Things I have learned as a city lawyer

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Hi people,

Some of you who have followed MCLA from its inception will recall how I went to law school and got a job. It is not my first job but I must say that it is the first career defining work experience so far as it is right up my professional alley and at it, I have learned a whole lot.

I have learned that your fancy degree(s) might get you the job but only your character and attitude will ensure that you not only keep your job but thrive and excel at it. In fact, these days, many a masters degree holder gets turned back and gets confused: but I thought once I get a masters, the jobs will be lining up for me. These days, masters degrees are a dime a dozen. Everyone and their mama has it. It’s no longer the biggie it was 10 years ago and you need to show more to get the attention of employers and recruiters. I digress.

See, this post is not really about getting the job you want. Its aim is to show how one can enjoy and excel at the job you have. Here are some tips I have discovered whilst working in my law firm. I believe they are applicable anywhere. Enjoy!

1. Understand your role and discover ways to perform your job well

As a lawyer, I get tasks as mundane as writing minutes of a meeting (this is a general summary of what transpired at a meeting for future reference etc) to drafting an entire agreement from scratch i.e. without the use of a template. I have learned that both the seemingly mundane and seemingly important tasks deserve the same level of excellence. My role in the firm is not to draft important agreements. It is to be a useful lawyer and employee. This means if what will make life easier for my boss right now is to prepare an agenda, then an agenda I shall prepare. If tomorrow, I am needed to deal with the administrative aspects of a seminar, then that I shall do. If today, it is to meet with the head of a multinational, then meet I shall.

The point is you are not just there to do the sexy deals. You are there to move the organisation forward and make your presence and in fact, absence felt. Now don’t get it twisted, spending all your time doing admin work will not fetch you much. Wisdom is key.

Further, when you identify what your role is, it is not enough to just do your job. You must do it well and with pride too. Go the extra mile. Suggest an idea that has been playing in your head. Put in the extra oomph. I have watched great models get voted off America’s Next Top Model because they are not memorable. They take great photos and walk the runway well but they are not outstanding and a thousand others do just that. You need to distinguish yourself in your role and let it show that you are different.

standoutfromthecrowd

2. Be a hard worker
Get to work on time. Make good use of the period you are at work. Minimise your gisting and chilling. Don’t go over your allocated breaks, don’t spend the day bb-ing, chatting on your phone, updating your status, using office internet to shop (trust me, you are being observed and even if you are not, it is a thing of integrity).

Phone

It is not enough to just be at work, work hard whilst there. Hone your skills, perfect your craft. If you are in my field, this means reading books, reading emails and ensuring that you are on top of it all, writing and generally endeavouring and working towards being better than you were last month. If you get appraised yearly, appraise your self half yearly. If you get appraised half yearly, appraise yourself every quarter. Your company does its bit by paying you every month. You have to do your own bit by ensuring you do not drop the ball.

3. Dress and act like a professional
Be a professional. Talk like a professional. Use the right lingo. Dress well. In my field, this means keeping your coat of many colours to a minimum or better still, for Church. It means dressing the way the partners in your firm dress not necessarily with the price tag but with professionalism.

dress_2410

Be friendly. Be engaging. Don’t just come to work, do the job and pack your bags. Have buddies. Be nice even as you focus on your job. This does not mean you have to become I go dye and the office clown but you get the point…

4. Have a can-do spirit
Don’t be the one who always notices the faults and ends with the words ‘it is not possible’, ‘I cannot do it’. Even if you have the gift of identifying the problems and drawbacks with a plan, always end with a possible solution. Clients don’t always care how you go about solving their problems. They do know they have problems or potential problems so they do not need you to highlight them all and end with ‘not possible!’. Yes, it might not be possible this way, but what about that way. Remember, there is always a way. Your company’s role is to find it. You can be the solution provider! Start thinking like the boss.

