Food, Home

Peanut Eggplant Soup

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One of my earliest memories of egg plant was when I visited my aunt in Ilorin, Kwara state, Nigeria. She simmered them on the stove and served them with yams.  Its an incredible taste that makes you crave for more. Some people enjoy it with peanuts or by itself.

I found some at the World market in Cincinnati, Ohio  and was thrilled to make them. I opted to try a combination of peanut and eggplant in a soup. It was amazing! You can serve it with rice, fufu, yams, or potatoes.

Eggplant peanut soup with basmati rice


2 cups Peanuts (unsalted)

2 cups of eggplant

1 tbsp bouillon

1 tbsp fresh ginger

2 to 3 cups of blended tomatoes, onions, ginger, and peppers

1 cup of oil

1/2 cup onions

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp salt

Smoked turkey, or any meat of choice.


Wash and Boil your eggplant until soft.
Blend the eggplant or mush with a wooden spoon
Blend peanuts with 1 cup of water
Blend your tomatoes and red bell peppers, onions, ginger

In a pot, heat up oil, then add onions.
Add your blended tomatoes, onions, and peppers
Add some salt, bouillon, and cayenne pepper.
Add your choice of meat
Let it simmer
Add your eggplant mix, then the peanut blend.
I added peanut butter for enhanced flavor.
Stir and leave for 10 to 15 minutes until it’s well done.
Serve with basmati rice and vegetables.


Do you need to let go? What would you enjoy changing in your personal life? What ambitions are you aspiring to, but aren’t doing because of preconceived notions or a set of conditions that are damaging the way you think? What are you harboring that you recognize isn’t for you any longer? What relationship has stopped you?

What huge change are you putting off? Are you feeling more solace in distressed familiarity instead of delving into alien territories? What vocation changes, possibly even an overall change of direction, may bring about more gratification?

Letting go is merely arriving at a decision – no more allowing something from the past tense to influence your life today or to cut down your inner sense of peace and welfare. So all you have to do is to relinquish the beliefs and mental attitudes that keep you from receiving the pleasure of the moment. The issue comes in discovering precisely what that means; we have so many notions that keep us from living in the present moment, from becoming content and peaceful inside.

A daily decision and dedication to making positive thinking top priority is critical. It’s neither the win nor the loss that makes an individual victorious, only the beliefs and perception one has concerning self. Favorable perception and self-affirmation is the opening move to personal empowerment.

Life is a series of selections of how to act. Frequently we make these choices mechanically, without truly being cognizant of what we’re selecting or why. But regardless of what anybody does in any facet of their lives, it’s still a choice they’ve made.

So start to learn how to let all your life become one big let-go experience and then see what happens next. Allow every day to unfold for you not as you’d choose but to show you your true nature.

Sometimes pursuing your goals can be exhausting. I had spent hours planning a photoshoot for my new product, only to be let down by the colors of my labels, the lighting, and the sunlight. I was disappointed and got very emotional. I also spent over 18 hours looking for a Web developer to design a new web application for my start-up business, and it has been overwhelming combing through hundreds of messages, jumping on one Skype call and another.
Building a dream can be time-consuming the journey of getting to the point where you can show off what you’ve been building, can feel like hell. Most times we forget that the journey is part of the dream. It is all-encompassing, its the full package.

Dreams are sometimes like that, they are never as expected. We plan things out perfectly in our heads but reality gives us a check and we must adjust accordingly. There are several ways to combat the funk that comes up when things don’t work out as planned.

#1: Let it flow. Sometimes what we focus so much on perfecting isn’t always necessary. In the case of my photoshoot, I focused on the positives, adjusted a few things and went along with the process.

#2: Don’t get funky: it’s easy to get upset, discouraged, and downright funky because you didn’t have your way. You have to keep one thing in mind (nothing good comes easy). Always remember that when next you hit a block on your way to greatness. In my case, I focused only on the positive and put a spin on the photoshoot.

