Wednesday, 7 November 2018

How To Make Yogi Tea at Home

Dublin, Ireland

I don't know when I first started watching Yoga with Adriene or why I started watching it but it's been around eight months I'd say and her videos have become an integral part of my life. Each morning that I have time, I try to start the day off with a Ted Talk or Ted-Ed video followed by some Yoga with Adriene.

Adriene is a Yoga instructor who Youtubes many helpful videos for free. Her videos are charged with wholesomeness both from the content and her bright, and welcoming personality. She really encompasses the happy yogi lifestyle that stereotypes allude to.

 I can't remember the last time I drank black tea. I am more of a herbal tea kind of girl and if I can make it myself, that's even better! I came across Adriene's Yogi Tea recipe about two months ago after finishing one of her yoga lessons and since then I have been brewing tea at home. As much as I love her recipe, the great thing about it is that its simplicity allows for a lot of change and therefore personal touch.

You can check out her recipe here which is brilliant.

The last few times I've made her tea I've altered it a little bit.

- Cloves
- Ginger
- Black Peppercorn
- Cinnamon Stick
- Lemon Juice

I don't add the tea bag because the caffeine in it doesn't really agree with me and I also much prefer the taste without it. I added some lemon juice and I also messed around with the ratio of ingredients because I love cloves and ginger. I always add a lot more of these two and a few extra black pepper corns too. I'm not too keen on the cinnamon stick so I tend to use about a quarter of a stick.

If you are adding lemon, I wouldn't advice putting in the lemon fruit itself as I did the first time. It gives the brew a really zesty, too bitter taste. But sure if you're into that, who am I to tell you what to do?

It's such a simple recipe and requires about 5 minutes of prep getting your ingredients ready but it fills the house with a glorious natural perfume. This tea is definitely a step up from the ginger and lemon juice drinks I use to make when I was sick. I also like to season the tea with some honey afterwards for taste.

How do you feel about Herbal Teas? Would you make your own? Let me know in the comments!


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Sunday, 4 November 2018

Why I am Dreading Taking Out My Twists

Dublin, Ireland

So if you are reading this real time on Sunday 4th Nov. I am either just about to jet off to Amsterdam or getting lost in the city doing the things on my Amsterdam Itinerary post. But another thing I am looking forward to that will come after the trip is...taking out my hair extensions.

Back in August when I was in Ghana, I got my hair done. It took three hours and three lovely and chatty women to give me glorious ass length twists. The service came to about €8 and I used 3.5 hair packs which was about €5 so in total €13 which is about €67 cheaper ( €20 for extensions and €60 service) than what I would pay here in Dublin give or take!

My main reason for getting extensions was to take some weight off my schedule as I returned to college and work. The first few weeks of juggling the two can be exhausting so I knew wouldn't handle it too well with hair maintenance thrown in there.

It's been nearly three months and it's time to bid my twists adieu. I am super excited to feel my natural locks again. And I have extra extensions I bought in Ghana to get my hair done here. What I am not looking forward to though is the amount of touching that it is going to bring. I am not a fan of having my hair touched generally as I wrote about here in the aptly named 'Please Don't Touch My Hair' post.

I will miss these twists though. Sleeping with them has been a little difficult, at times even unpleasant. Not to mention that I have to constantly tie it up into a hair net for work because I work with food but I love the color and length. I mixed purple and grey together to get the silverish-purple hue. The next style will be much of the same thing with a slight twist ;)

But overall, I am dying to get back my own natural hair. Just if you happen to see me aound rocking the natural look...don't touch.

How often do you get you har braided and do you miss it?


Wednesday, 31 October 2018

5 Things on my Amsterdam 3 Day Itinerary

Dublin, Ireland

Come Sunday I will be jetting off to Amsterdam till Tuesday with a friend. If you read my Conscious Hotel Vondelpark review back in August, you already know I visited Amsterdam  back in April. I touched down again back in early September on a short layover where I visited family I had never met before or even knew lived in Amsterdam. Both times were brief and wasn't very touristy. Not that I'm a big fan of touristy travelling but it will be my third time there this year and I would love to see more than just the Sex Museum.

Back in June my good friend Orla and I were thinking off going o the Dam but due to unforeseen events we didn' make it. We had some fun ideas planned that we wanted to do and with her blessing I can do some of those hopefully on this trip. As I mentioned this visit will be brief. Initially we were going over to see Rainbow Kitten Surprise but we didn't get tickets ( but you can bet we'll be popping round to see if anyone is selling them outside the venue on the night.). so we weren't going to stay long. As a result we have from Sunday afternoon to Tuesday 7pm to enjoy Amsterdam. In no particular order of day or times, here's what I'm looking forward to doing most.

