Tag Archives: guest post

Guest post: Keeping up with Scarcity

Please join me in welcoming Scarcity to this here blog. She blogs over at Scarcity’s Notebook  where she is trying to reinvent her blog by writing about herself, life and her creative side. See her brief bio below:

Hi people thanks for stopping by. I’m fun-loving, creative and love being artsy I desire to design on a dime because that’s where I draw my design challenge from. I strive to be clean neat and tidy but most of the time its work in progress. My family and close friends are very dear and important to me and most of all I draw my strength, faith and hope from God.

I’m a working mum and happily married. In my spare time I spend it with my family, reading blogs, cleaning and tidying up.

Imagery speaks volumes and Pinterest just does it for me, most for new projects I want to work on. I gather my inspiration and findings from there.

Currently I’m more interested in DIY projects as I’m accumulating a lot of clutter in my house so I’m reading about what to do with what I have.

The holidays are coming up as well and I have a preschooler at home, so craft ideas are welcome to keep us busy during the festive season. My biggest resource is what I have, for example toys like Legos, disposable birthday cups, tissue paper rolls and the like.

Here are some of the resources I’m going to use for these craft tutorials.

 

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When it comes to design I like the minimalist approach to clean lines and less is more.

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I combine that style with personal finds that I like to have around the house. Example the picture above is a good example of a minimalist home with a personal touch.

I don’t vow by one interior design style but I have preferences here and there. In any interior space cleanliness and order is key. Being clean, neat and tidy comes naturally for me and I can’t function or operate in a messy space.

Cheers!

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Some of my lessons from having dreadlocked hair

I was invited to blog on my hair regimen and I started with the fact that since I have dreadlocks, it will be the world’s shortest post EVER! How wrong because as I started to put down the structure of the post I quickly realised that I do (ASIDE: which I guess is the reason for this invitation to share knowledge with each other and stuff). Continue reading ….

Guest Post: Lamentations 1 & 2: God of Evil and War?

About the author

Lola Alli is an aspiring Development Economist whose broad research interests include: the political economy of Nigeria and India; the economics of globalisation; global poverty and politics; innovation in agricultural commodity chains in Nigeria and India; and Yoruba gender mythologies.

Economics and Politics undergraduate at Newcastle University ’15; Development Economics postgraduate at University of Cambridge ’16.

Check out her blog over here.

Authors Disclaimer: I wouldn’t advice a ‘new’ Christian or anyone with very minimal biblical knowledge to read this conversation

Lola Ali: “Just a little background before I ask my question, …. when they (the Israelites) demanded for a king during Samuel’s time, God said he would provide (King Saul) but He warned that the kings would destroy the land and enslave the people … This prophecy became reality after (I believe) King Solomon – The sins of the last kings of Judah, and the Israelites in this region are what led to the war between Judah (including Jerusalem) and Babylon. And from our previous bible study in Daniel, we already know that God delivered Judah into the Babylonians. This happened sometime between the book of Jeremiah and his second book, Lamentations. I cannot understand Lamentations without studying Jeremiah so I went through a few chapters. God specifically created Jeremiah to warn His people to return k to Him (Jeremiah 1-3) so they can avoid what happened next. So I’ve got an idea of the kind of oppression that the Israelites went through using Jeremiah’s writings in the Book of Lamentations 1&2

But what I’m currently meditating on is the nature of God in these chapters. 2 Timothy 3:16 says that all scripture is God-breathed …etc. 1 Cor 13 says Love is patient … ; somewhere else says God’s true nature is revealed in Jesus dying on the cross and so on .. and then there is ‘if you’ve seen me (Jesus) you’ve seen Him (God)’. I was just thinking that hmmm Lamentations 1&2 depicts the opposite of these interpretations of God: love and patience. So I’m trying to understand why God appears so ‘violent’ in this book.

Jeremiah 13:14 says ‘I will smash them (the Israelites) one against the other, fathers and sons alike, declares the Lord. I will allow no pity or mercy or compassion to keep me from destroying them’. I can go on and on but …

Why is this question important:

1. The verses I included imply that this portrait of God is somehow consistent with the God we see on the cross – Jesus;

2. This is one of the main reasons why atheists do not believe in God – how can one worship the same God that is ‘smashing’ His children or allowing them to be smashed but still shows love and forgiveness by making us righteous through accepting Christ.”

