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Yagz Journey

It's about everything on the journey to "becoming"

Is New York City always a good idea?

So I haven’t done a travel post in a while and I don’t know why! I haven’t travelled as much this year but I have definitely had some exciting travel experiences even in the city I currently call home – one of the leading travel destinations. However, that’s a post for another day, today am here to tell you about my NYC weekend experience some weeks back. I had the opportunity to spend a couple of hours in New York city and this time around I got to be a tourist :-). Isn’t that exciting. SO if you are ever in NYC for a couple of days, here are a few tricks that worked for me and just might for you as well

  • Broadway: Being a huge theatre arts lover, there’s no way I would be in NY without getting to see a broadway show. This time around I saw Waitress: the musical. The show was great, good music, colorful props with a unique story line. If you have ever seen the movie, the stage play is so spot on. However, if you are traveling with children, may not be appropriate for that audience. Book your tickets early on http://www.broadway.com with the option to choose your seats. I also learnt of a new option to get ticket deals by visiting the ticket shop in Times Square, for the opportunity to buy tickers at low rates which haven’t been sold yet
  • Accommodation: Booking a place to stay in NYC can sometimes be a hassle especially when you aren’t familiar with the city. One may end up getting a place to stay thats far out from all the attraction sites on your itinerary. I advise you look up your options on google maps by checking the travel time and options to enable make a decision so you don’t spend half your trip commuting. I recommend Air BnB for good deals on places to stay or if you are luck like me, you get to book hotel in Times Square with loyalty points from previous hotel stays
  • Sites to See: the Hop on Hop off buses are a good way to get to see a lot of the city especially the red line which goes downtown. Not all Hop on Hop off buses are value for your money in certain cities but NY’s was definitely worth it. Have a couple of pictures to show for it. You can get the Value tickets that enable you visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Immigration museum as well. I would like highly recommend a visit to the Immigration museum as there’s a lot to learn about the history of the USA and how the role and stories of the immigrants which make up most of its populace. No one is left out in the exhibits, Africans, Europeans, Red Indians. The Empire state building is also a place not to miss, being tallest building NY in the city it provides a a breath taking view of the ‘Concrete jungle’. You can purchase these from any travel website such as expedia.com or from any hotel concierge which was the rout I went as a lot of it was last minute
  • Shopping: If you love to shop as much as I do, you may enjoy a visit to the Woodbury Outlet Mall located upstate of the city. However, there a shuttle tourist buses from the city and back. These buses can be found downtown around the Times Square area. The drive to the outlet is only about an hour from this location.
  • Other sites on my list that I haven’t gotten to see yet are: Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology), 9/11 memorial, Comedy Club, Brooklyn Tabernacle Church,

Hope this helps as you plan your next short trip to New York as its always a good idea as you hardly run out of things to do. Please share some of the things that have made your trip to NYC memorable or what you look forward to each time

 

[P.S: been sitting in drafts since December 2016..lol)

Walk Through the Bible: Loyalty (2 Chronicles) 

“…And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a loyal heart…

2 Chronicles 25:2”

The word loyalty what does that mean? what does it mean to have a loyal heart

First thought that crossed my mind was the possibility of being obedient without being loyal. Loyalty is the ability to stand by a person in the good times and bad so not obedience by convenience but event when it isn’t. 
So some context to the verse, we are currently being told about Amaziah who was one of the descendants of Solomon, current king of Judah. The kingdom had gone through many cycles of kings with many of them who had their hearts turned away from God, far away from the example of David, who was a man after God’s own heart. Joash was Amaziah’s father and was the 1st of the Kings of Judah after many years who had a heart for God and had done certain things to bring the people back to serve the Lord their God (2 Chronicles 24). With the right example, Amaziah must have been taught the obedience to God. This is evident of the fact that God sees our hearts, our intents and our motives
“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.”

‭‭II Chronicles‬ ‭16:9‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
Are we only obedient when it is convenient for us or are we willing to serve and seek after God’s leading even when things don’t seem to be going exactly the way we want? 