5. Know and respect hierarchies
Yes, this means knowing who’s boss and treating them accordingly. Your bosses range from the MD/CEO or Managing Partner, to the other partners to your HOD to the girl who finished law school a year ahead of you even though when you were in SS3 in QC, she was in JSS 3. That’s just the way it is, at least in my industry! Until you distinguish yourself and are consequently elevated, you might need to take orders or to put it mildly ‘instructions’ from someone who would is younger than your little ones who call you ‘Sister’. Yup! Leave the chip on your shoulder in your car. Remember it is a job. Be professional. This is not your family meeting or your home. This is work. Age is literally nothing but a number, an insignificant one. The only number that matters is your years of experience and how well you are doing your job, your client score card etc, not your age.

6. Take initiative
Like I alluded to earlier, merely doing your job will help you keep it but might not mean you will excel and be a high flyer. You will be just a normal worker, nothing special, just there. You need to push the boundaries, identify voids and ways things could be done better in the company as a whole and your unit specifically. Make suggestions. If your boss is not too much of a my way or the high way person, you could even dare to make a small change here and there and share with him/her after.

7. Not everything is about better pay and commendation
As nice as it is for all your handwork and excellent attitude to be noticed by all and rewarded by the big guys, it is actually for your own good and personal development. So don’t get all grumpy and discouraged if a red carpet welcome does not await you the day after your brilliant suggestion saved the day. And please don’t give up because your wonderful ideas etc in March does not reflect in a big bonus if any. It is not about immediate applause and commendation or pay or reward. It is about building yourself to a certain level that your ‘outstandingness’ cannot but go noticed AND rewarded…

8. Be prayerful
I saved the very best tip for the last. The power of prayer for favour and grace cannot be overemphasised. No matter how much you hustle, without the touch of God, your efforts might be frustrated. Without God, the builders build in vain and without God, the watchmen watch in vain (Psalm 127).

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So there you have it guys, my tips for excelling in your careers. I’m sure there are much more you can add to the foregoing. Please do in the comment section below. Even the word of God says, “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.” Proverbs 22:29. Also, Colossians 3:22 says, “Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God”. Okay, you are not exactly in a servant/master relationship but you get the drift…Then again, who are we kidding!

Have a lovely weekend guys!!!

Temiville.xoxo

Seeking: Fashion Blogger and Fashion Designer!

3 Comments

Hiya!!!

Olivia-Palermos-Fashion-Week-Style-Spring-2013

Olivia-Palermos-Fashion-Week-Style-Spring-2013 London-Fashion-Week-Spring-2013-Street-Style-08-600x400

Do you have a passion for fashion and style? Can you write about fashion? Do you know the latest trends, African styles? Would you fit as a fourth member of the Fashion Police team? If you know you have what it takes to be a fashion blogger please apply to            Shopombre@gmail.com

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In addition, a fashion designer seeks other fashion designers to join her talent team. To apply send an application and pictures of your designs to lovefashiondesigns@yahoo.com

Have a fun weekend guys!

Temiville.xoxo

Customer Service Training and Job Offer: Introducing Telepoint Communications Ltd!

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Hi people,

How’s it going? Hope you all had a nice holiday last week. I hope y’all are having fun. Not many people feel the holidays to be honest. So many of my friends still have to go to work. For those of us who are still waiting on The Lord, there is no clear difference between a working day and a holiday. Everyday, I wake up, say my prayers, say prayers with mom and dad, check for any email from the places I applied, refresh my forever open Law School website to find out if the results are out…

This leads me nicely to the topic for today…Customer Service Training! Now, hear me out guys. Before you start screaming ‘but I studied Banking and Finance!!!’ Lol. Now, when I first heard about so many Graduates of different discipline going to do two week courses on customer service, I was like ‘lai lai’. But then I was approached by the people at Telepoint Communications Ltd to let people know about the training and how useful it is. I visited them three times because as you all know, I’m not one to speak for people like that if I don’t know what exactly you’re about.

I went to their office on Allen Avenue and I saw my legal seniors at the Bar, doctors, accountants from Ife, LASU, MSc degree holders, etc. They were all trying to go through customer service training after which they will write an examination and then get a certificate. I also found out about some who had gone on to secure great jobs thereafter. Most of them get to work in the telecoms industry, others carry in with their respective fields, but all are empowered and more marketable.

