Monday, January 30, 2012

My Adventure: "We Decided to go With Someone Else"

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I was sitting across from a police officer when it first occurred to me that many roads got me here.  She was answering a question I had earlier asked, and I was taking notes. I'm currently completing some work for an organization based here in Minnesota, hence the interview with the officer. As I listened to her clarify a point, I realized one thing was certain, there was no other place I would rather be and there was no other thing I would rather be doing. 

When I made up my mind to go for it and build my vision for JostWrite, my biggest question was "how in the world would I find clients?  I wondered if I was ready for the rejections that accompanied job search and building a business. Why in the world would I want to attempt both at the same time? I wasn't exactly sure what my writing niche would be, and I also questioned if I knew how to successfully pitch an idea? Heck, how do I come about a good idea? But I'm glad I did not let those fears hold me back. I have pitched, and I have survived. Actually, I have pitched and I have thrived.

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 A few days ago, I was cleaning out my email account and came face to face with all the email rejections I had received in the past two years from potential employers and clients. As I read through and deleted each message, It occurred to me how far I had come and how much further I could go if I keep making sure the word "No" loses its power over me. I read as one dream job after another said "No, we decided to go with someone else." or "No, your resume was impressive, but another candidate had more experience than you did." I read as potential clients rejected one pitch idea after another.  

Today, as I sat across from the police officer, It was clear to me that this is one of my many yeses. I'm privilege to have a few clients who have signed on to JostWrite. I'm amazed that organizations would even take the time to meet with me and hear me talk about crafting their vision into words. I usually expect the janitor at the door with a broom and dustpan ready to sweep me out. As I do my best to pitch ideas and my skills, I still get nervous about calling or sending out an email. It is way stressful to wait for a call back or an email response. Some nights, I wake up every two hours to check my phone and email for a message...it is like nursing a baby. No pun intended. The noes make me sad, but the yeses keep me moving.

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I am dedicated to improving my craft, because I want to be the one that an employer or client decides to go with. I am also dedicated to stepping into the doors opened before me, I know that on the path of many noes are a lot more yeses.  Opportunities open up when we choose to step out regardless of our fears. One of my many goals this year is to "Be Bold, Strong, Confident and of Good Courage." It is my desire to ask for what I want and need regardless of the fears that lurk around. Maybe if I hear enough noes and keep it moving, I will realize that it is a powerless entity on my path to success and growth.

As I keep searching for a full-time job, while pitching and networking on behalf of JostWrite, I am excited about the yeses that are bound to come from asking. Asking will not kill me; it will not render me immobile. I think, it will make me stronger. Asking will rip the crippling mask off of rejection, and make me see it for what it truly is:powerless.

The journey of thousand miles begins with the first step.

Beloved, You are Loved Absolutely!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Alert...Do Not Swoon!

I want this clutch purse, and I plan on getting it.  It was designed by an old co-worker, Michelle Urbick. You can purchase this item for only $32 on Etsy. There are a lot more where this came from.

Visit Rosy Blu Handmade to see what else Michelle is designing and crafting, like I earlier mentioned, you can also visit her store on Etsy.

PS: She is scheduled to be featured on a future JostStart: Dreamers to DOERs. You might all have discounts and a giveaway in your future.


Beloved, You are Loved Absolutely!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

SHOWCASING: Stumblings Blocks Into Stepping Stones

I can't remember how or where I met Bunmi Ogun, however, we got better acquainted when she asked me to speak to a group of teenagers she works with at her church on the topic of self esteem and confidence.  Her story teaches us that dark clouds always give way to sunny days. Warm and inspiring!
NOTE: I'm working on a different way to present SHOWCASING. It is always my longest post. Bear with me as I work on improving presentation and getting you to read regardless of the length.

It was a warm day in the summer of 2010, and the world was business as usual. Somewhere in Maryland, USA, a beautiful woman was rising out of her pain. On my Facebook news feed, the status of a friend caught my attention, it read along this lines,"My God is good. You should all call Bunmi Ogun and ask her what my God has done for her lately." Curiosity might had killed the cat, but it was yet to kill me. I picked up my phone and dialed Bunmi's number.

