School is in session

TGIM everyone!!

This is #BackToSchool Week…yay! I love being a parent even with its twists and turns but this post is not really about being a parent and it started from a “not typical” parenting book. It started from Outlier: the story of success by Malcolm Gladwell.

Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers is one of my favorite books of all time (if you know of any other books like this that you think I will appreciate please recommend!). I am so glad I read this book before I had kids and so it just laid the tracks for what I want to achieve as a person and as a parent. After reading Outliers I was able to better articulate the things that are important to me, my values and the things that are just noise. One of such values for me is quality time. Not just time to pamper myself but also time to spend improving myself, my family and my community.

These days I am busier than ever and I have so much going on in my life. One of my greatest fears is dropping the ball in my responsibilities to God, to myself, to my husband, to my kids, to my employer and even to my community.

Five years ago as a newlywed I was asking myself the exact same question. How do I balance my spiritual life, my job and career, my relationship with my husband amongst other thing and not burn out?

A lot of my friends ask me how I keep things together and functioning. I want to share one of my secrets… lists! I have loads and loads of lists and I just recently decided to put them in an organized format so I can share them with others. I have project lists, to-do lists, essentials lists and so on.  Now it takes a bit of work but lists are my ultimate go-to organization tool. I started building my lists over 5 years ago and as at today I have more than 15 lists that help me keep my day-to-day running in check.

  1. Why do I keep lists? I am the Mistress of my Domain. That means I’m the chef, the cook, the personal shopper, the party planner, personal assistant and a whole host of other things but I also realize I have been called to a higher purpose. There is a reason I was placed and am still on the face of this earth and that is to make a difference. So I need to plan my time and organize my routine tasks to leave time to focus on my purpose.


  1. What can lists do for you? Lists help break stuff down into small pieces that way you can know what you need to focus on and you know when you are completed. I honestly cannot sell this idea more than this.


  1. So why are checklists important? Because they help me focus on what’s extremely important. Like spending time with my hubby and kids, improving myself and even writing this blog and  other things.

As an aspiring PM (project manager), I tend to think of things in terms of ITTOs. That’s Input, Techniques, Tools and Outputs. So my lists are my tools. I will discuss certain techniques much later but as I tell my hubby all the time… Google is your friend.*winks.

This is beginning to sound like I am in class. Have I mentioned before that I have “teacher blood” in my veins? So ladies …. School is in Session!!




(Click here here and here to download free printables!!)



Lists are not cast in concrete. You have to make them your own. I move things around all the time. Some items move to the shopping list and then shopping gets on to the to-do lists. Do you get the picture? Another thing I need to mention is how often I review my lists. Some lists I review daily, others weekly and some as the occasion presents itself. I have a wedding planning list and I’m already married. But overall this prevents me from being a sugar-salt-borrowing wife. Now I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that before I get crucified but once, twice, you become a nuisance … I’m just saying.

Did I forget anything on this checklists? What would you add?



Twitter: @zansisgroove




Women in Technology Tech4D Forum

I enjoy attending events. I really do. But when it’s an event that means something to me I enjoy it even more. I have to admit I was a little reluctant to attend the Women in Technology in Nigeria (WITIN) Tech 4D forum themed “Women leading through technology” because after a long Easter weekend I was eager to get back to work. Even the lure of Sheraton Hotel’s buffet was not strong enough #foodie but I went all the same.

The ladies handling the registration were a little off and this was already putting me off but I was like I’m here so I had better just enjoy myself.

I need to give a little background about WITIN and the Tech 4D forum.

WITIN provides networking, entrepreneurship and professional development opportunities for women and girls; as well as educate, inspire and equip them to pursue and retain careers in STEM while embracing the emerging tech market as inventors and innovators.

To find out more about WITIN please visit their website

Annual Tech4D Forum

The annual Forum on Technology for Development organized by WITIN explores current technological trends and needs of society, as it affects women.

The Forum was in two parts; the morning session for the girls and the afternoon session for the women.

I will be writing mainly about the morning session.

The morning session involved tech teams from different schools presenting apps they had designed to tackle problems encountered in their communities. Schools like Honeywell College, Vivian Fowler girls, International School Lagos, Princeton College Lagos, King David Model College, Our Lady of Nigeria Secondary School Delta state, Mastermind College and Doregos Private Academy all presented their apps. I must admit I was very impressed and I don’t get impressed easily. Some of these apps addressed things like Electricity bills, Entrepreneurship, Fashion and Style, Career decisions, Fitness and Diet, Tackling Depression, Safety and Transportation, Situation Reporting, Shopping, Nigerian Police, Menstrual cycles, the list goes on and on! I don’t know what I was doing when I was this age but I’m sure it involved boys … *winks.

Some of the girls presenting their apps

Some of the girls presenting their apps

Last year’s winners designed an app to tackle Traffic problems and they got a chance to attend the Technovation 2013 in San Fransisco USA. The delectable Honorable (Mrs) Abike Dabiri was there to present awards to last year’s winners and this year’s participants.

Mrs Nkemdilim Begho , MD Futuresoft gave a brief presentation to encourage the girls on pursuing their dreams in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) and she read a quote by Ray Bradbury that just blew my mind.

“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.

It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.”

 Mrs Abike Dabiri spoke briefly about making an impact on the lives of young women. She spoke passionately about the missing 200+ school girls in Borno and the killings in Nyanya, Abuja. She charged women to come together and get more involved in governance. “We need a Nigeria that will give girls a future. We need mothers who believe in the progress and security of our children” Mrs Dabiri said. Mrs Dabiri was at last year’s event and knew some of the girls on a one-on-one basis. Exchanging emails with them from time to time.


Even though I didn’t get my buffet, overall I left the event feeling richer. I left thinking about one of my favorite authors Malcolm Gladwell from his book “Outliers-the story of success”. He wrote about the effects of community on success.

“We have to appreciate the idea that the values of the world we inhabit and the people we surround ourselves with have a profound effect on who we are”.

The girls from the Tech4D forum are definitely on the right track.



So what are we waiting for?

Change. I have to admit I love change. Yes I get goose bumps and flutters at the bottom of my belly but over time I’ve learnt to embrace change. Its both daunting and exciting at the same time when you have to try something new but that has never stopped me before. It has gotten me into some tight spots sometimes but anyway…. So having to change from my beloved dear dear blog, I am so excited about where this journey will lead! So let’s get on with it.. right! I look forward to writing some really interesting stuff.. watch out for my post on make-up for mommies on the go! Its not just cheap and cheerful (as my friend Wums will say) Its also Fun and Friendly…

Love Zansi!