June Q&A – Home Decor, Christianity & LGBTQ Rights, and More

This Q&A feels a bit weird since I just answered the May Q&As a bit over two weeks ago, but you guys had some pretty great questions so let’s get right into it!

Make sure you check out the previous Q&As here!

Home Decor

Q&A

  • I love how you decorate your home. Was that how you were raised or did you just pick interest?

    Home decor wasn’t a focus in my home growing up, but since my parents were in real estate, we did watch a fair amount of HGTV. I loved Property Brothers, House Hunters, and Fixer Upper, and watching those showed me the power of interior design in transforming a space into something that is functional as well as stylistic.

  • Any tips for moms who have a small office space to work with?

    I shared this post in the May newsletter and think it has amazing ideas for creating a workspace that takes up very little space! If you want to have your child in the room with you as you work, it might be helpful to ensure they have things to occupy themselves – I shared the activity gyms we use for TKB here and he sits in either this chair or this chair when he’s not on the floor.

  • How is the nursery coming along?

    Our crib just came, so I’m motivated to get it done now! I recently committed to buying from Black owned businesses in beauty, fashion, and home, so I’m spending a bit more time sourcing a lamp for the reading corner. The wallpaper we ordered for the feature wall has been chilling at my parents’ house for months, but once that’s shipped and the lamp is sourced it’ll be done!

  • Where is your leather sofa from?

    It’s from Article! Our entire living room is here.

Life in Kenya

Q&A

  • Where can I get xyz products in Kenya?

    I still get many of the products I use from the US, partly because I don’t know where to find things in Kenya. I usually ship things I need in using SavoStore. Long story short, idk lol.

  • When you got to Kenya, how did you decide which influencers to mingle with?

    I’d met up with Sheila Ndinda on one of my previous visits to Kenya, after hitting her up on IG where I found her on my explore page. Anyone else I’ve hung out with has been a result of us connecting on IG or meeting through another influencer.

  • Do you feel the weather changes in Kenya since they are milder than in the US?

    Yes, I can feel that it’s getting cooler, which still throws me off because I’m used to Africa being hot year round (as it is in Nigeria). But I’m also not trying to buy coats or sweaters for 65 degree weather.

  • Are you loving Kenya as a whole so far?

    For the most part, yes. More thoughts here.

  • Do you have any plans of leaving Kenya?

    If you mean by leaving permanently, I have no idea. I had no plans of leaving the US and look at me now!

Pregnancy & Motherhood

Q&A

  • How did you control your weight and diet while you were pregnant?

    I remained pretty active while pregnant. I exercised by doing dance classes during my first trimester, yoga in my second trimester, and aquanatal during my third. I also didn’t have that many cravings, so my diet didn’t change dramatically.

  • Are you still breastfeeding? Do you notice a dip in your supply?

    Yup, still breastfeeding, but now we’re also having 1-2 solid meals a day! I’m always worried about my supply my boobs are on the smaller side, which has nothing to do with milk production, but I’ve always had confidence issues with my breasts and that has translated to anxiety about nursing. There was one week in particular when the kid was super hungry and I thought something was wrong with my supply. Turns out he was just going through a growth spurt.

  • How do you balance baby and working from home? How do you juggle motherhood and running a blog?

    Having a schedule for the kid helps a lot – I shared our schedule here. I also have help – both with my husband also working from home and with a part-time (3 days a week, in the mornings) nanny. My own productivity has to be razor sharp since I have less time to work with, so when I have kid-free time I try to hunker down and do the most important things first. That usually means I shoot content while he’s asleep, and leave things that don’t need my undivided attention (or sunlight) like answering emails or replying to comments for when he’s awake during the day or put to bed at night.

  • Have you already started considering school options for TKB?

    We talked about schools briefly before he was born, as we were doing long-term financial planning. But in real life, no.

Beauty

Q&A

  • What skincare products are you currently using? What are you doing to help with scars?

    I’m still doing this routine I shared in April, but I’ve also been using an azelaic acid product in the mornings and a niacinamide in the evenings before my moisturizer. Consistent use of Vitamin C + sunscreen has helped my scars a lot – but the biggest thing is avoiding new pimples in the first place. I just got a few more products that I’m starting to play around with, including Dr. Dennis Gross Extra Strength Peel Pads (I was using the sensitive skin ones while pregnant) and Shani Darden Retinol Reform (which I just discovered is Black-owned!)

  • How many times do you wash your hair and which products do you use?