WHEN THUNDER STRIKES

Failure is a powerful antithesis to success. It is the fear of failure or the experience of it that lead many to shrink back, second-guess their steps and remain stagnant. We are always aware of the times we were denied a spot in the school's musical or failed a road test or worst still, watched as a dream, once powerful and unshakeable, disappeared into thin air. The emotions that race through our minds range from shame to anger to confusion.  For Bunmi, failure and its second cousin, rejection, was an unfamiliar or maybe a tiny part of her life until May 2008. She found out that she was failing her classes and was asked not to return for the next academic year. It was her first year second semester in the Physical Therapy DPT program at  Marymount University in Virginia.  After receiving the information, she still had to go to class, study for finals and take her exams alongside her classmates. For an A student and one accustomed to winning,  it was a hard pill to swallow. Receiving the news was hard, but telling her parents was harder.  Fortunately, when she built up the courage to divulge the news to them, she was blessed by their support.

"I have always been a good student, and it was hard to know that I was failing my classes and worst still I was getting kicked out of school. I was struggling in the program, and for an achiever, it was hard."

After her last exam in May 2008, Bunmi left without a plan for how to move forward or what she hoped to accomplish next. Bunmi decided to pray. "I was not in school, and I was unemployed. I began asking God for direction" She said. "I had no idea who else to turn to. I was devastated, but it was somewhat of a relief, because I was not enjoying the program."She added.

While she prayed and contemplated her next steps, family members and friends familiar with her passion for teenagers, and specifically girls, approached her about applying to a Masters in Public Health program. In addition, random acquaintances would often come up to her and say: "I see you working in Public Health." or "You should look into working with teenagers." However, in an effort to take care of herself, she began looking for a job. In August 2008, a few months after she left Marymount, she got a position at a law firm. It turned out she hated both the job and the environment.

"I hated it. I was not challenged, but my faith was challenged." After much going back and forth, Bunmi decided to look into pursuing a public health degree as another option. She was hesitant and reluctant, because it was new to her, and she felt insecure due to failing out of the DPT program.  "I was not okay with it," She said. Nevertheless, in early 2009, after much research and thought, she applied to programs at the University of Maryland, College Park and at The George Washington University. She had also began brainstorming what else she could do for income while she worked at her dreaded job and waited for responses from her graduate applications.

"The idea of working with jewelry kept coming to mind. I was not interested in designing, creating or selling jewelries, because everyone was doing it, but the idea would not let go." She made up my mind to go for it and began looking into jewelry business school. She could not bring herself to tell anyone, not even her parents. Going from a Bachelors, flunking out of a  DPT  program to selling jewelry was not the plan. She decided to keep it to herself until she launched.


In March 2009, a couple of weeks after submitting her graduate applications, BeDazzling Jewelry was born. A few months after, in the middle of 2009, she received two rejection letters from both College Park and George Washington. Another big blow to her already fragile ego. "I was denied, and I was depressed. I was working at a job I hated. It was harder to accept, because I had prayed about it, and I really thought God wanted this for me. I could not handle another rejection."



Monday, January 23, 2012

Two Posts in Less Than an Hour?

Oh my...what's happening in my world? The need to JostWrite is taking control of my brains and fingers. Anyways, usually after I get done with my blog post for the day...I always make my daily blog rounds to read what others are sharing, doing, struggling through or just saying.

Today, I came across two blog posts by two inspiring people that made me do a 360 degrees back to my blog to re-post, and then a dear blogger friend of mine posted about my upcoming blog series "JostStart: Dreamers to DOERs." She is a valued reader, and I am thankful for her.

Below are my blog inspirations for today:

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Ollins Morales over at Courage to Create is talking today about the evil of jealousy and how to use the emotions that arise from envy to build your own dreams. I was floored by his wisdom, and that blog post is one I would be reading over and over again.






Bianca - author, in the name of the love
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Bianca Juarez Olthoff at In the Name of Love is one of my favourite bloggers and person. I am yet to meet her, but be best assured...I will be meeting her, dining with her and laughing out loud with her one day. I sound like a self-proclaimed stalker. Anyways, her post today is on fear. That evil powerless pretentious entity that stands in the way most times. Her post is powerful, and it points us all back to God. The loving father who has given us not a spirit of fear, but one of love, sound mind and boldness. Check her out.




