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

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas from NwaVic!

It has been such a beautiful year. Today, I appreciate each and every one of you, who have become family to me. Your loyalty continually inspires me to keep blogging. 

May your Christmas be as wonderful as you!!!! (yes you ;-))

Stay Inspired!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Dear NwaVic: My Long-Distance Girlfriend Visits Her Male Friend at His House till Nighttime

Dear NwaVic,

Nice work you got going here. Keep it up. I have a serious issue on my mind about a lady I am dating. I'm currently on the 6th month of NYSC in Taraba state. Because of the distance and insurgency in the area, I have not traveled to see her but we talk everyday on the phone. She is cool and possesses qualities every man desires. I love this lady and she says the same about me. I know in times like this, trust & communication matters a lot that's why she tells me whatever she is doing. Whenever she travels to Lagos, there this male friend she visits. I don't know if am being overprotective but I don't feel comfortable with her going to see a guy at his place and staying there till 7 pm. 

Whenever she tells me on the phone that she is going to see a male friend, I would jokingly ask her why she is going to see a guy, she would always say, "there is nothing there, he is just my friend." My girlfriend is 22 years old and in her final year in the university. She is still young and inexperienced when it comes to relationship matters. I am not really comfortable with the fact that she's going to see another guy because actions like this breed temptation especially as I am not around. From my experience, guys these days are mostly after something serious. 

Secondly, is it proper for her to give out her phone number to any guy that approaches her; on the street, church etc. It has happened several times in my absence. I challenged her about it. Her reply was that it doesn't matter and that they asked, that's why she gave. I cautioned her. She later apologized & said she will stop. My fear here is that these issues mean a lot to me. If she doesn't realize the sensitivity of this matter now, then even in marriage she will continue this way in my absence but she may then start hiding it from me. Please despite the freedom to make new friends, are these things ok for me to just watch by happen?? It bothers me a lot.

Thank you,


Dear C,

Thank you for writing Dear NwaVic at Thank you also for your kind words! Assuming you have conveyed in whole the way you're handling this matter, I'd first commend you for your patience. It speaks a lot about you. 

Your letter screams, "Boundaries! Boundaries!  Boundaries!" Boundaries are imperative for any healthy relationship. It means teaching others how to treat you by what you allow, what you reinforce and what you stop.  Long distance relationships are very tough already. Having been in one myself, like you said, without trust and communication, the relationship is as good as dead. Honest and open communication breed trust.   More so, in a successful relationship, two people have to be on the same page as to what "commitment" means. Commitment might mean one thing to you and another to her. That's where the communication and boundaries come into play. Without first ensuring that you both agree on what your boundaries are, there would be no trust. Without trust, there will be no security.  It's the security and peace of mind that will help bridge the miles that physically separate you.

Trust is also security in knowing that your partner would not do anything that makes you uncomfortable. This is why the first step is to be open and honest about your feelings. You say you mentioned it jokingly. Now, you need to say it seriously. But thread carefully, the way you say it will make the difference between whether you are just an insecure jealous boyfriend or whether you are a man who cares about his lady. For one, this conversation is one that needs to be had in person. Lead with a comment that shows that you understand this is a sensitive issue. Then be open and direct about how you feel. Try to get her to put herself in your shoes. Then, suggest that you two come up with rules for your relationship. You cannot ban her from hanging out with all her male friends but you can come to mutually agreeable boundaries. For e.g. I know couples who don't hang out with friends of the opposite sex one-on-one, only in groups with other friends. I also have friends who don't talk to male friends after a certain time out of respect for their relationships. It is quite possible that their relationship is platonic. However, like you said, excess time spent together can breed temptation. We are human beings, after all. 

When you talk with her, you need to address her giving out her number to other guys. This is a tough one. On one hand, there's the school of thought that until you marry her, she cannot be 100% yours. Many ladies who have been hurt will tell you they regret the number of opportunities they forfeited. On the other hand, like I said earlier, if she is committing to being in a serious relationship with you, then you both need to follow a mutual "commitment" rule book. Apparently, "commitment" to you does not mean giving out your phone numbers to the opposite sex, but it might to her. 

The conversation could go something like this, "Honey, I think its really great that you have such a good friend in "Michael". However, I care about you and I am fully committed to making this relationship work. I want us to be on the same page so we can strengthen this relationship. The frequency and length of your visits with "Michael" makes me very uncomfortable. I hope you can put myself in my position and see how I feel. How would you feel if you found out I was visiting my female friend here and staying with her till sunset? I know you could have easily not told me about your visits and I appreciate your honesty. However, I think we should set boundaries in our relationship so that we can respect each other's feelings. Can you agree to only visit him in public places? Maybe you can have lunch in a restaurant and catch up. You can be friends with him without visiting his house alone.  This rule also applies to me.............................."

