Archive | April 2014

I’m A Queen.

Dear Nigerian Husband,

I’ve noticed that in a few of my posts to you, I’ve spoken too much of what you expect of me and have almost neglected some things I’ll expect from you.

I am a queen, and I’ll expect you to treat me for what I am.
Wait, don’t jump off your throne in disgust over my inflated ego, let me explain.

I’ve heard a few of your mates complain about women not knowing what they want. (I won’t be mad if you think like them) In fact, you guys may be right to some extent. I don’t always know what I want, but I have a pretty good idea of what I do not want. I don’t want you to be clueless!

You, my Nigerian Husband are/will be my king and l can tell you this much, you will be treated like the royalty you are.

From the moment we met/ From the moment you meet me, I’ve always expected/ I will always expect you to pamper me. Oh, I don’t mean treat me like a baby, call me every hour of the day. I don’t mean send me flowers every week, I don’t mean shower me with gifts.

I’m a queen already/will be a queen already by that time, so I can afford those things right?

Treat me like a queen, send me little, short notes every morning, reply my text messages within 10 minutes after you receive them. You’re allowed to respond later if you’re in an important meeting or activity that will raise enough money to take care of the big family we are going to have.

Treat me like a queen, spend some time with me listening to poems, John Legend, and reading a good book.  I love anything that has to do with arts and music. I promise, you’ll get almost anything within my power once you understand and appreciate the arts with me.

My Dear Nigerian Husband, treat me like a queen, take an hour each week to help with my natural hair. It doesn’t have to be fancy. We can sit on the porch while you unravel my twists or even massage my scalp with coconut oil.

I am a queen, I like to workout, come running with me once or twice a week. As you can see in the photo, I have a pouch I need to get rid of. I am a queen, come exercise with me.

I am a queen! I like handwritten letters… Send me a letter in the mail box every now and again! (not the mail box on the internet. I mean, the one the mail man checks every morning)

Treat me like a queen, send me a note every night before you go to bed. Treat me like a queen, be the first to read any posts published on this blog. Treat me like a queen, be the reason I retire completely from writing horrible, bitter-woman poems… Be the reason I become a sappy romance poet.

I am my father’s princess (ha, my dad doesn’t believe in that kind of nonsense….lol) I am/ will be your queen, be on the good side of my father. Go have a random conversation with him about all the topics he’s got an interest in. I am important to my family and they are important to me. Treat me like a queen, get to know them.

Treat me like a queen, join me in my random photography adventures. Treat me like a queen, lets spend a quiet afternoon listening to TED Talks on photography, poetry and the topics that highlight the importance of being unique and being a good human being.

Treat me like a queen, let’s go to church together, lets exchange devotional each morning and feel free to send me random Bible passage throughout the day.

These are just a few of the things I require of you my Dear Nigerian Husband. I’ll need you to use your discretion in finding out the rest.

I am a queen. (Goodness, what the heck was this post about again? This has got to be one of the cheesiest posts IImage

‘ve ever had. )

 

Smile, live, laugh, love, fart, be silly: life is too short 🙂

Vou

 

 

The Makeup/Hair Guru.

Hey guys,
I enjoyed interviewing Phillip for a feature in the paper this week. I thought I’d share it with you guys…. Pick up a copy of The BVI Beacon or read more of HERE.

So here, excerpts! For the Complete interview, get a copy of the paper or visit the website… Link above 🙂

Mr. Krane-Bernier, a 32-year-old makeup artist, dancer and hair stylist, has worked for several beauty magazines and actors in the Virgin Islands and the United States. Currently, he is a hairstylist at Oasis Salon and Spa.
Vou: Tell me a bit about your makeup and beauty skills.

Phillip: Officially, I am a licensed cosmetology instructor. I went to school to learn cosmetology and I turned around and started teaching. I am approved by the Education Corporation of America. I’ve taught internationally. I decided it’s time for me to come back home and share what I’ve learnt. Here in the Virgin Islands, I am celebrated for a lot of what I have done. I am also a motivational speaker. I love to motivate people on how to get to the next level, help them recognise where they’re at and realise where they can go; put them in position and help them to get to that level.

