I am woman…Megan Sigamoney, a scientist

“Science is a gift from God, He gave it to us so we can know more about him” – Dr. Joe Francis

Growing up, science had intrigued me and I’ve always had a fascination with plants. I was that kid who used to cut up an entire plant and concoct something in my plastic kitchen set or follow the leaf venation or literally stare at the fine hair that covered it. Naturally, when the time came to apply for university, I chose the science field, BSc Microbial Biotechnology to be exact. To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what that was about. My start to the undergraduate life was a little rough. I failed chemistry twice, not my finest moment and I guess I was still figuring the whole “campus life”.

In my second year, I decided to switch degrees to a BSc in Biological science. It was during this time that I met the lovely Crystelda. This degree went rather smoothly and in my final semester it was a prerequisite to take on a research module. I had chosen a project that was plant related as that had peaked my interest. You could say that this had opened my eyes to what research entailed. I absolutely loved being in the lab environment and applying techniques that I’ve only studied in theory. I got a taste of conducting experiments and I knew that I wanted to do this again and so I decided to apply to for my honours degree which consisted of a yearlong research module. However, the selection process was based on merit and limited places were available. I applied and said a prayer.
I soon found out that I received a place in the honours class, was offered an amazing, plant based, silver nanoparticle project with an accompanying bursary. My honours degree went well and I was able to publish my research in the South African Journal of Botany. It was a privilege that not many honours students receive. This, more than anything made me believe in my abilities and competence as a biologist and researcher. Up until this point, I trusted God and his plan for my life, but it was always from a place of comfortability. Honestly, I wasn’t even attending church regularly.

Once honours was over, I thought, what next? I think deep down I knew that research is in my blood but I also knew that I wanted to more with it than just conduct experiments. I felt the urge to help others and impact communities with the research that I conduct. As God would have it, the first project that I looked at when pursuing my master’s degree, was one in collaboration with Ethekwini Agri Hub. This would assist the rural communities by ultimately providing them with a commonly consumed African leafy vegetable that had a high nutritional value.

A few pics of my lab work plus a selfie with my plants.

It was during the first year of masters that my boyfriend and I visited Rivers church, we felt a sense of belonging and soon made Rivers our spiritual home. So here I was, loving masters and attending a great church but I felt that something was missing. I decided to get plugged into church life and began serving on the visual aspect of the production team. This wasn’t a difficult decision, it felt natural. I found a new passion, besides science. It’s always been said that when you decide to take your relationship with God seriously and serve him, you are tested in many ways. And sure enough, the tests did come, from numerous random “out there” health issues, chronic migraines, a difficult supervisor, to issues with experimentations not working out.

A view of the visual production set up at church, where I serve.

These definitely took a toll on my mental health and soon feelings of incompetence and an overall sense of demotivation crept in. I questioned my decision to pursue research but never once did I doubt God’s plan (insert drake soundtrack here) for my life. I found myself looking forward to the midweek rehearsals at church as a refuel that lifted me up during tough weeks and also knowing that I am a part of something greater.
Looking back, I would have never thought that, that little kid messing around with plants would be on the road to finishing up a Master of Science degree. I had the privilege to speak to high school kids about my research and plant sciences as a whole, through the UKZN open days and at career expos and I was able to present my honours research paper at a UKZN postgraduate research day. When I think about all the opportunities that have come my way, I can truly say that it was God’s unmerited favour and grace upon my life. When my walk with Him was weak, He carried me!

Hopefully inspiring young scientists and a picture of my research paper.

If you haven’t already, give Hillsong United’s “So Will I (100 Billion X)” a listen. It truly affirms the quote at the beginning of this write up and attests to God’s glory. Thank you Crys for affording me the privilege to share a part of my journey and passion and thank you to all who took the time to read this.

Much love -Megan


Be Planted…

I know, the dreaded phrase; “Be planted.” That’s such a cliché, it’s the thing everyone tells you to twist your arm. I’m not a plant, I do not plant. But, here’s the truth that I’ve learned, being planted is where you flourish. A plant that has been potted is wildly restricted by its environment. So, let’s remove the pot and be planted in the wild. Our only limitation now becomes our own capacity, our own drive to improve, grow and mature. Whether you’re deciding to plant roots in a skill, a specific field or in an activity, plant roots. This is about the act of consistency, this is about practice and determination. Being planted isn’t about allowing people to control you, it’s about giving yourself a constant environment in which to thrive in. Practicing and growing your skills is a part of being planted, a part of planting roots. It’s about more than finding a home, it’s the act of creating a safe and positive environment that brings out the best in you.


