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Why Kibera Stole my Heart, Part 1

Although the exact population of Kibera is unknown, it is estimated at around 1 million. However, some sources and organisations record the population at 2 million, others at just over half a million. Regardless of it’s population, Kibera is the biggest slum in Africa, and is also one of the biggest slums in the world. Situated roughly 5km from Nairobi, Kibera is vibrant, busy, chilled.

It is also a place that stole my heart. I spent many hours a day in Kibera, sometimes from morning through until the night, not wanting to leave the friends I had made. Some of these friends became family, and I officially became the Godmother of a little girl who I feel chose me, more than I chose her.  More on that in another post. For now, we will simply journey through some of Kibera in images.

When I first delved into the slums people were warning me not to do this alone, for fear of me getting lost. It’s true, that it was a maze of shacks; one wrong turn and you could be completely disoriented. But I quickly learned the routes to specific shacks that I wanted to visit during my stay, and I felt confident to do so alone (although I was very rarely allowed to; the residents were so hospitable and kind and concerned haha).

The government owns all of Kibera. Only about 20% of Kibera has electricity. One night, I was in a shack with my Goddaughter, her mother, her gran, some kids from other shacks, and 2 of her little cousins. Suddenly the lights went out and we were surrounded by a thick blanket of darkness. If you peered outside of the shack, you could see nothing. Even with the aid of my mobile phone, it was very difficult to see a thing.  I began to sing a song, most of the words have now left my mind, but it was along the lines of, “Where is the light? We don’t need no light! We are the light! And I stamped my feet and tapped the table to create a rhythm, in which the children quickly joined in. Before you knew it, we were dancing and singing around the table, it went on for about 40 minutes at least, it felt so damn good! Other kids heard us and came to us, joined in. Even my not even 2 years old yet God daughter was getting down. We decided to take our song to the streets; this is where my memory was put to the test. Some children tried to lead the way but I said no! Let me try to remember! They shone dim lights from behind me to help, and I followed what I remembered about the curve of the muddy floor, the places where the sewage trickled through, familiar shacks. I found my way, to many cheers of the children. “Are you sure you are not from here? You have picked up so much Swahili, you feel at home here, you know your way in the dark!” And all I could truly think was, I guess I am at home. We carried on the singing and dancing, the streets much more lit up than where I had just emerged from,  due to other peoples emergency lighting preparations.  It was one of the happiest times of my life.

90% of the tenants in Kibera have no housing rights. The average size of a shack is about 12ft by 12ft, made of mud and a dirt or concrete floor. Yet they look after their homes with a pride that is unmatched. I was welcomed with love, fed and watered and happy to spend hours talking politics, travels, family, love, food and anything else that came to our minds at the time. I never wanted to leave.

I don’t have my more personal and intimate images at hand at the moment; I am having discrepancies with accessing files and trying desperately to resolve it. In addition, I didn’t constantly take pictures when walking through the slums; they were peoples homes and it seemed too personal. But below, you can explore Kibera through pictures. And I look forward to sharing more with you soon x


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That railway track was crazy; you’d get like a 10 second warning (via noise) of a train approaching and you’d have to scram!

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1Q1A3429Kids came in here to paint and draw. There were some great art pieces in there

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1Q1A3541Kids feeling hyper after getting creative and doing some art work

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This woman was making chapatis (like a pan-grill flat bread made with flour) and insisted on showing me how. Video coming soon

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She was too cute. Children are everything

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Lots of love from Kibera!

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Morning – Lunch via Food – A Healthy way to Prepare for any type of Day

Taking you through an average morning – afternoon for me via food. This is not everyday; I do switch it up and sometimes I do quite badly, but what usually remains consistent is my morning smoothie. And I have a love for herbal teas that may be borderline obsession so they always make an appearance no matter what…

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So as soon as I rise I put the kettle on for my hot drink. It’s so important to do this first thing; a hot water with lemon or lime and/or a green tea or something similar. My favourite herbal teas have got to be Pukka and Yogi – (gotta love the adorable positive messages on yogi teabags). I always top up my teabag or mug with lemon/lime at least 3 times, making sure I’m getting enough fluids.

I recently found out lemon is rather acidic and actually not the best for you… I am aware that whenever I travel and ask for lemon I am presented with limes which ears me to believe they are the more trusted and natural fruit. (So many hybrid fruits out there!). So I tend to opt for warm water with lime these days, being sure to let the water cool a little so that I don’t boil out all the properties from the lime. Alternatively, I have a green tea or pukka herbal, like WomansKind or Love.

