Mother’s’s Day Part Deux

Because of these men & my siblings I am alive today. My uncle on the left urged my Father Musa on the right to send us older 5 children to boarding school after our mother died because he knew 7 new step children were not a young & new wife’s first choice with 2 newly born twin babies. By my father regarding my uncle as a father figure ( with over 10 years difference in age) that’s what he did & still today I say boarding school saved our sanities.

Literally if we hadn’t been able to escape to the peace & safety of boarding school I doubt we would be sane let alone alive today. Boarding school provided structure, discipline, taught independence but most of all provided peace away from the madness & unbalance of our family home life. We were able to see how other children were regarded with love & care when we broke for Exiat (a weekend stay away from boarding school once every other month).

I would go to my friend Rachel’s house & would continuously be reminded that our normal was not THE normal & that in itself was shocking to witness at first. I remember being puzzled that children didn’t have to stay up until midnight to mop the entire kitchen floor only to be up the next day at 6am to get breakfast ready for everyone. I was shocked that children were not cut up with razor blades & black powder (which was bought by a witch doctor) placed in the wounds (which stung like hell by the way) so it could take away the evil from our bodies… The most shocking of all was that when children challenged their authority figure they were not threatened OR beaten but listened to & a compromise was made. All of these things were a shock I tell you.

I decided to finish my story as after my Mother’s Day post last May so many more questions arose about my hinting of there being another story to tell regarding the Stepmother Aunty P. My older sister warned me against further opening these can of worms speaking from the place of fear thy was instilled in all of us children of abuse but I knew in order to be true to myself I had to speak about it.

Let’s start at roughly where I left off from Mother’s Day (I suggest you read that first installment to understand this one!)

On what would be my mother’s death bed before she was due to deliver the last set of twins, she gathered us older 5 siblings together alone & told us she was going to be going to heaven soon. Mummy told us Daddy would soon after marry Aunty P (whom was our home Technology teacher at the time & not a very good one might I add🙄) Mummy told us that when daddy married her we would have to be strong & stick together as she would not be very nice. I was 6 years old at the time & had no idea what she was talking about but I remember my older siblings looking at her in disbelief & crying saying over and over again Mummy no! My mother reassured us that as long as we stuck together & looked out for each other like she taught us to do we would be fine. I was more interested in tasting my favorite black currant juice Ribena drink being 6 years old & all so I wasn’t paying much attention or believed it. Neither one of us did to be honest, unknowingly my mother was predicting a future that would soon come to pass…

2 days later our mother Victoria was laid to rest & yes we had a new stepmother Aunty P within the year whom we loved! She doted on us at first but me specially being my dad’s doppelgänger & favorite (sorry siblings😊) Aunty P was due to give birth & we were all excited to meet our new baby brother. After he was born that’s when everything turned upside down, we went from being in a family to the “help”. Aunty P regarded us as the wicked step children using the divide & concur method whispering when our father was out of town on business (and he was a lot with his profession in the shipping industry) that he hated us & wanted nothing to do with us. All the while Aunty P was telling our Father when he arrived from being out of town that we’d said & thought the same thing about him. She ruled us with fear & voodoo medicine she procured from a witch doctor in London . Aunty P was the first one to preach in the name of Jesus being in the front pew at church but in darkness she would go to witch doctors & pay them to maintain her beauty, keep her in sole control of our family & tell her what the future held. She did it all so her first born son would inherit my dad’s businesses, she did it for power & money but control was the ultimate goal.

When Aunty P had originally gathered us children with my dad shortly after our mother Victoria had passed away to announce they were getting married, she’d asked us to call her mummy. We chose not to seeing as we had already had one & lost her so suddenly & with my late mother’s prediction of what would come to pass we just continued to call her Auntie P. My sister Ruth had challenged her with her fierce spirit shouting to my Dad “Don’t marry her Daddy she’s a witch!” My father flabbergasted, blindingly reacted to Ruth’s statement by going to grab her to apologize. You see he only saw Aunty P’s beauty & assumed she was that way on the inside (we all did) As all of us 5 older children were present Aunty P stopped my Father saying “Don’t darling it’s okay.” Later that afternoon we heard Ruth being punished screaming in pain as Aunty P had indeed punished her for defying her in secret.