1) Meeting Up with People

At the start of the year if you had told me I would need two hands to count the number of people I knew in the Netherlands I probably would've walked away. But I found out in Ghana I have an aunt, uncle and two cousins living in Amsterdam. Not only that but an old church friend also now lives in Amsterdam. My mother has a friend that lives in Amsterdam and another recent link there comes in the form of a regular customer from work!

So needless to say we will be looking to spend time brunching, lunching and having din dins with some of these lovely people if possible.

2) The Amsterdam Swing

This was one I was going to do with Orla, it is also one that has come through my Facebook feed when a family friend went to visit our church friend Una in the Dam. It looks absolutely brilliant and I am very excited for it.

3) Anne Frank House 

This semester in college has brought us a lot of thought-provoking material regarding the 20th Century and the topic of the Holocaust is something I may choose to right about. Back in 2014 I had the opportunity to visit the harrowing Auchswitz Camp which had an altogether different and profound affect on me than anything I have ever heard, read (I use to be able to say that about anything I had ever watched but the documentary Night and Fog would make me a big aft liar)  and so I thought a visit to the Anne Frank House could add further to my first hand education. And you can and in brackets the bench from The Fault in our Stars, why? Cause I want to buy into an outdated of popular culture.

4) Ice Bar

This is a place Orla visited with another friend of ours from secondary school. Everything here is made form ice. I am a cold person generally so I may just become a part of the fixtures if I touch anything for too long.

5) Be A Good Travel Companion

This will be my first time travelling with another individual to a country where we have control of our own itineraries. Meaning we are not in a school group or friend group. So I obviously want them to enjoy the trip too and we will do what they want to do as well.

How many times have you been to Amsterdam and what do/did you enjoy there?


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Wednesday, 10 October 2018

ORS Olive Oil Smooth and Easy Edges Hair Gel with Pepqui Oil Review

Dublin, Ireland

I bought this ORS Olive Oil Smooth and Easy Edges Hair Gel with Pepqui Oil from Boots summer 2017. My edges have a mind of their own and are incredible hard to keep down. This doesn't usually bother me because frankly I don't always give much thought to the finer details of my appearance. The only time I feel slightly bothered by it is when I have braids in and my edges decide to form a curly kinky halo around my head.

One of my natural friends had started using this gel at the time. She has type 4c hair just like mine and said she wouldn't really recommend it. Being as stubborn as I am, I thought I could definitely prove her wrong. Just cause it didn't work for her didn't mean I would come to the same fate. So off I went to Boots to pick up my own tub of the gel.

First use I was impressed. My edges were layed and slaying. I smiled smugly to myself and patted myself on the back for not listening to her. I headed on out of the house and about an hour after applying I looked in the mirror only to find that my edges were back standing proudly. My forehead looked greasy and shiny from where I had applied the gel and there was a slightly white substance in parts of my hair.

I thought maybe I had done it wrong somehow. I decided to try again the next day. I use a toothbrush to apply the gel. I went to wash off the crusted gel from yesterday's use and absentmindedly used the wet brush to style the hair. The curls once again were layed and slaying. I was very happy. I noticed the wet brush made the application so much easier.

This day I went into college for some summer self-study, it was about an hour and a half on the bus because morning traffic is brutal. I didn't get a chance to check my face until I arrived. When I got in front of the mirror I could see the gel hadn't been conquered as successfully by my hair this time but it wasn't winning either. Parts of my edges were standing up and others were semi strong, they would be bouncy and curly again within a few hours.

 I tried multiple times after these occasions to use the gel and never really came made it through a day without having to reapply which then led to a build up of product and white flakes at the end of the day. In defence of the gel, it probably never stood a chance with my lifestyle.

Its ingredients are simply not strong enough. I am very active daily, running to and from buses last year and for the last, I believe, 6 months ( possibly more), I have been cycling everywhere. I also work with food so I am in a very hot environment at least 40ish hours a week.  I'm sure this gel works great for some people but for type 4C hair ( and very active people)...don't do it!

Have you tried this edge control? How did you find using it?


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Sunday, 7 October 2018

12 Things I Am Grateful For Now I am 21

Dublin, Ireland

So last week Thursday I celebrated my 21st by spending the day in bed and then having dinner with a few close loved ones. It was an absolutely fabulous day and although I nearly made myself cry looking up a list of successful 21 year olds ( NEVER do this, you will not feel all that great about it!), I know in my heart that I have MANY things to be grateful for. Today I would just like to share 12 of those with you because flip 21 and you get 12 which is a much more achievable list than 21.

