Saturday, April 28, 2012

Interviews are Fun; Joy Adaeze.

Yo homies, I had the opportunity to interview my fab friend (who's also a kick-ass stylist) Joy for Style House Files recently. Click here to check it out.

I love interviews so much! It's a huge part of why I became a writer;  I'm a nosy bitch who wants to know everything about everyone.

Anyway, I had a blast interviewing Joy because she's a pretty fearless chick. And she's also a sweetheart.

Here's the interview below:

She mixes prints like nobody’s business, has a great collection of sunnies, is frequently featured on street style blogs and has been covered by New York Times, Italian Vogue and ESSENCE magazine. Did I mention that she gets to dress people for a living?

I’m talking about stylist/image consultant Joy Adaeze! The fab Nigerian-American is living and breathing fashion; styling shoots for publications like Fashizblack, ESSENCE and Blu as well as writing for ESSENCE, Huffington Post-Black Voices and Heritage and she documents it all on her website joylovesfashion.

We’re huge fans and thrilled the fashionista took time out of her busy schedule to talk to SHF about making her passion a career, her favorite job so far and her ridiculous manis and pedis.

SHF: Soooooo, how did you get your start as a stylist?

JA: I got my start as a stylist by interning at Womens Wear Daily. It was amazing assisting the editors there. A fabulous learning experience. After that, I assisted fashion expert Constance White on NBC fashion segments. This was a dream come true for me, as I had admired Constance for a long time!  My goal in the near future is to do fashion commentary on tv- stay tuned for that!

SHF: To date what/who has been your favorite styling job?

JA: My contemporary African themed shoot that I did for Parisian magazine- Fashizblack. Being Nigerian, working with gorgeous African prints is always a thrill. We used designers like Jewel by Lisa, L.A.M.B. and Tory Burch. The photos came out beautifully and the magazine loved it too!

SHF: You could teach a class on accessorizing. Name one item you absolutely cannot leave the house without?

JA: A statement necklace!

SHF: You wear the coolest sunglasses. How many do you own and which ones are your favorites?

JA: I love shades!!! I have over 30 pairs : ) My fav are by Mercura, Urban Outfitters & Vintage brands

SHF: Anyone who reads your blogs knows you're a fearless dresser. Do you plan what you're going to wear way in advance or are you looking in the closet right before you leave your apartment?

JA: I usually am a "grab n' go" dresser! I never plan ahead, unless it's for a big event. I actually love the excitement of getting ready in a rush. It brings a fun unexpected feel to your outfit. All of my New York Fashion Week looks were chosen in under 10 mins as I scrambled around my bedroom, pressed for time! They were also my most fun outfits and I had the great pleasure of being featured in New York Times, Italian Vogue, Daily Candy and a bunch of other great sites. Fabulous : )

SHF: What does your "kicking it at home on a Saturday" uniform consist of?

JA: I like fun prints, vibrant colors and unexpected pieces. You'll find me in a turban and a cute sundress with sandals and loads of accessories!

SHF: You're at the airport waiting for a flight; do you go for comfy clothes or for Posh-worthy attire?

JA: I like to mix the two for what I call "casual fab". This can be a great pair of jeans, a silk top and sleek leather flats. Add a fabulous bag and you're good to go!

SHF: Now that the weather is warming up in New York, which trend will you be rocking this spring?

JA: Crop Tops!!!!!!

 SHF: As a successful stylist, what advice would you give those who want to follow suit?

JA: Find an internship working for a stylist or a magazine that you admire. Learn as much as you can and never be afraid to ask questions or for advice. People want to help but they have to know that you need it. Be sure to keep in touch with everyone. In this industry, connections are essential!

SHF: Can we switch gears for a second and talk beauty? Because your nails are works of art and we're kind of obsessed. Do you let your manicurist (celebrity nail artist Naomi Yasuda) know what you want, let her do her thing or is it more of a collaborative effort?

JA: It's a collabo! I give her an overall idea and we'll give ideas back and forth as we go along! She is truly the best! I love her!

SHF: Last but not least, what's in your makeup bag right now?

