Month: June 2014

Happy Birthday John Lewis!

 

Now I usually do not do this, wishing Happy Birthday to a store but John Lewis deserves it. If you know me, John Lewis is one of my favourite department stores. Simply because their service is excellent, customer assistants are always eager to help and they have great clothes too.

Last week Sunday (not the one just gone, the previous week to that) I was shopping at Oxford Street and walked into John Lewis.  They had an 150th exhibition named ‘Stories of a Shopkeeper’ on the third floor, showcasing their history from its beginnings in 1894 to now and even its plans for the future.

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The exhibition has been extended to the 31st August. Go and have a look, it’s really interesting!

Stay Blessed

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What Is Going On In Europe?

 

The European elections illustrated the change in European Politics. This shift in European politics has been described as a new wave of nationalism. However it was not only the political right that had success at the ballot box, the radical left saw a rise in support. It was certainly a wake up call for mainstream parties in Europe.

In the UK, UKIP had won 27.5% of the vote and had 24 MEPS elected. It was the first time that a party other than the Conservatives or Labour has a won an election in the UK in a hundred years. Labour came second with 25.4%, followed by the Tories and Lib Dems lost all but one of their seats. It was not only in the UK, there was a rise of the far-right, anti-EU Parties and anti-austerity groups from the left across Europe. In France, the National Front (FN) won 25% of the vote whilst President Hollande’s socialist party vote share was 14%. In Greece, the far left anti-austerity party, Syriza won for the first time in Greece. Also the country’s extreme right party, Golden Dawn, who was third behind Syriza and New Democracy did well in local elections. In Austria, the far right Freedom party took around a fifth of the vote and in Hungary, the neo-fascist Jobbik took 15%. In Denmark, the anti-immigration party, Danish People’s Party won. The hard left party, Sinn Fein did well in Ireland but in Germany it was otherwise. Angela Merkel’s party The Christian Democrats had an expected victory but Europe’s most powerful state saw its return of Eurosceptics with its first Neo-Nazi MEP.

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(Pictures above- http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21603034-impact-rise-anti-establishment-parties-europe-and-abroad-eurosceptic-union)

So the question is, why has this happened? What has happened in Europe? Why has there been a shift from the centre to extreme right and the hard left?

After five years of cuts, austerity and economic hardship across Europe, the European Elections highlighted the disenchanted voters who chose to support fringe parties instead of mainstream parties. There is a feeling across Europe that mainstream parties have failed to deliver on economic stability and prosperity in Europe. The weak recovery in Europe has given populist parties the platform to blame foreign direct investment and favour domestic workers and firms, anti-immigration regulations and state capitalism. These nationalist parties often tend to dislike supranational organisations like the European Union, World Trade Organisation, World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the United Nations. This is because of the belief that supranational organisations such as the EU interfere with the fundamental principle of national sovereignty.

Whether individuals voted for the hard left or the far right, the European Elections 2014 brought about historic results and is set to have an impact in national politics across Europe.

Peter Hain, former Cabinet minister, was quoted in the Daily Mail: “Whether we’ll have a majority , which I will fight for along with every other Labour Party member, I don’t know because it’s very, very hard to win a majority now in British Politics because we’re not in a two-party system, which we had for generations. We’re in a multi-party system”

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(Former Labour cabinet minister, Picture: Graeme Robertson)

This illustrates the sudden change that UKIP has brought about in in British Politics recently. Peter Hain, claimed that Labour would not be able to win a majority due to the success of UKIP, supports the view that there is a rise of nationalism in Britain and across Europe. Other prominent Labour MPs have argued that the rise of UKIP is the result of working class voters leaving the party in support for UKIP and other far right parties. Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Rachel Reeves warned about the loss of Labour support at the recent European elections.

“The Labour party came into existence to give a voice for ordinary working people.

“What I saw… were middle class, public sector, well-educated young graduates voting Labour, but the people who the Labour Party was set up to help, abandoning us.”