Side note: How long has she known this guy? Is this her childhood friend?  If this is a guy she has known for 5 years or more, and you can verify they have been friends that long, then the probability that the friendship is platonic is higher. Additionally, I cannot ignore the elephant in the room. How old are you? If she is 22 years old, you also need to consider that she may not be as ready to settle down and "commit" as you are. She may just want to "date" and "play". Considering these may help you put things in better perspective.

All the same, everyone deserves a partner who is sensitive to what bothers them. You deserve someone who not only respects you as their partner, but respects your feelings, fears and limits. A person who truly loves and cares about you, will also care about the impact their actions have on you. Once you communicate how you feel in the best way you know how,  pay attention to how she responds. If she gets very defensive and fails to see reason, you have your answer. But if she is willing to be sensitive to how you feel, then it's worth giving her a chance to see how she handles it. More so, even she makes the promise to keep the boundaries, see if there are any changes to her actions moving forward. If nothing changes, then don't second guess your mind when it tells you that you need a lady who respects boundaries and with whom, you trust enough to not have your heart doing jumping jacks whenever she says she's going to visit "a friend". As we both know, whatever issues exist when you are dating stage are magnified in marriage. 

Feel free to keep me updated on how it goes :-)

Best of Luck!

Stay Inspired!
NwaVic||| |||Twitter & Instagram @nwavicesq
image source: Google Images

Thursday, October 22, 2015

NwaVic's Wed2Plan Series: How to Get the Best Out of Your Wedding Vendors


As promised, as a sequel to the post on how to retain awesome vendors, here's how to get the best of of your wedding vendors both in quality and quantity. 

1. Be Nice!
First things first. Once you choose your vendors, you should endeavor to cultivate positive relationships with each of them. The happier your vendor is, the better they will serve you. And just like it is in everyday, when someone likes you, they will take a step further to make sure you're happy with their services. You need this good karma especially if something goes wrong.

 You want your vendors to feel like guests with back stage passes and not just another job they must execute to get paid. You want them to look forward to your day.  The last thing you want is for your vendor to see you as a bridezilla. Sure, don't be a push over- stand your ground when and where need be, but make sure you are friendly and a pleasure to work with. They will feed off your vibes!

Part of this is thinking ahead of time for the vendors who will be working all day at your wedding. How will they eat? They are still human beings and well-fed (notice i didn't say well-drunk) vendors perform at their best. Also, If you have extra favors, keep some aside for them. 

Fortunately, I had good rapport with almost all of my vendors. The relationship I built with them went a long way, especially when some things threatened to go south the week of the wedding. For example, when my linen vendor tried to go back on their word to get more money from us, my wedding planner called in a favor and found a new vendor, and my Hilton venue coordinator helped us minimize the loss of cancelling the contract. When we realized last minute that the venue required additional insurance than what I had previously purchased, my caterer bought it on her own dime. When we had to add 50 more seats because of our ever-growing guest list, the caterer added so much food, we had left overs afterwards.  My DJ even created the mix for my sisters and I to perform to at the wedding at no extra charge even when it was never in his contract.  When they noticed how much fun my guests were having at the wedding, the Hilton venue coordinator gave us an extra hour to dance at no extra charge. 

Even after the wedding, I still have good relationships with my vendors and talk from time to time. For all they know, they are all on retainer for all my future events ;-)
G & I with our wedding planner Chioma of Dure Events and her lovely team, Dure divas!
2. Negotiate
Before you meet a vendor, do some independent research about how much the service they provide usually costs. Compare that with your budget. Then, when you talk to the vendor, you can give them a number below your budget as your budget and ask if they can give you what you envision within that price. Remember there are still additional fees like taxes and delivery fees so giving a figure below your budget protects you from shock when the final bill comes. #Thankmelater Also, quoting below gives you wiggle room when they most likely than not, give you a higher quote. 

Here's a little secret- a vendor is more willing to throw something into their package than reduce the amount. Keep that in mind when you negotiate. For e.g. if your cake vendor has a set price of $500 for the cake and it includes a cake stand. Instead of negotiating to remove the cake stand and buy yours independently in an effort to save money, try asking for a complimentary sheet cake to be served in the back to increase the number of guests the cake can feed.   

In my case, through good negotiation, we were able to upgrade from the suite included in our contract to the Presidential suite at the Hilton, use some areas of the hotel for one of our engagement shoot sites and get extra rooms for our parents included in our venue package.

3. Communicate
Make sure you communicate well. Let your vendors know your style, your theme and your budget. Tell them what exactly you are thinking. If you see something you like on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook or anywhere else online, be sure to bring it to the meeting or send to them. I had a dropbox link that I named "RG Inspire" where I stored every picture or note I came across that reflected what I wanted my day to look like. Then, at vendor meetings, I would open the album on my phone and show the vendor so they could know my head was at.

