Minimalism - My Take

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

It's almost two years since my Husband and I moved to Abu Dhabi from Nairobi, we uprooted our lives in 3-4 suitcases and had to start afresh. As we did, along the way i decided to fulfill my minimalist dreams some part due to the lack of permanence as a new expat and some part because I do not want to be tied down by things.

Reusing old leggings as a Headwrap.

In all honesty, part of the reason that I wanted to downsize my possessions was financial. Leaving Nairobi meant losing my full time job and relying on my husband for most things. My disposable income was not as open-ended as it used to be. The boy was also going to be born in a few months. I needed to make sure we had all the things ready for his arrival.

We have managed to minimally furnish our house ( slowly making it a home as we are moving soon), have smaller but more efficient wardrobes, keep our baby clothed and entertained and live happily. Most importantly we are content!

My journey to trying out minimalism started off by watching two documentaries on Netflix; Minimalism: A Documentary about the Important Things and The True Cost.

This has led me to defining my own sense of minimalism as buying only what I truly need and learning to make more deliberate decisions on spending money.

Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.
Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus 

My minimalism manifests in the following super simple ways;

  • I have a smaller wardrobe with pieces that I love and work for my day to day life. As I spend most of my time at home working, I do not need such an extensive wardrobe and my wardrobe is mainly jeans, tees and comfy dresses, This works for the husband as well who has 5 suits, a number of mix and match tees, chinos and shorts which work for his Smart Casual office environment. The boy's wardrobe is pretty similar and since the growth spurts have slowed down, we are only buying clothes every 3 months. 

  • I used to be a huge product junkie especially as a natural hair blogger, I have pared down my products to 2 bottles of conditioner, ! bottle of shampoo, 1 curling product, 1 gel, 1 hair oil and some edge control. This is honestly keeping my hair super healthy and its growing like a weed.
  • Every 3-4 months, I take on some decluttering and donate old clothes to charity. 
  • My make up bag is super pared down with a one foundation, concealer, mascara, highlighter, powder. Lip products are my crack though and I struggle not buying all the Fenty Lipsticks 
I may make this a series and go into more of my key pieces both home, baby and wardrobe. 

15 Things I've Learnt in 15 Months of Parenting

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

So it has been 15 months since I became a parent and it has been an all consuming, all encompassing job. In all of it, I have learnt so much and in trying to be as authentic as possible I will share all the juice and non-juicy bits

1. As a stay at home/part-time working mum the hours between 3pm- 6pm/ bedtime feel like millennia. There are not enough toys to keep your child occupied during this high energy period. Now that its getting cooler in Abu Dhabi (Thank Heavens), we normally go to the playground and tire the little man out.

      2. Your heart will turn into mush, every sad , heartbreaking story will bring out so much empathy and sympathy. I cannot read any stories about mistreatment and even hearing stories of climate change and how we are ruining the planet for the next generation bring me to despair

3. Getting angry at your child is perfectly normal, toddler tantrums are the worst. Do not rack yourself with guilt for getting pissed off at your child, place them in a safe space and take 5 mins to calm down and then get back to it. 

4. Do not let other Mamas and Daddy's influence you to make decisions that don't suit yourfamily, if your baby(ies) want to sleep with you and everyone gets good sleep then why not?

      5. Watching your child learn a new skill is the best feeling ever!

      6. Your child will soak up everything they see you do, you are their world. If you are a good,kind human then most likely your child will be.

      7. Let your child explore, if they want to pick up a stone, flower, leaf from the floor give them the opportunity to take on the experience of holding a new item. Remember, they are exploring these things for the first time ever.

       8. Waking up at 6 am is the worst but being woken up at 6.11 am everyday by little fingers pushing your eyeballs and big wet kisses from your toddler is the best feeling ever

       9.Mamas are never in the photo....this needs to change

      10. Always check your clothes before you leave the house, you may just have snot stuck to your                t-shirt or hummus on your jeans.

      11. NEVER expect your child to be an extension of you, they are their own human being with their own emotions and feelings. I am an awkward introvert, my son however walks up to                    people and demands smiles and conversation. He is currently trying to warm up our rather stern neighbour by dishing smiles and giggles. 

      12. Raising a child is the scariest thing in the world, you are filled with big fears like will he be successful and little ones like "I have to brush his teeth for a minimum of 3 years until he can do it himself".

These next ones are from my darling Husband;

     13. Be creative, find different ways to solve problems. If your child agrees to be fed one night and the next day refuses, don't force the feeding try giving him/her a baby spoon or fork and let them try to feed themselves as you die inside watching the mess being made. 

     14. Remain calm, it is the best way to try and read/understand a being(child) that is not able to communicate with words.

     15. Work with your partner to do what is best for the baby, it is not one persons job. You each need to step in to find solutions to problems, chart the babies path. 

Everyday seems to bring about new lessons for the boy and myself 

Pregnancy | 5 things that made it easier for me

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

My mother always says that when I was 4 year's old, I declared that I did not have any interest in having children. Cue life and a mere 25+ years later, I write this with an almost 6 month old lying next to me milk drunk and enjoying whatever it is he dreams about. 

Add to that my fear of getting pregnant in my twenties was crippling, I always imagined that I would be the pregnant lady chewing stones, spitting into a small bucket every few minutes, swollen ankles, lips, nose and with new stretchmarks from my forehead to my ankles. This thing called Life though has a funny way of playing out and I ended up having a rather easy pregnancy and succumbed to a few not so glamorous symptoms. 

That second trimester joy

I have gotten a number of requests to share some things that helped me through the 38 weeks and 6 days of my pregnancy so here goes.

Disclaimer: This is my first pregnancy and the next one may be super hard.

1. Be Zen. Channel a monk and try to slowly purposefully glide through life. I got pregnant during a super hard time. The bank my husband had been working in had recently folded, I had been managing a hellish project, there was the possibility of moving to Abu Dhabi which eventually happened and that came with its own baggage. I basically managed to find a doctor to deliver my baby by going to a hospital website , looking through the pictures of OBGYNs and choosing the one with the kindest face a mere 3 months to giving birth. That does not count the stress of moving to a new place in the middle of 45 degree celcius summer and the loneliness of it. Through all of this, I constantly told myself to remain calm and be happy if only for my little boy. 

2. Exercise. This one is hard ladies, but even a 20min walk will help. I was able to fit in exercise through lots of housework, Yoga Videos on Youtube and when at 33 weeks the doctor told me to start walking more to get the baby engaged I started walking up and down 4 flights of stairs 5 times coz it was 40 degrees outside.

3. Eat 5 -6 small meals a day. Channel a hobbit and eat breakfast then second breakfast etc. I found this kept me from overeating whilst keeping the hunger at bay. My sample day went as below

8.00 - Oatmeal with milk and half a banana

10.30 - 1 piece of toast with peanut butter

1.00 - Rice with beans and spinach

3.00 - Yogurt with an apple

6.30 - Spaghetti with mince

9.00 - Cookie

4. Douse yourself in oil. My self-care routine mainly involved rubbing my belly and body with SheaButter, Coconut, Macadamia, Olive, Avocado....all of the oils basically! I was expecting to get stretchmarks coz my bum and thighs are covered with them but surprisingly I didnt. I will say though, if you are going to get stretchmarks you will get them, sadly its the luck of the draw!

5. Don't sweat the small stuff. So you put on 15kgs and the doctors recommend you gain 11kgs, You had some sushi, After a long day you had a small glass of red wine.
Policing pregnant women is like an Olympic sport, everyone has an opinion on what you should eat, wear, drink, do. Do what your gut tells you and don't sweat it! 

What tips do you mamas have? 

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