A new chapter

Hey y’all!! It’s been a very hot minute since I last posted. I’ve been allowing myself to take some time to transition from student to young professional these past couple of months.

Just a quick update: I now work as a registered nurse full time in what is basically my dream job! I have a super supportive team and team lead (who may or may not be reading this. Hey!👋🏾), a stable learning environment, and several opportunities before me. But despite all that I still feel, for lack of better words, unsettled. It’s not uncommon for new grads or new professionals to feel anxious about their futures, especially when there is a lot of (unintentional) pressure coming from family and friends -“What’s your next career move? Where do you see this taking you? When are you getting your own place? When are you getting married? Are you seeing anyone?”

As you can probably already tell, these looming questions make me feel like I am being pulled in several directions at once. Which, I believe, all contributes to that unsettled feeling.

I have some unmet expectations of myself as well. Once I started working I thought that I would be able to create new recipes and blog more frequently. I thought that I would be able to hang out with my family more often, volunteer more often, take on new projects, etc., etc., etc. But here’s the catch guys: Working life is TIRING. Sometimes you need to allow life to be slow for a moment and find your rhythm. Now that I’m not having to study with my spare time I actually need to ask myself “is this a priority?” before I actually go ahead and commit to anything (even writing this blog post).

Because, as some of you have already figured out, real life is not like university where it’s easy to build connections and find opportunities. You have to put in an intentional effort to do the things you want to do. And I’m no physicist but effort equals energy and we only have so much of it. It’s silly to burn yourself out doing things that don’t move you in the right direction. I’ve been learning not to do things simply because our culture says “busy is good, busy is productive”.

The reason I ask myself this question is because I often find myself wanting to do things just to fill up my time -because I feel like I should be doing something. But if it’s not going to get me where God has called me to be then what’s the point 🤷🏾‍♀️.

To counter that “busy is good” mentality I have written a personal mission statement. Which highlights, who I want to be, where I hope to be, my values, and my beliefs. So the next time I ask myself “is this a priority?” I know exactly where my priorities lie.

Another thing I wanted to share is that I have been learning (very slowly) to cultivate a heart of gratitude.

Have you ever thought about how easy it is to be discontented? All you have to do is decide you want something else. Seriously. You could be the world’s greatest mathematician but then decide you want to be a chef. You could have a very healthy family then tell yourself that you wish you weren’t a middle child because middle children generally get less attention. If you want to be ungrateful, you can be ungrateful, just go on social media, there will always be someone with a better car, more money, or a cooler job than you.

Conversely, if you want to be grateful you can choose to submit to a posture of gratitude and contentment. I am smiling as I write this because as I intentionally choose gratitude, I realize more and more what I have been blessed with. I find that so refreshing!

Initially, this post was meant to be on self-care but it kind of turned into a life update/ what I’ve been learning post. I guess I had a lot to say 🙈

Wishing you all the best friends!

With gratitude and kindness,

Jasmine ❤️

Bridal Shower 101


Hey hey, guys! I don’t know if you’ve heard the news yet but my sister is getting married! And fortunately (or unfortunately lol), she has appointed me to be her maid of honor! As you probably already know, the maid of honor has a lot of responsibilities on her plate including planning a bridal shower. Luckily, I had some friends who have been in a similar position to help me out. To pay it forward, I would like to share with you some tips on how to plan a bridal shower and of course, there will be food!

The Invitations

First things first. Send out your invitations faaaaarrrr in advance (I think this tip pertains to anything wedding related).  I sent mine out at the end of May and the shower wasn’t until August 11th. I did that partly because I wanted to get it out of the way and partly because I wanted people to be able to clear their schedules. I used a website called Paperless Post to send out my invitations, which is a more formal platform. I chose this method because the invitations are visually appealing, you can set an automated reminder email (because ain’t nobody got time for that), and there’s a comment board where people can share their kind messages about the couple. I liked that everything was in one place so I didn’t have to worry about keeping track of whether people could come or not, etc. The only downside (other than having to pay) is that you have to get everyone’s email address; some people have several so you have to figure out which one works best for them. I paid about $15 for the invitations in total. If you want to go super simple you could use Facebook or Evite. Another option I considered was creating an invitation using Canva.

