Monday, 26 September 2016

Taking the leap


Things I've always wanted to do that seem so impossible to do;

Travel the world
I'm an adventurous woman. The thrill of what could be around the next turn always gets me. If I could I'd be a work nomad. Become an African woman rolling stone. No moss on me baby, no moss. Financial constraints have kept me limited to exploring Ghana. Which is super cool especially because I'm always up for attending church funerals that take place outside of Accra. This way I've managed to see many of the regions in Ghana for free 😉and eat of their cuisine.
Now I'd like to see Morocco to try an authentic tagine, pretend I'm in the Casablanca movie.
I'd like to see Zanzibar because the name sounds poetic and exotic. It makes me want to go skinny dipping in broad daylight.
I'd like to see and eat Thailand. I hear the street food is amazing.
I'd like to see and shop watches in Switzerland.
Swallow raw herrings in the Netherlands.
Eat peach cobbler in the American South.
See the sights of New York and if my luck holds attend one of the Queen Bee's concerts.

Write a book 
I've always dreamt of writing a book. Whenever I google how to start writing, the usual answer is to just write. You know free writing and the like. But one day I'll write. Simply because I've accumulated so many gorgeous looking books to write in. The funny thing is that I used to write poetry when I was really young. Who knows maybe I'll be able to capture that spark again.

Become more confident with my driving 
This one is easy because all i need is practice, practice, practice. One day me too I'll overtake somebody while playing really loud music.☺️🎶🤓

Learn how to make croissants from scratch 
I saw a YouTube video on it and I was like what???? It was so time consuming and the amount of butter that goes into it is mind boggling. But I'm planning for it seriously. When I'm down to 64 kilos I'll make croissants to celebrate.

What have you ever dreamt of doing? Don't be like me, actually do it!

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Exploding the myth of equating a woman's worth to her fertility

I just read an article on a Ghanaian online newspaper I read quite frequently. A woman had gone with her boyfriend to a pharmacy to purchase abortion pills. After she took one of the five she had been given, she had to go to the hospital because of the severe pain she suffered. While recuperating she left her hospital bed and went to a radio station to talk about her ordeal. The interesting part of this whole thing for me were the comments. She was castigated for making the choice to have an abortion, even the president came in for his share of insults.


I thought it an opportunity to share my thoughts on abortions with respect to Ghanaian women.
Basically abortion is legal in Ghana. A quick perusal through the Criminal Offences Act 1960 confirms this. However the general notion is that abortion in Ghana is illegal. This however doesn't detract from the fact that I am of the opinion that abortion is wrong except for reasons of incest, rape, health concerns and so on. I believe most women would agree with me on that. Contraceptives are widely accessible. Thanks to organisations like Marie Stopes International which have made such drugs very affordable. 
The problem is perception. 
I conducted a mini survey. I found that most women are aware of contraceptives. They are aware they're widely available and nearly free. 
They also believe they would become infertile if they take them. A woman with five children will still be unwilling to take contraceptives because she fears infertility. Therein lies the problem. As women we have been socialized to believe that our worth is directly related to our fertility or fecundity. 
May I suggest that this is an erroneous notion to have?
I believe that in recent times that notion has been disproved over and over. Look around you and see the women achieving so much. Some of them have children but some don't. Yet society is ever ready to point out to them that they still haven't achieved anything because they don't have children.
I believe that the way forward is to disabuse our minds as women that our worth equates to our fertility.
Contraceptives have been proven to work without changing our fertility. Maybe it's time our government and civil society organisations take the time to make more information available to change that perception. I believe the occurrence of abortions would also decline.
In fact in conclusion let me ask o. How do you feed your children if you haven't achieved anything for yourself first? How do you inspire them to achieve greater success?

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Woman take back your crown




Shout out to Rita for being the inspiration behind this post❤️❤️❤️
I know saying NO is sometimes hard to do especially as women since we're conditioned from birth to say yes all the time so that we won't be called disrespectful or lazy and so on. Even when it's in our best interest to say no. We overstretch and overburden ourselves saying yes to all sorts of nonsense. 
We say yes to men just to bear the dubious honor of being in a relationship or being married. A single female friend of mine shared an experience she had with me. I'm sharing it here because it has a direct bearing with the topic I'm speaking on today. She explained that she got into an angry argument with a colleague which ended with the colleague asking her why she would be jealous of her, especially since she's married and my friend isn't. And the funny thing is that this is a strong, beautiful, intelligent woman excelling in her career and who just happens to suffer physical abuse at her prized husband's hands. Yes he beats her up regularly.

