Intentional

 

Glory to God we made it into 2018! Yayyyyy

As we all know with the new year, comes the new year resolution and the #NewYearNewMe mantra all over social media. Whilst, it is important to have direction and a moment of quiet ‘introspection’ before we embark on a new journey, sometimes we must be careful not to lose the essence of such activities.  One of the things, I am aiming to pursue this year is Intentionality.

Here are just a few verses for inspiration.

“Our Intimacy with God; His highest priority for our lives, which determines the impact of our lives.

 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Proverbs 3 : 5 -6  (NIV)

 

“for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”

Philippians 2 :1 3 (NIV)

 

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”

Isaiah 26 : 3 (NIV)

 

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

Isaiah 43 : 19 (NIV)

 

#IntentionalGrowth

 

Have a prosperous and wonderful 2018!

 

Mo 🙂 x

Don’t Waste Your Life

2017 has been quite an eventful year. From witnessing a solar eclipse, to the numerous natural disasters that plagued several, Caribbean, South American and American cities (and many others).

solar eclipse2017

We can look back and be thankful that we are alive and well to be able to say we survived all that. However, the question arises, how much of 2017 has been purposeful? Looking back at 2017 and its accomplishments, there may be a struggle between settling for complacency and comfort with the current status quo as well as frustration and disappointment with how much is yet to be done. Instead, I would encourage having an increased focus and seeking a clearer vision for 2018. It is never too early to start evaluating the year and pondering on what went well, what needs to be improved and what needs to be changed.

One of the things I am learning is the importance of purpose. Yes, I will bring it up again! Lol, purpose is so vital.

img_3838

 

Purpose

Purpose gives direction and helps avoid haphazard living and wasted energy. Purpose means you focus your energy on a particular area.  Many lives and plenty of time can be wasted because we neglect to spend time in God’s presence to discover what our purpose is. I think it may also help to realize that we have limited time on this Earth. We are placed in our community, our generation, our life season and within our demographic for a specific purpose to accomplish a particular mission. At the end of the day we will have to give an account for how we spent our time and life. Does this affect or change the way we live our lives?

As we get older do you notice how the years seem to be flying by quicker? There were times when the summer holidays seemed like they would never end and boredom could last forever. Yet, nowadays summer seems to fly by so quickly that at times I am left wondering if it even existed. Such is life. There is a time and season for everything under the sun (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Don’t Waste Your Life

One of the things that struck me after reading John Piper’s Don’t Waste Your Life was the brutal honesty and painful realness. It challenges the human aspects that we seem to ignore in our walk with Christ.

For example, the idea of sacrificial love is a ‘nice’ concept theoretically but living it out practically is an entirely different thing. We are by nature flawed human beings. Can you imagine putting yourself in an uncomfortable situation for someone else? Someone that may not even be as grateful as you think they ought to be, or someone that will somehow end up hurting you. But, isn’t that what Christ did for us? Yet, while we were still sinners He died for us (Romans 5:8).  Piper further states;

 “We are taught in a thousand ways that love means increasing someone’s self-esteem. Love is helping someone feel good about themselves. Love is giving someone a mirror and helping him like what he sees. This is not what the Bible means by the love of God. Love is doing what is best for someone. But making self the object of our highest affections is not best for us.” (page 33)

I find it interesting from this passage that true love doesn’t mean always catering to someone whims and feeding their ego rather telling them what they need to hear rather than what they want to hear.

We each created uniquely and individually so God can be glorified in us and we may be satisfied in Him. There is a purpose and desire for purpose in the deepest part of our soul. That is why we are naturally wired to want to feel happy.

Why do we procrastinate and have low tolerance for delayed gratification? Because we want to feel happy and stress-free all the time!

 But our soul can be satisfied when we achieve our purpose in order to bring glory to God.

“We were made to see and savour God – savouring Him, to be supremely satisfied, and thus spread in all the world the worth of His presence. Not to show people the all-satisfying God is not to love them.”

John Piper

Anytime the mundane activities of daily living start to cloud one’s sight of the future goal and ultimate purpose, be reminded that there is limited time and some things occur best in certain seasons. There really is no humility in living small. Rather the best way to live is to glorify God by walking in your purpose. Allowing your light to shine before men so that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven (Matthew 5:16). Intentionality is very important in glorifying God and in ensuring that a purposeful life is lived. At the end of it all what will be said of us and how we have spent our time on earth? 2017 is not over yet.

