Month: September 2015

Top 7 Driving Tips for Lady Drivers in Kenya

Following the accident one week ago that killed a beautiful, talented young Kenyan woman full of potential; I decided to do something about. To be honest with you, I’ve been super scared on the road the last few days. I think about what happens to her and it sends shivers down my spine.

driving tips for women driversLife is quite short, you know…It comes so slowly and ends so fast.

A decision she made on the road, led to her untimely death. I know accidents happen and sometimes there is nothing we can do about it, but it’s better to be armed with truckloads of knowledge so that you know how to protect yourself when worse comes to worst.

I was involved in a car accident once and I can admit, it’s not something you want to experience. Looking at the pictures of this lady’s accident, mine was nothing. I hit a pickup from behind and our car was damaged. But it was still drivable and no one was hurt. However, I was super scared and were it not for my mum encouraging me that things like this happen, I would never have gained the courage to get behind the wheel again.

The information here is not only directed to others, this is information am directing to myself and I hope it is helpful to me and to many lady drivers.

So, here are my top tips on how we can all stay safe on the roads and avoid these grisly and mindless accidents that are taking the lives of our cherished men and women on the Kenyan roads.

  1. Speed is not your friend. Speed kills, cliché, but so true. You might love the thrill of your foot on the gas pedal, the smell of rubber hitting the road or the sight of your car meandering through the lanes of Thika Superhighway, but if you love your life, these are not the things for you. One myth that most people believe to be true is that true lovers of life enjoy speed and the adrenaline that comes with it. THIS IS NOT TRUE. If you are a true lover of life, you drive carefully and stay safe so that you get to enjoy your beloved life.
  2. You cannot multitask while driving. You might be the hero of your home where you juggle the kids, cooking, cleaning while watching TV, but the road is not your house. It is full of maniacs who have no care in the world. So, reserve texting, making calls and unwrapping sweets to when you get home. If it is an absolute emergency, pull over, switch on your hazard lights, then make the call.
  3. Stay alert. The more you gain experience on the road, the less careful on the road. The first days when you start driving, you are so scared, that you are extremely careful on the road. You keep your distance and look out for road signs and follow them to the letter. How I wish we all stick to those days. Don’t bring your stresses to the road. You could actually die. Just focus.
  4. Don’t drive while tired, fatigued, depressed or on medication. Just don’t do it. You will fall asleep or lose concentration and find yourself in a ditch, which is the best case scenario. We all know what the worst looks like. Keep off the roads if you know you are not fit to drive.
  5. Make sure your car is well-maintained. Don’t drive with a faulty car. I know moist of us ladies don’t want to know the nitty gritty’s of our cars, but a simple check in the morning could save your life. Check the oil, water and lights are all in good condition. Oh, and please visit your mechanic for the maintenance servicing on or before the indicated date.
  6. Rules are meant to keep you safe. The rebellious self in all of us sometimes tries to convince us that the government is trying to oppress us by setting the speed limit at 80Kph. Nothing could be farther from the truth. These rules are meant to keep you alive and ensure that you have a safe drive from point A to point B. I am amazed at how people complain when the government enforces a law requiring everyone to wear their safety belt. It’s like complaining because you have been told not to touch fire!!!#irony
  7. DON’T DRINK and DRIVE. Just don’t do it.

What other tips do you follow to stay safe on the roads??

P.S: One appliance that will save you loads of time and money in the kitchen

Shaken baby syndrome: you need to read this

5 shoes to die for this season

With the erratic weather changes, I have found myself wanting new shoes to match my clothes. To be totally honest with you, am not really a shoe-girl, but I have recently found myself wanting to update my looks.

This first one is for those work days, when I feel like looking really good/sexy, to match a cute pencil skirt and a flirty blouse. It also comes in a variety of colors to suit your heart’s tunes. #perfect

Lady M black heels

This one is just gorgeous #whynot

attentif-black heeled sandalMy favorite shoes in the world are wedges. Ask me why???? answer=comfort. You can walk and walk and walk and there will be no sore feet to deal with later. Pair these with a maxi skirt or dress and you are good to go.

fashion-sprout-wedgesI need this pair of sandals right now. I mean it.

mizia-sandalsI need this next pair for driving purposes only. Am the type of girl that cannot drive in heels. I just can’t. This shoe is perfect in so many ways and seems like it would fit my very tiny feet.

creamberry-driving shoesDon’t just feast your eyes, click the photos and update your shoe rack too!