I don't know your story. I only know mine and that's why I'm sharing today. Who knows? It may help another woman. Once upon a time I was a doormat. This is a shocking thing to admit because anyone who knows me now would be surprised to hear it. However, yes it's very true. I was a doormat. I was taken for granted. I was verbally abused. Yet, I felt like I should appreciate what crap I was getting. I was unappreciated and an option. I was losing me. And I felt powerless to change things. However, whenever I came back to myself periodically, I'd pray for change and strength. In time, I had the opportunity to live in another country for an extended period. That's when I grew. I found daily strength in surmounting various challenges, from navigating the intricacies of a new language and meeting new people. I was able to get back the me I had lost. I was able to recover my power. And it was like magic. I had to exercise that power of NO so that it developed like a muscle. In time it became easier.

"Abla I miss you. I want to see you." Abla answers no.
"I'm outside your gate." This is a person who didn't even ask permission to come over! Automatic No.
We're sitting somewhere and his hands refuse to stay with him and are attempting to explore the uncharted territory that is Abla's body. What does Abla do? She leaves immediately. Oblivious to any entreaties to stay.
"I have a girlfriend but I like you." Reflex reply No.
"Let's just hang out and see where this takes us." No.
"What are you cooking so I can come and eat some?" I'm sleeping. I don't think I'd be cooking today.

Let's learn the power in saying No. The above examples are real ones that have happened to me. Those guys haven't stopped hanging around. They're still knocking at my door. What we women don't realize is that men appreciate women with standards and boundaries they actually stick to. If you say no but your actions say go on, the man will continue to disrespect you. We have got to walk the talk. My only regret is not knowing all these a long time ago. It's about us respecting ourselves enough to know that I'm worth more more than a doormat. 
I'm gloriously and beautifully made in God's image. Yes I'm all that and I know it.
Now I'm told "Abla, you're so different from other women", when all that has changed is that I got some standards.

We seem to have forgotten what the generation of women prior to ours knew. Men always want what they can't have. Don't let them have you until they have proven themselves worthy of you. Don't worry, you won't lose a good man. 
Make sure he commits fully to you before you give yourself away. When I say commit, I don't mean meeting your parents, introducing you to his friends, he's calling you baby or girlfriend, and so on. Do you have any idea of the number of females he's called baby or who's parents he's met? 
He needs to commit by adding value to your life. He needs to invest himself into you and your glorious self. When a man values a possession he treasures it. Look at how well a man would treat a new car or a designer watch. Want to know why? He gave up something to buy that expensive new car. He probably scrimped and saved for it. It wasn't a gift. So why gift yourself?
Now take a minute, think and ask yourself these questions; 
Are you the one to suggest outings? 
Are you the one always calling? 
Does he always have last minute things to do when you have plans to go out together and are you always too cool with such change of plans?
Are doing wifely duties in return for side chick benefits?
Do you brown outings with your friends because he calls out of the blue and wants to do something with you at the last minute?

My sister, if any of the above applies to you, you better get some standards. 

Remember? I'm gloriously and beautifully made. Confidence is attractive. Never be afraid to decide to walk alone for a period. It's sexy. It's powerful to turn down a date once in a while because you have something else of value to do. Don't ever let your life revolve around a man's schedule. 
There’s power in turning down a man’s sexual favors because he has not proved himself worthy of you.

Now I'm not saying you shouldn't say yes if you have a good man who treats you like you're the amazing person you are. You better appreciate him before the cleanup woman comes and takes him away from you.
Just note that not every man you go out with is worthy of you.

Ladies lets take back our crowns.👑

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Book Review: The Alchemist



I found The Alchemist by Paul Coelho, to be deceptively simple at a first glance, but quite deep in reality. It is about the importance of seeking one’s own meaning of life and spending one’s life fulfilling it. 

Paul Coelho calls it seeking one’s “Personal Legend.” Doesn't that sound sort of fairytale-like? This story about a young Shepherd boy, Santiago who embarks on a courageous journey of self-discovery, comes across like a fairytale. Unlike the classic fairytale however, we are given a process, alongside possible stumbling blocks, set in a coming of age style fairytale. Does that even make sense to you?

Coelho explains that there is the need to come to the realization that our lives are dictated by what is acceptable. This is revealed in our customs, our family traditions and expectations of how our lives should be, the laws of the land where we leave and tradition. We must be willing to strike new paths in a brave new world to find a special Personal Legend. We must be willing to brave disapproval from our nearest and dearest, something that is always so difficult to do. 
Sometimes we must be willing to acknowledge that love may turn out to be an obstacle. Why do I say this?
We've been led to believe, especially as women that we have to sacrifice all for the happiness of our loved ones. The Alchemist forces us to reevaluate our perception of love. The author contends that " ...love never keeps a man from pursuing his Personal Legend. If he abandons that pursuit it's because it wasn't true love."
Thus he makes it clear that there is no need to give up our Personal Legend or dreams in order to live the way the other person wants us to. No need at all. After all, has it not always been said that 'if something is yours and you let it go and it comes back to you, then it was truly yours. If it doesn't then, it was never yours.'