JA: I am and always will be a lipstick addict! My favs in my bag right now are Makeup Forever #36 (my trademark magenta color), MAC's Russian Red (gorgeous matte red!) and Estee Lauder's Cherry Kiss (an amazing pinky-red in a fabulous gold case!) I looove vibrant lipstick!!

Feel free to style-stalk Joy as much as we do on her site, and you can follow her on Twitter too  @joyadaeze.

You're welcome.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Dating In Your Twenties; A Decade Of Figuring It Out.

"Girls" is that show that had all that buzz around it. The show on HBO about single ladies living in New York. The show people were comparing to "Sex and the City" which I think is unfair.  It's a show written by Lena Dunham, a woman in her twenties,  about women in their twenties. Big difference.

I'll have to check it out before making any comments (I've read the complaints about the lack of diversity)  but thinking about the premise of the show had me thinking about me and my friends, most of us single, in our twenties, living all over the place.

A while back, my sister Yemi and one of our mutual besties Viviam were having a bit of a tiff. It was more of a misunderstanding; Yemi thought Viv was becoming a bit boy crazy and Viv thought Yemi was being insensitive.

I was called by each of them, listened as both ladies made valid points.

Yes, as her friend, my sister should be more supportive. But as Yemi pointed out she "couldn't relate to all the boy drama". And that was the problem.

See, Yemi has not had the always amazing, confidence boosting pleasure of dating in her twenties. She met her fiance when she was 20. There's a whole world out there that she will never experience.

So to her, Viv and I (because I too have called her with the drama) were a little pathetic. She would NEVER say it but I know my sister. She's that girl. The girl who was incredibly blessed with a great guy and a healthy relationship early in life and is looking down at the rest of us with non-malicious pity.

But that's okay with me. I didn't do much of anything as a teenager so I'm due for a few f*ck ups.  I'm also a writer who thrives on experiences and dating in your twenties is definitely an experience.

When you're a teen, there's often an awkwardness, an uncertainty about everything. So when you date mistakes, it's unfortunate but can at least be chalked up to a learning experience. When you're in your twenties, you may not be the wisest of the bunch but you should know better. Which makes the mistakes so much more embarrassing. The knowing that something is wrong/bad for you and going ahead and doing it any way, fully aware of your actions, unable to hide behind naivete.

There's also the pressure; both Viv and I are constantly being asked why we haven't found a proper boyfriend to seriously date and ultimately marry. Is this a cultural thing (Viv's Peruvian-American, I'm Nigerian-American)?  Because gone are the days of just dating for the hell of it. Each guy we date is potentially our husbands to our families and we're both only 26.

Also there's the ick factor. Looking back at the mistakes of my teens, I can laugh it off like "I can't believe I spent so much time on that loser" . But the mistakes of my twenties make me cringe. Viv and I spent a good two hours comparing notes on the symptoms we experience when even thinking of some of our mistakes: slight nausea, shudders and a mixture of shame, mortification and disgust. A wave of "I can't believe I let him touch me" grossed-outness washes over us at the mere thought of certain mistakes. Then the question of why. Why oh why oh why?

I guess it's because dating in your twenties is all about figuring it out. We know what's wrong and what's right but we have to be sure it's wrong or right for us so we go ahead and test the waters. It's about growing up, getting over the uncertainty of our teens, learning not to apologize for figuring out what we want.

It's mostly bullshit but so is everything else in life.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Not Mandatory But Freaking Good: Ara by Brymo

So I'm totally that person who will listen to a new song, gush about that song and find out that "new song" was released two years ago.

Since I'm trying to transition into entertainment writing, I'm working on becoming the person who already listens to the music other people will be obsessing over in a year.

For now, I'm still that person gushing over that not so new song but for the sake of my non-Nigerian friends, I have to.

"Ara" by singer Brymo is currently my jam. I am LOVING this song and so is the rest of Lagos if the amount of times it's played on the radio, at parties, and on people's phones is any indication.

I actually discovered the original because of the remix (which is just as catchy in my opinion). Saeon was scheduled to perform during AMFW and I wanted to read up on her just in case I managed to snag an interview. I heard her version of "Ara" (which means Wonders) and fell in love.