Honestly, the invitations are probably the part where you can afford to be a little lackadaisical if you really need to.


The Plan  

Planning is probably one of my least favorite things to do but in order to ensure all goes well, you must be organized. I typed out my plan on a Google Doc with several sub-categories such as Timeline, Theme, Meals/ groceries, and Other.  Under certain events or items, I also created a to-do list so I could remember what specific tasks need to be completed for each item. It’s basically like you’re writing out your vision on a piece of paper then jotting down feasible steps to obtain it. The goal is to make your ideas a reality.

Regardless of how much I planned I still had to change a few things around. For example, I omitted one of the games to make sure we were on time, I opted for some cheaper mini-activities, and I changed a few things on the menu. I even ended up changing the time from 1100 to 1400 which gave me more time to prep.

The host’s job is to make sure everyone is enjoying themselves (especially the bride). So feel out the situation and allow yourself to go with the flow.

Theme/ decor


For the theme try to stick with two to three Colours. More than that will make it look messy. Our colours were mint, white and gold. We had no problem finding white decorations but mint and gold were a bit of a challenge. Pro tip: if you want to save a bit of time, order your decor off of Amazon. To ensure that the theme is outstanding, have an “Instagram table”. This is a center table that has a lot of decor on and around it -very picturesque or should I say Insta worthy 😏.

We also added little accents of the theme colours around the house -rose petals, streamers, calligraphy (done by my amazing cousin), and even flowers.

Games/ Activities


So the games were super simple. They literally took me about 10 minutes to put together (thanks to my awesome friend who helped me out).

One game we played was “how well do you know the bride?”. For this game, I created three teams of 5-6 that would work in collaboration to correctly answer as many questions about the bride as possible. The team that gets the most questions right wins! Easy peasy!

How well does the bride know the groom- I asked my sister’s fiance around 20 questions and wrote down his answers (so he wouldn’t change them). Then during the shower, we FaceTimed him and asked the bride the same questions. Don’t ask simple questions for this game. You want to stump the bride and get a few laughs in the process.

Side activity one– Who doesn’t like a little guessing game? We played the classic “guess how many jelly beans are in a jar”.


PS make sure there are prizes.

Side activity two- This was probably one of my favorite side activities. We hung a string from a couple of hooks and placed clothespins on it. On a small table, I had three sections of cue cards -date ideas, words of wisdom, and prayers. I paired each category with a different colored marker. Throughout the shower, the ladies wrote down their thoughts that aligned with the category they chose.


Words of wisdom– Before the shower ended, I opened up the floor for any words of wisdom or encouragement the ladies wanted to say to the bride. On that note, I would like to share with you some wise words from my mother:

“There is no correlation between conflict and divorce, there is, however; a correlation between divorce and habitual avoidance of conflict.”

After speeches were given, we popped the champagne and I proposed a toast to the bride!


Dance dance dance- ain’t a party without dancing right? Make sure you got an on and poppin’ playlist for this part!

I had another game ready for us but so I could avoid going over time and give people a chance to mingle/ take pictures, I decided to scratch it. Like I said, sometimes you need to improvise!

The food

This is probably what you have all been waiting for. Of course, I went ALL out for food. We had the shower later in the afternoon; if you do the same finger foods will suffice. But cooking is kind of my thing so I had to make it special. For this event, I abandoned my vegan recipes #sorrynotsorry.


– Tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole (guacamole was homemade, salsa was store-bought).

-Kabobs! I wanted to make meat kabobs but to save money and time I opted for sausage kabobs instead. I placed these bad boys in a pan, drizzled some olive oil over top, popped them in the oven at 350 Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. Then drizzled them with some balsamic reduction and BAM! You got yourself a delicious appetizer.


