TAKING STOCK: 05

Making: Plans for the evening with my girlies.

Cooking: Nothing. I haven’t cooked in so long and I kind of  miss it.

Drinking: A lot of water. I need my Q4 glow to come correct.

Reading: Still me – Jojo Moyes. The 1st book in the series – Me Before You changed my life and I really hope this one moves me.

Wanting: The last quarter of the year to go really well. I want to be so amazed by the things that will happen.

Looking: Opportunities to grow as a Content Creator. Have any ideas? Hit me up.

Playing:  For the win.

Deciding: To Live Free. Truly. It’s something that I need to keep reminding myself of.

Wishing: That I reach my goal weight/body soon. Another summer will soon come and God will not allow it to meet me here.

Enjoying: Over. It’s such an amazing app. I so much love it.

Waiting: Still sick of waiting. Still so sick of it.

Liking: My pop socket that my Sweet girl, Viv got me.

Wondering: About adulting so far and if there’s any true hack.

Loving: Dimma’s video. She dragged these people to hell and I loved it.

Pondering: On when my money will return from war.

Considering: Still considering my piercing and a tattoo. Which one should I get first?

Watching: On the Couch on Youtube. Laila is an brilliant, intellectual slay queen. I stan!

Hoping: Because “hope is the greatest of the gifts we receive.”

Marvelling: At how humans are capable of so much good and so much evil.

Needing: A lot of sleep.

Smelling: Like sweet, soft kisses and marshmallows.

Wearing: So much confidence and joy, it’s remarkable.

Following: The Shatter me series by Tahereh Mafi. I do not know how I will manage till Book 5 comes out in 2019

Noticing: How life moves on. After hurt, after pain so devastating you can hardly breathe, after hopes are shattered… life moves on.

Photography: Wendy A-K

Knowing: That everything good will come.

Thinking: About all the enjoyment coming my way. Wawu!

Admiring: Damilola Odufuwa. I can’t believe I’m just seeing her.

Sorting: Through my mind and learning about myself all over again.

Buying: Phone cases. But I also really want this dress.

Getting: So much love. I’m so grateful.

Bookmarking: All the scholarship opportunities. Scholarship season is coming, again.

Disliking: How I have to be patient and see things unfold in God’s time. Can he just give me a clue? Even a small one?

Opening: My eyes and my heart. I am enough.

Giggling: Because why not?

Feeling: Oddly optimistic. Oh, the places I will go.

Snacking: Would be snacking on myself if I could. I’m a full snack.

Coveting: The most romantic staycation. I want something so sweet and cozy, it will make my cheeks hurt.

Helping: Myself and my body by doing #Whole30September Enough is enough.

Hearing: The sound of the weekend as it calls out to me

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IN PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

Anytime someone asks me if I’m happy, I get really nervous. I start stammering because I truly do not know what to say. I usually end up saying “I’m okay, I guess.” which leaves the person that asks the question puzzled.

The question does have me thinking though, What is happiness to me? And why do I think I’m not there? A lot of people say happiness is a choice. I know that I’m not sad, but I can not bring myself to define my state of mind as Happy. I have happy moments, that I’m sure of. A lot of things fill my heart with joy. I also have reasons to laugh everyday. Is that not enough, I wonder.

Concepts that I’m more comfortable with are contentment and peace. It’s easy for me to say at certain points that I am at peace or that I am content. Even in relationships as well. I find that I am more comfortable saying I want someone who brings me peace.

I guess the end point is the same. We want a headspace where we feel free, at ease and satisfied with the choices we have made so far. It does not really matter what we name that place. At least that’s what I think.

Photography: Wendy A-K || Dress: Maju

“I gotta find my place, I wanna hear my sound. Don’t care about all the pain in front of me. ‘Cause I’m just trying to be, happy.” – Happy – Leona Lewis.

REVIEW: OUD ESSENTIEL X GUERLAIN

By now, I think it’s obvious that I’m a Guerlain girl. Actually, I’m a sucker for French brands. Also, perfumes. Also, anything luxury.

I got Oud Essentiel at the Ethiopian Duty Free in 2017. I had already gotten a sweet fragrance, so I needed something else. The attendance insisted that I bought it, even though there was no tester available. I was curious, so I bought it.

