As a woman when you think of your wedding, you think of a beautiful day where you would look amazing, the venue would be a dream, your husband would be dapper and the weather would be perfect and at the end you both ride off into the sunset to the perfect honeymoon destination.
In reality however, the journey to the altar could be a hazardous one that could make a season of Survivor look like a picnic.
Since October 23, 2007, I had identified the dress that I wanted to be married in. It was a beautiful simple dress with a great silhouette made from white silk taffeta with the most exquisite silvery Chantilly lace overlay. I can’t be sure who the designer of the dress was but it had the esthetic of a Monique L’Huillier or Amsale wedding dress. I had seen it on the Ross Oscar Knight website (This link is actually about a decidedly romantic marriage proposal however at the end of the video I followed a link to one of Ross’s albums and there I saw the dress of my dreams).
So, when Femi proposed to me on Valentine’s day of 2008 there was no question as to what I would wear on our big day. I had always dreamed of having a custom dress made so that it would fit perfectly (given my height and curves). With a picture of what I wanted in hand, I engaged the services of wedding dress designer who assured me that he could replicate the dress and even exceed my expectations. With 7 months to D-day I entrusted my dream in the hands of this charming, reassuring, seemingly competent designer. He went further to tell me that his bridal package covered accessories and shoes, therefore I could strike those off my list. Boy! Was I relieved to have found him!!
After about 3 months, I had not had a fitting nor had I seen a shell of the dress, my inquiries about the progress of the work were met with bountiful reassurances that the situation was under control and that a fitting would be scheduled in the near future. When I finally have a fitting and I am faced with a calico like shell of a dress and I couldn’t help but wonder how the dress could still be at such an unfinished phase of it’s production at this time. On and on it went until one day, about 4 weeks to the wedding I got “the call” informing me that the dress was ready. Femi and I headed over to the designer’s and I promptly banished Femi downstairs while I skipped upstairs to see my dress. As I ascended my eye caught a voluminous lump of a dress and I remember thinking “Who’s is that??!!” And much to my horror the designer hoisted the ugly dress up and moved it towards me.

For a minute I stood rooted to the spot as I gave the dress a once over; it did not REMOTELY resemble the picture I had given him. Had I been drunk on a Grappa and Tequilla cocktail, I could neither have designed nor made a more hideously monstrous item of clothing!

He urged me to try it one promising that would look better on. I couldn’t possible see how that could be; the dress I wanted was sleek, simple and elegant whereas this creation was bulky, overworked and offensive. He had attached huge cream coloured sequined appliques on it that turned rainbow coloured when they caught the light. It was worse than a bad dream and I burst into tears as I looked at myself in the mirror. I mean, it is not rocket science to figure out  that since I am tall and not a size 6 that I do not need volumes of tulle or a basket under my skirt! I looked like a ladybug on steroids or worse THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN! I couldn’t believe that this was happening.
Femi had to come up to console me; of course I was inconsolable. There was no plan B. This was a disaster. Our honey-tongued designer once again “assured” us that he could fix it. Femi pleaded with me to give him one more chance and I did. After about 3 more weeks, with one week to go, I go for what should have been a final fitting and the disaster had gotten worse (I did not think it was possible for it to have worsened). Reality sets in: I do not have a dress to wear on my wedding day! And I have 7 days to find one.
My rescuer came in the form of friend who makes clothes for me and who had come to know my style and preferences. She runs a label called Gbemisoke. (www.gbemisoke.blogspot.com)
We explained the situation to her over the phone and thankfully  she consented to helping salvage the situation. We engaged her on a Thursday, she proceeded to shop for the fabrics on Friday, spent the whole day on Saturday making the dress and on Sunday I went for my first fitting and the dress fit perfectly. It wasn’t by any means what I had previously envisioned but at this stage, I couldn’t be choosy.

Getting dressed on the big day


I rushed off the dress to the dry cleaners and my best friend, Moji and I proceeded to comb Lagos looking for the perfect shoes and accessories but it was difficult to find the ideal kitten heeled shoes at such short notice. By the time the news of my ordeal reached my close friends, Darbuni shipped her wedding dress, shoes, veil and corset to me from Abuja (to guard against any surprises from the dry cleaners) and Joke offered me a spare pair of wedding shoes that she had purchased for her wedding the year before. Thankfully the dry cleaners did not pull any surprises.

Walking down the aisle


Although I wore Joke’s shoes for the wedding ceremony, after we had said our vows, I kicked them off (they hurt my feet) and wore a pair of white sequined flip-flops valued at £1 for the photo session and the reception.

Our first dance


The wedding went well and I thank God for all the love and support that I received from my family and friends. It was a difficult time but it all worked out and except a select number of people, no on knew of the “drama” surrounding my journey to the altar.

Glowing with joy and relief


Update – September 13, 2014
So after 6 years, it looks like the hassle of the wedding was worth it. We have two amazing little ones and our relationship has grown and expanded in amazing ways; God has been truly awesome.
Here are some more pictures from the traditional wedding back I’m 2008, wedding pictures and a few random recent pictures.
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The humble egg, rice,  tomatoes and simple blacked eyed peas don’t conjure images of grand meals or exotic recipes. But used creatively, they could very well constitute an elegant plate.