    I wash my hair about once a month, and I use whatever products are on hand lol.

Graduate School

Q&A

  • Is it worth it to get your masters? What are masters programs like?

    This is such a subjective question and really depends on your field and where you are currently in life. There are people who get master’s degrees and struggle to find work, and people who get master’s degrees and triple their salary (usually the MBA folk). I also don’t know what master’s programs are like because I was never in one, I went straight into a PhD program. But your best bet is to ask people who are in programs you’re interested in what its like and whether they think its worth it.

  • I want to study masters in the USA but I’m afraid of the loneliness before I get friends. What should I do?

    You should do it afraid! Of course you won’t have friends at first, but we live in the 21st century and you can still talk to your old friends from back home every single day while you wait to make connections with new people. Here is some advice for making friends in a new city (or country!).

  • How did you deal with imposter syndrome at the Ivies?

    This Q&A feels a bit weird since I just answered the May Q&As a bit over two weeks ago, but you guys had some pretty great questions so let’s get right into it!

    Make sure you check out the previous Q&As here!

    Home Decor

    I love how you decorate your home. Was that how you were raised or did you just pick interest?

    Home decor wasn’t a focus in my home growing up, but since my parents were in real estate, we did watch a fair amount of HGTV. I loved Property Brothers, House Hunters, and Fixer Upper, and watching those showed me the power of interior design in transforming a space into something that is functional as well as stylistic.

    Any tips for moms who have a small office space to work with?

    I shared this post in the May newsletter and think it has amazing ideas for creating a workspace that takes up very little space! If you want to have your child in the room with you as you work, it might be helpful to ensure they have things to occupy themselves – I shared the activity gyms we use for TKB here and he sits in either this chair or this chair when he’s not on the floor.

    How is the nursery coming along?

    Our crib just came, so I’m motivated to get it done now! I recently committed to buying from Black owned businesses in beauty, fashion, and home, so I’m spending a bit more time sourcing a lamp for the reading corner. The wallpaper we ordered for the feature wall has been chilling at my parents’ house for months, but once that’s shipped and the lamp is sourced it’ll be done!

    Where is your leather sofa from?

    It’s from Article! Our entire living room is here.

    Life in Kenya

    Where can I get xyz products in Kenya?

    I still get many of the products I use from the US, partly because I don’t know where to find things in Kenya. I usually ship things I need in using SavoStore. Long story short, idk lol.

    When you got to Kenya, how did you decide which influencers to mingle with?

    I’d met up with Sheila Ndinda on one of my previous visits to Kenya, after hitting her up on IG where I found her on my explore page. Anyone else I’ve hung out with has been a result of us connecting on IG or meeting through another influencer.

    Do you feel the weather changes in Kenya since they are milder than in the US?

    Yes, I can feel that it’s getting cooler, which still throws me off because I’m used to Africa being hot year round (as it is in Nigeria). But I’m also not trying to buy coats or sweaters for 65 degree weather.

    Are you loving Kenya as a whole so far?

    For the most part, yes. More thoughts here.

    Do you have any plans of leaving Kenya?

    If you mean by leaving permanently, I have no idea. I had no plans of leaving the US and look at me now!

    Pregnancy & Motherhood

    How did you control your weight and diet while you were pregnant?

    I remained pretty active while pregnant. I exercised by doing dance classes during my first trimester, yoga in my second trimester, and aquanatal during my third. I also didn’t have that many cravings, so my diet didn’t change dramatically.

    Are you still breastfeeding? Do you notice a dip in your supply?

    Yup, still breastfeeding, but now we’re also having 1-2 solid meals a day! I’m always worried about my supply my boobs are on the smaller side, which has nothing to do with milk production, but I’ve always had confidence issues with my breasts and that has translated to anxiety about nursing. There was one week in particular when the kid was super hungry and I thought something was wrong with my supply. Turns out he was just going through a growth spurt.

    How do you balance baby and working from home? How do you juggle motherhood and running a blog?

    Having a schedule for the kid helps a lot – I shared our schedule here. I also have help – both with my husband also working from home and with a part-time (3 days a week, in the mornings) nanny. My own productivity has to be razor sharp since I have less time to work with, so when I have kid-free time I try to hunker down and do the most important things first. That usually means I shoot content while he’s asleep, and leave things that don’t need my undivided attention (or sunlight) like answering emails or replying to comments for when he’s awake during the day or put to bed at night.

    Have you already started considering school options for TKB?

