My daily routine – pregnancy edition

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”

Inspired: Tropical Flora from my East African Travels

Tropical-Flora-East-Africa

I recently returned from a wonderfully rejuvenating trip home to East Africa. Here’s the story of my trip, told through the tropical flora!

First stop was my hometown of Nairobi. I felt so lucky to wake up each morning to this – such a diverse, colourful collection of foliage. If you’ve been following my #plantsomethingdaily challenge, you know how much inspiration I derive from nature!

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Reconnect with your creative self

Over the past 9 months or so, I’ve been reconnecting with something that I used to do – making art! Not for work but, just for fun – just for me. It’s been the best thing I decided to do.

My friend, Stacy Moore – a chartered psychologist – came up with a wonderful idea. She used to love making art too and has been longing to experience again, the joy which she used to derive from it. In her words:

“It seems ludicrous to me that there are activities we put a lot of time and energy into when we were young, developed talents and a love for them, and then let them all go in preference for “a proper job”.

So she’s decided to do something about it and I’m so glad to be on board.

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Black Yoginis

Black Yoginis

I first took a yoga class when I was in university, around 15 years ago, and I’ve been in love ever since.

In the many different classes that I’ve taken over the years, I am often the only black person, let alone black woman, in the room. Fair enough I live in England but, London is a diverse and multi-cultural place.

I have come across several people, with complexions similar to mine, who have misconceptions about yoga that prevent them from trying it. Some feel that it’s in conflict with their religious beliefs and some feel that it’s something that only ‘privileged people’ do. I think it’s a shame for barriers such as these to prevent the discovery of the amazing benefits of yoga – physical, emotional and yes, spiritual too.

I’m always excited to discover black female yogis who are breaking the mould (and hopefully some of those barriers). Here are 3 women I’ve come across, via beloved Instagram (which, over the past year, has really encouraged me to concentrate on truly creating the life that I desire). They have inspired me to get serious about something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time: develop a consistent, regular practice.

They are, from top: Yoga Racheal (@yogaracheal) is a yoga instructor who describes herself as a ‘lover – encourager – giver – believer’; Wasia Wasia (@wasiawasia) is an artist, musician and yogi; Koya Webb (@koyawebb) is an international holistic health coach and yoga instructor; Racheal and Koya are run Acroyoga workshops together, in Los Angeles, CA (There’s one tonight!).

 

Resources + inspiration

For those of you interested in practising yoga, here are some other useful resources and inspirational people:

Continue reading “Black Yoginis”

In Technicolour: My Winter Colour Palette

In January, I noticed a trend in the photos I was taking – there were a lot of peachy, coral colours alongside different shades of green. I love this combination of colours and can’t wait to apply it to some illustrations or designs.

It’s freezing and grey outside so, I’m just happy that my spirit is still vibrating on a more vibrant frequency!

What colours are speaking to you right now?

 

Continue reading “In Technicolour: My Winter Colour Palette”

In Pictures: When Darkness Meets the Light

Photography-Contrast-Darkness-Light-Lulu-Kitololo-2Over a decade ago, I came across a quote which has stayed in my memory since:

“Had I not fallen, I would not have arisen.
Had I not been subject to darkness, I could not have seen the light”
Midrash

The quote has special resonance for me now, given how good I feel about this year, in contrast to the last. Incidentally, as I look back through my Instagram feed from the past couple of months, there are quite a few photos that play with this contrast between darkness and light. Above and below are a few – catch the full story behind each, over on Instagram.

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Creative Muses: Plant Life

1-Nature-Creative-Muse-Cacti-Cactus-Succulents

 

The weather in the UK has been refreshingly wonderful for the past few weeks. I've tried to spend as much time outdoors as I can which means, more encounters with one of the greatest sources of inspiration in my book – plants! The colours, the patterns, the sheer diversity –  plant-gazing is surely one of the purest delights. 

 

2-Nature-Creative-Muse-Round-Courgettes-Zucchini-Wild-Country-Organics

 

Fruits and vegetables count as plant life for me. I've found that my paleo journey has exposed me to varieties that I had not come across before! I've been frequenting my local farmers' market where I can buy organic produce at prices that rival those of even conventional veggies in the supermarket. Above, round courgettes (aka zucchini) from Wild Country Organics

 

3-Nature-Creative-Muse-Dahlias-Northern-Flower-Manchester

 

Spotted these Dahlias this past weekend in Manchester, at a charming quirky boutique flower shop called Northern Flower. It was stocked with the most interesting selection of plants, including venus fly traps!

