraordinary love? Sometimes, dear African moms, that process is just a little more complicated than marrying your cousin like in the 18th century. So, you'll just have to be patient.

My two-cents
This topic is one of the 'touchiest' topics for young African female professionals like yours truly. For many young Nigerians who grow up and/or get educated abroad, it is tempting to adopt the more "enlightened" view of marriage, which is to marry for love, rather than security or tradition. I put the word enlightened in quotes because its simply debatable what is enlightened and what is not. Some of us, however, look for a balance- Marry for love + security + tradition AND try to do it before the biological clock expires. Personally, just like Okasi, I've heard it all, "slow down, you're intimidating your suitors", "a Master's? Why?", "You're next". Like I discussed in my 7 Keys to Finding a Good Husband piece, for most young African daughters, the pressure is ever-present from varied angles. Thankfully, never from my mother who's educated and in the international scene. But like I was telling my best friend earlier this evening, "why would I want to partner up with a man who's insecure enough to be intimidated by me?" That sparked an insightful conversation about the fragile dichotomy between being successful and trying to moderate it (or 'edit' it like Okasi calls it) just enough to not intimidate any man. Of course, there are women who fit the stereotype of using their education to be condescending to their husbands and power/career as an excuse to neglect their families. Case in point, Sanaa Lathan's character Andrea in "The Family that Preys". But there's a middle ground, an educated woman has an opinion because she is just that; educated. She won't say "yes sir" just to nurse your ego but a "good" educated woman won't just argue with you or discount your opinions; she'd have an intelligent conversation with you and hear your points while giving hers. Am I making sense?

AND then there are men who get intimidated all by themselves. Last summer, I overheard a conversation between a good male friend of mine and his friend. His friend said "ahhh why would I marry a woman who makes more than me? Who be oga for the house?" That same year, I met a man who was heavily interested in marrying me. However, with every conversation, I realized that he couldn't tolerate an opinionated woman. It seemed as if he'd rather spend an hour arguing over the same topic than accede or 'agree to disagree'. I couldn't even get a "I could understand your point of view" or "I see why you would say that but...". He made a conscious effort to immediately discount my opinions to prove that his was right, even on legal topics! Now, for a man who hadn't studied law a day in his life, you'd think he'd at least consider mine for a second, considering I spent an excruciating 8 years of higher education to learn the law. How could I marry a man who won't pause his ego long enough to listen to me? No bueno. That's the point. 

The man I say 'yes' to has to be secure enough in himself and his accomplishments to count my brain and accomplishments as a plus quality. In essence, he'd have to be my "global boy" and I can be his global girl. So yea, Okasi makes good points. But then, while I am a avid believer in extraordinary love, I disagree with Olivia Pope's idea of love as painful, difficult, devastating or leaving another woman the casualty of a broken home and a distracted husband. More so, as a christian woman, first and foremost, I know love to be patient, unconditional, pure, kind, unselfish and while it would often be toughly tested, it should be a secure place to be. 

Your thoughts?

Stay Inspired....


***email me at

Monday, February 11, 2013

Dear NwaVic: Should I Say It Back?

Dear NwaVic,

I have been seeing this guy lately and he is quite obsessed with me. We talk every day, spending hours on the phone and at same time, we text each other always. I never told him that I love him but anytime we finish discussing on the phone, he sends me a kiss and tells me that he loves me, that he can go to any extent for me. I am confused because we were high school love birds but moved to different countries. My question is since I love him and think about him always, should I tell him now that I love him? He prays for us both over the phone and we are quite same age. I am so confused about what to do. I love him so much but too weak to let him know which I already think that he does know.

Worried Mind

Dear Worried Mind, 

Thanks for your email. I handled a similar issue a couple of months ago. You can read it here. 

If we were having this conversation in person, I'd ask some clarifying questions like, how old are you? How long have you been dating this guy? You say that you've been seeing the guy lately, but then you say you were high school love birds. Why are you afraid of saying you love him? Is it his age? Is he too obsessed with you? Is it the distance?

Without any alarming answers to those questions, there's a simple answer to your question. If you're sure you love him, go ahead and tell him you do. 

Here's how to be sure. Ask yourself these questions: Do you think about him when your mind wanders? (I think you said yes to this) Does he make you happy? Do you have an innate urge to make him happy? Do you know each other's flaws and accept them? Do you smile when you think about him? What's his life-plan? Are you guys on the same "future" page?

If these questions can be answered in the positive, you more-likely-than-not love him. You could go ahead and say it back. Love is always a risk because we fear it will render us vulnerable. It doesn't have to be that way. From what I gather, this is a guy who's into you and loves you because he tries to make you feel special, wants to talk to you all the time and makes you a part of his daily life. So, telling him you love him back will probably free you of confusion and weakness, and the feeling of relieve you'd get will make the "love-risk" worth taking. 

Having said all that, please stop worrying. It won't solve a thing. There is no pressure. Don't rush yourself. If you feel you need more time, take it till you're 100% ready to say it. True love IS patient. 

I really hope this helps. Good luck!

Stay Inspired....

*Email with any further issues, concerns, questions, suggestions for a prompt and neutral response/advice. :-)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Red Carpet Fashion: 2013 Grammy Awards

Happy Sunday guys!

At the moment, the 55th Annual Grammy Awards is being held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Don't worry, one day, you and I will make it there live ;-)

In the meantime, we can ogle and wow at some notable outfits from the red carpet earlier today :-)

 John Legend and fiance Chrissy Teigen
 Wiz Khalifa and preggers Amber Rose
 Rick Ross
 JLo and her boo Casper
 Estelle. Not sure.
 My crush Tim McGraw in a Tom Ford suit and his wife Faith Hill in a J. Mendel dress. I'm just a bit jealous.
 Natasha Bedingfield
 Sean Paul
Giuliana Rancic
 Ashanti. Not so sure how I feel about this dress.
 Rihanna. Love the red!
 Beyonce. Classy but too simple.
 Carrie Underwood in Robert Cavalli. Love this! Especially the necklace.
 LL Cool J and wife Simone Johnson. Something inspiring about a couple that has been married for 18 years.
 Alicia Keys
 Kelly Osbourne
Solange Knowles
 Pharrell and Helen Lasichanh
 Jaenelle Monae. I wouldn't rock this but it perfectly suits her personality.
 (L-R) Singers Tamara Johnson-George, Cheryl 'Coko' Clemons and Leanne 'Lelee' Lyons of SWV. Remember them?
 Katy Perry. I love.
 Taylor Swift. I like.
 Adele. Too busy!
 Justin Timberlake. Typical Justin style.
Chris Brown

And here's my personal fave! my girl Kelly Rowland. Love it! Love it! Love it! Look at that bod! I want!

You like? You love? You don't like? You hate?

What do you think? Let me know!

Stay Inspired....

***email me at