Free Blogging Tips And Tricks

I wish I knew someone had given me these blogging tips and tricks when I started out.  I have been blogging for the past 3 years and over time I have gathered a few blogging tips which I randomly share with people who are starting out.  This morning I decided to compile the entire list and share it with you because I know there is a beginner out there wondering where to begin; how to make their work visible in a world full of bloggers and how to keep readers coming back for more.  Take out your pen and paper and get ready to take note of these blogging tips and tricks which by the way fall in no particular order.

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Image from Pinterest

  1. Choose a user-friendly blogging platform. When I started out my first few posts were on Blogger.com it didn’t make me happy so I changed to WordPress after a friend recommended it. (best decision ever!)
  2. Proof read your work over and over again.  You don’t want to be that blogger who publishes work that has typos or grammatical errors.  Even after publishing your post it’s important to read through it to make sure everything is in check.
  3. Keep it short and sweet.  You don’t want to overwhelm your readers with too many words.  Yes, sometimes it’s okay to write up a lengthy read but remember we are living in a time where your readers attention will easily be distracted by something else.
  4. Explore new adventures.  Whenever I hit a writers block I try something new.  It can be taking a walk using a different route, eat out at a new restaurant, visit a friend in a different part of town or write about a deep dark secret that I haven’t shared with anyone. (this depends on how brave you are)
  5. Read, reblog, share(on your blog or on other social media platforms) and comment on other blogs.  That way you get conversations going and other readers will visit your blog to read what you’re about.
  6. Don’t bombard people with your links on social media once your blog post is out.  I used to be guilty of this.  Tagging a million people on my blog post link.  From experience most people actually won’t read it so it’s best to tag a friend or two that you know will actually read your work.
  7. Connect with your reader.  Each time you decide to write a post ask yourself if it will teach something, make someone laugh, inspire them, have them remember a similar incident, make them sad?  In short whatever you decide to write make sure it brings some form of emotion.
  8. Plan.  Write down how often you want to write, what time, which topics and get on with it.  Have some form of a routine which your readers will get accustomed to.  It can be writing twice or five times a week whatever you decide do it religiously.

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    I love writing about events in my city 🙂

  9. Write about what you are passionate about.  When I started I asked other bloggers what I could write about and most of them suggested I have a blog that was set in stone.  I am a versatile individual and I knew that sort of blog would soon have me running out of things to write.  I decided to have a lifestyle blog instead.  That way I am able to write about any and everything.  I look forward to writing on my blog and sometimes I have to stop myself because I end up oversharing…But you get where this is going right?  Make your blog something that you enjoy and write the sh*t out of it otherwise your interest in it will soon waver.
  10. Follow other bloggers on the blogging platform you choose as well as on other social media platforms.  My personal favourite place to find new bloggers from across the globe is @AfroBloggers
  11. Use images on your blog posts.  Never ending text gets boring.
  12. Respond to your readers comments as soon as you can.  I try and not let a comment go for 3 days without being answered.  You want your readers to know that you appreciate them and this is a sure way of doing it.  If you ignore their contributions whether good or bad chances of them reading, sharing your work or even coming back to your blog are close to none.
  13. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Unfortunately you can’t be good at everything and it is perfectly okay to ask other bloggers how to do certain things.  I didn’t know how to add Testimonials to my blog but thanks to a fellow blogger I can now do it with my eyes closed.
  14. Use catchy titles for your blog posts.  You want your reader to get curious and click on your link to read your post.  These are my two personal favourite blog posts that got my readers going crazy! 30 Things Women Want Men To Know and 8 Wallet Friendly Date Ideas.
  15. Read!  I can  not stress this enough. I think every good writer out there reads a lot. You will be exposed to a wide range of words, you will get to read other styles of writing and it will give you some ideas for your blog as well.
  16. Choose an attractive theme. You want your blog to stand out and also have your readers come back for more.  I have probably changed my theme 4 times to date and I am currently loving the current one, it looks fresh!
  17. DO NOT PLAGARISE.  People work hard on their blog posts whatever you do always give credit to the owner’s work if you choose to use it and that includes pictures.
  18. Reschedule your posts. Sometimes you write up a blog post that doesn’t get enough traffic and it’s perfectly okay to reschedule it for another time.  You don’t always have to write up new content.
  19. Self promote.  You are your own biggest cheerleader.  Whenever you get the chance to mention a blog post that relates to a certain subject on social media platforms be sure to have links ready to share.  Tell your friends, family, social media fans about your blog post until they know the link by heart.
  20. Be 100% YOU.  I can not stress this enough.  If you try and imitate someone else you won’t last in the blogging world.  Keep your blog authentic and you will never run out of inspiration.

*BONUS TIP* Use tags on your blog posts.  Don’t just leave that area blank.  When bloggers search for certain words you want your blog to also be a part of of the links that show up under the search.

These are my blogging tips.  I was hoping to keep them short but it seems I just couldn’t stop myself from sharing more blogging tips.  This is just how much I get carried away!!  I strongly feel that if you specialise in something then by all means share information so that you can help the next person grow.

I know there are other blogging tips that I left out and I would love to read any additional ones that you might have in the comments section.