T: “So I can kind of explain it a bit. We must remember that God sent Jesus because he didn’t want the law to go on forever where he punishes us for our sins literally. If you look at Deuteronomy 28 it explains the curses that came with disobeying the laws and then the latter part declares the blessings. When God realised that man could just not keep up with His Law, He sent Jesus to come and experience it, which is why he now become our intercessor because he saw it all, experienced it all! Hence the provision of grace and mercy to mankind….”

L: “I understand that – no doubt about what you said. The law wasn’t/isn’t efficient. But what I’m trying to understand is how can I reflect on Christ on the cross and Christ in Lamentations. How is the same God commanding genocide and war, but shows love on the cross? Is this perhaps the shadow of Christ? The negative contrast of Christ? The portrait of God pre-purposed in the law such that He becomes a shadow without light? And then the ‘real’ God is what we see on the cross. Am I making sense? Linking this to Job and Psalms, we see these representations of God again. But how do they reflect Christ and the God we know today. God of love, kindness and patience. Not necessarily the conditions for the coming of Christ as you explained”

T: “And that’s why even David although a man after God’s own heart was still punished. And Psalms 119:71 – David said it is good for me that I was afflicted that I may keep your statues. The suffering is only necessary because if everything went smoothly we would not respect him. He becomes more of a robot”

L: “Unless the law was needed to drive man to Christ, to show our need for Christ hence Lamentations.”

B: “What is the law? … so He (God) was punishing them (in Lamentations) for not obeying Him or rather trying to teach them a lesson of life without Him”

M: “….. The law includes the Mosaic law, and more. They were political and religious”

Lola: “Okay so this is my understanding of Lamentations. In the Old Testament the Israelites had to live Godly lives by following a set of laws. Obedience of the law was needed for blessings and forgiveness. I’m not sure what exactly the law was but it was more than just the book of Moses – the 10 commandments. I’m assuming it included some sort of political constitution as well – hence the role of the Pharisees perhaps? -Studying ‘The Law’. The religious Law, however, was included because of the sins of the people, and to escape punishment from God. But it didn’t work ….. by the ‘Lamentations-era’, the Israelites were known for worshipping other idols and committing other sins because of the Kings of Judah, and their foreign wives.

But hey! God did not actually destroy Israel by Himself. Instead, He let Babylon do so because His presence wasn’t there. It was His shadow – He was waiting for them to see the light –to see how life is different without the cross, without Christ and ultimately, without God. The Israelites went through the shadow of the cross, the non-presence of God, in order to understand that the law wasn’t inefficient. They had to realise that they needed Christ in order to have a better relationship with God.”

T: “Hence Galatians 3:13.”

Lola: “ YES! So in essence, we see what life was like without Christ and just The Law. This makes me appreciate Christ on the cross – the true nature of God, which is LOVE. So God wasn’t wicked during Lamentations, he was making a point about life – life without God is chaotic. When there is no God, there is no peace! There is Lamentations 1&2.”

Gnovembers add: This asks the age old question of how does a loving God sit by and watch while evil acts happen to His beloved children/ How does he actually punish His Children? God is a Holy God and he abhors sin because it is a stain before his presence. Because He loves us, He has sent His son to die on the cross that we may be reconciled to Him, when we accept this, we reap eternal life. If we don’t, the consequence of sin is death i.e eternal separation from His presence. Not wholly easy to accept but the moment we begin with the being of God then we can accept it somewhat better.

Guest Post: How to Deal with Increasing College Tuition Fee?

Janet Adams is well qualified and skilled writer working with graduate as well as high school students by providing thesis writing tips online. Together with the other experienced professionals, Janet has contributed a lot in the success of the company. 

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The skyrocketing costs of college can lead a parent to wonder if an investment in higher education still makes sense. This is especially true when the annual cost of attending a private college can easily exceed the annual salary a graduate receives during their first few years of work.

For those parents who still have a number of years before their children reach college age, doing the math can make the dream of college sound more like a nightmare. For those within a year or two of college, the change in estimated costs can bring some major sticker shock.

Inflation

Inflation generally refers to the natural increase in the cost of living over time. While no one loves inflation, it is generally accepted as a fact of life. In the broad economy, this annual increase has historically averaged about 2%. In other words, you would need $1.02 today to purchase what $1.00 bought you one year ago.

