Monthly Archives

March 2018

Posted on March 11, 2018

12 words of wisdom from African mothers

women

When I think about my life and the person I have become, I think about how blessed I am to have had the upbringing that I did. My migrant parents laid an excellent foundation for my siblings and I to follow here in Ireland, and it led us to becoming strong and confident individuals. Had they chosen a different brand of parenting, a style that was a closer  match for a typical African household, then I genuinely believe I would not be the expressive woman I am today.

My mother in particular has helped create the template I wish to follow when raising my own children in the future. While there were stages in my life when we didn’t have the strongest mother-daughter relationship, there were certainly times when we did. Now that I am of a mature age, I can appreciate any unsolicited advice given by my mother. There is so much truth in every word she speaks and the life lessons she passes on are more value to me now than ever before.

Despite us growing up in different cultures, her African words of sage have proven themselves to be useful here in Ireland and this has made me proud to call myself an African-Irish. Among many other things, I have my African background to thank for a lot of my mannerisms and my nurturing nature. I think it has instilled values in me that I would not have had if I didn’t have African parents, or more particularly, an African mother.

The wise words of an African mother can sometimes seem harsh, but as life has painfully taught me, mama bear knows best. The most valuable piece of advice my mother ever gave me was “Don’t let your flaws get in the way of you going after what you want,” I recite those words every single time without fail in moments of doubt.

On this Mother’s Day, I wanted to celebrate African mothers and spread their words of wisdom. I’ve decided to ask my African-Irish peers to reflect on some of the values instilled in them by their mothers surrounding family, love, life and more. Here are 12 inspirational words of wisdom from the African mothers of Ireland 🙂

On Family

Always be on your best behaviour and protect the name of the family you’ve been given.

The river that forgets its source will dry out. You can never forget your mom.

On Love

You’ll appreciate your height when you’re older. Tallness is beautiful. Love yourself.

Only talk to men that want to carry you about like an egg, only those men will love you.

On Life Experience & Positivity

No matter how old you are, you will never have more rags than I do.

Be positive. Speak the positive things you want to happen for you and it shall come true.

On Following Dreams

Mommy says ‘as long as you speak the language, anything is possible,’ kind of letting me know that I have the keys or fundamentals to make it with just speaking their language. Combining that with any other skills, I have pretty much the recipes for success.

My mother said I can be whatever I wanted to be and I really believed it.

On Value

Never expect anyone to see you as an equal unless you posses the qualities.

Half bread is better than none

On Life

The best thing my mom always told us that stuck with me is ‘a thief doesn’t like to be stolen from.’

Also, ‘when your mind makes stupid decisions, it’s the body that pays for it.’

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you twice,  but if you know what’s good for you, you’ll listen to your mother!

Whether you’re an African mother, an Irish mammy, a young mom, a single mommy, a step-mum, still learning the ropes of motherhood or a soon-to-be mummy, Happy Mother’s Day to you! 🙂

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Thanks to everyone who was kind enough to pass on their mother’s little nuggets of wisdom to me. I hope each of you take away something extra from this blog post! Xx

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Posted on March 10, 2018

Win!!! My Herbalife faves to help fuel your gym workouts!

win

Herbalife Pro 20 Select Vanilla Shake

With summer just around the corner there can’t be a better time to start focusing on your healthy eating regime. As someone who is a huge advocate for fitness and healthy eating, I have decided to team up with Herbalife and run a competition so that one of you guys can join me on my Herbalife journey and get fit for the summer!

I’ll be giving away some of the Herbalife faves to help you excel in your gym workouts, so if you’re up for a bit of a challenge, then keep reading to see what you could potentially win if you decide to enter this competition 🙂

 

F1 Healthy Meal Nutritional Shake

F1 Healthy Meal Nutritional Shake

F1 Healthy Meal Nutritional Shake

This best selling product is free from soya, lactose and gluten! The vanilla flavour tastes amazing but it comes in about six other flavours too. One portion contains about 220 cals and 18g of protein when mixed with dairy-free milk. This shake is incredibly filling and creamy to taste when mixed with milk. It helps to know that it does a stellar job at keeping sweet cravings at bay! 🙂

Aloe Vera Concentrate

Herbalife Aloe Vera Concentrate

Herbalife Aloe Vera Concentrate

For someone who was never versed at drinking water regularly, this aloe concentrate helped me immensely. Three capsules of this concentrate gives water a citrus taste making it more likely to drink throughout the day, which as you probably know, is important for regular gym goers. A glass of this aloe concentrate helps soothe the stomach and promotes good intestinal health making it work like a shower for your inside! 🙂

Herbalife PRO 20 Soy Protein Select

Herbalife PRO 20 Soy Protein Shake

Herbalife PRO 20 Soy Protein Shake

While this is still very new to the gang, it deserves a few minutes (or sentences) of fame. This shake is another dairy free shake by Herbalife, except it contains soy protein. While I am quite restrictive in how much soy I consume, I had to become accustomed to the taste. Thankfully it didn’t take very long with this vanilla flavour!  One serving of this contains 20g of protein and 146 calories. To top things off, it comes with a scoop – oh, the little things! 🙂

DO YOU WANT TO WIN THESE HERBALIFE PRODUCTS!?  🙂

(This giveaway is now closed. The winner is Isabel Antonio, Galway)

Herbalife Pro 20 Select Vanilla Shake

To be in with a chance of winning a brand new packet of my my Herbalife faves, you must do the following:

Terms & Conditions:

You must be a resident of Ireland or the UK. You must be over the age of 18 and if you live with your parents you must consent from them to enter this competition as the winner will be required to give me their address in order to have the prize sent out to them. There will only be one winner. This person will have 24 hours to claim their prize, otherwise another winner will be chosen in their place. Giveaway begins on the 12th of March and ends on March 31st at 9pm.

