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Vivid, Vibrant and Alive

Today, I offer you a splash of beautiful yellow blossoms captured during my morning walk.

Yellow, Blossoms, Flower, Nature

Yellow, Blossoms, Flower, Nature

There’s simply something sweet about yellow that screams vibrant and alive to me always. I guess it’s the brightness of the colour.

Also knowing the certain positive associations to the yellow colour makes it even more attractive.

Yellow speaks of happiness, hope, sunshine, warmth, cheerfulness, draws attention, positivity, clarity, energy, enlightenment, optimism, freshness, loyalty, joy, intellect and so much more.

May you find lots of happiness in your day today.

This one of the lovely beats I enjoy listening to. Easy Like Sunday Morning by Lionel Ritchie.

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Just a thought

Image result for images of thinking gif

Recently, someone told me that they can’t stand unnecessarily good people because they don’t believe that people are that good.

As a matter of fact, they get suspicious when people are good to them.

What a sad way to think :/

I still believe that there are loads of beautiful and good people in today’s World and you are one of them 🙂

Show some meaningless kindness to someone today.

Blessed be.

Jacqueline

Cooking for my family – Jollof Rice with beef, fried plantain and salad.

Jollof_Rice[1]

Jollof rice is a staple dish eaten in most West African homes and though I am not living in my home country, Nigeria, a lot of our native dishes feature big time on my menu each week.

As a busy mum, I try to cook a large pot that will serve my family at least twice. This is time saving and grants me some respite on some evenings when I can just kick back a little and not sweat over the cooking pot.

So, from my cooking pot, I bring you my own modified version of jollof rice. Modified in the sense that I added some vegetables. I always seek ways of sneaking in extra veggies for my children in as much as my younger son finds time to pick the peas, he still gets to eat a good portion.

Recipe:

 

  • 1.5 kg Uncle Bens long grain parboiled rice
  • 1 kg of fresh, red tomatoes blended with red bell peppers, chilli pepper, ginger and garlic.
  • Beef or Chicken (depending on your families taste. I use both)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 large onion or 2 medium onions
  • 3 cooking spoons of vegetable oil. I use Canola oil.
  • 4 Knorr cubes
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 3 tsp curry powder – if I find Nigerian curry powder all the better ‘cos it’s more aromatic.
  • 450 gms of diced vegetables.
  • 1 tin of pureed tomato paste to add more colour – optional.

Preparation:

I prepared the tomato stew by boiling the tomatoes first to lose to lose excess water, then fry the dried blend in the vegetable oil and spice.

Most times I make the stew before hand and keep in the freezer so that whenever I want to cook jollof rice it’s a question of using the prepared stew and it can also be used to eat other meals like boiled yam, beans…

Cook your meat with curry, garlic, thyme, salt, ground pepper, Knorr cubes and chopped onions. The cooking time depends on the type of meat and how soft you want it. You can also fry or grill the meat depending on your taste.

Parboil the rice by boiling it. Rinse the parboiled rice and leave it in a colander to drain.

Cooking Steps:

  1. Pour your meat stock and the tomato stew into a sizeable pot and leave it to boil.
  2. When it boils, add the parboiled rice, curry powder, salt and pepper to taste. The quantity of water should be at the same level with the rice to ensure that the rice doesn’t get too soggy by the time it’s cooked.
  3. Cover the pot and cook on low to medium heat. Jollof rice has the tendency to burn so keeping it on reduced heat helps to prevent it from burning so much before the water dries up.
  4. Normally, the rice will be done by the time the water is dry but if not, add more water in small quantities and keep cooking on reduced heat till done.

When it’s cooked, you can serve with fried plantains and salad.

It usually serves us twice even with generous helpings 🙂

Enjoy your day today.


Below is my first just published Poetry Book “Out of the silent breath” which is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

When you buy my book, you support me in an invaluable manner.

 

‘A Richly Layered and Passionate Read.’ Jan Cliff

Out of the silent breath

 

 

 

Parenting in the Diaspora – A guest post from Joan.

Today’s guest post is brought to us by Joan and indeed she raises pertinent thoughts for those of us who are raising children outside our home countries.

How do we maintain our heritage while living in the diaspora? How do we pass on our culture to these younger generations even as they also embrace those of the places where they are being raised?

Please feel free to contribute to the discussion with your constructive feedback.

If you are interested in guest posting, you can check out this link.

For many parents, raising children in the Diaspora especially the US is such a daunting task. The reasons are many; however, cultural difference is a leading factor.

The African culture is far different from that in the Western world. This presents a serious dilemma for parents. Those that can afford or have got a proper structure back home usually send their children back home so that they learn the African values and mingle with the people. However, what can the rest do in order to keep their children more of Africans?

One thing to consider is that children learn by observing, so what are you showing them? What are you saying to them? That matters a lot from the word go. You can’t be perfect as the cultures around will obviously rub off on you in one way or another, but they will not completely change you.

As you raise your children, this is the best time to relish the African in you, hence pass it on to your babies. Besides that, children are resilient, they will know when a mistake is made, and that is if you care to acknowledge your mistakes before them.

They will also know when you are living a hypocritical life. That is when they will go out there to look for what is real. There is no harm in acknowledging your mistakes, for, through them, we learn. It also teaches them a lot such as the beauty of humility.

