Summer 2017 Photo Diary

How is everyone's summer going?

I've been trying to soak up all my summer experiences and be in the moment instead of obsessing over cataloging everything to instantly share on social media. 

Now that I've had a moment to decompress, here's a brief photo diary of what I've been up to this summer.

I also took a 10 days missions trip to Ecuador, but that requires a complete post of its own about my experience which by the way, am still decompressing from.

Don't forget to follow me on instagram at @mpn_wellness


Thrifty Thursday: Salvation Army Trip

Having recently completed a winter cleaning session, I decided to stop at my local salvation army to donate some clothes and browse around too. It's been a while since I've been out thrifting on account of I was on a tight budget and trying to be a minimalist. And also to be quiet frank, I didn't NEED anything in particular throughout the cold winter months. 

But now that the weather is warmer, its wedding season, graduation season, barbecue parties, pool parties and etc. 

Here are 3 amazing NEW! finds I got on my latest trip to the Salvation Army. Everything was 50% off the price tag so I paid around $3 for each pair of shoes and they were all brand new!

1. Just Fab Prima Thigh High boots
The irony of this find is, I have been looking every where for affordable thigh high boots that can accommodate my muscular calves. I had even gotten to the point of saving and investing $$$$$ for a luxury brand pair. This was definitely my best find from this trip.

2. W Worthington Flats
Perfect for adding colour to my spring and summer wardrobe

3. Target Mossimo Nude Pearce Pumps
Perfect  comfortable heels for work and I love the nude tone because you can pair it with anything.
So the lesson here is, you never know what gem you'll find in a thrift store but you definitely need to take your time to sort through everything and inspect it carefully so you don't end up with a damaged product.

Happy thrifting!

Okwele Series 2017: "The Cameroon We Don't Know"

A couple of weeks ago, I attended the 2nd edition of the Okwele North  America Series

The theme of the series was
 "The Cameroon We Don't Know"

Usually while attending networking events or conferences, I am very deliberate in targeting only panels that engage my interest. 
This time around, I choose to be open minded and attended every discussion session. This was definitely a good decision because I thoroughly enjoyed being part of every session in this series . By the end of the weekend, I was so inspired and full of hope my home country, Cameroon.

Friday night was an informal meet and greet with conversations about pursuing careers outside of the traditional norm.

And on Saturday morning, we got inspired into the day by the amazing keynote speaker Monsieur Jean Victor Nkolo. The only thing I regret not doing is taping his whole speech so I could play it over and over and over again on my headset every time life gets me down and I just need a pep talk. 

He was incredible and I could honestly listen to him speak all day.

He stressed the importance of understanding the history of a country , to know where it's coming from, where it currently stands and what needs to be done for the future. History is so important to avoid repeating the same mistakes and to understand why things currently stand as they do.

The next session touched on hidden opportunities and doing business in Cameroon. It was eye opening to hear from Madelle Kangha who runs a non-profit organisation in cameroon and Henry Nsang , a civil engineer with a construction management company also in cameroon. We also heard from Maryanne Mokoko, the designer behind Koko Nanga. Maryanne spoke on how her foundation in architecture are skill sets that she uses as both a fashion designer and Financial IT specialist. 

I was very impressed with stanley enow's articulation of the music industry and his journey into success.
There's a certain intelligence bias/stereotype about rappers or the entertainment industry in general . Am glad to see him break those stereotypes, whether it's with his lyrics, creating his own label or diversifying his brand.

After lunch, we did a problem solving workshop . The goal was to get us to come up with  specific solution to a specific social problem in Cameroon. The idea was to take a big concept and break it down to an elementary level. My team worked on creating an app for safe driving in Cameroon

The second guest speaker, professor Parfait Eloundou Enyegue, had me reconsidering a career in the poplation sciences with his in depth presentation on how a country's development ( or lack thereof), shapes it's population growth and wealth distribution. And he also talks about where does the immigrant who is trying to return home (Africa) after being abroad for many years, fit back into the society.
It was fascinating to see how the study of populations ties into development etc

Lastly, was the panel on the anglophone problem and I think in summary, everyone in the room disagreed on the government's decision to cut off internet. It would have been nice to get the perspective of someone on the ground, someone who was directly impacted by that decision but I understand, we live abroad and are limited in that scope.

