The Secret

I’m not about to let something out that lies deep in my heart, even though I may not have much there to share. I have always felt I am an  open book. Speaking of books, that is The Secret I am talking about. I read this book by Rhonda Byrne many years ago, when everyone else was reading it. I bought myself a copy, read it, got inspired, and started applying it to life.

I then gifted my copy to my brother because I felt it would help him a lot but I am not sure he made any use of it. Well, not that I know of, anyway.

I won’t go on and on about what this book is all about but I will say that it does confirm something that I have known ever since I was a child. What you give out is what you get back. It could be your thoughts, your deeds, your generosity, your good vibes, anything. The energy within you attracts the similar energy and it comes back hundred-fold.

I’ve been told I’m nauseatingly positive. I don’t know about the nauseating part but I do know that I make a great effort to keep myself and my thought process positive, and all this because I selfishly want good things to happen to me and to the people I love.

Read the book and feel your thought process change. There’s no voodoo or any rituals you have to do. There is no need to invest in buying happiness or peace. The only thing you have to do is stay focused on the positive and good will happen.

It’s not a Secret anymore…

@kamz26

The Secret
The Secret

Bonjour France! 

For the longest time ever, the romantic notions tied to Paris and the Eiffel Tower have always appealed to me. Those Mills & Boon books I read as a teenager cemented in my mind that falling in love, being romantic, going for long walks, candlelit dinners with clunking of Champagne only ever happens in France, and especially Paris. 

The journey began with a quick detour in United Kingdom, a 21st birthday party attended with full jet-lag and some ski gear shopping thrown in. 

Because of the heavy partying the night before, the shopping was a bit of a chore. Yes, I know. Even I gasped at myself. 

An early morning trek to Gatwick airport was uneventful. The hired car was returned without ceremony and way was made towards the terminal. A quick self-check in, a panini breakfast and a quick stroll around the shops later, we headed towards the designated departure gate. 

Taking off from Gatwick, I could barely see much of what was going on due to the heavy fog but a few thousand feet above in the air and it seemed like I was on the way to Mombasa because of the blue skies and sun. 


I loved how from low visibility we were suddenly flying amongst blue skies! 


We landed at Geneva airport and from there we were going to get a luxury coach to Courchevel. I was like a delighted little child seeing the snow! 


Before we knew it, without any ado, we were suddenly in France. We passed a toll station which indicated that we had crossed the border. 


Before too long we were at the coach station to change coaches to get to Courchevel. 


The French Alps are stunning, no doubt, and I was most certainly in awe of the white mountainous region. I probably thought of every cliched word to describe the breathtaking view, which, by the way, the photographs do no justice to. 


I’m really looking forward to the adventures tomorrow because I’m going to learn how to ski for the first time. More on that tomorrow! 

@kamz26 

Mumm’s the word!


It’s always such a pleasure to receive an invitation to try out Nairobi’s finest food and drink, handpicked by EatOut Kenya and SHK Consulting. An invitation to a private champagne brunch was a welcome sight in the inbox and I promptly accepted. 

The brunch was being hosted at the lush and serene Zen Gardens on Lower Kabete Road. Cyrus Ndegwa, the supervisor, warmly welcomed us and led us to our reserved table and talked us through what to expect. We were served by Patrick for the rest of the afternoon and were introduced to Charles, who is the head barman at Zen Gardens. 

I always like to ask at restaurants what food can be paired with what I’m drinking and since we were going to indulge in Mumm Champagne, Cyrus recommended steamed foods. We chose the Zen Dimsum platter and the Maki Sushi Set which are for sharing. I also requested the prawn cigar rolls which happen to be my most favourite item on their menu! 

Top Left: Prawn Cigar Rolls. Top Right: Mixed Dimsum sharing platter. Bottom: Maki Sushi Set

Charles then invited us to the bar, on request, to watch the cocktails being made. The first cocktail we tried was a Mummosa. This is your regular mimosa given an extra oomph with Mumm Cordon Rouge Champagne

Mummosa

This was followed by, what I feel was a personal favourite, Strawberry Mummy. I’m a fan of strawberries and when cocktails include decadent bubbles AND strawberries, it’s a win-win situation. 