We had risotto, roasted vegetables, jollof rice (a West African rice), kale salad, two types of chicken (sweet basil chicken and spicy rosemary) salmon, and some bread. Except for the jollof and bread, all of the recipes were created by yours truly!

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Apple crumble and whipped cream. You can find my gluten-free apple crumble recipe here.

The cake was made by my wonderful friend Chidera from AzaryaLifestyle. You can find her recipe here.

We also had some watermelon and chocolate cake!



Raspberry sparkler. I added a few frozen raspberries into a jar (this acts as the ice), lemon slices, with lemon juice, sparkling lime water, and some sprite. I would normally add a little bit of white wine to this drink as well!


Always make sure you ask about dietary restrictions, the last thing you want is hungry guests!

Final Tips


Ask for advice – As a young and fresh African gal, I know how to throw a party! But wasn’t too sure what a bridal shower entailed. One of my friends was the maid of honor for her sister’s wedding last year so I picked her brain on all things bridal showers. Pinterest is also a wonderful place to find inspiration.

Play to your strengths-  What are your strong suits? Is it planning? Cooking? Baking? decorating? Whatever it is, make sure you do things to the best of your abilities in that area!

Delegate- This isn’t the part where you get to boss people around. This is the part where you acknowledge that you’re human and you need to ask for help. For example, my cousin is very creative so I asked her to write out some calligraphy for me and went to her for advice on decorations. And my friend is an excellent baker so asked her to make a cake! I wanted an awesome playlist for the dance so I asked another friend to create one for me. My aunties helped me set up, get the place prepared, and clean afterward. Remember that in order to delegate effectively you need to know what needs to be done so stay organized :).


Remember who you are doing this for- This is the last word of advice I want to give. This shower was for my sister, and if you’re throwing a bridal shower I’m sure it is for someone very close to you as well. Keep them at the forefront of your mind amidst all of the hustle and bustle. There will be times where you want to throw in the towel but instead, think of how happy they will be when it’s all done! Besides, they only get married once, it’s your job to help make it special.

“I have found the one whom my soul loves” -Song of Solomon 3:4



Food, fashion, fun: ice cream and Levi’s


Hey hey friends! I’m starting this new blog series called Food, Fashion and Fun where I feature two of my loves (food and fashion) in one post!

Food: The weather has been super nice lately which is a perfect excuse for a cold treat! So I headed over to Village Ice Cream and grabbed a banana spice coconut milk ice cream. And yes, this is a vegan-friendly flavor! It tasted a bit like pumpkin spice to me and I really enjoyed it. So I would definitely recommend it to all of you Starbucks fanatics out there.



Fashion: I decided to go on a bit of an adventure through downtown Calgary after putting together a super cute outfit fitting for the occasion. I wore a pair of high-waisted Levi’s (which added so much length to my already long legs haha), a classic Levi’s t-shirt (can you tell I love their stuff?), and a pair of fuschia strappy block heels. It was also a bit windy so I threw on a little bomber jacket! I appreciate how a few seemingly simple pieces can come together to create a pretty classic outfit. If you want to be a little less formal, instead of wearing the block heals, throw on a pair of sneakers instead.


Fun: So this was more like work than fun but I helped my brother film an intro to his vlogging channel and in return, he took some bomb photos of me! I spent the afternoon roaming the streets of Calgary visiting a few hotspots like the downtown mall and Stephen Avenue!


I hope you enjoyed this post, until next time!




Hi friends!

Thanks for tuning in. Apologies for my absence, I’ve been going through a really rough season. I needed a break from unnecessary stimuli and instead, channel my energy into my close relationships and myself. I’m not going to get into the details of what I have been going through but I am going to share with you what I have learned/ am learning.

If your winter was anything like mine, you can attest to the fact that it has been a long one! And now we are finally getting some sun! Can you say dress and sandals weather?!