Really she didn’t deserve that title of mother with all the grief & misery she caused.

There are so many more stories to tell you being called a prostitute at the age of 12 when I had never seen a naked man before, so many more stories…

However in writing this I will say with as much feedback, love & people sharing their own stories of abuse & or trauma which was such a beautiful thing as they have a voice too, what made me react the most was my siblings, the ones I’m taking about in this post. We send voice messages in a family chat room at least once a week. We send each other voice messages of love. After posting my Mother’s Day blog post & urging them all to read it they started to send voice messages of memories forgotten. An example of one was of our brother who had repeatedly run away from home 3 times at age 11, 15 & 21 because he couldn’t handle the abuse, accusations of being a liar. Forgotten memories of child services being called from school friends mothers or friends themselves to our home & having to lie to the authorities for fear of the repercussions that the other siblings who we were told would face being left behind. Also what brought me most to tears was my sister mama’s & brother & I thanking each other for saving each other’s lives over & over again. Unknowingly doing so by being there when one of us at one time was attempting to commit suicide… little did we know our mother’s warning was imbedded in us as by sticking together we saved our selves, we saved each other.

  • Thank you for reading my story & I know you probably have the same reoccurring question that many have asked me, my therapist asked me this! Where was your father when this was all happening Afi? He was your flesh & blood, surely he would have believed you when you told the truth?? Why didn’t he step in? The answer I’ll leave you with is this when someone is beautiful (& Aunty P really was that on the outside) people tend to believe their beautiful on the inside & believe everything they say. Add manipulation, age,fear, love, Vodoo medicine from a witch doctor & you guessed right, your screwed!

My Father was for 14 years under her thrall & we’ve spoken about this whole period with him & there was a lot of denial on his part & there will be more speaking about it in the future for sure. In the end he did the right thing by us children, a little late but better late than never. He pulled us away from under her by moving us children to another location without her knowledge where we began to free our selves. Scars still remain today of body issues from being told we were ugly, fat, not good enough but we’re rebuilding ourselves individually as well as together as always, even across many miles we still save each other.♥️

This story is for everyone who has suffered abuse in any way, shape or form. This story is for those who’ve lost their voice like I lost mine, you can find it again, keep trying.This story is for my sister mamas & my brother. I’ll love you forever BBF (Big Black Family). This story is for you reading this. I am stronger now.

Thank you 🙏🏾

Catch you next time lovies & please ask any questions & leave comments, I so like to hear your perspectives.

Cheers & Best Wishes,

Afi Like Taffy A.L.T

New Year, New Goals, Same Me!

Happy Happy New Year Lovies! First of all lets take a moment to celebrate!! WE MADE IT 2019! Whoop WHOOP!! Through the trials & tribulations, struggles & successes we survived so high five friends!

My holidays were work motivated (its like our super Bowl for a Stylist) however it was riddled with me contracting a cold that progressed into a sinus infection due to my weakened immune system as a Type 1 Diabetic but by the magic of antibiotics, I was cured! Cheers baby Jesus!🙋🏾‍♀️

Christmas Eve I worked so the hot husband Zacko made his Italian Nana Josephine’s meatballs & sauce which were insanely good! So good that if I wasn’t already married to that man, that meal alone would have sealed the deal!😭🙋🏾‍♀️🍝 We rented movies & just enjoyed each other.

Christmas morning was spent opening our gifts to one other, my favorite gifts from Zacko this year was my Wonder Woman Christmas ornament, Diana Gabaldon books (author of the Outlander series) & my Pump Peelz stickers (stickers designed to customize the face of my diabectic pump Shanaenae). Christmas day also consisted of us going to see the blockbuster action movie Aquaman which was so riveting, a little cheesy but I loved that. I highly suggest it if you like the Justice league, Marvel/super hero movies!