 
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 Last, but never the least is The Relentless Builder. I am falling in love with this girl...it could be a boy, because she is anonymous. It could be a werewolf for all we know...hahaha, she would be getting back at me for this one. She made me smile by posting about JostStart on her blog. She is da bomb. Scoot over to her blog NOW! :)






Okay...I am out for the day. A client's paid in half project beckons me.

Beloved, You are Loved Absolutely!


I Chose a Side!

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I wrote a post a few weeks ago on my struggles with deciding between a Blackberry and an iPhone. I'm glad to announce that I made a choice. I chose the ultimate iPhone (white), and I'm glad I did. After reading up on the pros and cons of each, reading your comments on my blog, facebook and on twitter, I was certain I was going to get a Blackberry. My heart was leaning towards the iPhone, BUT I loved my keyboards. Well, I thought I did. :)

However, I got to the store and walked out with the iPhone, and I LOVE IT. My fingers feel like silk. I finally found love...okay, it's not that serious, but close. I can do everything on my iPhone, and with the iCloud...everything from my music to my notes to my calendars are all synced to my Apple computer and ipod. I was an Apple lover, but I finally married the family. 

My three favorite apps are the Flipboard, Teuxdeux and Bible apps. Jess of MML introduced me to the first two, and it is a beautiful experience.

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Flipboard keeps me informed on all the news I want to catch up on, and the interface is so chic. It is my own personal news-stand. It deliveres latest national and international news from NPR, TIME, Fox News, CNN etc, fashion and entertainment news from Oprah, E! Online, Glamour etc and my daily dose from Twitter and the likes. It is absolutely splendid. I also love the Google Reader on Flipboard, I get to keep up with new post from my favorite blogs. All at the the flip of my finger. No pun intended!


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TeuxDeux on the other hand, pronouced To Do is my absolute life saver. This is the first time in years that I'm not buying my second bible...the yearly planner. Teuxdeux is web-based, but the app on the iphone is synced in with the web-version. Whatever update I make to my Teuxdeux while sitting at the doctor's office is instantly updated to my laptop and vice versa.  You can also set up different accounts for personal, work, grocery etc. It is amazing.

Aside from daily list, you also get a 'Someday' list for things you plan to do in the future. 

I'll let you all know how my first year without a paper planner is working out for me by mid year. It feels good so far.







The Bible app is my surefire way to carry the Word with me all day. I can listen to it, read it, take notes and just have a refreshing day all day long. 

Upgrading my phone is one thing I never do spontaneously, and this year was no different. I'm glad I took my time to think it through. Even though I spontaneously chose the iPhone over the Blackberry when I got to the store, I had all my pros, cons and account balance figured out beforehand.

Now I need to name my iPhone...WHAT? I am weird. I know! :)

Beloved, You are Loved Absolutely!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Someone Like You

My Prayer Today...

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I came across the prayer poem below on Melissa's blog, and it is exactly the prayer of my heart lately.

My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact
that I think that I am
following your will does not mean that
I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope I have this desire in all that
I am doing.
I hope that I never do anything apart
from this desire.
And I know that if I do this
you will lead me by the right road,
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore, will I trust you always
though I may seem to be
lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for
you are ever with me,
And you will never leave
me to face my perils
alone.
- Thomas Merton

Friday, January 20, 2012

Alert...Do Not Swoon!

Glamor!! Want! Swooning...These studs are really appropriate for my date night with "Mr. Yet to be Found."

Scribed: Dreams; Forgotten OR Deferred!

You dream of soaring at the cockpit
You dream of sashaying on the stage
You dream of severing umbilical cords
You got married and you dreamed

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You are waiting to soar at the cockpit
You are waiting to sashay on the stage
You are waiting to sever umbilical cords
When you get married

For the Oscar you'd proclaim emotions
For the Grammy, you'd bleed passion
For the Pulitzer, you'd spew words
You got married and you dreamed

For the Oscar, you will proclaim emotions
For the Grammy, you will bleed passion
For the Pulitzer, you will spew words
When you get married

Where did you tuck that business plan?
Where did you hide the choreographed dance routine?
Why, madame, did you camouflage?
Is it because you got married?