On that note, I think this winter is a fitting metaphor for the current state of my life -hardship, after hardship, and one thing causes another- will it ever end?! I’m generally a happy person who puts on a brave face most of the time but the consequences of doing so can literally be fatal. I hope that sharing what I have learned can serve as a tool for some.


But before I jump in, I would like to open with a Martin Luther King Jr. quote:

“One illusion is the myth of time… “And time will work that out.” You’ve heard that I’m sure. These people fail to see that time is neutral and it can be used positively or negatively. The fact is that segregation horns have made a much more effective use of time than some other sources of good will, even the federal government.  I’m afraid that we may have to repent, not only for the blatant, vitriolic words of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.” 

I know what you’re thinking, “Jasmine, Martin Luther King Jr. is great and all but what does his American Dream speech have to do with seasons?” I think, in this speech, he highlights an irrevocable fact about time- that it maintains a neutral position, therefore each individual has the freedom to choose how they will use it and merely doing nothing with will not suffice. So with each difficult season don’t just say to yourself “it will pass”, consider what you will do amidst it.

So here are a few of my reflective points during this heavy period.


Get supported

One of the best things that I ever did was get a mentor. She has supported, advised, and celebrated with me during my setbacks and milestones. If you don’t already have a mentor or two (or three), get one! When you’re going through a difficult time the last thing you want to be doing is figuring out who you can talk to. You need to be able to talk to someone who is intentionally invested in your life, familiar with your situation, and detached enough to give you sound advice. Another huge source of support, besides my family, has been my friends. There are quite a few people that I know will be there for me when I am in need of some emergency TLC.

Sometimes getting support looks like seeing a professional. This can be extremely beneficial especially considering that they are well-equipped to help you deal with your situation. I understand that there may be a monetary deterrence but most professionals in these fields take your financial circumstances into consideration, using a sliding scale to determine the cost. If you are a student, your school may have free resources such as counselors, “boot camps”, and support groups.

Be grateful 

The last thing we want to do when we are going through a rough time is write down all of the things we can be grateful for. It’s tough, I know, but it’s so necessary especially if you want to remain remotely sane. When we choose to dwell on the negative (and sometimes we will) we must remember that it is our responsibility to take every thought captive and decide whether or not we are going to let it weigh us down.

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -if anything is praiseworthy or excellent, think about such things” -Philippians 4:8 

I have a tough time doing this consistently so a few things that I do are: 1) Pray– tell God what you are grateful for. 2) Keep a gratitude journal -before you go to bed every night write down at least three specific things that you were grateful for that day. It can be something as simple as hearing the sound of the birds chirping when you woke up. It’s also great to be able to look back on your blessings. 3) Talk it out with friends- My friends have shed a positive light on my tough situations. Sometimes what I need is an external perspective.


Use the quieter seasons to equip you for the stormy ones

Quiet/ reflective seasons are opportune times to do some introspection and consider what areas in your life need some revision. Something I personally need to work on is my self-talk. A lot of the time I can be my own worst enemy -choosing to internalize negative beliefs about myself and replaying them in my head over and over again. I know that when things get busy I almost immediately revert to this type of thinking. So when I find myself in a position where I have a little more time on my hands, it’s the perfect opportunity to pick up my bible and fill my heart with truth, go to life-giving events, and work on cultivating positive relationships. Again, it all comes down to what you choose to do with your time.

A few books that have really helped me combat this cognitive disposition are Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Dummies and Me, Myself and Lies by Jennifer Rothschild. Both books have challenged my way of thinking and provide practical ways to equip myself when these negative thoughts come to mind.

Another thing I have been challenged to do is intentionally rest. This looks different for everyone, whether it be sleeping-in a few days a week, hanging out with people you haven’t seen for a while, or reading a book or two. This is something I’m still learning to do but it has been a rewarding process.

Do the exact opposite of what you want to do

When I find myself in a rut all I want to do is stay in my bed and sulk in self-pity. But in no way is that helpful. It ends up turning into a self-perpetuating cycle. For example, I neglect exercise and become more prone to stress and anxiety. More often than not, the best thing to do is that healthy habit you’re neglecting.