Strawberry Mummy

By now we had finished our meal and decided to order dessert. My kids always say that food goes to the tummy and dessert goes to the soul. I strongly agree with that and Patrick suggested we try the passion cheesecake. 

Good choice because the next cocktail was The Passionate Mumm. As the name suggests, the passion was definitely derived from the fresh passion fruit pulp topped with Mumm champagne. 

The Passionate Mummy

You can never go wrong with the food, ambience and service at Zen Gardens, and if I didn’t have another commitment to honour, I would have stayed there all day sipping away delicately these lovely champagne cocktails and Instagramming them on @kamz26. I did manage to put a few pictures up so do check out Instagram too. 

Coming up shortly, I’ll share the cocktail recipes of all three drinks we had. 🍾🍹 

Doodling and Anger Management 

I have finally finished this doodle. A lot of thinking has gone into it! I usually don’t doodle for creative reasons. It’s because I’m thinking of something that needs to be sorted in my head before I negatively react to it. 

I’ve always done this since I was a kid. Mum often recalls that when I’d be upset, angry or in need to destroy my siblings, I would turn to drawing or painting. 

As I grew older, I turned to being creative for anger management. I’m glad I’m not out there running amok destroying lives! 

What do you do to manage your thought process and anger? Tweet me! @kamz26 

Is inheriting from your parents a right or a privilege?

happy kids

We inherit genetics from our parents, and that’s a given. Is it a must that we also inherit what they own? I’ve often thought about this and don’t agree with it at all. I’ll tell you why, and I’ll run this through you by my own example.

I’ve watched my parents, for the longest time ever, struggle to get their business up and running. They were kicked out of the house because (God forbid!) they had a love marriage, which was really looked down upon in the 60s. Their love must have overcome everything because without a penny in his pocket, two children and a wife to look after, my father struggled to put food on the table. Eventually he started off a business with his friends, and they turned out to be vile humans who conned him out of his business so he was back to Square One. He didn’t give up. He started yet another business, and by this time, my little sister was old enough to go to school (she was born when Dad was starting up the first business) and Mum joined him once the photo lab was up and running.

Between the two of them, the business rose and became very successful, with a couple of branches in the city and in Mombasa too. Suddenly the family that kicked them out decided it was ok to be around them and most of the past was left right there.

I often sit and wonder, why do people think they really should be given what their parents have earned in their lifetime to their children? If my Mum has any jewellery, for her to pass it on to me or my sister, or even my sister in law is not our right. It’s an honour and a privilege. She can easily give it to her sisters, or whoever she feels like giving it away to. If I am to receive such a generous gift from her, I will keep it to pass it on to my daughter as her legacy.

Having watched my father struggle so hard and become so successful in life, I have learned the best lessons in life from him. Work hard and it surely pays off. Never have your hand and begging bowl out to ask for things from people. Work hard for it and you’ll surely get it. Having watched my parents work hard and be successful is the reason why I stand strong and proud today. I never sued the ex husband for any alimony at all. I didn’t earn it (and truth be told, neither did he – it was all his father’s hard work) so I didn’t for a minute think I had rights to that.

So if you are being given something by your parents, either while they are alive or as an inheritance after they pass away, be grateful and thankful for what you have. Unless you have actively played part in building your parents’ wealth, in my very strong opinion, you are not owed anything at all. Your parents have educated you, brought you to a point where you are self-sufficient and able to earn your own living. My father was thirteen when he quit school and started earning to put food on the table. So despite not being formally educated, he worked hard and put his mind to it and made a success of himself. His life partner stood by him and ensured he didn’t sign any more of his hard earned money to dodgy friends who were out to con him.

It’s a privilege, not a right, to inherit something from our parents. Be grateful. Not many get anything at all.

