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2016 Savings Plan for 25,500/- Update 3

Total savings so far Ksh 2,000/=

Happy FridayLet’s start off this post by acknowledging how beautiful this Friday is.. I took this picture this morning, on my way to the matatu stage. The sun was already up, but it is the crispness of the air that awed me. I could feel the chill on my neck, yet the sun was already warming me up. What a great way to start the day. Loved it.

Onto more serious matters now. We are already 4 weeks into our 2016 savings plan and I couldn’t be more overjoyed. Many times we make resolutions and they don’t even see the end of the first week of the yea, yet we are already in February and still keeping up with this saving challenge. Woop!!Woop!!

I looked into my calendar this week, imagined seeing my saving balance growing to 2,000/= and thought, “Shit, we are actually doing this!! It is truly happening and I am committed to it!”

Anyway, I just deposited my 500 to my M-shwari lock savings account and I hope you are doing the same RIGHT NOW. remember, Kama sio saa hii, ni sasa hivi!

It’s the end month and most of us have received our salaries. So, if you want to put aside 1,000 or 2,000 just to get ahead , you can totally do it. This will give you cover for the ‘dry’ weeks of the month.

You are awesome for taking the right steps towards building your savings, and am proud of you, and myself too!

If you are yet to join the challenge, there is still time. Just go to THIS post and you will find all the details there.

You can find all the other updates HERE and HERE!

Enjoy the weekend lovely people!

The Things You Need Most at Unbelievably Low Prices

Tablets starting at only 999!!!4-burner cookers at only 9,999!!!Massive discounts on shoes, dresses, jackets and so much more!!!Click HERE.

November has been such a challenging month for me and my family. However, instead of focusing on the negative, I’d rather focus on the millions of little beautiful things that have happened to us this month.

Oh, and we are almost getting to December, meaning, Christmas, lost of food, fun and family parties. Now, that’s a good month. I can’t wait.KE-[E:Bf15:336x280]

In preparation for all this fun, Jumia (my favorite online shopping mall) has hundreds of amazing products on offer. The best part if that on Friday, 26th, Jumia will be hosting the sale event of the year.

Thousands of products will be on offer, for just one day, at discounted prices you will not believe. Imagine buying a 4-burner gas cooker at only 9,999, or a Nikon camera at the same price. Did I mention tablets starting at only 999?? Seriously!! Clothes and shoes at prices slashed by more than 75%.

To be honest with you, I have my eye on a few items and I am getting ready to shop till I drop, because these kinds of crazy discounts come only once in a year. I will be using this opportunity to get some of the Christmas gifts for my family-you should too.

Tomorrow is gonna be crazy, so better get ready now. The best part, Jumia delivers your products to your doorstep and you only pay after you have received your products.

Don’t say I didn’t tell you. This is the shopping event of the year, and it will only last for a day. That’s it. Don’t lose out my dears. Shop, shop, shop. Just click on the picture below and it will take you straight to where the goodies are.

jumia black friday

Where and How to Ask for Help When Motherhood Overwhelms You

motherhood is overwhelmingMy son has recently turned two and has decided that tantrums are a way of life now.. Imagine crying, rolling on the ground, screaming and endless whining. This week has been a little better actually, but last week was kind of overwhelming.

Being a mother comes with its joys, and also a fair share of trouble, guilt and heartache. Over the past few weeks, my son has developed a habit where instead of drinking his milk or water, he wants to spend hours pouring the drinks from one cup to another. Whenever I bring him something to drink, he rushes to the kitchen, brings another cup (or two) and begins his tricks. It drives me crazy. The worst of it comes at night when he wants to be left at the dinner table performing his liquid tricks, while everyone is in bed. You can imagine the crying once I take away his cups. Most of last week I went to bed angry because of the battles I had to endure with him. Sigh!

lowell and his liquidsThere he is at a friend’s house, doing his thing.

Motherhood can be overwhelming.

It is not your fault that you feel overwhelmed. Many of us are going through the same thing. It comes with the territory.

Are you overly emotional?

Are you always angry/sad maybe?

Are you overly sensitive?

Are you anxious all the time?

Do you feel like a volcano waiting to erupt? Or a ticking time bomb?

Are you always looking out for someone to annoy you so that you can snap at them and release the pressure?

These are all signs that you could be overwhelmed. I have gone through each of these and I know how bad it feels.

However, one simple thing can help you get over this feeling. Ask for HELP. Many of us find it so difficult to admit that we cannot do it all and that we actually need help raising these little beautiful angels aka terrorists.

Instead of releasing that anger towards your baby, your partner or your boss, try these useful tips to help clear your head and get you back on track.