Vou: What led you into makeup and hair styling?

Phillip: It’s funny because my father was the one that said, “Why don’t you go to hair school?” I’ve always been creative. Often, people ask, “How long have you been doing hair and makeup?” I try not to put a number on it because I have been creative all my life. It’s just that now I am using the creativity and channelling it into the hair and beauty industry. I went to school to be a veterinarian.

I went to Norfolk State UniImageversity — had a full scholarship. I really liked the discipline and I don’t disregard that experience because in that I found out what I didn’t want to do and it gave birth to what I really enjoy doing. My father, Ken Bernier, he was like, “What you goin’ do with your life after five years of college?” I didn’t know at that point. I just knew what I didn’t want to do. He said, “Why don’t you go to hair school? Find one and I’ll pay for it.” I did, and the first week of hair school, I thought, “This is it.” After my first roller set, I said, “This feels right!” Now, looking back over 15 years ago, I realise hair and makeup is just a surface for reaching people and helping them realise what’s on the inside. A lot of people deal with insecurities with the way they look, with the way they feel. So with hair, makeup and beauty, I’m able to reach those sensitive areas and really polish them, allow and help them appreciate what is there.

Vou: As a boy, how did you hone those skills?

Phillip: Well, I can tell you: In the Caribbean you get to know how to plait hair. My creativity didn’t start with hair and makeup. It started with crochet. I had this thing about knots. I loved to unravel knots. I sometimes could spend long periods of time taking out a knot. I would always make hats and different things. Everything I put my mind into doing, I wanted to do it to the best of my ability — not to outshine anybody. I kind of started growing my hair out and started braiding, so that was like the doorway or introduction to what now is my career.

Vou: I went through your Facebook and Instagram photos and I saw a lot of photos of your work with magazines and models. Can you tell me more about your portfolio?

Phillip: I thank God for those opportunities. My first day actually as a hairstylist, I worked for an Aveda salon. I started out with hair, but seeing how things worked out at photo shoots, I thought makeup was interesting as well. It was a progression. I worked with a lot of makeup brands, and that gave me a lot of insight on how to function in high fashion. I’ve worked with movies, in films, and also I did a lot of commercials. Recently, I did makeup for one of the Miss Easter Pageant contestants. I have also worked with the Miss Teen USA and Mrs. USA Pageants.

My Butt, My Crack, My Rules

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Dear Nigerian Husband,
If this breaks your heart, I’m sorry… (Well, not really.)

I told you from the beginning, accepting me as your loyal, submissive, prayerful, loving, funny, annoying and offspring-producing wife means you’re accepting me with all my defiant and not-so-lady-like ways.

This time, I’m about to make a revelation or two that might be that final straw that breaks the camel’s back.

I understand you’re a very traditional man. A man whose family is well known for the type of good daughter in-laws they have. You’re the type of man who believes I must embody everything refined, everything pure, everything obedient and everything meek and everything that must act proper while in public.

But my dear Nigerian Husband, I do possess some of those qualities, but look eh, forget this long English I’m speaking…I posses a few habits that should not be used in a sentence describing the perfect wifely-material.

I dig out my panties in public! (Did I hear you say i must have some public decorum? Aint’ nobody gat time for that?!?)

Yes, I said it. I hope this marriage is still going to hold. Wait, It must hold oh, after all, you’re not a reader of this silly blog of mine. You’re busy building a future for that big family we’re going to have.

But let me just attempt to explain myself in case you’re a ghost reader.

Look, all, a few ladies, if they are honest and at times publicly unrefined like me, might agree with me, buying the right panties to fit our back-sides could sometimes be a pain!