 

Twitter: @kamz26

 

 

 

When a relationship ends

68800-_letting_go_by

People come and go from your life. Relationships come to an end because people stop getting on with each other, or maybe they die and leave one person behind mourning for them. You become from best friends, to lovers to someone you used to know. The most painful in all this is the transition from being heartbroken, angry and upset to learning to move on.

I found some fantastic tips to get over a breakup and I’m sharing them with you:

 

  1. Take time out to grieve.Recognise the intense and sometimes conflicting emotions you’re experiencing and accept that you won’t be at your best for a while. It’s okay to give yourself a break.
  2. Remember grief lessens with time.It might seem easier said than done, but try to remind yourself that things will get easier after a while.
  3. Don’t go through it alone.Isolating yourself can make the grief more difficult to cope with; support networks will help you get through this difficult time. If you don’t feel you can share your feelings with family or friends, post your thoughts on the Couple Connection forum to get advice and support from our online community.
  4. Remind yourself of the future.It may feel hard to let go of the hopes and dreams you held for your past relationship, but it’s important to remember you have a new future to embark on and encourage yourself with the knowledge that new hopes and dreams will eventually replace the old ones.
  5. Find new interests. Try to see the breakup as an opportunity for new beginnings. Take up a new hobby that attracts like-minded individuals; get into sport and revamp your image; or use dating or social networking sites to make new friends – all of these things will help improve your confidence, take your mind off the break up, and encourage you to have fun again.

What happens when a relationship ends because of death? That can be really difficult to deal with at times. First things first, don’t isolate yourself. Talk to people. It always helps. While after a break up your first reaction is to throw out the gifts you were given, sometimes a departed one’s possessions bring you peace. I remember sobbing into my father in law’s white shawl after he passed away. I grieved by reading his letters, his books, looking at his photos and remembering the good times and I always had that white shawl near me.

Like I said, we all go through some sort of a break up. Relationships end either out of choice or they just abruptly end. Either way, you must learn to let it go and move on. No, you cannot erase the memories you have had with that person and no you cannot just wake up one day and pinpoint that that was the day you finally got over the person who left you. It’s a gradual process and it takes time. Allow yourself this time, allow yourself to grieve for yourself, for what was or might have been, but don’t dwell on it too long.

Here’s to a very healing future.

Twitter: @kamz26

 

YOU AND THE ART OF SELF-DIAGNOSIS

 

self medicate

Hands up if you have turned to Google any medical symptoms, done a thorough self-diagnosis, gone to the pharmacy, self prescribed yourself medicines and thought to yourself that maybe you should have done a medical degree after all.

Now take that hand and and slap yourself hard because self-diagnosis is ridiculous, inaccurate and downright silly. The symptoms given online may match your condition but what if the underlying problem is a bigger one? Then what? I admit to looking for my symptoms online until one fine day I got a virtual slap and had to let go of this stupidity and let the doctors do their job that they are qualified for. It turned out to be more expensive to fix the self-diagnosed damage than to have spent a fraction of that amount on just letting a professional do their job.

This doesn’t just happen in the medical field. A lot of people these days rely on the internet for what they think are verified solutions for just about everything in life. We have armchair psychologists, carpenters, actors, movie directors, relationship advisers, lawyers, baby experts, and the list goes on and on. Everyone seems to be smart enough to use their smartphone but not many seem smart enough to know when to let it be and let the professionals take over.

It will be hilarious to get these self-appointed professionals to do something in their so-called Googled field of expertise to put their money where their mouth is and do what they claim the Internet says to be true.

Gullible is one thing but stupid is a whole new different level. Do leave the professionals to do their job. If, by sheer luck, you have managed to diagnose correctly then just gloat in that glory and let it off as a one-off victory. This does not constitute you open up a practice and claim to be a professional while you are only ever Googling what to do next.

I’ll have you know that I love baking cakes as a hobby. It gives me immense pleasure to make cakes for loved ones but even I know my limits, and despite going on to the Internet for tutorials on how to ice cakes or make a certain kind of a cake, I’d rather the professionals did my formal stuff for me.