©MaKupsy

10 Exciting UnPlugged Facts

UnPlugged is back again this Sunday!  I am already doing a mini countdown.  If you have never been then I suggest you save the date because this is an event that you don’t want to miss. I know you are here because you know I like all things exhilarating and UnPlugged is definitely one of those few things I can never get enough of.  When you go make sure you are seen but whatever you do please don’t cause a scene! Today on my blog I give you, 10 Fun UnPlugged Facts, this is the only place you have seen this because I am always a step ahead on my blogging journey.  Read on…

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1. Unplugged got its name from the initial intention to introduce acoustic performances but the event quickly morphed to being electronically amplified and the name stuck.
2. The first ever Unplugged was held in December 2014 and was attended by just 150 people.
3. It’s a roving event with no fixed abode.
4. The two childhood friends who started Unplugged share a passion for homegrown music. They have known each other for over 30 years!
5. The heart of Unplugged is artist development – providing up and coming talent the space and audience to share and develop their craft.

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Prince Musarurwa & Pah Chihera

6. Unplugged Zim, the company that manages Unplugged, is actually an Arts Organisation whose work spans across various Arts disciplines.
7. Over 150 artists have performed on the Unplugged stage.
8. Unplugged was a loss-making business for close to two years, when it finally reached break-even.
9. Unplugged’s first Bulawayo event happens this year in September, the 3rd to be precise.
10. Unplugged is looking across borders, hoping to penetrate other markets.

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*BONUS FACT* 

Artists interested in performing at Unplugged can fill in the application form at:

http://unpluggedzim.com/artist-application/

See you at UnPlugged!

©MaKupsy 2017

5 Blogs That Make Me Happy

One of the many lessons that I have learnt in the past 3 years of blogging is that it’s important to read work written by other bloggers.  Not only does it let you view things differently, it sometimes puts a smile on your face when you are having a bad day.  The following blogs are my go to sites when I need that extra dose of feel good hormones.

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Image from Pinterest

  1. missfelistas.wordpress.com

Felistas has not been blogging for a while but this does not stop me from occasionally browsing through her site.  If you want to read something random then this is the place to go to.  There is always some drama going on there and best of all something to give me a good laugh, this woman is talented I kid you not!   My favourite read is the piece she wrote about How NOT To Break Up.  I can relate to Hurricane Katrina, Big Brother Style and with a bang!!  You have the article from here to understand what I am talking about.

2. hararelifestyle.wordpress.com

Tata takes the trophy any day when it comes to getting me deep into my feelings.  Each time I read one of her posts I am left questioning a lot of things.  What I love the most about her blog is that she doesn’t stick to writing in English only but throws in Shona here and there.  There are just some things that don’t sound the same if written in English.  There is a time she wrote about heartbreak and with each single word she wrote I could relate.  Sex is a real enemy of progress when you are trying to figure out which direction your relationship is going especially during a shaky phase.

Actually, I don’t know who was hurt more, my heart or my vagina.

You can read about it from here and get to read what I’m talking about.  One thing is for sure, she needs to write a book and be quick about it.  The honesty that comes with her blog posts especially where relationships are concerned are priceless!  I used to write about sex but it was never this detailed, do something Tata, I want to go around telling people she is my friend when your book becomes a best seller!

3. businessblundersandbrilliance.com

Would you believe me if I told you that I only discovered this site last week.  Best thing ever!  As you already know I am working hard on building my Fitness Bae  brand and I am always on the lookout for any and everything that will help me work towards making it a success.  My attention was grabbed by the blog post titled 3 Start Up Lessons From Prostitutes.

You are a startup, you carry your business with you everywhere!

What I took from this article is something I already practice but for the sake of emphasis I feel everyone who is an entrepreneur needs to do themselves a favour and follow this blog because it is gold!  Archie talks about how you should talk about your business to any and everyone.  You have to stop feeling shy and make noise about your business if you want people to pay attention.  Be your own hype man(woman).

4. hermajestyexplored.wordpress.com

Books, books and more books!  I am one of those people who love to read.  I have concluded that reading and writing go hand in hand, you can’t be a writer if you don’t read!  I am very old school when it comes to reading and I love me a hard copy.  I want to see, touch and feel my book and you know I got very excited when I realised that one of my favourite bloggers also likes reading.  Her post left a smile on my face especially the fact that she loves to read African Literature.  I don’t remember the last time I read a book that I did not want to put down.  Both Half of a Yellow Sun and Americanah did this too me, the feeling was priceless! I love this blog because there is always something new and different to read on, she might not be a regular blogger but when she does make time she goes all out.

5. tetehumba.wordpress.com

I am always there for the photographs.  Have you seen her contagious smile?  Whenever I am feeling down or uninspired just a few minutes on her site leave me smiling right back at her pictures.  Kumbi is a DIY (Do It Yourself) blogger and I have plans of asking her to make some pretty hair bands for me once my hair is thick and on the road to being a full grown afro!  She recently had a beautiful photo shoot session and you can check it out on this link.

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Positive Vibes Only 🙂

I hope you all had a restful weekend and you are ready for a brand new week that is filled with nothing but promise of beautiful things.

Pray tell…which blogs make you happy?

©MaKupsy 2017

UnPlugged : Pineapple Creative Studio

UnPlugged is a well organised event and those who have been would never miss it for the world, come rain or shine. Despite the rains the event went well and this was a reminder that good music brings people together. I had the pleasure of attending yet another Unplugged do (the joys of being a blogger) and this time I was specifically there to watch Pineapple Creative Studio perform.  The dance crew performed well and I had a chance to speak to them after the event.