Coming to the conclusion that love means not giving up your dreams for anybody tends to be tough. Sometimes, living with a decision to stick with your guns in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles appears too hard and there is that urge to give up. “Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”





Giving up would however be the worst thing you could do in your life. This is because in giving up, one has failed to achieve one's dreams, just by dodging the hardships that would be necessary to achieve our Personal Legend. This is illustrated where :“My heart is a traitor,” the boy said to the alchemist, when they had paused to rest the horses. It doesn’t want me to go on.That makes sense,” the alchemist answered. “Naturally it’s afraid that, in pursuing your dream, you might lose everything you’ve won."

The struggle to discover our Personal Legend doesn't end here. Guilt is a major obstacle. This is because after achieving what you have, and looking around, you would find that you are in a minority. So we hide our achievements. This too is a bridge to cross.


In conclusion, let's take a look at the book title, The Alchemist. In the same way an alchemist turns metal into gold, we are encouraged to turn our potentially ordinary lives to golden achievements. My father made me memorize a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson when I was very young which has resonated strongly with me over the years "Most of the shadows in our lives are caused by standing in our own sunshine". In comparing that quote to The Alchemist, I'm drawn back to a period in the book where our protagonist was nearly tempted by pride to return home before he had even embarked on his treasure hunt. Just imagine the life full of regrets he would have endured, had he turned back.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Losing Weight The Lazy Way


I'm medium height, about 5ft 4inches. I'm told that's tall for a girl. But i'm the shortest person in my family.




The only time i have been skinny in my life was up to about 14 years old. 





As i started puberty, i found i was always hungry. At the same time, i developed a bad ice-cream habit which i haven't gotten rid off to date. Anyway, my weight has to date, ranged from my lowest at about age 21 of 59kg to 83kg (cringe). Although to tell the truth, lately its staying at the 79kg mark.


I'd rather not exercise, it isn't that i hate exercise or anything. In fact about 4 years ago, i took the exercise route and i got down to a lovely 65kg. 





However, i wasn't able to maintain my exercise routine, i was still eating the same and i regained the weight and some. I love food. That's when i told myself that since you can't maintain the exercise thing, why don't you try weight loss from the food angle? 
Then i remembered that i had successfully done so about 9 years earlier.



I was in my first year in University and i was visiting my aunt in Abuja, Nigeria. She was always on my case about my weight. So i started to listen a little bit. She had all these alternative health remedies books lying around. I did a lot of research. I found out about intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting or IF as it is commonly known has many forms.

For me, i decided to skip breakfast and eat 2 meals. This meant i ate at about midday and had a banana at night if i was really starving. That was it. For the first three days or so, i was starving so much. Then i guess my stomach shrank and i was no longer feeling hungry from my restrictive diet. In a month, i lost about 10 kg. My aunt was so happy.

When i returned home to Ghana my mother was worried. I think she thought i was sick or something. It turned out that she wasn't the only one. I actually had a girl come up to me on campus to insinuate that i had some disease that had caused me to lose weight. At that point, i regret to say that, at the time, i cared too much about what other people thought that i immediately started to eat more, so as to gain back the weight and be normal to the world again.

All that hard work undone by a few careless words. Anyway, i have never been called a quitter.





So i put on all the weight again plus some as usual. Then my clothes stopped fitting me properly and i started to feel unhealthy. Since i didn't want to go the exercise route again, i decided to research into diet pills. 






The first ones i tried were the Hydroxycut pills from USN, A South African company. I bought them at the Accra Mall Pharmacy for about 100GH.


I've actually tried those twice now. The first time they worked a little bit for me by speeding up my metabolism and suppressing my appetite a little bit. However i had horrible side effects like really strong heart palpitations, dry mouth and insomnia. However, i lost some weight and that made me happy.
The second time i used them, i had all the side effects and no benefit. Yes, this time i didn't lose a single ounce.



For my next foray, i decided to go local. I used the Fatless mixture and capsules from the Malarigo Co. Ltd, North Kaneshie after my younger sister told me about her overweight friend who had used them and had lost so much weight. That bit excited me. That cost me about 60GH. It came with an instruction sheet which was basically a diet plan, which i didn't follow. I took them all right, but there was no change in my appetite and i didn't lose any weight. That led me to suspect that i had probably been sold snake oil. In my opinion, if people are losing weight on this drug, then its probably because of the diet plan. So maybe the Malarigo people should stop selling the drug and just sell the instruction sheet.