My oh My! I loved it the minute I wore it. It smelt like luxury and Sheikhs with Millions of dollars.  Oud Essentiel is the third fragrance in the Les Absolus d’Orient collection.

PACKAGING

It comes in a simple green carton with a gold label, stating the name of the perfume. The bottle is the bee bottle, also known as Les Eaux des Rituel bottle in a solid green colour with a gold cover. The bottle also has a scarf around it’s neck, sort of like a muffler (This is not pictured because mine fell off before I could photograph it)

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FRAGRANCE

Top notes: Saffran notes, Pelargonium.
Heart notes: Agarwood, Rose, Atlas Cedarwood.
Base notes: leather note, incense & Gaïac wood.

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The major inspiration for this fragrance is Oud wood. According to the brand, “this fragrance is both mellow and intense, with the woody leather fragrance blends the mysterious notes of leather and Frankincense and the sweet notes of Bulgarian Rose in a subtle alchemy.” 

Honestly, I couldn’t agree more. This fragrance is the perfect blend of smoky, sexy and sophisticated. I feel so wealthy and in control when I wear it. It is mature. Intense, without being overbearing. Definitely something for a grown woman.

SILLAGE AND LONGEVITY

Sillage with this perfume is quite strong. It is definitely a head turner and people will keep asking what you are wearing. Longevity with this scent is remarkable. It lasts and lasts and lasts, even after a shower.

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FINAL NOTE

If I could describe this fragrance in one word, it would be exquisite. I am curious to try all the other fragrances in the collection.

I think the price point is fair as you can get it anywhere from N45,000 – N65,000 depending on where you are getting from.

It comes in 125ml and is available here in Nigeria. You can also check Essenza stores all over the country.

 

TAKING STOCK: 04

Making: Hay while the sun shines.

Cooking: Up more excuses as to why I am nowhere ready for my B2 Exams that are so close.

Drinking: Not as much wine as I should be drinking. I need more wine.

Reading: So much about fashion. It’s remarkable how much I have learnt in 3 months. I’m quite glad.

Wanting: Maybe the appropriate word would be yearning.

Looking: Forward to the time of my life when I have so much pounds and dollars.

Playing:  No Games.

Deciding: That this year is the year I finally achieve my fitness goals and become comfortable with every part of my body.

Wishing: Upon a star that something really, really amazing happens soon.

Enjoying: Kokoro. I’m pretty sure that if the Supermarket by my house stocked 100 packs, I bought 95 of them.

Waiting: Actually, sick of it. I’m actually sick and tired of waiting.

Liking: How beautiful my Instagram feed is looking.

Wondering: About life and the decisions that we make.

Loving: My friends. Grateful for love so pure and deliberate and true.

Pondering: On why there is too much month at the end of my money.

Photography by Anny Robert and Yewande A-K

Considering: Getting another piercing and a tattoo. This life is one, innit?

Watching: The Bite Shot on Youtube. It’s such an excellent resource and I have learnt so much.

Hoping: Against hope.

Marvelling: At how much more productive I have become since I got my new phone. #Iphonography

Needing: Intimacy and sweet kisses.

Smelling: Like sunny summer days. A real weekend getaway.

Wearing: A smile, even though I just want to lie down and stare at the ceiling.

Following: Through on all the plans that I made for my life. At least trying to.

Noticing: How hard letting go can be. Not just of people, of ideologies and mindsets as well.

Knowing: That nothing is ever truly black and white.

Thinking: About the next couple of months and how I will kill myself with enjoyment or die trying.

Admiring: Myself. I really am a trooper.

Sorting: Through my mind and letting go of all the toxic coping mechanisms I have gathered so far.

Buying: Nothing o. Nothing at all. I kuku do not have money for any such pursuits.

Getting: Rid of bad energy.

Bookmarking: Nothing atm. How many do I even read?

Disliking: How, ”…pain can be so sharp it cuts out your tongue.”@titilope

Opening: My eyes to blessings, even though they might not come in the form I expect.

Giggling: Not. Not at all.

Feeling: “such a vacancy, I don’t feel whole” – Brandy

Snacking: See enjoying above.

Coveting: A wonderful 5 day holiday in Abidjan. I cannot believe I still haven’t been.