"Ara" is Brymo's (real name Ashimi Olawale) first single under the label, Chocolate City and was released this past September.

Because I am a pathetic excuse for a Nigerian that doesn't know Yoruba, I have no idea what most of the lyrics actually mean. But no matter, it's still gooooood

Click here for the lyrics.

And here for Brymo's Wikipedia page.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Did Brooke Jasmyn and Christian Fields Break Up?


I watched Harlem Heights, I loved Harlem Heights, I was annoyed/baffled when BET dropped Harlem Heights after one season.

What did I love about the show? Well, I loved watching a show about young black twenty somethings trying to make it in New York. It was nice to watch a show that didn't embarrass me as a black woman. I personally LOVED Brooke Crittendon (now Brooke Jasmyn). I loved her hair, her work hard, play hard attitude, the glamorous famous ex mystique. Love love love.  And her and Christian Grant-Fields getting together and then getting married? Squeal!!!!

So I need to know: are Brooke and Chris no more? Nothing on Google pops up that confirms this but I follow Brooke  on Twitter (it's not stalking if you admit it) and the tweets are leading me to believe all is not well.

Some tweets that worry me (sorry for the ghetto copy and paste job. I'm writing on my blackberry from a hospital):

 Br00keAtMeNow The thing about starting over is sometimes you look back and realize you already did.

  StilettoJill truth RT @DawnNeufeld Even strong, independent chicks want to be taken care of every once in a while. #justsayin

  AncientProverbs Love makes time pass; time makes love pass. -French Proverb   12 days ago   Retweeted by Br00keAtMeNow

 Br00keAtMeNow Yup, i think that space might be better served as a Music Room...   12 days ago
  TheFireSigns The #Leo heart is slow to heal unlike the other zodiac signs. A #Leo feels things deeply and intensely that others can't.   14 days ago   Retweeted by Br00keAtMeNow

  TheFireSigns Once a #Leo commits themselves to a serious relationship, they are loyal, devoted, truehearted and faithful.   14 days ago   Retweeted by Br00keAtMeNow

  Live4Agreements Whatever happens around you, don't take it personally... Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves~ Miguel Ruiz   22 days ago   Retweeted by Br00keAtMeNow

Via @ChrisGFields:
  IAmJacksBot It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.   9 days ago   Retweeted by ChrisGFields

 ChrisGFields so many other things   12 days ago

ChrisGFields Every time you watch the Fab Five story you wish the turnout was different.   12 days ago

ChrisGFields If you really love someone, you're happy for them...regardless of how things turn out.   2 days ag

 ChrisGFields Memories can be torturous sometimes.   13 days ago

 ChrisGFields You might be onto something. RT @MisterMingles: Nice guys finish last!   14 days ago

I'm seriously distraught over this. Someone tell me it's going to be okay.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

William Levy Gets Around

Though I'm in a different country, I'm discovering William Levy around the same time as a lot of non-spanish speaking Americans in the United States. They can thank Dancing with The Stars for the discovery but I have to thank Galaxy TV and their telenovela habit. Right now I'm watching Levy's hot ass in two of them; Triunfo Del Amor and Sortilegio.

Oh my god, he's so pretty. Too pretty. Probably a douche. But...I just want to touch his face.

And I want him to carry me like I weigh nothing because he looks like he can.


What does he sound like on Dancing with the Stars? I'll die if he sounds like David Beckham.

As far as his acting goes, I can't really comment. Both shows are dubbed over in English and that takes away so much. Not to mention the fact that soap operas are,well, soap operas. But from what I can tell, he's not bad at all.

I'm curious to see what Dancing does for Levy's career. Obviously actors don't need Hollywood's stamp of approval to justify their work but that's obviously what the Cuban actor wants. With the appearance in J.Lo's music video, the Dancing gig and the People cover, Levy is trying to transition. Will he succeed?

I have no idea but I think it's amazing that because of his presence on Nigerian television, people here are more likely to lose their shit over seeing him than they are over Jon Hamm.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

In Jesus Name, DIE!!!

With my dad sick, a lot of family members and neighbors have been praying for him and having their pastors call to pray for him as well which is sweet and appreciated.