 

Walk through the Bible: Intro

I startedy journey towards spiritual growth and in depth scriptural knowledge as a Christian slightly over a year and I have learnt a lot from the many times I have fallen along the way and count those as part of the lessons, I need to learn to get to where I look forward to

I have been a Christian almost all my life as I was born into the faith. Through the years, I have learnt that your faith is completely personal and totally your responsibility. I want to know what it means to truly live a life of honor and worship to God and most of all learn from the historical times of the Bible which serves as the blueprint for every believer. As it is the living word of God to them who believe

My decision to read through the entire bible has faced and still facing many hurdles along the way. I started off with the Bible in A Year plans but those didn’t work for me. I tried coming up with a plan of my own and that only took me so far. In all this, I decided to go back to the one who put this longing and desire in my heart and remind myself of the scripture that says ‘Draw Near to me and I will draw near to you’, relying on his strength and wisdom to be my guide. Its been uphill climb much slower than I had hoped but more exciting than I had anticipated

This series is born out of my desire to document my journey and share with you amazing treasures, bible fun facts  and deep truths I discover along the way. I look forward to sharing with you and inviting you to take this walk with me through the greatest book ever written

The 2016 CV Format: Are We Ready and Bold Enough For It?

So the average aspiring college graduate probably has multiple versions of their resume or CV, which ever you prefer to call it. These terms are used interchangeably but is there really a difference between them?

To find out more about what the difference is,check out this article

Basically, its advisable to use a Curriculum Vitae when applying to jobs outside the United States

Since CVs typically have the same format, I can imagine that employers can get bored pretty quickly after looking over about 50 of them which isn’t a lot for the hot cake job. Imagine competing with over 100 candidates for a job and that’s being quite conservative, how do you make an impression that piques the curiosity of the person on the other side of the screen?

Continue reading “The 2016 CV Format: Are We Ready and Bold Enough For It?”

The Domino Effect 

Hope your week is going great?! 

So I  started attending a discipleship class in my church…it was such a huge coincidence as the announcement for those who wanted to continue to grow in their faith, was made the first Sunday I attended service there. 

My 1st class was last week and we spent the evening meditating on Matthew 28:17-20. We even split in 2 groups and acted a short skit from the verses. Without using any of the exact words but our understanding and interpretations. It was such a fun evening of learning 😊

One thing I learnt was that despite the fact that we are all called to a life of drawing others to eternal life in Christ Jesus. In whatever way we can through the gifts Christ has abundantly blessed us with – writing, speaking, encouraging, teaching etc, we must continue to do so to a point where the people we have blessed can be a blessing to others(..teaching them all I have commanded youmaking disciples of all nations). 

In other words, we keep pouring into others until we initiate a DOMINO Effect

Karibu to The Kenya Experience

I had the opportunity to spend 2 days in the homely city of Nairobi a few weeks ago and I fell in love. Despite the fact that I am African and have lived in this beautiful continent most of my life, Nairobi to me seemed to exude all the things that make Africa so great. The air so fresh with  nature all around, the warmth of the people with smiles and an outstretched arm to welcome you at every turn, the creativity born out of a genuine love and contentment with what is within its borders. All I can say is I wish I could have stayed longer but for the days I did get to spend, I would like to share a few things with you.

During my stay, I got to stay at the beautiful Sankara Hotel. One of my favorite things about the hotel were the keep sakes placed in your room for each night spent at the hotel. Each night, you were greeted by a pocket-size soapstone carving of an animal. There are 7 of them in the collection..a different animal and design each day and a card telling you something unique about the animal. However, what I loved the most was the use of Soapstone – a natural resource to make this. In many ways, it felt like I was actually taking home a piece of Kenya with me 🙂

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Soapstone (also known as steatite, or soaprock) is a talc-schist., which is a type of metamorphic rock. It is largely composed of the mineral talc and is thus rich in magnesium.
Soapstones can be used to make many different things and one of my favorite is the bookend, unfortunately I didn’t get to buy one due to my short stay. If you are ever in Kenya, thats a hint to what I would love. To find out how these beautiful objects are made, here’s a video
So if you are avid lover of food like I am, you should pay a visit to the Urban Eatery . Its the one stop shop for most food cravings. It boasts of not 1…not 2 but 6 different restaurants in one. One of the things I love about this is its so cozy, artsy decor and perfect for any time of social gathering with different table settings to go. You wouldn’t believe it had 6 restaurants in it till you looked on the menu. Another restaurant that I would like to visit on my next trip is the Carnivore restaurant, as the name implies its for meat lovers
Urban Eatery Restaurants
  • THE DAILY – ALL DAY DINING, CAFE & BISTRO
  • BAR ASIA – NOODLE BAR, SUSHI, ASIAN
  • FIREPLACE – MEXICAN, MEDITERRANEAN, WORLD
  • HAANDI – INDIAN CASUAL FARE
  • MERCURY – SIGNATURE BAR
  • YOG – NATURAL FROZEN YOGURT