Don’t Waste Your Season, Don’t Waste Your Time, Don’t Waste Your Energy

Don’t Waste Your Life.

 

#KeepOnKeepingOn

Mo 🙂 x

Night At The Opera (Kinda)

Sometime during the summer, I attended an orchestral concert, ‘The Best Is Yet To Come: Sinatra and Beyond’ at the Francis Winspear center for Music. Let me tell you, I felt so grown and sophisticated, but more importantly, it was such a great experience.

Opera

There was a huge catalog of work that he had that I was not aware of, but after my ‘Night at the Opera’ experience, I am a bit more knowledgeable about his music. Huge shout out to the great Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and conductor, Steven Reineke. Also, props to the awesome special guest singers; Montego Glover and Tony DeSare who gave Sinatra a fitting tribute.

Performances

Here are a few of the performances that I enjoyed;

In the performance of ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin’ I sensed some Christmas vibes, almost like the soft jingling soundtrack that plays in stores around the Christmas season to create a warm and cozy atmosphere (also, to get you to spend all your money!). In particular, I enjoyed the section where there seemed to be a musical battle of sorts between the alto and tenor saxophones. It was interesting to watch the back and forth between both instruments.

duet

 

The first guest artist to come out onto the stage was Montego Glover. She made her Broadway debut in The Color Purple’s original Broadway production and she is also a Tony award nominee for Lead Actress in a Musical. She looked inch the Broadway star with her short pixie cut and various arrays of elegant evening gowns. The tone of her voice which had a dark and sultry tinge was able to perfectly match the soulful vibe of the music.

The second guest artist to come on stage was, Tony DeSare. He is a singer/pianist/composer and is able to create fresh takes on old school classics.

The duet between Glover and DeSare showcases the clear contrast between their voices and was quite special. The light, airy nature of DeSare’s male voice versus the deep richness in Glover’s voice was made quite apparent in their performance of ‘Something’s Gotta Give’.

There was also a great use of lighting in collaboration with the musical instruments to promote an atmosphere of ‘pomp and circumstance.’ For example, the peach/pinkish hue of light matched the sultry tone of the saxophone.

Although, I was somehow distantly familiar with some of the tunes, I was very happy to say I recognized one clearly. This was the ‘Something Stupid’ song. I had no idea it was originally sung by Sinatra, I was only familiar with the Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman version. If you haven’t yet you should definitely check out that version, I love their inclusion of the Spanish guitar to add some spice alongside the main band.

If I could sum up the general emotion from the whole night, strangely I would say it reminded me so much of Christmas. Which is why I am sharing my experience now in December. (Lol). But, also as I was quite unaware of how varied Sinatra’s repertoire of work was until now. As the year ends, I am reminded of Proverbs 22:28 (NIV)

“Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.”

Can you imagine, it’s been almost 20 years since Sinatra died, yet his body of work is still celebrated today and held at such a high esteem. I hope this inspires us all to continue to be diligent in whatever we find ourselves doing even as we plan to go into the new year.

Overall, it was a great experience and I really hope to be able to attend more musicals/operas/concerts in the near future.

Let me know if you have any experience attending operas or your favorite memory from a concert you’ve attended?

#KeepOnKeepingOn

Mo 🙂 x

Cooking with Mo: Jollof Brown Rice and BBQ Chicken wings

After all the eating out I had done in the past few months, I felt inspired to try out making my own cultural dishes at home. Only, it included a Mo’ Twist.

mo' twist

The goal was to make Jollof rice using Brown rice as a healthier alternative, with BBQ infused chicken wings (basically add BBQ sauce to the seasoning of the Chicken) and fried plantain.

The Result

  1. Blend the peppers including Tomatoes (either tin or fresh, I used both) Onions, Bell Peppers, Chili & Garlic (optional)

2. Boil the stew and add seasoning and rice

3. Get sides ready; Slice plantain and season the chicken

4. Finished product

What recent recipes have you tried making at home? Have you made any ‘remixes’ to traditional recipes?

#KeepOnKeepingOn

Mo 🙂

Foodiebration! Part 2

Over the past month, I have been able to try out different types of cuisines that I had never had before. I share some of my ‘food’ experiences.