 

Later that day we ventured across the street to my in laws house (yes they live across the street from us😯) for a casual dinner of eating fondue, playing games, gift exchanges & exchanging white elephant gifts.

For my white elephant gift I left with a fun Snoop Dogg Holiday apron with his typical lingo.

New Years consisted of Zacko making hot ham & swiss cheese sandwiches using Hawaiian bread, more vegging out, watching the  New Year countdown on the tele & a toast at midnight.

This new year I set myself 3 realistic goals

  1. Say Yes more in life. Life is too short & also why not?
  2. Plan ahead in business with better content & try to take my blog posts to the next level as a result.
  3.  In saying Yes also don’t be afraid to say “no” when certain things don’t fit my lifestyle or brand.

Making strides so far I’ve started creating New Year, New You Style videos. 3 times a week I post videos of combined high end designer pieces, resort wear & affordable contemporary items. Being we’re immersed in resort season & all I wanted that to reflect on my looks but also give you guys options with playful & more professional looks. Check out my Instagram account if you don’t already follow along @afiliketaffy & @afi_maita to watch!

 

 

In addition to taking my blogging to the next level I have my Valentine’s Day photo shoot scheduled for the end of this month & it’s a different shoot as its “Love” themed being so close to the holiday but even more special as I have my husband Zacko participating. I have my magicians glam team all ready to go so keep a lookout friends!

Happy New Year once again & catch you next time Lovies!

Cheers & Best Wishes,

Afi Maita A.L.T.

 

Pink Parrrty!!!

Ello Lovies! Apologies on being M.I.A there’s no excuse other than life but my childhood friend whom I lost touch with & hadn’t seen in 12 YEARS came to Scottsdale, Arizona by chance!!

Tumi, I and another lady (Alliccia) were in a musical singing group together called In Harmz Way in Mill Hill, North London in 1995 & we’ve known each other since we were 12 years of age. We grew up attending the same Mount School, wearing ugly brown uniforms & performed our original songs (singing & dancing) to the entire school. We even did lunch time concerts with the infamous Amy Winehouse who also attended the same school & was in our Music & English class! Before you ask we weren’t friends but had mutual respect for one another…

After making many original musical demo’s in studios across London, taking professional pictures for content & getting a manager our parents decided that we should pursue education over music so we parted ways. Tumi went to Hull University & I to De Montfort University,Leicestershire. That unfortunately was the last time Tumi & I saw each other until last weekend! Here is one of the professional pictures we took as a group before dispersing to University.

3 weeks ago I got an instagram message from Tumi that she was going to be flying to Scottsdale, Arizona for work & would be staying at the Valley Ho Hotel. She asked if that Hotel was anywhere close to where I live & to both our surprise I replied that I could walk there in 5 mins from my house!!! I started to concoct plans of taking her to old town Scottsdale & downtown Phoenix so she could get the best of Arizona. (cheers for the recommendation my insta followers) 😉😊

Here is a clip Tumi filmed of us reuniting after 15 years & she hasn’t changed one bit other than being more astute, commanding & confident in herself.

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Here are the images of us enjoying each other in Old Town, Scottsdale at The Beverly a local & stylish bar/restaurant  with my Hubby Zack, DownTown Phoenix at Pomo the Italian restaurant then Valley Bar (my fav underground place on earth, you should go…your welcome) & then at her Mizani for L’Oreal Summit which was the reason she was here in the first place! Tumi lead a presentation as the head of marketing & KILLED IT, I was so proud to watch her spread her magic!

 

 

It was amazeballs reuniting with her as after losing contact the universe brought us back to each others lives for a reason. I was missing my sister & I got her back! It truly was meant to be as Tumi also fell in love with an American so here we are Brits living & working in the U.S! Her in New York & myself in Arizona.

Pink is SUCH a big trend this spring season & you can see the different shades of it from blush to bubblegum to deep pink popping up everywhere on the runway to retail in the luxury brand I run my business through. It shouts SPRING to me personally & the start of something new. Here are some outfits put together for this pop of color trend.