While the kettle is boiling and my tea brewing, I make my smoothie. My smoothies vary and you can find many recipes here on the blog, but a typical one for me will be a mixture of fruit and veg and always with an almond or hemp milk. I’ll use soya milk if it’s all I have but I’m not the biggest fan of soya milk. To ensure I’m getting the omegas and fibres I need whilst my body is still empty and nutrients can reach my bloodstream easily and effectively, I use top ups like Linwoods FlaxSeed Mix and most recently, it’s Flaxseed with Vitamin D and bio cultures. This also gives my smoothies a subtle grainy texture, which I adore. My smoothies are always colourful which I think is important. Unless I’m having one of my “nutty” smoothies, which has fewer ingredients.

Once I’ve made my smoothie I pop it in the fridge and drink my tea. This is the time to do some yoga, meditation or just to reflect on the type of day you would like to have. But it often turns into a time to over think, check my Instagram and generally do the complete opposite. But on a successful day, peace and stillness is what I will aim for. I do generally love silence, so I have no problem sitting it it or being still; my mind is the one who clearly has a problem!

After a few mugs of tea/warm water with lime, I drink a glass of apple cider vinegar mixed with water. If its hard for you to do this then add some lime, honey and/or ginger for a real zingy treat. I don’t have a problem with the taste; in fact I’ve recently run out and desperately need to grab some more. Love this stuff! What a powerful tonic! From other posts on my blog you may believe that ACV is only good for adding to your haircare regime, but it is also great to take it internally, for lowering blood sugar,ridding of bacteria in the body, sore throats, heart health and its potassium content means it gives you an energy boost. My favourite ACV brands  are Biona and Braggs.

I then drink my smoothie (it always tastes sooo good) and it’s pretty safe to say that by this time I feel like superwoman; strong, healthy, energised and ready for the day.

If you’re thinking, ummm where’s the proper food? And by proper food you mean solids, don’t worry, by this time you won’t feel hungry like you think you might. At least not for 20 mins or so :) Allow the goodness of everything you’ve just eaten to be absorbed and kick in. Go take your shower, meditate, check instagram, whatever. Anyway, whether I become hungry immediately after or not for an hour or so, the next thing I’ll try to eat is a bowl of oats/porridge. I really like one I picked up from Sainsburys with wheatbran but I don’t think its the healthiest one; it’s not UNHEALTHY but there are better ones to grab. I top it with banana and honey and life is GOOD.

This takes me to my afternoon as I don’t feel hungry again after that, and feel that not just my body but my BRAIN has been fed and is ready to tackle the day!

Well there’s my Morning-to-Lunch regime as promised. Feel free to share yours!

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Shea & Avocado Hair Treatment for At-Home Pampering & Silky Curls

I have a lot of hair. A lot. When it’s blow-dried out sometimes you really can’t tell how much, especially when the stylist puts in too much grease and flat irons it so its all flat and poker straight (can’t stand that) – I like my hair like I like my wine, full bodied.

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Before applying the treatment – Big hair DO care!

People ask me if my hair is hard to maintain and the answer is yes and no; no because it’s not, it just requires hair-care knowledge and a small amount of effort; yes because I often get lazy with that small amount of effort. I’d say the most important part of having healthy hair, after what you eat, is treating it. Some people think treatments have to be expensive, and mean finding the time and money to get to the hair salon regularly. Make the salon a treat, and get excited about the inexpensive yet crazy-effective treatments you can make and apply from your own home. You’re also less likely to find 100% natural treatments when you go to a salon, and you also have less control over how you apply it, and how long you leave it on for. I suggest applying your hot oil treatment to your hair when dry, and leaving on for as long as possible. (In my case, hours). You have to try the treatment below; it works wonders for me:

Melt pure and unrefined shea butter, castor oil, pure cocoa butter, almond oil and mashed up avocado in a bowl in a pan of hot water. (Adding coconut oil is also a great option). Don’t use too much castor as castor is heavy. The largest quantity should be of the shea butter, followed by the almond oil.