You would have thought i had learnt my lesson by now. But i hadn't.


A friend of mine who runs a pharmacy, told me about this drug they stocked called Duromine which was very successful in appetite suppressing. As usual, i got super excited and convinced him to get me some to try for free. However, he told me the retail price is 110GH for 15 capsules. A pack has 30 capsules and is 220GH. 
He was right. The Duromine suppressed my appetite and made me want to drink a lot of water because i had dry mouth. I also had insomnia the first three nights.
But i lost some weight and that made it a successful diet drug in my opinion. In about three weeks of using it, i had lost about 5 kg. However, it stopped my period. That got me worried about its possible effect on my fertility and so i stopped taking it.
And i kept off the weight for some time because the drug stopped me from craving food for some time. 



However, because i stress eat, i gained the weight again.



So i returned to the Duromine again and i'm losing the weight. My stomach is flatter and food is no longer the most important thing to me.




I'm not advocating the use of Duromine. I would advise anyone who contemplates using a diet drug to see his or her doctor beforehand. I don't want any wahala on my head. I'm just sharing what worked for me and what didn't.

Tell me all about your weight gains and losses and worries in the comments!

UPDATE 
So i took Duromine for a month. Three days on it and three days off it. I am 11 kilos down!!!!!! Its made me more mindful of what i put in my mouth. Whenever i feel like eating when I am not hungry, i ask myself, what is the problem? That way, i am able to decide that ok maybe a walk would be a better option, or a call to a friend, or a new and interesting book to read. Basically anything but eat!
See you at the 65 kilogram mark!

Friday, 1 July 2016

Acne.org Review

Acne.org - The Regimen Review 


Bad acne has been my bane for the past ten years or so of my life. i have tried a lot of things, from a dermatologist at Rabito Clinic in Osu (that one was very harsh on my pocket and it didn't even work), to cheap medications that were recommended to me, to really expensive treatments from neighbourhood beauty supply shops. 
i was tired of being all dressed up and looking good to go some place and some stranger would walk up to me and say "oh i have a product that you can use to clear your pimples". i mean, come on, at least begin with you're looking good mpo eh. lol.

For some time now i have been seeing mention of acne.org whenever i google stuff about acne treatment. i finally gave in and went to the site. The first thing i noticed was that they mentioned that they do not do paid advertisements, that they rely on word of mouth recommendations. That's when i realised that maybe this would be my answer.
However, because i live in Ghana, i wasn't certain if they would ship here. Well, guess what!!! THEY DO!!!! I was excited. So i put in my post office box number and my Ecobank Visa card information and they sent it to me in about two weeks. I received a call from Ghana Post and i went to pick up my package. The Acne.org Regimen Kit is made up of:
8oz. Cleanser
8oz. Treatment (Benzoyl Peroxide - 2.5%)
8oz. Moisturiser with Licochalcone

It cost me a total of $66.01 including shipping, which at the time came to about GH260.00. Ouch i know.

The Regimen Kit


The whole regimen revolves around using a 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide in large amounts along with the gentle cleanser and a thick moisturizer. 

Steps in using the products: (these are included in the package)

First: Use the Cleanser to clean all the impurities and bacteria acquired throughout the day. Use only two pumps and make a great lather before applying it to your wet face. Make sure you only clean your face for 10 seconds. Rinse and pat dry. Take note that you should be very gentle in drying your face.
Second: Wait until 5 to 15 minutes until face is fully dry then apply 2 pumps of 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide in a gentle manner and wait for it to dry.
Third: Again, wait for 5 to 15 minutes until the BP is fully absorbed. Put 2 pumps of moisturizer on your face and wait for it to dry before putting make-up on. 

These steps should be done twice a day atleast 10-12 hours apart.  

Here's the overview and my review of the products:




Step 1 - Gentle Cleanser
From Acne.org
"When treating acne, it is important to avoid irritation. This generously sized, ultra-gentle liquid cleanser is designed to be pH balanced so it doesn't over-dry or strip the skin. It also produces a thick lather which cleanses just the right amount and rinses clean."