Here is more direct information from them:
TELEPOINT COMMUNICATIONS LTD

EARN UP TO N90,0000 MONTHLY THROUGH CUSTOMER SERVICE/CALL CENTER

Become a Customer Care/Call Centre Agent after 2 weeks’ intensive training and earn up to 90,000 Naira monthly as Job Placement Opportunities are available right after training.

Address: Visit 82 Allen Ave Ikeja, opposite Mainstreet bank Lagos or call any of the Advisors.

NB:
-Accommodation available at a small fee for those that do not reside in Lagos
-Weekend option available for those currently working

Call:
•Mike 08092298673
•Stephanie 08137234351
•Bunmi 08128693392
•Funmi 08065642110
•Crystal 08137766764
•Desola 08163749903
•Chioma 07063310536
•Monday 08130360372

http://www.lagostelecom.com
http://www.facebook.com/TMDiploma

So guys, for those like us waiting for work, we can learn something new whilst waiting with a tempting possibility of even branching out. I hear ASUU is on strike, you can take 2 weeks out of sitting at home to learn something new that will set you apart. From learning this transferable skill, you can apply it to an interview to get a job and distinguish yourself from the pack. Just my thought sha! I’m no marketer lol.

Here I am at the training institute.

Me!

Me!

Here are the students in class

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So go on and give them a call…

NYSC: Done and Dusted!

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I just want to say Baba o Esheeeeeeeeeee!!!

Thank You Jesus!!!

I’m so happy. I’m so grateful to God! Today, I officially passed out of the NYSC Scheme! I really thank God for seeing me through from moving back home to registering for NYSC to starting the program. I use this moment to remember those who fell on the journey from bomb blasts to election brouhaha to personal issues. I pray God will comfort their families.

I thank God for my friends, my colleagues and every Batch A 2011 corps member. I don’t know about y’all but it wasn’t an easy journey. From the drama in Abuja during registration, to the never ending queues on camp, to CD day sun bathing to Final Clearance ordeal, hmm, it was indeed service to my nation. But through it all, I have had a Father, the King of kings, Ancient of Days, Almighty I Am that I Am who has stood by me. I worship Him indeed.

Thanks to all my amazing friends and colleagues who made working so much fun. Thanks to my bosses who built me up in more ways than I can mention. Thanks to my parents who have been my rock through it all. Thanks to my brothers who never turned their backs on me. Thanks to my dearest friend who helped me in too many ways for me to describe on here. Thanks to my guardians who have shown me what love means. Thanks to MCLA readers: you mean so much to me. Thanks to everyone! I really am overwhelmed right now as I type so I’ll just stop it.

Remember the post where I told you guys my brother was annoyingly asking me what next? Well, in a way, he gave me the necessary push I needed. Lemme offer a bit of background: You see, when I was moving back to Nigeria, I was thinking that employers will literally be lining up at Murtala waiting for me and fighting over me once I landed, lol. I thought getting a great job would be a breeze. So when during NYSC, after so many applications, I wasn’t getting the kind of responses I wanted, I was shocked. I mean, I had the qualifications so I had no idea why I was finding it tough to secure employment. I didn’t want to wait a day after NYSC to get a job so it really was getting to me as NYSC drew closer to an end. This is what inspired this post https://temiville.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/are-you-sure-youre-applying-hard-enough/

Anyways, after writing that post, I took some time to ask God what EXACTLY He had in mind for me and there and then, I got my answer: LAW. So I wrote a strong cover letter, reviewed my CV and googled ‘5 best law firms in Nigeria’. I got my top five and sent an email to all of them. To the glory of God, I got responses from all. I narrowed my choices to the best two and was able to secure a pre-Law School appointment with them both and I have started already. God great God!

One lesson is this: when you are walking according to God’s plans, a certain ease is attached thereto. He knows how to sort everything out. It got to a  point where I would not just apply online but drive round and physically hand out my CVs to companies. But when God showed up or rather, when I discovered His will, doors opened of their own accord. So thank God for me. I actually had to take the day off to go for Passing Out Parade today. Thank You Lord.

I pray for everyone who passed out today that God will sort us all out by His grace! He will give you all reasons to testify! Amen.

Here is a picture of my and my certificate. My hair is a right mess so I had to blur it a bit sowwy:

God bless you all.