Will you write that business plan?
Will you choreograph that dance routine?
When, mademoiselle, will you discover your nucleus?
Or are you still waiting to get married?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

31 Before 30 Project...#2 Down!

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It is that time to update you all on progress with my 31 Before 30 List. One of my goals as a writer is to take classes that increase my skills, and on my to-do list was a desire to take a creative writing class. Last year November, I got the incredible chance to sign up for a class with The Loft Literacy Center in downtown Minneapolis. God knows the opportunity came exactly when I needed it.

In November, I was tired of job searching and sitting at home. I desired to connect with other people besides my parents, my friends, my clients and baristas. I knew I had to get out of the house. It was time to pursue something on my 31 Before 30 List, and taking a class served my purpose: writing and connecting with people. I found a few classes online and went with The Loft and a six- weeks class titled "The Art of Personal Writing." with about 12 other people. In addition, I applied for a scholarship, and I got it. YAY!! I did not have 300+ dollars to spare anyways. It was a blessing from God.

I am glad I did it; it was a good experience. We engaged in several writing exercises in each class session, and we read our work to the class. Our facilitator, Peter Blau, is wonderful, and his feedbacks were positive and constructive. Students also had the chance to critique each other, it was good to hear what other students had to say about my work. 

Reading my work was new. I have always dreamed of spitting at a poetry slam, but it's still a dream. My reading started out shaky. It was new and scary, and I wanted to get the cadences and tones right, but by the end of the class I was a better reader. Peter and two other classmates complimented my strong voice and suggested I tried out for spoken words. Such a huge compliment for me primarily because, I hadn't told anyone in class about my dream of spitting at a slam. To have them come up to me individually after class on different occasions and tell me I had a strong voice, was a good reader and should do spoken words was a big boost to my ego.  STOP! Now do the happy dance with me. Lol.

Classes has ended, but we are all awesome and in love with each other...we decided to meet once a week every other week this year  to keep writing, reading and to help each other with our various writing projects. I am thankful. A writing group is born, and we have met twice already.

My two personal goals for our meetings aside from our collective goals are to get back on track with one of my two manuscripts and improve my reading. With job searching and pleasing Jostwrite's clients, I let work on my book fall to the wayside, it is time to get back on track. 

The biggest compliment I got while sitting in class after reading one of my five minutes write-up was from Peter Blau, he said "AdeOla, you are a fearless writer." 

I will sit on that and blush for a few. :)


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Two Sweet Servings...


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“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
Martin Luther King Jr.
 “If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving
forward.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Trending: Afrikan Goddess new Website & January Edition




Afrikan Goddess January edition is out, and it arrived with a brand new smashing website that we are proud of.

I have three articles in the January edition. The first is under ReMarkable Women featuring the Kenyan 2013 President aspirant, Martha Karua.  I also wrote the profiles for Kenya's first lady, Lucy Muthoni Kibaki and Angola's first lady, Ana Paula dos Santos.

Enjoy!


Monday, January 16, 2012

Introducing JostStart, Giveaways and Discounts...

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I had plans to save this announcement for later in the month, but I am inspired by the many Martin Luther King's quotes trending on my Facebook news feed this morning.

Dr. King said "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." 

I am introducing JostStart:Dreamers to DOERs series. It is an idea I have been working on for a while, and which I hope to launch in February.

Many of us including myself are in awe of people who do great things or people we are using their giftings and talents to create, and in many cases, build income. Many are full-time entrepreneurs and others are mid-night hustlers combining a full-time job and a side gig. I am inspired by the ones doing it big and those still pushing towards a big, they include people who started a fashion-line, opened up a restaurant, roasted homemade coffee to sell, employed their love for food as a career or simply saw a need and filled it. These people teach us that we can't hold our ideas and gifts back because of fear or hoard them to protect them.

Lately, I have come across entrepreneurs, small business owners, growing businesses, growing brands and start-ups, both locally in the States and internationally. I am equally proud of the surge of entrepreneurs in Nigeria in the past few years, a surge that had been simmering for a while.

JostStart will focus on the entrepreneurs and their products or services. The goal is to focus in on the who, what, why, how, when and where of the entity. I hope to ask questions that help people see into their journey including the fears, enthusiasm, passion and period of doubts and questioning. I hope that with each feature you come to realize that all your stones do not need to lined up in perfect rows, before you proceed. Sometimes, all you need to do is JostStart and keep moving. After researching, brainstorming, planning, waiting, seeking for advice and all, you need to move your dreams from your head and heart to paper and then into action. 