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Pineapple

My name is Chengetayi Nosikhumbuzo Mnisi better known as Pineapple.  I am the founder of Pineapple Creative Studio. I love dancing. That is the place I feel most alive; I can never see myself without dance in the bigger picture of my life. I have always been a creative bug. I enjoy art, writing (I have a blog) and talking A LOT.  I am very inquisitive some call it nosy but I love learning new things.  I am where I am today because I work hard and I believe in myself.  I am all about love, positive vibes and success. My circle wins, you can not encounter me and stay the same.

You can not encounter me and stay the same.

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TKay

My name is TKay. I am a Creative Consultant, Marketing Consultant, Business Person, Choreographer and Dance Instructor. I have been a part of a number of dance crews including 2xl and Inmates. I was Co-founder of High Definition Dance Crew. I am currently part of Pineapple Creative Studio; a crew of creatives not only in the dance scene but from every artistic perspective.   I am a brand ambassador for a few brands including Ster Kinekor. I run my own small business and I am a part of two others. I am a fan of seeing people grow and I love progress!

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LeRoi

I am LeRoi.  I am a Dance Instructor, Choreographer, Dance Fitness Trainer and Graphic Designer.

  • I have choreographed and have worked with Jah Prayzah, ExQ, Ammara Brown, Andy Muridzo, Veekay(based in Switzerland) and Oliver Mtukudzi.
  • I choreographed and made appearances in the Jah Prayzah and government video for STEM, choreographed.
  • I was part of the Bhachura video with ExQ and Ammara Brown and I have done shows with them.

I am a Fine Artist who respects his art very much.  I do portraits and paintings for individuals and nurseries. I am a level 2 copy artist Graphic Designer. I have worked with corporates such as Econet, Telecel, Manimanzi Estates and Zimoco Motors. I have my own label named LADNart and it is branded mostly on t-shirts, caps and hoodies; it focuses more on the African Wildlife. I am part of a movement and Creative company called Pineapple Creative Studio, which is a crew of different creatives, from the dance, art, fashion and music industry.

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About Pineapple Creative Studio

Pineapple Creative Studio is something that gave me many restless days and sleepless nights.  It was my biggest fear and my biggest dream. I felt like there was no space for Creatives to be accepted for who and what they are in a society that does not fully appreciate or understand creatives and how we tick.  A place where there are no rules and people are not panel beat into writing in a certain way, dancing to a certain beat and thinking in a certain way.

Pineapple Creative Studio is a place where there is nothing but passion and love.  A place where we do not allow life to get in the way of our dreams.  In as much as we do dance for now, it is the tip of the iceberg.  I am working towards Pineapple Creative Studio becoming the place where talent and passion is nurtured in its wild state. Where artists, poets, writers, photographers can come together and make magic.

A place where children can also embrace their uniqueness and make a living out of it. I intend to merge it with life coaching and  team building and raise a generation of creative leaders. It scares me but I’m grateful for the people that have believed in the dream from its inception in October 2016 to date. I have gained a family and amazing friends.

Pineapple Creative Studio is my life. – Pineapple

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©MaKupsy 2017

 

Let That Sh*t Go!

My inspiration for today’s post struck last night when I was doing my monthly ritual.  I have a habit of going through all my shelves in my wardrobe and deciding on what I should keep; what I should give away to someone who will fit into it because lately the majority of my clothes don’t fit anymore thanks to weight loss or pass on to the strangers that sometimes knock at my door asking for any form of donations.  After yesterday’s clean up I can safely say I have a few decent clothes between me and who knows when I will do my next shopping for clothes but it feels good.

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Image from Google

Believe it or not but I have three handbags in my life.  The main reason being I don’t particularly like handbags and the the three that I have are bags I actually use and not just keep.  Why am I like this?  Because I believe that you should only keep what you use.  Nothing more nothing less.  I remember trying to explain this ritual to a friend of mine the one time…I said to them:

I always imagine that if I died today and people had to go through my things I don’t want them to be pissed off with me and having them question why I kept outdated clothes.  

In our culture when someone passes on those who remain get to inherit the clothes of the deceased.  Now imagine having to get something that was a hit in 2000 in 2017.  I would be equally annoyed!

This is the part where I confess to getting shocked when I have visited a few people.  People keep THE most ridiculous things.  How do you still have the bicycle that your now 21 year old grandson used to ride when he was only 5 years old?  Why do you still have empty shoes boxes of Nike running shoes you bought 2 years ago, why are you keeping empty jars in your fridge?  Let that shit go please, you need to do this thing they call decluttering!

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Image from Pinterest

Okay, back to my story.  Sometime last year I gave away two pairs of heels that had been sitting in my office for close to a year.  You see when I give away my things I make sure I give away something that is still in good condition.  The person I gave them to was so ecstatic you would think she had won a grand prize.  Guess what happened a few weeks after this incident?  My sister took me shopping and bought me not one but two very gorgeous pairs of shoes!  Something about giving makes room for new things to come your way…

I understand that people get attached to different things, clothes included but I want to challenge you do go through your things and really question why you still need some of them.  When you do find the things to give away make sure the clothes or shoes or whatever you pick out is still in good condition.  You don’t want to defeat the whole purpose of the exercise by giving away something that’s tattered and torn.  Give something away that someone will truly appreciate and use for the next few months or so.