The biggest catch? You control the where. You decide where to find a home. You are in control of your environment. Scary, right? I know, it’s terrifying to realise the decision is truly ours. It’s terrifying to believe that this is our choice. Embrace it. Embrace the reality that you can decide what you allow into your life, embrace that you choose where to be planted and with that you choose the people and the environment you find a home in. Be planted. Because a consistent, positive and reinforcing environment, surrounded by people that catalyse your growth, will change your world. That’s it, that’s why we should be planted. Not only do you find a community, you find a place in which YOU DECIDE to thrive. Be planted.


L’Oreal Pure Clay Blemish Rescue: Review

I have not been blessed by the skin-gods. I have sensitive, finicky and combination skin. This makes me very…let’s say tentative when changing my skincare or picking up new masks. BUT I love to mask! I mean who doesn’t love a good pamper session? For my own sanity, I tend to stick to masks from natural skincare brands like The Body Shop and Lush. About a month ago I decided to embark on a journey to try to save my skin from whatever reaction it has been experiencing over the past few months. With a change in skincare I also decided to spend some time testing out a new mask. I know, risky business. So, here’s my L’Oreal Pure Clay Blemish Rescue mask review.

According to the L’Oreal website (linked below), this mask is a way to purify, cleanse and brighten your skin. Claims also include unclogging blackheads, leaving skin pure and being ideal for spots and blemish prone skin. The Clicks website (linked below) claims that the combination of marine algae into the formula is known for anti-blemish properties and targets deep into pores to unclog and clear imperfections.

My skin has been going through a rough time. For the last month, I’ve been using this L’Oreal mask weekly with hopes of seeing a change. Guess what, I did! After only 2 uses, my skin felt less irritated and looked slightly less inflamed. After a month of uses, I can see a visible change in my skin, with FAR less inflammation, my skin has substantially (albeit not all the way) cleared and of all the things I’ve done to try and clear up the reaction I was having, the combination of this mask with the aloe products from The Body Shop has just calmed the storm.
So, would I recommend this product? Yes, yes, yes! We have found a winner! The price point is amazing and there are other options available for your skin issues. My sister has been testing this product alongside me and for once in our lives we actually agree on something; this mask is amazing. Disclaimer, please patch test before full application, everyone’s skin is different and reacts differently.

Trying it out? Let me know what you think?



Listen up…

The things we listen to have such a profound effect on our lives. We allow the words we hear to become engrained into our being, shape our decisions and inadvertently determine our actions. So, what are you listening to? Specifically, what podcasts are you following? This is something that I’ve only recently been sold on, particularly when I’m looking for something to keep me company during my drives to work.

Podcasts have presented me with an opportunity to continue learning (which I apparently cannot stop doing), absorbing information, listing to stories from the lives of people that are well-seasoned, well-educated, well-thought or well-researched has broadened my views and opened my mind to new insights and revelations. But wait! There’s more! All this from the convenience of a NUMBER of different apps to suit your preferences? Well, why are we so prone to shy away from things that are presented to us with ease. Whether you prefer the podcast app, Spotify, or Souncloud, in a society that thrives on information, access isn’t the problem it used to be. These are just a few of the podcasts that I regularly tune in to (not including the comedy and general entertainment podcasts).


1. Ted Talks Daily – This one’s a basic. Covering a variety of topics and allowing you to broaden your horizons with short episodes, perfect for the curious mind seeking information.
2. Dr Caroline Leaf – If you’re interested in issues of the brain and mental health, this is the one to check out. Dr Leaf is an amazing woman that’s a specialist in her field. Definitely one for the curious soul.
3. Hillsong Creative – I’m a creative. And whether that means you’re a musician, songwriter, writer or artist of any kind, the Hillsong team has constructed a podcast specifically for you. Learn more about your art, or listen to artists in other fields discuss their work.
4. Elevation with Steven Furtick – I don’t always get to catch the live services. This podcast allows me to catch up on messages from Elevation Church in the comfort of my home with a notebook and pen close by and without distractions.
5. Conversations with John and Lisa Bevere – Lisa Bevere has been one the influencing women that have changed my opinion on womanhood and femininity. This podcast is presented as a warm discussion and truly makes you feel part of the conversation.

