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Sunday, 14 April 2019

TUNES I'VE BEEN LISTENING TO

Dublin, Ireland


My music consumption since May of last year mostly consisted off whatever was playing at work as I spent most of my time there. It's no different in the new job. This had meant I really only listen to music in between work and college so I've been listening to a small range of artists and songs.

Below are just a few of some of those songs and artists I've been listening to.

1) Ariana Grande - 7 Rings



Not an artist I listened to before as a choice but I really enjoyed the catchiness of this song. The notion that you can see something you like and just buy it is my main attraction to it. It's fun and playful and I love it.


2) The Aces - Waiting For You



3) Young The Giant - Call Me Back



4) Jaden Smith - SOHO

Beyond his Spotify account, I don't know much about Jaden past Karate Kid and The Pursuit of Happiness. With that said, his music provides me with lengthy vibey sounds to study to and I can't complain.




5) Kanye West - Waves



Ye just doing his thing.

6) Imagine Dragons - Dancing in The Dark

You'll be dancing in the dance along to this song. It's a divisive songs for fans of the band but I personally find that it allows me to explore my perspectives of relationships with the soothing accompaniment of Dan Reynolds's voice. I know, the power of a song.




7) Riz La Vie - Napkins

This is another playful song to have a swaying bop to.



8) Still Woozy - Habit



9) Mac Miller - Self Care

One hit and I was hooked. If you need a reminder about why and how to love yourself.


10) Kendrick Lamar - Love

I have a college assignment to create a lyric music video, I had initially started on this song but changed it because it didn't allow me to fully fit the brief. Additionally, I was running the risk of over playing a song a really enjoy. It's vunerable and always makes me feel mushy woshy!



11) Sasha Sloan - Runaway



12) Glass Animals - Season 2 Episode 3

This is the song I decided to do my lyric music assignment on.



13) Wet, Branchez - 11 Hours Branchez Remix

This is just some of what I've been listening to. What's on your list?

Till Next Time
xxx

Sunday, 7 April 2019

Amsterdam Round 2

Dublin, Ireland


My trip to Amsterdam with a friend back in November was actually quite lovely. The first time I went to Amsterdam it was more as a time to spend with the people I was with and didn't really see much of the city. This time by the end of our few days, we were navigating the city like Google map pros.


Accomodation

We stayed in Clinknoord Hostel. I would 100% be looking to book it again when I go back to Amsterdam, if I am not couchsurfing. My friend and I were in a female dorm of four and paid €35 for the three nights spent there.

There are communal bathrooms but they are quite snazzy and very clean. The staff are also really lovely. There's a place to leave your things before or after check in. Additionally there are many hostel hosted events so plenty of opportunities to meet other travelers. The communal space is also very inviting with great music, games, a bar, books and an enclosed open rough area for doing some yoga or watching the stars.


If you forget things like towels and toothbrushes, they sell them too but they're a tad expensive.
Location wise, you cannot get any luckier. The hostel is located less than a five minute walk from the ferry port where a three minute ferry ride (which is not only frequent but also free ) will take you directly to Amsterdam Central. So you are essentially eight minutes from the heart of Amsterdam and thus everything you could possibly want to do.


Food, Attractions and Night Life

On this trip I really wanted to sample the Amsterdam tourist scene and my mate also wanted to sample a bit of the night scene so we did just that. On our first day in Amsterdam, we met an old friend of mine living there and got to explore the 'hipster' scene in De Pipj. It is apparently the 'It' place in Amsterdam. We enjoyed a lovely Nepalese food in Surya. I'm planning on having a meal there at least once every time I am in Amsterdam.
The most hipster place we visited in De Pipj was called Coffee and Coconut. Truly a beautiful interior, it used to be an old cinema building and now houses a rage of people eating leaves and drinking out of coconuts in freezing November. It's an Instagram picture den and has prices to match too. We went here twice for lunch and I would heartily recommend the Beef Burger.





We also visited my Aunt and Uncle after trying to get tickets to Rainbow Kitten Surprise. We failed in that mission but while walking away completely dejected, who do we run into?? The one and only Charlie Holt! I didn't take a picture with them because he was eating a waffle, in a rush and I was just fangirling too much. Definitely made my evening better.


My friend wanted to visit the Rembrandt museum. I say I'm not one for museums but I almost always enjoy every museum I visit. This one was no exception. In one of the rooms, I got to watch one of the tour guides make paint and even got to try it.