Helping: Myself to some icecream from Hans and Rene as soon as payday comes.

Hearing: The small voice, telling me to be still, that he will never leave me.

REVIEW: LA PETITE ROBE NOIRE (EAU DE TOILETTE) X GUERLAIN

“Guerlain is to fragrance what the little black dress is to fashion. There’s one for everyone” – Guerlain.

Guerlain is no stranger to the world of Perfumes, having been in existence for almost 200 years. It is a French perfume brand known for luxury and sophistication and La Petite Robe Noire collection is no exception. Inspired by the elegance and timelessness of a little black dress, all the perfumes exude Parisian chic and gracefulness.

La Petite Robe Noire was first produced as a Guerlain boutique-exclusive perfume, created by perfumer Delphine Jelk in 2009. Modèle No.2 was created in 2011. In 2012, a reworked version was created by Thierry Wasser which is La Petite Robe Noire.  Theirry Wasser has then gone on to create variations of the fragrance – EDT 2013, Couture 2014, Eau Fraîche 2015, Intense 2016, Black Perfecto 2017 and Légère 2018 – by Delphine Jelk.

I have always been fascinated by La Petite Robe Noire but I had never owned a bottle until I saw it on sale last year at Essenza in Ebeano.

PACKAGING

The bottles of La Petite Robe Noire collection are replicas of the classical vials of Guerlain, such as l’Heure Bleue, invented in 1912. The animated ad campaign was created by French artists Olivier Kuntzel and Florence Deygas. The dress print on each perfume in the collection is different, representing various interpretations of the classic Little Black Dress.

The packaging of La Petite Robe Noire Eau de Toilette – Ma Robe Cocktail shows a pretty cocktail dress – sweet and sophisticated, expressing a little black dress in a different way.

The bottle itself is the classic bottle, with the inverted heart-shaped cover, however, where La Petite Robe Noire – EDP has a dark tint at the bottom, the EDT bottle is a nice pink all through.

FRAGRANCE

Top Notes: Jasmine, Rose & Orange Blossom

Middle Notes: Cherry, Apple and Green Accords

Base Notes: White Amber, White Musk & Patchouli

Although this is an EDT, it is not a watered-down version of the EDP, it is a different take entirely. It opens with romantic fresh flowers like Jasmine and Orange Blossom and evolves to playful fruity notes, including cherry. It then dries down to sensuous White Amber and Patchouli.

The main difference between the EDP and the EDT is that, where the EDP opens with the exquisite creaminess of almond and graduates to a heart of intense, velvety rose, the EDT opens with fresh, breezy flowers and remains playful with fruits at its heart.

SILLAGE AND LONGEVITY

Sillage with this perfume is moderate, on me anyway. It does not take over the whole room, but there is a light trail. Longevity with this scent is pretty remarkable for an EDT I find that it lasts for up to 6 hours on me. That is just as long as an EDP.

FINAL NOTE

I am a Guerlain person, anyday and the La Petite Robe Noire collection will always be one of my faves. Not just because of the fragrances but because of the sophistication and elegance the entire collection represents.

I like La Petite Robe Noire – Ma Robe Cocktail (EDT) because of the elegance of the fragrance. It made me feel sexy, in the way that wearing a black lace midi dress and cute sandals will make you feel sexy. It is an interpretation of the Joie de vivre the Parisian represents.

As a rule, I do not buy a particular fragrance twice, but I will buy this to keep as a staple in my collection. An essential, like a little black dress.

Where to buy?

Essenza, La Petite Robe Noire Couture (EDP) – Perfume House Ng, La Petite Robe Noire (EDP) – Fragance.com.ng

Have you tried any of the fragrances from the La Petite Robe Noire Collection line? Which is your favourite?

 

 

TAKING STOCK: 03

Making: Peace with Learning and growth. It can be really difficult hearing that you are not as good as you think you are at certain things, but you have to suck it up and take it as an opportunity for growth.

Cooking: Up so many beautiful, bold and brave ideas for my life. Oh the places I’ll go.

Drinking: More and more wine. We’re always going to need more wine.