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(Rachel Reeves, Shadow Chief Secretary to the treasury, Picture:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27753398)

It can be argued that the common held view that immigration and the EU are the results of the rise in nationalism, can be disputed. This is because the rise of radical parties could also be a sign of disappointment in long-term traditional centre left-right politics. The mainstream parties have either failed or compromised to have strong policies on key areas like the the economy and immigration.

As highlighted by the rising star of Labour, Rachel Reeves warned activists, at an event at Queen Mary University of London: “ Our very raison d’être will be threatened if the working people, who the Labour Party have got to be there for, and got to be a voice for, start to drift away because they don’t see us as the answer”

Politics in recent times has shifted to the centre, where in the past what distinguished parties like the Conservatives and Labour is now hard to find. This failure in the mainstream parties differentiating themselves, has provided far right and far left parties the opportunity to capitalise on disillusioned voters. Therefore it is up to Cameron, Miliband, Clegg and other leaders of mainstream parties in Europe to find convincing solutions to the problems EU citizens face today.

Although there has been a rise in the votes for radical parties in the 2014 European Elections, they did not do well everywhere. For example Netherlands’ Greet Wilders’ anti-immigration Freedom Party did not do as well as expected as well as Finland’s Finn Party. Furthermore, the Pro-Europe parties still control about 70% in the European Parliament, though this is a fall from 80% in 2009. In the European Parliament, the parties of the right range from the Britain’s euro-reformist Conservatives to far right groups like Marine Le Pen’s FN. Groups in the European Parliament must have 25 seats and consist of seven nationalities, which the second requirement is often difficult to meet. Nigel Farage refuses to form an alliance with Marine Le Pen, as he views her as anti-Semitic and racist. Likewise, Marine Le Pen feels the same way about Hungary’s Jobbik and Greece’s Golden Dawn. It is unclear whether there will be a alliance between the European far right parties because of this.

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(Picture above- Marine Le Pen, leader of National Front)

Whether the economic recovery will push Eurospectism into the background or the radical parties will continue to be at the forefront, it is too early to know. One indication would be national elections. In particular, Britain’s upcoming General Election 2015.

During the time Great Depression of the 1930s authoritarian regimes in Italy, Germany and Spain arose, there may be similar worrying trends to come if the European economy does not continue to pick up.

What are your thoughts? What is going on in Europe?

Bring me flowers

This is an outfit I wore to Church today. It has been such a sunny and lovely day. I finally could put a pair of sunglasses on. I hope it stays the same throughout the week. Maybe, that’s a big ask…lol.

It seems that florals are never going to go out of fashion. Last summer it was in and it is still in now. I guess it is a statement that says ‘BANG, here is the Spring and Summer Season!’. Nothing but florals and bright colours say Spring and Summer better.

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What I was wearing?

Dress- Marks & Spencer

Shoes-Kurt Geiger

Earrings- Topshop

Pearl Bracelet-Topshop

Bag- Zara

Stay Blessed

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Purple pleats

Happy Sunday everyone. It has been a lovely day, hasn’t it? Hope you all had a lovely weekend.

I do not usually have braids. But I l do love it, you can just wake up and go without any major styling. I also put some colour in my hair. Although I love colour generally, I’m usually a no no when it comes to the colour in the hair. I stick to 1B and that’s me, but my Auntie who does my hair persuaded me to have a change. And…I love it.

I wore this outfit two weeks ago and paired a white leather top with a purple pleated skirt and a cream longline sleeveless blazer.

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The leather top is actually a crop top and comes up to my belly button. It is quite a long crop top, or maybe because I am short and it comes out bigger. I tucked it into the pleated skirt and belt.

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What I was wearing?

