August Q&A – Grandma’s Visit, Income Sources, & More

Where did summer go? Considering that it’s only 60 degrees in Nairobi, I feel like I was robbed of summer and want a refund. Nonetheless, we’re now in my favorite month of the year because it’s my birthday month (pew pew pew!!!) and I’m turning 30 at that! Here are your questions from August – if I didn’t answer you, that means I’d already answered the question in a previous Q&A, which you can check out here!

Hair and Beauty

Q&A

  • What are you doing to grow your edges back with regards to postpartum shedding?

    I chilled with the braids for a few months (and then got knotless braids instead of box braids or cornrows since they’re more gentle on edges), and I also used this castor oil product and this one as well.

  • What’s your current favorite foundation?

    I haven’t been wearing foundation much recently since it makes my masks dirty (so annoying!) but my favorites are the liquids by NARS. I use the Natural Radiant Longwear when I want a beat face, the Sheer Glow when I want a more wearable finish, and the Tinted Moisturizer for light touches. I’m the shade Caracas or Bahia in the first two and Seychelles in the last one depending on the time of the year.

  • How did you get rid of your acne scars?

    You can read about my whole skincare journey here.

  • Other than products, what habits and lifestyle helped your skin improve?

    I wish I could say I drank a gallon of water everyday and my skin cleared, but that’s not the case. The only two things I can think of that I did differently was commit to not ever sleeping in makeup and getting pregnant (I had hormonal acne so pregnancy impacted my hormones).

  • Where did you get those earrings?

    The clear resin squarish hoops I have are from BaubleBar, but they’re sold out on all the sites I checked.

Living In Kenya

Q&A

  • Are you still in Kenya?

    Yup.

  • Do you genuinely enjoy living in Kenya?

    Yes and no. I like living in Kenya, but living in a different country from the one you’re familiar with in general is difficult. At least once a week I get frustrated at having to figure out where to find something or how to do something that was second nature for me back in the US. To be clear, this is not a Kenya thing, but just a moving to a new country thing.

  • What is the job market like for expats? Comparing it to US salary?

    I literally have no idea. Jonathan and I both work for ourselves. There is a resource I’ve come across called Move Me Back though which posts jobs for people interested in working in Africa

  • Have you met many Black expats?

    Idk what you’d consider many but there’s definitely a solid Black expat community here, we even have a Whatsapp group!

  • How is the social scene in Nairobi for young black professionals?

    I have an 8 month old child and we’re in a global pandemic so idk what the social scene is like at the moment ?. When I was out and about pre-baby and pre-Corona I never felt like there was nothing to do or nowhere to go.

  • Do you think you would ever consider relocating back to the US?

    Yes. Not just the US, but anywhere. I’m not limiting God in however he wants to direct my life.

Blogging and Content Creation

Q&A

  • What are your 4 sources of income?

    I mentioned in this post that I run four businesses. They’re not all income generating (yet) but they all require regular (weekly if not daily) work from me:

    1. The Ijeoma Kola blog & socials
    2. Cohort Sistas
    3. The Safe Journey Retreat
    4. A product line I’m working on but am not ready to share details about
  • How do you find the time to wear all your many amazing hats?

    I don’t find time, I make time. I’m good at project and time management and try to compartmentalize my days. And I have a partner who pulls his own weight and hired help for the house and nannying. But to be honest, I do a lot of things right before they need to get done (like this blog post lol) — but I’m in the process of hiring a few more people to my team to help streamline my processes. If you are hard-working, detail oriented, and a self starter and want join the team let me know how you think you can help!

  • Do you do giveaways? Especially from the brands you work with?

    I rarely ever enter giveaways myself so I personally am not a huge fan. Especially over the past two years when buy in giveaways became a thing and influencers started posted giveaways every other day, it just started to feel gimmicky to me. But I recognize that giveaways are a viable social media marketing strategy, and I am starting to be open to them from small and growing Black owned businesses.

  • Any advice for a 23 year old in relation to building a career in health and singleness?

    My lessons I learned in my twenties video shares all sorts of gems!

  • How do you stay motivated to be productive?

    I may be married, but I don’t have a sugar daddy, so these bills have to be paid somehow. More on consistency, motivation and productivity here.

  • Are you a millionaire?

    Depends on the currency ?

  • How do I get started as an Instagram blogger?

    Just start posting valuable, eye-catching, and conversation starting content on your Instagram. A blogger is defined by their work, not by their income. I’m gonna assume you meant how to get started working with brands and getting paid to blog, so you can read all of my blogging and business tips here.

  • Is the Safe Journey Retreat moved to next year?

    Yes, though we haven’t finalized the new dates. If folks could stop gallivanting so we can get corona together, then we can figure out when to reschedule!

    Sign up for the SJR newsletter to be the first to know about the new dates.

Research And Academia

Q&A

  • Would you consider offering research consulting services?

    I am open to public health research consulting in racial health disparities, asthma and chronic respiratory health in urban environments, and history of public health — basically anything that I already have experience and knowledge in.

  • Are you planning on getting employed in a research organization?

    Not full-time. After working for myself and working independently as a doctoral student and now independent scholar for so long, I prefer a flexible schedule and work environment.

  • What do you think about MPH with a concentration in biomedical sciences?

    Sure! The beauty of public health is that it intersects with almost every aspect of our lives, so there are various ways to approach solving public health problems, including the use of biomedical sciences.