I remember one time I went to buy me some new draws (goodness, I shouldn’t even be talking about under wears this publicly. I’m really pushing this my traditional Nigerian Husband to the wall… All of you that are there laughing at my expense, I hope you have a fall back Nigerian Husband for me in the event this one in my head calls off our union)

Anyways, back to the matter. I went to buy me some new panties and I underestimated the size of my butt. ( please insert any cute or politically correct name for butt here…) I bought nearly two sizes too small. When I got home, I realized they could barely even give me proper coverage.

No, if you’re thinking I just dumped them in the undies drawer, you’re wrong. I wore them. I was not about to waste some money.

Needless to say, the few times I wore them out, I found myself on the wrong side of public manners. I caught myself on the verge of digging them out in public. I almost found myself in the same position as the women I squeeze my face at each time they just boldly pull out their panties in public.

My dear husband, I’m not about that pretend life. Please I beg you, let me know what you think about this topic. I’m trying to make myself the best wife I can be. Honestly though, it’s very uncomfortable having to walk around town and still trying to look cute at the same time with draws stuck in the middle of your butt.

I’m fed up of trying to act proper. I’m taking matters into my hands… I shall dig out anything being a bother to me…

Oh, I wanted to also talk to you about my resistance to proper shoes. For a while now, I’ve worn flip flops to work and have only changed them when I needed to attend a press conference. Never mind though, we’ll discuss that another time. (I’ve been getting a lot of heat from my friend Ify about my flip flops. I sort of get where she’s coming from. She’s married to a good Nigerian Husband, so I think she might have tips or experience on what men of your calibre want…

I’m done…

(If you take this too serious, my dear you need to see a shrink…. 🙂 )

 

Smile, laugh, love, live, fart and be silly, life is too short

Vou

Sunset Love

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Happy Easter!
Haven’t posted anything in the past week. So here, enjoy some sunset love. Took this photo last weekend while doing some formals for a bride and her groom
Look Nigerian Husband, you need to be taking note of these photos and i’m posting oh. I assure you, some day they will help you! lol (Where is this NIgerian Husband of mine sef? sigh)

For The Lungs

Gentlemen and ladies, girls and boys,

No kidding, this week, I got back on my running grind.

This time It is for real. Like no looking back, no procrastinating. All that is for punks… ( I can’t even keep a straight face while saying that coz I know I’m describing myself right there!)

I stopped running consistently sometime towards the end of 2013 and needless to say, the extra pounds found their way back to several parts of my body. I’ve gone to the gym since then and I think that may have helped in keeping me somewhat in shape and balanced.

However, the weight hasn’t gone down as fast as I want it to.

So I took to the streets…Literally.

After work on Monday, I got my running shoes plus workout clothes and headed out west. I was rather slow and stopped a few times along the 3-plus mi route, but I completed the run nonetheless.

The next day, Tuesday, I downloaded Runkeeper, an application that tracks your distance, the amount of calories burnt your pace and heart rate (I think).

Downloading that app gave me an extra push. That day, I was able to cover 3.8mi and stopped just once for a few seconds. The next day, I went over  4 miles and the same for Thursday too, without stopping.

I felt like a pro. Even though I know for a fact I may have looked like an idiot to people who drove by, in my mind, I saw myself like one of those long distance Kenyan/Ethiopian runners. In my mind, my body was all slim and trimmed, my legs stretching out in long strides, afro blowing in the wind, sweat streaming down my body, game face on…. okay, back to reality.

Considering I’ll be sleeping in town this weekend, I decided to go for a run this morning. I mean, It’s Saturday- that day you’re expected to sleep in and just lazy in bed right?

I was tempted to just stay in bed and not worry about exercising till Monday, but I remembered last night during a Skype conversation, my best friend Fareeza challenged me. She thought I’ll just put off running. I also remembered that I’ll be helping out with a BBQ on Sunday and of course, this means I probably will eat more than usual.

Though I was lazy and somewhat unmotivated this morning, I managed to complete 3 miles. I did stop and walked several times and for as long as a minute though.