In the same breadth, make sure all your vendors are on the same page. For example, when you create a timeline, (with the help of your amazing wedding planner of course), make sure you share with all vendors so that the caterer can know where and when to set up, the make-up artists can know when the first bridesmaid will be ready to get dolled up and the photographer can know you'd like some shots of you and the groom getting dressed. In this schedule, include every vendor's contact information. For example, if the caterer  is running late, s/he can call the venue coordinator to start putting out the chaffing dishes while she makes her way over or if the limo driver forgets where the bridal party will be getting ready, he can call the wedding planner.
My amazing DJ 6doubleZero, Videographer Jummy of OyemiFilms and Photographer Raheem of RHPhotoarts

4. Get Everything on Paper from the Beginning!
Even though you should be nice and easy to work with, make sure your eyes are open because for every good vendor, there's a sneaky one as well. Carry a notepad with you to all your vendor meetings or take notes on your phone. After each meeting or phone conversation, send a follow-up email re-iterating what you just discussed. Oh, I can't shout this loud enough. You would think a lawyer like me would know the benefit of words and signatures on paper. unfortunately, wedding planning got the best of me and I dropped the ball on one of my "vendors".

In search of a good linen vendor, G and I met with a "popular" Texan vendor and picked out linen, napkins, napkin rings, chair covers and chargers. I even took pictures on my IPad and excitedly showed my mom and sisters. We had to wiggle on our budget but we agreed on a package. They had a relationship with my wedding venue so I contracted them through the venue. In my mind, everything was perfect. A few months before the wedding, I even visited with my wedding planner. So, I was sure everything was good. I didn't bother to contract with them directly because I "trusted" it was covered in my venue contract. 

Three days to the big day, I got a call from my planner saying that she contacted them to schedule pick up of the linen and that there was a big difference between what we discussed with them and what they said was ready to pick up. So, off we went to meet with the manager at the decor facility. They denied everything we discussed and quoted an extra $3,800 for what we originally contracted for. I was stunned. This could not be happening to ME! After the endless back and forth, all I had to show for our agreement was the brief general paragraph incorporated in my venue contract and the pictures of my IPad. I had no other evidence. I couldn't stop beating myself up. How could I have missed the ball on this one? I read contracts for a living! How this escaped me, I'm not sure. But there was no time for self-bashing. We had just a little more than 48 hours to either settle for what this "wicked" vendor was offering us for what they claimed we contracted for, pay more to get what we had dreamed about for months, or cut our losses and bounce. I took the latter option. Thank God for the amazing venue coordinator who was so darling to me from the beginning, I was able to get out of the contract losing only the deposit. Then thanks to my amazing wedding planner Chioma of Dure Events who started calling in favors, we found another decor vendor two days before the wedding. 

The situation was managed, but it took about 4-5 pounds I needed to fit snugly into my wedding dress with it.   Avoid the "He said She said". Get everything on Paper!

5. Don't MicroManage
Of course, this is YOUR wedding. However, the vendors are the professionals and you are not. They have experience and you don't. They are seeing things objectively and you're not. If you've done a good job of picking an awesome vendor and you have a good vibe, you can trust them to do their job. Also, at least be open-minded to listen to their suggestions as well.  Even if you don't take it, you never know, they may give you unexpected good advice. You'd be surprised at how advice from a good vendor can save you a lot of money.

Try not to be over-bearing to the vendors. They may work for you but like I stated earlier, working "with" them and "above" them, would be beneficial to you both.  Of course, you want to communicate what you want so the vendor can have direction, but you have to trust that they know how to execute their job. If you can't trust that, the you have the wrong vendor.

Generally, treat your vendors well and they will reciprocate. Even past your wedding day, you never know when you'll be needing them again. 

Hope this helps!

P.S: Shout out to all my amazing vendors: Chioma, Lori, Raheem, Jummy, Akeem, Sheli, Jessie, Debra, FoxyP, Ifunanya and Somto.  You all made our day what it was! Thank you!

Stay Inspired!||| |||Instagram @dearnwavic  ||| Twitter @nwavicesq

Image source: RG Wedding album :-)

Monday, October 5, 2015

NwaVic's Wed2Plan Series: Choosing Your Awesome Wedding Vendors

By now in the wedding planning map, you've set the budget, picked your wedding planner, put together your wedding day squad and set an ideal guest count.  Now, it's time to pick the team that will build your day into what you dreamed it to be. 

Everyone wants to be in on the wedding business. And boy, after first-hand experiencing how much weddings cost, I want to be in on it too! A chair may cost $10 on a normal day but once you mention it is for a wedding, it now costs $1,000. If you doubt me, try it. It's ll because weddings have the reputation of being a splurge-fest.  It is well-known that brides will do almost anything to have a perfect day.  It doesn't help that social media has created a "Do it for the Gram" platform that pressures brides into having a "talk of the town" wedding and not the celebration of love a wedding should. This well-known facade inspires some of the foul games and extortion attempts you'd witness while planning your big day.

The horror stories are endless..There are the people who posed as reputable vendors, got paid and never showed up on the wedding day. There are the people who are indeed reputable vendors, agree with you on the details of your wedding, then a few days till your big day, start to renege on your agreement (I can testify!). There are the vendors who will quote you one price and then come up with all sorts of hidden costs and fees.