My Review: 
I love the cleanser. It is indeed very gentle to my sensitive skin. It doesn't sting and is not painful when applied. It doesn't even hurt if it gets in your eyes. You only have to apply it on your face for 10 seconds though and you also need to be very gentle. Dan (the founder of acne.org) emphasized that everything you do using the regimen should be gentle to steer clear from further irritation, since Benzoyl Peroxide itself can really irritate your skin if you are not used to it. I also found that instead of the two pumps the instructions say to use, one pump was enough for me. Cheers to lengthening bottle use. I'm not ready to get another one now. lol




Step 2 - 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide
From Acne.org
"This 2.5% benzoyl peroxide treatment is gel-based so it goes on clear and spreads easily. It is pharmaceutical grade, pH balanced, fragrance-free, and dye-free. It won't "clump up" with moisturizers, and won't turn white when you perspire. Studies show that 2.5% benzoyl peroxide works as well as 10% solutions, without the excessive dryness and irritation."

My Review:

The treatment is quite alright for my face. I was a little worried because i tend to have sensitive and oily skin. However, i did't experience any irritation. Maybe it was because i didn't use too much at a go. I built up to the full amount of two pumps over a week. I noticed that my acne has been behaving now. No noticeable zits peeking through. I have been using this product for 3 weeks now and I can really see the difference. 




Step 3 - Moisturizer
From Acne.org

"Overly dry skin perpetuates the acne cycle. Since benzoyl peroxide is a drying and peeling agent, it is important to properly re-hydrate the skin. This generously sized, intensely hydrating, non-comedogenic lotion eliminates dry skin and flakiness completely, while soothing acne-prone skin. It goes on clear and absorbs quickly, leaving no residue. It has a super-light feel and is fragrance-free and dye-free. Use it liberally without fear."

My Review:
Okay, last but not the least, the moisturizer! This is a very rich moisturizer! I only apply 1 pump of moisturizer to my regimen because my face tends to get so oily! I can't emphasize how oily I get when I put two pumps. My face is drying up but its not uncomfortable.still oily. I love the moisturiser. It doesn't break me out. It is gentle. Not totally odorless but i can bear the smell. 

Right now I am seeing huge improvements and those who know me are commenting on it. Even at that time of the month, i didn't have any breakouts. Currently, i don'st have any pimples but i do have hyper pigmentation from the old acne scars on my face. i hear glycolic acid is the best treatment for that, so i have sent for some from acne.org. I would do a review when that arrives.  I love The Regimen and i wholeheartedly recommend it. It's amazing!!


Before




After



Wednesday, 15 June 2016

How to go to Kantamanto or how to go thrift shopping or how to shop at the bend down boutique.

This is a continuation sort of my previous post.
Those who know me personally always ask me where I get most of my clothing from. People can never believe the amazing things I find at second hand clothing stalls and they want to know how they can do it too. These tips have been tested in Accra, Kumasi, Belle Marché in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire and in Abuja, Nigeria. Weep no more as here are my tried and tested tips!


1. Dedicate a day to thrift shopping:  
The second hand clothing stalls in Kantamanto in Accra central tend to be located close to one another. Be prepared to go from stall to stall bargain hunting for items that catch your eye. Be prepared as all sorts of offerings are on display; dresses, tops, bottoms, bags, shoes and so on.

2. Know the days fresh bales are opened:
This is a pro tip and its Tuesdays and Saturdays or so. I stand to be corrected if I'm wrong. However I've gotten great bargains on other days of the week that I've gone "foss" shopping.

3. Research the trends:
There is so much to choose from from the massive market place that is Kantamanto, so it helps to know what you're looking for. In order to know what you're looking for you need to do your homework. Look through magazines and fashion blogs to get an idea of what the trends are and try to recreate those looks when you go to Kantamanto. I am always amazed that I can go there with something specific in mind and I will usually find it! 

4. Dress for success: 
This is something I must reiterate as it is important to try on anything you purchase there. Ideally thrifting should be done with a friend so you can edit each other's choices. If the seller refuses to let you try on stuff, unless you're really certain as to the fit, please move on and don't buy the item. There are no dressing rooms there so it is imperative that you wear something form fitting like leggings and a tank top so you can try clothes on over your clothes. 

5. Think outside the Kantamanto box:
 This is so necessary guys. When you look at an item you have to visualize it outside of the immediate surroundings. Clothing tends to look drab and dirty at Kantamanto. What you must do is to picture it in your home, or picture what you might wear with it, or where you could wear it, and then you would start to see things differently. 

6. Be creative: 
Think of repurposing. For example, I bought a damaged, extremely outdated blouse because it had the most gorgeous buttons, which I then took off and attached elsewhere. Another time I bought necklaces that had broken links and some damage and had my tailor use them to upgrade clothes I had.