If you have any other suggestions, be sure to leave a comment and I’d love to grow my podcast pool. Listen up!


I am Woman… Stephanie Naidu, a teacher

“If you ask me what I came into this world to do, I will tell you without hesitation: I was born to be a teacher”- Robert John Meehan

This quote could not be truer. Teaching is a calling, and I have been called by God to enter this noble profession. Growing up I had no idea that I wanted to be a teacher. Whenever I got asked what I wanted to be when I was older, my go-to answer was either a veterinary or a pediatrician. All throughout school this remained my answer but when I got to matric, reality hit – I had no clue what I actually wanted to do. All I knew, without a shadow of doubt, was that I enjoyed Life Science and I wanted to study it further.


I studied a BSC in Biological Sciences at UKZN Westville Campus. Once I graduated the dreaded job hunting had to begin, the more I thought about it, the more I realised that I was not keen on sitting in a laboratory day in and day out for the next 40 years of my life. I found myself directionless and frustrated because I had persevered through my degree and now I was stuck without a clue as to what I wanted to do with it.
It was one day when I was sitting and searching around for jobs that I suddenly stopped and blurted out to my mom that I wanted to be a teacher. I had no idea where this thought had come from or why I had said that. My mom looked at me like I was crazy – I had just finished off one degree and now I wanted to start another. A few days after this conversation I was approached by the Head of Academics from a school, asking if I would be interested in filling in for the Life Science teacher. Without even thinking it through, I said yes! Three weeks later, after the interview, handing over of resources and preparation, my journey to becoming a teacher had begun.
It all made sense now – that was not a random blurting out of words, but that was God dropping off a message for me. He knew the direction my life needed to be steered in and I didn’t need to figure this out all on my own.

A little snippet of this profession…

Being a teacher means you sacrifice a lot. Family time, weekends and afternoons. There are some days when you cannot get out of bed, or you cannot get off your chair to teach that last lesson for the day yet nothing can stop you from being sucked in to this calling. A profession so taxing on the mind, body and spirit, but so rewarding for the heart. I am so proud to be a teacher and I kind of wish that everyone had the opportunity to experience it, even if it was just for a day.

I am a Grade 8 and Grade 9 Natural Science teacher and a Grade 11 Life Science (Biology) teacher. This means I spend most of my days with teenagers. Some people cannot understand why I would choose to work with teenagers, but I know I was placed in this phase of education for a reason; to counsel and inspire every teenager who has given me time and allowed me to get to know them personally.

No two days are similar when you teach. Every day I learn something new from my learners. This profession has taught me more than I expected it to, such as:

1. Be a mom before you are a teacher – I have such an immense amount of love for every learner that steps into my classroom. I can only hope that they feel this love every day and know how very special they are to me by my words and actions.

2. Do not judge a child based on the opinions of others. I have had many ‘difficult to handle’ children in my class and I have had such an affinity to them, enjoying every moment they are with me. It is not about ignoring the difficult child, but it is more about talking to them with a genuine caring heart and a listening ear; many of these teenagers are fighting battles that we are not aware of.

3. Make every moment in your class enjoyable – it helps make school fun for the learners and rewarding for you.

4. Build relationships if you want to successfully teach. I cannot possibly imagine having a child in my class for a whole year yet knowing nothing about them. This defies what many people believe – that there needs to be boundaries and learners should not know me on a personal basis. Yes, I believe in boundaries, but I also believe in being real and true to who I am as a person and as a teacher, and showing this to my kids.

5. Improvisation is a great skill to have on hand. Not every lesson or every day is going to go according to plan. Learn to go with the flow and laugh off the mistakes.
Despite the long days and being depleted physically and mentally, nothing can ever replace the joy each learner has brought to me and the blessings that come with a profession like this. They have filled a part of my heart with overflowing love and joy and each one of them leave a special print on my heart when they exit my class.