1) Family

This is obviously no surprise to most people. I would say my family situation is most definitely not conventional. My little sister is the only member of my 6 member immediate family that I see on a regular basis and extended family have been extended by way of distance and time. But whereas in previous years I have felt much more pain than I would care to share about this, I am coming closer each day to a fuller acceptance of the family dynamic we do have. My trip home to Ghana this year really helped me add a huge chunk of missing information to my image of family both close and distant. It's still an area that I am yet to fully explore or fully ready to explore but I am having fun inching away in its waters and building the gratitude I have for it. I have also found a new definition of family that paints a much brighter and happier image than looking to the past most days.

2) Friends

My first time hearing the quote 'Friends are the family we make for ourselves' was at Young Women's Camp when I was 14 or 15. It's one of those cheesy quotes that I always remember and probably attach way more sentiment to than needed. I use to be a good judge of character but it's been a long time since I've been able to accurately judge those around me and this little quote always gives me a reminder of how to gauge the quality of my friendships. And if I look at it through that guage I do not have a lot of brothers and sisters per se but the few I do have are great and I've some cool cousins buzzing around the place too.

3) Education

As a philomath ( someone who enjoys learning) one of my biggest gratitudes will always be the opportunities I have always had to learn and expand my knowledge of everything and anything I have ever wondered about. I think life and the world is so much more beuatiful when you hold the dictionary to it.

4) Health

I bought a bike as a gift to myself for my 21st. It's a Trek AL2 Spearmint which I called Lady. She is equally eloquent and brutal on the roads. I am a strong healthy 21 year old who is able to study, work and chase tails with her friends. I have the health to be able to cycle the 10.7km each way to work or college, I have the health to be able to indulge my longboarding fantasies and rollerskating goals. I have the health to life a fulfilled and pretty darn happy life.

5) Job

I am lucky enough to have a job a truly enjoy and have made some great friends through ( even found my twin!). For now it pays the bills and for the upcoming year I'm looking to spend more time doing work in Film as that is a major part of what I am studying in college.

6) Money

I am lucky enough to be able to provide myself with a roof over my head, food in my fridge, too much Chinese takeaway as treats, and be able to enjoy tame and wild ( very few truly wild) nights with mates. I need nothing and I don't want often or much.

7) My Housemates

I actually live with two absolute angels. There would be no better duo to come home and bitch to.

8) Therapy

I'm so grateful to have found a therapist with whom I can explore and heal my wounded inner child with. If you haven't heard of it, I'd recommend 'Homecoming' by John Bradshaw ( no he is not my therapist and this is not some segway to his product or a sponsored thing) as a book to help explore your innder child and any underlining issues you may have but do not understand.

9) Technology

Technology is such a brilliant advancemnet in human evolution. I love it. It's not always used for the best means but my gosh it holds so many beautiful possibilities. As a species I don't think we are doing enough to harness and utilise it's capailities for good. Although admitedly that is partly due to our still expanding knowledge of it. I'm so very grateful for the little chunk of it I get to use each and everyday from my bicycle to the technology that builds the roads I cycle on, the cars on those roads, all the way through to the laptop I use to write my blog posts.

9a) TED Talks

I don't know how many people would have this on a gratitude list but I am quite grateful for TED Talks because I learn so many ideas  and lessons from them ( even if sometimes that lesson is that too many ideas and lessons will turn your brain to mush and maybe make you hae the human race even more than you already do.).

10) Good People Who Help Mother Nature

I mean I do my little bit here and there but massive kudos to those that are atual out on the frontlines fighting this. The likes of the brilliant minds behind The Ocean Clean Up and Ecosia.

10a.) I am grateful for our BEES! 

I personally do not have the greatest outlook on the destruction done to the world and our efforts to save it buuuttt...there are efforts and it would be hypocritical of me to not support those efforts. There are many ways you can get invloved in saving the planet that doesn't require a major lifestyle change and saving bees is a pretty easy one to do incorporate. Find out more here.

11) My Gym Instructors

I know they get paid to do the job but they do the job so well it would obvisously be a shame not to be paid for it!

12) My Status as a Student

As a student so many doors are opened to you either completely free or at a discout. I am so grateful for the many student deals out there and the pity businesses and organisations take on me. Spotify, Adobe, Boots and Leap Card ( travel card ). Also city permits being waived for students filming is absolute gold.

