Tag Archives: love

5 Budget-Friendly Ways to Enjoy the Christmas Season

You already know how much I love Christmas and as I mentioned in “Tis The Season” article here https://howiamfeelingtoday.wordpress.com/2018/12/13/1413/, it’s all about the traditions and the little things. So I put together a very short list to help you get into the season if you haven’t yet or enjoy the season on a very cheap budget 🙂 Here it goes:

1.Enjoy a free light show – the holidays always usher in a ton of fun activities like light shows around attractions or museums which can costs a pretty penny. You can still enjoy all the light show you want without spending too much. Driving around neighborhoods to observe different decorations is a great way to enjoy the light show for free and the kids especially would love it.

2. Watch Christmas movies – Enjoy nonstop Christmas movies on channels like Hallmark, LifeTime and FreeForm. These are some the cheesiest movies you’ll ever see but they guarantee an endless feel-good vibe as well. Might be a bit too dreamy but hey, it’s Christmas and plenty of dreaming is recommended. 🙂

3. Listen to Christmas music – Christmas music definitely sets the mood for the season. So tune into your favorite radio station, most of them usually start playing Christmas music till Christmas day. Or while you’re doing a chore, let the music carry you along. It adds the spring to your step and gives you a feeling of floating on a cloud.

4. Indulge in Christmas snacks – If you are like me and have a bad case of sweet tooth, then of all seasons, this is the time to indulge in all the Christmas cookies, fruit cakes, egg-nog but especially the variety of chocolates. The smooth texture of a chocolate melting in your mouth will definitely take you someplace ethereal.

5. Be with people you love – Finally, more than anything, surround yourself with people you love. When you’re with people you genuinely care about,it doesn’t matter what activity you’re engaged in because spending that time together not only creates memories, but they they bring you joy, happiness. And that is as free as it gets.

This list is no where near exhaustive, so please share any more simple budget-friendly ways to enjoy the holiday season. As always, thanks for stopping by and please don’t forget to subscribe.

Music IS …

I switched from the static/regular radio station in my car last week in search of something new and exciting. Then I stumbled on FM 105.3, little did I know the happiness that lay in wait for me. Almost every song that came on was a beat to jam to. With the volume at humanly- unsafe decibels, I found myself seriously ‘drive-dancing’ with the biggest smile on my face and wondering how I didn’t possibly know of the treasure trove in music that is Latin music.

I can tell you already that J.Balvin is on every remix and that half of the songs you’d hear on 105.3 are by either J.Balvin, Ozuna, Bad Bunny and Maluma. Every other artist is a treat as the aforementioned are in heavy rotation. It probably doesn’t help that most of them sound very similar but who cares – clearly I don’t. One of the treats was a song by CNCO called Bailemos. The song was concluding when I got in the car and the chorus got me hooked but didn’t have enough time to Shazam the song.

And so it is that I went in search for it yesterday by playing a hot Latin mix that popped up on my feed after several failed attempts listening to songs I thought were Bailemos. When I tell you I have been in music heaven all day, it’s an understatement. I caught myself off-guard too, grooving to the awesome sounds at work. Then Sebastian Yatra’s Ya No Tieno Novio came on and I lost my collective cool.

That SONG. I don’t know that I can properly articulate what that song does to me. First off, Spanish is a very sexy language. Then picture yourself, on a pristine bed out in open nature, under the most perfect of weathers, the sun beautifully accentuating your skin as you take in all of that vitamin D. The waves splashing off in a distance and from nowhere, Sebastian starts whispering the words of ‘Ya No Tieno Novio’ in your ears. Oh God, I don’t want to wake up.

I pictured myself doing everything with this song: cooking my favorite meal to it while skipping around in the kitchen, walking the beach with a special someone rubbing each other to its beat, jumping around in skimpy pajama shorts after a long day of work which I actually did 🙂 and finally, allowing bodies and music to be one in rhythm. AH. I would have probably killed the replay button today if that were possible.I cannot believe how fashionably late I am to the Latin music party but Hey , I’m here.

I hope Sebastian knows what a gem he created. If it were up to me, this song should belong to the world music hall of fame.  I might be exaggerating right? I mean I’m no music critic but that’s where I was driving this article to. What qualifies as good music? I think that should be left to the individual to decide based on how they connect to the song, the words, the rhythm. Being that music is a form of art and art is subjective, everyone gets to decide what is good music to them. 

Personally, I consider myself a true citizen of the world with regards to music because I have a vast taste ranging from Zouk, pop, traditional music from my country, jazz, classical music and now you can add Latin music with all of its genres to that repertoire and a host of others. And music I think has just one language – I listen to Latin music with excitement just as I listen to  Nigerian songs in Yoruba or those from my country with dialects I barely understand.  Music for me IS Happiness; I always find myself with the biggest smile on my face, freer with no care and I’m usually a better dancer sitting.  Everyone ever. 🙂 Music does fill my heart in ways I can’t quite explain and for the next couple of days Latin music would have me on cloud 9.