1.  Chinese Hot Pot

entryway

So the first cuisine I had was Chinese Hot Pot. I had never been to a hot pot restaurant before, therefore I had no idea what to expect. When we arrived at the restaurant, because it was a Friday evening it was quite full, but  we were quickly shown to our table and right in front of us was our ‘cooking stove’. Straightaway, it dawned on me the meaning of ‘hotpot’, which was that we would literally be cooking our own meal. “Okay,” I thought. This shouldn’t be too bad. First of all, we had to select our soup base, which would be the ‘foundation’ of our meal and the cooking pot for all that we would be eating. Then, we had to order the red meat we would like. For example, the different cuts of beef that we would like to incorporate into our ‘hotpot’. After this, we were shown to the buffet area where we had to select our ‘supporting ingredients’ for our meal. The choices included; different types of seafood, vegetables, and lots of other items I absolutely did not recognise. But, I selected all that I could recognise or asked the servers what each food item was if I was really intrigued. 

 

Overall, it was quite a good experience. The meal was very fitting for the weather that day. It was bitterly cold outside but the heat from the cooking hotpot in front of you as well as the hot soup you digest was able to counteract whatever cold air might have wafted in.

I would recommend trying out the ‘hot pot’ experience.

 

2.      Kyoto Japanese

kyoto entrance 

So for my second cuisine, I tried Kyoto Japanese. Since I had never eaten at this particular restaurant before either, it was recommended that I try the Bento Box. Mind you, as a student, I had tried several of the dishes listed in the bento box separately. For example, I have tried store bought sushi and quite enjoyed it. Yes, I know it’s not the ‘authentic’ sushi. Not sushi is sushi sha! Eating the restaurant prepared sushi was quite a different experience. I learnt that there are different forms of sushi and the difference between sushi and sashimi. I decided that I preferred sushi as it seemed more appealing to my palette. Sushi consists of rice wrapped around raw/slightly cooked fish, in comparison to sashimi which was plain raw fish.

In case you were wondering, there is a clear difference between store bought sushi and restaurant made sushi!  Overall, the bento box was delicious, the portions were just right and it gave me a chance to sample a bit of everything.

 

I also particularly enjoyed the restaurant layout. We were seated in a little private room that was set up like you were sitting on the floor to eat. In actual fact, the table was placed in a hole and the chairs were shorter so you could slide the chair under the table to sit. It was an amazing idea and added to the authenticity of the experience.

kyoto seatFor any Kyoto Japanese first-timers, I would definitely recommend trying the ‘Bento Box’.

3. Somalian cuisine

I recently attended an event where I tasted Somalian cuisine for the very first time ever. I was pleasantly surprised! It was definitely delicious. I was particular fond of the chicken! It was well seasoned, yet it wasn’t overwhelming. It was also encouraging that they served a whole chicken leg.  (:D) That was totally filling. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the meal.

 

Have you tried any of these cuisines? If so, what were your thoughts?

 

Keep On Keeping On

Mo 🙂 x

‘Attention Please’ & ‘Tagged’

Have you always wondered what it would be like to attend an art exhibit ? Well, for the first time, I attended a free art exhibition held at the Fine Arts Building (FAB) Gallery at The University of Alberta.

Tanya Harnett’s Attention Please showcased two main bodies of work including persona grata and Scarred Scared Water.

Harnett is an associate professor and visual artist in the Department of Arts & Design.

In a recent video interview, Harnett stated that her work focuses on an individual’s identity. It targets the different ways in which we view ourselves as well as our various ideologies. Harnett shed light on First Nations social issues and narratives as a person of settler heritage (she’s also Irish and English). Therefore, she explores her history and raises concerns for the future. In particular, piece “FLAG” in the persona grata series specifically looks at Canadian identity from a First Nation point of view.

FLAG_Harnett

Through this piece Harnett challenges what it means to be ‘Canadian’ as well as having indigenous roots especially as Canada celebrates its 150th year in 2017. The question arises, how can both these identities be reconciled?

As you will see in the following images, Harnett uses her photographic skills to capture and explore identity. The persona grata  series showcases a self-portrait suite which explores the difficulty in expressing self-identity. The Scarred Scared Water series shows portraits of contaminated water on First Nations territory.