The inflation of college costs has not been so gentle, averaging 4-6% annually. In other words, a college education costing $10,000 this year, will likely increase by $400-600 next year. In a nutshell, this means that college costs are doubling every 12-18 years, compared to everything else in the economy doubling in cost every 32 years.

Why do college costs “inflate” so much faster than other expenses? Colleges need to replace technology more often than a typical family. Teachers have been historically underpaid, and are finally getting some of the raises they deserve. Lastly, insurance costs for running large institutions and businesses have risen significantly over the last 3-4 years.

Demand

One of life’s basic economic principles is that demand drives up prices. In other words, the more people want the same thing, the more that its price is likely to climb. Unfortunately for parents, this holds especially true with colleges.

The fact that more students are attempting to get a college degree allows colleges to be aggressive in how they price their tuition. They do not have to worry about scaring off a few students with high prices, because there are plenty of others willing to pay full fees. This demand is welcomed by schools since it allows them to expand their programs, add amenities, and raise staff salaries.

College costs are increasing faster than most of the other areas of life, and show no signs of slowing. For parents or students within a year or two of starting school, this can mean that your last year of college may cost 15-25% more than your first year. For parents or students that have a number of years until college begins, it means your savings plan needs to account for this gigantic increase in cost.

The steep rise in college tuition fees makes the students think of other alternatives like working part time adjusting the college timings which are otherwise called “Earn While You Learn” schemes. This enables the students to become independent or rather they would try to become financially independent to a certain extent.

Guest Posting over at Simple Girl writes ..

The group, consisting of former workmates wishing to socialise on a regular basis, refers to itself by the acronym “RASTA” – this is derived from the first letter of each of our names. A distinguishing factors of the common employer lies in the fact that one of the perks is a hot lunch prepared for all employees and eaten at the main office, so it goes without saying that any other social engagement we undertook HAD TO revolve around food and consuming loads of it ….. continue reading

Guest Post: Why I run

Guest post from Simple Girl blogging over at (Simple Girl Writes) who defines herself as Slightly Neurotic, Cheerful, Blessed, Wants to be a back-up singer in the next lifetime, Sh*t scared of pigeons and chickens, Econometric nerd extraordinaire, Just a simple girl

Let me set the record clear. I am not one of those “born to run” types, or the “I run so I can feel amazing at the end of the race” types nor am I one of those “I run to feel the wind in my hair” types.

No, no, no.

I’m more of the “always picked last in the Physical Education class”; “avoid all sports where I have things flying at my face” types. In fact, I only began to run in my mid-twenties. Sounds like a quarter life crisis right??

And to make matters worse everyone knows how much I hate running.  I hate the sound of my steps on the pavement, I hate how it feels like my knees are about to collapse, and I especially hate the sound of my breath as I gasp for more air. Yet, every week for the past two months, I have (almost – this past Tuesday doesn’t count) religiously put on my sneakers and joined a group of real runners for a weekly 5k time trail.

So why do I do this to myself if no one forces me to do it? Why do I go through all that huffing and puffing just to go around in a big pointless circle ending back where I started? Why do I subject myself to this weekly ritual, especially as I don’t receive a prize at the end? And especially as I always get weird looks and funny comments as I run behind the pack – why do I run? Am I a sucker for pain? Am I crying out for love? Am I coping with abandonment issues?

No, no and a big NO.

So why do I run? I’ve been thinking about this for a while and have compiled a list of reasons explaining this new, weird and torturous activity I put my body through every week:

4. I run to fight the thunder thighs

I was lucky enough to spend a year abroad and not come back home three times larger. To my mother’s dismay and my friends’ surprise -I came home with a new physique and have received a constant flow of compliments because of it. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the new bod and I especially love the compliments. I love that I can now wear those cute little dresses which I was always too self-conscious to wear because of my monstrous thunder thighs. But now the problem is that I have to maintain this new physique.

And honestly, it was easy to lose the weight. It didn’t require that much sacrifice on my part as I lived in a country where I could walk everywhere. But now I’m back in wonderful Jo’burg where we drive everywhere. See my dilemma?

Hence I run. I run so that the compliments continue. I run to shut up all those “friends” who said I would gain the weight back after two months (hahaha, look at me now biatches J). And I run because I honestly don’t want to go back to wearing the size 38 pants.

3. and not forgetting the muffin top

  Muffin top

*Cringe moment*

I was fighting the onslaught of a legendary muffin top – so much so, I was even contemplating going back to wearing skirts and dresses only – so that I can hide the overspill that occurred every time I wore a pair of jeans. But here I am, in my favourite pair of skinnies – with no muffin top to worry about.

