Wednesday, 31 December 2014

TCWT December 2014 Blog Chain: “What works of fiction have taught you by example, and what did they teach you?”

I am so late that next year's blog chain is already up. I am ├╝ber disappointed in myself but I have a logical explanation. Have you ever been caught by an urge to just go on a cleaning spree? Well yesterday I was.  I cleaned everything and everywhere in my room. Under the bed, behind the shelf, so of course this involved moving heavy furniture ultimately making me dog tired.

Anyway, excuses shmexcuses, to the works of fiction that have taught me by example.

Chinua Achebe "No Longer At Ease "- The odds are never in your favor. Let me give you a mini-wrap, so this guy is a civil servant and for the longest time ever he has been avoiding corrupt activities that are unfortunately very common in his career field. Long story short, he finally succumbs to the pressure and the first and only corrupt thing he does...well let's just say it ends with government officials at his door step. The sad part is, everybody else has never been caught.

Ngugi Wa Thiong'o "The River Between",Half A Day and Other Stories,"Breaking Loose"-Moyez.G.vassanji,"- These were the books that I was required to read in my last year of high school and the moment I finished my last English paper it was all good riddance on this end but now look at me quoting the books I cursed. So what did they teach me? Going against the status quo is not easy. Period. But for your inner peace, do it!

Veronica Roth ""Divergent Series"- Age ain't nothing but a number. Okay so Divergent did not teach me that per se, but it indirectly did. Veronica Roth is what in her twenties and has a best seller, not book, series to her name. She is such an inspiration, and more of my crushing on her is seen here.

John Green "Paper Towns"- Teenage life and a bunch of down for whatever friends make a great combination for an epic road trip. Plus John Green's work always have his characters being pretty successful in school so yes, that too.

Downton Abbey- Although it's not absolutely fictitious, it has taught me that the industrial revolution rocked maybe even more than this pop culture age we are in. Okay it only rocked of you were royalty.

Parenthood. The Cosby Show- Family is everything  and don't you just want to be adopted into their family. Yes I am obsessed.  Plus Parenthood had/has Ray Romano in one of the seasons and you know, Everybody Loves Raymond.

A Different World- Taught me what college is, a different world from where you come from. If you did not see what I did there please just watch an episode or at least the intro.

That's about it and you should totally without a doubt go see the other bloggers who were on the chain this month.

25th – [off-day]
30th and
31st – (We’ll announce the topic for next month’s chain.

 Have a super duper 2015 and Happy Reading y'all!!

Friday, 19 December 2014

Surviving College: #FirstSemesterDown...

Well the first semester is kind of sorta down only because I haven't done my finals and handed in a particular paper yet, but other than that it's done. Only down side to this, instead of festivities guess whose got two thumbs and will be studying while you will be screaming your head off counting down the new year? Go on, guess, heck I'll save you the trouble it's me. Sad I know.

But I figured I might as well give you some advice on things you ought to do before college and  while you are in college.

So, up,up and away!

Do your research. I cannot stress this enough. This should probably be done during your high school life and that "empty" period between finishing high school and joining college. By research I mean, job shadow during your holiday even if it's just for a day, intern you will be able to see what REALLY goes into your otherwise pompous and glamorous prospective career choice. Be warned, this may sway your career choice but at least it will do so early enough as opposed to having an academic epiphany while in one of your last semesters of college.

Ask questions. Questions concerning everything and anything your career. This applies to everyone and I mean everyone in the field of your choice. Start with the students. Not only students who are in your dream university but also every other student in other universities which have never even crossed your mind or are your "safety-net". Why students? Well these guys are perhaps the most brutally honest  after kids. They'll tell you everything, from the course units, faculty, facilities you name it; basically campus life which tends to be overhyped in some instances. This way you will be able to compare and contrast universities based on first hand experience other than the contents of a brochure.  Afterwards you can now graduate to asking the big wigs in the field i.e the CEOs, airline pilots, world renowned writers, award wining journalists etc.

Sit in in a class. You know, like how in Gilmore Girls Rory sat at the very back of a lecture hall at Yale yet all the while Harvard was the dream, then that just changed the game. Okay, so maybe this example was not the best given that Rory did drop out of Yale for a period of time, actually my memory fails me, how did Gilmore Girls end again?  But I hope you see where I am going with this. Side note, if you don't know Gilmore Girls...I can't...I can't even. For real though, sit in in as many classes and at as many universities as possible. This will definetly influence you into making a well informed decision and definitely look up Gilmore Girls.

