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Bootcamp, Rice and Smoosh Cookies

10April

Hi guys, I hope everyone had a lovely weekend because I know I did. A quick recap of my weekend goes like this;

On Saturday  I woke up early to take a walk, pray and meditate as I usually do almost every morning, then I went to Boot camp (I’ll blog more about this later). After my morning workout I stopped by to see family, make some phone calls and ran some errands before heading to Rice University for the Alumni event. No I’m not alumni although I’ve been considering getting an MBA from there to help me be a better Entrepreneur, but that too is another story for another time. I attended the family event with hubby (he works at Rice) and a friend of mine.

The event was fun, they had good food and I got to meet more of hubbys coworkers but the highlight of my day was meeting this little girl who was probably around 4 years old running around in the hallway. All she wanted to do was play and that was exactly what we did, because we spent some time playing catch. She was so excited for me to chase her and for her to chase and catch me. It was fun for 2 seconds before I got tired lol…. I’m always so amused at how much energy children have to run around and play and it’s always so refreshing to see how children get so excited and happy over the simplest of things.

Anyway, after the event we just had to go around the corner in Rice Village to check out Smoosh Cookies. I’m new to the Houston area and part of my plan as someone who loves adventure is to enjoy the sights, sounds and taste of the area. I came across them on Instagram and was seduced by the pictures. Since then I’ve wanted to try their Cookie and Ice cream sandwich and as you can see, I finally did. I had the Chocolate Cookies with Butter Pecan Ice Cream and Coconut Topping and it was 2 steps away from heaven. Yes! I’m a foodie. I thank God each day for all my senses especially the sense of taste. The ability to taste, savor and enjoy something you consume is priceless. The cookies were moist like they were freshly baked and the combination of flavors were perfect.

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Loving Hearts

26March

Hello everyone,

I hope everyone had a good week. While we were most likely going through our weekly routine, people were being terrorized and killed all around the world. Yes! I said terrorism and Yes! I said all over the world. Terrorism occurs every day in our world today but we usually just hear or talk about the big, eye catching, popular one which is usually based on our environment or what the media shares.

According to Wikipedia, Terrorism is the use of violence or threat of violence in order to coerce a political, religious, or ideological change. It is also an unlawful use of violence, force or intimidation against people or their property. So, when someone blows up a plane, an airport or a property, that is terrorism. When another person kidnaps people, takes hostages or intimidates a region or village that is also terrorism. Likewise, when a certain group or tribe decide to force another group away from their home and take their resources or when a man beats his wife because he thinks she doesn’t listen, that is terrorism too.

Therefore, I’m making a point that terrorism occurs in different ways and has everything to do with the individual (man, woman or child) and nothing really to do with their religion, the color of their skin, their ethnicity, gender etc.  The fact is, there are terrorists everywhere, in every country and in every community who will continue to inspire fear, anger and hatred to further their agenda but we cannot let that change us from being good and stand up for justice and support people who are being terrorized or oppressed.

I decided to share this poem I wrote over a decade ago as a reminder that we have the power to change the world starting with ourselves and our environment. I get very sad sometimes because the future looks bleak with all the fear, anger, pain, paranoia, hatred, prejudice and ignorance I see in the world today. People have let these emotions get the best of them. It always breaks my heart when I hear all the bad things going on in the world but what has been more heart breaking is when people say “I will not pray for a country X, Y, Z because they used to terrorize my ancestors” or “I will not pray for them being killed or hurt because they didn’t support and pray for me”. I’m sorry to say this, but if you think like this and you’re praying to my God (Jesus Christ) as a Christian, this logic doesn’t work and this is not how he wants us to be. If you disagree and you need me to further explain to you, you can leave a comment or send me an email and I’ll try my best to explain.

I just want to remind everyone that according to my Christian faith, that we all have been called to love despite the challenges of life. Not love when it’s easy and convenient but love when life is hard and difficult because when we are intentional and choose to love, sometimes that intentional unconditional love is the most powerful to bring about a change in the life of another person especially when you support and stand up against an issue that doesn’t directly affect you with no judgement, personal benefit or strings attached. That’s beautiful.

So, please remember that as you navigate through your day. Please don’t be too self-righteous and judgmental. Try to “Forgive” more, “Pray” more and “Love” more.

As St. Francis said, “The measure of God’s love, is to love without measure”.

Happy Easter!!!

 

Loving Hearts

Loving hearts are the evergreen gardens.

Loving thoughts are the growing roots.

Loving words are the beautiful flowers.

Loving deeds are the sweetest fruits.

 

Love is Life, which many never find.

Love is the greatest of stars.

For only in darkness, grows hatred and strife.

Only in conflict, grows anarchy and doom.

 

Let Love brighten your world.

And rid you of all anger and fear.

Love is power, Love is peace.

Love has no boundaries, Love reigns in you.

 

By Chigozie Ohanele – 2003.