Cream Longline blazer- Marks & Spencer

Leather Crop Top- Marks & Spencer

Purple Pleated Skirt- Marks & Spencer

Bag- Marks & Spencer

Belt-Versace

Black Sandals- Kurt Geiger

Stay Blessed

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Great Women Of The Bible- Jochebed & Leah

I am so sorry, I have been away for a while, meaning no Great Women posts on the blog. I know  you all enjoy it and I enjoy studying it too. It’s back now, with two great women Jochebed and Leah-YAY!

Jochebed-The mother who bore great children

Bible Reference-Exodus 2:1-11; Exodus 6:20; Numbers 26:59; Hebrews 11:23

Family Background- Jochebed was a daughter of Levi and married a Levite man Amram, who was her nephew. This kind of marriage was later forbidden by the law of Moses (Leviticus 18:8-18; Leviticus 20:11-21). She had three children with Amram: Moses, Aaron and Miriam.

Name Meaning- God’s Glory

Who is Jochebed?

The story of Jochebed begins in Exodus 2:1-11. She is described as a Levite woman or a daughter of Levi who married a man of the house of Levi. The Bible describes how she conceived a son with her husband.

The Pharaoh had commanded that all Hebrew male babies should be killed as he feared they would become powerful and join his enemies in a war against him. With this in mind, Jochebed hid her beautiful child for three months until she no longer could. So, Jochebed put her baby in an ark of bulrushes and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank. His sister then watched from afar to see what would happen.

The Pharaoh’s daughter bathed in the river and saw the ark, she sent her maid to get it. She opened the ark and saw the child. She realised the child was Hebrew and felt compassion for the child. The sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter whether she should call a Hebrew nurse to nurse the child and Pharaoh’s daughter sent her. The maiden sent for the child’s mother (Jochebed) and Pharaoh’s daughter told her to nurse the child and she’ll give her wages. When the child grew up she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter and it became her son. She called his name Moses because she drew from the water.

Why is Jochebed great?

Jochebed can be recognised as a great women of God as she preserved the life of her baby boy. When she gave birth to Moses, she saw he was a beautiful child and instead of letting him be killed, she risked it all by putting him in an ark of bulrushes in the river. For this courage, the Bible recognises her in Hebrews 11:23 as one of the heroines of faith.

She was not afraid of Pharaoh’s decree that all Hebrews baby males were to be killed. Instead she devised a clever plan to save the life of her child. I can only imagine the fear that Jochebed had as a mother putting her newly born child in a cradle and in a river where there could have been dangerous animals. Or even giving her child to Pharaoh’s daughter when he grew up. The bible mentions a few times that Moses was a ‘beautiful child’ and in Acts 7:20 it says that when Moses was born he was pleasing to God. Her faith must have lead her to build up the courage to put her baby in the cradle, believing that her child was going to be a great man of God.

Jochebed was determined to save her child’s life, who later became one of the greatest men of God- the future giver of law and leader. She also had Aaron who was Israel’s first high priest and founder of Aaronic priesthood. There was also her daughter Miriam who was a talented and gifted musician and poetess.

What can we learn from Jochebed?

One of the key things we can learn from the life of Jochebed is her trust and faith in God. It could not have been easy in her position knowing that Pharaoh had commanded all Hebrew male children to be killed. Yet she pressed on her with plan, putting her child into a cradle in the river and saving his life. From this, we can learn that we must have faith in whatever situation we are in. When we are in trouble whether it us, or are family and friends we must remember Christ is with us. Jochebed had faith that God that he would protect her baby. I believe because of this she was able to put her child in the cradle. We can learn to let go and let God. Jochebed let go of her child and let God protect him. Look where her letting go and letting God brought her and her child-Mother of Great children and Moses the giver of the law.

Sometimes we need to realise by letting go of our worries and burdens and giving it to God, it can bring even greater results that we would have never imagined. Jochebed placed Moses in the river, little did she know that he will grow up to be one of the greatest of God’s leaders and deliver the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt.  By Jochebed letting go and trusting God, an extraordinary dream was fulfilled. Therefore as Jochebed did, we should learn to let go and let God. We will not always see why God wants us to let go, but his plan for us is always greater than what we can imagine.