20160131_122715 20160131_123019Apply from root to tip to dry hair, making sure you cover EVERYWHERE, not just the top or the bits you can see! Massage into scalp also. Hot oil scalp massages are soooo good for the scalp and promote hair growth. Try not to put yourself to sleep (mine are that good I literally almost do).
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Caution; you will flick hair treatment onto your mirror – clean your mirror!

I leave on for as long as possible, determined by whatever I’m doing that day, so anything between 1 hour and 10 hours haha. The longer the better. Then wash out with a natural shampoo, apply a conditioner and leave on for at least 20 mins. Rinse out with lukewarm water, making the last rinse cool/cold (if you can take it) water.

The results? Soft, manageable curls.

If you’re going to bed, separate hair and put in at least 2 plaits, and cover with a silk or satin scarf. NOT cotton. Cotton removes moisture. (By the way this is the part I get lazy with, I really don’t do this often at all, but believe me when I DO do it makes a huge difference to the quality of your hair). So you should do it. Even though I don’t. (I also wake up often with wild hair regretting not doing it.)

Enjoy treating yourselves! x

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PostCards from The Serian, Masai Mara

Postcards from Masai Mara! Quite literally one of the best and most beautiful places I’ve ever visited. I must thank The Serian, for hospitality and comfort that is unmatched, and for providing a safe yet authentic, untouched and tranquil experience.

 

These are not the official images. I shall let you know when they are available and the post updated. But until then… it would be criminal to not share with you how wonderful Masai Mara truly is.

 

From Nairobi to Masai Mara in the littlest plane ever! And guess who’s your pilot?
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Greeted by locals. This dude was a King! He didn’t speak English but we had the best conversations. He also knew the animals, knew the wild, and could communicate with nature and that which occupies it in a way that I envied and wish to one day be able to do also.1Q1A47481Q1A4746

Where I stayed. Have you ever seen anything more beautiful? Smack bang in the middle of everything. Yet a personal and undisturbed little haven.

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Lets explore

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Basically, the reason The Serian is just so extremely dope, is the fact that you literally plan your own schedule, and have people looking after you, providing for you and ready to take you anywhere, at any time. And yet you feel as though you are the only person within a 20 mile radius. It is just so peaceful. Despite the fact that you are amongst wild animals, you feel so safe and calm. The animals here are not hunted and killed, therefore they don’t feel threatened; their temperament is not that of fear or a readiness to attack. And that is exactly why I asked to go on the lookout for some lions as soon as possible.

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“When would you like to eat dinner? And where would you like to eat it? Would you like it brought to you, or would you like to go out for a drive and eat it amongst the wilder beast, hyenas and giraffes?” “And what about breakfast tomorrow? Would you like to have it early morning outside, after watching the sunrise?” Hell yeah! These are the sorts of questions one would be asked by the staff at The Serian. I ate dinner when it was pitch black outside and I could barely see around me, the only light a fire; if I looked behind me all I could see was blackness. If I looked beyond the fire all I could see was blackness. I ate a thai green fish curry and rice, served to me on a table that was opened up and placed in the middle of nowhere. And afterwards, I drove with the locals and looked out for hyenas and other wild and free things, accompanied only by a torch. I was at home.

 

This is after breakfast one time, I think just before going to look for lions. Happy and Free.

 

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Chilling outside my hut

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Joseph on the left and OhMyGodI’veCompletelyForgottenYourNameIAmSoSorry on my right! But you guys are awesome! Thank you for the hilarious nights of conversation, exploring and filming! I learned so much from you!

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Playing dangerously outside the hut.
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Sitting Free after an afternoon shower. The bathroom is another little hut separate from the one you sleep in. At night, you’d have to unzip your hut) usually zipped up as you don’t want to be disturbed by anything that might choose to wander in… (mainly mosquitos ha! No panic) and down these little steps and enter a hut with a shower and separate bath. The most beautiful bath at that. (Pictures coming). When you wandered in, bats would usually fly out, startled by your entrance. (They were nestling in the straw)

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The food was so good it had to be captured… This is the setting right outside the hut. Breakfast, lunch, dinner or just a snack, whenever you pleased, with nothing but nature and serenity.

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The Serian is somewhere I desire to visit again as soon as is possible. Words cannot thank you guys enough. Shout out to Alex and Wifi!

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My first time using Hyaluronic Acid.. What took me so long???