The series wrapped up and we ended up closing the evening at the popular Miracles of Science, in Cambridge.

Here are my takeaways from the series based on my interactions with  others or just listening to the panelists.

✦✦Don't be scared to try something new or failing. 
Failing is part of the process.

✦✦Think outside the typical career paths. Or even in those traditional roles, think bigger. For example, you can just be a doctor in a hospital or you can one day run your own clinic or ER facility.

✦✦Stanley Enow implored those who want to come home, to come home with a desire to serve instead of to be served, or an attitude that you are better than those who don't have a foreign education

✦✦ Connections isnt everything if you don't know how to hardness your networks.

✦✦ At the foundation level, your skills are transferable. Don't put your self in a box when you can me multi-talented.


My First Boston Celtic Game: NBA PLAYOFFs

I'm not going to make this a poetic post. I've been to many ball games in Atlanta; football, baseball, soccer and basketball games. But this was my first ball game in Boston even though I've been to TD Gardens many times for other types of events like concerts and shows.

As with any other event space, the food was pricey, the drinks weren't strong enough but the game was AMAZING!!!! I loved every part of the experience.

My friend and I took an uber to the gardens for an easy $9.60 which was great. You don't have to worry about spending time looking for parking or driving under the influence. However, after the game our uber surge charge went up to $30.00 so we took the mbta train! 

I can't believe it took me this long to attend a game in Boston. Now am going to sign up for more games, I'll go see the Red Sox play, the Bruins, and maybe one day I'll brave the masses and head to foxborough for the football games

Easter 2017 Road Trip Dallas to Vegas

The past couple of years, I've spent every Easter in Boston because I wanted to be around the city and take part in the Boston Marathon events. This year, I decided to break that tradition and do something a little bit different by going on a road trip.

Image from Rondoughtery

With the introductions of planes and the ability to shop for discounted tickets, it seems like the road trip culture in america is dying out, or at least skewing to extreme ends.

By extreme ends I mean on one hand you do have a new trend of backpackers and people living out of buses, vans, SUVs & RVs or tiny mobile homes.
And then on the other extreme end, those who are too busy to take the scenic interstate highways routes and prefer a red eye nonstop flight because it will get them to their destination faster.
Add to that the trend of international travel being desirable for many than going on a road trip to local national landmarks.

I feel like am a combination of both. I don't like to take a day off work just to travel so I try to be efficient with my time. In this case, flying nonstop into Dallas after work at night, obviously. But then if there is an opportunity for me to see more and experience more on a road trip, I take advantage of that too.

One day I'll like to either back pack or get an RV or even better a tiny mobile home! and drive it across america. I feel like I'll need to take some kind of technical "how to" class before hitting the road so I don't die on the highway lol.

My road trip started with a night flight into Dallas with pit stop drives and sight seeings through;

✔️Amarillo, Texas

With a belly full of more steak than I have eaten in months, we hit the road again, this time heading towards   

✔️Albuquerque, New Mexico

We spent the night in 

✔️Gallup, New Mexico

and finally made it to VEGAS! the next day in time for Good Friday :)

✔️Henderson, Las Vegas

It's so hard to stay active and disciplined on the road especially when I feel like I have the huge responsibility of trying out local cuisines sans counting calories.

There is so much to see and do in Vegas off the strip. Don't be fooled by all the marketing hype. Vegas can be family friendly and quiet . There is a lot more to do OFF the strip than on the strip, who's novelty wears off after about 2 days of 24/7 bright lite casinos.

My favourite motto for this spring season is, whatever you seek, you will find. If you're looking for a peaceful sanctuary, you can find that in Vegas. If you're looking for the night life scene, you will also find that.

(Grand Valley Ranch Resort and Spa)

(Elephant Bar)

(Sunset Station Hotel Casino)

But then you know....after everything thing your gal still caught a flight back home to Boston from McCarran International Airport in Nevada through utah in time for the BOSTON MARATHON!!!