Sometimes, at least one horrific vendor experience is unavoidable but the key is to plan against it by picking good vendors. That way, even if it happens, the impact will be minimized. This post will be in two-parts. First, I'll give you tips on how to pick good vendors. Next time, I'll tell you how to get the best out of your deals with vendors.

1. Get Recommendations and Referrals

The first step is asking around. Ask a friend or family member who you've liked something about their wedding or who has experience planning a wedding. Also, short of becoming obsessed, creating expectations and setting yourself up for failure or heartbreak, pay attention when you attend weddings and  take note of things that stand out to you. That's also what Pinterest is for. I knew who would MC my wedding (whenever it came) since 2013 when I attended my friends wedding in Florida. I was not even engaged then (don't judge me ;-)) Two years later, he flew to Texas to be my wedding MC and he didn't disappoint.

Ask your wedding planner. Also, network the vendors you find and like. For example, If you meet a DJ you like, ask him about other vendors he works with. There's a good benefit with working based on recommendation of vendors because if you end up with a vendor team that work together regularly, they know each other and have experience putting together great events and it'll be so much less friction and you don't have to worry about first-time-potential friction between vendors.

I put recommendation in quotes because while getting recommendation from people who have used the vendor is great, you have to first consider who is giving the recommendation. Do you have the same style, temperament, and expectations as they do? One videographer may have worked for your friend because she likes heavy editing, but if you have a much simpler style, that videographer may not work for you unless you can verify their flexibility (more on this below).

P.S: Beware of mirroring all the vendors from one wedding. You don't want your wedding to look like a "syndicated re-run".

2. Independent Research
After you get the recommendations, do your one Independent research. Especially if you don't know anyone who has used a particular vendor, ask for client references. Then, become social media CIA. Comb through the vendors' social media profiles and reviews on The Knot!  Look at what their work and pay attention to the quality of online comments. As we all know, the Internet is not foul-proof, but if you use reliable review sites, you're sure to find valuable information.

3. First Impression Counts Most

Of course, unless you've seen a vendor's work before, a face-to-face meeting is a must.  It may feel like an awkward first date but just like with that marriage you are starting, the first date is necessary to get to know each other and gauge chemistry.

When you come in contact with a vendor for the first time, pay attention to the way they treat you and others. I found this to be the biggest telling as to how they would treat me if things were ever to get off rail a bit. Pay attention to how they talk about former clients. You may very well be next. Also, note how they react to your budget. For example, if a vendor looks down on you because of your budget or on the other extreme, seems to be more into what (popularity, etc.) you can bring to their business, than in actually helping you make your special day good, think twice. 

More importantly, you want a vendor you click with. You want someone with whom you can have an understanding with and with whom you feel comfortable with. It'll help your sanity. It will also work in your favor when you need an extra favor. I am blessed to say that I became friends with majority of my vendors. My DJ was kind enough to do various mix versions for my sisters and I to dance to at no extra charge, my baker treated my sisters and friends to extra yummy cake a few months to the wedding at no extra cost, my venue wedding coordinator was happy to write off the extra charge for a room booked in my name for a guest who never showed up, my caterer baked an extra pan of moi-moi at no extra charge for my mom because she learned she did not get to eat it at the wedding....I could go on and on but you get the drift.

4. Ask Specific Questions 

 Before each meeting, research and have questions ready to ask. Write down what exactly you want from this vendor and what your budget is. This will help you stay on track and not get pushed off course. Even more so, don't get caught up in fancy presentations and unending promises.  Ask questions and pay attention to your instincts! If you ever feel pressure to sign, run the other way! It's very easy to get so bugged down with all the "wedding" talk, nothing makes any sense anymore. Eventually, it starts to sound redundant and in frustration, you just start to sign papers and get the relief of checking one more vendor off your check list. But think again before you sign what may be the demise of your big day.

In the beginning of my wedding planning stages, when I was looking for a venue, we visited a beautiful venue. No sooner did we sit down did the coordinator start talking our head off about all that was included in the venue package. "You'll get linen, a photographer, an amazing limo service...we even have videography options and the liquor can be flowing all night..." On and on she went. She barely let me get a word in, so I let her ramble on for a few minutes. When she was done, she started to pull out the paper work hoping that we would sign immediately. I spotted a hidden exquisite-looking table cover, so I asked her if we could choose that. In response, she resumed rambling. I interrupted this time to ask about the photographer in the package, then about the limo service. I started asking specific questions like "what time will the open bar open and end?" "how many hours will the limo service be for?" "what specific linens are included in the package" and she looked like a deer in the highlights trying to keep up. The package she sold was basically empty, filled with 2 hours of limo service, low-quality linen that I could make and hem in my sitting room and open bar that consisted of only beer and wine for three hours. There were so many hidden facts and fees she would have never disclosed if I didn't press for it. An acquaintance of mine got married in that venue a few months ago and complained endlessly about how she was blindsided by all the empty hype. Be careful!