Accept change. Once you've carried out your research don't be afraid of listening to that little voice that's telling you "maybe University X isn't that bad" or "maybe career Y just isn't it". Don't be afraid of altering your dream just a tweak say changing your university choice or changing up the whole shebang like your career...of course only after careful deliberation. The whole point is to have you making this decisions early enough and evade all possibilities of a quarter-life crisis.

Work hard. Once you get in uni' and before you get in a.k.a high school this golden rule does not change. Especially in high school whatever it is Matric, K.C.S.E, I.G.C.S.E, G.C.E,S.A.T's and any other initialed major exam that supposedly determines your life, I can tell you for free good grades means you have an unlimited selection of college choices. So, go get it! 

Happy Holidays Y'all!!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Can you even....DIY:Box Organiser

Hi people! *enthusiastic wave*.

So it seems that this blog is covering pretty much anything and everything under the sun. People it's called finding your niche. Now let's get this show on the road.

I actually got this idea from a Youtuber whom  I can't seem to remember who exactly at the moment but thank you for the inspiration regardless.

What you will need:
1. Books.
2. Cut out cereal box.
3. Wall Paper.(Ksh. 10)
4. Pair of paper scissors.
5. Cello tape.
6. Stationary. (Optional)

1. Wrap your cut out cereal box like you are wrapping a gift.

2. Start from the base, cutting out the excess paper covering the opening.
3. Fold the excess paper into the walls of the cereal box. Fold twice to cover the raw edges and stick with tape against the walls of the cereal box.
4. Put the books of your choice (and if you are like me your secret stash of stationary) and... BOOM, BOOM, CLAP!!! you may not be picture perfect, but guess what you have yourself a Box Organizer.
Hope you find D.I.Y's as fun as I do. Try it out and comment down below if you would like to see more of these.

Happy D.I.Y-ing y'all!

All photo's in this particular article belong to the author of the article.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

They'll either want to kill you, kiss you, or be you.

This may be a short post, but I realize every time I say that it ends up being fairly long or my average blog post length. Feel free to scratch that.

****Mockingjay Whistle****

Now that all protocols have been observed, with the anthem and  of course District 12 salute. Can you believe it? It's over. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins, why ? No more Panem or Katniss and I cannot believe I am saying this, President Snow!!!

I remember my first encounter with the Hunger Games like it was yesterday. Call it my first dystopian experience. All doom and gloom, mostly gloom then Boom! (Ha! That rhymed) pink wig, shrieky voice, outrageous make up...mhmm Effie Trinket and the haunting words, "May the odds be ever in your favour," don't they just give you chills? And the ever dramatic "I volunteer". That was the movie trailer and the rest of my future.

 I promised myself I would never be a book series reader/lover but I had broken that rule more than once. What? Lemony Snicket, A Series of Unfortunate Events, could you have passed that up? All I can say is rules are meant to be broken and the Hunger Games trilogy was no exception.

But like all good things, in true good things fashion, the Hunger Games lived up to its
expectation of coming to an end.

So, you know how your grandparents had Little Women, Anna Karenina and I can't think of a manly book right about now, okay one just came to me, David Copperfield, not manly enough I know. Then your parents had their dystopia 1984 and the likes of Things Fall Apart, The Man, Cry the Beloved Country, The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born, a lot of African titles, can you guess what continent I live in? I feel more than privileged to say that I had  The Book Thief, The Fault in our Stars and may I just say evolution is the bomb dot com because I also get to say I was there when book series took over, hence the Hunger Games.

The Hunger Games needs no review. I am not worthy to critique Suzanne Collins. Maybe it is a dystopian love affair I have going on but the Hunger Games was an eye opener, Mocking Jay was life  and Catching Fire left me in all sorts of emotion, grief being the most predominant. Let me have my moment here: Finnick, Prim even President Coin and Katniss' decision? (No spoilers. See how I got you,)

The point of this blog post? A memoir and  a gratitude note to Suzanne Collins, Thanks for the memories!!

What is your favorite book series?

P.S. Is this how PotterHeads felt?

Sunday, 23 November 2014

TCWT: Use pictures and individual words to show what, to you, is the essence of being a teenager.

Hello Teens Can Write Too! community.It is always a pleasure writing with you and for you so without further adieu, this month's blog chain topic:

Use pictures and individual words to show what, to you, is the essence of being a teenager. 