I had been hearing a lot about Hyaluronic Acid and how great it was for skin. I knew that it could be found in some beauty products, but besides that I knew very little about it. After being asked about it and if I had tried it before by some readers, I felt compelled to find out more. I won’t attempt to get scientific with you, but in my own words, hyaluronic acid seems to already exist within our bodies and immediate research told me that its benefits reside mainly in bone and joint health, as well as eye injuries. In addition, it is also used as a lip filler. Hmmmm. Ok. But before long, further research told me that it is also used commonly as an anti-aging product and is nicknamed “The Fountain of Youth”. So when I found out I would be reviewing Natural Earth Laboratory’s Vitamin C Serum with Hyaluronic Acid, I was exited.

 

Before using,  my skin didn’t have too many major problems. A little dehydrated perhaps, and I always had a break out if I ate rubbish foods, but I’d say dark, tired eyes and an uneven tone were my main issues. Anti-aging wasn’t, and isn’t something I’m concerned about however. “The Fountain of Youth? Is this gonna make me look like, 13 or something?”, was literally one of the thoughts that ran through my mind lol.

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After 1 week of use I literally woke up like this (below). This is before washing my face. I couldn’t believe it! Honestly the difference was pretty dramatic. My skin was brighter, more vibrant. The darkness under my eyes had reduced by about 70%. Sleep deprivation (confessions of an insomniac) meant inevitable eye bags. But my actual skin? Smoother, more even in its tone and, as much as I hate to jump on the bandwagon, looking like I had drank from the fountain of youth.

IMG_20160125_100920I would say the change in my skin was the most dramatic after week 1. During week 2 and 3, it pretty much just maintained itself, despite my current circumstances slipping and my self-care slacking a little (again, basically no sleep and adding sugar to my diet).

By week 3 going on week 4, I started to break out a little. Just a little though. I would remove any make up I may have been wearing, or the days effects and go to bed like this:
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The thing is, after applying Natural Earth Laboratory’s serum, I would always wake up fresh-faced and skin was always clearer than at the end of the day before “bed”. No matter how roughly I slept. I guess its to do with skin renewing itself as you sleep. So I can only imagine the effects if I got sufficient sleep!

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20160201_014346Below is after washing my face in the morning and applying the serum, before moisturising, during week 4. I have a spot on the left side of my nose and a break out on my chin, but knowing my skin, that is from eating dairy!
20160201_014209Overall results? This product is fantastic and I truly believe is an essential for anyones beauty bag. For me, results were best during the first week and after using for 6 weeks I would like to take a break as I feel perhaps my skin is just used to it? Or perhaps it has done its work and I should go back to it when needed again. I think the best option is to use it every other week or every 2 weeks, after constant use for at least 1 month.

How does it apply? 2-3 pumps was all I ever used each time. It is thin and watery and dries quickly. If I left the serum on my skin for too long without following with moisturiser then it would start to feel dry. I preferred to apply the serum when my was skin was just a tiny bit damp from washing, as I felt it absorbed better.

How long does it last? After constant use (day and night) of the serum, using 2-3 (usually 3) squirts each time, I still have a third of the bottle left.

There are many brands that offer hyaluronic acid products, and I’d love to try out some others, but only out of curiosity and to give you guys an honest review and comparison to what I have now already tried. Natural Earth Laboratory is a great option, for tried and tested results, and I’ll definitely pick up another bottle in the near future. It may be its additional ingredients, that also made it so great; you can’t really go wrong with Aloe Vera, Jojoba Oil and Witch Hazel.

Peep the ingredients below:

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Natural Earth Laboratory’s Vitamin C Serum with Hyaluronic Acid is currently on sale, from almost £30 to £14.95, and can be purchased now on Amazon by clicking here 

 

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Lancome Hydra Zen

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I can already hear some of you say, “this isn’t a natural product Portia?!”, and you’re right, it isn’t. And for that reason I haven’t been in a major rush to share it with you, despite growing pretty fond of it over the last few months.

What do I like about it? The texture; it’s rich and creamy but not heavy or oily once applied, and you only need a tiny amount for your entire face.

It’s sensitivity. It certainly works with my sensitive skin, and although I have heard of some break outs with this product, I myself have no complaints, which says a lot as my skin breaks out the minute I use a product it doesn’t like, eat the wrong thing; jeez, even looking at a strong chemical product brings me out in a rash. So, despite the fact that it is scented, my sensitive skin has been absolutely fine.