#3: Step back: One way to not flat line and kill your dream, is to step back and re-access; ideas can come at us with grandeur and our budget, skills, and resource can’t make it out the way we see it in our heads. It’s okay to step back and find another angle to accomplish your goals without losing your mind.

The truth is your dreams have a life of their own. They may not always take the intended course but be rest assured that they will come true.

Leading Ladies

The Art of Femininity

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Inside every woman, is a crazy girl. And we all know what I’m talking about. That part of you that is entangled with insecurities, fears, and absolute insanity! The art of femininity lies in the molding, pounding, and defeating of that crazy girl on a daily basis! Look at any woman, and you’re looking at a woman fighting a daily battle, wielding her weapons in war, every day! I have said it before and I’ll say it again: it is never easy being a woman! And if we could only pound that crazy, insecure girl out of ourselves, it would make such the difference!  C. Joybell

The art of femininity is being able to decide who you want to be and go be that. It is not enough to mold your existence based on societal standards or traditional precepts; being a woman is about defeating the voices that tell you that you are not enough, it’s fighting the battles of insecurities prescribed by looking at others, it is about fighting the war of your mind daily, and liberating yourself from self-doubt and discouragement. It’s the belief in who you were made to be.

Being a woman is beautiful, it awards you the superpower to create, to mold, to conceive, to be intuitive, to have enough strength to hold up your home and family, and enough strength to walk away from hurt, pain and things that no longer serve you but also enough meekness to nurture and care for the people in your life and circle.
You should be proud of that woman, the woman that scaled when others prophesied doom, the woman that found her happy place in the most unusual places, be proud of the woman that wakes up daily to fight for what she believes in, the woman that stays up late to watch her tribe go to sleep; be proud of her.
You have a voice, use it. You have strength, express it.

Inside every woman, is a crazy girl. But the weapons are out and YOU fighting for the win! Absolutely nothing can stand in your way now! You’ve been taught to be silent and to hide. But your silence won’t save you, it won’t make you more desirable, it won’t make you more submissive; your silence will reduce your ability to be seen and heard, it will stunt your growth, and keep you miserable. If you are unhappy, speak out. If you are being mistreated, walk away. You are not meant to sit in silence and accept a life that threatens your sanity. Love yourself enough to evolve, love yourself enough to walk away; forgive yourself, appreciate your journey and above all be kind to yourself.

A seasoned woman is spicy. She has been marinated in life experiences. Like a complex wine, she can be alternately sweet, tart, sparkling, mellow. She is both maternal and playful. Assured, alluring, and resourceful. She is less likely to have an agenda than a young woman—no biological clock tick-tocking beside her lover’s bed, no campaign to lead him to the altar, no rescue fantasies. The seasoned woman knows who she is. She could be any one of us, as long as she is committed to living fully and passionately in the second half of her life, despite failures and false starts. | Gail Sheehy

If you are considering striking out and starting a new business, you have probably been investigating what is known as “business opportunities”. A business opportunity is usually a complete package that contains a product or line of products, and a marketing strategy for selling that product. Any business opportunity worth considering will either have a track record that you can investigate and evaluate, or it will have a clear statement of the plan, the potential, and the up-front costs. Before investing any time or money in a specific business opportunity there are some things you should consider. Here are some of the more important ones:

How long has the business opportunity been around? – Before investing time and money in marketing a business opportunity it is important to determine how long that business has been operating, the success rate, customer base, etc. If it is a new concept that has not been proven in the marketplace, you have no assurance that it will even work.

Does the company have a fixed address and phone number? – This may seem obvious to you, but the fact is, thousands of “companies” operate with nothing more than a website and an email address. Many of them are here today and gone tomorrow. Make sure the business you intend to deal with has a fixed address, physical location, and established phone number.

Does the business opportunity have some successful members you can talk to? – Most business opportunities will show you “testimonials”, but these are often untrustworthy. They could even be completely fabricated. Ask the owner of the business opportunity for the names of real people you can talk to. Call them on the telephone and ask them to share their experiences with the program. This will not only provide you with valuable first-hand information about the program, but it will give you a list of advisors who may be happy to help you along the way.