  1. Ask your partner to watch the baby for a few hours. When my baby was around 1 year old and I was a stay-at-home mom, I would take Saturday afternoons off just to go get my hair done or to have sometime to myself. While baby and daddy played, I would use this time to focus on myself and things that made me happy. I would come back feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle the challenges of raising my boy.
  2. Grandparents. This is one of my absolute favorites. I am already looking forward to the holidays so I can take my son to visit his grandparents and let him stay for a week or two. We have done this twice already and my baby is so happy with my mom and we are left with time to relax and just be. We use this time to focus on our marriage and our relationship as a couple. I miss my baby terribly, but I know by taking some time off, I am able to become the best version of myself, which is so helpful for my baby and my family.
  3. Friends. Sometimes all we can get is only 2-3 hours free time while our besties watch the baby on their day off. If you have friends who are mothers too, they might understand your need for some space and are willing to babysit the baby for a few hours. Do not be afraid to ask your friends for this favor. What are friends for, if not to watch the baby while you go have a manicure or drink a glass of wine?
  4. Daycare. If worse comes to worst and you have no relatives or friends nearby, just take the baby to the local daycare center. He will have fun playing with other kids and you will have your much needed space.
  5. Professional Counseling. If you feel absolutely overwhelmed or depressed, please seek professional help from a counselor. This can help you from spiraling into depression and other mental issues.

Related: Why showing up for others is of absolute importance

How to throw a stress-free birthday party for your child

Asking for help is not always the simplest thing, but you just gotta do it. Pick up that phone, call your mom, your sister, your friend and ask them for help. Trust me, they want to help. All you gotta do is ASK. Do not wait until you are so depressed that they have to take you to a psychiatric hospital. Then, you will be of no help to your baby or your family. Take the time off to reduce the stress and let someone handle the baby for one day, or a week (like me).

You will come back feeling much more relaxed and with the power to be a super mom all over again.

Who do you ask for help when motherhood overwhelms you? How do you do it? Share.

Does Jumia Actually work? The Honest Truth

When you hear about online shopping in Kenya, what comes to your mind??

Do you think of sending money to someone, never to see what you ordered?

Do you think of a tedious process that leaves you frustrated, never wanting to buy anything online ever again?

Or do you think about the exaggerated shipping fees, that keep you away from shopping online?

There are so many online scams worldwide and in Kenya that sometimes deter people from buying thins online.

To be honest with you, I love technology. Whenever I hear of some new technology, I develop an innate desire to try it. Talk to me about a new way to send and receive money online, I will try it. Talk of how I can buy a cute dress and have it delivered to my doorstep, I will try it. Have you ever heard of the early adopters of technology??I am definitely in that category. I think its my inner belief in that technology has made our world so much better.

When I heard of Jumia Kenya a few years ago, I was a little skeptical. I remember watching those tv ads with people who did not look like Kenyans delivering gorgeous shes and other items to excited customers and wonder what this company was all about. However, the desire to try new things out got to me and I knew I would eventually give in.

When my beautiful Tecno M3 phone fell in a bucket full of water, I knew there was no hope. Though it showed its resilient side and awoke from the deep slumber caused by an intense swimming session, the charging system was beyond repair and I was suddenly in the market for a new phone.

Instead of going to the usual <insert safaricom shop here> places to search for a phone, I decided to try out Jumia Kenya. I had heard not heard a lot of stuff about Jumia online shopping in Kenya, but I decided to try it anyway. I searched and searched, until I came upon a phone that was affordable, good-looking, and with all the features of an awesome smartphone. I needed a phone that could handle my heavy browsing since I work online, and could take good photos of my ever growing little man. That is when I came across the Infinix Hot Note on Jumia online shop. I read all the reviews I could get and finally decided to make the order. I ordered the phone, plus a cover and a screen protector.

Jumia Order MayThe total doesn’t add up because there was a 500 discount applied using a coupon I had from subscribing to their newsletter.

The Jumia representative called me within 20 minutes to confirm my order and delivery place. I confirmed that I wanted my good delivered all the way in Thika where I live. I was super excited.

Jumia Confirmation

The good:

  • I made my order on Friday and I got my phone and the screen protector on Sunday.
  • The delivery man from Jumia was very nice and he called beforehand to tell me that my order was ready for delivery.
  • He was supposed to wait till Monday to deliver, but he brought it a day earlier and I was so happy for that.
  • I tested the phone first, took a few pictures and made sure everything was ok before confirming my order.
  • I paid via Mpesa using the number that the delivery man gave me after I confirmed that everything was fine.

One not so good thing:

  • The cover I had ordered was out of stock when I ordered and was not delivered with the rest of the items. It was delivered a week later and I made the payment after I received it.

It was such a good experience and I have been using my Infinix Hot Note smartphone for over 5 months now and I love it. No problems yet and everything works as it should. My hubby is always jealous that I have such a good phone.

Infinix Hot Note

Additional info:

I recently ordered an Infinix Hot 2 for my sister from Jumia Kenya online and the experience was still as good as it was when I bought my phone. By the way,the Infinix Hot 2 is such an awesome phone and Jumia is selling it at such an affordable price (8,999) only. Am sure the prices will go higher soon, just like what happened with the Hot Note, so you better get yours asap. If you need any help, you can always leave a comment or contact me on the Work With Me page.

Infinix

Similar: One appliance that will save you lots of money and time in the kitchen

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

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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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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