Sigh. Thank you 5k trail runs.

2. To enjoy my weekly pastry treat from Fournos

I unfortunately work in an office where cake is provided for every single occasion.  When we celebrate a team member’s birthday, we celebrate with cake. When we celebrate a non-team member’s birthday – we eat cake. When we celebrate promotions, we have cake. When we have the Monday morning seminars – we eat cake. When we submit tender proposals in time, when we are highly stressed, when the sun shines too brightly, when it rains too hard – you get it right? We eat cake ALL the time. ALL THE TIME.

 Fournos muffins

I don’t fight it. I don’t ask why we have an unexplainable supply of cake.  I just allow myself one (albeit very thin) slice of cake once a week and enjoy the 5mins of cake heaven in my mouth.

Guilt-free 5 minutes of cake time – thank you 5k trail runs.

1. The great pick –up

I am one of those girls lucky enough to have an incredibly tall boyf – ok, incredibly tall is an exaggeration but as I am only 1.58m, almost everyone is taller than me.  And apart from his charming ways, general incredibleness (is that even a word?) and intelligence to land himself such a great gal, one of the reasons why I’m so smitten with him is that he picks me up when he hugs me. Yes, he picks me up – feet in the air, arms around my waist just to say good night. He does this every time.

I know, I know – it swept me off my feet as well J

Now prior to my weight loss and running tactics, I used to cringe at the anticipation that he would end off the night with the great pick-up. And this was not because he complained about my body size (a tall strong Zulu man would never complain about extra junk in the trunk), this was just me hyperventilating about whether I would break his back or whether we would stumble and fall (and then I break his back!) etc. etc. Needless to say, we never fell. There was no back breaking or any other awkward moment. But I still worried about it every time he did it.

And what about now you ask – post weekly runs?

Well, without giving away too much about my shenanigans, let’s just say that the legendary pick-ups are a firm favourite again for both of us this time. I practically demand them now. J

So there you go. Those are my reasons for the weekly runs – to look fab in THAT dress, to look fab in my skinnies, to enjoy some cake and to make a tall Zulu pick me up. All guilt-free.

Here’s to more running!

Themba

Simple girl

The story of a friendship ….

Normal programming will resume soon but for today, I am guest posting over at Nyangi Styles, talking about friendship through clothes and accessories. Continue reading …

Guest post: May The Real Kenyan Standup Comedians Please Standup!

Below is a guest post from Chege blogging over at http://www.ghafla.co.ke on the state of comedy in Kenya.

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I’ve been observing with both curiosity and amusement the on goings of the comic industry in Kenya. Comedy in Kenya has been around since time immemorial even before the yoke of colonialism through avenues such as riddles, short stories, myths, legends etc. After independence comedy started to evolve in the way of television sitcoms such as Vioja Mahakamani, Vitimbi. Also radio comedy began to manifest in shows such as Jee Huu ni Ungwana? Hosted by celebrated radio anchor Leonard Mambo Mbotela.

Fast forward to 2012. We now boast of a fully grown comic industry left, right and centre. From puppeteers in Nairobi streets to comedy shows on our screens such as XYZShow, Naswa, Churchill Live as well as comedy nights such as Night of a Thousand Laughs, Kenya Kona we have come from far. However a disturbing question that comes up is, do we really have comics in Kenya or just a bunch of people peddling tribal jokes?

A true comic is one who is able to get the audience laugh at jokes drawn from vastly different topics in the short span of time he or she has been allocated. A couple of comics are living true to this mantra and their progress has begun to get noticed. LoL, a comical television show that nurtures upcoming talent is making great strides in the industry. The comedy club show is also trying to carve out a new style of comedy in Kenya, I hope they succeed.

A couple of comics that you should watch out for include Alibaba, Willy Wex, Rapcha Tha Sayantist, Skeletronix, Aiyeya, JB Masanduku Junior amongst others who are causing ripples in the industry. It would be great if the Kenyan comics reached the heights of internationally renowned comic stars such as Katt Williams, Russell Peters and co.

Guest post 2: Letter to my 11 year old self

Guest post from Unique blogging over at (A Reflection of Divine Creativity) who defines herself as loud, unstructured, confident, sometimes crazy mad, insane, happy, fun, sexy, intelligent, fiercely loyal, sarcastic, mad about God and very blunt.