Choose a profession that you can add value to and that you look forward to every waking day. Passion will always outweigh anything of monetary value. I know I am madly and truly in love with my profession.
Thank you dearest Crys for allowing me to share my heart in this post. I appreciate the opportunity and I appreciate you so much!
Sending lots of love and light to everyone. I hope you all find the one thing that sets your soul on fire and you follow it whole-heartedly!

Makeup Repurchases

We’re taking a break today to discuss something on the lighter side. There comes a time in every girl’s life, when she decides to enter into a committed relationship with some makeup product or the other. This usually results in repeated purchases. Naturally, this means that there are certain products that sneak into our makeup bags multiple times, the products that we decide to keep by our sides indefinitely. So, here’s my list of items I’m on a repeat purchase relationship with:



1. Mac Studio Fix Fluid:
I’m basic, I know, but this is my favourite for full-coverage and long-wear days. It’s my old reliable in the shade NW43 and I love it for longer days and events. https://www.maccosmetics.co.za/product/13847/1231/products/makeup/face/foundation/studio-fix-fluid-spf-15#/shade/NW43
2. Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick:
I love this. I’m a Bobbi Brown girl through and through. I’m in the shade 6.5 (warm honey) and It’s my favourite for comfortable with buildable coverage. It’s comfortable on the skin, provides an amazing base for crème products and is the perfect match. https://www.edgars.co.za/catalog/product/view/id/129721/s/skin-foundation-stick/?utm_source=google_shopping&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI2I76647C2wIVKpPtCh3NMw5DEAYYASABEgKR5fD_BwE
3. LA Girl Pro Conceal:
This stuff is amazing! It doesn’t break the bank and the shade range is incredible. Whether you’re using this as a contour, concealer or to highlight the face with, you’ll find what you’re looking for. Just, take the time to look through the range. This is perfect for concealer only days.  https://dischem.co.za/product-view/74256/la-girl-pro-concealer-toast-981
4. Rimmel Lasting Finish Foundation:
This, is my designated work day foundation. It’s not too heavy, yet not too light either. The medium coverage provided together with the fact that this is the first drug-store foundation that I have truly fallen in love with and actually matches my skin (shade golden caramel) without breaking the bank, has brought me to repurchase this. https://clicks.co.za/rimmel_lasting-finish-25h-foundation-golden-caramel/p/292633

IMG_6758 (2)


1. Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara:
This is the mascara I always come back to. It has to be in my makeup bag at all times. It’s perfect without being too over the top. It’s my safety net mascara. I’ve tried high-end and I strongly believe that we shouldn’t be paying crazy prices for mascara. This is amazing! So, why not? https://clicks.co.za/maybelline_lash-sensational-mascara/p/288197?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIl7HiyY_C2wIVlOFRCh0MuQPAEAQYASABEgJ43PD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
2. Essence Long-lasting Retractable Eye-pencil:
Whether you’re tightlining or winging it out, this is amazing, versatile and affordable. I’ve only ever tried the black, but I’m basic and I’ve only ever needed the black. It fulfils all my requirements and is as black as the colour comes.  https://clicks.co.za/essence_long-lasting-eye-pencil-black-fever-0-28g/p/124196?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI3Yvzzo_C2wIV0UPTCh0OOAElEAQYASABEgKKV_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
3. Essence Volume Stylist Mascara:
This mascara isn’t raved about enough. If you want a false lash effect for a day when you couldn’t be bothered with liner, this puppy is your best friend. It’s changed my work routine and sped it up. No eye-makeup required, just layer your mascara up and you’re good to go.  https://clicks.co.za/essence_volume-stylist-18-lash-extend-mascara/p/290187?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIj6zxw4_C2wIVwrztCh3BSQ2KEAYYASABEgJ_g_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds


Since I’m basic, and my reason for repurchasing all of these is the same, here’s my reasoning. All of these lipsticks are super comfortable and long-wearing. They’re easy to wear and complement a complex or super-simple makeup look on my skin tone. Whether you’re a full-glam kind of girl, or a natural and comfortable, these have been the lippies I miss the most when I run our (like I currently am).