There is a liberating feeling I get each time I clear my closet.  Don’t limit yourself to just clearing your clothes, go all out and move to your kitchen utensils, bathroom equipment, old magazines and so on.  Just don’t do it in one day though, it can be really taxing!

When was the last time you cleaned up your closet, what did you give away?

©MaKupsy 2017

My Gratitude Jar

It’s finally the last day of January!  It has been the longest month of my life!!!  I could sit here and tell you all the things that didn’t go right for me this month but today I choose to look at the sunny side of things.  I saw the idea of a gratitude jar on Twitter towards the end of last year and told myself I would definitely give it a try.  The plan was to wait to use up the mayonnaise in my fridge and then use that as my gratitude jar but weeks later I haven’t even had any meal that needed mayonnaise so I am kind of screwed.  The alternative plan is to keep pestering Kuda for one because he claims he has those in abundance. *He calls them salad jars*,  but jar or not I still wrote down a few things that I am grateful for this month…

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Image from Google

  • Today I am grateful for Miss Kupsy’s paternal Uncle.  He came through for me when I least expected it.  When the month started I wrote down a list of things Miss Kupsy needed and I didn’t have enough money to buy half the things on it.  I just told myself it would work itself out somehow and I should not stress myself and guess what, just a few weeks later her uncle sent her some money and I managed to check through her list.  He is an amazing human being and I always wish him well.  He doesn’t have to but he is the one person who never forgets about her.  I wish him nothing but beautiful things.
  • I finally got round to creating my Fitness Blog and started work on the 12th of January.  I love all things Health & Fitness and I want to create a platform that will be your go-to-place when you need inspiration, recipes, a fitness event, advice and a workout that will challenge you.  Please take a minute to read some of the work that I have managed to write up so far on fitnessbaeblog.wordpress.com I am happy that I am doing the things that work on my creativity. Everyday I have people asking me for tips and worry not, I take note and each month I will have an article directed to an individual that will help everyone else in the process.
  • A big thank you to Chenge for always hooking me up with life changing things.  I still can’t believe the amount of information about natural hair I gathered and continue to gather thanks to the events she encouraged me to attend.  We are both Bloggers and Creatives and if all things go well and we cook up what we have in mind, you guys will be blown away come June this year!  She is a beautiful soul and I am grateful to have her in my life.
  • There is a new Talk Show Radio in town… Capitalkfm and guess who got to be the first voice for the #AppOfTheDayShow?  Yours truly of course!  I got to talk about my experience with WordPress and how convenient it has been for me for the 3 years I have been using it.  Here’s hoping for more features, perhaps this time I will be talking about the next #RunWithFitnessBae challenge.
  • I got my first blog feature this year on ilizwi263.com I hope some one out there got to read it and got inspired to change their lifestyle.

The one thing I love about this Gratitude Jar idea is that you take time out of your day to focus on the good things. Do what you have to do to bring happiness into your own life, it begins with you after all.

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Remember I said this is a monthly challenge for the year 2017 that I gave myself and yes the positive vibes keep coming.  This month a few interesting things happened that reminded me how thankful I am for those around me and how much they have helped shape my life in ways they could never imagine.  Here goes:

  1. One of the very first things that happened in the month of February was a feature on Larry Kwirirayi’s website, 3mob.  You can read my feature on here.  It was a great way to start my month and I have a feeling this somehow influenced how more doors were opened for me.
  2. We had our monthly running challenge in the fitness group and that week the hashtag was trending like crazy!  It trended so much it ended up on Number 1 on the Twitter list.  If you are a fitness enthusiast you should join my team and come run with us.  Alternatively you can join in the fun through using the hashtag #RunWithFitnessBae and your runs will be visible on all my social media platforms.
  3. I wrote about how Onai got in touch with me after noticing that my hashtag was trending and I got to feature on his podcast.  He has a slot where he features popular Hashtags and DotComs and I got to be his guest feature.  It was both nerve wrecking and exciting because it was my first time live on air so the butterflies were too real!
  4. The one day my sister sent me an email with an advert from KidzCan.  They were announcing their Cancer Awareness Walk and that sparked interest in me.  You already know I am all about fitness and I wasted no time in getting in touch with the organisation to find out how we could take part.  The walk went well and we managed to contribute 591 766 steps towards the cause.  Things like this really make me happy.  I am grateful that even though we all have busy schedules we still take time out to make a positive difference in the community.
  5. DivasIncOnline got in touch with me on Twitter and asked me if I would like to feature on their next “Twitterview” and of course I said yes.  It was an hour long do and after it was over I remember sending them a message asking them how they picked their candidates for their Twitterviews.  Their response left me feeling all shades of happy, they said “We basically look at anyone who is doing anything noteworthy.”  I am definitely doing something right!
  6. I think the month of February should be dedicated to fitness actually because I just realised most of the things I am grateful for are fitness related.  I hosted my first Fitness In The Park event and it went very well.  One of the participants came all the way from Norton which is nearly 42kms out of Harare.  A special thank you to Onai for keeping his word, he actually came through on the day and took part in all the activities.  It was a great morning filled with skipping, running, fitness related discussions and plans for the next meet up.
  7. My heart and mind are filled with happy thoughts.  Never in my life have I been in this positive space.  Each day I wake up and I have something to look forward to.  I have no idea where it came from, but I pray it is here to stay.  Everyone needs something that keeps them going.  Life is too short to always be focused on negative things.  Try the best you can to make each day count, I know I am doing that every waking moment.
  8. Lastly, I am grateful for this bearded friend of mine called Kudzai.  This guy is truly heaven sent and should be a Life Coach already!  He is one human being who always has a positive attitude towards life and that shit is rubbing onto me every single day!  He will push you to do your very best, open your mind to endless possibilities and share priceless information.  I wish him all the beautiful things in life and I hope his hopes and dreams come true.  Oh, I also hope he wins the Bear of The Year Award, he really is taking growing a beard to the next level.