Temiville (former Ajuwaya)xoxo

Yet another Friday…

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Hey guys,

How are you all doing? This muser has experienced something overwhelming in the last few weeks. The last blog post generated so many views and comments and has even inspired a few rejoinders on Blogsville. Thank guys!!! I read some really interesting comments such as:

Think:

Personally, I think we ladies miss the point. Just as Folu here has totally MISSED the point. Why does it have to be one or the other? Ehn tell me. Why does it have to be either he is ugly, short and rich or he is fine, tall and poor? Why does it have to be unattractive, boring and godly or hot, fun to be with and cheating? Some people, my dear Folu, have it all. Well, maybe not all but all the basic things they need which hun, include that mushiness, heart skipping beats and everyother thing you like about Tayo.

Babes, you ‘ve set your wedding date but I strongly urge you to postpone it. If not, I’m not cursing you oh, but you will end up CHEATING ON TAYO and running off to be with either Bode himself or his kind whenever the boredom and lack of excitement is getting to you.

A FUN DUDE…who’s pissed off:OMG!!! What the “latte” is this? She picked a boring dude? because the FUN dude wouldn’t return her calls? Maybe she’s ugly and scarred; maybe she’s BORING herself; maybe she FAT; maybe her thinking rivals a child with down’s syndrome…

Moby Sugar says: This one get as e be oh! I understand wanting a man after God, peace of mind and the rest. But what happens to compatibility, friendship, excitement and all that?

Bee A disagrees and says, ‘I actually don’t think she settled. I think she got the better deal…..he doesn’t have to make her heart skip a beat for him to be the one…the more you interact, the more the attraction will grow I think’. It is a very complex situation to be in. But what ‘uncomplicates’ matters is that sense of assurance that you heard God right.

The debate still goes on and the comments keep coming. Please drop a line on your thoughts if you haven’t done so already.

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Personally, I need to feel LOVE. Like smack/bang/ in your face/goose bumps when you approach me kinda lovey dovey feeling. It just needs to be there but it is not the major consideration. Anything other than that, I will feel like I have settled and I don’t think God wants us to be settling in life. But I guess Folu understands her own priorities so I can’t over-establish my opinion here.  One thing is for sure, pity will wear off eventually and irritation will set in so never base a lifelong decision on pity. I have more to say on the issue and will do so shortly.

Yesterday was a very interesting day for me! This corper finally has no need to go to Eti Osa 1 again!!! Woohoo!!! It was Day 2 in my Final Clearance ordeal which started on Tuesday.  I have stopped working at my POP and had to rush there from where I am now to pick up my final discharge letter. I got the letter and glanced through hurriedly. They said nice things about me, thankfully.

The queues at Eti Osa 1 LG were an absolute nightmare. There were three queues: one for Aunty R to clear your CD card, another for Mrs. A to arrange your file and staple stuff together and then the last for the ZI to clear you properly.

The Aunty R queue went so peacefully. I paid up my gbese of N1800.00 and then went to join the Mrs A queue. As I walked there, I was like ‘wow, this is amazing!, no queue?’ It was then I was promptly cautioned that we put our names on a list, get a number and then you get called. Shoot! I was Number 194 or so and they were still on Number 90. So I went to the photocopying place opposite the LG to make copies of my now cleared CD card.

As I was about to get my document copied, a corper came and started begging that I should allow him make his copies first. I said ‘why?’. He said because he still had to go to Mrs A. I’m like dude we all have to go to Mrs A. Anyway, I gave him my spot and forgot all about it then proceeded to wait my turn in the Mrs A queue under the hot sun. By this time, they were on Number 101. Out of the blue, about 20 minutes after, the guy who took my photocopying slot told me to take his place in the queue and guess what? He was Number 113. I was elated! I said to him ‘are you sure?’ but I don’t think I waited for his response. Lol! I rushed there before he changed his mind. I then glanced around and couldn’t find him anymore. I think he had to rush off somewhere…

Moral of my tale: Give and it will come back to you. Be nice and people will be nice to you. Be generous and you will know no lack. Sometimes things happen for a reason. The speed with which I cleared was alarming to all around me. I left many people I met there behind. The guy I thought was depriving of 2 minutes ended up giving me 2 hours’ worth of time!