Firstly for my bohemian look I have this Pello Bello Jack Fluffy Feather Fever jacket (try saying that 5 times in a row🤣) $248.00 paired with Loeffler Randall minimal rider shoulder bag $495.00 & these delicious Joie Abigail suede sandals $298.00.

 

Next for a very special occasion I have one of my favorite gowns of the season this Marchesa Chantilly lace gown $8995.00, for bit of ice Cartier Ballon Bleu de Cartier diamond 18k pink gold & stainless steel Bracelet watch $14300.00.Gucci is so hot right now so I included their Linea Farfalla flap leather wallet $420.00 & to finish off the look Jimmy Choo fringe stiletto suede sandals $895.00.

 

Lastly for a sultry night time look I have these Celine Pink square sunnies $400.00 obsessed! T by Alexander Wang lace up long sleeve bodysuit $160.00, Frame Le color distressed skinny denim $199.00, Gucci Guccify leather shoulder bag $4890.00 & Aquazurra powder puff velvet sling back pumps $795.00, the dream!🙌🏾

 

 

For my curvy girls looks 1 & 3 would be great paired with a darker denim or even black as an alternative if your not comfortable with white!

For my pump users looks 2 & 3 place the pump lower on your back & or clip it accordingly (to a stomach strap) so you can show off your outfit to its full capacity!

Cheers for checking out these fun pink looks! Catch you next times Lovies!

Cheers & Best wishes,😍💋

Afi Like Taffy A.L.T

Black Girl Magic!!!

Ello Lovies! I hope your week day has been going great?! My renovations you reckon is 1 day away from being complete if you can believe it?! We’re getting so excited to have our kitchen/ house back after Glamping (Glamorous Camping) for 3 weeks!😳 Everything in our house is at an upheaval as we’re painting our hallway, color matching the ceiling of our kitchen to our dining room as they’re all one space now with the kitchen remodel & re-painting the husband, Zack’s office. I didn’t realize he had so many freaking sneakers & I thought I was bad! Lol😏 Here’s a sneak peek of our custom new maple cognac cabinets that just went up from Woodmark! Awesome sauce!🙋🏽

Don’t know if you know this but I’ve been living in Arizona for 10 years (since April 2007) having moved here for Love & found myself lacking in Black girlfriends. Coming from such a multicultural background & living in London pretty much my whole life in such a melting pot, I paid no attention to it. I have to mention I have every nationality of girlfriend & do not discriminate against any race but I just couldn’t build a long lasting connection with any black women in Arizona. Missing the closeness of my 5 sisters (who live in London) since I’d moved across the pond & Zack could see that with my obsession with the HBO show Insecure. I would act like the main characters Issa Rae & Molly we’re my Besties so with that clear indication he encouraged me to seek out more “Sister” friends! 😂 I went on Facebook & lo & behold there was an invite to a black Girl Magic Phoenix Brunch that was being held 2 miles down the road from where I live. If that wasn’t a sign I don’t know what was!! Now this event had popped up in my Facebook news feed many times but I was a little nervous going on my own but I finally grew some female balls, purchased a ticket online & selected my brunch choice with beverage (omlette with bottomless mimosas🍳🥂) Cheers!😋

Cueing up in line I started to do what I always do which is nervously sweat & question what the HELL I was doing there?! A lady in front of me in line with long bouncy curls & stylish framed glasses smiled So I spoke asking her if it was her first time which it was then we went from there.I sat next to her & we introduced ourselves, chatted then 2 other ladies came to the same table asking to sit as well & we all connected, shared our stories & exchanged contact details with plans to meet at a later date…Here are the beautiful ladies I met at the Black Girl Magic Phoenix Brunch whom I hope to develop a solid friendship with!😍