Usually when I run or exercise, I think of phrases to chant or keep reminding myself of reasons I exercise. Most times during the aerobics at the gym the phrase to chant while staring at the mirror is “summer body! summer body!” Just kidding! (Not really)
And for when I run it is “pain is sign of fear living the body.”
But this morning, all of those silly new-agey phrases were thrown out the window. I dedicated the run to my lungs.

I’ve decided each run will be dedicated to one organ or part of my body or the other.

I did it for the lungs. Even though I didn’t go hard as usual, I’m glad I’m alive and healthy to exercise. I’m glad I got to witness the sun rise this morning. I was grateful for the sea breeze, the birds that chirped.

Having morning devotion while running was really fun. Usually, I’d run with fast paced music, but this morning, it was nice, soft but loud and uplifting in a sense.

I did it for my lungs today. It’s the kidney’s turn on Monday.

Oh and at some point too, I’ve got to dedicate one of my runs to The Nigerian Husband. I think for that one, I may want to wear all my wife material. I need something to show off like a peacock. That one will be a royal run. I’ve got to run for that Nigerian Husband oh! He deserves it! (I need prayers…lol this thing is becoming a bit too crazy for my liking! hahahah… but then, who cares right?)

(Now, let’s go photograph a wedding shall we?)

Smile, laugh, love, live, fart and be silly, life is terribly short.

Vou

Wild and Heartless; All You Africans

Yup, that’s what a lot of people think… I think my flat mate is one of such people.

So I just got home less than 15 minutes ago and I decided to go check in on my landlord’s kid as his dad is away.
Upon getting to my landlord’s apartment, I met my flatmate.
“Guys, come and see the most craziest and coolest videos ever,” he said.

Before the video began, he said “Oh it’s from Africa.” (As if that’s one reason every must watch)

It was a video of some leopard swimming/floating in some river.
I immediately asked him if it was gruesome, as I try not to watch anything horrible or anything that’ll have me mad.

His response just made me walk away. (Trying to put some ignorant person in their place after such a long day wasn’t on my agenda for the night.)

“C’mon Vou, you can handle it. You’re African!”

So there you have it. All Africans can handle gruesome videos. You can stand watching people being torn apart by animals. As an African, you know too much about animals of the wild! For pleasure, you enjoy seeing things being killed. You’ve got no heart and don’t like animals.

Basically, you’re African and you’re heartless and primitive.

I’m done. I need to go shower, have some dinner, finish up some office work and sleep.

I can’t deal with ignorance this night.

Hair Update.

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ImageGirls and boys, gentlemen and ladies,

It has been a hundred and one years since I posted anything major about my hair. As much as I enjoy reading of other naturalistas’ journeys, I tend to stay away from blogging about my own hair because I don’t find many things worth blogging about it.

But anyway, this weekend, before I washed my hair, I decided I was going to take some photos and share with you guys.

I got some nice crazy photos but I deleted them accidentally while I was photographing a pageant on Saturday. So here are the few I have left. And oh… one from this morning.

Hair Update (I guess)

My hair is about 26 months natural now. (Goodness me, I can’t believe I’m using the  umpteen months thingy. I used to hate it..lol)
It’s been an interesting 2 years+. I’ve learnt throughout this journey not to compare my hair growth with others. I’ve also learned that what works for others may not necessary work for me. It’s good to look at others’ journey and sort out pick out what you think might work for you, but never try out any products or techniques expecting the same exact results as the Youtuber you watched.

For example, about six months ago, I decided I was going to try a Bantu Knot Out. I got the knots in and a few days after, I unravelled them. They looked great while I was at home but by the time I got to work, my hair had  become a big puff!

Another example, a few weeks ago, I decided to twist my hair and then roller set them. It worked out well, except my thick hair took hours to dry and by the time i unravelled my hair, it was another big puff!

