July Q&A – Retaining Length, Baby Food, & More

I feel like July FLEW by! Maybe because I launched Cohort Sistas and have been pouring a lot of energy in that, or because I’ve been working on a ton of personal, professional, and home decor project, but I’ve been busy and can’t believe it’s August already. Tons of great questions this month, but expect more fleshed out blog posts about my skincare routine, favorite places in Kenya, and tips for applying to grad school in the coming weeks!

Grad School & Academia

Q&A

  • What is something you miss and don’t miss from the world of academia?

    I don’t miss the feeling of having to write on a deadline, but I do miss the structure and resources that academia allows such as library access. The amount of time I’ve spent looking up articles is ridiculous (and yes I have alumni library access but its limited).

  • When researching grad schools for an MA or PhD, how do you recommend beginning the search? What do you recommend to keep as a priority?

    This is one of the things we chat about in Cohort Sistas! I think the approach to Masters programs and PhD programs is different though – with MA programs you should be looking at a combination of ranking and job placement, but with PhD programs, program fit and the availability of numerous faculty mentors is paramount.

  • What is the best time to start applying for a PhD? I joined Cohort Sistas and plan to start next year.

    Yay for joining! Now is a good time to start getting your application materials ready. We’re actually finishing up a course for prospective applicants that will be ready in early September and give you ample time to prepare your applications this year.

  • How did you juggle life and post grad studies?

    I’ve written about balancing my PhD and life a few times (exhibit A, exhibit B), but time management is essential, as is knowing how to get work done efficiently.

  • Can someone with a background in earth science, possibly do a PhD in public health?

    Anyone can do a PhD in public health – health encompasses every facet of our lives so I’m hard pressed to find an area that isn’t related to public health. There is a lot of research on the environment’s impact on health, and vice versa, as well as attention to climate change and public health, so a background in Earth Sciences could definitely lend itself to a doctorate in public health.Anyone can do a PhD in public health – health encompasses every facet of our lives so I’m hard pressed to find an area that isn’t related to public health. There is a lot of research on the environment’s impact on health, and vice versa, as well as attention to climate change and public health, so a background in Earth Sciences could definitely lend itself to a doctorate in public health.

  • Do you think you would be able to manage being a mom in graduate school? I’m considering it!

    Do I think I could have managed being a mom in graduate school? No, but I also was already managing a business while in school, so I don’t think I could have added on another responsibility. But do I think it’s possible to be a mom in graduate school? Absolutely – and I’ve seen many examples of it done!

Natural Hair and Beauty

Q&A

  • You show some great hair products. How can we get them in Kenya?

    Answered that last month!

  • What are 5 things you would tell a natural hair babe to do differently to retain growth?

    1. Have a solid moisturizing routine
    2. Do low maintenance styles
    3. Maintain a regular trimming schedule
    4. Don’t retwist your hair every night
    5. If you wear your hair naturally/curly/kinky most of the time, keep in mind that you might not see growth due to shrinkage, but if you do the above, your hair is likely growing!
  • We need a skin care routine! What is your skincare regimen?​​​​​​​

    Updated routine is coming at the end of this month as I’m trying a few new things, but in the meantime here’s my skincare routine from April.

  • Which product is best to spot treat acne?

    It depends what kind of acne it is. For whiteheads/blackheads, I liked this product, or this one if you’re into clean(er) beauty. For cystic acne, I found that benzoyl peroxide based products like this one were more effective.

  • Have you ever gotten bashed for your nose piercing? People saying its unprofessional or something like that.

    Nope, but I also haven’t worked a traditional/conservative corporate job before. My piercing is pretty small, so sometimes people don’t notice even it.

Relocating/Life In Kenya

Q&A

  • Do you recommend moving out of the US to Kenya? Why?

    I can’t make a blanket recommendation for moving to another country, because it’s a huge life decision. It was a great move for us for where we are in our lives right now, but if Jonathan wasn’t from Kenya, it wouldn’t have ever crossed my mind to move here.

  • Are you missing life in the US?

    The only thing I currently miss besides my family and friends is Chipotle, Target, and strangely, taking the subway.

  • Would you live in Kenya for the rest of time or do you plan on coming back to the US? Are you planning on moving back to NY?​​​​​​​

    Answered that last month.

  • How has the move to Africa been? What are you highs and lows? What do you like the most about living in Kenya? Give us 3 things you like and 3 things you don’t like.​​​​​​​

    Answered all that here! This is the most asked question every single month, and I promise guys, I’ve already answered it!

  • What are your favorite and worst Kenyan foods?

    Favorite Kenyan food is chapati! I would say my least favorite is omena but I haven’t even tried it yet lol, it was just described to me in an unappealing way and now I can’t bring myself to eat it.