How much initial investment is required? – In many cases, a proven business opportunity with a successful track record will involve some kind of initial investment. This could involve an initial amount of product inventory, a program subscription fee, or possibly a piece of equipment required to produce or finish the product. You should not assume that a business opportunity that is free to join is a better investment. Usually, a free-to-join business opportunity will involve other costs such as marketing and advertising fees. Nobody gives away “opportunities” for free. What you have to determine is whether a specific business opportunity has a successful track record, is managed by honest people, and offers you a realistic chance of actually making some money. These are the things you must weigh against the entry costs.

What is the realistic income potential of the business? – Have a careful look at the numbers and projections provided by the business opportunity. Then talk with actual members who are using the program to determine if they have been able to turn those numbers into reality.

Are there extra fees such as yearly or monthly subscription fees, shipping costs, or minimum purchase requirements? – Make sure to get a detailed list of all the fees involved in operating the new business. These things may not seem significant now, but they can easily eat into your profits later.

Who controls the money? – When you generate sales for the business opportunity what assurance do you have that you will get your share of the profits? This is the primary reason not to deal with “fly by night” outfits that have no track record. Again, the best way to get an accurate reading on this is to talk with people already using the program.

Does the business opportunity provide marketing materials and person-to-person mentoring? – One of the most difficult parts of starting a new business is “learning the ropes”. It can be extremely helpful to have advisors who have first-hand experience in making the program work. The same goes for marketing materials. You will have enough to do without having to create brochures, ads, and newsletters for your new business.

How much control of your new business will you have? – Be clear on who owns the business, and who controls the way it is developed and marketed. You may want to diversify your product offerings in order to avoid being at the mercy of “head office”. Remember that you are trying to create a business that has long term value. This will involve considerable investment of time and energy on your part. You don’t want your business to be completely dependent on the stability and integrity of a single supplier.

The ideal business opportunity is one that is offered by a stable company with a proven track record. The business opportunity should require low initial investment and have high-profit potential both in the short term and in the long term. It should allow you to build a profitable business of your own that will be a source of income far into the future.


When Melissa quit her job to start her real estate business she knew she wanted more out of life and to live it to the fullest under her terms. There were days of doubts and the lack of support sometimes heightened those feelings; however, she pushed her way through, as a woman in a dogged male-dominated industry. Designed life caught up with Melissa to learn more about her entrepreneurial journey and hear her thoughts about life.

What or Who inspired you to start your business?
I always hated working full time and this is what inspired me to start my own business. After changing jobs multiple times, hoping that with each time, having an increase in pay or being with a different team would make me happy; for some reason I always hated it. I would say to myself ‘surely there’s more to life than being on this constant hamster wheel’. I had no idea where to start, or even how, but in hindsight, everything just fell into place.
I was also inspired by the fact that I was in control – I didn’t have to travel into an office to prove that I was worthy, or have a certain job title, or be stuck when my pay wouldn’t always last the full month and I would have to do a countdown until the next payday.

What habits helped make you successful?
I would love to say that I have a series of daily habits that have ensured my success, but I don’t fully feel that I’m at that point yet. I have just worked hard and tried to think creatively. I want to get to a point where I have a dedicated daily routine but I’m a work in progress. At the moment, I find that I have to naturally get ‘into the flow’. When I try to force working in my business, I find that I procrastinate on tasks that aren’t important, but when I get ‘into the flow’, I do all the tasks I know I should be doing, with ease. I do believe that routine is key, so if I was following my own advice – I would get up at the same time every day, go to the gym at the same time, and schedule certain tasks around what I like doing throughout the day (for example: with my business being based around property, I can end up spending a lot of time on the phone! So I’m currently working on managing that so I can get to see more properties and meet more people, etc).

How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
How I distinguish myself from my competitors is that I understand that I’m in my lane, on my own path and it’s my daily dedication and hard work that will make a difference. I also find building relationships fairly easy, so I don’t view my competitors as something to worry about. I think about supermarkets – they each sell the same or similar products, for variable prices, yet people still have their preferred ‘go-to’ supermarket. So I bear in mind that I’m attracting ‘my type of customer’.