The journey of a thousand miles never starts unless a first step is taken. 

In addition to featuring wonderful, brave and talented people, JostStart in collaboration with the entrepreneurs will be providing discounts and giveaways to my wonderful and faithful readers, fan, commenters, followers and likers.  Whether you live in the States, Nigeria or else where, you don't want to miss the chance to be a winner. If you are yet to follow JostWrite on twitter or like on Facebook...this is your chance to do so and then win some. :)

I am extremely excited about this new venture and thrilled about the entrepreneurs scheduled to be featured on JostStart. I am excited to grow and also to hear how each feature sparked something in you. Please support the entrepreneurs by investing in a product or two. 

 
In the words of Dr. King
 “If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”  

Dr King left the world with not only inspiring words, but an inspiring life filled with ACTION. 

Dear Readers, JostStart!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Alert...Do not Swoon!

I want it. My heart wants it ... but my account is glaring at me! Therefore...I am just staring at it. sigh!




JostWrite Favorite Things

Quotes, words that inspire and words that make me giggle.
I love 'em. Below are a few quotes and words that are inspiring me lately. These are words that propel me on my journey especially when it gets hard.  Reading a few of these fills me with positive thoughts and helps get rid of negative ones. I have a lot of words that inspire, but these ones stands out for me in this season of my life

Always be inspired to moved above and beyond, and while you are at it...,get up and move above and beyond, and while you are it...,inspire someone else to do the same and bring them along. Life's journey is best walked and enjoyed while creating, giving and loving.

Above all, be patient. Step by step. Bit by bit. Little by Little. Poco a Poco.
Peace!
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Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Adventure: Battle-Field of the Mind

This idea of controlling what goes into my mind and subsequently what I think about is on my heart of late. I recently heard a sermon preached titled "Rethink," and Joyce Meyer is also big on the idea of renewing the mind and reflecting on our thoughts. Hey, that is what Romans 12:1-2 is all about.

Last year, I started taking tangible steps to keep positive thoughts in while kicking out negative ones. I found out I give in easily to the negative thoughts when I am tired or hungry. Last night I was up real early, because I had two different meetings with two clients in town. By the time I got back home in the evening, I was exhausted, hungry and still attempted writing, but I ended up having a nervous break-down, crawled into bed and sobbed. All I could think about before I broke down were negative thoughts of how nothing was ever going to work out even if I worked hard enough. So untrue, but I let it sink in, and I was too tired to filter the thoughts out or replace them with good thoughts. The negative thoughts came regardless that two meetings earlier in the day were extremely successful, but my physical state robbed me of the strength to take charge of my thinking.

Wheew...I wrote in my journal this morning: When I am tired, I will rest. when I am hungry, I will eat. When I am stressed, I will do somethng fun and when I am discouraged, I will pray. No need trying to work on that chapter, finished a draft for a client or attempt to hustle up some business if my body and mind are not at rest and at peace.

Ever since the car accident in December...my body is protesting something and my mind keeps getting stressed. I am seeing different doctors, but I am seriously thinking of adding Yoga to my routine. SERIOUSLY!

I do much better if my thoughts are upbeat and positive .

Beloved, You are Loved Absolutely!

Jess LC Loves Your Pets...Your Pets Love Jess LC!

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May the best pet win.
I am a big fan of Jess Constable. I have never met her, but I read her blog and have learned quite a few things from reading. My newest go to phrase "Start Where You are, and Keep Going," was from her. :)

It is time for all her faithful fans and product lovers to win big. If you've ever purchased AND have a Jess LC Product AND have a pet, you are eligible.


Do you have what it takes to win "My Pet♥JESS LC" challenge?
Click here to find out.

With Jess LC, everyone is a winner.

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Enter today to receive 20% discount off a future purchase and the entry 
with the most "Likes" wins $100 Jess LC credit.
Voting ends January 17th, 2012

Pure Delight! That is why I always wanted a dog...oh well. 
I might just capture a squirrel and enter. :)

PS: International fans are welcome too.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

BeCause...