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March just flew past just like that?  Like where was I when all this was happening??  It seems my life has become so busy; busy with good things though and that’s what makes it very beautiful.  I have been making plans for different aspects of my life and so far things are looking up.  There is something about making clear and specific goals that makes waking up everyday such an exciting event.  You should try it sometime.

This month I am grateful for a lot of things but more than anything I am grateful for how things have changed between me and Miss Kupsy’s father.  After I wrote an Open Letter to him all the negative energy I used to harbor was set free.  If anything he makes an effort to spend time with his daughter, call her and just step up as and when he has to.  I never thought I would ever write anything positive about him but he sure has proved me wrong.  Perhaps people do change?  Whatever the case is, I am grateful that my daughter now has her father in her life and she adores him to bits.  I will not stand in the way of them nurturing a relationship, they need each other, I can’t do it all on my own.

That said, I am also grateful for music that soothes my soul.  This is my song of the month and I have been playing it like it’s the only song on my playlist!  Colour your life with love and laughter, it is too short to hold onto negativity especially given that we all don’t know when our last day on earth is.  Each time I watch this song my mind goes to a happy place full of sunshine, endless waterfalls and laughter.  I want to stay there forever. 🙂

Are you going to try out the Gratitude Jar?

If you already have one what are some of the lessons you have learnt from it?

MaKupsy©2017

Unplugged Magic: Love. Live. Music.

The first time I went for UnPlugged it was sometime last year on a cold winter evening.  I was covered in tights, boots, scarf, dress and a jacket.  The only thing that was missing in that outfit was a hat.  Unfortunately for me I decided to wear stiletto heeled boots(big mistake!) and the whole evening my boots were sinking into the lawn, I was annoyed!  I promised myself that the next UnPlugged event I attend will be in the afternoon; that way I would enjoy the warm sun and great outdoors.  I lead a busy life and most weekends when UnPlugged is happening I am almost always out of town but not this past Saturday, this time I was ready for it and I was going to be the first one at the gate!

Okay, so I was not the first one at the gate but I was there about an hour after the event started.  After a few hellos to familiar faces my first stop was the Kids Corner they call Artsy Crafty.  I couldn’t help it, all that colour and laughter drew my attention, these children were having too much fun, I wanted in as well but well, the jumping castle is not for adults; even if you feel 16 on the inside.  LOL.  What I loved about this area is that you get to bring your children along to this family friendly chill out session.  I am a parent and I know how it can really get hectic when I need to attend an event and there is no one to baby sit for me.  This idea they have is genius because when you bring your children along you know that someone will be watching over them and keeping them entertained with interactive activities while you have that well deserved glass of wine.

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with Sylent

I knew Sylent was performing on the day but I didn’t expect him to be one of the first few people I saw.  It was great to see him after so many years.  I think I last saw him close to 4 years ago!  This is one talented guitarist.  I took a lot of videos of him performing and posted some of them on my Twitter Timeline.  He is a great person full of life, love and laughter, never a dull moment with him.  He likes to call himself the “Guitar Sangoma” and trust me he has every right to do so!

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with Rufaro from Food n Co

My next stop was this interesting looking stall.  I was a woman on a mission.  I really wanted to interact with as many people as I could before it got to busy.  There is nothing like having that one on one interaction and getting someone’s full attention.  Rufaro told me about the “Secret Dinner”they will be holding on the 4th of March and I put my name down for it and also bought a raffle ticket while I was at it.  I am going to try and make this as short and sweet as possible…. It’s a fresh initiative that synergies the creative force that is embedded within Zimbabwean born and internationally trained chefs and the burning passion of a new breed of musicians decorating the underground scene in Harare. For one night only every 2 months, seasoned and discerning palates will get to enjoy an evening of transformed local ingredients paired with international recipes and the undeniably gifted musicians who are disrupting the local scene. It is a good “food meets good music” vibe that will get the privileged 100 guests yearning for more and eagerly awaiting the next offering.  For a token amount you get to enjoy a 3 course meal, get to meet the chefs, dance the night away and celebrate the new breed of Zimbabwean creatives who are definitely going to transform international gastronomy halls.  Call, app or sms Natalie on 0774168542, in order to get the ‘big reveal’.  It’s happening on Saturday the 4th of MARCH 2017 so get ready ladies and gentlemen!!!  We all know how much I love all things divine so chances of seeing me at this event are highly likely.