On another note, I have decided to focus on Law. I prayed about everything and decided to nurture the passion I have for the discipline. Thank God for direction. Doors have begun to open to me since I made this decision and I am so sure I’m operating in His will and His grace will see me through.

My lovely semi-touch screen/semi key pad BB got stolen over the weekend and that felt absolutely terrible! I am still hurting from the experience, lol. Life without BBM/ instant twitter/push email is lonely. Only very few people have noticed and asked after me by calling. Most people just don’t notice. I guess my regular updates and picture changes used to get me the messages I got. Anyway it’s all good. I’m so tempted not to replace my BB by my birthday just to see whether people will bother calling, hehehe.

Enough of this!

Have a lovely weekend all.

Temiville.xoxo

PS: http://www.temiville.com is in the works and almost ready for launch.

Rubies and Emerald Launch!

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Hey guys!!! What it do!

You are officially invited to the launch of Rubies N Emerald Concepts n Events Management. I am so excited about this event for so many reasons. The CEO is a dear friend and sister and if there’s something I know she can do seamlessly, it is to organise  events. Therefore it brings me particular great joy to see her dreams come to a reality in starting this business. She is someone I can 100% trust to organise my wedding (no jokes!).

The launch takes place on Sunday and yes, I shall be there looking all cute 🙂

Here are the details:

Date: Sunday 11th of December

Place: SS lounge 7, Sapara William Close, off Idowu Martins Street

Time: 1pm -6pm (no African time)

Loads of performances, fashion show, gifts to be won, food, drinks etc!

Please RSVP by text to 08136884717 or 08183460066 or email rubiesnemerald@gmail.com to confirm attendance and receive official invite.

Looking forward to seeing some MCLA readers there!

Love you guys!

Temiville.xoxo

Talent is never enough

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Talent without discipline is useless, and knowledge without character is perilous…

Amberton University

I wanna get this book

So I have been thinking for a while now…is talent all we need? I didn’t have to look very far to find my answer: NO. There’s much more to success and greatness than what gifts and abilities you have. I have seen very gifted people who are ‘just there’ at work. They are not low staff, neither are they at the top of their league (where really their talents should have elevated them to). Conversely, I have seen some ‘3 class’ holders who are the top of their fields, doing big things for their companies and getting promoted ever so often. So what exactly is up here? What does the 1st class holder lack that his 3 class counterpart knows?

Never rely on the first class you have from that Ivy League or Red brick institution. Never rely on that Level 2 CFA you hold. Without doubt, these things open doors and get you to great places but they, of themselves, will not keep you there or lift you high whilst there. I’ll mention a few things I have learned that if combined with 10% of talent (or even less) will get you to that height you seek.

Are you friendly at work or you rush off to your desk and do your work efficiently without understanding the importance of relationship-building? How patient are you? How teachable are you? How willing are you to get you hands dirty? Are you the type of intern who would never help carry chairs for example? Do you mix well and treat the domestics with respect or do you not even notice they exist? Do you keep your ears to the ground and find out the latest stuff happening at work or do you believe-if it’s mine, it will come to me as a result of my hardwork? Do you mix with colleagues outside work or have they never seen you in jeans and tee-shirt? Are you helpful with tasks? Are you pro-active or always believe in minding your business? Do you respect hierarchy? Do you learn from how the bosses do stuff? Is it simply about getting to work at 7:15am and leaving at 8pm for you? Trust me, I know of some who get there at 9 and leave at the dot of 5 yet are excelling greatly and are doing their jobs well and are still getting recognised and promoted. So what exactly is the deal?

It is important to have a good character.

So many times, I’ve heard people speak and I can see that they have this feeling of entitlement. ‘I deserve to work here because of my degree’, ‘I should get a promotion because I work so hard’. Let me be honest, I used to be like that a year ago. I’d say, ‘as soon as I get to Naij, in fact from the airport, employers will be fighting for me’ lol. No I didn’t go that far. But on the real though, I felt it was all about doing well and gbam! that will be all. No siree, that is NOT all. There’s so much more because do you want me to roll out the number of amazing Nigerian graduates around? As they say, ‘you go fear’. From Unilag 1st class degree holders in Law (that’s a huge deal) to Ife to UNN to schools abroad to OSU to Babcock to Covenant… I could go on and on.

