Why I Cook with My Children (+ Why You Should Too)

Whilst we are a Nigerian-British household, it’s important to me that my children can experience food from a range of cultures and this is reflected in what I cook at home. It’s not unusual for me to prepare Mexican fajitas on Monday, Nigerian eba and egusi on Tuesday and a Thai green chicken curry on Wednesday. Variety is the spice of life after all!

A friend once told about when he went to an Italian restaurant in Austria and ordered the only rice dish he saw on the menu because he wanted to pick a “safe”option. When a creamy, cheesy risotto was placed in front of him, he was truly astonished by what he saw! Where I can, I want my children to be confident and have a decent level understanding of world cuisines — if for nothing else, to avoid embarrassment! I’ve found that my son is far more likely to try new foods when he has somehow been involved in the preparation. Sometimes this even starts from the supermarket; we’ll be standing in the fruit and veg aisle and I’ll ask him to pick something new that he’d like to try. I mean, sometimes it’s a success and sometimes it’s not, but it’s a win in my book as long as he gives it a try.

Cooking with children definitely slows you down and can be messy. However, I believe the pros outweigh the cons. Here’s why:

Mumfessions: My Life and Reality as a Mummy Blogger

In recent times, we’ve seen the rise of “mummy bloggers.” In fact, some digital commentators argue that this category of bloggers, digital creators and influencers are the best kinds of people to showcase or market your product as a result of their trustworthy and relatable nature. A popular YouTube influencer jokingly noted that if you wanted a spike in viewership or subscribers, have a kid or two!

On the flip side, there’s also been a lot of bashing of such bloggers particularly in relation to the fine line of exposing their kids, oversharing, profiting off them for brand campaigns and generally putting them out there. It’s for this reason that some people are quick to denounce the title of mummy blogger. Others, however, feel that they are so much more than just a mum, and refuse to let a limiting tag define them or what they like to blog about.

In this Mumfessions feature, Tola Adeoti, who was born and raised in Nigeria but moved to the United States 20 years ago, proudly accepts her '‘mummy blogger” title. Mum to two beautiful girls — Simi who is 6 and Temi who is 2 — she describes her blog for mums as “your girlfriend having a good ole chat with you.”

My Struggle Through Dyslexia and How I Overcame

My earliest childhood memory of school is of not wanting to not go in on a Friday as we always had a spelling test on Fridays. I would find every excuse under the sun to get away with missing that particular class because I knew that I would once again be humiliated on Monday when the results were shared.

The spelling errors were usually not massive — mostly missing out an ‘I’ or an ‘S’ and spelling things out phonetically as opposed to their actual spelling. I also did not look forward to reading aloud in class — each student had to read from a story series which increased in difficulty the further along in the series you got. I remember the teacher getting so upset when I missed out a spelling. In frustration, she would often say things like, “Pelumi are you blind?” or “that’s enough, I can’t listen to you read anymore!” and for the longest time I was behind on my reading.

I was saddened to see my classmates move on to harder and more interesting books while I was stuck on the same book that I could not seem to finish without making a mistake.

Does Your Menstrual Cycle Make You "Crazy"?

When I thought of writing this article, I was hesitant. First, there’s the weird fact of discussing your cycle on the internet. Then, I wondered if I’d be undoing all the efforts some women have made to counteract the idea that we’re either incapacitated or breathing fire at certain points in our menstrual cycles.

In truth though? My cycle controls so many aspects of my existence. While I’m fortunate not to experience much physical pain besides a migraine or two during my period, I struggle with other manifestations. Throughout my teens, I struggled to make sense of the irrational mood swings, aches, and brain fog I had at certain times of the month.

Now, I’ve come to accept that my month is split into three parts.

7 Tips to Succeed at a New Job

A new job can be exciting. After a round of interviews, preparations, and self talk, you’re finally ready to start with a shiny desk, (hopefully) better benefits, and a place to look forward to every day.

But the truth is, a new job is also uncertain. You’re leaving the stability of an old job where you likely knew how things worked, had nicknames for your old colleagues, memorised the best routes to work and where to go for lunch! It also comes with lots of questions, from the more important ones like “how does one make a mark in this organisation and have the CEO know my pet’s name?” to “where the heck do they keep the stationery?” and everything else in between.