 

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with Josh @_6_Legend

n it was time for more pictures.  A girl can never have one too many pictures in her gallery.  Social Media really comes to life when you attend events.  Mel and I follow each other on social media platforms and this was our first time seeing each other.  Lady K is a member of my running group and we finally got to meet and have a brief chat.  The weather was perfect on Saturday and most people were dressed to the nines. The way I am always scared of the weather changing up on me I completely forgot to bring a jacket along with me but it was not actually necessary after all, all the dancing, screaming and chatting made sure nothing else mattered.

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Foooood!  The other plus for attending UnPlugged is that you get to bring your own food and drinks if you like but for $10.  I think it’s a great deal because that way you get to eat exactly what you want and not have to complain about how you didn’t enjoy the food.  Back to that mouth-watering meat…The pork was calling my name, I had to have it! But I didn’t, because I was still full from the late lunch I had at home.  However, the good news is I got chatting with the owner of the stall and I think he should come through for my birthday party this year.  I spoke to The Spitman and he told me that he charges $250 to do a spit but this does not include the animal but will have charcoal marinades and service as part of the $250.  He makes his own home made barbeque sauces and marinades.  His team does the Greek, Portuguese, English and American style spits.  I have no clue what those are and I will certainly be making friends with Google after this!  You can get in touch with him on 0772892052 for all your weddings, corporate events, family gatherings and all types of events UnPlugged included!

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Initially I wanted to tell you everything that happened at UnPlugged but I have decided that you should make a date and come see how beautiful the afternoon experience is.  I can only tell you so much but you have to experience it to believe it.  I had a wonderful time and even though I had promised myself I would be out of there by 5pm I found myself hanging out till the event was over.  I had two body guards(read as booty guards) who later joined me and they made sure the afternoon was double the fun.

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Booty Guards

Minus the burnt burger that I had later on in the evening everything about this afternoon was perfect. I would recommend this event to anyone who likes a laid back environment to spend with family and friends.  There is no need to be shouting on top of your voices because the music is just right and you can spend actual quality time. The best part is that the event is usually held towards the end of the month so you have enough time to save and plan around the day.  You also get to network, the number of contacts I made in one afternoon alone!  Don’t take networking for granted.  You don’t know what the next person knows.

I asked my two body guards how their first experience was like and this is what they had to say:

Booty Guard 1: It was a nice chilled vibe with amazing music and good company.  Given a chance I would  want to go back each time the event is hosted.

Booty Guard 2:  It was a different yet fun experience for me seeing that it was my first time there.  The place was chilled relaxed and I got to meet new people.  I will definitely be going back again for the experience. I loved every second of it!

I would like to say thank you to the Founders of UnPlugged, both Elinah and Chiedza for giving me an opportunity to come through and write about my experience at their event.  I also want to thank Ameera Mimi; that Women Creative Wednesday session you featured on a few weeks back is the reason I got a chance to write this post today.  You specifically said that if you want something you should reach out and ask and I did exactly that!

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UnPlugged Magic: Love. Live. Music

Those who like to keep stats on events; roughly 1200 paying people camethrough on Saturday and the total of people who attended the event were in probably about 1300.  How epic is that!!!

What did you get up to this weekend?  I bet you did not have as much fun as I did!  Have you been to UnPlugged before, if yes how was your experience?

©MaKupsy 2017

Zumba Mash Up Aftermath

I bet you were never ready for two bloggers writing at once!  This is all about last Saturday and I get to share our experience with my fellow blogger/friend/lover of things Chenge.

Chenge

First of all it is a great thing for you to be selfish and take some time to do what you love. I recently joined the corporate world and underestimated how demanding it can get; especially when you actually enjoy your job. I have found myself getting so consumed to a point where I start neglecting myself.  Funny thing is Saturday morning I had excuses ready…“I’ve had a long week, I’m tired” but I didn’t stop to think that I never do anything for myself. So I dragged myself out of bed and made my way to the Village. That was one of the best decisions I made that morning because I got to be a part of a Zumba class for the first time in my life!  I was even happier to be with my good friend MaKupsy. Thank to blogging, Twitter and our love of the finer things we have an amazing relationship.

 

MaKupsy

I was up by 6am and I could not contain keep calm!!  Saturday was here and it was finally time for the Zumba Mash Up event.  I saw it on Facebook a few weeks ago and I promised myself that I would attend the event come rain or shine.  By exactly 9:10am we arrived by Sam Levy’s and there was already a crowd doing Zumba routines.  I was in heaven!  You have no idea how much I love to exercise, I live, breathe and think exercise and what made it all the more exciting was that it was one of my favourite workout routines.  I was surprised when Chenge sent a message telling me that she was on her way, the night before she had said she wouldn’t make it.  I had to keep my phone in hand because I was waiting for Chenge to show up.  She arrived a little later but it was still in time for a lot of fun and selfies, we never get tired of selfies.

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Chenge

I got a few take-aways from the day and they are as follows :

Crave the Lifestyle

We actually got a free day pass to Pro-Fitness Gym. Yet another first for me, I had never been in a gym in my life. For the why? I consider myself fit, broke and quite frankly, I do not have the time & luxury to be in a gym, but I realized that we disqualify ourselves from certain things because of a “This isn’t for me” kinda mentality.  However, it dawned on me that, if not for me then who? If not now, then when? We all deserve nice things in life but we have to go out there and get them! Life is for the taking. Funny enough their weekly fee and ‘walk in’ fee are quite affordable if you really think about it.  Their prices reminded me that, there really isn’t anything stopping me from living my best life, I hope nothing is stopping you.