1. Mac Crème in Your Coffee (Cremesheen): A pinky-nude comfortable lipstick that wears easily with a slight sheen.  https://www.maccosmetics.co.za/product/13854/36169/products/makeup/lips/lipstick/cremesheen-lipstick#/shade/Cr%C3%A8me_In_Your_Coffee
2. Mac Whirl (Matte): Simple darker toned matte nude that’s a go to for no complications. https://www.maccosmetics.co.za/product/13854/310/products/makeup/lips/lipstick/matte-lipstick#/shade/Whirl
3. Urban Decay 1993 (Comfort matte): Warmer brown toner, comfortable matte lipstick with a slight hint of mauve that pulls through.  https://www.urbandecay.co.za/vice-lipstick-by-urban-decay/UD771.html#start=1&cgid=2_510

Fiercely defended…

We’ve so often been presented with an image of a benevolent Being who’s distant but will, with great eventuality, step in to intervene gently, with love and grace. Often times I’ve found struggle reconciling He who was in the old, and He who is in the new, as we have been taught to know Him.

“…he will sharpen his sword; he will bend and string his bow. He has prepared his deadly weapons; he makes ready his flaming arrows.” – ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭7:12-13‬ ‭NIV


Be realistic, how often have you found yourself in a situation where you’ve demanded the Lofty One step in and give you the outcome you want. I’m guilty as charged. We become… despondent by our lack of gain. We become somewhat impervious to the might and awe of the One we chose to follow, choosing rather to lead ourselves. We forget that when we are truly in need and call on Him, there is an arsenal at our disposal, yet we often feign to ask. But the Eternal One is never shaken. It is He who makes everything right in the end. Choose your steps, for your ways have been marked, choose to rise up because you have been chosen, step forward but reach back to help them up with you. You are encompassed by His goodness, engulfed in His grace, enraptured by His love. Do not yield to mediocrity, but rise to a purpose for which you choose, not to succumb to, but to strive towards. For our fore is fiercely defended for love and we are flanked by a heavenly arsenal.


Music to connect you…

It’s so easy to get caught up in the chaos of life. I’m one of those people that chooses to intentionally, rebelliously if you will, questions everything and anything until I can come up with an explanation or belief that I can stand on. One of the things I have always held a question mark to is the connection people have with specific worship songs. This is one of the lessons that I have only recently learnt for myself; worship songs are your personal arsenal to fall into. It’s an experience I’ve had to have for myself, find reason and rationale beyond explanation for myself. I’ve been studying The Psalms in the Passion Translation and came across an interpretation of Selah in the annotations that deeply moved me; ” It is used seventy-one times in the Psalms as an instruction to pause and ponder in God’s presence… It is said that when Selah is spoken the words are carved in stone in the throne room of the heavens (TPT)”. That had me. We should be stopping in our lives to enter into His presence with intent, with determination, it should be done on purpose. The thoughts and prayers we pray have an indelible effect in this sacred space.


One of the simplest ways to get out of my personal head-space, disconnect from the things going on around me and try to focus is through music. It clicks with me and plays a HUGE role in my life. Music has a way of getting your walls down, of tearing through the barriers you choose to keep up to protect yourself. Whether you’re playing or singing in your personal time, in the shower, or in the car, worship music is the best way to find peace and connect in moments of chaos, in moments where you can’t connect and in moments where the course you navigate is unclear. Sing when you’re empty, sing when you’re alone, sing when you cannot find the words to pray.

With that being said, here’s a quick list (in no particular order) of a few of the songs that hit home no matter where I am, what I’m doing, or what I’m searching for:

1. So will I – Hillsong
2. Reckless love – Corey Asbury
3. Do it again – Elevation Worship
4. Oceans – Hillsong United
5. No Longer a slave – Bethel Worship
6. You – Elevation Worship
7. How He loves – Crowder
8. Come alive – Lauren Daigle
9. Speak to me – Kari Jobe
10. Good Good father – Chris Tomlin
11. I am who you say I am – Hillsong
12. Pieces – Bethel Worship

X Crystelda

*annotation marked TPT are from the Passion Translation®. Copyright© 2017 by Broadstreet Publishing® Group, LLC.

