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Declutter Your Life – From Your House to Your Friends

Decluttering your life doesn’t just mean tidying up your home. It can also involve getting more organized, and perhaps removing things from your life that take up too much of your time. By decluttering your life, you can clear your mind and your diary, so you have more time and energy to enjoy things. There’s a lot you can do to achieve your goals, from clearing out some of your stuff to reassessing some of your friendships. You should look at all areas of your life critically to work out what needs to change. Perhaps you might even consider becoming a minimalist to make everything more simple.

Closet, Arranged, Clothes, Declutter, Suits, Tidy

 

Get Rid of Clothes You Haven’t Worn In a Year

Decluttering the emotional side of your life can be tricky, so most people probably want to start with something straightforward. If you think you have too much stuff, clearing out your wardrobe is a great task, to begin with. It can be hard to let go of some of your clothes and accessories, but you can soon learn to be strict with yourself. Even if you find yourself struggling to let go of something beautiful, think about whether you’ve actually worn it recently. You might have bought it because you loved it, but if you never wear it, there’s no point keeping it just in case the perfect occasion to wear it suddenly arises.

Sell the Books You’ve Never Read or Won’t Read Again

Another simple thing to clear out is your collection of books. Many people have shelves full of books, and maybe a few piles and boxes on top of that too. If you love books, letting go of any of them can be difficult. However, it’s almost guaranteed that you have some books you’ve never read and aren’t likely to. There will also be some you read and didn’t like, and some you thought we passable but that you probably won’t read again. If you want to make some money from your books, you can hurry over to www.buybackexpress.com/sell-books/ to find out how much you might get for them. Unless you have any valuable copies, selling all your books in one go is often the best way to do it.

Digitize Music and Movies

As technology has improved over the years, we’ve gone through lots of different formats for music and movies. From VHS and vinyl records to Netflix and Spotify, we just don’t consume entertainment in the way we used to. If you have a pile of DVDs or CDs that you no longer use, it could be time for them to go. If you want to keep all your music and movies, though, it’s easy enough to digitize them. Once you have them in a digital format, you can get rid of the physical copies by selling or donating them.

Remove Non-functional Items from Your Life

A good way to clear out your home is to think about whether the things you own have a function. If you want to go for a minimalist approach, everything you own should do something practical. Of course, you might not want to get rid of everything that doesn’t have a specific function. Some things are just sentimental items that you keep because they evoke fond memories. However, it’s a good measure to use if you want to remove non-sentimental items. In addition to thinking about an object’s function, you can consider whether you already have something that does the same thing.

To-Do Check List, Declutter, Efficiency, Organised

Stop Wasting Time on Pointless Chores

Decluttering your life should involve freeing up your time too. There are only so many hours in the day, and you don’t want to waste them doing pointless things. Think about some of the chores you do and whether you do them just because “it’s what you do” or if they serve a purpose. For example, making the bed might make your bed look nicer, but what practical purpose does it have, when you’re only going to mess it up again in the evening? Is there really any point in raking leaves from your lawn? Some chores are necessary, but others not so much.

Organize Your Workspace

Both at home and at work, your desk or any other space you work at can get particularly cluttered. You might think that you know where everything is, but a cluttered space can make your work disorganized. It’s hard to think when there’s too much stuff surrounding you, and you could waste precious time trying to find the things you need. If you declutter and get organized, you might be able to work much more efficiently. Start by clearing everything from the top of your desk and from any drawers too. Sort through it all and find a place for everything, throwing out anything you no longer need. You might have some papers you can digitize, instead of keeping them hidden away somewhere.

Get Rid of “Friends” Who Are Too Negative

Another way to take control of your life is to reassess some of your relationships. It’s important to have friends and family around you, but not all relationships are worth saving. Sometimes, you don’t actually get anything positive out of being friends with someone. Even relationships with family members should end in some circumstances. If there’s anyone in your life that only ever seems to be a drain on you, perhaps it’s time to move on. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t help someone who is going through a tough time and might need you more than you need them for a while. But if you’re always the one giving or being put down, it could be a waste of your energy. Think of what you get out of each of your friendships.

Saying No, No, It's Okay To Say No, Declutter

 

Learn to Say “No”

Managing your time can be difficult, and it’s often harder if you commit yourself to too many things. People who do this can have trouble saying no, so they end up spending their time doing things they don’t really want to do. If this sounds like you, it’s time to learn how to turn people down firmly but politely. It’s important to remember that you’re not obligated to help people, even if sometimes it feels like you are. And you don’t even have to agree to go out with a friend or visit a family member if you don’t want to. Don’t worry too much about being rude. It’s easy to politely turn down a request with “Sorry, I’m busy,” or “Maybe next time,” or perhaps even “I’m not interested, thanks.”