Shaken Baby Syndrome: The Killer Monster You Should Know About

shaken-baby-syndromeImage Source

I was watching a documentary last week. It was a weight-loss story. A 44 year-old woman was talking about how she had let herself go and just gained an enormous amount of weight.

She talked about what issues led her to where she was now. She talked about how her heart was broken 17 years ago, when a nanny shook her son to the extent that he suffered irreparable brain damage. It was a heartbreaking story to watch and I knew I had to share it.

Shaken Baby Syndrome.

I know most of us have never heard of it, but this does not mean that it is not existent. This syndrome leaves babies with serious brain damage, which is sometimes fatal.

Shaken baby syndrome occurs when an infant or toddler is violently shaken. According to Kidshealth.org shaken baby syndrome is “caused by someone (most often a parent or other caregiver) vigorously shaking a child or striking the child’s head against a surface.” Something as simple as shaking a baby could lead to serious complications that could affect the baby’s life forever.

We leave our babies with caretakers, some of whom we don’t know very well and they could do this to our babies.

how to avoid shaken baby syndrome

Some mothers, as well as fathers have an impulse to hurt the baby, and this could ruin the baby’s life forever. It is your duty as a mother to tell those who take care of your baby to NEVER EVER shake your baby violently. No matter what.

Symptoms of shaken baby syndrome

  • Difficulty staying awake
  • Paralysis
  • Seizure
  • Skin turning blue
  • Poor feeding
  • Difficulties breathing
  • Coma

Make sure you visit a doctor immediately if your baby is experiencing any of these symptoms or you suspect that your baby has been shaken or hurt.

A child who survives such shaking may be paralyzed for life or have mental problems, as well as blindness and speech and developmental problems.

There are many tests and treatments available for babies with shaken baby syndrome.Always seek medical attention as soon as possible.

How I give myself happiness in 6 super simple and satisfying ways

how to give yourself happiness Your happiness is your own responsibility. (Raha jipe mwenyewe)

This is something I have read and heard on many platforms and it has really stuck with me.

You cannot sit and wait for other people to make you happy. It is not only unacceptable, it is also unrealistic and impossible. Expecting others to make us happy is one of the major reasons most of us are always sad/angry…(at least most of the time).

It is too much of a responsibility to expect your husband or wife or friends to make you happy all the time. They will certainly disappoint you and you will die seeking something that you will never find.

After pondering on this fact for many days, it rang so true with my heart that I decided to take action and find happiness for myself. I have found simple and cheap (some don’t even require a single cent) ways to keep myself happy. In fact, am happiest when am not spending any money.

Here are some of the most meaningful ways I’ve found to give myself happiness:

  1. Dancing with my son. He is 2 and has no care in the world. When it comes to dancing, he will shake what his mama gave him (am a generous mama, so I gave him a lot), without thinking twice. You should see us on Friday and Saturday evenings grooving to the upbeat Mugithi tunes from bands that have made it their jobs to entertain us so well on Njata TV. True story. By 10.30p.m, we are extremely tired, but extremely happy too and the boost of positivity is enough to last me another week.
  2. Cooking. Many people mention this and it may be a cliche, but cooking is therapeutic. I love it. I enjoy mixing up ingredients and trying new things. I also love honoring my family’s requests for mandazi almost every weekend. I am in debt right now because I have failed to make mandazi for almost a month now.
  3. Reading. I love browsing through the internet and finding useful articles, but I mostly like to read real books, printed on real paper. There is something refreshing about the smell of a new book, and something wildly exciting about discovering the stories behind characters in a story. You should definitely try it. You will definitely forget your troubles and immerse yourself in the lives of other people. One of the books am really swooning over is the one below. I hear its really good, click on the picture and lets try it together.romancing your husband
  4. TV. This is my guilty pleasure, but I try not to overindulge. In fact, I watch only a handful of shows that I really like and am more into series and movies, as opposed to soap operas and that kind of stuff. My favorites right now are The Bachelor/Bachelorette, Tyrant, The Last Ship, and a few cooking shows that I watch online.
  5. Exercise. I’ve not been working out much lately, but I know how good I feel when I actually do it. Once you get the groove of exercising, it is not only healthy, it is also super fun. I especially like exercises that can be done at the comfort of the home. My son is my favorite workout partner and he already knows how to do push-ups and sit-ups, and he helps me count to ten, just to make sure I finish doing the sets.This book offers some simple, yet effective workouts and the added bonus is that it comes with a DVD.(Click on the picture for more info. What more motivation do you need?Home workout with DVD
  6. Swimming. I almost forgot to include this one, but I love it so much. There is nothing as refreshing as a swim on a hot summer afternoon. The fact that it burns a lot of calories, and keeps the heart healthy is an added advantage. The happiness is what we are after.