After getting to know the ladies at our table the Creator of Black Girls Brunch Gaybrielle, a Phoenix Native introduced herself to the entire room, a warm & bubbly lady whom I could not be more enthralled by! She introduced her Co-Founder of Black Girl Magic Phoenix Kyley & a volunteer Deanna. Gaybrielle  described that Black Girl Brunch was created for black women to “see” each other, network & it was a place where ladies became “Sister Friends” & I totally agree with that. Gaybrielle mentioned that they usually shine light on one of the guests/ members business but this week they just wanted everyone to mingle & get to know each other… Here’s a shot of Gaybrielle & I after a little sesh on the dance floor.💃🏿💃🏿

There was a lot of dancing with a fun Dj, networking, delicious peach cobbler cheesecake dessert  & bottomless mimosa’s, a fun experience it was indeed!!! If your looking for strong black women who are self- driven, empowered & looking for girlfriends then this is for you.

Catch you next time Lovies,

Cheers & Best Wishes,

Afi Like Taffy A.L.T 😍❤️

Summer Holidaze!

Summer holidays are the BEST aren’t they?? When I was younger living in London with my family whenever we knew summer holidays were fast approaching we couldn’t wait to vacate the monotony of our everyday lives &” live like there was no tomorrow!” The same feelings still pertains to today with work.The hubby, Zack & I decided to skip our usual jaunt of visiting my hometown London (due to the scary terrorist attacks) & stay more local by going to our favorite City in the entire U.S, San Francisco & then Lake Tahoe.

Day 1

We decided to make the 14 hour drive there as I hate flying. Having a 2 and a half year long distance relationship 10 years ago with Zack from London to Arizona every 3 months when we were dating did not cure me of my fear of flying but it is what it is! Leaving straight after work Friday evening, laying over in Bakersfield, California then arriving mid afternoon on Saturday at our Air BnB near Fisherman’s Wharf  was a mighty feat indeed, golly gumdrops!

Saturday we spent unpacking, realizing this was the worst Air BnB we were about to stay at due to their exaggeration of the size & luxury of the flat so we settled into San Franciscan living. We hit a local bar the first night then met up with One of our best friends Badfish for dinner at a restaurant Called HorseFeather in Hayes Valley which was bloody brilliant! I opted for the Fried crab legs (when in Rome & all) & quinoa/ runny egg concoction which was amazing! We then headed back to Badfish’s place for some Rooftop Tom foolery.

As you can see in the pics, the first evening I decided to wear one of the big pre-fall trends “Spot On”. This dress was black with white polka dots, off-the shoulder, fitted all the way in the waist through & 3/4 knee length & the piece de resistance was the tie back. Warning, you’ll need assistance unless your double jointed but at under $60.00 from Zara, you won’t care! Teamed up with my hot pink bauble bar Piñata earrings (which I’m obsessed with, have them in 5 colors now) black & silver western shoeties with a cut out back from Topshop.

Day 2

Day 2 was all about exploring so we had breakfast at Beach Street Grill, an Organic restaurant with offerings of homemade comfort food & Gluten Free goodness (my gluten intolerance sucks) so we were sold! I got the gluten free french toast with berries on the side- which was such delicious food until I found a fruit worm burying into one of my blackberries! Eeek! After reporting to the owner’s sister whom was our Server she informed us this happens once a day & that was the perils of being all natural & not using pesticides & such!

We decided to play Tourist & walk around Pier 39 where there were boats from eons ago parked on the ocean, a vintage Arcade that had games that are no longer offered & even a fair & merry go-around. A trip to see the sea lions bathing in the sun was also magical.

A boat trip to Saulsalito, California a small beach town across the Ocean was one of my favorite trips. It took my honey & I about 20 mins to get there, we boarded on Pier 41 & spent 2 hours exploring this sleepy beach town. We even went to the Trident, a restaurant my in-Laws had gone to when they were still dating…

The day ended with an Ice -cream at the local Saulsalito ice cream store, some Taffy just like my namesake & a sugar filled coma :). Catch you next week Wednesday lovies for more updates on our summer holidaze!

Cheers & Best Wishes,

Afi Like Taffy

A.L.T