 

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The Picture

27January

THE PICTURE

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In the darkest part of my room

In the inner most area of my crib

Sits an old but authentic picture.

The picture so dark

The picture so dull

But yet it sits with so much life.

The picture is of a girl

The picture is of a loner

Who stays on the outside and observes life as it is.

She watches from the dark corner of her chamber

She observes the world and learns its secret

But never comes out of her shell to be a part of it.

The picture looks plain

The picture looks worthless

But there is a priceless story behind it, which people only dream of.

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16 Things To Do in 2016

2January

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Happy New Year beautiful people. I hope everyone had a fabulous time ushering in 2016 with family or friends. My dad always told me as a child that time went by faster the older and busier you get. That didn’t make much sense until got older, especially after graduating college and started working. Once upon a time I couldn’t wait to be a “Grown Up” and become independent in making my own decisions. Now I sometimes miss being a child and under the care and responsibility of parents. The most you had to do was eat, sleep and do good in school but anyway this will be a post for another time.

So yes time is relative to what’s going on in your life. It’s amazing that I’ve been in this country for over 12years and have experienced the colorful ups and downs that is life. Last year was amazing but also challenging. I experienced so much and hit very important milestones. I started of the year being sick, had surgery, quit my 9-5 job, moved to Houston to start a Private Practice and a Networking Company, met the former President and Mrs. George Bush, attended various events and connected with amazing men and women with a purpose. I also travelled to some beautiful places, re-connected with old friends and of course turned 30 and conquered my fear of height. I thank God for the journey through 2015 but I’m super excited for what 2016 is going to bring.

Some people make New Year Resolutions but most fail to follow through with it past the 1st quarter of the year most likely because they make too many resolutions that are too hard to keep, too time consuming or not measureable. I usually reflect on my life and come up with goals I want to achieve for the New Year. Some I don’t accomplish but by thinking about it, putting it down and coming up with a plan, it usually gives me a better chance at achieving my goals.

For as long as I remember my Dad has always encouraged me to write, from my goals, to ideas, experiences, etc. He would always say that one day you can put everything together into a book. So I like to write although it can be time consuming and exhausting but even better is being able to look back at what you wrote years ago and smile about your ideas and how much of my goals I accomplished. There is something magical about writing down goals. It’s like after speaking it forth by faith, you write it down almost like a contract for God to now sign of on it and deliver to bring it into existence.

So here is a list of “16 Things to Do in 2016” that you can add to your list that is bound to improve your life.

  1. Create time to be with yourself and have a “Me, Myself & 1” time. It is usually great to pick an activity that helps you re-connect with yourself and mentally destress like Praying, Walking, and Meditating etc.
  2. Pick up a healthy habit like drinking more water, eating vegetables with each meal, avoid eating fried foods, eating small portions, exercising 3x/week, pick up a sport, run a marathon etc.
  3. Examine your relationships, let go of toxic relationships that bring out the worst in you, have a goal to communicate with family/friends more or make a new friend in the New Year.
  4. Travel to a new city, new state or even better to a new country. This is very exhilarating and educational being in a new place. Experiencing new things and a new culture expands your perspective on life.
  5. Take on a new project, a new role or new responsibility in your job/career.
  6. Create a Vision board or To Do List for specific areas of your life like Career, Finances or Personal life.
  7. Join a focus group, find a mentor or be a mentor – having support and giving support helps you stay more focused and motivates you to be better.
  8. Invest in yourself and in your future e.g. start a retirement plan, save a certain % of your paycheck when you get paid as emergency funds etc.
  9. Pick up a hobby, something you’re passionate about. I decided to start playing tennis again, writing, reading and blogging more.
  10. Read at least a fiction and non-fiction book quarterly or even better start a book club.
  11. Explore your city. A lot of times we do not fully appreciate our home, our immediate environment and city because we are so anxious to go somewhere new, then we miss the treasure right in front of us.
  12. Volunteer you time, you energy or give money to support a cause either by finding an organization or issue you’re passionate about. I always say, nothing is too little to give because if everyone gave a little of themselves, then everyone will have enough.
  13. Do something you’ve always wanted to do or you’ve been afraid to do and conquer your fears. Something like Sky diving, Rock climbing, Snow boarding etc.
  14. Evaluate your goals routinely with your accountability partner and keep track of your goals, experiences and any challenges you encounter.
  15. Say I love you always when you speak to the ones you love, Say I forgive you when they offend you.
  16. Laugh loudly every day and take a moment each day to just dance.

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So whether you make New Year’s Resolutions or not, it’s always nice to have an idea what you want to accomplish for the year or what direction you want your life to go in.  I recommend you start small, be specific, have a measureable goal and even someone to hold you accountable and check in on your progress.

Have a Happy New Year.

 

Global Women’s Network

5October

Global Women’s Network

IDEAS – INNOVATION – PARTNERSHIPS

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“A woman with a voice is, by definition, a strong woman.” – Melinda Gates.