Are some of these things in your list of ways you give yourself happiness?? If not how do you do it?? Am open to more happiness tips, since life is too short to live a sad life.

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One Appliance that Will Easily Save You Time and Money in the Kitchen

Are you a busy woman with a tight schedule, yet you still want to cook healthy, simple and delicious meals for your family?

Do you find yourself spending more time than you would like in the kitchen, yet nothing gets accomplished on time?

Do you love cooking, yet you want a faster way of doing it?

If you answered yes to all three questions, then this post is definitely for you. Anyhow, which woman does not want to make her kitchen run more efficiently? I know this is a struggle for many of us and the main reason why I decided to write this post.

Truthfully, this post has been in the making for a long time. I always wanted to write about it, yet I didn’t think most people would be interested, but after many questions from my friends, I decided to write about my love for the pressure cooker.

You read that right. A pressure cooker is the single most important appliance you need in your kitchen RIGHT NOW. Am not kidding. I’ve owned mine for the one year and I don’t comprehend how I survived without it.

If you need convincing, here are a few reasons why you should buy a pressure cooker now:

  1. Saves you time. A pressure cooker will reduce the time you use to cook beans, njahi (black beans) or githeri by almost 70%. Boiling beans using a jiko will takes you what???2-3 hours?? Boil them with a pressure cooker and it will take you a maximum of 20 minutes depending on whether you have pre-soaked them or not. If I soak my beans for 1-2 hours in warm water, I have them ready in 3-4 minutes using the pressure cooker. If that does not convince you to buy yours right now, then I don’t know what will, but I will definitely try to.
  2. Saves you energy. Remember how you have to buy charcoal worth 100 bob to boil njahi, so that you save your gas?? You can actually boil njahi (these are black beans) using your gas and it won’t even take you 15 minutes. You can save your 100 bob for something else. Better yet, you can use a little charcoal (for like 30 bob) to boil the same njahi using the pressure cooker and your jiko will still be hot when you are through.
  3. Retains nutrients and brings out the flavor in foods. Boiling grains for 3-4 hours is not only cumbersome, it is also unhealthy. You lose all the good nutrients while cooking. Using a pressure cooker ensures that you retain 95% of all the nutrients meaning that your meals will be ultimately healthier. This is of great importance for people trying to lose weight or those dealing with certain illnesses. Oh, and an extra bonus for you, pressure cooked beans and grains have none of that acidic feeling you get after buying beans from your local mama mboga. My hubby used to complain of acidity after eating beans, but now that I use a pressure cooker, this is a thing of the past.

So, which pressure cooker do I buy here in Kenya, one that is readily available and of high quality? Well, here are some answers.

