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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Sunday, 15 July 2018

Conscious Hotel Vondelpark, Amsterdam Review

Vondelpark, 1071 Amsterdam, Netherlands

For this year's Easter weekend, I visited Amsterdam as part of a birthday celebration trip for one of M's friends. It was my first time in the city and my travel plans didn't extend much further past what everyone else wanted to do. I didn't look up any lists of things to do in Amsterdam. I decided to keep the itinerary blank for the group to fill.

Upon arrival in Amsterdam I wasn't exactly blown away by the city neither was I disappointed. Frankly it reminded me quite a bit of Dublin. More often than not I felt like I was walking down Dublin's Grafton Street or in Dublin City Centre during summer when there's lots of tourists around and there were quite a huge amount of tourists around. So it's needless to say that I was quite happy with the location of our hotel.


Thankfully for me, we stayed in the Conscious Hotel Vondelpark which was less than 15 minutes outside the city centre via tram well away from the touristy city centre. It's well services by three trams which were quite frequent so there was never really much waiting around. The trams are also very cheap but if you are buying a day ticket, regardless of what time bear in mind that it will expire at midnight on that day. In order words, do not buy a day ticket at 11:00pm because it will only be valid for an hour! Additionally you could walk into the city through he infamous Vondelpark which is located less five minutes walking distance from the hotel.

The Hotel 

The hotel has an earth conscious ethos meaning it's eco-friendly. The tables in our bedrooms were made from recycled coffee cups, the little bottles of shampoo and lotion were nowhere to be seen, instead replaced by refillable big bottles. The electricity was powered from sustainable revenues like solar or wind energy. The shower and taps use eco-friendly technology that reduces water used in showers by 35% and the taps by 50% but you wouldn't even notice. I would say that although I didn't experience it, the other two rooms used by our groups said their water changed from hot to cold sometimes and wouldn't change back. 

This whole nature conscious mentality could be seen through out everything in the hotel. The staff were also very super friendly and would even sit down and have a drink with you but if that's not your thing I'm sure they'll leave you alone too. M and I paid €254 for our bedroom for three nights which I think was high due to the fact that we didn't book them every early on and also we travelled during the Easter weekend. Looking at the website now their prices for the same room for the same length of time starts from as little as €122.25!

The Room

Our room was located on the second floor next to the other couple. I think the building we were in housed all the double rooms and across a walkway was a separate building which I think housed the single and twin rooms. We had a massive room with lots of spaces to move around, in fact I did all my morning exercises without any trouble. Right next to us however was another couple in the group who said their room was quite small and from what we saw of it briefly walking by one of the days, the bed did take up quite a lot of the space in the room. 

Our room was simple, sleek and comfortable. We missed the cleaning services because we slept in almost everyday but the one or two we did make were non invasive. We didn't make much of a mess so there really wasn't a lot to clean bar changing, sheets, bins and towels. 

The twin room just as a fore warning is two single mattresses on the same bed so you're not really that far away from the other person.

Food and Drink

We didn't eat much in the hotel. One morning I went down for breakfast and was greeted by a widely varied spread. They catered for all types of diets i.e vegetarian, vegan, meat eater at least for the breakfast. Nothing was made in any fancy spectacular way, there were just a lot of good healthy options to choose from. 

If you happen to miss the breakfast banquet as we often did, there's a shop called Toasty down the road from the hotel ( come out and turn right) which makes delicious toasted sandwiches and juices.

Although we didn't eat very much, we did drink them out of their beer. No seriously! By the end of our trip there was no more Gulpener in the building and a good few bottles of rum short.


Overall the hotel has a really laid back, earth based atmosphere which comes together in it's comfy living room style lobby. A good few late nights were spent here drinking, talking and eating free popcorn made with coconut oil and sometimes having the bants with staff ( s/o to Jack). We made our own Cards against Humanity game which was a lot of fun and also tested our brain smarts with Scrabble.


The hotel also offers bike hires so you can cycle around the city if you so please. M and I had planned to hire some for one day but we never got around to it so I don't know very much about the service. They do however have a really cool concious shop where you can buy everything from wooden tothbrushes to a phone case!