Please share, what is your go to ”Ya No Tieno Novio” song? The one song that puts in every kind of mood. As always, thanks for stopping by and for your listening pleasure, I present to you ‘Ya No Tieno Novio’ By Sebastian Yatra. Thank me later. 🙂








2018 In Review

Hello there!

This is probably going to be one of my worse written pieces ever as I’m fighting the drought of motivation I’ve experienced all year to do an early review of my 2018.

For the first time in a long time, i have had a good year. Not best and not bad either but good. And for that I’m very thankful.

For a pretty drawn-out month, January was actually good. It kicked the year off on a good note since that’s when I got to be permanent in the job I had started the year prior. My anxiety about getting back in the job market without very marketable experience was put to rest. Got in the groove of things, familiarizing myself with work and planning the rest of the year out. If only… Ha!

February came to an end even before it started. Still enjoyed getting acquainted at work and got busy with the arrival of my favorite nephew. It was quite an experience witnessing child birth. Seeing my sister go through the pain, solidified my ‘no -children’ stance which was quickly erased when I saw my nephew’s gorgeous and mesmerizing face. I became a pseudo parent.

March flowed along but almost turned me into a zombie with the many sleepless nights that come with a new baby. It was frustrating at night but by morning, all was forgotten with one look at my nephew’s precious face. While I loved having my sister with me and my nephew, I was damn near ready to go back to regular programming and couldn’t wait for April.

April: Work was fine. Numbers were good and work quality was excellent. Sister and family went back to their residence and FREEDOM at last. I had barely two months to move out and no place secured yet. Cue the maddening yet exciting apartment hunt.

In May, we resumed the stress levels and even rammed it up. Time was ticking on my lease and when I thought nothing else could get worse, got in two accidents within two weeks of each other. The second worse than the first which totaled my car and had me in a rental for a month and half. Never been that terrified in my adult life but thankful to God that it wasn’t worse.

June: In the middle of all the chaos, was able to find a place in time to move. Started working towards that promotion at work and hoped it would happen sooner than later. The crisis situation in my home country still ongoing but thankful for my families’ safety and protection.

July was very uneventful outside of getting a new car I absolutely love. Just thankful to be alive, my family’s continued safety and for the many prospects of growth ahead.

August began with a tiny bit of good news, some stride. Certified Trainer at Work. I became a weekend regular at TJ Maxx and Homegoods looking for rare interior finds. My tiny apartment was coming together.

September: Birthday month. For the first time in a few years, I looked forward to my birthday. There was nothing fancy planned and I disabled all social media notifications so no one would send me unsolicited wishes. It was a quiet day, worked but reminisced afterwards and was thankful for the journey thus far. Interviewed for the promotion and got it.  Yay.

October baby. Started the new role. A lot learning and my cozy apartment gradually coming together.  Put up my tree by the second week and have been happier since. A girl is in love. 🙂

November to remember. Taking stock of the year so far and realizing how very fortunate this year has been. No major illness for me or anyone in my family. New addition to the family and new successes. Siblings graduating, others finding work and promotions. My parents are healthy and we all maintain good communication. Work has been amazing – learning still and scouting for new opportunities.

December: It’s Christmas, my ABSOLUTE favorite time of the year. YAY. Looking forward to all the gatherings with friends, all the food and laughter that will be shared. Looking to close the year out on a good professional note and being mightily thankful for what a good year this has been.

Most importantly, I’d like to say thank you to WordPress for this wonderful platform that allows me express even my silliest of thoughts and for your readership, I’m immensely grateful. That as sporadic as my writing has been this year, I still somehow managed to have one reader at the very least. I write because I love the art, knowing I’m no where near good at it but that you stop by and take time to read my ramblings on screen mean a lot to me. I sure hope you had an uber amazing year as well and close out on an even higher note. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year ahead to you and yours.

THANK YOU. 🙂

Balloons

For The Shame of Living

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Have you found yourself wanting something so badly yet not going after it just because? Or you want to try something new but there’s that small voice asking you “what will people think?”. Better still, you find yourself shying away from the very things you love doing or things that make you happy for no reason? Well, it’s not just because or for no reason, you just might have not identified it yet but it’s called SHAME.

This dawned on me a few days ago. Like I have documented here severally, my weight has always been a sore spot long before I started sharing the struggles from behind a screen. I have tried, failed and continue trying to lose the weight (which I hope it’s a battle where I’d come out swinging) but it never really stopped me from living my life. Or so I thought.

I had never been the paparazzi-picture-loving-kinda-girl from a young age but I was never coy of them either. Until 2 years ago when I stopped taking pictures unwittingly, and when I did, I never posted them to any social site. I had consciously decided to work on losing weight but not on hiding myself through the process until a few weeks ago when I posted my first pictures in 2 years. Only to realize a few days later that shame played a role.