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MaKupsy

I wanted to try every single machine in the gym!  My heart was willing but my body was saying otherwise.  We had done a whole one hour of Zumba so burning 450 calories in one go was a sure way to take my energy away.  We still tried out a few machines all the same.  First stop was the treadmill for some warm up.  I was on the treadmill for about 15 minutes.  We didn’t have anyone directing us on how to use the machines so it was a whole guessing game.  Next stop was the bike which was painful my legs were not ready for that experience.  Then the gruesome part came, THE STAIRS!  I don’t know what that machine is called but we did 30 minutes of it and I don’t plan on doing it again, we were on it for about 15 minutes but we looked like someone poured buckets of water on us.  It was intense!  This was my second gym experience this year and I gave them all the marks.  The place is beautiful, the reception area is done up very professionally BUT they don’t have a swimming pool and we all know how much I love to swim!

Chenge

Life is Exciting 

The highlight of my day was definitely the sauna experience in the gym. First of all, I only know sauna’s from movies. I had never in a million years ever envisioned myself sitting on a towel, in a sauna, sweating my life out lol! Thanks to MaKupsy for just being that friend. If I was by myself I probably would have just taken a shower after my workout and been on my way home. See this is the kind of peer pressure I need in my life, pressure to live that upper life. 2017 is your babe, run with it!

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MaKupsy

After nearly an hour of experimenting with different machines we did some stretching to cool down.  I didn’t want Chenge to wake up with sore muscles.  We then hit the sauna and steamer.  Chenge didn’t want to come through but I insisted she try it out and told her she would love every minute of it and she did.  Fitness Hunk was tired of waiting for us but oh well; you know what happens when two women are left to their own devices.  We got time to catch up and make plans for productive things we can do together in the near future.  Chenge is a choreographer among other things and I am all about fitness so you can only imagine the pandemonium we are going to bring to Harare, are you guys ready for it??  I love spending time with her though we always part ways having learnt new things from each other.  I love that we don’t have time for gossip, it’s all about how we can make our Creative talents grow.

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Chenge

Spend Time With People That Lift Your Spirit 

Alone time is important but sometimes we don’t have the luxury of choosing the people we would actually want to spend time thanks to adulating…work, school, projects, hobbies and everything else in-between. Your life can get so overwhelming and you shouldn’t have to go through such moments alone. I am passing my friend all the sando’s right now because she deserves them. She really brings a certain level of fun, chill and calm to my life, Mercy you are an amazing friend. Plus I made a new friend *smiles* his name is Fitness Hunk, and yes he is fit, yes he is a hunk LOL.  I’m not usually open to meeting new people because it is a lot of work, but I enjoyed this experience because Fitness Hunk is a reflection of MaKupsy, open to new ideas, fit, funny and great company. (plus he buys lunch)

Fun fact about MaKupsy & I, we share the same birthday and we went to the same High School, what are the odds??!!

If I can wrap up my January in a day, it would definitely be the 28th; it’s not how we start, rather how we finish, right?

MaKupsy

Do I feel bad for diving into a whole burger, chips and a salad after spending the whole morning working out?? Heck no!  I burnt over 1 000 calories and I was shaking from hunger.  Is that the ideal thing to do for a person who is supposed to be health conscious?  Of course not!! You only live once people PLUS the event came with a 50% discount from three eat out places there was no way I was going to let this miss me.  Chenge and Fitness Hunk had a hard time deciding what to have for lunch but I quickly made up my mind.  We got our food soon and munched away and told ourselves this was something we should start doing more often.  Hook up at least once a month, spend at the gym, grab a healthy bite this time around, watch a movie and the day is gone and we have all had some good old clean fun.  Watch this space next month.

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I remember the first time we followed each other on Twitter, I was like we share the same birthday oh my word oh my word!  Then when I rejoined Facebook I realised that we went to the same High School, like how cool is that.  The best part is that we are both bloggers and I initially got to know about her through her blog; I remember reading through some of her articles thinking to myself, she’s cool, I’m cool, we should definitely be cool together.

 

We all had a beautiful day and even though we were too full to actually then proceed to go and watch a movie we decided we would meet up again soon before the tickets expired.  We love things yes but we don’t love things that much!

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“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”– Howard Washington Thurman

MaKupsy© 2017

I Want To Raise My Daughter Differently

Compliments of the new season!  We made it alive and in good health, that is the one gift that I am forever grateful for.  This year I have so many things lined up in different aspects of my life but today I will be sharing my thoughts on how I want to raise Miss Kupsy.  She is 5 years old now and I feel getting her to believe in herself from a very young age will do wonders for her as she gets older.

Effective parents give children roots to grow and wings to fly.

Hobbies

My daughter loves her music.  She will sing along to Nickelodeon, Disney Junior and the whole bunch of songs and jingles they play on there.  Let’s not even start with music videos.  She likes that J.Lo Track “Ain’t Your Momma” but her version of the chorus leaves me in stitches all the time because she sings it as “I’m not going to cook your laundry I ain’t your momma!”  She clearly doesn’t know what she is singing along to but gosh does she dance and sing away like the care free child that she is.  You see, because she loves music I have made sure that I have bought her musical instruments.  I got her a flute and tambourine.  Her grandparents got her a drum, my sister got her a guitar for Christmas just a few weeks back.  When I spoke to her this morning she was telling me she wants a Marimba set.   I want her to explore her musical path and enjoy her hobby.  You never know what will fire her soul as she grows so I might as well fuel it right now.