Leah-The woman who was unloved but not unseen

Bible Reference- Genesis 29; 30; 49:31; Ruth 4:11

Family Background- Leah was married to Jacob, who was also married to her sister Rachel. Her father was Laban, Jacob’s uncle. Leah had seven children with Jacob: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun and Dinah.

Name Meaning-Weary or tired

Who is Leah?

Jacob travelled away from his home to find a wife among his relatives. When he first met Rachel,  he fell in love with her at first sight. The Bible says she was ‘beautiful of form and appearance’ (Genesis 29:17 ) but Leah’s eyes were delicate. This could mean that she had poor eyesight or she lacked beauty that her sister Rachel had.

Jacob worked for his uncle Laban for seven years to have Rachel as his wife. However Laban had tricked him sending in Leah to Jacob in the night. When Jacob found out that his Uncle had deceived him he was upset and felt deceived. Laban told him that is not their custom to give the younger daughter first and he will give Rachel also in return for another seven years.

The two sisters competed for their husband’s affection. It was Rachel who received Jacob’s love and attention. They both made the mistake in giving their servants Zilpah and Bilhah to Jacob in order to out do each other in times of barrenness. Even though Leah had more children, the Bible says that the Jacob’s love for Rachel was greater.

Why is Leah great?

Why is Leah a great woman you may ask?  She remained loyal and true to her husband, even though he had greater love for her sister. Leah remained strong in God enduring the envy of her sister and the sad situation she was in. Rachel had became envious because her sister was having children and she was not  at that time (Genesis 30). It seems that Leah’s heart remained pure, even though she was not loved and envied by her very own sister.

The names she gave to her children showed that she knew that God remembers her. It also showed that she had faith in God. For example her sons Reuben, Simeon and Levi:

Reuben- ‘She named him Reuben, for she said “It is because the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband should love me now” (Genesis 29:32)

Simeon-“Because the Lord heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too” (Genesis 29:33)

Levi-“Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons” (Genesis 29:34)

Despite Leah’s loveless marriage, she bore six sons who were to become the founders of the six tribes of Israel. From her son Judah came Jesus Christ, the saviour. This shows that although her husband did not give her as much love as her sister, God remembered her. God remembered that Leah was a great woman who remained faithful and loyal in her sadness. Additionally, the Bible recognises Leah as a great woman in Ruth 4:11, who along with her sister built the house of Israel. At the end of Jacob’s life, he requested to buried with Leah, this highlights the possibility that Jacob saw the great virtues in Leah and had grown to love her.

What can we learn from Leah?

One great lesson we can take from Leah’s story is that God is not concerned about our outer appearance. God cares for our inner beauty rather than what is outside of us. The bible says Rachel was beautiful and Jacob loved her. However what is interesting and amazing, is that the saviour, Jesus Christ came through Leah not Rachel.  Though Leah may have had weak eyes, God saw her and her inner beauty which Rachel did not have. Rachel was envious and that is not inner beauty.  God looks at the heart, Rachel’s heart was envious and Leah’s was faithful. We can learn from this that God loves us regardless of what we look like. Whether the world finds you and I attractive or not, God will not reject you. He is concerned with your inner beauty, whether you are faithful and have a good heart.

Leah tried to make Jacob love her by her behaviour and actions. This was seen when she was naming her children. She thought by having many children, that her husband would love her. This is another lesson to show us that love is not meant to be earned by behaving in a certain way or pleasing someone. Love is to receive and give in a kind way. As in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, love is not meant for us to feel bad or feel sad, or to do things in order to make another person love us. We need to remember that God’s love is enough, he loves us more than any man or woman ever can. God loves us unconditionally. The Bible describes that God saw her ‘When the Lord saw Leah was unloved…”(Genesis 29:31). This shows us that even when we feel ignored or unloved there is someone who notices us and loves us. This person is God. As discussed above (Why Leah is great?) and in this section, Leah’s hopes was on winning the love of her husband. When giving birth to her son Levi, she thought “Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons” (Genesis 29:34). However when she had her fourth son, Judah, there was a change of heart, she praised God and turned to him. Maybe she realised that God is enough.