Here are a few pictures of the different pieces;

PERSONA GRATA;

2005-2007 (ink jet print on paper)

TOP (L-R: All Over Andre, White, Bed, Camera)

BOTTOM (L-R: Repair, Glass, Clay, Broken Glass)

self-identity

SCARRED SACRED WATER:
Lubicon Lake First Nation: Warning Oil Pipeline Spill in Creek, 2011 (Digital print on rag paper)
Lubicon Lake First Nation: Damaged Creek and Lake Access, 2011 (Digital print on rag paper)

Drift Pile First Nation: Drift Pile River From Swan Hills, 2011 (Digital print on rag paper)

Paul First Nation: 2005 Wabamum Clean-up Site of a 700,000 Litre Oil Spill, 2011 (Digital print on rag paper)

Alexis First Nation: Lac Ste. Anne Shoreline, 2011 (Digital print on rag paper)

Cold Lake First Nation: Damaged Spring at Blue Berry Point, 2011 (Digital print on rag paper)

Scarred Scared
Lubicon Lake First Nation: Warning Oil Pipeline Spill in Creek, 2011 (Digital print on rag paper); Lubicon Lake First Nation: Damaged Creek and Lake Access, 2011 (Digital print on rag paper)
Sacred Water
Drift Pile First Nation: Drift Pile River From Swan Hills, 2011 (Digital print on rag paper) Paul First Nation: 2005 Wabamum Clean-up Site of a 700,000 Litre Oil Spill, 2011 (Digital print on rag paper) Alexis First Nation: Lac Ste. Anne Shoreline, 2011 (Digital print on rag paper) Cold Lake First Nation: Damaged Spring at Blue Berry Point, 2011 (Digital print on rag paper)

Marilène Oliver’s Tagged is inspired by the medical use of MRI to trace certain proteins in the body using fluorescent tags. Oliver is a UK artist and associate professor in the Department of Arts & Design. Oliver states the inspiration for this body of work was her personal experience with ‘tagging’ when her mother who suffers from early onset Dementia took a DAT scan and her condition was confirmed through the MRI image obtained. Oliver states that she obtained a change in how people interacted with her mother after her diagnosis, as her interactions seemed to decrease and people that associated with her before were not so willing to do so anymore. Thus, she incorporates digital technologies, traditional print and sculptures to create amazing pieces.

As you enter the exhibit, the first piece you see mimics the fluorescent tag effect seen in MRI/PET/CT scans.

Her most recent piece “Forward Fold’ uses steel, laser-cut MDF, fluorescent paint and neon glitter to showcase a yoga position. In this position, you are able to take a closer more intimate look into the ‘sculpture’.

Forward fold

I got the sense that this might have been the centerpiece to Oliver’s work. The sculpture at first looks slightly gruesome as the position the sculpture is in looks awkward. But, once you get closer and see the intricate design within the sculpture you appreciate the piece more. This could relate to Oliver’s experience with her mother and the message she hopes to portray that as a society we need to do better to continue engaging with people suffering from Dementia. Their external might not be what we are used to but the essence of them still carries the personality they had before.

Here are a few  pictures of the different pieces:

These art exhibits are a great way to get informed on social issues and appreciate the great work being done outside of the classroom. The two artists were able to effectively communicate their thoughts on social issues such as identity, reconciliation of two cultures in Attention Please as well as infusing two opposites fields in Medical imaging and the Arts to raise awareness on mental health diseases in Tagged. I would definitely recommend taking advantage of the opportunity to appreciate these works. Check out the Faculty of Arts website for more details on their upcoming art exhibits.

What are some of the art exhibits you have attended this past year, and what have you learnt from them?

Keep On Keeping On

Mo 🙂

My Garnett Year (21)

In celebration of the NBA season that recently kicked off in October, I decided to release this post which I wrote sometime after my birthday this summer.

As I moved out of my teen years I remember feeling this sense of urgency and responsibility to grow up and walk in my purpose. I started seeing a lot of posts about #Adulting and this weighed quite heavy on  me.  After thinking about it, I think what scared me the most  was the need to make  deliberate choices and intentional changes to help steer me towards my goal. This requires constant evaluation and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. And guess what, that is extremely HARD.

I’m assuming most people are familiar with the term ‘Jordan Year’ which refers to your 23rd  year because it was the jersey number for the Hall of Fame Basketball player, Michael Jordan. It is supposedly meant to mark the year where you make ‘history’ and achieve great feats of success just as Jordan achieved on the basketball court many years ago. After turning 21 this past summer and being a huge NBA fan, I thought why not select a player that reflects what this new age could mean for me. That player is Kevin Garnett.