It’s moisturising. I honestly find it makes my skin feel instantly soft and appear smooth. And it offers matte moisture, not a greasy and shiny type of moisture.

The packaging. Not so important, no. But something to mention, as the packaging is pretty. (Obvi, this is Lancome).

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I love creams that look thick and yummy, like yoghurt almost. Lancome Hydra Zen is just too tempting to pass up on.

It’s also SPF 15, which for me is crucial; I strongly recommend always using creams with a minimum of SPF 15.

Hydra Zen NeuroCalm is said to be an anti-stress, soothing cream, and personally, I can say that it is.

Priced at around £38 for a 50ml tub, if your budget doesn’t permit don’t stress; there are certainly less expensive products that are just as good, if not better. But if you can afford… grab.

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Rosewater – the Versatile Beauty Ingredient

It’s only recently that I’ve truly started to make use of this versatile beauty ingredient, and my only regret is that I didn’t start using it sooner! Rosewater has so many uses! Here are the simplest ways to use it for your hair and skin:

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Revive dry and lifeless hair:

I add rosewater to my home made oil treatments and apply all over hair, leaving on for at least 30 minutes before rinsing/shampooing out. Using rosewater as your final rinse when washing hair is also a great idea, and will leave your hair shiny and smelling good :)

Dry Scalp:

Mix rosewater with aloe vera gel and black castor oil and apply to scalp, by parting hair in sections and ensuring scalp is completely covered. Massage scalp for a good 10 mins at least and then leave for another 30 minutes. In terms of quantities, the aloe vera gel and rosewater can be in equal quantities, but add only a little black castor oil as it is a lot heavier. This will do wonders for your scalp!

Face Mask for problematic skin:

Mix lemon juice, rosewater and avocado and apply mixture to skin, leaving on for 10- 20 minutes, then remove with warm water.

Face Toner:

I like to apply rose water to a cotton pad and sweep over my skin after cleansing, to help tone the skin and remove excess oil. Try it!

Please do a patch test first! Rosewater is very gentle on the skin though, and is great for all skin types, but it’s always to better to be safe rather than sorry. It’s also very simple to make your own fresh rosewater at home; more on that to come. Enjoy the benefits of rosewater! x

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Developing from the Darkness

Hope. Self-belief. Self-motivation. The ability to keep going. What happens when those forces and powers seem to run out? Do they ever really go anywhere?

I often have people message me in need of advice. Sometimes, people have hit rock bottom and they get in touch with me, or a friend gets in touch with me on their behalf, and asks me to offer some sort of inspiring word to have them believe in life again. And I never seem to fail to do this. I never seem to fail to do this regardless of how weak or how powerful I may be feeling at the time. Sometimes I wonder how on earth am I doing this? How can I be so hopeful, so positive when it comes to another, yet so doubtful when it comes to myself? How is one able to lift another up when they are feeling so extremely hopeless themselves? Well I guess if we imagine a lack of hope to be laying flat on your back, unable to get up, yet facing skywards, then of course we still have the ability to lift up another, above ourselves, in a superman lift, in love and in hope. And by doing so, we strengthen ourselves; we remind ourselves that of course we will be ok, of course there is hope. I guess if you are laying flat on your back with your back to the sky however, then that is when you really need someone to do the lifting for you.

There have been one or two times when I was most certainly lying with my back to the sky, facing downwards, seeing nothing but darkness. I was around those who didn’t understand, didn’t know how to lift me up, or even how to accept my downtime and allow me to ride it out in love and hope. And that’s ok. I didn’t turn to the right people. I didn’t turn to anyone in fact, making those who were around me involved by default, not by choice or capability, therefore making me feel even more alone. Not turning to anyone isn’t healthy, but it is a move I often make. During this time I honestly felt myself die inside of me. I watched myself disappear, and it took a long, long time to find out where I disappeared to. I felt my spirit slip away and could only assume it had gone somewhere far and free, whilst I felt caged in the physical, unable to get to grips with and care for myself because I was so consumed with caring for another. Deep down somewhere in the depths of me, I believed that true love and the universe would take care of things. I reassured myself somehow that despite how alone and how low I felt, if I could just ride it out and stay committed that eventually it would pass and the seasons would change. The problem with that is sometimes we stay committed and loyal to a feeling rather than to ourselves and to what we hope to come to light. So we get used to a feeling of darkness. I started to disconnect from everything and everyone, and then of course with my spirit went my self confidence. I was then telling myself I deserved to feel this way. And once you give in to doubt and self-hating, that is when depression truly sinks in. Depression can lead to feeling suicidal, especially if you are dealing with it alone.