What are some of the things you are grateful for? I'm sure we definitely have to share at least one!


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Sunday, 23 September 2018

Fashionably Vibrant

Dublin, Ireland

So my little sister doesn't like African Fashion, more specifically Ghanaian fashion.  She would say she does but she wouldn't 'like wear it'. Her lack of enthusiasm to dorn what could be seen as typical African sense of style, bold, attention drawing and colourful could stem from her age, personality and up bringing. Being a young teen, fitting in and standing out have a very narrow margin. She is no wallflower but she also isn't trying to draw unwanted or potentially judgemental attention. Furthermore, having been born in Ireland and growing up here, her circle of people have been predominantly white thus she has had few to no representation of African/Ghanaian wear bar my mother who is very extravagant and loves attention. 

Whereas I on the other hand lived the first decade of my life in Ghana surrounded by vast representations of vibrant, colourful and attention grabbing outfits be there casual, formal or full blown occasional. It's what I grew up with and now recognise as a style I want in my life. When I was the same age my sister was, I would never be caught dead in Ghanaian wear. I did not need the attention nor the questions that came with it. It made me feel self conscious and not empowered. To me back then it wasn't a form of representation or expression, it was asking for trouble.

Image from My Vision Board post, check it out here.

Its only been over the last four years or so that I have really taken to Ghanaian fashion. I wore a Dashiki patterned dress I designed myself on my last visit to Ghana to my Debs. Yes I got a lot of attention but I looked good and I love that dress! On my recent trip I made sure to add a few more items to my wardrobe and plan to import some material and start sewing my own here.

I brought back some outfits for my mother and sisters too. Sadly my little sister isn't quite ready for hers but my wardrobe thanks her very much for the donation. I will mind them for her and try to act as some sort of token or representation of how traditional wear is fashionable, beautiful and can be as casual a part of her identity as her skinny black jeans are, just like this pink top I got two years ago is to me.

For now I'm absolutely enjoying adoring my many beautiful outfits, more of which shall be seen on the blog real soon. This blue colour bomb is one I got this past trip and wore to the cinema recently. I love how flowy it is, just simply looking at it lifts my spirits!

I love colourful clothes and as much as the inner me wants to have a minimal black and white wardrobe, I can't seem to stay away from colour. Is your wardrobe colourful? How do you brighten up your wardrobe pieces?


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Wednesday, 19 September 2018

My Vision Board

Dublin, Ireland

On August 22nd I set off on an 11 hour journey from Dublin to Amsterdam to Accra to Kumasi, Ghana. The 15 days that followed there were some of the most painful, exciting, refreshing and empowering days I have had all year. While spending the long days relaxing, eating and hanging out with family, I cast a brief eye back to my Irish life and discovered there a deep appreciation for the priviledges I have here. Upon arrival, I was looking through my blog post ideas book and that is when I saw an idea I had last year which I hadn't yet acted on.

I've been wanting to create a vision board long before I wrote down the idea. It was back in secondary school when my religion teacher showed us The Secret a documentary on the Law of Attraction. I really liked the idea of having a physical reminder of what I want to work towards. I know many people have thier own ways of representing thier goals but I have taken to the idea of a vision board. So this gone weekend, taking advantage of the rare Saturday off work, I went into town and got myself the tools I needed to create my vision board.

I went into the €2 store looking to get a canvas or hard board for the board part of the vision board when I came across this frame and fell in love. I liked the idea of framing my vision. I also picked up some colourful washi tape to use to decorate the edges of each window. The label on the frame said €5 but when I went to the till it turned out to be only €2 which is a steal!

I then went into Tiger on George's St. and picked up some stickers, bows and googly eyes for the vision part of the board ( and also to googly eye everything in my housemates' cupboards for the laugh.)

On that faithful saturday, I went into town to meet up with some mates for piercings and tattoos, while one of them was getting his tattoo I got to work on cutting out the images my twin from another mother had printed for me and sticking them in the frame. I was entirely taken with this vintage sofa chair and took some pictures there.

The vision board however was finally completed on the bus home later that evening with the sparkling gold letters, bows and googly eyes. It now sits on my desk where it is one of the first things I see in the morning.

The images inside, without going into too much detail, center around family, friends and a high quality of life. I would love to have the kind of love Beth and Randall from This is Us have, and have the family dynamic of Bob's Burgers ( I really just wanna be Linda ). I want to build a big beautiful house in Ghana so I can bring my future babies there and let thier lives be enriched my the culture and lifestyle there, and eventually I dream to move back home. I want to travel and be an ambassador for my country and African culture and I wish to be constantly surrounded by good friends and good food.