Subconsciously, a tiny voice decided that I was too big to share pictures of myself, what would my friends say when they saw me? what would my parents think? I had let everyone down, not myself but everyone else. This attitude had seeped into my writing sometimes because coming from the cultural background that I do, writers are lazy people and they are broke. I debated for a long time whether or not to share my articles on my social media handles. If I thought the topic was controversial for my followers who are mostly of the same cultural heritage like myself, I didn’t share it and vice versa.

Whether I intentionally thought these through or not, they were affecting my life. I stopped living and went on making any and every excuse possible, most times school was the culprit. Having graduated now, I can’t use that as an excuse anymore. In a few months I would be 30 years old and I want to get there living my life unashamedly.

If you find yourself in the same spot as me, then just like me, you should know it is never too late and get ready to start living your best life. I am an advocate of “live and let live” and I pride myself a pretty open-minded gal for an African, precisely Cameroonian. And at almost 30, I have better things to worry about than what people think of me especially when their opinions are insignificant. My happiness is important and part of it is doing what I love regardless of acceptance, of differing opinions or dissenting views.

We are all clay in the Potter’s hands, that means we are still being molded. I hear it all the time but it never clicked for me until last month – to leave intentionally. For me it means not just coasting along anymore, stop going through the motions and think through all my actions. Part of that is living my truth; while I work on my weight, the reality is this is me right now. This is who is in-front of me and I have to love her before anybody else would, show her off and treat her to moments that make her feel cherished, loved and appreciated. This body too is the temple of God, it is a work in progress and I have no idea when the maker would be done with it.

Stop the shame of living your truth, of being in the way of your own happiness and caring so much what people would say. Live intentionally in the moment and trust the master sculptor to perfect what is good and right in your life. As I wait for Him to finish this master piece, I would be enjoying every moment given me – intentionally. Have a wonderful weekend Lovelies.

Of These I Dream Of You…

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I know every line on your face; the permanent wrinkles on your forehead stressed from past unrequited love, the dent in your cheeks when you are amused and the crease in your chin when you laugh too hard. I like that these lines are my secret window into your soul; revealing your angst when you’re trying to be calm, unveiling your passion when you’re trying to be brave and showing your tenderness when you’re trying to be tough. I know all the lines in your face because I have dreamt it up more times than I can remember. It’s not only the face, it’s your being and the experiences that sum-up the man you are. Of these I dream of you.

That our meeting would be an epic comedic scene that even Jim Carrey couldn’t conceptualize if he tried to. And whether it’s in public or private, you would have eyes for no one else but me because in that moment, you’d be too entranced by my aura and vying for my attention desperately. Some wooing dates later and we would be an official pair, caught up in our own love story – an extraordinary love affair.

I dream of every moment spent with you being an adventure; that even though we are celibate, we’re comfortable exploring the subject. How you make me feel like the only girl in the world with your piercing glare and how even in the silence, you are one with my soul.

I have dreamed of the fights too and boy do they terrify me. That I would loose the one best thing that has happened to me in a while because of a loud mouth that must always blab everything that comes to it. How the need to assert my independence makes you proud yet frustrated. That all these years later, I never learned how not to pick my nose and how you hate that I am really not as confident as I’d like people to think.

I would dream of you choosing us over and over again when we seem to be at the end of our road. How you’d embrace my family and make it yours, and how you’d be the friend that my friends don’t talk to often but when they do, you had never left. That every tear shed braises your heart to reaffirm to you why you’d try hard to never see them again.

And I dream that home would be anyplace we are together, that you’d cherish my random dancing spurts and tolerate my temporary insanities. That when my weight retreats me into a cocoon, you’d know just how to bring me out. And I’d love how despite these, you’d love me aggressively. I dream that you’d come to appreciate my over vivid imaginations sometimes, because as you can already tell, I live in my head a lot. These are the things I dream of you.

Tall, Dark & Handsome Please!!!

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Add a dash of christian, preferably born-again, a hint of faithfulness and a scoop of financial stability. And oh, while at it, sprinkle good-dresser and well-articulated to garnish. Sounds familiar? Yep. These are the many requirements that ladies walk around with in their heads on the daily. Men have their list of requirements as well, reverse the aforementioned, and you have yourself a requirements list for women.

The relationship topic has been over-flogged I know, but stay with me for a bit as I explore another dimension that to me, I rarely read about. Just like any woman out there, I have qualities that I seek out in a man. As I have gotten older, those qualities have changed a lot. Whereas I might have had 10 things on that list, now I pretty much look for just one which was never there. It sprung on me by surprise because it wasn’t something I even thought of. But as my perspective on life changed with time and I got to encounter different people and places, that list of requirements morphed into this single quality.