7. Be patient: 
There are many treasures to uncover at Kantamanto, but sometimes you have to go through a lot of stuff you don't want in order to find the one item you do want. Take your time and view your shopping as an adventure, not just a quick stop. 

8. Buy only what you love: 
Sometimes it is hard not to be like a kid in a candy store while thrifting. Why buy one top for 10gh when you can buy 10 for the same 10gh? R But chances are you don't really need 10 new tops, nor do you LOVE all 10 of the tops. Be realistic about what you will really wear and don't buy it if you don't love it. Thrift shopping is cheap but if you buy a lot of items that you never wear you can waste quite a bit of money over time. 

9. Inspect before you buy: 
Sometimes there is a reason certain items are at the thrift store. Clothing items might have a hole in them or a stain or they might just fit in a funny way. This is not always a reason NOT to buy something because sometimes these things can be fixed - you will have to judge that for yourself.

10. Bargain:
Because a seller says a skirt is 15gh and you think it's so cheap because you bought a skirt the week before in a boutique for 60gh, doesn't mean you should just exclaim excitedly " that's so cheap " and give your money over without haggling. Wrong move as you raise prices for the rest of us. Always bargain.

11. Clean out your closet before thrifting: 
Clean out your closet regularly and either sell the stuff you no longer have use for or give it out. Especially if the items are in good shape you should be able to sell online on tonaton.com or olx.com or kaymu.com, etc.

12. Be alert for pickpockets:
Either keep valuables like phones at home or if you do carry it along with your money, then be mindful of your surroundings and the location of those valuables. Someone seems to be hovering around you too much for comfort, change your route. Using cross body bags while shopping is another plus.
Let me know in the comments about any special tips you have for thrift shopping.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Money saving tips

In our current economic situation it is necessary to demonstrate financial intelligence and responsibility. I'm a saver thanks to the early intervention by my good friend and pseudo mother Spanky. So today our conversation is going to be on money smartness. You know, some simple ways to help you get started or make a difference. Maybe you have thought of some already, maybe not, but if this helps anyone out even a little, then it is worth my time to talk to you via my hands.

I switched to a savings bank account at Ecobank and that pays some small interest. So I save money, and I make a little extra from the interest. Though I pay a monthly charge of 5gh for the use of my atm card. I got my first checkbook for free. Every cedi counts. I used to have a current account where I had the dubious honor of having to pay bank to store my money for them to make even more money. No interest paid. And I was charged for everything. I was even charged  for checks. With my savings account I'm not sure what the interest will be but I do know it would be more than 0gh so it is good.

I cook more. Look it's not that hard. It is so much less expensive. Buying and cooking raw ingredients are much cheaper and healthier than prepared meals from a restaurant. I can make many delicious meals. If you don't know how to cook ... LEARN. You have the internet if you are reading this, meaning you have access to countless sources of knowledge. You also tend to spend less going out to eat because there aren't as many options. This is a good thing. Good for your health and your wallet. No fast food. You save so much money. If you work away from home a packed meal from home is a cash saver. If everyday you spend at least 10gh on food. That's 50gh weekly and 200gh monthly and 2400gh a year. Think what that money could buy. For me that would be a nice amount to vacation with, whether in another region or a neighboring country.

Sell items I don't need or want. That's what tonaton.com and olx is for. I've sold all sorts of things there. From electronic products I no longer use to footwear. Caveat here is to always ensure your safety by meeting up in a public place like a police station and not going alone. Personally I like to upgrade my mobile phone yearly so what I do is to take really good care of the present one so that I can sell it for as close to the price I bought it for as possible. I can then purchase the next phone of my dreams. So you may see me with a top level phone and think me either rich or with a sugar daddy. Nope. I'm a queen of bargain hunting and you can contact me for all sorts of deals.

Get a cheaper cell phone plan! I use Vodafone and I love Vodafone but the data plans on Vodafone are seriously killing me. They're so expensive and they run so fast. Currently 1.6 gigabytes of data on Vodafone which costs 26gh runs like water and finishes in 4 days just like magic. I have neither Instagram nor Snapchat. Even YouTube videos I seldom watch.Or someone has cursed me? Or it's my house people who are doing me?😅. Anyway I'm trying out glo and 2 gigabytes costs 25gh there. I'm using it on another device and using it as a hotspot to serve my phone as well. It's been 3 days so far and we're still going strong so I'll probably stick with it. The takeaway here is to always evaluate your internet data consumption and take appropriate measures.

This one may not be for everyone but my brother needed a bed frame and did a lot of research. He ended up buying a bed frame on tonaton.com for 150gh instead of the 400gh the carpenter was quoting him. So apart from selling stuff online, buying online is another option for bargains. Try aliexpress.com for all kinds of stuff. Some items on there are real crap but there are also some great finds. I love the prices there and I always make sure to read customer reviews before I purchase anything.

