My Story: World Mental Health Day

  • Have you ever felt that life is so hard that sometimes it’s not worth living?
  • The pain seems overwhelming and unbearable
  • You feel hopeless, like there’s no point in living
  • You are consumed by negative and disturbing thoughts
  • You cannot imagine any solution to your problems other than suicide
  • You imagine death as a relief
  • You think everyone would be better off without you
  • You feel worthless and lonely when you do have friends and family
  • You fail to understand why you are feeling or thinking this way.

I have felt this way some time mid last year and it was tough. When I look back, I remember feeling lonely, empty, overwhelmed, tired, hopeless, picturing my suicide, planning it on most days. All I could think of was how am I going to do this and when. Death felt like a way out and sleeping was what I looked forward to every day. I needed to be absent and invisible to everything and everyone. I wanted to die and the saddest part was I had no idea what was happening to me and why it happened. I felt guilty to leave my kids behind but I thought it would be better for them that way and that they would hurt for a little while but be okay shortly afterwards. My brain was fuzzy, I had disturbing thoughts and I just wanted to hide in a dark place. I felt disconnected from the world and struggled to communicate. The fact is, even though I was loved and had family to reach out to, I didn’t, I couldn’t even speak, I couldn’t think straight and I stopped living my life the way I used to. I didn’t know what to do, where to go, how to pretend everything was okay but I had to endure. I went to work every day and pretended to be okay. “They said I’ve changed and that I’m different but I avoided eye contact and just brushed it off”.

One day, engrossed in my thoughts, I researched my symptoms and came across an article that explains everything I needed to know about my condition. I remember thinking about it for a very long time before deciding to open up about it. I confided in my eldest sister who advised me to get help. I was fortunate enough to learn that she too survived the torture and agony of depression. She understood me, she regularly checked up on me and she guided me along the way. At least I had someone to turn to.

My advice to those feeling a sense of depression and suicide reading this today is – find someone to confide in, talk about your condition. There is help out there. I didn’t believe anything or anyone could change my mind but support, love and guidance, even a word of advice from someone might help you. I didn’t believe it would, but it did.

Those in a position to help someone – please reach out.

What you can do is:

  • Find an appropriate time and a quiet place to talk about suicide with the person you are worried about. Let them know that you are there to listen.
  • Encourage the person to seek help from a professional, such as a doctor, mental health professional, counselor or social worker. Offer to accompany them to an appointment.
  • If you think the person is in immediate danger, do not leave him or her alone. Seek professional help from the emergency services, a crisis line, or a health-care professional, or turn to family members.
  • If the person you are worried about lives with you, ensure that he or she does not have access to means of self-harm (for example pesticides, firearms or medication) in the home.
  • Stay in touch to check how the person is doing.

For information on a Dr or Psychiatrist or clinic near to you please contact SADAG on 0800 21 22 23 or 0800 70 80 90 Seven days a week, from 8am to 8pm.

Also follow me on Instagram @variety_mom

Quick and Easy Chicken Tortilla wraps

Tortilla filling

These amazingly quick & easy tortilla wraps was a Wednesday Winner!

So I bought these ready made tortilla wraps at PnP and just prepared the filling.

Ingredients (quantities depend on the size of your family)

  • Chicken breasts (cooked)
  • Peppers,
  • Baby Spinage,
  • Red Onion,
  • Cucumber,
  • Tomato,
  • Corn,
  • Feta cheese,
  • Nola Mayonnaise and
  • a dash of BBQ sauce
Quick and Easy Tortilla wraps

There you go, layer it all together, roll it up and cut in halves and enjoy whichever way you prefer.

I hope you enjoy this quick and easy recipe – It’s a life saver when you have so many things on your to-do-list and so little time!


I am the youngest of five sisters and I absolutely love and appreciate them with my whole heart. My mother was an only child and as a mom she raised us with a firm and loving hand. Her rules were clear and our relationship was somewhat of a love/fear kind. Love because she was the one we loved the most and there was nothing else like it. Everything about her was done out of the purest form of love. She was the only one who loved us the way she did and knew us so well and we never even realized the pureness of her love until we became moms. Fear of disappointing her or hurting her feelings. A tremendously strong and fearless lady with self-confidence, self-respect and the kindest heart. She fought our battles, the kind of battles you fight on your knees.