This trip really wasn't about seeing Amsterdam so much as getting to spend time in good company and just celebrating for a few days. I would like to return to Amsterdam for three days and do some sightseeing but for a first trip I couldn't have asked for anything better. Additionally it was my first time staying in a hotel which was focused on being eco-friendly and my second time staying in a hotel full stop but I know which one I prefer.

This post is not sponsored nor I'm I being compensated in anyway just sharing somewhere I visited. I'd recommend this hotel for the  eco-friendly traveller who also enjoys luxurious comfort.

Have you ever stayed in an eco friendly hotel? What was it like?

Till Next Time

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Wednesday, 11 July 2018

5 Ted Talks Worth Watching For Self-Improvement and Time Management

Dublin, Ireland

I watch a lot of Ted Talks, at least one a day. Today I'd like to share with you five Ted Talks I've enjoyed over the last three months. The talks I watch vary from nature to politics to technology. The talks I'll be sharing today focus more on self-development and time management.

1. Life is easy. Why do we make it so hard? | Jon Jandai | TEDxDoiSuthep

The first is a talk that gives a look at a new approach to life and a way of living that can bring happiness and success, if that it what you are looking for in life. It's definitely not for everyone but I find the simplicity in this talk and the evidence interesting.

2. How to stop screwing yourself over | Mel Robbins | TEDxSF

Time management is a quality I am constantly working on and this talk definietly lended me some tools to help gauge what is worth my time and what isn't. Time is precious and I do not take kindly to wasting it.

3.  When performing gets in the way of improving | Eduardo BriceƱo | TEDxManhattanBeach

This is a talk with ideas I have implemeted into my life and the way I learn and improve my existing skills. It's simple and oh so effective. I applied it to my longoarding when I started back in January and I am applying it to my rollerskating now. It's also helped remove fear of failure in my new position at work. Whereas I may have been afraid of making mistakes in my new posistion, I am quite content accepting that mistakes will be made and I am willing to learn and improve from them because I am aware of the low stake enviroment I put myself in.

4.  The Power of Zero Tolerance | Isabelle Mercier | TEDxStanleyPark

This is a powerful talk that will help isolate the 'hero' in you. Hopefuly you pick up some courage from this practical and logical way of dissecting your own values and needs.

5. The habits of highly boring people | Chris Sauve | TEDxCarletonU

I was telling M about this talk after I listened to it and he pretty much guessed everything that was oing to be said. None the less it is a very interesting talk and hopefully one you'll pick up a thing of two from. 

Thanks for reading. I hope you learned a thing or two to take with you. What was your favorite of the five talks?

Till Next Time

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Sunday, 8 July 2018

For The Love of Simpler Times

Dublin, Ireland

It's been eighty-four days since my last post. That's 2 months and 1 week. Within that time, I have renewed my website domain both for Albatroz & Co. and Faking Adulthood Now not knowing whether or not I will be returning. I have taken many hiatuses from blogging over the many years I have been blogging but none of them ever felt as conflicted as this one was.

 At first, I thought maybe it was because I was going through a time in my life I wasn’t ready to share with people and writing about anything else thus felt, well, false. And then I toyed with the notion that maybe I had come to the end of my blogging times but that couldn’t have been it because I knew I wasn’t done writing. The culprit of my conflict? Well you may have guessed it, social media.

 I just do not harbour the desire or motivation to keep up with this ever changing, populous and competitive landscape. Trying to do just that has worn me out many times before so I’m not doing it anymore. Social media is a fantastic way to keep up to date real time on the people you like to follow and I know that, I will remain active on my Facebook Page and I won’t be a stranger on Instagram. With that said, I most certainly will not be coming across your feed as much as I did before.

I truly hope this does not come as a terrible disappointment or a sign of Albatroz & Co’s regression, I will continue to grow Albatroz & Co as best as possible and will always provide content I want to share and am happy to share with you. I truly hope you continue to follow along on this journey, wherever it may lead. I’ll continue to post every Wednesday 3pm and Sundays at 9am (well that’s the plan anyways).

Thank you all so very much.

Till Next Time

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