  • What are your fave spots in Nairobi? (I’m moving there soon)​​​​​​​

    This is a really good blog post idea! Bookmarking to return to later this month.

Pregnancy and Motherhood

Q&A

  • Just found out I’m pregnant. Any tips for staying healthy and managing weight? Did you exercise or watch your diet when you were pregnant?

    Congratulations! Answered that here.

  • Do you still love the Elvie breast pump?​​​​​​​

    I haven’t used it in about a month, especially after we started solids. But I still believe it’s a fantastic pump for working moms or moms who don’t plan on exclusively breastfeeding!

  • Marriage or child rearing, which one has been more challenging?

    They’re challenging in different ways. I think having a kid is physically challenging – you don’t sleep, they suck life out of you (that sounded vampireish, sorry!), your body changes, etc. Marriage is mentally and emotionally challenging. They’re just different.

  • What has surprised you the most about having a baby?

    I talked about this a few months ago, but right now how quickly they change & develop has been surprising me! One day they’re flopping about and the next they’re sitting perfectly like they’ve been doing it forever!

  • What is your favorite thing that Baby Kola does right now?​​​​​​​

    He’s been clacking his tongue lately and making funny sounds so that’s been cool!

  • What is the TKB’s day time sleeping schedule like?​​​​​​​

    We had more of a routine a few months ago, but lately he’s been all over the place. After waking up between 6 and 8, he usually goes down for a nap between 9 and 11. For the past week or so he hasn’t been taking afternoon naps, but sometimes he’ll doze off between 4 and 5 for about 30 minutes.

  • What kinds of foods have you been giving the baby now that he is complementary feeding?

    I keep a list of foods he’s tried so far, which includes:

    • Fruits: banana, papaya, avocado, apple, pears, melon, prunes
    • Veggies: butternut squash, peas, carrots, pumpkin, spinach
    • Grains: oatmeal, quinoa

    This week we’re introducing lentils and yogurt, and going to start adding butter/oil to his foods. I tried to make a beef puree but it was too chewy (I then turned it into burgers), but I’m planning on introducing meat proteins soon.

Blogging and Content Creation

Q&A

  • How do you handle dumb and hateful behavior online esp from Nigerians?

    LOL this is such a specific question. I talked about dealing with cyberbullies in this post.

  • How do you keep your career expenses and business expenses separate?

    I’m not sure what you mean by career expenses but I have a personal bank account, that’s shared with Jonathan because we believe in joint bank accounts while married, and a business account. I pay myself (my personal account) a monthly salary from my business account.

  • Are you planning on working with any Kenyan brands?

    Answered that here.

  • Which phone and camera are you using?​​​​​​​

    I have an iPhone XS, take pictures with a Sony A7ii and usually use a Sigma 30mm 1.4 lens, and vlog with a Canon G7x Mark II.

  • Give us a detailed explanation or even a video of how you edit your pictures.

  • What are your tips on creating high value content on a blog, Instagram and YouTube?

    Create content that would make YOU want to save a picture, send a video to a friend, and bookmark a blog post for later. If you create content that you yourself find valuable, then it’s likely someone else with find it valuable. Also, learn how to take your own pictures!

  • How do you stay consistent with everything? Blogging, family and all.

    I think passion drives consistency. I love the things that I do – even though everything comes with its challenges and struggles, so I make sure to carve out time to dedicate to them all. That said, I also plan ahead (for example, all my YouTube videos are shot the week before), and I delegate tasks to others when I can (interns, hired help, etc).

  • Have you been offered jobs because of the amazing blogging that you do? If yes, how did you respond?

    I’m assuming this refers to full time employment, but no, I haven’t been offered any non-blogging jobs as a result of blogging. I’ve also made it pretty clear that I’m entrepreneurial and don’t think I’m suited for traditional employment, so I don’t think people who follow me closely would offer me a job unless they knew it was an absolutely perfect fit and opportunity.

Lifestyle

Q&A

  • What do you miss most about life pre-COVID?

    Going to brunch with friends! Really just socializing. Being in a new country I really leaned on in person interactions to build my circle and now that we’re unable to do that, I’ve had to be more intentional about making sure the connections I made in person don’t fizzle out, which is challenging.

  • What has been the best moment for you during social distancing?​​​​​​​

    I actually really enjoy Sunday mornings now, because we watch church online, have brunch, and then usually take naps or sit on our balcony or go visit my mother in law.

  • How do you keep your spirit up and remain energetic?

    I rest! I’m a huge believer in self care and although it looks different every week, I try and take some time to myself – no husband, no baby, no work – and just recharge my batteries.

Thanks to everyone who submitted questions this month!

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