I am woman… Fiona Moonean, mom to a Down Syndrome child

So, this mother’s month I get to share a little about one of the three reasons I am the woman that I am.


In just under 10 weeks, my first son, Caleb Tristan, turns 21. Caleb was brought into my life when I was just 26 years old and his dad, Mark was 27. We expected him with great zeal and anticipation. Unexpectedly (because there was little to no education and testing available at the time), he was born with Down Syndrome. When I look back at the first day and week of his birth, I remember being a young mum who thought her world had been ripped away, a woman who, at the time, believed she was being punished for some reason beyond her, a mum who tried to hide this reality from the world. I remember praying so hard for God to fix my son, automatically turning to the belief that my family’s life was mapped out to be a difficult one. But, have you ever seen a Down Syndrome baby? He was the cutest thing ever!



By the time Caleb turned 1, I had convinced myself (for the sake of my own sanity) that I was the lucky one, chosen by God to mother this special needs child. I believed that I had what it took, I had the know-how and the know-it-all for this task. The outcome was me pushing hard to get Caleb to meet his milestones as soon as possible, actually, I was pushing to meet the standards of “normal kids”.

However, the journey was difficult, frustrating and tiresome. To me, Caleb was my project from God. The longer I held onto the idea that God chose me because I “had what was needed” to raise this child, the more difficult our journey became.


But OH MY GOD, was I wrong. By the time Caleb was 10 (and yes, I tried for 10 long years with my own wit), I started to understand and see the situation for what it was. NEWS FLASH; I WAS NOT CHOSEN FOR CALEB, BUT CALEB WAS CHOSEN FOR ME! I lacked perspective. I was not his teacher, he was mine. Caleb was not the project, I was. Caleb wasn’t the one lacking life skills, I was. Caleb, meaning mountain mover, was not the mountain, I was. I started to see and understand the providence of God in my life.

This is in no way an easy journey, but it has been worth every moment.

God has taught me so much through Caleb:
• Perfection is only a perception.
• Love unconditionally, a hug can solve anything.
• Love beyond what the natural eyes see.
• Not to be judgemental.
• Enjoy the simple things in life.
• Celebrate life, birthdays are BIG.
• Patience and perseverance (which is a hard lesson to learn in this era).
• Winning the race was not the ultimate goal, but running together was.
• Ice cream and dancing should be the order of every day.

Ultimately, a great big thank you to God, who has carried us. The song that sums up the source of my strength along this journey is Faithful to the end – Bethel. God has truly been gracious.

X Fiona

The wisdom I seek…

We’re all human, right? Part of our human-nature causes us to keep different groups of people around us. Random acquaintances, work colleagues, family, distant friends and those that are closer than a brother. Over the past few years I’ve found that the group of people who will truly make up our inner circle, the people that are allowed unrivaled access to our lives, are the people that we should be the most selective with.


These are the people we glean knowledge and take information from. We go to them for counsel and wisdom. These are the loyal people that exist within the fortress of solitude. When we’re seeking counsel, it’s so important that these people have your best interests at heart, people that will give Godly, grounded wisdom and correct you when you’re out of line. Within my fortress of solitude exists a group of individual powerhouses that know my inner workings. They’ve seen the good and bad, and counsel and advise my actions based on past and present knowledge of the entirety of my makeup, giving an inside looking out perspective if you will. A check and balance is critical to personal growth, and these are people that I can grow with.

Every person serves a purpose and everything presents an opportunity for growth. That’s part of why we seek advice, isn’t it? We seek counsel and wisdom that we do not have, often based on knowledge of self. Every piece of advice has a place. The wise and Godly council of those allowed to speak freely to your being has an important place in personal growth and should be sought after regularly. Something else I’ve found to be key is the wisdom gleaned from external sources, the things we can conclude and lessons we can learn, principles we can apply that we’ve picked up from other places. These may be things we’ve learned online, in blog posts, on YouTube or while listening to podcasts. There’s so much we can learn from the books we read, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, an article or a comic book. We may not have intentionally gone searching for information while seeking entertainment, but be receptive to new content. There’s a lesson to be leaned, insight to be perceived and wisdom to be gained in more than we consciously seek.