Reading: So much more African Literature. This year alone, I have read Stay with me – Ayobami Adebayo, Questions for Ada – Ijeoma Umebinyuo, The Joys of Motherhood – Buchi Emecheta, Purple Hibiscus – Chimamanda Adichie,  Everything good will come – Sefi Atta (again)

Wanting: God to exceed my expectations this year and do exceedingly, abundantly above all I ask and require.

Looking: Forward to all the amazing trips that I am going to go on this year and I cannot wait.

Playing: Myself because I am just chilling, knowing that I have at least 100 deadlines looming.

Deciding: That this year is the year I finally achieve my fitness goals and become comfortable with every part of my body.

Wishing: Upon a star that something really, really amazing happens soon.

Enjoying: This stage of my life and all its treasures.

Waiting: For the manifestation of 2 prayers that I know that God has answered already.

Liking: Things that are bigger than my wallet.

Wondering: When my money will return from war.

Loving: Creating content. Especially on this blog.

Pondering: On why there is too much month at the end of my money.

Considering: Getting yet another piercing, even though the one that I just got has not fully healed.

Watching: My Lagos Diaries and I do not even have the words. Pastor Tony Rapu is a phenomenal man and he is doing amazing, mind blowing work.

Hoping: That I never ever lose my joy.

Marvelling: At this God and how he is ALWAYS on time.

Needing: Warm hugs and sweet kisses.

Smelling: Like a bouquet of fresh flowers.

Wearing: The brightest neon workout shorts because I am really supposed to be doing yoga right now.

Following: All the South African content creators on Instagram. It seems like there is a South African school for this stuff. They are all so beautiful and excellent.

Noticing: How much my body is changing. This fitness phase is my best yet. End of February and we are still going strong. No pressure, just me enjoying the journey and being patient with my progress.

Knowing: That there is absolutely nothing in this world that I do not deserve.

Thinking: About how amazing the next two weeks are going to be. Many Joy. Much excite.

Admiring: My Wendcylopedia. What a star.

Sorting: Through all the stuff I have always wanted to do and creating a path that is wholly and truly mine.

Buying: Time before I make a very important decision.

Getting: Ready for my big move.

Bookmarking: Everything about photoshop. There is so much to learn.

Disliking: How I feel like after all this time, I do not know enough French.

Opening: Up to new people.

Giggling: Because Wine O’clock.

Feeling: Very very optimistic about so much.

Snacking: Would be snacking on myself if I could, because this new fitness lifestyle has me looking like a full snack.

Kimono: Maju (Old Collection) | Shoes: Zara | Jeans: Zara || Photography: Yewande A-K

Coveting: This beautiful watch from Skagen.

Helping: Put a smile on at least one person’s face every day. Or at least trying to. If you want to make someone smile, This is a nice way to do something.

Hearing: The promise of God for my life. Because he has said it and his word is true.

TAKING STOCK: AND THE AWARD GOES TO…

Happy New Year Everyone!

This was supposed to be a normal Taking Stock post, you know, kick off the year and let you guys know where I head is at. Then I was on Vi’s blog and I saw this AMAZING idea and I decided to replicate it.

This year is going to be an amazing and consistent year for Cateyes and I am so happy to continue this journey with you.


Favourite New Person – This definitely has to go to Didi. She is the sweetest, most resourceful babe. A complex problem solver and a solutions provider.

Most Improved Friend – Rene. Our friendship really improved this year and I am very glad for it.

Best Memory – Baewande’s wedding. There was something in the air at that wedding. It was really the most beautiful celebration of love and warmth. A true reflection of the sort of people Vic-O and Wendz are.

Most Exciting Moment– When I got the email that I had been selected to go to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia as part of the team to work on the Model African Union Toolkit. I actually broke down in tears because I had never been outside Nigeria before and here I was, getting to travel, sponsored by the AUC and getting to do meaningful work. I could never have imagined it, and even now, months after, I can not believe it.

Most Frightening/Worst Moment– When I had a motorbike accident on 1st June, 2017 and August 16th, 2017 when it all finally came apart. Oh and the whole of September when I got the letter from Lawyers to leave my home.

Favourite Content Creators Award– My Girls Vi, Alma and Tomi have worked so hard at what they do this year. Check them out. I can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store for them.

Quote of the Year– “Decisions are made by those who show up” –  Amanda Chukwudozie

Family of the Year– My wonderful, amazing, God sent friends, my parents and my brother.

