Tonight marks 4 weeks since my baby boy, Laoleko, was born and my motherhood journey began for real! I thoroughly enjoyed my pregnancy. Despite initially feeling detached from my body and all the changes it was going through, by the second trimester I was completely and utterly in love with everything about the little one growing inside me.
I’d received a lot of motherhood wisdom from friends, and read a lot too, in preparation for what to expect once the little man was here. 4 weeks in and the reality is on a whole other level from the expectation. Levels more intense! For example, the sleep deprivation and the lack of time to do anything other than baby-nurturing tasks. But also, the love for this little guy is more than anything I could have imagined. I get it now. I get why my parents worry about me so much, and why they insist that I’ll always be their baby, even when I’m 60!
To celebrate Laoleko’s 4-week birthday and my 4 week initiation into motherhood (or is that, 9 months and 4 weeks, hmmmm…?), a list of things I’ve experienced, observed, learned so far. In no particular order: Continue reading “Motherhood: 4 weeks in + baby bump photos”
A baby gift list is something I had to put together recently, ahead of my baby shower-ish thing.
My little one is due any moment now and the Google and Instagram algorithms clearly know this as, I’m constantly coming across posts and pages to do with pregnancy and all things babies and motherhood (of course this is a reflection of my browsing history!).
If you’re looking for a beautiful and unique baby gift, here are just a few ideas, made in Africa, from some interesting brands…
Continue reading “Buy African: baby gift ideas, made in Africa”
I’m excited to share with you this very heartfelt interview with singer-songwriter, Namvula.
I’ve known Namvula for over 10 years now and it’s been very inspiring to witness how she has embarked on a whole new career, with so much passion and dedication. In this interview she shares what inspired this courageous journey. It definitely encourages me to be less fearful in living my life more fully by pursuing more of the things that my heart and soul desire.
Namvula signs off her emails with a Rumi quote which always makes me pause and truly absorb it – it sort of sums up the ethos of this blog: “let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”
Continue reading “Interview with singer-songwriter, Namvula “
I first started to write this natural pregnancy journey post at 20 weeks. I was loving all the education I was receiving about natural pregnancy and birth. Now, at 31 weeks, I’m even more grateful for what I learned and the decisions I’ve made so far – my pregnancy has been such a pleasurable experience!
The natural path
I appreciate that the information about approaches to a more natural pregnancy and birth aren’t the standard and you often have to actively seek it out. Luckily I love to learn and I’m happy to go out of my way in pursuit of the most natural options possible when it comes to many things. From what I put on my skin, to what I put in my mouth. From how I treat myself when I’m unwell, to what I use to clean my home.
Natural pregnancy resources
When I became pregnant, I had a new and most precious project on my hands and I dived in with enthusiasm. For those of you with less time, or who may not know where to begin, I thought I’d share some books, services and other resources that have been of great value to me. I’ve also designed some illustrated birth affirmation cards for you to download (details below).
Continue reading “My natural pregnancy journey + birth affirmation cards”
Last week I launched the Afri-love Women Facebook group, for creative African women balancing self-care and professional excellence.
When I started this blog, almost 7 years ago, I always had a vision that it would be more than just a one-way conversation. That it would lead to activities and initiatives in the real world. In late 2015, I held the Afri-love Sundown Sessions – 3 intimate evenings of live music, co-hosted with musician Sirena Riley. Late last year, I co-hosted a Nairobi brunch for women creatives, together with the Nzinga Effect. Both events were successful in many ways and, I received such great feedback from attendees. I knew that I wanted to create more opportunities for interaction with like-minded people – in real life and virtually as well – and the Afri-love Women Facebook group is step one.
Continue reading “Real talk for creative African women – join in!”
There are few things I enjoy more than being by the beach and Zanzibar is one of the most beautiful that I’ve experienced yet. I really think I’m designed to live by the coast. Swimming in the wild ocean whose grandness awes and frightens me and yet, floating and moving through the water soothes me so. Relaxing on sandy beaches, watching the world go by and surrendering to the natural pace of time. Finding nourishment from the fruits of the sea and, in East Africa, the delicious Swahili cuisine!
I know babymoons are technically supposed to happen before delivery but, I’m dreaming of a postpartum Zanzibar vacation this Autumn. It helps that a handful of my friends are planning trips there this year. Answering their requests for tips has me researching and getting inspired myself!
Here’s my wishlist of where to stay…
Continue reading “Zanzibar dreaming: my wishlist of where to stay”
So far, this year has found me either: on the road; preparing for being on the road; educating myself about and getting to grips with pregnancy; and preparing for the arrival of my baby. Needless to say, “routine” is a word whose meaning I’d totally forgotten. I have a feeling that, once baby comes, I won’t even know how to spell the word!
I’m a person who both hates routine and thrives on it. Or rather, I hate the idea of monotony – of doing the exact same thing, over and over again. Yet, I crave some sort of structure. I’m almost OCD about it: creating lists is one of my favourite pastimes!
Not too long ago, I discovered a way that has been working for me; a balance between having order but still retaining some dynamism in my days. Continue reading “My daily routine – pregnancy edition”
Happy new year! I hope you had some time to rest and rejuvenate as the year turned. A good chunk of my holiday was spent in Moshi, Tanzania. I stayed at my late grandparents’ home – resting, reading and spending time with family. I came back to Nairobi with renewed enthusiasm and clarity! There are several big (and slightly scary) adventures – design and otherwise – on the horizon this year, for me and for the Studio. I look forward to sharing them with you.
The first one starts next week, when 3 creative friends and I set off for a 15,000km+ road trip through southern Africa (see below).
As we prepare to set off, I wanted to share some highlights from 2016. Many of you have been a part of these projects and endeavours and I thank you deeply for your different contributions. Continue reading “Lulu Kitololo Studio design and illustration highlights from 2016”
Regular readers may have noticed my blogging hiatus, as I reconfigured my life and business. However, Afri-love subscribers have been less neglected, thanks to A week of Afri-love: a weekly email I started a few months ago, where I share 5 Afri-love-worthy things. Each edition includes:
- Buy African: featuring exquisite African-made/made in Africa goods
- Something to look at, read, watch or listen to
- Some visual place to get lost in (usually amazing Instagram feeds that will fuel your imagination and take you places!)
- Events across the world
- Last but not least, an “expand” item – something that I’ve come across that has been useful for me in my quest for better health, creative excellence and success in my business
For those who don’t receive these nuggets weekly, I thought I’d do a round-up of “expand” posts, every 2 months, selecting just 5 of my favourite items.
Here’s edition number one! Continue reading “Expand in creativity, business and life – September round-up”
This post is sponsored by online money transfer service WorldRemit
It’s been over 15 years since I left the place that I still consider my home: Kenya. As much as I’ve appreciated my experiences of living in the US (New York) and in the UK (London and Manchester) – and especially all the people I’ve met, who’ve made my life so much richer – Kenya remains my home.
I periodically reflect on this notion of “home”. What is home? For some it’s where they come from and for others, it’s simply where they live, at the present time. For me, the whole idea is something far less tangible.
When I am at home, I feel it. It’s in how my body just seems to naturally relax, feels more vibrant and literally glows. It’s in the ease of interacting with people and being understood (and this is not even to do with language but rather, our shared cultural experiences and values). And of course, the joy and comfort of family, and people who have known you for what seems like forever.
While these aren’t things I can carry with me, each time I return to my London base, there are two particular ways in which I’ve managed to keep home very close: Continue reading “Staying connected to home: bringing your heritage into your space and into your work”