If I could go back to my eleven year old self. I would reassure her. I would smile, laugh and just hug her. I had my first crush at 11…not boyfriend…crush. I had a boyfriend when I was 10….more like best friend since we’d just talk play games etc but nonetheless he was my boyfriend and neighbor etc. I digress. I wish someone told me that having a crush was not the worst thing I could do nor was it my fault or it did not make me stupid. I went to boarding school for a year when then transferred to join a new school in fifth grade. I was super excited to join this school since I’d always wanted to join it just because one of the boards had my name on it. I had always been a social person in my neighborhood having both male and female friends: quite the tomboy but still able to play the games with the girls. So it was to my shock to join this school and find out that the girls literally hated me for no reason or so it seemed. It was a small class about ten girls or less and about twelve boys. We were at an age in school boys seemed like poison best avoided so we would put several bags between us in class to counter the seating arrangement of boys and girls. The thing about growing up and playing with boys you learn real fast to front or else they will tease you mercilessly for the smallest whimper or threat of tears. So I decided to front and pretended not to care when I was always left to be the last one in the queue next to the boys. I would talk back when one of the queen bees would say something mean so that the rest of the minions could laugh. It was not overt bullying truth be told…more like exclusion and rejection. No one owes you anything so I can’t really fault those girls. That said and done I got by and sometimes I would be included.  Every Friday we would have art classes where we could sit wherever and usually I would sit at the back with this other girl, Pauline. I have no idea when I started noticing my soon to be crush but at some point in the process I did and it began. I did not tell anyone. Not even my friends at home especially my best friend Judy who at that time we literally shared everything.  At some point I started dreaming about this guy and wondering how it would be like if he were my boyfriend. Let me remind you that I was very innocent at this age as my notion of a relationship was sitting and talking about nothing, playing games. That was it. In fact I did not even know about Periods, pads etc. Nothing! So one day I started writing this boy, Ken notes and making sure I’d leave them in his bag/desk when no one could see. What I did not note was the pattern that i always wrote them every Friday. . I’m laughing as I write this. Anyway this went one perhaps 3 weeks or so till one day he had enough and called his friend and started telling him about it. Soon I got a note where he drew this cartoon picture with things on the face and told me that was me and I could never be his girlfriend because I was so ugly. Since Pauline was nearby I tore off where he wrote dear ugly *my name*..And a lot of other stuff…including asking me to stop disturbing him. Weirdly the words did not like harm me as much as the threat of everyone finding out and being ridiculed. As I said I’d become adept at fronting so even as Pauline showed the rest of the girls the letter I was laughing with them wondering who it could refer to….On Monday I entered class and knew the game was up. You know how you enter a charged room and you know by the looks, smirks, and whisper people have been talking about you? I knew it but calmly went to my desk. I can never recall who first confronted me but I kept denying it over and over till on a break I burst out crying. The boys were laughing as it was funny especially Daniel. I’ll never forget. I was so mortified!!!!! I wouldn’t stop crying till this girl who until then I hated with all my heart as I perceived her to be part of the queen bees started to comfort me and tell me it was ok. For once I allowed the thought that perhaps she wasn’t as evil as I perceived her to be. Eventually I calmed down but stuck to my story that I hadn’t written any notes to Ken and I did not have a crush on him. No one bought it but I clung to my story tenaciously. Incidentally that crush effectively ended right there and then…but sadly not what I took from it. I was convinced everyone never forgot that incident and anytime a teacher or anyone referred to kissing, boy-girl relationships, love anything I was convinced everyone was recalling that incident and laughing at me. Trust me there were plenty of opportunity seeing as every Friday morning we would have chapel and a favorite topic were love, crushes etc. The whole four years I was in primary school I never let go of this. Outwardly I appeared confident, and defiant but inwardly I felt like I’d done the biggest gaffe and could never undo it or repay whatever debt there was….I was carrying this unnecessary burden and I was so young! an adolescent on top of all the changes in my life….This story continues but I’ve always said I’d write it down …if only I could go back and teach that small girl that laugh it off….it’s normal…it’s natural…it’s ok…you are ok….and as for rejection….yes it hurt but you know what? Shrug it off!…they never did matter….and it passes and becomes better…I can laugh about this now but till I was in my second year in highs school I was very bitter about my experience in that school…and by the way…we became very close friends with queen bee…hahahahhahaha to this day