Place of the Year– Myself. I became a safe space for myself. I sought refuge in myself and became a place that I could call home.

Song/Film/Game of the YearSaid – Nasty C and Runtown. First of all, Nasty C is A STAR. Super super talented! Also, the words!!! “And I was boxed in, all the boxes that I couldn’t check, and God came through for me, would you look at that.”

The 100% Dependable Award Rita, the enabler of my Eat.Pray.Love life.

Best Virtual Person– Demi Lovato. I have always really liked Demi’s music, but after I watched her documentary on YouTube, I was so endeared to her and I felt so close to her and it just made me love her so much as a person.

Most Significant Blunder– Biggest mistake has to be that I slept on myself for so long and I almost let people go away with all of my stuff. I was sleeping on myself but I woke up (Lol) and I will never let that happen again.

Greatest Life Lesson– Decisions are made by those who show up. Also, why not me? I am worthy and I am capable.

Accomplishments List

  • Started learning French. Completed A2 Exams. The Plan is to complete B2 by end of Q2 2018
  • Forgave my body. My body is not the enemy, neither is food
  • Entered a new level of Christianity. I am closer to God than I have ever been and that is amazing. I found a church, my church at TPH. Shout out to Sweetest for taking me there the first time.
  • Worked 3 jobs at the same time and I did not die.
  • Got invited for my first event as an influencer. When I had the invitation delivered to my office, I almost fainted.
  • WENT ABROAD FOR THE FIRST TIME.
  • I woke up – All round. Emotionally, Psychologically, Physically.
  • I met and surpassed my Reading Target of 12 Books. I read 18! This year, the plan was to read 12, but 1st of February and I am on my 7th book, so I might increase it to 24.

To Work On Next Year

  • My Body – Now that I no longer treat my body as my enemy, it is time to do right by it in a healthy, sustainable way. Also #Selfcare2018. I started off with #Whole30ish January and now I’m entering #IFFeb
  • My Career
  • My Finances – You know what, enough is actually enough.
  • My Photography and other creative interests.
  • Cateyes Blog – The Plan is to post a minimum of 4 Posts every month, starting in February, 2018.
  • Development Economics – I have realized that this is really important to me and I want to furnish my passion with actual skill and expertise. If you work in Development or you know anything about Development, please let me know. I want to learn as much as possible.
  • Becoming a recipient of the EMJMD scholarship and getting into the GLODEP programme. It’s definitely one of my biggest goals this year. It is such an amazing opportunity and getting it will be an amazing dream come true.

 

Theme Of Next Year– My Theme for 2018 is to Live Free. To quote this Superstar, There is nothing I’m not worthy of.

ONE TIME FOR – My FRIENDS. Every single one of you has shown me such amazing love and friendship and I am so unbelievably grateful for you guys.

RAISE YOUR GLASS FOR – You, you and you. All of you who have stuck with my inconsistent ass and have visited this blog, commented on posts. You are amazing and I pray that lines fall for you in the most pleasant places.

Here is to 2018. The Year that we become.

 

Love and love,

Nene.

 

WILD THING

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The patterned skirt and plain top look is one look that I am really enjoying at the moment. Lol. As if you guys don’t already know, as I styled it here and here. I love how a simple top can be jazzed up with a nice patterned skirt.

Aquazurra is so FLAMES with their shoe game. Especially the Wild Thing sandals. All your faves have it. I so much love it. However, Mans can not really afford to spend close to $800 on shoes at this point in time.

I was gifted these beautiful sandals that look exactly like the Aquazurra ones by A Fave and I was beside myself with excitement. You can see other alternatives here

I think it looked very beautiful paired with this floral skirt.

It gives me a Modern Lady of Mad Men vibe. All classy and lady-like and stylish.

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Top: Sewn – N500 | Skirt: Forever 21 | Sandals: Gifted

Photography: Yewande A-K

 

Are you getting the Mad men lady vibe from this outfit? Is Wild thing on your wishlist as well? I’d love to read what you think in the comments.

 

 

BLACK AND WHITE

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Wrap dresses are easily the most flattering dress for any body type. They are so easy to wear and they make everyone feel sexy.

