Going green at home


I have to admit for a long time, I thought going green would be a complicated thing .I thought it would cost money, time, and uncomfortable because I would have to change a lot of stuff in my lifestyle. I think a lot of this had to do with the fact that I was quiet ignorant about what it meant and to be honest there was also some laziness and fear mixed in. In my mind, I thought going green meant being an extreme tree huger.(not that I have anything against them in fact the more In have led this lifestyle the more I admire people who dedicate so much to keeping our planet healthy and safe.
I am happy to report that I have learnt a few things since then.
• Going green does not have to be expensive or even complicated. There are simple changes that you can make that will not cost you any more money in fact they can even save you lots of money, and benefit you in other ways.
• We all have a responsibility to protect this planet that is our home. Every single one of us not just the environmentalists, if everyone made a few simple lifestyle choices, the positive effects on the planet’s wellbeing would be huge.

Easy ways to go green for beginners

Use less paper:

When printing, think about whether you really need that document printed, secondly printing on both sides of paper is also something that you could consider
Read newspapers online instead of buying physical papers. One area connected to this that I am struggling with is using my kindle more. I still prefer having my books in hardcover but I think I have reached a compromise; for new books, I try to get e books but then I also pick up books from second hand stores and then take them back when I am done

Get a house plant

Plants that are placed strategically in the house are one way of bringing the beautiful outdoors into your house. Houseplants have been shown to improve health, I also  like that they can be an economical way to add to the decor of an indoor space. There are so many varieties to choose from including spider plants, peace lily, orchids, aloe vera, if you are feeling adventurous you can even get a tree that can thrive indoors.

Donate stuff

This leads me onto the next change than you can do which is donating items that you do not use anymore. There are so many charities that would appreciate items like clothes, bikes etc., in fact you might know someone that could appreciate the clothes that you do not want any more, a niece ,neighbor etc. I also started passing my magazines to other people. On a recent visit to the dentist, I noticed that they had photographic and women’s magazines from 2010. Since the practice is next to my house, I dropped more recent magazines which they really appreciated. I am enjoying leading a life with less staff. read about my experience here.

Reusable shopping bag

When shopping for groceries, you can save by carrying your own bags since most stores have started charging for disposal bags. Most of them actually sell re-usable bags that last for a long time but are very cheap. I also carry one of those tiny pretty reusable ones in my handbag in case I buy something unexpectedly.

Reusable coffee cup

If you cannot do without your coffee (I admit I belong here too) then consider bringing your own mug into the coffee store. Some stores actually stock reusable mugs and will charge you less when you bring use them

Turn off electronics when not in use

I have to admit took me a while to catch on to the fact that electronics that are not turned off completely still consume energy. A small amount for sure but over time it does add up. So every night I make sure that my television and laptop are turned off.

Have one vegetarian day every week

Both the planet and your waistline might thank you for this. I started this as a challenge and so glad I did because it allowed me to try new recipes that I never would have and who knew that my children would actually love eating vegetable meals. There are so many websites with great recipes. I like this one.

Switch to green household cleaners

Research has shown that chemicals used to, make these products are not only harmful for the environment but also for our health. Check for products made with plant based products

Use less water

Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth and similarly when showering turn it off when lathering, this will save a huge amount of water.

Get your children involved

when I started making some of these changes, I would get the children involved as much as possible. For example they would help choose their own clothes and toys for recycling and come along when we delivered them. I would also explain to them how their choices affected the planet. For example, I taught them the value of water, turning the tap off when not in use.

Drive less, try carpooling

If it is possible and realistic for you, ditching the car for other means of transport like biking or walking can not only save you money but help you keep fit too. A friend  of mine who decided to use the train instead still managed to keep fit by getting off one stop before her regular stop and walking home.
Carpooling is another option.

Start composting in your back garden

This makes amazing fertilizer for plants
The examples above are simple things that you could do right now to live a greener life. I believe in making sustainable small changes that over time. Since they are so small, you are more likely to keep up with it and will also notice the snowball effect.

Green house cleaning products

making own products for cleaning the houseMy decision to move to greener household products was one of those casual decisions that you make without thinking about. A while back, I moved to a new apartment. Although it is a lovely little place, it was only once I had moved that I realized how much cleaning I would have to do to get it looking how I wanted. My employer had reduced my hours to a few a week therefore money was tight. With this in mind I had to watch every penny that I spent. For the first time, I become conscious of how much money I spent on cleaning products. I had to scrub the whole house down from the walls, windows, and toilet and then there was there was the carpet. No amount of vacuuming could get rid of the stuffy smell.