What was your biggest mistake?

My biggest mistake when I first started, was not having a pipeline of sales. I was close to completing my first 2 sales and for some reason, I stopped chasing business. I let my pipeline go cold and it was much harder to build the pipeline back up. But it was a worthwhile learning experience, which allowed me to prove to myself how determined I am to make my business successful. That was the point I could have given up…but I didn’t.

What was unexpected when you started your business?
The main thing that was unexpected when I started my business, was just how lonely the process was. I felt that friends and family didn’t fully understand why I would choose to put myself through the stress and aggravation of owning my own business. I also wonder why I do it myself sometimes, but that’s all part of the process.

What did you learn?
From this, I learned that fellow entrepreneurs are your biggest supporters. The people who like and comment on my social media posts are people who I’ve met and connected with along the way. I also learned that everyone sees you. For the moments that I get zero likes and comments on posts, I don’t let it affect me as it doesn’t mean that my posts haven’t been seen.

How can you minimize the unknowns?
There are lots of unknowns with being an entrepreneur but the way you can minimize the unknowns is DO IT ANYWAY! If you follow a certain marketing plan or you make a decision on doing something, you don’t know how it will be received and you know what? It doesn’t matter. You don’t know until you do know, and the only way you will know is by doing.

What does it mean to live a Designed Life?
To live a designed life is to have the flexibility and freedom to control your destiny. It’s about you carving your future and creating the type of life that you want to lead.

What impact do you want to have on the world or change you’d like to see?
The impact that I would like to have on the world, is by proving that you don’t need to fit into a stereotype to be an entrepreneur. I show up every day as my true authentic self and I’m always a work in progress. I have sometimes wondered if I would be more successful if I wore higher heels to networking events, but I refuse to give in. It’s hard enough walking into a room full of strangers, much less thinking about your feet being on fire in gorgeous shoes.

Describe yourself in one word?

What mantra do you live by?
Everything happens for a reason, but you can’t sit down and wait for things to slot into place. You have to work hard at making things happen and then from there, things will either slide into or out of place.

Where does your passion come from?
My passion comes from wanting to be happy and wanting to carve a life that I have created by myself, for myself (And a family one day).

What makes you smile?
Caring people make me smile. You can’t beat a genuinely nice, honest and friendly person.

I love what I do! I feel that my business is fully aligned with my personality. Helping people and coming up with solutions to problems makes me feel good and that’s what fuels me to keep going. My business is about finding properties for investors, so I get to help sellers who have homes that need modernization and are ready to sell; and I also get to help Investors find the right properties, which meets their requirements.

Business Name: ML Property Venture
Socials: @MLPropertyVenture (on Facebook and LinkedIn)


Prior to establishing her coaching business, Regena was, & still is a real estate investor, active Realtor, a Certified Yoga Instructor and Soul Language Practitioner. She works with individuals & families to help them create transformation through wealth (specifically with real estate education & asset allocation), health with Yoga and Mediation & Spiritual Awareness, aligning them with their life’s mission and purpose.
Marrying her commitment to the public through real estate, and her love for supporting people live more authentically, Regena offers a range of programs and services including group yoga classes, private yoga instruction, transformational coaching & energy healing through Reiki and more. She works Nationally and spreads her message across the country in workshops and retreats.
(This is as a result of extensive personal transformation she herself experienced through years of deep healing work, mind, body and emotional healing). Regena specializes in helping her students and clients get unstuck and move through fear. Supporting them in living more purposefully, and passionately! Whether it’s on a mat, in a private session, in a classrooms, or out in the field showing properties, Regena is committed to helping Conscious Men & Women and families, achieve the results they wish to acquire.

What or Who inspired you to start your business? 

My frustration and experience with what wasn’t working in my life. I sought support and guidance, found out it was within me but needed a jump start and started working with coaches. 

How do you develop Key partnerships? 