I am writing a letter of encouragement today, BeCause every woman deserves a chance at life.
I am writing a letter of hope today, BeCause everyone should be free.
I am writing a letter of inspiration today, BeCause I can and I should.

What are you doing today BeCause....?

Today is human trafficking awareness day, and it is important that we each take time to reflect on the issue. If you are yet to get educated or involved, then today is a chance to take the first step. Awareness and education are usually the first steps to engaging. You may not have to experience an issue to act, simply educating yourself is enough to get you passionate about a cause. 

Human trafficking is here. It is real, and because people matter, the end of human trafficking should matter to us. A lot of people passionate about bringing about an end to human trafficking cannot go into the fields, but there are many ways from big and small to get involved. No act is too small and no amount donated is too little, action is what matters. Thinking about it and talking about it would amount to little if nothing is done. Wherever you are in the world, you can choose to act and then ACT!

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If you are questioning and reasoning out the ways you could get involved, then you are in luck. The A21 Campaign launched its BeCause campaign today as a way to provide you tangibles ways to get involved, BeCause people matter and freedom matters. They have suggested 21 Ways to Help, and everyone can choose one or even two ways to engage. I have chosen eight things out of 21, aside from writing about the issue on my blog, that I plan to do as the year progresses. One of the eight is to write a letter of hope, encouragement and inspiration to the women living in the shelters run by A21 Campaign. These girls come from all over the world. They come from Asia, Europe, Africa..., and they need encouragement.

The A21 BeCause page lets you choose and submit one way to get involve, but if you are willing and able to do more...,you can choose that for yourself. I chose to submit the act of "Write a Letter."

WHAT WILL YOU CHOOSE?

Because everyone matters...
Because everyone can make a difference...
Because everyone can do something...
We do, we can, we will.

Beloved, You are Loved Absolutely!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

We got 99 problems but new growth ain't one. Hit me!

I am a believer...the rain has no say in what I do with my hair. Not anymore!




Calling all 2012 Brides: RAE Affairs Lifetime Give-Away

You had the best proposal ever, and it was better than you imagined. You are all smiles and tears as the love of your life slips the ring of your dreams unto your finger. It is a perfect fit; he is a perfect fit. You are kissing, crying, hugging and taking in the roars of "congratulations" all around you.

Yes, it is true...you just got engaged.
And yes, it is true...wedding planning is fun, but can be both expensive and challenging.
However, it could be your chance to Relax & Enjoy with RAE Affairs Lifetime Give-away, its first ever. RAE Affairs is an event plannng outfit that caters to an array of events including weddings.

Enter for an opportunity to have one of RAE Affairs seasoned wedding planner coordinate your planning and day for free.

You read it right:
FREE!!!

Go to http://www.raeaffairs.com/giveaway/ for more information.


Shileola Aderinanye is the owner and lead event planner at RAE Affairs. She was also JostWrite first showcasee ever in the November 2011 edition of Showcasing. Click here to read her inspiring story on how she started RAE Affairs. Be encourage to know your dreams are possible...start where you are and keep going.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Alert...Do Not Swoon!

I saw this a few days ago and my heart skipped. Heels kill me, but it is okay to yearn for a pair of fine killer heels.

Enjoy and DO NOT SWOON! :)

Not Giving Up, But Giving Back...JoyJars!

Amidst the sad and depressing news in our world rises a star in the shape of a twelve year old girl. I am caught up with the news of #Occupy, specifically #Occupy Nigeria, and there is space to lash out, justification to stay bitter and to give up. However, after encountering the story of 12 year old Jessica Joy Rees, everything else pales in comparison. I am made aware yet again that the sufferings we go through whether because a distance and unaware government does not take into account the issues of the masses or because we received a death sentence due to a terminal disease or because hunger ravages the linings of our bellies, all of these sufferings, can be alleviated when each individual chooses to share and care.

When Jessica and her family were told she had an inoperable brain tumor, they could have chosen to be bitter instead of better. Her cancer diagnosis was a new beginning. As I read up about the wonderful path a bad new carved out for this family, the cynic in me proposed all the rationales that made it easy for them to turn their pain into blessings for themselves and others. The cynic in me proposed the following and more: They have an avalanche of wealth, the father pastors in a big church with ample resources, they are a white family and probably had the right connections to push the noble agenda forward and a truck load of other cynical self depleting thoughts. It didn't matter if my reasoning was true or not, they all came to mind. I questioned if a poor family or one of a different race would have the time, resources and support the Rees possess. I asked quietly in the back of my mind if families living in the slums of New York or in a third world country would be able to pull off such a feat.