Another reason that made me think about using more organic products around my house was the worsening of my skin condition. My skin had always been prone to outbreaks but for some reason, it was getting worse. When I saw the dermatologist she prescribed a treatment that a few months before I would have bought without a second thought but with my due to less hours at work, had become too expensive for me. With this in mind, I turned my laptop on and started researching on how I could prevent my skin from breaking out.
One thing lead to another and I found myself reading about the chemicals in cleaning products. This was the push I needed to make some changes to my lifestyle. The skin is the largest organ on the human body and all the chemical based cleaning products was doing more harm than good.


Tips on how to start using greener house cleaning products

1. Start small
2. Replace each store bought product as it gets used up, this way you can spend a few minutes here and there doing research what greener options are available.
3. To prevent accidents, label any cleaning products that you store in containers with all their ingredients included.
4. Use the same precautions that you would use for store bought products for example keep them away from children and pets
5. Test homemade products on a small area before use to avoid destroying surfaces.

Although the market is full of organic products, the fact that I had very little money to spend to begin with was a driving factor in my decision to explore cheap homemade alternatives.
The products that I use the most are baking soda and white vinegar because they can replace so many commercial products.
Below are different ways in which they can be used.

Using baking soda and vinegar to clean

• Can be used to clean drains: pour some baking soda down the drain followed by vinegar. Wash it all down with hot water
• To clean the toilet, pour 1 cup of water down the drain followed by baking soda and let it sit for a short while before scrubbing
• Baking soda damped with a little water makes a good scouring powder
• Baking soda can make a brilliant deodorizer. Remember the awful smell in the carpet, I tried store bought air freshener and carpet deodorizer but the smell would always come back even with the windows left wide. I got rid of it finally by mixing a few drops of essential oil (lavender) to baking soda, sprinkled it liberally on the carpet and left it overnight. The next day, I swept it off the carpet before using my vacuum cleaner and the smell was gone finally! After all the different products, I had used, I cannot tell you how glad I was to get rid of that awful smell.

For anyone looking for a greener or more economical way to clean the house, homemade products are worth a try.

Getting rid of stuff minimalism my way the journey so far

Owning_fewer_possessionsHow I got here

When the lease of the apartment I was renting expired, I decided to move to a different town and was horrified by the stuff I had accumulated over 4 years. Because I could not afford to bring most of it, I was forced to go through all my possessions for the first time since I had moved there.
Over the years, I had amassed a large collection of shoes, bags, clothes, books, and so much house stuff. As I sifted through my stuff I realized a few things

Over the years I had wasted so much money buying duplicates: for example

  • When I moved into the apartment it was furnished but I had bought lots of new things because they were in a style I liked so in the end I had duplicates of household things
  • I have been unhappy with my weight for about 10 years and regularly bought clothes that did not fit( in the hope that I would somehow lose the weight
  • A bargain is cheap: Because it was so hard for me to pass a sale, I bought stuff not because I needed or even liked them but because of the price and would end up not wearing them. I had also continued to buy high heels even though the pain in my back and fallen arches made them impossible to wear. So although I had so many clothes, shoes and bags in my room I wore the same few things over and over again. ( well some of it did not fit anyway, see point above)
  • Organizing stuff around my apartment was so hard/ tiresome/ time consuming: because I had so much stuff; at the weekend I would spend time cleaning and tidying, only for the whole place to get disorganized during the week again. Most of my stuff did not have a particular spot I would just shift things around.

How I started to declutter

Since I had to move, I did not have a choice but had to get rid of some of my possessions. Was it easy? No but it got easier with time. I started with my wardrobe; I put everything in one of 3 piles; get rid of, keep and maybe. When I started, I kept moving things from the get rid to maybe pile. When I realized that I was not getting anywhere, I became more ruthless;  any dresses that did not fit, I had not worn in a few months, did not suit my shape or size, had duplicates went on the get rid pile regardless of how much they had cost me. It got easier with time but I had a strong attachment to things and letting go was very hard.

As soon as I was done with the clothes I put the ones I was not keeping in bin bags and out of the house so I would not be tempted to keep them.
Being an avid reader, I had more than 1,500 books. This was another hard area for me. My love for books meant that I was very attached to them. I kept a few sentimental books I could not bear to part with, rare books and career/ business related books and for the rest I applied the same ruthlessness I had done with my clothes. To make the process easier for me, I went through my list of books (I have always kept an online catalogue) and any books that I could buy online, I got rid of because I had the consolation that I could always buy them.