So what is it that you don’t feel like doing today that you know will benefit you after it’s been done? Is it going for a walk? Eating a good meal? Hanging out with friends? Go do it!


This too shall pass

I can’t take credit for this last point. One of my good friends constantly reminds me that a season is just that, a season. She told me “You may be upset now, but you won’t be upset forever, you may be anxious now, but you won’t be anxious forever.” With this insightful perspective, I can now see the metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel.


I don’t think that my season has ended just yet but after winter does come spring so I’m hopeful. Stay hopeful friends.




A few things I learned in 2017

Over time, I have grown to appreciate the new year more and more. To me, it represents a new start for all of us regardless of where you are. It makes us stop and think just how fragile and precious each year is. Every interaction we have, every decision we make, everything we do matters! I’m realizing the importance of intentionality in everything we do -why are we doing what we’re doing? Who are we serving? Does it benefit you (or anyone else) in the long run? What is your goal? How is this helping you get there?

As we all go into this new year, I write down what we hope to achieve in 2018. But it’s important to look back before we move forward. So I have decided to share with you 17 things I learned in 2017.


Walk with God – I notice a difference when I pray, read my bible, engage in fellowship with people of the same faith and when I don’t. When I do, I’m energized, confident, reassured and equipped. When I don’t I’m run down, easily tainted by the world and discouraged. Every day, I get to choose what I want my day to look like and it’s so much better when I decide to move forward with the Lord on my side.

Make your bed every morning – Your mom probably already told you to do this and like the saying goes “mom’s always right!”. This year, I made it a point (and a habit) to make my bed every morning and I noticed how much better I felt starting my day. Our brain loves accomplishing tasks no matter how small and making our bed is a simple way to get us in the right mindset for the day. Also, your room just looks a lot more put together and inviting when you make your bed!

Suffering produces character – this year was tough to say the least. I lost a loved one this year and it was tough for me to accept it and make myself vulnerable by seeking support. I feel I am a lot stronger and appreciative because of it. We need to learn to embrace suffering in a world that so desperately desires to avoid it. Gold is refined through the fire my friend, stay strong.

Be realistic – as we set our 2018 goals we must keep in mind to be practical. Life throws unexpected situations at us that we need to adjust to. The advice I’ve heard is to prioritize your goals, this way, when you’re stuck in a conundrum you know what achievements are a must and which ones can afford to fall through the cracks. Secondly, set your goal within a realistic time frame – you may not learn all the dialects of twi this year but you could in 3, 4, or 5 years so consider what you can do this year to achieve it. Lastly, set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time sensitive) goals. Consider making them so the goal isn’t so daunting. For example, I will read 3,650 pages of books for leisure in 2018. Instead, the goal can be: I will read 10 pages a day, every day in 2018. Same goal. Different perspective.

Don’t just “be yourself” – this is something I learned towards the end of the year, it really forced me to stop and think how many times I use “that’s just who I am” as an excuse to be complacent about my actions. A lot of the time I use my personality as an excuse for avoiding confrontation, staying in my comfort zone, overreacting, you name it. Whatever it is there’s an excuse

Be intentional with your relationships – Relationships take effort! Whether it be starting one or continuing one, time and commitment are required. Good news is that it’s not as burdensome as we think! If I want to spend more time with my family, I’ll join them as they watch the NBA finals instead of being cooped up in my room, or help my mom in the kitchen. I take time to plan dinner dates, annual friend brunches, or even do something productive with my friends. Even sending a funny text message regularly and asking for advice, and making FaceTime calls where you catch up. These are all simple and practical ways I found, I can be intentional with my relationships. I’d love to hear your ideas too!

This also includes deciding what relationships are worth keeping and what relationships you need to let go of. I’m not a huge fan of cutting people off and I’m not insinuating that we should. But I think we have to realize that certain relationships can’t withstand distance or busyness, etc. and if it doesn’t add value to your life at this point (or won’t in the long run) then we should allow it to naturally take its course.