Please stay away from shopping malls and TV. Malls make you want to spend money. Buy your foodstuff from the market and put money into the hands of a hardworking woman or man instead of some foreign conglomerate. Don't go places where the temptation will be great. TV commercials make you want to spend money. They are designed to do so. You don't need any of that crap. It is not as important as what you are saving and working so hard for. Opening your own business, further education, Going on a trip, owing nobody, not even your friends. All of these things are more important than a new shirt or the latest shoes or KFC or the latest cell phone (which I have just shown you how to get for cheaper😀).
Walk more. You may own a car or have access to one. Save fuel and enjoy yourself in the process by taking a trotro or taxi. Trotros can be so interesting. The conductor's interactions with the driver and the passengers can be extremely amusing. As for taxis I take them when I absolutely have to and only after I have bargained to at least half of the taxi driver's initial quote. Save the wear & tear on your car.

Dates. So you have a partner and you'd like to step out on the town from time to time for date night. Do you know it is possible to do free or very cheap dates? Have a cook-off. Go for a walk where 1 of you is blindfolded and the other one has to guide you over obstacles. Read aloud on the beach. Go for a drive somewhere to watch the sun set. Write down your goals and then burn them off a candle flame into the wind. You know just think outside of the box.

Thrift shopping. There is so much money to be saved by thrifting. Kantamanto is your friend. Especially since the stuff that passes for brand new in our stores tend to be of poor quality. Fabric is flimsy and clothing is so expensive. Forget about one of a kind clothing. Before going thrifting you should do your best to go with a friend who's a pro at it. In my circle of friends I'm the thrift shopping star. Also know what kind of clothing you would want to purchase. Do your best to try on clothing before purchase, this is why it's imperative to wear close fitting clothing like leggings and a tshirt. This helps you try on clothing as hygienically as possible under the circumstances. Always keep in mind the power of alterations. Which can be done right there before leaving; lost buttons, hemmings, sizing down and so on.
The best advice however is not to give up. Keep making changes in small ways and you will get there. I was so hopeless a year ago and now I am starting to feel better. Things are starting to look up. I am able to sleep better at night knowing I am really doing everything I can think of to make my situation better and I am constantly looking for new ways and new ideas. Like I said not everyone can do all of these things but everyone can do at least 1 or 2 of these things, even right now, today, after reading this, you can do some of these things right away. Don't procrastinate. It's doable.
Let me know in the comments what you're doing with respect to budgeting.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Conversations that in my opinion should not be had with a significant other.

Weight change convos

For example your personal person loses or gains a significant amount of weight and it really isn't your cup of tea, please, please never say, "I think you need to lose/gain some weight." Apart from being painful to hear, it's seriously disrespectful. The only acceptable time that Not only is that incredibly hurtful to hear, but it's also just plain rude. The only time it's cool to talk about is if you think there's a health related situation. If it's about they not fitting your ideal of an acceptable aesthetic, then please stay silent. Convos like that may cause self esteem issues and may defeat the entire purpose of the convo in question. This is simply because talking about weight in certain ways is just telling your so-called personal person that they do not live up to your standards of beauty. Most of all, please  avoid making any passive-aggressive comments or jokes about your partner's appearance.

Comparing them to exes

Maybe it's true your ex may have been better in certain ways. However, if they had been so perfect y'all would still be together and not in each other's pasts.
Trust me when I say that the changes you may have envisaged that particular convo evoking would not happen. If anything, your current boo may shift even further information in the opposite direction from your ex and it's a cos 90 job. We're all different and that's what makes us awesome in our own ways. If you don't appreciate me the way I am, the way is your front for you to return to the ex.

Going In Depth About Past Sexual Experiences

This next item is so important. Your current boo may ask about your sexual past, but believe me when I say they don't really want to know. It's a trap! The fallout can go two ways. Either they'll start to compare themselves to that ex and even obsess over the smallest aspects of the story or use that information against you in really hurtful ways.

Analyzing Their Money Spending

If you're not married or living together, stay out of your partner's financial decisions. There's a reason it's the main things even married couples fight about. That information can be figured out when talk of marriage starts. But until then don't even try to chop pepper for somebody else's mouth.
Asking Uncomfortable Questions You Don't Really Want The Answer To
For example, asking your partner if you're finer than some other person, or what your score is on a scale of one to ten. You're simply setting up this person you claim to care about for failure.