    We talked about schools briefly before he was born, as we were doing long-term financial planning. But in real life, no.

    Beauty

    What skincare products are you currently using? What are you doing to help with scars?

    I’m still doing this routine I shared in April, but I’ve also been using an azelaic acid product in the mornings and a niacinamide in the evenings before my moisturizer. Consistent use of Vitamin C + sunscreen has helped my scars a lot – but the biggest thing is avoiding new pimples in the first place. I just got a few more products that I’m starting to play around with, including Dr. Dennis Gross Extra Strength Peel Pads (I was using the sensitive skin ones while pregnant) and Shani Darden Retinol Reform (which I just discovered is Black-owned!)

    How many times do you wash your hair and which products do you use?

    I wash my hair about once a month, and I use whatever products are on hand lol.

    Graduate School

    Is it worth it to get your masters? What are masters programs like?

    This is such a subjective question and really depends on your field and where you are currently in life. There are people who get master’s degrees and struggle to find work, and people who get master’s degrees and triple their salary (usually the MBA folk). I also don’t know what master’s programs are like because I was never in one, I went straight into a PhD program. But your best bet is to ask people who are in programs you’re interested in what its like and whether they think its worth it.

    I want to study masters in the USA but I’m afraid of the loneliness before I get friends. What should I do?

    You should do it afraid! Of course you won’t have friends at first, but we live in the 21st century and you can still talk to your old friends from back home every single day while you wait to make connections with new people. Here is some advice for making friends in a new city (or country!).

    How did you deal with imposter syndrome at the Ivies?

    I didn’t have imposter syndrome at all at Harvard, because the culture wasn’t competitive and I had a great crew of other Black students with whom I often studied. At Columbia, my imposter syndrome was definitely a function of my age and lack of experience, and not necessarily the school itself. Whenever I’d start to second guess myself, I’d do three things:

    1. Remember why I started
    2. Put myself out there – I’d challenge myself to say something in class, even if I felt like I had no idea what I was saying
    3. Activate the confidence of a mediocre white man

Work & Life at Home

Q&A

  • How do you keep productive during this time?

    I’ve been working from home for years so I’m not new to this, here are some tips for how to remain productive while at home.

  • What books/shows/movies are you enjoying right now?

    I’m currently reading Palette – it’s a beauty suggestion book for women of color, and every time I come across a product I already use, I give myself a pat on the back! For TV, I’m almost done with Dead to Me Season 2, halfway through The Big Flower Fight, just started Crazy Delicious, and am planning to binge the latest season of Queer Eye this weekend.

  • Any new recipes/dishes you’ve tried during quarantine?

    I made this cake for Father’s Day, and need to remake Aicha’s amazing peanut stew recipe, it was so good! I shared a few more things that I was planning to bake in number 15 of this post, and I’m proud to say I’ve made them all except the brioche bread!

Miscellaneous

Q&A

  • Any word on the Safe Journey Retreat?

    You must not be on the SJR newsletter because I sent an update a few weeks ago! The retreat is officially postponed, with tentative dates next spring. I’m waiting until the world opens up again to know if spring is even a possibility.

  • What is the one thing that has made you laugh to a point of crying this month?

    I love this question! Our church hosted a Zoom call on marriage intimacy on Friday and it turned out to be one of the funniest things I’ve ever participated in. It was a really candid convo about sex in marriage and one of the hosts asked us what our wildest sexual escapades were with our spouses! Needless to say, folks were pretty shy but the host proceeded to tell us TMI about he and his wife’s sex life… while she was side eyeing him to tone it down lol. Jonathan and I were cracking up so hard (muted and with video off of course)!

  • As a Christian, do you feel like supporting LGBTQ+ rights conflicts with your religion?

    Not at all. I also don’t think of it as supporting “rights” – because that has a political overtone (though for the political record I do support LGBTQ+ rights) – but really just supporting humanity and not believing that anyone should be treated poorly because of how they look, what they believe, or who they love. The second greatest commandment in Christianity is to love your neighbor as yourself, and Jesus himself associated with people whom his contemporaries would have never be seen with. So I believe that we are called to treat people who are different from us – whether they are white, Muslim, astrology fanatics, or trans – with the same dignity and humanity as we would treat our own brothers and sisters.

    Now I recognize that a lot (some? I’m not sure of the numbers) of Christians don’t share these same beliefs, which disappoints me because our religion is supposed to be non-judgmental and welcoming and really just about love and restoration. I could talk about this for hours but I’ll just say two more things.