On one of the evenings we ventured out into the city to try and find a club. Unfortunately for us, it was a Sunday evening so selection was not great. We did however end up in a quaint jazz bar where we got to enjoy some live music, sing happy birthday to some random old and enjoy some rather nice pints.


Another great feature of the hostel is that it is right next to the A'dam swing. We did this on our last day as it meant we didn't have to go too far. I seem to forget my slight fear of heights when I'm planning things sometimes. I screamed all the way through this safe swing but sure look. I might've looked and sounded silly in the moment but I really enjoyed it too.




Altogether, it was a very different trip to my first Dam trip but equally as fun and enjoyable. I'm looking forward to the next trip already. Perhaps some weekend to come. I'll also make sure to take a lot more pictures. This trip was immensely video footage heavy and with exams aroud the corner, I don't go the tme to edit it all together. I'll have to put it on my summer pojects list.

Have you been to Dam recently ro planning on gogin? What's a place or activity you'd recommend? Let me know in the comments.

Till Next Time

Sunday, 31 March 2019

SPILLING THE TEA



Looking at my posts, my last blog post was back in November but it was really the last of a staggeringly slow line of posts. In order to be able to pick up things on the same footing, I need to bring y'all to to date on life outside the blog. There are 5 influential changes or events I think you should all know.

If you're subscribed to the Get In The Know Newsletter, then you are already in on this dish. I shared it last Wednesday with subscribers so if you're not subscribed...*sips tea*. You can subscribe here.

1) I Quit My Job

First hugely influential thing, I quit my job. This will be the third job I've ever quit. The first I left because I needed to study for my leaving certificate but I also did not enjoy the job or working with the passive-aggressive, oppressive management. The second I left after two weeks as it was my fourth job at the time and I was just spreading myself too thin. And now I have two shifts left in my current job.

Aside from the first job I left, I've enjoyed every single job I've ever had. For me I evaluate how fit a job and I are for each other based on three factors: 1) the company's treatment of employees 2) my fellow employees 3) work to life balance. If I'm in a job where the company isn't extortionate, my colleagues are fun and supportive and I can still achieve things outside of work, I'm a happy bunny. It hit me during a lecture in college on modern society and attitudes towards work that I realized how unhappy and drained I had become in my current job.

Aside from that, I couldn't really see myself moving up in the company with college and the required times so I figured it would be best to find a job I'd never done before to learn some new skills. But first, I wanted to take two months off to relax and focus on college. I'd take some promotional jobs to get pocket money and dip into my savings for rent.

At the request of my mother I promised to send out some CVs to places I would genuinely like to work. I had the safety net of an old job I knew would rehire me after my haitus so I wasn't worried. I sent out three CVs after making this decision and fast forward to now, I've a job lined up somewhere much closer to home and one in which I will get to learn some new skills.


2) Bereavements



The one year anniversary of my grandmother came up in March as did my paternal Grandfather's funeral. Being so far from Ghana thinking about my Great-Grandmother and grandfather was quite hard. I wasn't expecting to get as torn up about it as I was.

I was planning on making a short documentary video on my Great-Grandmother to mark her anniversary. It was an idea I planned for when I went to Ghana for her funeral but looking at the footage and pictures of the day, I couldn't bring myself to do anything with them except sit and cry. Then there was my paternal Grandfather's funeral which I was unable to attend because of financial restraints.



Altogether, paired with work stress, feelings of inadequacy/imposter syndrome in college and I was very emotionally drained.


3) Break Ups

Also before the end of the 2018, M and I broke up. It was amicable but after nearly three years, it's a huge hit to the system and routine. It's been a few months and it still feels fairly raw. Such an odd thing too because I have been doing so much more with my time so I feel like I'm accomplishing a lot of things too. Looking back through the lense of hindsight, the first few weeks where I felt everything was okay was actually quite opposite. Mentally I think I was just very scrambled.

I couldn't throw myself into work because I didn't really want to be there. I couldn't throw myself into college either because I couldn't focus. I joined a choir, started going back to the gym more, practiced yoga and for the first few weeks, tried to not be alone for too long.



I'm very grateful for all the people who unknowingly helped me through this time. I don't talk about my emotions when I'm experiencing them often, opting to share once the worse is over. However I'm glad I shared it with some, it was such a relief.


4) Malta, Amsterdam, Australia

If you read my post about my Amsterdam itinerary then you know I went to Amsterdam last October. You'll also know I never updated on how that trip actually went. Well I just wanted to let you know, I will update it soon because I'm planning on going some weekend to come.