Minimalism is an ongoing journey for me. I have learned so much about myself already. I am always challenging my own assumptions about things whether in relation to material possessions or about how I view the world in general.

Here is video with more tips

Tips For Beginners to Minimalism



Minimalism encourages living a simpler but fuller and more meaningful life. There is such a wide range of how people have interpreted what this means. Some people think that to be minimalist means to own as few things as possible while others take it to mean having a mindful and intentional relationship with possessions.
Personally I think minimalist living is a personal/ individual thing. There is no one size fits all here; in fact even for one person it can be a process that changes as they go through the different seasons in life what might not be necessary for a single girl about town might become a necessity when you become a mother.

Secondly, it encompasses more than material possessions, it can be applied to other areas in our lives for example how we spend our time.
Regardless of your take on the meaning of minimalism, we can all benefit from decluttering. Below are some ways in which beginners can declutter, have fewer things and lead more fulfilling lives.

Minimalism for beginners

  1. The best way to begin this process is to get rid of stuff: any items that you are not using, or any items that are duplicates. Donating to people will put them to use or to thrift stores is a perfect way of recycling. If you find this process hard then you can;
  2. Start with one room in your house or one type of item for example going through your wardrobe or books
  3. Go online: Taking advantage of technology for example instead of buying physical magazines, newspapers or books you can buy e-versions so that you have less clutter to start with.
  4. Related to the above, you can also digitize some items that you want to keep for example photos, documents and DVDS
  5. Mind awareness: If you find getting rid of some things particularly hard, question why you are attached to them. This same awareness can also be applied ;
    When you want to buy new stuff: reflect on whether you actually need it.
  6. Another way of handling the attachment for particular items is to have an “in between place” like a box or room where you can keep them and evaluate in a few months whether you missed them or even need them.
  7. Commit to the process: Anyone who has spent a whole day cleaning and organizing will soon learn that key to keeping the room organised depends on having a space for items, and putting them back in their space regularly. The process of decluttering is the same, it is never completely done.
  8. All the time in the world: When you get rid of stuff, you might find that you have more time on your hands, more energy etc. on your hand for example if you decide to get rid of the television. It is a good idea to spend this time more meaning fully whether with loved ones, learning or practicing a hobby.
  9. Do not compare yourself to other people. Reading or hearing about other people’s journeys is great because we can learn from them but the negative aspect of this is that we can start comparing/ judging ourselves. The flip side of this of course is that it is not uncommon for someone people might judge you and question if you are a “real minimalist” because you are not doing things according to their idea of what minimalism is.

I hope these simple steps are helpful on your way to a life filled with less stuff but more fulfillment.


Why women should lift weights



While women have used cardio exercise to lose weight, lifting weights was primarily seen as a male activity. Many women fear to lift weights because they think that they become unfeminine by developing heavy muscles. The reality is that because we have a low level of testosterone which is the primary hormone for muscle growth, strength training will not make us develop large muscles.
I have to admit I used to think the same until I joined Instagram and started seeing how other women were changing their bodies by changing how they trained. I am so thankful for this because for the first time, I actually considered adding weights to my training regime. I had been running on and off for a while and had started doing the popular couch to 5k but I felt adding this made me get faster results. I never completed my first round of couch to 5k. Looking back, the issue was that I did not go at my own pace but compared myself to other people. I have started again and this time I am listening to my body and taking it much slower. And off course, I am using some weights too.

Below are some reasons why women should weight train

1. Continue to burn calories for a longer time.
Weight training builds lean muscle which helps the body burn more calories throughout the day.

2. Better Sleep
Weight lifting aids in both the quality and the duration of sleep.

3. Become stronger
With muscle comes the advantage of functional strength. When the body is stronger, every day activities like carrying babies, standing or bending for long periods of time during house chores like cooking, cleaning and even doing stuff out of the home at work is easier. One of the benefits I personally noticed was that it helped with the pain in my back. Because I sit at the computer for long periods of time, I always felt like my back had a kink I could not get rid of.

4. Increased Energy
Any type of exercise increases energy levels. A study published by the National Institute of Health showed that exercise including strength training positively affects energy balance and fat oxidation.

5. Stress reliever
One way or another we all get stressed by life. Whether it is due to personal, health or work related issues, strength training can help to relieve this and make us feel better.