Best partnerships are created with intention and sincere communication with clarity on what each partner contributes and clear agreements of what’s expected and to be delivered. 

How did you get funded or what creative strategies did you use to execute on minimal cash flow?

Aligning with others that get my message and what I do, and how I serve. I also used collaborative, mutually benefiting joint ventures and strategic partnerships. Another way I funded my business was through speaking engagements, classes, and workshops. 

What habits helped make you successful?

Focus, and masterminding with like-minded professionals. Investing in myself, my businesses and coaching.  

How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?

I believe in community and cooperation. There’s plenty for everyone. Not everybody speaks the same language although they may share similar material or style, it’s never the same. I also focus on the abundance mindset.  

What was your biggest mistake?

Believing that I had to be perfect. There’s no such thing as perfection.

How do you deal with failure and how do you learn from failures?

Failure is growth, it’s imperative in achieving success. If not learning from what’s perceived as “failure” one never grows. It’s only “failure” if one doesn’t learn. 

What was unexpected when you started your business?

It takes time, and sweat equity and still no guarantees. 

What did you learn?

That there’s always more to learn. And I learn from mistakes. I can easily learn from other people’s mistakes, it doesn’t all have to be my own. 

What would you have done differently?

Take more risks, and show up even more authentically by being myself – sharing my story more. Doing that NOW 🙂 

How can you minimize the unknowns?

Trusting the Universe/ God is in charge. Some risks cannot be pre-calculated. 

What advice would you give inspiring entrepreneurs?

Take more risks. Be Yourself and Share Your Story More. (Don’t be stingy.)

What does it mean to live a Designed Life?

Live with Purpose, No Matter What. Surround Yourself with Positive, Loving People that Will Support Your Vision

What impact do you want to have on the world or change you’d like to see?


What is your why?

My family, 1st generation Ukrainian American, my parents came here to make a better life. I AM THAT VEHICLE to make that happen. Global Transformation. 

What makes your business/product unique?

My experience and background. We are all unique and special. 

Describe yourself in one word?


What mantra do you live by?


What habits and mindsets made you successful?

Focus on what works, and move forward. 

What life lessons shaped you?

Happiness is a Choice, choose happiness and the rest will show up

How have they impacted your life or business?

Keeps me focused on what works, as opposed to living in the past. Freedom from struggle 

Where does your passion come from?

Personal experience, suffering, and letting go of what doesn’t work. 

What makes you smile?

Knowing that there are so many people in the world ready to uplift and impact others. 

Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner?

Hmmm…. I’ll take all three please 🙂 Thank you! 

Describe your happy place. 

In the present moment. 

What is your superpower/ how do you use it?

My Superpower is LOVE – coming back to LOVE, over and over and over again. 

Finish this statement, A WOMAN IS the power and future of GLOBAL transformation.  

How are you living out loud?

By sharing my story with confidence and creating global impact. 

What drives you?

People living with passion & purpose. Mirrors. 

How do you plan on living lavishly in the next decade?

Doing more and living abundantly with the flow of life, knowing when we do our life’s work/ assignment, the rest comes.

Regena Ozeryansky

Certified Yoga Teacher – Kids & Adults, Reiki Practitioner & Newly Certified Soul Language Practitioner

Company Name: Internal Peace Now


Instagram: @Yogini_RealEstateReg

Direct: 786-286-8127 

MT: 406-662-1569

Now offering national Classes, Retreats & Workshops

“Helping People Heal, From the Inside Out!” 


Not Guilty!

Great words to hear when you are in trouble, anticipating jail time. Don’t know what that feels like though; my closest to the courthouse was when I went to get married.

But in this game called life we are always confronted by a cloud of witnesses and are constantly being judged by what we do or don’t do. We are constantly weighing our lives on a balance and trying to measure up.

People judge people! That’s what we do. We look at a persons appearance and judge how much they have in their account. We look at a person car to determine how successful they are… There is constantly a battle to prove to people we are worth something, we are constantly working on being APPROVED by others.

Life can get tiring when we are constantly trying to get people to like us, approve of our lifestyle and choices. We can forget the joy of living if all we do focus on what others think of us and how people see us.