I’m all for learning a new skill, adopting a new hobby or even trying my hand at something and take great pride at it. Diagnosing illnesses and prescribing medications will never ever be your forte unless you have painstakingly studied this field and have passed your exams and gotten your degrees through unquestionable institutions.

Do us all a favour, including yourself. Use the Internet to keep yourself amused, and try and stay alive. Prescribing yourself medication is never a good idea; even the harmless paracetamol taken wrongly can result in a burst ulcer and turn out to be fatal. Take it from me, I have seen this happen and it is not something one would wish even on their worst enemy. Unless you’re the type inclined on eradicating your enemy!

Twitter: @kamz26

Are we there yet?

 

Remembulations-Jar

So we are at the halfway mark of the first month of the year. This is my cue to ask you how you’re doing with the resolutions if you made any, for me to nosily poke into your life and find out if you are faring like I am… just about making it!

You see, this year, I decided there is no point in even trying to make any resolutions. I can never ever stick to them. I always say I will go more regularly to the gym, read more, spend less time on my mobile device, deactivate my social media accounts and whatnot. I might as well go live in a hut at the foothills of the Himalayas if that’s exactly what I want to do but I clearly don’t because I wouldn’t repeat this list annually.

This year, I decided to get all fancy and do something that I had seen on Pinterest. The suggestion was to get a jar and call it my Remebulations Jar in which you basically write a kind note to yourself, or write an achievement, no matter how big or small, and you stick it into the jar. Then at the end of the year, or even month, you check your progress by reading those lovely things that you achieved and you have a great feeling about yourself.

I saved this idea and was determined to do it. It was easy and it didn’t require me to write on a daily basis, like the journals I promised myself every year that I would start filling in. There should have been nothing to deter me except my own will and I must say that as soon as the year started, my get up and go just got up and went. I have no idea what happened to my need to pop into the local supermarket while buying the usual bread and milk, how I didn’t wander to the aisle where they have these fancy jars and pick one up.

At home I had glitter, gold spray paint and fancy ribbons all set to make the jar look pretty. I even got fancy little coloured papers to neatly write on them my ‘remembulations’ and how could I have not bought myself a pen? I was all ready except that I didn’t have a jar.

Two weeks into the new year, I still don’t have a jar. I have returned the glitter back into the craft supply cupboard and here I am, pounding away at my laptop while glancing at my phone as I write this.

I have realised that making any sort of resolutions or major lifestyle changes are just not what I am all about. Yes, I want to be healthier but until I don’t get up and do something about it, there is no way that anything can be done miraculously, or better yet, like in the Bollywood movies, with a lot of background dancers at every situation, no less.

If I am to make something happen, it is my will that will do it. No jar or journal will suddenly tip me over and I wake up one fine day and I have turned over a new leaf. I know myself too well. I can be pretty obstinate like that, and it’s always to my loss. No. This one I will have to work out for myself and make it happen. I will have to want it really badly to make it happen. I will want to get out of my rut and my comfort zone and then start seeing the difference in my life.

Look at that. Even I know it will take me to get to a better me so why don’t I do it? I have no idea. Let me start a journal to start putting my thoughts in order.

Or maybe I should just get off Twitter. Maybe.

Tweet me. @kamz26

When you finally allow your kids to have a Facebook account

 

like on facebook

Last week, as we were still nursing hangovers and trying to stop being in denial that 2016 was finally here, I decided to allow my daughter to have a Facebook account. She’s fifteen now and I have held out for as long as I could, keeping her away from social media. Many of her friends and cousins have been allowed to have social media accounts but when you are a social media manager, you get too see a lot of things that, as a parent, you’re just not ready to expose your children to.

Anyway, with dire warnings, lots of pep talk and promises extracted from her to hold her head up high when conducting herself on social media, I allowed her to have a Facebook account. Straightaway she earned a lot of brownie points because her profile picture was a recent (and rather flattering!) selfie she had taken with me. Within an hour she had forty-three friends and by the next morning she had a hundred more.