There are many pressure cooker models available in Kenya, and I will share with you some of my favorites so you can buy the one you want right now. Click the links for a more detailed explanation of the features and buying options.

pressure cookers in kenya

  1. The Prestige 3 Liter Cooker – Of course, this is the one I own and I love it so much. It is perfect for a small family and can cook 1/2 a kg of beans comfortably.
  2. The Prestige 5 Liter Cooker. If I was buying a pressure cooker today, I would go for this one. It has more capacity, and since my family is expanding fast, it would be perfect even for larger meals.
  3. The Presto 4 Liter pressure cooker. This one is perfect for the average family of 4 and comes in a very sleek design which I like. I would definitely try it.
  4. Armco EP600X electric pressure cooker. This is the epitome of style and class. You just connect to the socket, flip a switch and you are cooking in a matter of seconds. It’s so perfect.
  5. Sinbo black and grey electric pressure cooker. To start with, the design is pretty attractive and the colors will surely blend in well with other kitchen appliances. The digital controls are also easy to operate and the automatic pressure controls are perfect for first-time users.

 

Happy Birthday: 2 years

My baby is 2.

Can you believe that??I can’t!!

I need someone to sit me down and explain to me how it is already two years from that beautiful day that I met this little champion.It has been a whirlwind. One that I absolutely love and enjoy.

I enjoy being a mother to such a handsome boy. Although he sometimes drives me crazy, I still treasure him so much. His birthday party was awesome. We had our friends and many of his friends over and it was such a fun birthday. The pictures don’t do justice to how beautiful his special day was, but I hope you get the idea.

Happy birthday my Lowell Sedar. Cheers to many more.

I hope to share more about how we planned it and made it happen.

The Birthday boy

Birthday boy with friends

Lowell feedingThe food

Good foodKenyan pilausteamed cabbagePlated kenyan lunchVegetable riceThe Cake

Birthday Cake 1 Birthday cake 2   It was one of the most beautiful days ever!


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Happy Weekend

Enjoy your weekend

I have so much planned for this weekend.

I am praying that everything will run smoothly and that everyone will have a blast.

I am also praying that you have the best weekend ever.

Let go of your troubles and live large.

Hug, kiss, laugh, dance, or d whatever makes your heart sing.

Enjoy yourselves people!

I hope to hear of it on Monday.

An investment: The importance of showing up for others.

I remember it so vividly. It is so fresh in my mind. Almost like it was just yesterday. But this happened quite a few months back.

I came home from work at around 7 p.m. I asked the nanny how she and my baby were doing and she said that they were doing OK. In fact, my baby was all jumpy as he came to give me a hug. We sat down and he started talking to me in his baby Gibberish and I responded back. We went ahead to have a conversation as I told him about my day and he told me about his. The only problem was that none of us understood the other.

Soon, the distinctive smell of baby poop was in the air and I decided to change his diaper. As soon as I took out the dirty diaper, he started shivering uncontrollably. The kind of shivering where there is teeth grinding and moving hands and legs. I was super scared.

I do not know what came to my mind or what took over me. I rushed out and knocked at my neighbor’s door and didn’t wait for her to open. I let myself in and without any courtesy started telling her something was wrong with my baby. I told her that Lowell’s dad was not round and I did not have the slightest idea what to do.

I remember how she told me not to worry and immediately called her hubby and we made a split decision to take the baby to the hospital. Remember how bad things strike at once??I had forgotten my bedroom keys in hubby’s bag and therefore had no money, no diapers and the baby bag was also in my closed bedroom. My good neighbor packed a bag for me with diapers and everything and her husband drove me and baby to the hospital, waited until we saw the doctor, paid the bill and drove us back home.

I will never forget their kindness. They showed up for me and I promised to always show up for them.

showing up for others

It is so important to show up for others. Being an introvert of sorts, who is slowly mutating into an extrovert, this topic has become so dear to me. I now make an effort to show up for the most important people in my life.

When someone comes to you for help, always strive to show up for them. When someone invites you to their ruracio (dowry ceremony), to their wedding, to their baby’s birthday, to something important to them, the least you can do is show up.

When your friend loses a loved one, or fails to get that job they had high hopes of getting: you better show up. Go and comfort them. Go and have a cup of tea or coffee with them. Go and watch their favorite tv show with them. Offer some type of kindness and uplift their spirits.

Oh, and ladies, when your friend gives birth, show up please. Go visit them, cook for them, wash their clothes and hold their babies.

Showing up for other people is like an investment. It is repaid at a later date, with accumulated interest. In fact, showing up is one of the basic ingredients to a great friendship. No one wants a friend that never shows up. I know I don’t.


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