Some people have even sent their pastors to our house which, you know, is still appreciated but weird. Or am I weird for thinking that? Maybe it's the American in me.

In the last week, we've had over six pastors in our house.

Today's pastors came from The Mountain of Fire church.  The two men went to the living room where my dad was resting and they gave the rest of us (me, Mom, an uncle and an aunt) an outline of what was going to go down (prayer of thanks, some praise songs and then down to the nitty-gritty).

So we're praying and then singing and then the pastor asks us to pray that God has mercy on my dad which made me giggle because the way one guy was saying "have mercy" over and over, my mom was saying "in jesus name" over and over and another guy was just saying "mercy" over and over reminded me a lot of that episode of Potter Puppet Pals.

Anyway, we got to the point where the pastor said something along the lines of "now we will pray that those who have orchestrated Daddy's sickness for their benefit die."

Before I had time to process that,  it started: "In Jesus Name, DIEEEEE!" Over and over again. With someone just screaming "DIE".

I felt like I was listening to death metal.

It seemed to last forever and just when I thought it would never end, we moved on to the next prayer point. Which ended up being a variation of the last one. In fact, almost every prayer point after that involved death to anyone who wished my dad harm.

Oh my dear lord. Guys, I couldn't stop laughing.  I. Could. Not. Stop.

I certainly pray people who don't have my family's best interest in mind stay away but I can't really justify praying for someone to bite the bullet. But two pastors can. And that is what is so twisted about religion, the way people can justify something truly awful by bringing God into it.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Movies To Stop Airing On Africa Magic Channels

So I read this article today. Africa Magic and other African channels have been given till May to stop airing movies.

Hmm. This sounds temporary. I hope it is. Because In the three months that I've been here I have seen Africa Magic airing everywhere from the doctor's office to fast food restaurants. If that channel isn't allowed to air Nollywood movies anymore, does the Film, Video Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria (FVPMAN) really think people will flock to theaters and buy the movies on DVD?

We live in a world where even Hollywood movies are being released on demand before or as they hit theaters (Last Night is a great example). And watching a movie in the states is not nearly as difficult as watching a movie in Nigeria, where the theater is .more than two hours away (unless you live on the island), the traffic to get there is a nightmare and the ticket is overpriced compared to the standard of living of most citizens. Not to mention the fact that a lot of people don't use DVD players here as much (cable is cheaper than constantly buying new films and TV series).

I'm just saying this may not be the smartest move for the Nollywood film industry.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Every Day I'm Hustlin'

Good morning fellow hustlas.

So in-between hospital stays, I've actually managed to get some writing done (pats self on back).

I'm blogging about all things beauty for Style House Files, an awesome fashion website and I have some other stuff in the works that I'll happily share with you when it's official.

In the mean time, check out some of the posts I've written for SHF here.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Kanye and Kim Are Meant For Each Other

Picture: Courtesy of

I laughed out loud when I read this article. Are black women really upset that Kanye West is dating Kim Kardashian because she's not black?


We're still on that in 2012?

Moving on...

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Am I the only one who is in love with these two together? They are PERFECT for each other. And in the words of Lainey, this coupling is going to be good for gossip. So if you love smut, you should want them to be together. You should be thrilled.  Because when they break up ( because obviously), it's going to be EPIC. Can you imagine the twitter rant we'll get from Kanye when that happens? Can't wait!

God, I hope he writes a song about it.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I Guess I'll Never Be a Nurse

My dad had surgery, It was wildly successful,went far better than any of us hoped it would. Now he's recovering at home.

 No one ever talks about how once the initial health crisis is over, the recovery becomes the real challenge. In fact, it's a real bitch.

Post-delivery, my father is the grumpiest, most miserable person I've ever had to deal with. And I'd love to be able to be able mention with fake modesty how I've managed to persevere  and have been the model-caretaker through this getting better process.

But the truth is half the time I want to slap him and I have snapped a couple of times in response to his rudeness, inconsideration and general Debbie Downer ways. Some days, I wish I was back in New York and blissfully unaware of what's going on.

I'm an awful daughter.