A few other questions you should ask vendors when you meet them:
  • The specific items included in their packages 
  • The specific items NOT included in their packages
  • What services will cost extra?
  • How much deposit do you need? 
  • When is final payment due?
  • For photographer and videographer, how soon after the wedding can I expect the pictures?
  • How many hours is included in the contract?
  • Is there a delivery charge? 
  • For the venue, how much event insurance do you need? (this is a hidden expense that usually creeps up last minute)
  • For the caterer, do you have liability insurance?
  • For beauty specialists, how many assistants will you have with you? (this is important especially if you have a big bridal party)
  • For photographer and videographer, will you have an additional hand with you? (this is important for weddings with over 200 guests)
  • For the ceremony site or church, do you allow rose petals? Do you have a strict selection of ceremony music? Will you allow us write our own music? Will you have a rehearsal coordinator? 
  • Are you available on __ date?

5. Look for Flexibility
A good vendor is someone who is a good balance of knowing what to do and being flexible. A good vendor may not be able to fit your million dollar dream into $1,000 but they should offer satisfying alternatives.Whether your budget is $10,000, $30,000 or $100,000, you want a vendor who knows how to work with your budget- someone who is willing and understanding enough to hear what you want and stretch your resources to accomplish it, if need be. You don't want someone to look down on you only because you are not blowing $200,000 on your day or simply ignore the restraints of your pocket.

When I was looking for a decor vendor to help create the scene for our engagement shot, I contacted a popular Houston vendor. I had seen her work all over social media and was quite impressed. So, I reached out. She asked my budget and when I gave it to her, she came back with a quote for 4 times over. She made no effort to try to fit my vision into my budget and no alternate suggestions as to how to accomplish my goal in a budget-friendly manner. It was as if I committed a crime by even having a budget. Needless to say, I turned the other way and never looked back.

Last but not least, Before you rush and sign any contract for any service, make sure you have considered at least two vendors. You have to compare packages, prices and everything in between. The most expensive does not always mean the best option. It is the value that counts! This is one of the reasons I gave myself a year plus to plan the wedding. Needed the time to shop and find the right people, especially because I was planning from out of town. It paid off!

Making decisions on a daily basis is hard as it is and even more so while planning a wedding and maintaining any kind of life outside of it, so if you ever get stuck, refer to Decision after Decision, the post about making decisions.

Ultimately, think of choosing each vendor like you would choosing a good mate. You need vendors you can count on, who understand you and what you want and share enthusiasm in your bug day!

Hope this helps!

Stay Inspired.....
NwaVic||| |||Instagram @dearnwavic  ||| Twitter @nwavicesq

Image source: Google Images

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

NwaVic's Watch Fest (2nd Ed.): Top Ten Must-Watch TV Shows (+ Honorable Mentions)

This is an exciting time for TV addicts like me. Fall is here and so is good TV! Starting today, my favorite shows are back! Plus, I have a load of new shows to try and tell you all about. Indulge my excitement for a minute, let me to share with you where to stop when you flip channels. Ofcourse, it includes repeat favorites from my !st Edition Watch Fest, but pay attention, there are a few in the mix you probably never as much as gave a chance.

1. Suits

Wednesdays at 9pm on USA

Return date: TBD 2016
Upcoming Season: 5

What about: While running from a drug deal gone bad, certified drop-out genius, Mike Ross came across an interview with unconventional big shot attorney Harvey Spector of Pearson/Hardman. Notwithstanding the fact that Mike never went to law school or took the bar (at least for himself), Harvey is so impressed with Mike's genius abilities, that he hires Mike on the spot. In its fifth season, Suits has followed Harvey and Mike shedding light at both the complexities of their personal lives and the dirty politics at Pearson/Hardman, all the while trying to contain Mike's big secret.

What's to love: There's never a dull moment! First, as a fashion lover, Harvey and Mike slay every day in their custom-made suits. I can unashamedly say, I am swoon queen for Harvey. The dude's dapper is everything! And oh, I can't forget Jessica Hardman, the managing partner of the firm on whom I have a professional crush. She's powerful, intelligent and slays in any outfit! Ofcourse, as a lawyer, I know the show is far from reality because there's no way Mike Ross could fly under the radar as long as he has in real life. But it's that very fact that has kept me glued to the scene from the start. Now five seasons in, I am still glued to the screen as I was the day it premiered. Oh & Louis Litt is a character you'd definitely love to hate. I'll leave it at that.

2. Game of Thrones

Sundays at 9pm on HBO

Return date: TBD 2016
Upcoming Season: 6

What about?: This medieval fantasy drama, based on a book of the same name, is set in the fictional medieval continents of Westeros and Essos and features seven intertwined plot lines as seven kingdoms fight for control of Westeros. The first season opens when Robert Baratheon, King of Westeros, makes his old friend Lord Stark, Hand of the King, the his highest official. Meanwhile, the Lannisters (the Queen's family), the Targaryens (the last family to hold the throne), the Greyjoys, Tullys, Arryns and Tyrells also each scheme a way to takeover the throne. The friction and power play between all these houses/kingdoms is the basis of this brilliant show.