Apparently, wrap dresses were created in the 1970s by Diane Von Furstenberg and since then, they have evolved to varying forms, lengths and styles, like the one I have on.

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I love how the dress is not actually Wrap, but wrap style. You wear it like a regular, but has the detailing of a wrap dress with the belt and the neckline.

I would not wear this dress to work because of the length and the nice slit at the back. It’s perfect for lunch or an afternoon event, or evening if you’d like. Depending on how you accessorize.

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In one of my lives where I own an art gallery and blog full time, I would wear this dress for a brunch meeting and then to pick my kids from school.

How would you style this dress? Would you get away with wearing it to work? Let me know in the comments.

Photography: Wendy A-K | Sandals: Zara | Dress: Asos

 

 

 

TAKING STOCK: 02

 

Making: New house plans.

Cooking: Nothing. I haven’t felt the desire to cook in over a month. Bleh.

Drinking: A lot of water and tea. Belle gats touch back before October.

Reading: The Beautyful Ones are not yet born – Ayi Kwei Armah. I’m also reading The Shatter Me series – Tahereh Mafi (Again). The male lead is one of my favourite characters ever. I love the way his love is expressed. So steady, intense, steadfast and true.

Wanting: A 300 hour long hug and intimacy.

Looking: Like a naiz meal with this short hair.

Playing: This Sing off with Conor Maynard and Pixie Lott over and over again. I so much love it.

Deciding: To trust God through everything. I know that God is intentional and that all things are working for my good.

Wishing: See Wanting, above.

Enjoying: New music, old music, different music.

Waiting: Just waiting and a lot of times, it seems like I wait in vain.

Liking: My body a little bit more every day.

Wondering: When I’ll get a wonderful wonderful surprise that will move me to tears. I’m sowing the seed, God.

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Loving: Myself. They say “We accept the love we think we deserve.” This line really triggered me because of the kind of love that I have been accepting. I am trying to love myself better.

Pondering: On life and why sometimes bad things happen to good people.

Considering: Getting married between now and August next year, just so I don’t have to pay house rent (alone) or sleep alone.

Watching: Sam Tsui and his husband on Youtube. They are super cute.

Hoping: That everything good comes and that the Lord restores to me the years that the cankerworm has eaten.

Marvelling: At how quickly everything can change and everything seems so different.

Needing: See wanting and wishing, above.

Smelling: Like warm hugs and sweet kisses.

Wearing: The cutest flat shoes from Zara.

Following: @TeffTheory on twitter. I stumbled on a tweet this morning and I fell down the rabbit hole that is her Timeline. So engaging.

Noticing: How boundless my capacity to love and forgive is. Love is an amazing thing and this year, I have learnt so much about love and how I feel it, translate it and express it. I feel so blessed (and cursed. Lol) to be able to feel so much love for everything.

Knowing: That God loves me and that is enough to carry me through anything.

Thinking: About December, 2017. God made me a promise in January and I cannot wait for December when I know it would have manifested because God is not man that he should lie.

Admiring: Dimma Umeh. I think she delivers excellently. I so much love her.

Sorting: Through all my stuff. I have no desire to move with junk. I am trying to clean house. Physically and emotionally.

Buying: Nothing because mans is so low on cesh atm. I bought some lovely shoes from Shoepify recently. Check them out, Viv and I think they are amazing.

Getting: Ready because these last 4 months of the year are the Plot twist that I have been waiting for.

Bookmarking: This post from Afoma. I loved this post so much. In addition, I love how consistent she has been and it makes me so happy to see her content.

Disliking: How house hunting is going and how helpless I feel.

Opening: My mind to alternate means of earning income. To take a leaf from FK’s book, my bank account looks like a remix. I take pretty good product shots and I am affordable. Hit me up if you are interested.

Giggling: Because My Love called me today and it made me so happy to hear her voice.

Feeling: So many things all at once. This quote “So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.” From Stephen Chobsky’s The Perks of being a wallflower seems to summarize my life.

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Snacking: No snacks oh. Prepping for my birthday body.

Coveting: The 50mm lens  from Sony.

Helping: Actually, not helping as much as I should be. If you want to help people, This is a nice way to do something.

Hearing: The promise of God for my life. At least, trying to.