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Miss Kupsy

Career

The time I grew up you didn’t have much choice when it came to what you wanted to be when you grow up.  The options were limited.  You were either supposed to be a Doctor, Pilot or Accountant in order to have “made it in life” so you can imagine how the rest of us possibly disappointed our parents seeing that we didn’t fulfill their expectations.  I am a creative person and none of those titles were going to blend in with me.  Unfortunately I only got to find this out when I was older and had already studied something I didn’t like but something that would pay the bills at least.  When it comes to my daughter I want her to choose her own path.  Of course I will give her input on the available options at the time but ultimately the decision will be hers to make because she will be the one who will have to study and eventually work in that field.  Her happiness will always come first.

Self Confidence

Most parents have that “You can’t do this” mentality which I find pretty disturbing.  I mean, this is your child, why are you stopping them from greatness?  You parent(s) should be your biggest cheer leaders.  Even if you fail they should be right there to remind you that you can always try again.  I want to teach and always remind Miss Kupsy that she needs to know the extent of her own abilities and that she can overcome problems in the world, she just needs to put in the time and the effort to make it happen.

Relationships and Marriage

By relationships I don’t mean just the romantic relationships. I am talking about how she will relate to her friends, family, school mates, teachers and at some point in her life her partner.  My daughter is naturally a fun loving little person who finds joy in giving.  I remember buying her ice cream the other day and she shared it with three of her friends and yet when they had theirs they didn’t offer her a single bite.  A part of me wanted to tell her to not share but then again that’s out of character for her so I just called her aside and asked her to sit next to me while she at least had the half that was left.  I didn’t know how to tackle this one.  If I told her to not give her friends then I was teaching her not to share but at the same time if I didn’t she wasn’t going to eat any of that ice cream. What would you have done?

That said; I want her to always know that learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.  I want her to be able to show love, to pray for discernment when it comes to the partner and friends she will choose.  To show respect to everyone and their feelings regardless of their age.  To say thank you, I’m sorry and I love you.  With these things I strongly feel she will grow to be of strong character.

I also don’t want to be that doting mother, she must learn to be independent as well.  With independence I want her to know that she does not have to get married.  She can if she wants to but I will not put pressure on her to do so.  I will teach her that life will go on whether one is married or not and if that will be one of the things she wants she has to remember that. I will love her all the same whether she will be single, married, divorced, whatever her marital status what will always matter to me is that she is happy.

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That said, I have a lot more things I would want to talk about but this is my first blog post for the year and I would want you to come back for more so I will leave it here for now.  If you would like to read more adventures my daughter gets up to you can read them from here.

I would like to hear from you.  If you are a parent, how are you doing things differently raising your child?  If you are planning on having kids how do you intend to have an impact on them?  If you don’t have any kids how do you help those around you raise their kids?  I know I left a handful of other points so please include some of yours in the comments section.

Let’s talk.

©MaKupsy

#UrsulaChallenge

I have to be honest with you, when I initially started working out I never in my wildest dreams thought that it would inspire so many people around me.  It has been and continues to be an interesting fitness journey.  I created a WhatsApp group with amazing individuals and everyday we push each other do to better than we did the day before.  Within the group there are Fitness Instructors, Physiotherapists, Lawyers, IT Personnel, Secretaries, University Students, Bloggers…tell you what, the list is endless and the group is diverse.

The great thing about it is thanks to technology we don’t have to be all in one place to run, just a running application on your mobile device and you are good to go.  There are runners from the UK, Algeria, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa,Zambia, Zimbabwe.  Minus running we get to learn different languages, cultures and foods.  Okay, I will have to expand on this on a different day, for now let  me talk about the #UrsulaChallenge

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Flyer by @KingKGC (Twitter)

The last challenge we had, Taku won hands down.  We have a rule that whoever wins the challenge is the one who will choose what the next challenge will entail.  I decided to have a little twist to it because I realised that to keep the motivation alive runners who are improving need to get some form of recognition as well and so Ursula was the lucky runner to get chosen. She has been running with the team since October and she has outdid herself, even running after a long day when all she wanted to do was sleep.

There are a few additions to her challenge which are:

  • Participants are to weigh in on Monday morning or Sunday evening and have their weight recorded.

You are encouraged to weigh in at the same time you weighed yourself at the beginning of the challenge and to use the same scale.

The one who loses the most weight during this weeks challenge gets 15 bonus points.

P.S The weight loss is for those who have it as their goal to lose weight, if not please do not worry yourself with the weigh in.

  • There will be a cook off on the Rest Day of the challenge.  The participant who sends through a plate that has healthy  food options, is well presented and appealing to the eye will get 5 bonus points.

I hope you will take part in this challenge, trust me, if you are a fitness enthusiast you will completely enjoy it and probably come back for more.  All the best in the upcoming challenge team, and may the best runner win!

#UrsulaChallenge #RunWithFitnessBae

P.S We always use Nike+(read as being resistant to change) for the challenges but this time the rules are more flexible and participants can use Strava, Cardio Trainer, Adidas and NRC.

Share. Like. Join.

©MaKupsy 2016