What's to love: THIS IS A CLASSIC ONE! I've never been into fantasy but G.O.T is cognitively engaging and intellectually interesting! Even though it is set in archaic form, the events and characters are real in modern life.  With so many characters and story lines, it challenges even the most intelligent adult mind the follow more than just the events but the characters and the motivations behind their frequent shocking decisions. It is so smartly done- you can see the work and resources put into every episode..all the more reason so many are addicted. Also, it keeps you at the edge of your seat because you can't predict what's coming next (sometimes, even if you've read the books).  No one is safe, not even your favorite character! 

3. The Walking Dead

Sundays at 9pm on AMC

Return date: October 11, 2015
Upcoming Season: 6

What about: Based on a comic book series of the same name, this horror drama is set in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse. Premiering in 2010, it follows a small group of survivors led by Rick Grimes a former Sheriff's deputy as they struggle to survive daily and avoid getting bitten. Basically, if you get bit by a walker (aimless brainless walking zombies), you die, only to wake up in a couple of minutes as a walker. The group is not only threatened by walkers (some of which are their "turned" family and friends) but also, other survivor groups.  In fact, now after five seasons, we now know that the biggest threat in this apocalypse are in fact other people. 
What's to love: Whenever I tell anyone about this show, their first reaction is "I don't do zombies so no!" But guess what? me neither. The Walking Dead is much more than about the zombies. The deeper you get into the show, the more you realize, the zombies are just really props- their purpose is to trigger events. The situation forces each character to either toughen up or toughen out. The more you watch, the more you become so emotionally tied to the characters, that you start to self-reflect and ask yourself what you would do if this ever happened to you. More so, mere imagination of how worse your world could be if there was ever an apocalypse, makes your daily frustration seem so manageable. At least you still have power, you're not sleeping in the bushes, you don't have to carry a gun everywhere you go (okay maybe you do) but most of all, your office mate's talkativeness is better noise tha the annoying snarling of grey-eyed dead people. I could go on and on about this show (unpredictability, intelligent writing, credible story lines, etc) but yea, if you don't want to watch for any of the above, watch it for the badassery.

4. Wentworth


Return date: TBD 2016
Upcoming Season: 4

What about: Just like the popular Orange is the New Black, the Australian series Wentworth follows the incarceration of a first-time offender Bea Smith in the Wentworth Prison where she finds herself thrust into power struggles, crime, and a game where the meek die and the wicked thrive. 
What's to love: Simply put, Wentworth is a bad-ass show about bad-ass women in a not-so-bad ass environment. There's no sugar-coating, it is intriguing and you see how prison can bring out a side in people they never knew existed. All the characters (guards, prisoners and everyone outside the walls) keep you captivated. The characters are complex but the show gives you peaks into their pre-Wentworth lives that connects you even further with each character. The drama is endless. The writing is brutal and it's just perfectly sick! Plus, it's perfect for binge-watching. G & I went through three seasons in three days! If you are not watching Wentworth, you are only denying yourself prime entertainment.

5. Empire

Wednesdays at 9pm on FOX

Return date: September 23, 2015
Upcoming Season: 2

What its about: This show centers on the almighty Luscious Lyon (played by Terrence Howard), hustler-turned-rapper-turned-Hip-Hop mogul and CEO of Empire Entertainment. Luscious seems to be on top of the world until he is diagnosed with a medical condition that threatens everything he has built. What complicates his situation is the release of the Cookie, mother of his three sons from serving a 17-year sentence for a crime that gave Luscious the capital to start Empire. The world sees the Lyon family as a perfect "hard-work-paysoff" bunch but as viewers we see the guts and the dirty hustle of what makes this family an Empire in the making. 

What's to love: Cookie! Taraji Henson simply stuns in her role as Cookie! Having been a favorite of Terrence Howard and Taraji Henson since Hustle and Flow, it didn't take much to win me over. Their chemistry is like no other! The family dynamics created by the prodigal Lyon sons (intelligent business-minded but insecure Andre, Hard-working and talented gay Jamal, and gifted but hot-headed Hakeem) is an endless drama mill that will get you hooked from the first episode.  Even amidst that, the show is not just pure fiction- it has proven fearless tackling issues like racial violence, drugs and LGBT acceptance hitting home for a lot of people. Last but not least, the show has some amazing catchy tunes that will appeal to any music-lover. And the actors and actresses are just so eye-candy!!