Best of luck to everyone who decides to partake in this giveaway, may the odds be in your favour! 🙂

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To read more about some of the other Herbalife products I love, then have a read of this blog post or check out my video review on YouTube. Full disclaimer here

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Posted on March 8, 2018

Today is International Women’s Day…but what does being a woman mean in 2018?

Sexuality/ women

Disclaimer: This blog post is referring to my own subjective experience of being a cis woman and my dealings with cis men. It is in no way to refer to trans or non binary people, I support them in their journeys and I would never want for this blog post to denounce their gender identity. New experience has taught me that the metrics I use to measure my womanhood are not representative of every woman, they are unique and very central to me (I may touch on the “why?” at a later time). I have no intention of being exclusionary as I wrote this blog from my own personal perspective, which inherently is that of a cis woman. I recognise that not all women identify as women in a similar way to me – and I think these differences should be celebrated! Outside of this discussion, we are all human and that is all that matters! I hope you enjoy this read and I look forward to hearing your feedback 🙂

Without further ado….

What does being a woman mean in 2018?

For all of human history, there have only ever been two sexes: male and female. What separated one from the other is that a male (or a man) has the tools to impregnate a female and a female (or woman) has the reproductive organs to carry out said pregnancy. Simple, right? I’m afraid not.

In our current climate of the Post-Truth era, it is becoming increasingly difficult for people to define what I have always considered to be basic biology. The rise of gender theory and the concept that gender is non-binary and is something that can be chosen by an individual, is creating a landscape in which it is seemingly no longer acceptable to rely on simple biology to determine the things we have always known to be a factually true.

Gender theory removes fixed biological determinants for what makes someone a man or in this debate, what makes a person a woman. It proposes the idea that sex and gender are two completely different categories thus those who are born as male and consequently have male appendages can someday be women simply by saying so.

It more or less looks like this….

While I take no issue with how people choose to present themselves to the world, I personally feel that the contribution of science is something that we cannot ignore, especially when it comes to matters of what being a woman means. The notion that sex and gender are completely uncorrelated perpetuates a free-for-all world where males can be women and females can be men and as someone who has lived and experienced a lot of complexities that not only come from being born a woman, but also be born a woman of colour, I feel that maintaining such an idea devalues my unique female experiences. It fails to acknowledge some of the pressures that I was faced with being born a woman, but most of all I think it  reduces me to just one thing.

I do not have a personal problem with people who choose to identify as the gender that differs from the one they feel they were assigned to at birth, and being a woman who takes an interest in fitness and muscle building – something that some people may view as being typically  ‘masculine,’ I understand that masculinity and femininity can be shaped culturally. However, I also have a degree in Statistics, a mathematical science. So when I ask what a woman is, that question is being driven by the logical part of my soul. The part of me  that is responsible for logic and truly wants to get to the bottom of this sex and gender debate – if at all possible.

I have always been fascinated by the human body and its capabilities and it goes without saying that there is an abundance of scientific research that shows biological differences between men and women. The set of biological traits that differentiate women from men are things that I feel should be celebrated. In fact, some of them are things that I pride myself on.

As a woman I am empowered by my ability to give endlessly and selflessly and offer empathy to those who don’t deserve it. As a woman I am empowered by the relentless fight fought by female activists up to 100 years ago that led to women having the choices we have today. But most of all, as a woman, I am empowered by the fact that I have the tools to bring life to this world. 

Let’s be clear…

That’s not to say that women who cannot bear children are not real women. That’s no criticism on women with a history of miscarriages because they have struggles carrying a full term pregnancy. And it most certainly does not mean that women who choose not to have kids are lesser.

Are we clear on that?

I have my own personal reasons for why I shape my womanhood in the manner that I do and I understand that what empowers me might not empower every other woman out there. But…

I cannot change what makes me feel like a woman.

We all have different versions for what we think constitutes a woman and I am aware that what is true to me may not be necessarily true to every other woman. The variables that I use to define what makes make me a woman are for me and I understand that in a society that is ever growing and changing, it is not the same across the board. Which is why I ask….

What is a woman and what does it mean to be a woman in 2018?

My biggest fear surrounding the current dialogue around this topic is the greater impact of such a narrative. If we say that gender is non-binary and that people can claim membership for whichever gender they see fit then it takes science off the table completely.  If we don’t have a certain set of rules governing what makes a man and what makes a woman, and if we as a collective society cannot decide how to define these terms, then what are the implications for our future generations?

In a perfect world we would have a civilisation where each and every person could live as their best and most authentic self. But unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world and that is why I think it is important to engage with these questions and have these discussions.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, let’s pick each other’s brains a bit. Let’s explore the meaning of womanhood and all the beauty that it encompasses: ask yourself, what is a woman and what does it mean to be a woman in 2018? 🙂

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Happy International Women’s Day to all the ladies who identify as such x

[Last Updated: on Sunday 18th March at 7.00pm]

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