There’s a saying in culinary circles that states that “people eat with their eyes first” and this is not entirely far from the truth except of course you are starving in the Kalahari desert and are more concerned with swallowing the food whole without any concern over how it has been presented.
If, on the other hand,  you are having a home cooked meal, there are many ways to plate it up in a “fashionable” way that would make ingredients like caviar, couscous, artichokes and scallops jealous.

The process is quite simple and just requires some creativity; a table-spoon can be used to make a quinelle, a small tin opened at both ends could become a mould, the strategic placement of food on a plate makes all the difference in the final presentation.
So the next time you are preparing a meal, before you present it, add a personal touch, tidy up the plate and you would be amazed at the results.
With these tips, even though you are not a cordon bleu, you could make beautiful meals pret a manger (ready to eat).
By popular demand, I am updating the photo gallery of this post with recent pictures of my meals. Bon appetit!

Two Cheese Sandwich with a side of Yoghurt and Pink grape fruit juice


Jollof rice and tuna salad


Chicken and Chips


Chicken curry, Plaintain Batonettes, herbs and tomato


Beef olives, roast veges and potatoes



Sauteed potatoes, vege and stuffed beef loin

There is something enthralling about watching a meal come together especially when you are working with a variety of ingredients; from fresh herbs and prime cuts of meat to freshly ground pepper.
When I am in the kitchen I like to experiment, trying my hands at preparing different  ingredients and attempting new cooking techniques. Sometimes my experiments yield delicious outcomes and other times it yields disaster! But today, I am focusing on my more successful experiments: Christmas Lunch 2010.
The day started quietly enough, it was Christmas day but neither Femi nor I were up to visiting anyone nor did we want anyone visiting us, truth be told. We looked forward to a quiet, lazy day in.
And so I thought to myself, “I’ll boil the obligatory rice and whip up some tomatoe sauce and maybe toss some chicken in the oven”, that shouldn’t take too long should it?

And so I busied myself with prepping the ingredients and the wheels began to turn in my head as I remember an episode of the Food Network’s “Everyday Italian” where Giada De Laurentiis made this amazing venison medallion sauce. I didn’t have any such “posh” cut of meat in my freezer but I did however have some minute steak which were medallion shaped and this is how I “invented” my very own beef medallion black pepper sauce; so much for an uncomplicated lunch.
I was on a roll and my mind raced with so many ideas. Next were the chicken fillets, well this would be a cinch, I had seen Anthony Worrall Thompson stuff chicken breasts with seared seasonal vegetables and cheese and I had multicoloured silicone food loops that would be perfect for securing the chicken. This was turning out to be so much more fun than I had anticipated.

And on I went until I ended up with a veritable feast of stuffed chicken breasts, beef medallions in black pepper sauce, potato and chicken casserole, steamed rice garnished with fresh parsley, and a warm salad. For dessert, I had purchased a red velvet cake from “Cupcake Couture”; Blueberry and White chocolate cake and Banana raisin cake from “Seye Bakes”, and chocolate & mixed nuts from the Shops.

It turned out well actually, if I do say so myself. And eventually, we did have a guest over. And all three of us tucked in merrily.
It was a succesful day in Flab 🙂

Blue dress with white lace apron


My favourite Pink Dress with pink velvet sash


It has taken me the better part of me to start this blog but here I am and here goes………… There is nothing more gratifying than being connected to that unique element within you that lights a spark in your soul. You know, that “thing” that fascinates you, that makes you want to explore, to create. In my case, it’s the love of fashion and food.

Since I was about five years old, I remember being mesmerised as a I watched my mum get dressed to go out. She would open up her vanity case and there would be all these glittery things in it; necklaces, earrings, rings, beads, watches all pretty and sparkly, calling out to me. I would want desperately to rummage through the case and try some things on but with a stern glare from her, I would promptly relocate myself to my “watch-post” and dream of the day when I would be a grown up too and will have my very own vanity case filled with shiny baubles.

As a child, I always knew what I wanted to wear and often times my mum would stare at me, bewildered, as I stomped my foot and said, “I don’t want daffun!” “I want deeffun!” She would usually give in provided I wasn’t angling to go to school in a Diana Ross inspired sequined dress.
I remember this amazing pink dress that I had. It had the prettiest floral print, a pink velvet sash, which I thought was so princessy, and a white lace collar. I wore that dress until it was almost thread bare. On my sixth birthday my parents bought the most amazing dress (to me it was). It was light blue and had a white lace apron that fit over it and tied on the sides. Oh! How I adored that dress……..In the same breath, I remember rather vividly this hideous outfit my mum imposed on me! The trauma! It was from Mothercare, it was maroon and the outfit could never quite decide if it was a skirt or a pair of shorts. Yes! Audible gasp! My mum forced me to wear skorts! And I hated every minute. It was one of those outfits that had a matching checkered maroon shirt. What really got my goat was that my sister did not suffer the same indignity. No! She had a similar outfit in navy blue but hers was a proper skirt. So why oh why would mum make me wear skorts? Well, I survived that phase and I think the outfit disappeared mysteriously after a trip to my hometown. Maybe I let it float away in the stream and maybe I didn’t, who knows?
More about my fashion and culinary exploits soon!