Another thing to note is that children are affected by nature (biologically and spiritually acquired traits) and nurture (traits acquired from surroundings).

Therefore, it would be great to surround your children with people that will positively impact their lives. In addition to that, take them to African churches, and then make it a point to make friends of families that cherish the same values as you do. That will in a long way help with raising a child that will give you joy.

While at church, encourage your children to join the various church groups, more so those that help them have a deeper understanding of their heritage. Besides that, when your little ones are deeply absorbed in Christianity from the get-go, their roots are more firmly established than when they start doing it at an earlier stage.

You could also enforce a policy where only the local language is spoken within the house. This is not as easy as it sounds more so when the children enrol into school.

However, even if they just have a basic comprehension, it is better than nothing at all. If it is possible, you could also try and live in communities that resonate with your specific African background.

You may not be able to send your children back home for extended stays for one reason or another. However, you could organise a trip for them back home once in their youth life. This will help them have a deeper understanding and appreciation of their culture, society and country on a whole. They will also get a chance to meet their extended family and better their local language prowess.

In as much as it is not easy to raise your child in the Diaspora, not all hope is lost.

Happy Parenting!

P.S. You can connect with Joan, the guest author on her blog Family, parenting and beyond where she shares her stories, aspirations, tips on parenting, family life and much more.


Below is my first just published Poetry Book “Out of the silent breath” which is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

When you buy my book, you support me in an invaluable manner.

 

I absolutely love this book of poems. My favorites are “Love Rations” (for those who love to give the silent treatment) and “Beggars Supper” (which definitely pulls at the heart strings). Two thumbs up!!

Out of the silent breath

Embracing My Quirkiness….The great book of lists.

Dolls[1]

La Duchesse gave us a prompt ’embracing my quirkiness,’ that not only made me laugh but also made me spend a little time looking at those itty-bitty sides of me that though they may not be original, are part of me, like dusting of freckles or the little mole that occupies a part of your body.

I’m showing you my clay feet and it’s possible that the list is longer than this, but I’ll keep it short so that you don’t run away into the bush to get away from me 😉

  1. I am a touchy feely person, especially with those who I feel close to (but it’s not uncommon for me to hug a new found friend).
  2. I nibble my husband’s food when he’s eating. This used to drive him nutty, but 16 years has made him soften, that he now feeds me himself 😉
  3. I doodle while thinking or listening intently. I have no idea why, but I hear clearly this way.
  4. I carry a notepad everywhere. Everywhere!
  5. I could go for eons without remembering to watch TV. Just leave me with sufficient books, a thick notepad, and music, please 🙂
  6. I watch people’s feet and mentally try to build a fictitious life about them. Please don’t ask me why.
  7. I make up nonsensical songs about anything and sing when cooking. I think I borrowed the singing when cooking from my mother. She did it all through my growing up years and she’s been in the choir like forever.
  8. I always start a conversation with a total stranger; in a safe vicinity of course.
  9. I write to deal with issues on my mind. I pick it apart on a piece of paper.
  10. Okay, I am a die-hard romantic and still enjoy my Harlequin romances et al… feel free to wiggle your eyebrows 😉
  11. I collect itty-bitty silly dolls and give them names.
  12. I am always barefoot at home; pregnant or not. I just like the coolness of the floor under my feet and only put them into my cozy froggy footwear just before bedtime. I’m still trying to understand that.

Thank you for bearing with me and not running off by now. I’ll be watching your feet 😉

Jacqueline


Below is my first just published Poetry Book “Out of the silent breath” which is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

When you buy my book, you support me in an invaluable manner.

Stars, Five Stars, Logo, Icon, Symbol, Five, Rating

I have to say I’m in awe and spellbound by her poetry. She is amazing at describing love and life in her poems. She creates such beautiful images with her words. Truly, she is a talented writer and I’m so excited to have her poetry book and to continue reading through it.

Out of the silent breath

Breakfast is served! Good morning, This morning.

Breakfast

I am trying to switch up my nutrition pattern.

Toss out some stuff and replace them with better things.

What’s on my plate this morning?

  • Eggs and vegetable omelette
  • Plain yoghurt with a handful of almonds and raisins.
  • A cup of green tea and mint.

Be kind to yourself this weekend.

If you’ve got a weekend recipe for us, please do share 😊

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha


Below is my first just published Poetry Book “Out of the silent breath” which is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

When you buy my book, you support me in an invaluable manner.

Out of the silent breath

Where to my lady? Every day beautiful people #42

“The World is full of wonderful things you haven’t seen yet. Don’t ever give up on the chance of seeing them.” J.K. Rowling

Box_lady[1]

Naturally, my eyes are easily drawn to vivid colours. Purple is a beautiful, rich and trendy colour.

I wonder where she’s off to with her lovely purple box which incidentally matches her pillow and scarf?

Knowing myself, I would have asked her, alas, sitting behind the wheel and waiting for the light to change denied me the pleasure 😉

It’s Friday this way. Have a great weekend ahead.

Be good to yourself. Blessed be.

Jacqueline


Below is my first just published Poetry Book “Out of the silent breath” which is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

When you buy my book, you support me in an invaluable manner.

Out of the silent breath

The air’s so crispy

The birds are quite chirpy

The magic of nature abounds

As I imbibe all the sounds.

**

*an excerpt of my poem*