This topic could not have come at a better time especiallywith how I am about to bid a bitter farewell to teenage-hood in a few weeks time. To me the essence of being a teenager is all the experiences that you will go through/have gone through, which let's face it, words cannot describe but heck, I love a challenge. My individual words and pictures are categorized by ages 13-19, so here goes:  


High school
New experiences

Temporary relief

Fitting in
Abbreviations(F.O.M.O, Y.O.L.O)
Clubs and Societies


Finals(High school)

New people
Money problems
Social awkwardness


Social media
Reality T.V

So this is not accurate but one thing is for sure, being a teenager is no where close. Enjoy your teens while they last because they will be gone just like that(trust me I know). I guess you just have to let go and let God. For now, that's all folks!!
Be sure to check out the other blogs on the chain:

5th –

6th –

7th –

8th –

9th –

10th –

11th –

12th –

13th –

14th –

15th –

16th –

17th –

18th –

19th –

20th –

21st –

22nd –

23rd –

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Surviving College: #WalkingNineToFive

Yes people, you read that right, walking nine to five. Of course you'll probably also be working nine to five, okay, I lie probably more hours than that, but nevertheless, you still have to be comfortable especially in the feet department. I can guarantee you will be walking everywhere because that bus fare is not as cheap as you initially thought.

At this point, I think this would be the right time to tell you that fashion and style go out the window, not completely though, while comfort, versatility and durability come into play. You're probably going to have to say bye to your ballet flats because honey, these Nairobi Streets will have no mercy on them. And heels, well, I suggest you change into them once you reach your destination. That's fair enough,right?

So onto my choice of shoes for your comfort:

1. These shoes are no doubt the most comfortable and durable, but best of all, they do not cost you an arm or a leg or both. These shoes go with all informal pants i.e jeans, khaki, chinoes you name it. Seen here. These shoes retail between 300/- and 500/-. Yet another plus is they do not have shoe laces and are very similar to TOMS, which could be the best shoes ever invented.
  And to keep my promise of fashion and style not going entirely out of the window, I am going to give you a minute to see how Shameless Maya styles them here and how Sharon Mundia of thisisEss styles yet another pair of shoes also as comfy here You see how I got you.

2. These next shoes I practically live in. Yet again they are cheap(within the same price range as the one's above), comfy and durable. The closest image I could find was the one below. Of course, these are a different brand and price but you get the visual idea.

(Both are available in Bata stores.)

If you are not into all these pocket friendly shoes, I still got you. In fact, the shoe world is your oyster. Let me refer you to my wishlist:
These are available in Bata and retail for Ksh.1,799.

There are a lot more shoes of course from Vans to North Stars to adorable thrift finds. The choice is yours, and your pocket's of course.

The only down side to these shoes is when the rainy season strikes you would be safer opting for boots, let me just emphasize, water proof boots.
My all time fave, riding boots:

Make the right shoe choice people no matter how good that pair of heels is looking. Happy and comfy walking guys!!

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Book Review: #It'sKindOfAFunnyStory Ned Vizzini

She's alive...I know, I know its been one awfully long minute but don't blame me, blame the person who invented education. Okay maybe not? But I think any loyal reader deserves an word WORK. I have been neck deep in assignments, group work, tonnes of reading the list could go on and on, so let me stop myself and book review!!

Well, It's Kind Of A Funny Story is kind of a funny story. What? It is.

Let me give you the rap. Craig Gilner, a boy in his early teens, fifteen to be exact who happens to be depressed. His depression takes a turn for the worst when he becomes suicidal. He ends up checking himself into a psych ward in a bid to become better. We follow Craig on his remarkable journey during his five day stay in the hospital.

I cannot begin to explain how accurate this book is, especially when you begin to see the teenage decisions Craig is faced with. The teenage years, still the worst. Take for instance Craig who literally studies his middle school life away yet his best friend hardly lifts a finger and, they both get in. Relatable, no? Come on we all know that one person who works on an application an hour befre the deadline, sails through and then there's you, the unfortunate soul who slaved away for days, no weeks, no months to possibly get in.

Then the lame notion that the grass is always greener on the other side. Ha! Such a lie. Ned Vizzini could not have been more spot on capturing this aspect. Craig who was under the illusion that the school of his dreams was going to be all that and a bag of chips, turns out is what got him into the psych ward in the first place! Yup, the grass you are currently on all yellow and smelly, dead, dry and wilted isn't actually that bad.

The accuracy was one thing but the different perspective that Ned let's you see mental patients from is another. This line sums it all up,


So, the book does live up to its title, you know, being kind of funny and all. Craig, despite being on the verge of suicide, his thoughts send you on a bout of stifled laughter. His diagnosis after he checks himself in is "suicidal ideation". Let me just tell you he is not the only one who thinks that that would make a rad' band name. Kind of funny huh?