For the New Year of 2019 there had been talks of going skiing but that didn't happen. Instead I went to Malta with two crazy gals and had a blast of a time. You might've seen this on my Instagram stories at the time. It was truly a breath of fresh air after the M situation and unbeknownst to me at the time, the perfect calm before the storm of stress and psychological drain that would follow. This trip too will get it's own post to come because I just loved the time we spent there that much!



Then the big trip of the year for me, Australia. I've recently purchased my ticket to Australia because my cousin is getting married. I'm so excited for this because I'll get to see family members I haven't been with in over 16 years and some I've never even met! Last year when I went for my Great-Grandmother's funeral, I got to meet one of my aunts and an uncle whom I hadn't seen since I was four years old. It was such a fantastic and wholesome experience. I'm very nervous for the trip in Australia because I don't want to have high expectations of how things will be but regardless I am super excited.

Additionally, my birthday is two days before the wedding so I'll get to celebrate it with my family and my grandmother who's being surprised with a trip there from Ghana.

5) Everything Else

In the much nearer present, I'm loving college. Looking at finishing up work and taking up a new job has me nervous and excited. Having the extra time means I am doing more and discovering more about myself but I am buzzing for summer when I get to see more of my crazy awesome friends cause college won't be in the way. 



Life right now isn't perfect, but it's pretty darn close and I couldn't be more grateful.
Hopefully I haven't jinxed that now!
What have you been up to all this time? Share with me some with me in the comments so I can give you some love!

Till Next Time

Interogation at the Site of Conflict



I've been away a while. I know, trust me, I know. Every few weeks someone asks me about how the blog is going and for the last three months I've been saying 'its been a while but I think I'll go back to it this week'. Thankfully fewer people have ventured as far as to ask why I stepped away.


The truth is as they often say...complicated. I guess a foundational issue arose when I started asking myself why exactly I enjoyed blogging. Is it because I like the ability to document thoughts and opinions or the thrill and anxiety of sharing that with an audience? It's both of these things. I enjoy both these aspects, the sense of accomplishment when I'm able to articulate my internal musings into text and the exciting nervousness that someone might see it and agree, challenge or disagree with me.



But, and I've addressed it many times before in the blog, the blogosphere is not what is used to be. For me, between 2014-2017 it quickly evolved into a battle ground where each individual was coerced to either participate in the numbers game or stand in the minority and be silent. I'm not a lazy person but I don't have the time nor energy to compete with bots for attention.  And I don't necessarily want to speak out to the masses but I certainly don't want my voice to be buried beneath the persistent onslaught of homogeneous content either. I was hating the game and hating the rules.

Amidst all this I just kept telling myself to stop being an 'attention seeker'. I didn't know how to navigate between my aversion for attention seeking and wanting to harness the tools of the blogging platform to somehow connect with others. So well, I stepped away.



External of my mind and heart, there were also pressures in life that added to feeling of depletion. I could easily chuck my absence on the loss of my paternal grandfather, break-up of a near three year relationship, my stress at work and sense of lost self but I'd be lying. Although influential, this blog and all my blogs before it have always been a place where I've divulged, scrutinized and discovered things about myself through rambled writings and long sentences that'd make my secondary school English teacher puke up her stomach. It's the place where I've come to talk in detail about these things when I've exhausted all my real life connections about them. 

I did a shameful thing stepping away, a betrayal of self. I've gone absent in the past but never so consciously. I thought of returning just as abruptly and unannounced but to clear my guilty conscience, I decided against. Instead I'll pledge to myself to do better and if I decide to step away again, it'll be the end of Albatroz & Co. altogether. Hopefully though that doesn't happen.



A foreword for how I will be publishing from now. I'm not sure what shape of theme the posts I write will take but I'll be looking more to explore things that interest me and may be of interest to some of ye. During college time I'll post once a week and outside that twice a week.

I'll share these on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and will try to do the regular monthly newsletter so if you're not already signed up, get on it! In the newsletter I'll be sharing my monthly challenges and other bits and bobs from my personal life that may not make it to the blog for a few weeks due to how scheduling works.


Finally, I'd like to extend a formal apology and a thank you to everyone that asks me about the blog while I was away. You were all a constant reminder that there is something I enjoy and that others can enjoy it too. Thank you.


And to show my appreciation and happiness to be back, there's a second post waiting for ya. I've neatly packaged everything that's been happening in 5 wee points to bring y'all up to date so we can start off on the same foot. Check it out here!

Till Next Time

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
-Honey

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!


xxx

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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?





xxx


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?

xxx

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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?

xxx

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