  • Would you do a giveaway/discount/scholarship for Cohort Sistas PhD application course?

    We’re working on securing outside funding for Cohort Sistas, but for right now I’ve invested over $xxxx to start the group, and from a financial standpoint its not yet in a position where we can be giving away scholarships. If you need a payment plan or want to propose an alternative payment situation, feel free to email us and we’ll see if we can work something out.

Pregnancy and TKB

Q&A

  • Any remedies for heartburn during pregnancy. I’m going through it. Help!

    Dang girl I feel your pain! I lived on Tums during the third trimester, and tried to stay hydrated. I also tried not to eat too late in the evening because that would definitely give me heartburn. I also cut out citrus fruits and orange juice.

  • Was it so painful giving birth? I’m due in 1 week and I’m freaking out!

    Don’t freak out! But yes it’s painful. It’s a few hours of pain for a lifetime of happiness though!! Here’s my birth story.

  • What are 3 things you wish you knew before pregnancy?

    I shared some early reflections on motherhood that include more than three things I wish I knew! But practically, I wish I knew how much my body would change during and after pregnancy, and how much of myself I would lose physically — both through growing a belly and then breastfeeding — by having a child. I feel like people often talk about the mental and emotional changes but the physical changes are also very real.

  • Have you thought of the education system you’d prefer for TKB?

    Answered that here.

  • Have you sleep trained TKB? If yes, how did you do it? Can you make a YouTube video on this?

    I can’t make a whole video on it because the method was sporadic (and idk how many YouTube subscribers are currently sleep training, and there’s nothing worse than spending hours making a YouTube video for 5 people to watch it ?), but he has slept through the night (7pm to 7am) four times in the past week! The most important things for us was having a consistent bedtime schedule and routine (he’s been going to bed at 7pm since he was a few weeks old), and letting him cry it out from about 5 months. If we know he’s fed well throughout the day, we let him cry for up to 30 minutes if he wakes up before 11pm. My mom told me once he started eating three meals a day, he’d sleep through, and that’s more or less what happened.

  • How has TKB affected your marriage? Any strain?

    Answered here.

  • Are you able to do a nursing clothes post or styling nursing outfits?

    I highlighted some nursing clothes (well mostly bras and tanks) in this post. 

    Aside from those items, I wear a lot of tee shirts that I can either just pull down or up to feed. My favorite company for maternity specific clothes that are well designed is Boob.

  • Is TKB still breastfeeding? If yes, when and how many times a day?

    Yup, about 4 times a day between solid feeds — so first thing in the morning, after his first nap (which is after his breakfast), usually between the 2nd & 3rd feeding, and then before bed. If he wakes up after 11:30pm I’ll feed him again

Family And Relationships

Q&A

  • How did your Mom get to Kenya?

    On an airplane…? Lol I don’t understand this question.

  • Can your Mom tell us about her experience traveling to Africa during COVID?

    Kenya requires a negative COVID test with results within four days of arrival so it was pretty stressful for her to find a place in the US that could give her results within that specific time frame. Her Lufthansa flight wasn’t socially distanced, but everyone was screened before boarding so that gave her some comfort.

  • How has it been having your Mom visiting?

    AMAZING!! I missed my mom a lot but it was really seeing her interact with TKB that was the best part of her visit for me. Having her here also made me realize that we need a full time and not a part-time nanny. I got so much done!

  • How did you survive LDR? Were there times you struggled with trust?

    Answered here.

     

  • Does Jonathan ever get identified on the streets by your followers? And how does he deal with that when it happens?

    No one has ever randomly stopped him in the streets, but he has met with people (for other reasons), who happen to follow me.

  • How do you manage finances as a couple? Pool income? Individual accounts?

    We have a joint family account and separate business accounts. I pay myself a monthly salary from my business account.

  • How have you made time for your spouse since baby?

    Putting the kid to bed early every night definitely frees up the evenings for us, so that’s when we spend time together. We also sometimes leave the kid with his grandmother and go on a quick daytime date.

  • How do you manage to look that amazing being a mom and wife?

    The glasses hide the bags under my eyes! But thank you!!

  • Can we have more home tour updates please?

    Yes! The nursery tour went up after the Q&A went live, and a balcony tour. I’m currently working on our bedroom.

Life

Q&A

  • You are always smiling. Do you ever have a day where you are like, “God, not today!”

    Regularly! I just am not on IG stories on those days. But I have rough days just like everyone else. Heck, I might have more rough days than the average person, idk.

  • What is your waist to hips measurement?

    My gut reaction is to say it’s “none of your business” to “why does this matter?”, but if you think it would be helpful for clothes shopping, my waist fluctuates from 31-32 inches and my hips are 41 inches.

  • How old are you?

    This is easily googleable but I’ll indulge you because I turn 30 IN TWO WEEKS AND I’M SO EXCITED!!!

  • Were you born in America?

    No, I was born in Nigeria.

  • What are you excited for in your 30s?

    I’m working on a whole blog post about my vision and plans for my 30s so stay tuned!

  • Found out I was dating a married man and dumped him. Why am I feeling this loss physically?

    Whew girl. Well if you were having sex with him then you probably are still entangled with him emotionally and spiritually, which can have physical manifestations. Do some research on the concept of “soul ties” – you might find it helpful”,

Thanks to everyone who submitted questions this month.

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