The last year has been a huge challenge for me. Even as I try to write this I hear myself very much avoiding the truly sore spots, not quite able to release and open up. And that’s ok. Because at least I am saying something, that’s a start. And this last year has taught me that seasons do certainly change, though remember, that like the cycle of nature, they do return. But as we blossom and bloom in spirit the way we view and handle these seasons develops also, and so they no longer need to have the same heavy impact they may have had previously. Embrace whatever pain and suffering you may be going through, as I can assure you it really teaches you a lot. During this time you will learn not only so much about yourself, but also about those around you. You really don’t want anyone around you who cannot stand the rain, especially when if it was the other way round they would expect you to stand in the rain with them. Unconditional love, friendships and loyalty go a long, long way, they pay off in a way unimaginable. But don’t feel anger towards anyone you felt let you down; they were supposed to. The universe has an odd way of removing those from your life who don’t deserve to be in it; even if it is only for a season.

So what do you do on those days when you just can’t see the light? Sit still in the darkness for a bit, but only for a bit. There is actually a lot to see there. Search. Keep searching. Look very, very closely, even if at first you cannot see, keep looking. And eventually you will see that speck of light. It may have been there all along, but you noticed it when you were supposed to, I promise you that. And even when you see it, you may still find it hard to walk towards it. Don’t be scared to believe that things can get better. You deserve to be happy!  Don’t get comfortable in unhappiness or despair; in fact it’s not good to get too comfortable in anything, even in happiness. The best and most wonderful things happen when we are out of our comfort zones, when we are uncertain but take a leap of faith anyway. So take that leap towards that unknown light. It’s yours and it will take you to beautiful places, if only you let it.

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Healthy Hair in an Instant

My hair is looking and feeling GREAT and I want to share the reason why. I happen to be shouting about it because for the last few weeks my hair’s been pretty shitty; dry and damaged. Growing nevertheless (it never seems to have a problem growing) yet feeling dry and breaking quite a bit. I only had myself to blame for this. I rarely treated my hair and also probably over-washed it whenever I was wearing it curly (your hair is at it’s weakest when wet, so combing when wet isn’t the best idea, plus washing frequently can really strip it off its natural moisture).

Anyhoo, I decided to do a little at home treatment before heading to Rush for a blow out. I had cut off a couple of inches about 4 weeks before and wanted to maintain my hair care.

Before washing, I combed my hair with a wide tooth comb and then applied a mixture of oils to my hair and scalp whilst still dry and left on for about 30 minutes.  I mixed Olive, Castor, Coconut, Jojoba and Carrot oil into a small bowl and applied from root to tip. (Be easy on the castor oil as it can be quite heavy)

I then shampooed out. Now, the shampoo I used I am only half recommending. I wanted to try the brand out as they sent me their whole range and I had heard great things about their products. However, when I read the ingredients on the bottles I wasn’t too enthusiastic as I like ingredients to be completely natural and safe. I also like to be able to pronounce every ingredient and know what it is.  nuNAAT Deep Moisturizing Shampoo actually gently cleansed my hair and scalp and left my hair feeling great. Although the oils certainly played a huge part in that, the shampoo didn’t strip the moisture as I feared it might, and the Brazilian Keratin effect was definitely present. (No, this is not a keratin treatment, but it is formulated with green keratin)  Green keratin is “an active ingredient derived from soybean, corn and wheat proteins that deeply adheres to hair fibers, promoting incredibly smooth hair through heat action. The result is strong, highly nourished hair that improves flexibility and shine.”  My hair was definitely looking Brazilian – like after 2 shampoos.

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I then applied conditioner by the same company – a deep conditioner “Balanced for intense shine and grace”. I left this on for a little longer than intended as I stopped to put an apple pie in the oven, and then decided it was a good time to eat the apple pie, with custard, and by that time over an hour had passed. When I rinsed the product out my hair didn’t feel fantastic, but I gathered I shouldn’t have left it in for so long. That’s when I went for my final and latest must have product – Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque by Shea Moisture. I am now obsessed with this treatment. It contains sea kelp and argan oil, not to mention ingredients that I can read and trust, including avocado and carrot oil. A few of the ingredients are certified organic, and the masque is natural and sulfate free. Did I mention how good it smells? This masque definitely comes a close second to the products I make myself and plan on releasing one day… What is also important to me is the order of ingredients listed as this is in order of quantity. I wasn’t the happiest that the first ingredient was water, but immediately after came shea butter followed by argan oil, so that made up for it.