Garnett21

Kevin Garnett is considered by some as one of the most dominant defenders of his time as well as one of the most passionate players in the history of the National Basketball Association. He was a promising high school basketball star and one of the few to be drafted straight into the professional league  in the draft class of 1995 (Yes, he came before the Kobe Bryant and Lebron James of recent years). Kevin showed enormous talent and performed quite well in the league, so much so he won league MVP in the 2003-2004 season. Like all basketball players, he had the dream and hope of one day winning a NBA championship. Unfortunately, that dream seemed like it would never be realized as his team the Minnesota Timberwolves never seemed to advance much in championships. Sadly, he was soon traded to the Boston Celtics by the end of the 2006-2007 NBA season and so began the era of ‘super teams’ in the NBA. The Celtics were renowned as one of the most successful teams in NBA history, apart from that Garnett was surrounded by  great talents such as young players like Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo as well as seasoned veterans like Ray Allen. This ensemble was completed with the presence of former player turned coach Doc Rivers, who seemed to be able to coordinate this diverse group of guys perfectly. Now, this seems like such a recipe for success right?

Continue reading “My Garnett Year (21)”

Foodiebration!

To round off  the throwback to summer 2017.

I will be sharing a few great dishes I enjoyed throughout summer in order to celebrate ‘good food‘ aka ‘Foodiebration!

Check out the caption for more information on the dish and where it is from 🙂

Enjoy!

 

 

Mo’s NBA TidBits

 Current Favorite player : Giannis Antetokounmpo

The boy is good! Picture the taller and leaner version of Lebron James. He is able to do everything and almost anything on the basketball court. He’s definitely one to watch for the future.

Favorite basketball show : NBA The Starters

I’m kinda representing #WeTheNorth with this choice.

Favorite team : Golden State Warriors

#DubNation

Favorite WNBA player  : Nneka Ogwumike

Women’s basketball needs more love. Nneka is one of the best defensive players; she’s Nigerian and was the 2016 Finals MVP #NeedISayMore

Favorite NBA analyst : Inside The NBA crew – Charles, Shaq, Kenny & Ernie

Such a great crew, they have jokes for days as well as great on screen chemistry.

Favorite NBA podcast : Ball Girl Magic

Kinda like #BlackGirlMagic, plus it features one of my faves, Yvonne Orji.

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What are some of your favourite basketball tidbits or sports tidbits in general?

#KeepOnKeepingOn

Mo 🙂

Summer Throwback

It recently started snowing in Edmonton, Canada (literally two days ago), so I thought I would relive the glory days of the summer by throwing it back to some events that I attended this past summer.

So every summer there’s a fun fair exhibition known as K-Days (Klondike Days) that is held for 10 days usually near the end of July in Edmonton, Alberta. It consists of different rides and games, both for children and adults which makes it a great opportunity for family fun. It is usually held alongside other great activities across the Albertan province such as ‘A Taste of Edmonton’ and ‘The Calgary Stampede’. If you’re looking for fun things to do next summer, you should definitely check out these events!

Unlike previous years that I attended K-Days, I was actually able to explore some of the exhibitions rather than just going for the rides. (#Adulting!). There were lots of very cool and interesting options. One of the things I did was to try and plan the day because it is quick to get easily overwhelmed.

The first exhibition I went to was the Canada 150 exhibition held in collaboration with Camp Northlands. There was so many interesting things going on in there. I particularly enjoyed the photo booth section which highlighted the beautiful Canadian outdoors (#GreatNorth) and it was a opportunity to take fun pictures. As a basketball fan, I enjoyed the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame exhibition.

Other recommended stations:

‘So You Want To Be An Anchor’

Did you know that James Naismith, the inventor of basketball as we know it, was a Canadian?

 

Overall, it was a great experience and it inspires me to want to explore more of Canada beyond Edmonton. What are some of the events you like to attend during the summer? (It’s never too late to start planning now!) Or those that you plan to attend during  winter? Make sure to keep warm during this winter months! If you need to re-visit those great summer pictures to remind yourself of a more cosier time then go ahead.

#KeepOnKeepingOn

Mo 🙂

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