This book couldn't be more versatile. It's for the confused new teen just as much as it is for the curious tween. Are you in a mid life crisis? This is possibly the book for you. Are you a parent to a teenager? This book somewhat helps you to understand the teenage mind, but let's face it you'll never fully understand it.

Of  course, I didn't like everything about it especially the steamy scene at the end but other than that everything was great especially the characters Muqtada, Solomon and of course how could I forget Noelle and all the other incredible characters?

A book dealing with mental illness of course is not all rainbows and cherubs but once in a while a reality check is in order.

P.S Ned Vizzini, the author, did spend five days in a psych ward and look what came of it, a bestseller!

Songs on replay while I was reading this book:
Foster The People- Coming of age
Sam Smith- Restart

Feel free to comment with anything #It'sKindOfAFunnyStory and tell me since this book has a motion picture to it, do you think the book was kept in the movie or was the movie better?

Happy reading y'all!!

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Surviving College: #TimeBomb

So the mummy (myself) has just arisen from her tomb (studying). But I am back now for like what will probably seem like a New York minute otherwise known as study break!!

My mind has been all over the place, but time has been my greatest enemy it seems. Now that you know where I am at and also from the title of this post you can probably guess my rant and rave this time is about, Time. One minute it's there all contact and right there, then BOOM!just like that, before your very eyes its gone.

So heads up, I am no pro in giving anyone advice but I am not disorganized to the point of dysfunctionality  so I guess I am doing something right. But honey I need a map in my life, some go to tips when I veer off in the wrong direction.

Of course I did not come up with this list all on my own, I had some much needed inspiration from one Miss Shirley B. Eniang here whom I absolutely adore but my mild obsession with her is a blog post for another day and from this particular article on who is one of my coolest friends, keeping it real since high school.

Here goes:

1. Accept there is no time. The sooner you do, you can show the big bad wolf (time) whose boss. Put on your war paint and try doing everything an hour or two earlier. Wake up earlier for one, yes your blankets have accepted you as one of their own but those books are not going to read themselves.

2.Compromise. No, I don't mean one hour of books and like a 23-hour break, but something like two hours full out books of course with mini 5 minute breaks in between spent watching a short YouTube video rather than a whole playlist.

3. Lists. I used to be totally against these for the pure reason that you can't stick to a list. But wait until assignments are coming at you left, right and and lists basically BFFs. They'll soon be on your phone (reminder, alarms), sticky notes, handy notebooks, notice boards in your room so long as you are in constant visual or audio contact with the list, you're good.

4. Reduce distractions. Ask yourself do you really need to reply to that juicy text? Watch a marathon of your favorite series? Or do either while you study? If you answered no to all of these questions you are well on your way to easy, breezy assignments (you thought I was going to say easy breezy Cover Girl, right?)

5. Be prepared. Scout's motto. Preparation is key, you never know what may be hurled at you next, group work, individual assignment, course readings, pop quiz, club meetings, looking like you knew all about it simply won't cut it. Studying ahead is always a life saver.

6. Immediate effect. You know that assignment you were given weeks ago? The one you probably haven't started on, the one which will probably be a disappointment, grade-wise because you robbed yourself of sufficient time to do it? Well, you probably wouldn't be contemplating an excuse right now to your professor right now if you started on it...wait for it...immediately.

7. Be in the know. Constantly update your email or whatever other forum that may be used to pass on school information or any other information at least every few hours or so. The last thing you need is hearing that there was a late night assignment posted and due for submission at an even weirder hour when you were snug as a bug in a rug in bed.

8. Breathe. Turn up. Okay of course my idea of a turn up is a good book, hot chocolate and pajamas all day but hey we are all different. Turn up in the most sane way possible because stopping to take a deep breathe makes all the difference.

Do you have anything else to recommend? I would be more than happy to hear from you,

I know leave you with the wisest thing I heard yesterday from my classmate who has significantly risen on my cool chart.

Me; Why do you smile so much?
Guy: Because I believe right now I have everything I need to be happy.
Me: Are we in the same class?

I need his optimism, even a fraction of it.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Book Review: E. Lockhart's, We Were Liars

I knew this day would come. I wasn't sure of neither the day nor the hour but like a thief in the night, there it was. A book. I. Didn't. Like.

Now that I have your attention, I will tell you That I am a horrible liar. See what I did there? Read We Were Liars and started the post with a lie?