We need to remember not to look for love in the wrong places. God will give us people in our lives that will love us- sister, mother, father, children, friend, brother, husband and wife etc. However we need not pin our hopes on winning the love of man, when we have an almighty God who loves us unconditionally.

Stay Blessed

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SUITS

No, this isn’t about the TV show, Suits. This is my take on wearing suits and how you can be fun with it. I am very excited though for Suits coming back- Season 4 of Suits is on next Wednesday (Thursday, for us in the UK).

When working in a conservative environment, traditional attires such as formal black pencil skirt suits are worn. Whenever I go to corporate events, I stick to black, greys, navies and neutral colours.  But outside of that world, I always try to keep my outfits bright and colourful.

Suits do not have to be boring. Many do have the preconception that suits are drab and dull, they can be but only if you make it like that.

Do not get me wrong, it is also nice to have a simple traditional black suit worn with a white shirt and pointy court stilettos. If you are looking to jazz or spruce your suit up a bit, I have suggested some ways of doing so:

-add colour

-wear patterns e.g florals, stripes, polka dots, houndstooth, leopard print

-wear different textures e.g sequins, jacquard, silk, lace

-wear layers e.g crop tops, bralets, corsets over shirts, polo neck jumpers, skirts over trousers

-statement accessories e.g belts, hats, jewellery, scarves

-statement heels and bags e.g mini bags, embellished clutches, oversized bags, bright heels

Here is a suit outfit I wore a while back. Yes, it is Grey-not one of the most exciting colours. However, it is not your stereotypical suit. The suit jacket is longline and has padded shoulders giving a classic 80s feel- think Joan Collins and Dynasty.

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This suit seen below, I wore it some time back. I absolutely love the lime colour of the suit. I’m sorry guys, I couldn’t take pictures outside, it was raining that day. British weather eyy.

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The lime suit has interesting details, one is the zips on the back of the trousers (see picture below). It makes the suit (normally a conservative outfit and for the workplace), modern and contemporary.

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What I was wearing-Grey suit

Grey Suit Jacket and matching dress- Vintage

Gold necklace- Wallis

Sandals-Marks & Spencer

Bag- Marks & Spencer

What I was wearing-Lime Suit

Lime Longline Blazer Jacket Suit & Trousers- ASOS

Black & White Crop Top- Marks & Spencer

Sandals- Marks & Spencer

Necklace-Topshop

Bag- Marks & Spencer

 

P.S.- It is Renaissance Ideal’s Birthday today! The blog is one years old today. Thank you to those who follow the blog and support it. Continue sharing and commenting.

I am on Twitter (RaeDosoo) and on Instagram (RaeDosoo). Renaissance Ideal is also on Facebook- www.facebook.com/renaissanceideal.  Check it out for daily updates on Politics, Law, Art, Finance, Business & Fashion stories. Share the Facebook page with family and friends.

Stay Blessed

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Leather corset

I have been away from blogging, but do not worry, I will be updating you with outfits that I wore during Autumn and Winter.

For this outfit I paired a leather corset with a white shirt and a black pencil skirt.

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If you are scared of doing leather, it is easier to start off with corset and wear it over another top, or a leather top. Before you go on to leather trousers and the rest.

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I love wearing heels with pretty details. It can make any plain outfit glamorous

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What I was wearing

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White Shirt

Leather Corset- Zara

Black Pencil Skirt- Marks & Spencer

Necklace-Topshop

Bracelet Cuff- Wallis

Shoes-Kurt Geiger

Stay Blessed

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