    1. The church is not always right when it comes to legal/political issues (cough, cough, slavery). So I encourage you to pray and reflect on YOUR position based on your reading and understanding of the Bible and your discussions with God, and not just blindly follow what you’ve heard in church.
    2. John 8:7
  • What life advice would you give to a 24 year old girl?

    I’m trying to remember where I was at 24 and I for real can’t even remember what my life was like. I’m assuming you’re not married yet and don’t have any kids (my bad if this is wrong!) so my advice is to just go after your biggest and wildest dreams right now, before other things get in your way. If you fail, so what?! You have nothing but time ahead of you.

  • Top advice you’d give to college freshmen?

    You do not have to pull all-nighters (it’s a sign you’re not using your daytime properly) and going to the library with friends is a trap – you will get ZERO work done (and then have to pull an all-nighter).

  • How do you let guys know you’re serious? How do you attract guys who are not trying to play games?

    The best way to let guys know that you’re not the one to play games with is to simply not play games with them ? If he’s not treating you the way you want to be treated, thank you NEXT. If he doesn’t keep his word and call you when he says he’s gonna call, NEXT. If he ghosts you and then tries to return, BLOCK. I have yet to hear of a relationship or situationship where a guy started off trash and magically changed to be an amazing partner. And I might be wrong but I believe that men know from jump whether they’re serious about someone or not.

  • What’s your height?

    5’7, but with my hair in a fro I look more like 5’9 lol.

  • What’s a personality or mental trait you’d like to improve or change for the better about yourself?

    I’m working on using words of affirmation and encouragement more than chastising people. Nigerian culture and communication can be a bit caustic, so things that I’ve said and tones I’ve used that I didn’t think were rude have been perceived by others that way. Jonathan was the first to point it out to me, so I’ve been sorta working on it for years now, but now that I have a child, I’m trying to be more intentional about using positive language rather than playfully scolding.

Thanks to everyone who submitted questions this month!

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Comments

  1. It is true we are to love everyone. I also do believe this is Pro Christianity, (all made in the image of God) and that we love even in our actions as He has & continues to love us.

    Additionally, supporting LGBTQ rights is also supporting gay marriage which the Bible is explicitly and loud against. (Romans 1:21-25). This is not at all controversial, it’s really what the word of God says. The God you claim to worship not my opinion.

    Additionally, it is unChristian/unbiblical to correlate this to treating people with less dignity, back to the command of loving God and loving our neighbors. Yet, how can we love people if we have not experienced God’s love and loved Him back? If God is absolute wisdom and love, how can we ever love people sincerely apart from the ways He’s directed & empowering us to? To mean, if we support sth He is against, aren’t we subsequently missing on loving Him and in turn unable to love others well?

    Additionally, looking at the context of slavery in Scripture is not at all the concept of slavery that happened to black people. In Scripture, slavery started when people were unable to repay debt and so they took themselves to their debtors to work for them. It was actually gracious for the master to not only take the man but his whole family and feed them. That’s why Paul and all over the Epistles start by, for example, “Paul/James/Jude, a bond servant/slave of Christ” It paints an image of not only Redemption & Restoration but also Faith & Obedience to God.

    The slavery that happened to blacks is actually a pagan thing which began in Greece, rooted by Aristotle, as people were taught to seek higher selves. Subsequently, people were taken in as slaves.

    1. Thanks for adding your perspective. I think Christians get caught up in the idea of supporting rights, which is exactly why I tried to reframe the discussion to one of fair treatment, which I think is fundamentally Christian and biblical since the faith is rooted in love (do unto others, love thy neighbor, etc). Romans 1:24 refers to all sexual sin, and not specifically anything related to LGBTQ matters. And so since we have all sinned and fallen short, it is hypocritical for us to act like our own sins are less bad than the sins of others. Lastly, my comment about slavery was not regarding scripture at all, but the Christian church (exactly my point that scripture is different from the Church), who in America and England (amongst other places), condoned the transatlantic slave trade and the maltreatment of Blacks for economic gain. Bond servitude and repayal of debt is far different from capturing, torturing, and keeping people in bondage, which regardless of its origins, was supported by the Christian church.

  2. Love your responses to the questions asked. One of them were controversial but you gave a Christian perspective view. We’re to love everyone but you don’t have to love the actions or lifestyle that they live. If you remember reading Jesus hung out with sinners, we love the person not their actions. We’re all children of God.

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