Of course I was going to stalk her online and check who her friends were and what was being written on her wall! Many family members had added her and I saw most of her school friends had added her too. For about two days, I kept warning her not to be on Facebook all the time when I realised it was futile to say so, because as soon as school reopened early this week, she calmly told me she’ll be logging out and only check it on weekends, and that it was not all that she had thought it would be.

I wasn’t sure if I should have let out a whoop of joy so I didn’t, but the inner mummy in me channelled this happiness into a rather calm ‘As you wish, darling’ and got on with life. My girl is quite wise for her fifteen years and is turning into a good friend to me. Of course there are lines that have to be drawn but I think my daughter is a cool person to be around – she gets on with people of all ages very quickly and I love that about her. I was the same at her age.

I’ve always maintained that I choose to be my children’s mother instead of their best friend. That formula doesn’t do anything for me. Children need the guidance of parents. They need their mother to be their mother. You see, I have always said that your best friends will come and go, you can always make new ones, but the bond you have with your child as a parent is something that never gets taken away. Build and nurture this relationship. Gone are the days when you could slap your kids into oblivion to make them listen to you or do as your bidding. We may have grown up with imprints of rubber slippers on our backsides but I’m loathe to do that to my kids. A smack on the bottom is what I have meted out, and always felt terrible after doing that but there are times when you need to discipline your child.

I look back and think that as a single mother, I have not done too badly with bringing my kids up alone. They’ve turned out pretty ok despite the circumstances and I do hope they carry on being good humans and bring out their best into the world and learn to give back to society.

I’m sure there are many Facebook pages for that! Ha!

Twitter: @kamz26

 

An apology to my Mum 

My beautiful orchid plant! Maybe I should give it to Mum!

I haven’t wronged my Mum knowingly, not that I know of anyway, but I felt compelled to apologise for something that I feel my karma has caught up with.
Like any good story, one must start at the top. I’ve always loved the trinkets my Mum has owned, I’d get my friends to come over and we would play with her expensive French chiffon and silk Indian scarves, get her saris out and wear them with her high heels and play dress up, take from her dressing table whatever tickled my fancy, help myself to her makeup even though I wasn’t allowed to wear and then hide her favourite lipstick after breaking it because opening it too much then applying it really hard that it breaks.

Aaaah… the good old days of when you could nick anything from Mum and get away with it because Mum loves you and you’ll only be told off a little bit because Mum loves you more than her things.

Fast forward thirty years on, I’m a mother of a teenager and my karma has come back to bite me hard. My daughter thinks nothing of helping herself to my things and ruining them completely. At least I had some fear of getting caught or told off but this new generation that I seem to have given birth to doesn’t care a toss about how hard I have worked to treat myself to that designer lipstick or the perfume I’ve bought myself. She doesn’t touch my clothes because she says my clothes are ‘mummy type’. I didn’t know if I should be offended or flattered at that!

Thankfully my shoes are safe because of several reasons. Her foot is bigger than mine is the first one. Also she’s really tall, almost 5’10” and doesn’t look her 15 years at all. The good thing is that she’s not into playing with my saris but she does go out of her way to destroy my make up. She’s taken to watching YouTube videos and tries all sorts of techniques with my make up and brushes, ruins my palettes, doesn’t clean my brushes and here’s the worst thing – she helps herself to whatever tickles her fancy. This is such a déjà vu moment for me.

I told my mum about this and she started cackling. Yes. Cackling. Not laugh or smile, but a real cackle that had me questioning my birth certificate, wondering if I was the adopted child because of the way she was laughing at me.

Amidst all this sudden mirth that had befallen her, she told me I used to do the same things to her and she used to get pretty annoyed but used to leave me alone to explore and only ever stepped in if I went out of line. Excuse me? I got yelled every time! She cackled again and said, ‘I rest my case’.

They say that the reason why grandparents and grandchildren get along so well is because they have a common enemy. I can now understand why my Mum and daughter always seem to be in cahoots – I was really tight with my Grandma too!

I’m sorry I ruined your things Mum. Now can you PLEASE make your granddaughter stop from ruining MY things? Please!
Twitter: @kamz26