Be committed – only commit if you’re dedicated to whatever you are doing. I have seen the value of deciding to do something and then have it come to fruition – very rewarding. But this only works if you have decided to keep your eye on the prize regardless of what obstacles you may face.

Be grateful – gratitude is a habit we should all adopt. In a world of “me, me, me, now, now, now” we become so entitled and unsatisfied. I have a gratitude journal where I write down three specific things I am grateful for each day. Sometimes I forget to do this so I set a reminder entitled “gratitude time” on my phone. It serves as a reminder to stop complaining and morning take a moment to be grateful for what God has given me. EVERYONE has something to be grateful for!

Seize opportunities – especially when you’re young! There are so many things that can be thrown our way that can change the course of our life! A way to apply this practically is by always asking -the worst you can get is a no!

Hone and own your skills –there are certain things that we are all good at -our God-given talents. There’s a reason you’re good at them. Channel that, refine it, and own it *snap*.

Find balance -life is more than exercise and food. That’s been something I’ve struggled with for years. I’m not allowing myself to be so restrictive or obsessive about those two things in particular and just allow myself to a live! I’m noticing how rich life can be when I seek to find balance between what I do, what I eat, who I am, and how I manage it all.

Share your struggle –All too often we feel like we are battling things alone, whether it be depression, anxiety, an eating disorder. If you have overcome something (or even are going through it) we should empower others by sharing how we’ve overcome and offer a shoulder to lean. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help, so many people are willing to support you, you just have to ask.

Be present -this is something I have a tough time doing. Time goes by so fast! Every moment counts and every moment should be appreciated.

Set an example -this is one of my resolutions this year. Strive to be the kind of person you want to grow up to be. 🙂

I would like to leave you all with a quote:

“You can’t go back and change the beginning but you can start where you are and change the ending.” –C.S. Lewis

Happy New Year!!!



The Gift You’ve Been Given

There's one more gift (2)
What’s the best Christmas present you’ve received? Was it a handmade sweater? That MacBook you begged your parents for? A loved one’s presence?  A pair of Beats headphones? A vacation?
So often when we’re asked this question we leave Jesus out of the picture. To a lot of us, His coming is comparable to that questionable gift we get from grandma every year -unwanted, unopened and underappreciated. But we should not treat it as such. It is imperative that we grasp the value of this gift; it is not something that we can afford to take lightly. Famous philosopher and atheist turned Christian, C.S. Lewis, summarizes this point very well:
“If Christianity is false, it is of no importance and if it is true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important. ”

Accepting the Gift

Okay, so you see this gift under the tree. You think to yourself “I wonder what it is?”. So you shake the box, think of what it could potentially be, you inspect the wrapping, the tape, and even smell it. You feel like it’s something special but you decide to set it back down and leave it under the tree.

In order to fully receive a gift, we must accept it. We have to be humble enough to take something from someone else, especially something that we cannot obtain on our own. Of course, we have every right deny whatever is given to us but this is not a gift that we can afford to refuse. This gift that has been given to us will soon die on a cross to pay a penalty that we cannot afford.

Okay, let’s say you chose to accept the gift. Now what?

When we get a gift we appreciate, it’s not likely that we put it away and forget about it. Instead, we honor its value by taking the time to cherish it and use it as intended. When it comes to Jesus, so many of us neglect to meet with Him daily in prayer, honor Him with our actions and read His word. Immanuel means “God with us”, He came here to BE WITH YOU, all He asks is that you be with Him also… I encourage you to show your gratitude this Christmas by acknowledging the gift that has been so graciously given to you. I challenge you to start with the Christmas story (Matthew 1-2). Read it, internalize it and consider what Immanuel “God with us” means to you.

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. -John 1:12

The best part about this gift is that we don’t have to wait until Christmas to open it.  It is a gift that brings eternal joy and should be shared and cherished.
So family, as we open our gifts today let us not forget about the one we have already been given.
Merry Christmas!!!