I will most likely create a new vision board in a few months, although the general direction of things may not change, I may just wnat new pictures to look at! I also think it will be fun to look back on them, like old journals, and see how things may or may not have changed. For now, this is what I see in the future.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Cantu Hair Products Review (Type 4C Hair Reviewer)

Dublin, Ireland

I have more or less cooled off my search for my own essential hair products because I have found products that works beautifully for my locks which I will share with you all soon. However, this doesn't mean I am completely done testing products for you guys. For the last six months I tried the Cantu hair range. The Shampoo, Conditioner, Moisturiser and Leave-In Conditioner were all bought from Boots during their 3 for 2 deal on hair products. Overall, I'd give the range an A for effort because the brand is dedicated to creating sulphate free products for kinky natural hair however, I was not entirely taken with all the products. Before I dive in, I would like to say I do have type 4C hair and it is VERY hard to please my lovely locks. You can also check out a full list of some Cantu ingredients here because some products do contain typical hair product chemicals that you may be trying to avoid.


First up are the shampoo and conditioner which are the two products in the Cantu Cleanse range.

1. The Shampoo

The shampoo is the product I used the least due to the fact I simply did not like it. My hair felt very dried out and leathery after each wash albeit very clean. I just prefer a product that moisturises AND cleans my hair. I still have a practically full bottle left which would be a pity to throw away so if you are interested in trying it out for yourself and not forking out the €8.99 in Boots for it then reach out on Facebook and I'll send it out to you if you are in Ireland. I'd rate the shampoo a 2.5 out of 5 because it will leave your hair clean but a tad dried out. Perhaps it works wonders for other hair types?

2. The Conditioner

Unlike the shampoo, the conditioner really grew on me. The first few uses i was not impressed. I almost stopped using it after the second wash because I just wasn't seeing any difference in my hair but I decided to stick with it and I'm glad I did. After using it for a few washes my hair did begin to absorb the moisture it had to provide a lot easier. For some reason the first two times it felt as though it was barely getting through the follicles of my thick 4c curls. The trick I learned is to let it sit a little longer than you might normally leave a conditioner in, so maybe 4-6 minutes, that or get your hair really wet and massage it into your follicles. I prefer just to let mine sit but I don't always have that much time to spare.

What it reminded me off was the kind of hair conditioner I use to mix into my home made hair masks because I'd leave those on during a movie and come out with shiny, moisturised hair.  For €8.99 also, I'm not sure if I'd but it again unless it was on sale. What I will say is that it does last a surprisingly long time considering the amount of conditioner I put in during any one wash. Depending on how often you wash, it should last about two and a half months to three months. I'd give the conditioner a 3 out of 5 just because it was really only a small bit better than the shampoo. 


The Leave-In Conditioner is from the Cantu Condition Range which also consists of the Cantu Daily Oil Moisturiser and the Cantu Define and Shine Custard. I have not yet tried the other two products in this range.

3. The Leave-in Conditioner

The Cantu Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream. is probably the one I enjoyed using the most from the Cantu range I've tried so far. It was just very handy. It's sticky and took a while to dry into my hair but I could feel that it was doing some work albeit slowly. At €8.99 it is worth the money and will last a long time especially if used with the LCO method alongside the Moisturising Curl Activator Cream.  I'd give the Leave-In a 4 out of 5.


4. The Moisturising Curl Activator Cream

This cream is one of the Curl range of Cantu products. Next to the Leave-In Conditioner I'd say they are they two products worth getting and they work best together. The last range is for curl Control which I am yet to try it but I will and I will let you know how it goes. At €10.49 it is a little pricey compared to the other products but it has good longevity. My bottle has lasted me six months and I still have a bit more left. On it's own I'd give the cream a 3.5 out of 5 but with the Leave-In Conditioner duo it's a 3.5 out of 5.

Overall I'd only buy the Leave-In and Moisturising Cream for myself and most likely only during a deal on hair products. I do think that perhaps for less kinkier hair, these products could be fabulous. My hair just requires something a little more strong to get through it's thickness and keep it from drying out from wash to styling. So to confirm, Cantu hair range that I have tried, not all great but there's two possible gems to try out for sure.

Have you tried the Cantu hair products? What is your hair type and how did you find using it? Share below in the comments so we can all learn from each other.


Till Next Time

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