In her absence my sisters would step in to help wherever they could. They would cook, clean, change diapers and dress me. That’s how we were taught, I could never speak of the things they endured throughout my life, the sacrifices, the tears, the support in raising and the love they have for me. Recently I went through a rough patch and my sisters got together without my knowledge, arranged a ‘party for sisters’ but when I arrived they actually had an intervention about my state of well-being. We laughed, cried, chatted for hours but the part that I appreciate the most is the love, compassion, support and concern they had for me. They had my back!

Sisters are not only blood relatives. A sister is a person who’s been where you’ve been, someone you can call when things aren’t going right. More than just family, a sister is a forever friend. Let’s celebrate each other. Whether it’s body goals, professional goals or just making it in this world, make a fuss of it and support each other. Do not compete with other women; we all have our own journey that God holds in his hands. Listen with an open heart & mind and be kind, don’t hold grudges.

An insert in an article in the Huffpost discussed sisterhood;

The fact is we are not just connected, as women. We are interconnected. So why does it seem that at a time when so many of us (and it is about “us”) are getting ahead and doing amazing things that far too many of us are being left behind? The truth is, many women despite our achievements or power are just too scared, too selfish, or too insecure to help other women. And that is what real “sisterhood” is all about, because the reality is, if we don’t help each other, who will? And if not in this time, when?

In the final analysis to be a sister is to be a friend and to be loyal. It is to give a smile, lend a hand and practice friendship. It is to be forgiving, lending a helping hand, be a fierce advocate and builder of other women. Being a sister means you value other women as you value yourself.

Let us put the ‘sister’ back into the word sisterhood. It starts with you and me, right here and now.

Baked Cinnamon Pears with Caramel Sauce and shredded Coconut



  • 6 Pears
  • 2 Tbs Unsalted Butter
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
  • 2 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Shredded Coconut
  • ¾ Cup Caramel Syrup
  • ¼ Cup Water


  • Preheat oven to 180 ° C
  • Cut pears in half in lengths (keep stem and intact)
  • In a small bowl stir together butter, cinnamon and vanilla essence. Using your hands, rub the butter mixture all over pears. Place the pears, cut side down, in a big enough baking dish to lay them side by side.
  • Mix ¼ cup of lukewarm water, 3 Tbs caramel syrup and 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar then pour into baking tray.
  • Bake the pears for 30 minutes, remove from oven, turn the pears and add the rest of the mix (no.4)
  • Continue until pears are soft. Pierce it with a fork and bake for about another 30 minutes more.
  • Dish pears on a platter ,drizzle with caramel syrup and sprinkle with 2 pinches of coconut

Twenty Two Years

On 17 January this year we celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary. It sounds like a big number but yet it feels less than a decade.

Two kids later, career changes, sickness, health, a house we made our home for 22 years and plenty of lessons along the way. I cannot imagine these experiences with anyone else.

I’m writing this article in celebration of many couples hard at work on their relationships. I cannot pin point the secret to a long lasting marriage but I do know we all have our ups and downs and work extremely hard to stay happy. So far our journey has been filled with quite a bunch of lovely experiences and I can safely say that we are in a happy space.

Let me give credit where it is due, In good or bad, Mario has been the person I’ve turned to for over 22 years and whose presence alone gives me great delight.

As the years have gone by, we’ve learned a few key lessons that have helped us grow together in love and patience.

  • Communicate with GodPRAY

He is the only one who knows our hearts. Kneel in prayer and supplication as with thanksgiving. Let your requests be made known to Him who strengthens you. Without having God as the center of our lives I believe that we would never make it this far.

  • Communicate with each other

Constant communication was one of the first things Mario vowed to do before we even started our union as husband and wife. Share the good and bad and find ways to improve all the time. Communicating with one another sets a tone of kindness and willingness to mend the situation and hurt that is or could be triggered.

  • Make time

For so many years we’ve had the tradition of having a date night on a weekly basis. We might have missed some of these along the decades but this should be a definite must in every relationship. Our date nights are anything in between being fancy and not-so-fancy but it is the one night that we look forward to especially and do something soothing even just catching up and reconnecting given the fact that our weeks are so busy.

  • Being You

Imagine how important this factor is. It brings about so much happiness and contentment with who you really are in a marriage. In the beginning of our relationship we had some struggles with the two different personalities clashing but soon enough we started accepting and respecting each other for who we are and that alone brings joy and serenity.

  • Laugh

His laughter was the main attraction for me and the funniest thing is that he laughs at his own repeated tales all the time!