6. Improve bone health
As we get older, we have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis due to losing muscle and bone mass. In older women, this risk is even higher because as we become post-menopausal, the body stops producing oestrogen.

7. Improve posture
Women with bad posture can use exercise to strengthen the muscles along the skeletal system.

8. Confidence level.
When you start lifting weights and over time realize how strong you are becoming git can be a great boost of confidence.

In conclusion, adding weights to a training regime is the perfect way to lose weight or change the shape of your body. While going to the gym can be sued to get these benefits, with so many videos online and a pair of weights from the store, working out from home might not be a bad idea either.

My Experience living with Acne

I have adult acne;on my face and back.It has taken me a long time to accept this fact but it is something that have to live with every day.Unless you suffer from a skin problem it is very easy to play down the effect that it can have on your life.You have to put more thought into things like your skin care regime when you have acne.Looking for treatments and ways to get rid of it is also time consuming.I can only image how hard it must be for teenagers that might already have the awkwardness and self-confidence issues that come with that stage in life that get this problem because as an adult for awhile it took control of my life.I get fewer breakouts now but sometimes I feel like one is not far away.

Different Types of Acne

  •  Acne appears on various parts of the body. It is common on the face, neck, back and chest.
  • Whiteheads come about when the skin pores are completely blocked by oil, bacteria and dead skin cells They appear as white spots on the face.
  • Black heads are similar to whiteheads but are caused by partially blocked skin pores such that some of the trapped oil, dead skin cells and bacteria come to the top of the skin. They also take longer to get rid off than whiteheads.
  • Papules and pustules are inflamed bumps that appear on the skin that can lead to scarring if squeezed.More severe acne types of acne include nodules which are large and painful lumps under the skin. Cysts are filled with pus are usually painful and can lead to scarring.

What’s This On My Face

I had always had very clear skin. I did not even get breakouts as a was a teenager. Then I started getting a few breakouts here and there when it was that time of the month but nothing to worry about.However the frequency with which they started to appear increase then I woke up one day and I had what I thought was a rush on my face. My immediate thoughts were it was a reaction to my new cleanser-I went and bought another one.

Over the next few days the rush got was then started to itch first slightly then a burning sensation that I could not help scratching. In all honesty the thought that it might be acne did not even occur to me at this stage.The burning did not stop,the spots got more pronounced especially on my jaw line though I had them even behind my ears and when every one started asking me what was happening to my face I knew it was time to see the doctor .After examining my face and back the doctor asked me if I had ever got acne as a child.When I answered in the negative she explained how some people will get it as adults.

Having to deal with this skin problem really knocked my confidence back.Every time I interacted with people I could not help thinking that they were looking at the breakouts.I planned my social life around them staying indoors if I had flare ups and piling on alot of make up when I had to go out.


People will react to treatments differently therefore you should try different things until you get what works for you.Hopefully it will not be a long journey for you.

There are medicated cleansers and lotions that you can use for mild acne. Ask the pharmacist or your doctor to recommend some to you

It would take forever for me to go through all the different products that I have tried.In the quest for clear skin I have followed different remedies some of which looking back,I should not have even gone near. The fact is that sometimes when you are desperate you can try anything.

I have used Prescription medication for 2 years and also use medicated over the counter beauty products. At the moment, I am trying to lead a more healthy lifestyle by eating healthier foods and exercising.

Every Day Life With Acne

When you have acne you have to take more time with your beauty routine. You cannot just wash and go.

I use a cleanser that is mild on my skin but strong enough to get rid of the excess oil, dead skin and bacteria

This can be tricky because on one hand I fear that moisturizing will cause breakouts but then if I do not my face looks dry and flaky. Besides certain medications dry out the skin even more. Important ingredients to look out for in your beauty products;

  • Benzoyl peroxide helps to kill bacteria and exfoliate the skin;
  • Salicylic acid unblocks skin pores and reduces swelling and redness while sodium sulfacetamide reduces the growth of bacteria on the skin.

You need to protect your face from the sun rays therefore use a sunscreen that is light or water based.
Try not to pick your skin or squeeze pimples as it can prolong healing time, scaring and risk of infection .I know this can be hard -It still is for me when I get the breakouts because this can cause a lot of scarring.Having skin problems is something many of us have to live with eveyday.Share your thoughts on how you make life better for your self and what products you use to make it better.

Here is an interesting article I came across that might interest you.