It's basically about Cadence Sinclair a member, first grandchild and heiress to the "perfect" Sinclair family. This picture perfect family begins to fall apart bit by bit, all the while Cadence or Cady being in the middle of it all . A freak accident leaves Cady with a tainted memory as she struggles to figure out why her whole world has since come crushing down after a particular summer.

The language use in this book is quite phenomenal and phenomenally vivid. It is on a whole other level of vividness that at some point I was lost at whether the description was just imagery or if it was the actual activity. For instance when Cady's father leaves them she describes it as a gun shot to her chest like so, "Then he pulled out a hand gun and shot me in the chest." If you happened to sit across from me when I read that line the increase in my eye circumference would have had you having a better understanding of the phrase "eye-opening",

A couple of minor cardiac arrests were experienced due to the oh so vivid imagery which I did not get used to. No complaints here since it kept me alert, awake.

Chronology in this book was rather daunting to follow but toward the end when everything begins making sense to Cady as she regains her memory it also began to make sense to me. Almost as if you are remembering with her. Slow clap for E. Lockhart is in order giving us an intense memory loss experience.

The characters. Well of course there has to be a dashing lad of interest and We Were Liars' is Gat. My view of Gat  is rather biased but I will tell you this he is no Augustus Waters neither is he a Peeta Mellark or even a Tobias "Four" Eaton. Gat is simply Gat, but he sure got some lines, he'll get you turning redder than a plum. Mirren, well she's just another teenage girl with an imaginary boyfriend wanting everything that is not yet within her reach.But Johnny, Johnny is like the ultimate bro like Paper Towns bro.

But if there's anything I loved from this book was the unforgettable lines, otherwise known as quotes like,

"Always be a little more kinder than you have to."


"He was contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee."

The things I would do to be described that exotically. E. Lockhart make my dream come true?

But my all time favorite would have to be,

"Never take a seat in the back of the room. Winners sit up front."

Which has since become my mantra.

Although I wasn't going on and on about it to anything or anyone with ears or imagining myself as one of the characters or constantly looking for other books the author has written or any other bizarre fan girl activity you can think of, I think I may have missed out on something . I don't know . To find out I guess I'll have to read it again I hope you'll read it with me.

Don't be afraid to comment down below on anything #WeWereLiars. Happy reading y'all!!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

TCWT: What are your favorite book beginnings and/or endings?

Salutations TCWT community. This may be my shortest post yet owing to the fact that I have been having one crazy week but I will have you know that this is the highlight.

When I saw this prompt I was honestly rather excited but since books form a major part of life, at least in the recent past that is, it was like telling me to choose who my favorite child is except if you are a book lover like me, you will probably admit that you do have a favorite.

So my favorite book beginning, I have to tell you that this, this my friends was a no-brainer. The book, The House at Sugar Beach by Helene Cooper. At first I didn't understand a word of the first chapter given it was in Liberian pidgin English. It basically revolves around Helene Cooper, her family and her country before, during and after the Lliberian civil war. The best thing though it shows what she was going through as a tween, teen and a relatable adult during this tumultuous time.

The very first time I read it, the beginning had me nearly giving the book away but then I decided to give it a second chance, this time reading it slower. Having watched enough West African films which use nearly the same pidgin, the first chapter turned out to be rather funny and relatable. Helene's mom is on the verge of firing one of her house staff who really needed to hit the road ages ago but stays on because sometimes you really are at your help's mercy other than the other way round. It's quite hilarious how the member of staff pleads for his job back, a security bloke who sleeps on the job even before the youngest of Helene's sister's bedtime.

As for my favorite book endings, well that was the real challenge. More like the ghost of Christmas past had come to haunt me, reminding me of all the unfinished books I have read. I was able to settle for what is now my second favorite book of all time, "The Help". I would encourage you to read my book review on it  here     .

Its ending though is all types of beautiful. Take for instance Aibileen whose life seems to be beginning just when she thought it was ending in the most unlikely of ways, Minny who finally sums up the courage to do what she needed to do ages ago and finally Ms. Skeeter who gets her shot as a writer finally. All this with the villain, Ms. Hilly thinking she got them and she got them good when really, they all got her good if you know what I mean. (Hint: Terrible Awful).

No spoiler here(so proud of myself) but I will apologize for being uber late on the post. Be sure to check out everyone else's blog posts on the same prompt and feel free to leave a comment.

(Yes, I realize this may not be my shortest post yet.)

7th –
8th – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
22nd – – –
25th –
26th –
27th –
28th –
29th – –
and (We’ll announce the topic for next month’s chain.)

Don't be a stranger!