 

4-Nature-Creative-Muse-Horniman-Museum-Gardens-London

 

Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know that the gardens at the Horniman Museum count as one of my favourite places in London. The image above was enhanced with a little help of that wonderful tool, VSCOcam.

 

5-Nature-Creative-Muse-Succulents-Florist-Bethnal-Green-London

 

I find it hard to walk by florists without pausing to take a picture. Especially in summer when their wares are out on the pavement begging for it. This one is in Bethnal Green and unfortunately I didn't note the name …

 

6-Nature-Creative-Muse-Leafy-Skies

 

I do have quite a bit of fun manipulating enhancing photographs on my phone. It has become one of my favourite commute-time activities!

 

7-Nature-Creative-Muse-Horniman-Museum-Gardens-London

 

Horniman again. And there will be more …

 

8-Nature-Creative-Muse-Chilli-Pepper-Plants-Northern-Flower

 

Chilli peppers at the Northern Flower. I was so tempted to purchase a pot or three!

 

9-Nature-Creative-Muse-Horniman-Museum-Gardens-London

 

Horniman …

 

10-Nature-Creative-Muse-Flowers-Tate-Modern-Bankside-London

 

This regal beauty caught my eye as I was walking along the riverbank, not far from the Tate Modern museum.

 

Nature, the universe and mother-love

I came across some quotes by environmentalist, naturalist, traveler, writer, and scientist, John Muir, that I totally resonate with:

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.

There is a love of wild Nature in everybody, an ancient mother-love ever showing itself whether recognized or no, and however covered by cares and duties.

 

I found them here, where you can read plenty more from his book, John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir (which is now on my wishlist!).

 

What about nature inspires you?

 

All photos by Lulu Kitololo. 

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Related:

  

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Pins of the Week: Eclectic Global Boho Chic

That mouthful of a title summarises much of what visually turns me on. I think of an abundance of pattern, colour, prints – and wacky combinations of all three! Despite the diversity of traditions and design output, I think it’s interesting to note the similarities when you look at Africa, Asia and Latin America. Similarities in feel and creative energy – i.e. something rather intangible – perhaps, more than anything else.

 

2 Abacaxi NYC Skirt

3-African-Style

4-Boho-Prints-Accessories-Bags

5-Kilim-Chairs

6 African-Print-Jekkah-Mens-Shirt-Asos-Africa-Kanga-Top-Trousers

 

Follow me on Pinterest for more eclectic global boho chic.

 

Pins – left-right, from top: Photo by Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou; fashion from Abacaxi NYC; skirt from Abacaxi NYC; stylish dudes; prints galore; backpack; chairs; men’s top from Jekkah; Asos Africa outfit.

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Related:

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Pins of the Week: Red, White and Pink

One of the things I love most about what I do is that I get to look for, look at and make beautiful images! Here are some that I came across this week. There was definitely a theme emerging – prints, beads and the red, pink and white palette.

Glen-Green-Photo-Jamilla-Okubo-Art

Anthropologie-Lantern-Beaded-African-Necklace

Lanvin-1972-Sabina-Savage-Scarf

 

Images from top:

 

As you know, I ‘collect’ images over on Pinterest. Come and have a look.

Hope you’re having a restful, rejuvenating and creative weekend!

Continue reading “Pins of the Week: Red, White and Pink”

Earth Day Celebration: Nature as Creative Inspiration

Earth Day Squash

 

Nature has always been my number one source of creative inspiration. The diversity abundant in the flora, fauna and landscapes that surround us have been inspiring artists, craftspeople and designers, around the world, for centuries.

In this late Earth Day post (you may have noticed TypePad was down for a few days last week), I wanted to share some photographs I’ve taken – most of them recent, thanks to my new enjoyment of Instagram, and a couple from the archives. 

 

Patterns in nature

Wundanyi Taita Hills Plants Pattern
 

The leaves above were found in my Aunt and Uncle’s garden in Wundanyi, a beautiful town in the Taita Hills. I love stripes in general so these leaves caught my eye. The photo was taken on my phone and I had some fun with VSCOcam to play with colour (the leaves are actually a dull greyish green) and really bring out the pattern.

Continue reading “Earth Day Celebration: Nature as Creative Inspiration”