The list changed because I realized, that is the one thing I would comfortably bring to the platform which would trickle down to other things. This got me thinking about how many people, both men and women meet the requirements of their own list? I consider myself a feminist who advocates for the equal treatment and right of both genders. By that, what a woman is seeking for in a man, she should be able to bring to the table as well and vice versa.

Speaking with a friend recently, he lamented on relationships being a give-give situation where one person is always giving while the other is always taking, and in his biased opinion, women always took. I told him about a saying I heard once which is; “You cannot give what you don’t have”. This explains why people find themselves in unpleasant “situation-ships” except for a few.

Why would anyone have as a requirement from a potential partner to be financially buoyant when they themselves are not? What gives you the confidence to go out seeking for a six pack, when you have a flat pack? Most baffling of all, why do you need him to be a born-again christian when you’ve barely seen the 4-walls of a church in months? You don’t have to match him penny for penny, prayer for prayer or six pack to six pack to request that. You at least need to be working towards that or have met half of your own requirements. Otherwise, what gives you the right to demand these qualities from someone else when you do not possess them yourself?

I have an “aunt” who advises all the time that when it comes to relationships “stick to your kind”. Half the time she is referring to sticking to your race but I would switch it to mean stick to the standards you bring. The truth is, if we observe the world keenly, you would have realized that people almost always stick to their social class when finding a life partner. Sure we have a few cases of a prince/princess dating/marrying below his rank (Kate Middleton anyone?) but those cases are few and far between.

While it makes sense for one to hold themselves in very high esteem and therefore demand high standards, at the same time, we need to give ourselves reality checks sometimes. So when next you are adding a must-have quality in a partner on your requirements list, ask yourself if you bring that quality to the table as well. If not, what are you doing to get yourself on that list because just as you have a list, so does the partner you are looking for. Do your lists match?

Have a blessed day lovely people and as always, thank you for stopping by. I appreciate the time you took to read and if you loved it, please share. And oh, share your thoughts, do you think it is appropriate to require things that you cannot give from a potential partner?

Christians Need Therapy Too!

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A few months back, I shared my experience about visiting a counselor and how it almost didn’t happen. Two reasons why it almost didn’t happen: my cultural background (Cameroonian/African) and my faith. In that post, I shared why many Africans look down on counseling/therapy because our culture doesn’t support sharing your worries or concerns with ‘strangers’ and so do Christians.

Christians believe that anyone who calls themselves Christ’s-follower, should not have need for a counselor or therapist because Christ is all you need. As a Christian, I agree that Christ is all you need to get you through life in good and bad times. But there are times when the soul is so bogged down that it needs a place of release.

I know some would argue that there are christian counseling centers, which I agree but how well are they being used. The idea of counseling is still somewhat new in Christian circles and although these counseling services exist, how many churches actually encourage their members to use them? Some churches would actually make the individual feel guilt about their intent to use counseling because to them, you should speak to one person only who is Jesus.

The teaching of seeking God’s face and going to him in prayers no matter the season in your life is a very good one that all Christians should practice. But there are times when you want to speak to another person who would provide some kind of feedback and  that’s where counseling comes in. James 5:6 says “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working”.

For those who are not catholic and do not believe in confessing to a priest, what then is the best alternative of speaking to someone with a better understanding and even a calling to guide you as you navigate Christianity? I would think that would be counselor, but in this case let’s make it a Christian counselor. I think maybe that’s one of the meanings of that verse, to seek out a Christian counselor who would guide you.

I think at some points in our lives, we all find the need to have that one person we can confide in; that one person who would listen to us unequivocally, provide sound advice or feedback, and wouldn’t judge us for the things we share with them and who can assure discreetness with the information shared. Some are fortunate to have friends who play this role and some not very much. Sometimes, even with the presence of friends who we can trust, you just need a stranger who is completely neutral.

Counseling does not take away from your time with God or does not negate your relationship with Him. If anything, it should strengthen it because after speaking with a counselor, they often times advice, motivate and encourage the ‘counselee’. In the case that it is a Christian counselor, they seek out Christian methods to help you deal with that situation. It might just be recommending biblical passages that were unknown to you, or a biblical based group where you get support from each other or better still, provide ways to better live as a Christian with regards to that particular concern.

Our families and friends each have roles they play in our lives; some are fortunate to have those they can turn to when seeking for counsel and guidance, others not so much. For those ones I suggest trying counseling or therapy. Seek out a Christian-focused counselor or therapist who is credible and who has testimonials. Because sometimes, we need physical interaction, communication, reassurance that no matter the turmoil that is brewing within, God would calm it all down. So don’t be afraid to see one or seek one and feel no guilt for doing so. The important thing is that you get the help you need before it is too late.  Sometimes, it takes a counselor to reassure us of that TRUTH.