I’ve had my fair share of job moves and being the newbie. I’ve also heard a few tips from other newbies. These are the seven tips most employees wish someone had told them earlier.

Weekend Notes X Links Around the Web

Hey!

Happy long weekend to you if that applies. I had assumed most countries acknowledge the Easter holidays and was a bit surprised to find out that the US does not - and it’s just a regular weekend over there. On my side, I’m in that space where I’ve almost lost track of days because not only do we acknowledge a long weekend in the UK, my office closed on Tuesday and so it’s been quite some good time off! I’ve been able to catch my breath and do a bit of house and life admin.

Also, did you watch Beyonce’s Homecoming on Netflix? I would love just about 0.5% of her work ethic. My fave takeaway was her opinion on rehearsing. She mentioned that people don’t like to rehearse because it makes you humble, it exposes your flaws and you have to study. And that is so spot on. Whether it’s a rehearsing for a presentation, job interview, practicing your writing or creative process, many people do not want to come across as learners. But the faster we embrace the learning process and the flaws that come with it - the better!

Here are a few links for you to catch up on.

Motherhood + Career/Business: 8 Tips to Make It Work

Few days ago, as I set out for work and took a quick selfie with my son, crouched in front of our mirror in the hallway, I thought to myself how I was behind on some of the goals I had set for myself—mostly because these days I was pretty exhausted to do anything else.

And then I remembered the question someone had asked me: “how does one not let motherhood deter your career or business goals?” I knew she didn’t have a child yet so I asked if she was having a baby soon. She responded in the negative but explained that she was just thinking ahead. No surprise there—many women often wonder just how much they can combine their business/career goals with motherhood.

As I gave her several tips, I knew that it should definitely be a full on blog post. Truth is, although it seems like a paradox, motherhood in some innate way almost acts as a propeller to dream big, innovate, and smash those goals. As Sheryl says in her excellent book Lean In, Motherhood is not the time to go slow, it’s actually the time to step on the accelerator!

Easy Reads: 9 Light Reads to Pick Up When Life Gets Hard

Ever feel like some days, the world is stressful enough that you only want “fluffy” entertainment? After the last list of books about families and generational sagas and this about thrillers, we’re ready for some light reading. If you’re only looking for the movers and shakers of literature, this may not be the post for you.

Still, I’m a firm believer in the fact that there’s a place for lighter books in everyone’s life. While some of these books may be predictable, you’re sure to blast through them and get the warm fuzzies right (or at least a satisfied feeling) after. A few of these books are young adult novels—it doesn’t get lighter than that.

4 Ways I'm Embracing a Lifestyle Makeover!

I recently bought a white tee shirt that had inscribed on it “there are so many opportunities to start something new”. That quote was definitely the primary reason I decided to let Zara sale have my £5. The other was because, although I’ll typically not buy a white t shirt (is it just me or do they just turn a bit dull after the first wash?) - like the title of this post, I’m trying to do some things differently.

If you ever watched the Oprah show, you may remember the episodes where four to five women put themselves forward or had nominated by their friends for a style revamp! They were mostly bored (or had never tried anything different) of their hair, their clothes and their style. The reveal was often such a shocker - and they didn’t look the same - in a good way!  I loved those a lot - especially when it featured much older women because it proved that you could always try something new and adventurous even as an adult.

How Do You Use Social Media (Mindfully)?

There are different kinds of social media users. While some people are Instagram or Snapchat creatures, others prefer Twitter. Then there are the Facebook and LinkedIn aficionados. Other people are more likely to be found on Pinterest. A surprising number of people still use forum-style social networks like Reddit, as well. And of course, there’s the rare bird who is on—and uses—everything.

I’ve always enjoyed social media, and in the past I was one of those who wanted to try everything—although I’m now nearly 85 percent Instagram, 15 percent Twitter. Social networking can be a great way for people and businesses to connect with like-minded people, share ideas, build networks (pun intended), and influence others.

Lately, though, many people have been re-evaluating their relationship with social media.