The New Baby Essentials We Absolutely Loved

My friend thinks that like the wedding industry with all its charm, the baby product industry is such a danger zone - particularly for first-time mums.  I have to agree. Everything is so bright and shiny and perfect. And the gorgeous photos of the products. Lets not even talk about the little baby clothes too: everything is cuter in baby size. But then you fall for it, buy everything and realIse two things (i) you know longer have space in your home and (ii) you actually didn't use or need half. 

But I was aware of this trap and tried to avoid falling in. So first, I didn’t start shopping too early. Because once you start, it’s hard to stop. Second I was armed with an excel spreadsheet and detailed list. Finally, I read reviews and relied on first-hand information - a lot of which was so helpful.

I’ve often shared my thoughts on products via Instagram. People have agreed with me saying “we’re product twins!”, some have gone off to purchase the items and some have asked for more info!

As much as I tried, not all items were perfect or worked for us.

A Vacation with My Big Fat Extended Igbo Family: Here's What Happened

It would be easy to say I've never been on holiday with my larger extended family. But that wouldn't be the exact truth. It would be true only to the extent that I hadn't been on one outside Nigeria. But spending Christmas with the larger family in our hometown in Nigeria had occurred a number of times. Typically, many Igbo families who lived in Lagos loved to visit their hometown (often called "village") with their families for festive holidays. And oh goodness, it's often such a blast. The festivities, the food, the display of culture. Absolutely nothing like family. 

But I'd never actually had such experience outside Nigeria. Until my maternal cousin got married to his South African bride. The wedding was in Johannesburg and so our family was set to attend, with many of them coming in from Nigeria.

Fathers, Daughters and Food: 7 Women on Their Favourite Food Memories

When fathers and daughters have really close bonds - it’s beautiful to see. But even in the absence of such perfect relationships, a few memories pop up with fondness.

As a self proclaimed foodie, it may interest you to know that I strongly suspect this trait is courtesy of my dad - he loves his food.  No surprises therefore that I have a number of food filled memories with or relating to him. That would be a post of its own.

But for Father’s day today, I asked women to share memories, anecdotes, stories of their fathers and food. Read on as 7 women share happily: from cooking to eating habits, experiences, lessons and love - and don't forget to share yours too in the comments.

Six Things I Noticed at a Nigerian / South African Wedding Reception

I was recently scrolling through my phone reminiscing on our last trip away and the beautiful memories of the wedding between my Nigerian cousin and his South African bride. And then I realised I hadn’t exactly written about it. Ok, actually I didn’t realise. I had hoped to write about it, but didn’t seem to get to it yet. 

It was an intimate ceremony with about 120 guests. Although less than a quarter of the typical Nigerian wedding size, this didn’t seem any less fun or grand - the bride did arrive in a horse drawn carriage after all.  

My thoughts below would contain a couple of hyperboles, but you get the gist. 

9 Common Words and Phrases You Should Stop Saying at Work (+ what to say instead)

There are a few work-related encounters that I wouldn’t forget so easily. One of which was with a previous supervisor. There was an opportunity I was keen to attend, and so after putting myself forward and having a chat, I said to him:

I have to go for this conference”. 

He turned around, looked at me with a straight face and said “you don’t have to”.

If I could, I’d have turned red in the face. Of course I didn’t have to. It would have been great to. I’d have loved to. But I didn’t HAVE to. 

Four Mini Favourites #2

Another month, another set of mini faves. These are some of the things I’ve loved in the month of May.  

As usual, they cut across various areas and I share the good sides and downsides (very few things are absolutely perfect yes?) with prices and links to purchase!

So let’s see what's in the bag this time. 

I Asked 8 Young Mums What's it's Like Raising Two Boys

When my friend casually mentioned that she'd love to be a soccer mum and have three boys, I began to wonder what it'd be like to be a mum of boys. At the time, we had found out we were having a boy, and it seemed like every other pregnant woman around us were also having boys!  Our midwife actually mentioned that boy births seemed to be on a record high last year. 

And then, I began to notice just how many young mums around me are boy mums! I could very easily have featured over a dozen of such women  in the post, but I tried to limit it to 7 of them who each have two little boys. 

They all share their experiences as #mumofboys -  picking boy names, resources and parenting tips, being outnumbered, learning from them and desire (or not) for a girl!

How to Network Better and Where to Network Easily (asides networking events)

Ever heard the phrase "you’re only six degrees of separation away from anyone in the world?" So you should know a friend who in five steps can connect you with anyone in the world. When we put it that way, no one seems so out of reach yes? And there-in lies the power of networking. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my career in recent times, it’s the power of networking - the ability to interact with others and develop professional or social connections.   

But the real essence of networking - is the ability to build these relationships before you need them.   One must learn how to approach people, talk to them, maintain small talk conversation (even when it seems unneccesary), remember their pet’s name and generally have a laugh. It’s a skill that’s so important, as when push comes to shove what makes one outstanding is really how you get along with others. Many people want to work with people they truly like and can crack a joke with in the midst of work pressure. Customers would rather purchase items from a business owner who’s personable. Employers and bosses tend to promote people with a large network which can benefit the organisation.  So wherever you fall,  it’s necessary. 

And sometimes, it’s such a pain. Why do you have to do all of this? I have no mind-blowing answer for that, so we better move along to how it can be done.

One Mummy Guilt I've Been Feeling Lately

Are you even a mum if you don’t have some kind of "mummy guilt"? Obviously before I became a mum, I used to look at that word strangely. I probably still do, and I can’t even pretend I know the full implications.

So although I typed the title of this post first, I decided to check the meaning before I proceed. The urban dictionary defines it as “Guilt a mother feels anytime she takes time to do something for herself, outside of work, that does not involve her children". And I agree that’s the most common one I had seen. Like mums taking a solo holiday or taking time off for girls trip. But that’s not my guilt – not in the least. I’ve pretty much spent the last 7 months with the little kiddo and not a night away!  

So I dug deeper – and it seems mums guilt is really anything in relation to parenting that you feel isn’t good enough or not your best. So there’s a lot – what you feed them, leaving them with nannies, watching too much TV, parenting style, yelling - whatever.

And I don’t generally have any form of guilt. I know I’m doing my best, I’m a great mum (you gotta blow your trumpet hunnay) and the kid is generally happy! So why has this little thing been on my mind a bit. 

Ok – here it comes. 

8 Recommended Items For a Cozy Home

Two days ago my friend sent me a photo of a huge potted plant in the passenger seat of her car. I was about to reply with a comment when I saw a follow on message: "oh that was for my mum; don't judge me but plants make me really happy!" She probably feared I was going to wonder why she was buying another plant when they had a whole lot in their apartment. And I mean a whole lot. 

But there was no way on earth I was going to judge her. Not when buying some more plants have been on my to-do for a while. But just in case you didn’t know, shopping with a baby is an entirely different ball game! *tsk tsk*. And there's something about home shopping that often has to be done in person. But we're somehow going to have to wear our big parents pants and brave it all because I've been itching to spruce up some areas a bit. 

Few weeks ago, my neighbour put up an Instagram post showing a very nice redo of their garden noting that it's been one year since they've lived in their house. We moved in at about the same time and that somewhat jolted me to the fact that it's been a year for us too.