Criticizing Their Family

There's a strong possibility that you may not like your boo's family and that's cool. What is not cool is badmouthing them to him. What would happen is that you're going to find out the real meaning of blood is thicker than water because family is forever and who knows whether y'all are going to stay together?

How You Don't Like Their Friends

Unless your boo's friends are truly horrible and rude to you, don't talk about how much you dislike them. Having a conversation with bae about how they're not the kind of people you think they should be hanging out with will not end well. You can vent to your friends but trying to destroy close relationships won't help you out in the long run.

Telling Bae That You Have A Crush On Someone Else

People get crushes...it's part of being human. You don't need to tell your partner every time someone else catches your eye- it will only make them less secure and more clingy. Don't be dishonest, but also avoid the conversation where you tell them all the other people you find attractive. If you have a serious crush that could turn into something, then yeah, be honest. But if it's just a silly attraction thing, you're better off keeping it to yourself.

Hypothetically Talking With Them About Breaking Up

Having a conversation about breaking up can be very detrimental to your relationship. There's a difference between saying, "Hey, these are all the things that aren't working in the relationship" and, "Wouldn't it be crazy if we broke up?!" The former clues your partner in to what's bothering you and gives them a chance to fix it. The former will just drive your boyfriend crazy.That's not healthy communication- that's emotional terrorism.

Which of these conversations have you had with your boyfriend?
How did it go?

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Women are single because of men

Why would I state that women are single because of men?


Some guys are eye-red and just plain greedy.

Let's understand something, Mr. Man you're definitely not perfect, so how on earth do you expect your lady to have the complete package? Ama may be pretty with solid curves but be lost in the wonderland called the kitchen, you know the habitual mistaking of sugar for salt, uncooked rice masquerading as cooked and so on? For Ama, there may be a man willing to teach her to cook and bring balance to the home. Mr. Man, the greed must stop. No lady is an angel. Akua may be quite plain in appearance and be straighter than a stick but may be well-spoken, polite, intelligent and God fearing but that earthly part of you wants Aba who is the exact opposite and a player of the best kind. She shows you pepper and you're quick to call all females heartless players. Mr. Man, na who cause am?

Commitment phobic guys

If only some guys would admit from the onset to their target female that ma'am I just want to date you, you know, nothing serious. Rest assured that there are some females willing to roll like that with you. After all, different strokes for different folk. An average lady in her mid to late twenties wants a serious and committed relationship and that's just when Mr. Right is still counting how many females he has slept with and how many more he can add to the notches on his bed post. I mean seriously? 

Caring and maturity 

Can a guy be available emotionally for his woman without her having to ask all the time? By being sensitive, I mean in being there for your woman all the time, without her asking. One of the saddest realities of our times is that age really is just a number. A guy may be in his mid to late thirties and still be immature and still be busy playing the field. He can't be limited to a single female, however he expects faithfulness from that unfortunate female. Cash isn't all a female requires. No it isn't. It's care she needs even though she may not be able to articulate it herself. When a man isn't available to a woman, she may begin by asking for his money all the time. The money may come and then she starts sounding off about the guy not caring for her. Women are not a cipher. Show her you've got her heart in good keeping and a man can smile all the way to the bank.
Brokeasses

No female would want to be with a broke man. My definition for a broke man isn't one who earns peanuts, no way it isn't. To me a brokeass man is one who lacks money sense, he has neither ambition nor vision. A real man, should know how to leverage his earnings such as they are in such a way as to increase his investments, improve upon his life as well as that of his loved ones. 



Indecisive men
A wishy-washy man is a waste of time. A man who doesn't know whether he's coming or going, is unable to make his own decisions is a turn off for smart females Nothing puts a girl off like indecision. Mr. Man, kindly make up your mind that it's that particular female you want in your life, warts and all. Don't waste anyone's time.

It is extremely unfortunate that everyone is quick to blame a single lady in her thirties for supposedly messing up when she was younger. No-one even considers the possibility that maybe, just maybe there's a guy who's fault it is.
Mr. Man my advice to you is that sure you can date any female you want to especially if she's willing, so long as you know what price you are ready to pay. If you know in your heart of hearts that this relationship is too high maintenance for you, I beg you, please don't go into it before you hurt two hearts. If you ask out a girl with the price of your entire monthly earnings on her head in the form of a Brazilian or Peruvian or Mongolian wig, and she knowing what you don't, kindly turns you down, don't get angry and disrespect her. She's actually helped you a lot. Monkeys play by sizes. You can't afford to date a girl with champagne tastes when you have beer bottle pockets. However, if she likes you and gives you the green light then you can and should date but always remember that when you're dining with the peasants and she's having pheasant with royalty that it was your choice.