6. Scandal

Thursdays at 8pm on ABC

Return date: September 24, 2015
Upcoming Season: 5

What about: Created by Greys Anatomy and Private Practice creator Shonda Rhimes and debuting mid-season in 2012, this drama focuses on Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), a professional "fixer" in Washington D.C. who not only played a major role in the election of Fitzgerald Grant as the President of the United States, but is in a sizzling affair with him. Pope's reputation is that of a respected brilliant problem solver who, with the help of her small team, can make any problem go away before it becomes public. Each episode not only follows Pope (who always trusts her gut) and her team of lawyers who call themselves "gladiators in suits" and "crisis managers" as they try to solve a diverse set of problems, the show gives insight into each character's flaws and weaknesses.
What's to love: This is probably one of the most popular shows at the moment. There are so many things to love about scandal.
1. There's a strong female lead. Everybody loves Olivia Pope! She is inspiring! There couldn't be a better Olivia Pope than Kerry Washington. Her performance deserves an Emmy for best actress. 
2. There's so much drama! Mysteries, love triangles, secrets, & political implications. Bodies are moved, affairs are had, things are planted, reverends die on top of their mistresses, elections are rigged and its all a normal business day. 
3. The Moral dilemma: I mean, how can you love Olivia so much yet hold onto your beliefs that she's sleeping with a married man? 

7. Modern Family

Wednesdays at 8pm on ABC

Return date: September 23, 2015
Upcoming Season: 7

What about: Debuting in 2010 to 12.6 million viewers, this comedy is the most unique of its caliber. Set in the form of a "mockumentary", it follows the lives of members of an unconventional family headed by Jay Pritchett, an older guy, his young and hot Columbian second wife (who has a young son from a previous marriage), his housewife daughter married with three kids and his gay son who has a life partner and adopted asian daughter. Of this list, it is the most unique because it basically shows what many American families look like these days; a divorced father with a new younger wife, a gay couple adopting a child from abroad, parents trying to raise three children the "modern" open way and the melting pot many Americans now call family.
What to love: This has to be the best comedy on TV as has consistently shown by winning   the Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series five tmes. It stands out because it doesn't just occasionally make you smile, it makes you actually Laugh Out Loud. More so, the characters are all so unique and relatable. You can find a bit of yourself in everyone or at least someone.  I love Cam, Gloria and Phil especially! More so, you can watch it over and over and over again and it's still funny! Lastly, if you're into family, like I am, you'd appreciate the love this bunch has for each other.

8. How to Get Away with Murder

Thursdays at 9pm on ABC

Return date: September 24, 2015
Upcoming Season: 2

What about: HTGAWM is an intense-driven drama series that circles Annalise Keating (played by Emmy-winning Viola Davis) who is an intelligent and mysteriously charming Criminal defense lawyer and professor who teaches a class on How to Get Away with Murder. To intern in her law practice, Annalise chooses the four best students from her class. The result is a scenario where the students, alongside Annalise's employees, must use what they learn in real life.
What to love: There's everything to love about Annalise Keating! Viola Davis is such a killer actress and the Emmys just agreed last weekend! making her the first African American woman to win Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series. She makes Annalise Keating such a strong character- so brilliant, powerful, sexy, and intimidating all at the same dang time...Men want her and women want to be here. The women, especially love her because strong female leads are inspiring and empowering. As a lawyer myself, sometimes I channel Annalise at work LOL-JK (Only in my mind :-)) What makes Annalise so much more powerful is that she is human. From the outside, she is perfect but each new episode shows the pain that makes her who she is, making her even more relatable. Plus, it's an unpredictable drama that keeps you at the edge of your seat!

9. BlackList

Thursdays at 9pm on NBC

Return date: October 1, 2015
Upcoming Season: 3

What about: When former U.S. Navy Officer and Most-Wanted fugitive Raymond "Red" Reddington surrenders himself to FBI, they know they are in for a long ride. Reddington not only offers the FBI a list of highly-wanted criminals including drug lords, mobsters, politicians, and international terrorists but offers to help round them up, but only on the condition that he works solely and directly with recent rookie Quantico graduate Elizabeth "Liz" Keen. Throughout the show, we find that Reddington is not only a high-profile crime lord, he is also just a man with a past that includes a complicated and yet-to-unfold history with Keen.
What's to love: First, Reddington is a complicated man. He constantly skirts the thin line between good and bad: some days you hate him, but most days you just love him. He sprays gray all over your Black and White clean-cut morals. He is not evil but he is no softie. He is the friend you wish you had: someone to not only rescue you from the pit of hell but get you into the exclusive heaven. He knows everything and everyone. he is intelligent, well-traveled, mysterious, fearless, witty, and just plain old genius in worldly matters and people. In other words, he is a bad-a$$. Second, The villains in BlackList  are also so colorful and like none other. They are not just the typical murderers or drug lords, they are so SICK! I mean, I knew this show was something else, when they profiled a murderer who dissolved bodies in bathtubs (aka the stew maker) leaving no single trace. Don't let me get into Liz's "perfect" husband. Ahhh the characters are so formidable, it is creepy but intriguing all at once.

10. Orange is the New Black
Return date: TBD

What about: This gritty prison drama follows Piper Chapman, an upper-middle-class girl as she is incarcerated for the first time for helping her ex-girlfriend smuggle drugs. Piper's incarceration and subsequent fall from grace magnifies her inner demons and turns her world upside down and puts her in the same space with people she never would have as much as said hello to anywhere else. She now has to decide which relationship matters more: one with the man she was about to marry or one with her female lover with whom she is now caged with. As Piper fights her demons, she not only starts to see herself for the menace she is...others do too. 
What's to love: Drama! at its finest. It is dirty. It is intriguing. Most of all, it is raw. The show brings to light all the characters we all have know to be feminine but in it, a viciousness we would only find out we had if life as we knew it ceases to be today. OITNB is a cocktail of human nature in a harsh environment featuring selfishness, jealousy, sex, betrayal, and disloyalty.