I know I’m a little late posting this but better late than never. I went to my very first women’s conference this past weekend and it was amazing, enlightening and life changing. This opportunity was possible thanks to my mum the founder of Princess Nicky’s Breast Cancer Foundation. She was invited by Mrs. Laura Bush to attend this event since she’s been at the fore front of fighting for womens rights and healthcare in Africa especially when it comes to breast and cervical cancer.

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This event came at the right time in my life when I was thinking about a leadership program to help support and mentor women and girls in the community. I was at the point of putting everything on hold and BAM I’m at a Women’s Conference and guess what, I FELT RIGHT AT HOME and the fire was once again lit.

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“The greatest success isn’t how much money you make or what title you hold, being successful is making an impact in someone’s life.” – Chigozie Ohanele.

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First of all it was EPIC meeting President George W. Bush and his wife Mrs. Laura Bush. I was honored and impressed by how down to earth and kind they were to everyone to the point that they chose to stand for a long time just to take pictures with every one of their guests.

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I was also touched by the men and women I met who dedicated their lives to helping others either through creating initiatives to improve healthcare or education globally especially for girls/women, to people fighting against sex trafficking, discrimination and injustice all around the world. To simply put it, I WAS INSPIRED.

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Also it was impressive to see Mrs. Laura Bush (Republican) and Mrs. Michelle Obama (Democrat) look beyond their political parties to find a common ground to discuss certain issues and work together to find solutions for Women here at home and across the globe.

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So my advice for everyone out there is to Dream Big & Live Boldly, your mind is your only limit. Also stay tuned to hear more about my Program for Women in the near future. This is just the beginning.

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“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” – Maya Angelou

Finally, please check out this POWERFUL movie documentary called GIRL RISING built on a concept of breaking barriers, changing laws and transforming lives through stories. It made me realize how some people risk everything just to have some of the things we take for granted in our lives and it reminded me that we are all responsible in making this world a better and safer place for everyone especially for girls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFRIFEST 2015 – Part 2

6September

Finally had a chance to upload all my pics from vendoring last weekend at AFRIFEST 2015, here are more pics to recap the day.

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Very talented Artist and his Artwork

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The talented author Ijeoma (in the middle) of the book below “Ije The World Traveler”.

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Loved the T-shirts

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More African Accessories

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Here he is again with another piece he painted in real time within a few minutes right infront of everyone. It was amazing seeing him in action.

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One of the many fun performances of the day

Advice from my Big Sister – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

3June

Last week, the award-winning author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was the honorary guest speaker for the 137th Commencement at Wellesley College, Massachusetts. I listened to her speech not once, but twice as I soaked up the words of wisdom like she really was my own Big Sister.

I decided to write on my blog about this bold, beautiful and brilliant woman because her words resonated with me. She analyzes and dares to challenge certain ideologies and society norms to provoke thought. Her honesty and realness is refreshing. I have always admired her, from her books, speeches and interviews to her personality and style.

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This phenomenal woman who is my Role Model is also my #WCW for this Month. She is such a classy and authentic human being who inspires the best in us. There is alot we can learn from her, and this world is a better place with her in it.  So BELOW are

15 lessons from Chimamanda’s commencement speech and the more reason SHE ROCKS.

  1. “All over the world, girls are raised to be likeable, to twist themselves into shapes that suit other people. Please, do not twist yourselves into shapes to please. The world is such a gloriously multifaceted diverse place, that there are people in the world who will like you, the real you.”
  2. “Never ever accept BECAUSE YOU’RE A WOMAN as a reason for doing or not doing anything.”
  3. “Men are not inherently bad or evil, they are merely privileged. Privilege blinds, because it is the nature of privilege.”
  4. “Victimhood is not a virtue. That being discriminated against doesn’t make you somehow morally better.”
  5. “Always try and create the world you want to live in. Minister to the world in a way that can change it. Minister radically, in a real, active, practical, get your hands dirty way.”
  6. “Teach your students that vulnerability is a human rather than a female trait.”
  7. “Commission magazine articles that teach men how to keep a woman happy because there are already too many magazines that tell a woman how to keep a man happy.”
  8. “In media interviews, make sure fathers are asked how to balance family and work.”
  9. “In this age of parenting as guilt, please spread the guilt equally (to fathers and mothers).”
  10. “Campaign and agitate for paid paternity leave everywhere in America.”
  11. “Hire more women where there are few. Remember that the woman you hire doesn’t have to be exceptionally good. Like the majority of men who get hired, she just has to be good enough.”
  12. “Feminism should be an inclusive party with different feminisms.”
  13. “The only acceptable way of wasting your time is online shopping.”
  14. “To Love is to Give and Take, Dare to Take.”
  15. “Your standardized ideologies will not always fit your life, because life is always messy.”

 

 

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