(I’m out of what to say….This natural hair blogging probably isn’t for me. I’ll just stand on the corner and read about others’ blogs and stories.)

But enjoy these photos…Image

 

The Nifty Fifty

The Nifty Fifty

Really, this photo makes no sense. I took it a few days after I bought my Nikkor 50mm 1.8G lens.
There’s this phase every photographer goes through after they buy a new lens.

This nifty fifty being my first prime lens, I couldn’t wait to explore it’s “bokeh-licious” capabilities.
For days, I went wild on just F1.8. As sweet as this may sound, I pray one day my NIgerian Husband will buy me the Nikkor 50mm 1.4G. I heard there’s a F1.2 too. I’m not even researching that thing. It’s too expensive for poor me.

I love this lens so much, it has become my every day lens. It works great on low light settings.

Anyway, I’m sure none of you is interested in reading about some silly old lens.

I was stalking The Crazy Nigerian’s blog ( http://thecrazynigerian.com/about/ ) when my internet began messing up, so I decided to go  through old photos. This was one of those I came across and thought I’d share.

Vou

Shave? Yay or Nay?

I really must warn you, this post makes no sense and may not add any valuable lesson to your life. Read at your own peril (I seriously question my sanity sometimes…)

Dear Nigerian Husband,

Listen, I hope/know you’re an open-minded fellow. I refuse to think/accept that all Nigerian men are traditional and won’t tolerate women talking openly about issues such as shaving, menstruation, sex or all the other topics that drastically decrease a woman’s potential as “wife material.”

But then, who cares if you think I should talk about this topic or not? One of the pacts of our mystical union is that you accept me as I am, right? My sometimes uncouth behavior included.
(Abeg, forget it! I care oh… I shall not be that old maiden/old aunty whose house all the nephews and nieces frequent because there’s no uncle to bully them… okay sorry I’m going totally off course!)

Gentlemen and ladies, girls and boys, I’ve not shaved/shaped my eyebrows for months now and guess what? I’m not really bothered by it and see no reason why anyone should be. I mean, it’s not reached the stage where it just pops off my forehead and flies into your faces yet!
Please makeup gurus and addicts, don’t throw stones at me but I just don’t get this strange thing of shaving off your eyebrows and then replacing it with eye pencil or whatever the name is now. (Yes, I do care about my appearance, but it must please me first before it pleases others.)

Don’t get me wrong, every now and then, I visit the salon to get my brows tamed, but just don’t see the need to do it because everyone is doing it and because it looks like the thing to just accept without resistance.

I remember about two months ago, I went to the salon to have my hair done. As soon as the hairdresser was about done with my hair, the barber next to her leaned over and ordered that I move to his station next to get my brows “fixed.” I politely told him I didn’t want them “fixed.” Next thing I heard was “Oh, I forgot you’re African.”
In my mind, he had already fainted by the blows I gave him. But then in reality, I looked calm and just smiled. I didn’t want to engage in any conversation about Africans being primitive people. I didn’t think that in 2014- this day and age of internet and information- I should be convincing anyone to read beyond what they see on CNN/ BBC or even some Nollywood movie.

Anyways, it’s not the eyebrows alone oh… Hold on, before your mind takes you to unconsecrated grounds, every other part of my body is groomed regularly. Well, except my legs.
I’m having a hard time understanding why I must shave my legs. You can barely even notice hair on my legs, I think. Why should I waste valuable sleep time and expensive Nair on that part of my body when there are other sacred areas to worry about?

I refuse to do anything because others are doing it or because it’s the “lady-like” thing to do. I shall only do things because they are godly or because they fit into what Vou wants.

Who started this whole shaving craze anyway? I’ve been having a hard time understanding why and how shaving of legs became a requirement for women and a faux pas for guys (depending on your circle). And this post doesn’t mean you’re allowed to start inspecting my eyebrows or legs when next you see me.

Bye!

If you like sleep, eat, smile, live, love, laugh and fart out loud! Life is too short!

Vou