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Another amazing experience I had was  a visit to the Nairobi National Park. This was particularly exciting as my friends and I were looking forward to seeing the lions based on all the tales we had heard prior to our trip about lions running loose on the streets. This tale was born out of an incident earlier this year of lions escaping. However, the lions were returned unharmed and with no harm to humans as well. The Safari tour can last a whole day based on the immensely huge expanse of land with various animals all guarding their territory. Sadly, we got there too late in the day to see the lions but we definitely got to see many more animals we were often accustomed to seeing in books.
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All I can say is Kenya is fun, relaxing and homely and would love to visit again given the opportunity. Please share your experience if you have visited Nairobi or another city in Kenya. Also taking recommendations for other travel destinations

Asante Sana Kenya 
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Not Under Law but Grace

So I spent the past few weeks reading through the book of Leviticus of the Holy Bible and some of the chapters almost made me ask myself why read this if we are no longer subjected to these rules as a result of the redemption power of Christ death on the cross?

Well, it took me up until the last chapter to realize why not?

If you are not familiar with the contents of the book of leviticus, let me give a brief summary of what the book is about. Leviticus is the 3rd book in the Bible and in history, is captured in the time when the Israelites were still making their way to the promised land after being delivered from the land of Egypt where they were held captive for 430 years. That’s a pretty long time to be under captivity for.

The people of Israel had lived in Egypt for 430 years. In fact, it was on the last day of the 430th year that all the lord’s forces left the land – Exodus 12:40-41 (NLT)

Hence the book of leviticus details Priestly instructions given to the Israelites by God through Moses during their sojourn to the land of Canaan, the promised land. There were instructions on different sin offerings to be made when various sins were committed, sacrifices, wave offering and more. The punishment for sin were so steep in those days that I feel there might have even been an atmosphere of fear amongst them.

…a fracture for a fracture, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Whatever anyone does to injure another person must be paid back in kind.- Leviticus 24:20 (NLT)

Reading these chapters made me attain a deeper level of understanding of the importance of the statement of being not under Law but Grace. We now have the ability to pray to our heavenly father and ask for forgiveness when we fall short trusting that he hears us and forgives us of our wrong doings. We no longer have to sacrifice an unblemished lamb or ram because we have been bought at a high price and redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ.

So next time you sin or fall short of the mercies of God, take a quick moment to think of what you would have been required to do if you were living the levitical times and thank God for the deliverance that we now so freely enjoy.

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. – Hebrews 4:16 (NLT)

Are you Apologizing right?

Have you ever felt like someone was being so “strong-headed” about gracefully receiving an apology? I know I have been on the other end of not thinking an apology was sincere enough despite efforts to believe they were. So, imagine my great fortune when i stumble across the fifth chapter of the book titled Things I wish I’d known before We Got Married. The chapter is titled – I wish I had known That Apologizing is a Sign of Strength, it elaborates on the 5 languages an apology ever given or received can be categorized into. If anyone is familiar with the well acclaimed book – 5 Love Languages by the same author – Gary Chapman, these 5 Apology Languages are similar in that aspect.

Similar to our primary language of communication, we all have emotional languages too. The way we primarily like to show or be shown love, the form in which we like to give or receive an apology, the mode in which we like to ensure complete rest or relaxation and the way we express anger or frustration. These primary emotional languages when not fully understood can result in hiccups in our relationships with people, which could be removed with a better understanding.

In this post, I would like to share the 5 apology languages as shared by Gary Chapman

  1. Expressing Regret 

Before you say “duh…isn’t that what an apology is about?”. This language is not about just saying “sorry”, it’s about expressing what the apology is for. I can’t count how many times I have been told “just say sorry and it’s enough” but I am of the opinion that’s it’s not and well, for those who have this as their apology language, it’s not enough.

“I’m sorry” may well be the first words in expressing this apology language. However, you need to tell what you are sorry for. The words “I’m sorry,” spoken alone, are much too general.

I am sorry for arriving late to the event, I know how much this meant to you

2. Accepting Responsibility 

This is about taking responsibility for your wrongdoing by stating why this behavior is wrong. It defers from expressing regret in that it is an evaluation of the results on the wrong doing. For example: a typical apology in this language would be

It was wrong of me to have spoken to you in that tone in public, it was very embarrassing and I should not have done so

3. Making Restitution

This Apology language is about backing the apology with actions preferably the love language of the person in question. Its about reassurance that even though I may have hurt you, I still care about you and have your best interest in mind. So if you ever get asked how do I know you care about me enough after doing a wrong, might be time for some restitution.