Honorable Mentions:

Because the competition for screen awesomeness is just too steep, these shows didn't quite make top 10 but they are awesome all the same!
  • House of Cards (Political Drama)


Return date: September 24, 2015
Upcoming Season: 3
  • Black-Ish (Comedy)

Wednesdays at 8:30pm on ABC

Return date: September 23, 2015
Upcoming Season: 2
  • Greys Anatomy (Medical Drama)

Thursdays at 7pm on ABC

Return date: September 24, 2015
Upcoming Season: 12
  • Homeland (Drama)

Sundays at 9pm on SHOWTIME

Return date: October 4, 2015
Season: 5
  • Nashville (County-Music Drama)

Wednesdays at 9pm on ABC

Return date: September 24, 2015
Season: 4
  • Madam Secretary (Political Drama)

Sundays at 10pm on CBS 

Return date: October 4, 2015
Upcoming Season: 2
  • The Good Wife (Political/Legal Drama)

Sundays at 9pm on CBS

Return date: October 4, 2015
Current Season: 7

If I missed your favorite show, drop a comment! I'll try any show at least once. 

Stay Inspired.....
NwaVic||| |||Instagram @dearnwavic  ||| Twitter @nwavicesq

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Red Carpet Fashion + Complete List of Winners: 2015 Emmy Awards

The Emmy Awards is my fave award show! No surprise because I am a self-acclamed TV Fanatic! Well, as usual, tonight at the 67th Annual Emmy Awards, the stars came out to sizzle! And no, I'm not talking about the 90 degree weather ;-)
 Niecy Nash
 Andy Sanberg
 January Jones
 Giuliana Rancic
 Anthony and Nathan Anderson
 Eric Stonestreet
 David and Jessica Oyelowo
 Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello
 Selenis Leyva
Tracee Ellis Ross

 Julia Louis Dreyfus
 Christina Hendricks
 Lady Gaga
 Amy Poehler
 Claire Danes
 Kerry Washington
 Laverne Cox
 Jamie Lee Curtis
 Taraji P. Henson
 Sarah Hyland
 Laura Prepon
 Ariel Winter
 Heidi Klum
 Aubrey Plaza
 Zoe Kazan
 Kiernan Shipka
 Padma Lakshmi
 Gwendoline Christie
 Anna Chlumsky
 Jaimie Alexander
 Danielle Brooks
 Natasha Lyonne
 Jane Lynch
 Dashca Polanco
 Uzo Aduba
 Taryn Manning
 Sarah Paulson
 Edie Falco
 Regina King
 Julie Bowen
 Jessica Pare
 Samira Wiley
 Gina Rodriguez
 Morena Baccarin
 Sofia Vergara
 Naomi Watts and Live Schreiber
 Taylor Schilling
 Jessica Lange
 Maggie Gyllenhaal
 Aubrey Anderson-Emmons
 Emma Roberts
 Elisabeth Moss
Mindy Kaling

Did you notice the stars from Orange is the New Black really showed out this year? Special congrats to Uzo Aduba on her win! Can't wait for the next season with Crazy Eyes! 

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy
Allison Janney, Mom
Outstanding Writing Comedy
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy
Tony Hale, Veep
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
Bradley Whitford
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
Joan Cusack
Outstanding Directing For A Comedy Series
Jill Soloway, Transparent
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Outstanding Reality Competition Program
The Voice
Outstanding Writing For A Limited Series, Movie Or Dramatic Special
Jane Anderson, Olive Kitteridge
Outstanding Supporting Actress For A Limited Series, Movie Or Dramatic Special
Regina King, American Crime
Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special
Lisa Cholodenko, Olive Kitteridge
Oustanding Supporting Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie
Bill Murray, Olive Kitteridge
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Frances McDormand, Olive Kitteridge
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie
Richard Jenkins, Olive Kitteridge
Outstanding Limited Series Or Movie
Olive Kitteridge
Outstanding Writing For A Variety Series
The Daily Show
Outstanding Variety Sketch Series
Inside Amy Schumer
Directing For A Variety Series
Chuck O’Neil, The Daily Show
Outstanding Variety Talk Series
The Daily Show
Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series
Reg E. Cathey, House of Cards
Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series
Margo Martindale, The Americans
Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series
Game of Thrones
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series
David Nutter, Game of Thrones
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder
Outstanding Comedy Series
Outstanding Drama Series
Game of Thrones

Stay Inspired.....
NwaVic||| |||Instagram @dearnwavic  ||| Twitter @nwavicesq

Sources: Huffington PostNY Mag, and Jezebel.