There are so many well deserving graduates out there so please, don’t be feeling special. If you think you went to almighty Sheffield, then I’ll show you 10 people from Imperial, Cambridge, Duke, Yale etc. If you think you went to Imperial, then I’ll show you others who not only went to Imperial but came out in the top 5% of their class and are currently in Princeton on a full scholarship. The point is this: no matter the height you think you have attained, there are people higher. So humility is key. Especially in a country like Naij were brains are everywhere, your laurels mean a lot but don’t rest on them.

We need to steer clear of the feeling that it is our birthright to have that job.  Everything should be thought of as a gift. Even if you feel you deserve it, keep this feeling to yourself. No one else needs to be schooled on how hard you work and how the next guy who got the job did not shine as bright as you did at the group exercise. Character is key.

Even aside of the career aspect, you will find that no matter how handsome or beautiful a person is, if they have a bad attitude, they will repel you-eventually. There has to be much more to you that the things you had no say in getting/acquiring such as beauty, brains, wealth. You need to put in the work and add to these things like humility, approachability, integrity, honesty, drive etc.

I have noticed that employers can smell this feeling of entitlement from a mile away and except you are so darn great and you have some capabilities that no one else has, they’d rather not employ you if only to ‘show’ you. This does not mean you should dismiss and not celebrate your worth, but you gotta do it with wisdom, tact. Don’t ever aim to intimidate.

What character also does is to protect your talent. It is impossible to ascend higher than the limitations of your character. So many times, we don’t get to where we want because without being well equipped for that place, it will destroy us.

I am on a character-building assignment. It’s not easy to build up an excellent character but at the end of the day, it is well worth it. Here are some things I have learned:

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9

That pretty much, is the sum total. When we dwell on good stuff, good stuff come out of us.

Like we have learned over and over again, there is nowhere else to learn that from the Word of God.

And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. Acts 20:32.

I think when we mix the gift God has given us with the no-how found in His Word, we become unstoppable!

Now, on a different note, I’ve been nursing some horrible cramps from 3 am this morning!  God is my Healer. I am at work (it’s all good).

Quick Update on my Weight loss Progress:

I have managed to steer clear of fizzy drinks for a week now. I’m very proud of myself. I have actually improved-not only have I reduced my portions, I have totally changed the kind of stuff on my plate. If you ever catch me eating rice, you can practically count the grains. Now it’s about the proteins, vegetables and chicken (I love the skin though it is actually terribly fattening). I drink loads of water now and I have ONE cup of either tea or coffee daily. I’m gradually beginning to skip breakfast. Not out of choice but because the kind of food they bring for breakfast are every dieter’s worst nightmare-bread, meat pies, sausage rolls, cakes, etc. So I have loads of fruits instead. I also read weight loss success stories online and they encourage me.

As for the actual result, hmm. The results are supposed to be the koko right.?Well, they are not exactly glaring yet. The changes are things I feel or even things that I alone know such as more frequent and much easier bowel movement (from 2-3ce a week on a good week to 2ce a day-everyday). I feel lighter too. My clothes however still feel the same. There’s another small change though: before no matter how much I tuck in my tummy, there’s still this light bulge. Now I can squeeze it in and it is concave although once I release, it’s back to normal.

One thing is true: I am no more trying to lose weight fast. I am now making a lifestyle change. The weight might not fall off as quickly as I would have hoped but I trust that with the little changes I am making, the effect will be sustainable and lasting.

I had a cupcake on Sunday though-I got it as a newcomer gift at House on the Rock and it was yummy and very sugary lol. Well, I guess a small cupcake won’t entirely ruin my efforts. I’ll be publishing a post about my experience at HOTR soon. It was quite an experience. Me and my friends absolutely loved it. Very enlightening.

They are having another combined service on Sunday at the Eko Hotel from 8  am so be there.

I have to go now but before I do, I leave you with this hoping it leaves you as speechless as it did me.

Take care people,

Temiville. xoxo

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