I am sorry I failed to make it to dinner with your parents, I owe you and promise to make it up to you by ….

4. Genuinely expressing the desire to change your behavior

Nothing can be as infuriating as hearing an apology for the same thing over and over again, at least for me. Its like what’s the point of apologizing if you know you will do the same thing the next chance you get. So there’s an apology language for people who think this way too and thats to offer a plan that shows an effort to correct the behavior or action.

I am sorry for always coming home late from work and missing dinner. I will plan my day better to enable me finish my tasks on time so we can spend the evening together

5. Requesting Forgiveness

To some people, its not about apologizing, its about the offering forgiveness when requested. They want to know that you care enough to have things go back to the way they were as thats the most important thing about an apology.

I know I hurt you by being complacent about the vacation plans, will you please forgive me?

At the end of the day its all about things we do for those we love, so take a moment today and make a mental note of the apology languages of people in your life – family and friends, this helps make relationships stronger as you can understand them better and some reasons why they act the way they do.

This is a really great resource to learn more about all you need to know about the different dynamics of relationship and marriage

References: Chapman, Gary D (2010-08-24). The 5 Love Languages/Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married Set (Kindle Location 4087). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.


My Hair Regimen 

Like every natural hair veteran knows, we all start out as “product junkies” experimenting almost every product that looks fancy on the shelf, or has a promise of “health” on it. After about 6months you realize that this isn’t the most sustainable approach to managing natural unrelaxed hair. It’s gets expensive and very confusing quickly. This brings you to the stage of finding out what works for you and sticking to these and calling them your “staple” products. However, the occasional splurge still comes when you stumble upon a new product, but now your choice is guided by a better understanding of the product ingredients and the necessities of what it can really do for your hair, not just by the pretty labels 😄. At least this was my experience in my 1st couple months of growing out my natural unrelaxed hair.
For ease of describing each regimen, I am going to categorize it into 4 headings

1. Cleanse

My Favourite Shampoos

Every hair needs to be kept clean at all times. Number 1 rule of natural hair is to keep it moisture full always. This might seem like 2 contradicting messages, how do you ensure your hair has moisture always and at the same time, cleansed. To achieve this, my golden rule when selecting a shampoo is to pick one that moisturizing or hydrating. It’s best to stay away from drying agents in shampoo which take out all the moisture. My shampoo staple is the Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Moisturising Shampoo. It’s very affordable and is available across many locations. In addition to this, since I colored my hair, I have also started using the Garnier Fructis Color Shield Shampoo Which helps in retaining the color and providing the extra moisture and defence that color treated hair requires. 

2. Condition (Instant and Deep)

Conditioners (Deep and Instant)
 
Using a Moisturising shampoo isn’t enough, adequate conditioning of one’s hair is required. It’s advisable to deep condition your hair at least once every month depending on the nature of styling done. I usually use the kind of protective styles done to determine the frequency of my deep conditioning but I stick to once a month or anytime I take out any style that stayed longer than 2weeks.

I usually mix all my conditioners for deep conditioning and then add in 1 or 2 deep conditioner. Currently, my staple Deep conditioners are Obia Natural Babbasu deep conditioner and Giovanni Hair Reconstructor . Both have given very excellent results. For color treated hair, I also use the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Color which is an instant conditioner.

3. Retain Moisure 

 

Liquid (Leave-In Conditioners)
 
 
Cream (Moisturising)
 
 
Oils
 
After cleansing and conditioning, I usually retain moisture using either of the 2 methods, mostly the LCO

  • LOC (Liquid-Oil-Cream) method – I start out with a leave in conditioner (Creme of Nature Argan Oil Leave-In conditioner) as my liquid application. Then, an oil with preference to a light one as its being applied to the hair and not scalp, mine is coconut oil. For the cream, I go with a water based choice. Currently, I use the curl enhancing smoothie or Obia Natural twist whip butter.
  • LCO (Liquid-Cream-Oil) method – The products used are the same as with the LOC, the only difference is the order of application. 

So that’s it folks, natural hair maintenance isn’t sooo high maintenance once you have figured out the products that work for you. 

For those in Lagos Nigeria, would like to list a few stores that carry these products 

1. Kinky Apothecary Store

2. Savvy Chic Hair & Beauty Hub

3. Kemi Lewis Beauty Bar

Will keep updating the list as more names come to mind.

Oooh and by the way, am 30months natural 👯 so I don’t know it all yet 😉

Looking forward to hearing what products are now your staple and more suggestions on where to get products 😊

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