Give Your Life More Structure

If there seems to be too much going on in your life or you always feel disorganized, a bit more structure could help you. Developing a routine can be a good idea to help you be more productive while reducing the amount of chaos it feels like you have in your life. If you want to get on top of everything, making a list of all your commitments and obligations can help you get started. You can then plan out your time, and perhaps think about whether you might be able to drop some of your commitments. Create a weekly calendar or diary to follow and display it somewhere you can easily see it.

Create New Organizational Habits

If you want to make your life less cluttered, just having one big organizing session isn’t going to fix everything. You need to get into better habits if you want everything to stay organized. For example, once you have organized your desk, you should set some rules for what you’re going to do with any important papers from now on. If you’re going to go through your mail, make sure you have enough time to do it and then you know what you’re going to do with different types of letter.

Change Your Approach to Material Items

Once you’ve cleared your home, so there’s less clutter, you need to avoid cluttering it up again. One of the best things you can do is change how you think about material items and each purchase that you make. Before you buy anything, you should ask yourself if you really need it. Much of the time, the answer is that it’s not a necessary purchase, and you might not even end up using it. Rein in your impulse buys and put a bit more consideration into all your purchases.

Keep Up Your Good Habits

Now that you have reassessed your life and home and formed good habits, make sure you don’t fall back to your old tricks. Keep up your new routines and follow the habits you’ve created to keep your life on track. Every now and then, perform another reassessment of what you have in your home, your commitments, and your relationships. Even if you have been paying close attention, you could still find you need to declutter your life again.

Decluttering your life is about more than tidying up. Get organized and stop wasting your time on things that aren’t worth it.

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With Bells on Her Toes…fashion is timeless

I find pleasure in visiting the souks because it feeds my literal interest in people watching as well as window shopping at 0% cost which is a major social skill to acquire. For obvious reasons fashion jewelry automatically makes me think of this nursery rhyme:

 

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Ride a white horse

to Banbury cross

to see a white lady

upon a white horse

with rings on her fingers

and bells on her toes

she shall have music

wherever she goes

 

Three weeks ago some sister friends visited from Nigeria and a visit to Dubai is not complete without going to the gold souk to look at shimmery, jaw-dropping trinkets.

One of them is a fashion entrepreneur who came to restock her merchandise for sale back home and from what I know, the current recession of Nigerian economy hasn’t stopped our women from looking good. They’ve found ways to cheaper alternatives from expensive trinkets as well as fashionable items like sunglasses, bags, wrist watches  all at wholesale prices.

Trendy Silver Plated Plant Cubic Zirconia Stud Earrings for Women SPSE178 2

So, I got to take them to the Souk and was their privileged escort for the price of good old-fashioned catching up, a bit of gossip, lots of laughter and street food 🙂

I live in a mega city where it’s not strange to see women dressed in eye-popping finery. Fancy trinkets are all over the place and can become yours at the drop of your plastic. You can go for the high-end fashion to the low-end, it’s your choice.

Wholesale Red Wrap UV400 Sunglasses for Women SGS151 7

However, I don’t believe that one should rob the bank in order to own lovely pieces and look good – not all trinkets that glitter is gold. Like every other woman, I love to look chic and trendy. Looking good makes you feel good and you can do so in a thrifty way.

Trendy Silver Plated Animal Pearl Stud Earrings for Women SPSE190 3

There are smart and efficient ways to acquire cheerful fashionable pieces through wholesale enterprises like wholesale jewelry China.

Tips to consider when purchasing wholesale jewelry

What’s the market cost? Compare prices with parallel vendors

Do you qualify for wholesale purchase? There are online suppliers that will sell single pieces, many overseas vendors sell at wholesale prices.

Negotiate prices, it’s an open market

Don’t be afraid to contact the seller to ask questions for more clarity.

Think of your payment mode – PayPal, Credit/Debit card

Compare shipping, return policies, customer ratings, and feedback comments.

Can your goods be insured?

Educate yourself on how jewelry is made and enjoy the learning.

So, do let me know when you are coming over, I’ll be looking forward to the cup of coffee, some old-fashioned conversation, and window shopping.

Check out Easewholesale on social media

Sport Wristwatches for Men watches291 2

 

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.

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