However, it occurred to me that aside from the aforementioned factors, other more powerful details played roles in the creation of NEGU Foundation, founded by Jessica Joy Rees. Jessica was brave; she chose to use her bad news for good. She conceived ideas and with the help of her family executed them. She started with what she knew and watched as God, coupled with her determination and strength, grew it. The two most important thing that I believe pushed her agenda forward was her desire to work for others and the support she received.

In life, we need passion, wealth, determination, focus and strength to excel and push through into a dream, but the role of God, selflessness and a support system can never be underestimated in pushing through the many moments when we want to give up.

I say all of the above to get to one point, regardless of all you are going through, it is important to give back.

Lets give back to her home side and in the places we are located.
Lets give to people regardless of their race, ethnicity, nationality, religion or creed.
Lets make it a part of 2012 to open up our hearts and eyes to see needs and fill them however we can.
Lets take it back to our individual nations and neighborhoods.
Lets take it beyond our nations, neighborhoods, families and friends...lets take it to the world. 
Lets take it to the younger generation and to the seniors in our lives. 
There is a chance to get up and do something, and there are also opportunities to support people doing something. Whatever you are passionate about...#Occupy or cancer or human trafficking or orphan care and adoption..., and whatever sad situation life throws at you...you can choose to trust God, you can choose to step out and serve others and you can choose to support people and organizations that need it. Sometimes, people need your help to be able to stand up and lend others their support.

I will be bringing to your attention causes, people and organizations that need support around the world...here in the United State, in my home country Nigeria and around the universe. You cannot do everything and not all causes will resonate with you, but you can do one thing. You can stop complaining, murmuring, lashing out in anger and giving up. You can start giving back.

Three issues I am highlighting and bringing to your attention today are:


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NEGU Foundation (NEGU means "Never Ever Give Up" and was founded by Jessica Joy Rees. R.I.P: 04/08/99 - 01/05/12)
The Seun Akinsanya Project  ( Nigerians Fighting for Quality Education for all Nigerians)
Give A Book, Save Our Future (Focused on Education in Nigeria...Donate a book or two)

In addition, coming up later this week is JostWrite first guest blogger of the year. She will be posting on a very simple, but tangible way to walk through a difficult time specifically on illnesses . However, her suggestion works for many other trials we get to walk through in life.

Beloved, You are Loved Absolutely!

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Sweet Serving...

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“Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I've accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it's a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it's a way of making contact with someone else's imagination 
after a day that's all too real. 
Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.” Nora Ephron, author

What I Would Wear in my Kitchen...

I love cooking.
I love creating a meal from an online recipe or one from a friend.
I love kitchens, they are the next best room in the house after the bathrooms. :)
I have been thinking about kitchens lately, because I have not had my own kitchen or shared one with a girlfriend in almost two years.
Sharing a kitchen with my brothers and now my parents does not count.
Girlfriends are much more fun. Sorry Fam!:)
One of the items on my Christmas wish list was a State of The Art Kitchen. I did not get it, well I still live with my parents. I took the liberty to put together pictures that mimic the visual of what my dream kitchen would look like and what I would look like standing in it cooking and hosting (stole the last idea and two pictures from Alaina @ Live Creating Yourself.)


My Kitchen should look like this...

Source: trendir.com via AdeOla on Pinterest

Or this


I should host a party in my house...:)
Source: google.com via AdeOla on Pinterest


Serve more of this


And this...
Source: google.com via AdeOla on Pinterest


Cooked with the following...


While dressed like this...


And that is why a State of the Art Kitchen is still on my wish list. :)

PS: In 2012, I plan on sharing more of my personal side and style OR more like I would try. As I develop JostWrite's website...I might either expand or shrink what goes on the blog side. I want it to be my uncensored (no filthiness allowed), unedited and 'must not be the perfect place' to write

If you haven't, please like JostWrite on Facebook and follow on Twitter.
There are giveaways in my future and yours...lol!
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