I decided a long time ago not to be defined by what others say or think about me. When you are not constantly trying to please others you can truly live the way I believe God intended… free, unstoppable, and unwavering. Have a great week ahead.

Kehinde Daramola is a Licensed Architect from Nigeria with a Masters Degree in Architecture from Covenant University. Since her graduation, she has worked in different capacity and on different projects  including residential, commercial, and industrial projects with few architectural firms. As a single mom of two amazing sons, she focuses on making sure she provides the best for them, “nothing matters to me more than their well-being and for them to get the best that I can offer”, she exclaimed. After the loss of her husband in 2015, she had to wake up to the challenge life had thrown at her; “I realized that my 9-5 job couldn’t do so much in meeting up with our daily expenses”, she said.
In 2018 she decided to quit her job to start a firm where she focuses on furniture making, interior design, and construction; she was inspired to start her business so she can be more financially independent, grow her network, and also grow her net worth.

As an Architect, she works strictly in ensuring that her clients’ job are delivered to specification, on budget and  in time. “Before I went into business I had always felt I needed a good capital for me to start but I realized that not all businesses require money, so I learned a skill in furniture making then started my business on Zero capital, my first job funded itself and my business has been thriving ever since”.
On interviewing Kehinde, she shared some nuggets on what inspired her to start her firm, how she started her business, and what she considers success to be.
What habits helped make you successful?
I would not say I have attained success yet because I’m on a journey to unending learning and growth; what I have learned so far is that I must be consistent, persistent and be open to learning new things, always.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I have an edge over my competitors because as an architect I have a background in space planning, design, and specifications which gives my clients the type of satisfaction we’d always wanted from them.
What was your biggest mistake?
My biggest mistake is not knowing so much about the business side of my skill since I had no prior knowledge on how to run a  business so, I struggle with documenting how my business should be run.
How do you deal with failure and how do you learn from failures?
Every failure is an opportunity for growth and an opportunity to re-strategize; that is how I have handled it so far.
How can you minimize the unknowns?
Life in itself is unknown, the only thing I think we can minimize the unknown is to live ready and take more risks.
What advice would you give inspiring entrepreneurs?
My advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is that Just Start where you are, start growing and learn as you earn.
What does it mean to live a Designed Life?
For me living a Designed Life is living a purposeful life actualized by living your dreams and fulfilling your visions.
What impact do you want to have on the world or change you’d like to see?
I want my life to be a trigger for hundreds of women like myself, to inspire them to take hold of their destinies and start making a positive difference in their businesses and career. Someday I want someone to tell me because of you I didn’t give up.
Check out some of her Furniture designs on Instagram or Facebook 
Whatsapp Number: +234 8065744016

One of the highlights of being a mom who loves to cook, is the ability to whip up new recipes or find old time favorites to try. After a long uneventful  day, my boys and I decided to make something out of the pint of blueberries sitting in the refrigerator. We tried our hands on this amazing recipe and we loved every bite. The boys finished it all of course. This is definitely a great dessert to try, it’s not too sweet and it’s just right. It’s simple enough for beginners to whip up. We had it with vanilla icecream but you can simply eat with a cup coffee. Life’s Good!

Blueberry Buckle
1 stick butter
1 1/4 cups of sugar
1 egg
2 1/3 cups self rising flour or (2 1/3 flour mixed with 2 tsp baking powder, and 1/2 salt stirred well)
1/2 cup milk
2 cups blueberries
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Cream half the stick of butter with 3/4 cup sugar. Beat in the egg. Add 2 cups of self rising flour or flour mix then add 1/2 milk.
Fold in washed blueberries. Pour batter into a greased 9×9 inch pan. Sprinkle the top with crumb topping made with fork or hand blending the remaining 4 tbsp of butter, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Bake for 35 minutes. You will see how the top buckles and understand its name.
The top would be crunchy and the inside very moist and slightly fluffy.
Enjoy with a cup of coffee or with vanilla icecream.

Bon appetit