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I left this treatment on until I reached the hair salon, so I would say for an hour or so. It says to apply generously but I didn’t even need to use too much on my long and thick hair for amazing results. My hair stylist literally commented on how great my hair felt in comparison to its condition on my last visit and asked what I had used. I spoke him through my process from beginning to end and he didn’t hold a grudge that I had skipped a treatment with him and done it myself at home – he was just happy that my hair was looking and feeling great. What a true lover of hair and not a money grabber! My pre-shampoo treatment and post shampoo mask, combined with the skills of my stylist Lucas at Rush, meant that my blow out was silky smooth and my hair full of life. I strongly recommend (my home-made products) and Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque. I also recommend nuNAAT shampoo as I honestly was happy with the results, but I’m not too happy to recommend something bot entirely natural, as natural products are what I stand for and what I promote. All I can do is be honest with the results and my opinion and leave you to make the decision on whether you purchase or not. I do also have some other nuNAAT products to post about, which I shall do in the near future. Also look out for more reviews on some of Shea Moisture’s other products.

I’m so glad my hair is slowly getting back to it’s original state; it’s so important to keep on top of your haircare, including regular trims and treatments, as some damage can be irreversible!

Here’s to happy hair!

(cue the corny smile)

Photo on 22-10-2015 at 18.14 #6 copy Photo on 22-10-2015 at 18.14 #5

P xx

 

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Style, Snacks & Shoreditch

6tag_120715-203413Casual by day with minimal make up and earthy tones for quick drinks at Gilgamesh.

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Mirror details…

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At night; dinner on the rooftop at Shoreditch House; padron peppers, aubergine ravioli, a poached salmon salad with avocado, washed down with wine and cocktails.

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I have always been a huge fan of the vibe and ambiance at Shoreditch House and this visit was no different. Great music, friendly faces and free sweets as always :)

I recommend you try the Vodka Watermelon Granita from the dessert menu – naughty and yummy.

 

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My hair always ends up tied up by the end of the night. I am so obsessed with these trousers; they are a teeny bit big for me so I had to fold them under a couple of times at the waist. I can’t wait to wear them again in a few weeks when I am a little bit bigger. Yep, I am intentionally putting on weight and it’s working. Slowly but surely….

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Africa Fashion Week London Update…

 

Wow… only 4 days to go! I’m really, really looking forward to this years Africa Fashion Week, and not just because it’s one of the biggest events of the year. This is such a huge opportunity for so many talented artists and designers, and I know I’m going to walk out of the doors at the end of the final day feeling so ridiculously inspired. There’s something about fashion and style that gives me such a warm feeling of excitement, and when it’s African inspired fashion it really cannot get any better.

It’s wonderful to see Noella as a brand ambassador for Africa Fashion Week London and it was great being able to catch up on what she has been up to during her modelling career. What a brilliant woman! Read more about her here.

 

I wanted to list just some of the designers that are showcasing this year, as well as highlight a few that I am particularly interested in:

 

Njema Helena

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I fell in love with this outfit immediately and cannot wait to see what else Nairobi-based fashion company Njema Helena have in store for us. The modern cuts and the African aesthetics make this a statement outfit whilst still being practical. I’m very excited :)

 

M&C

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Wow wow wow. Right up my street. I find these designs by Martial and Christine exciting and elegant. I’ve already mentally purchased everything. I am pretty sure this show will be up there as one of my faves. And they do swimwear too :)

 

House of Mucha

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Afro-vintage? Yes please. Zimbabwean-born LinDi developed her unique designs inspired by her mums 70’s wardrobe. For the young and mature, House of Mucha oozes sophistication and is rich in African aesthetic.

 

Thora Jewels

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It’s a pleasure to be introduced to this designer of bespoke hand-crafted jewellery and accessories. It would be an even bigger pleasure to get my hands on some…

 

There are so many more awe-inspiring designers to mention; click here for the full line up

 

 

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Gilgamesh Camden

Camden is a great spot for all the different market stalls, all the different types of people, tourists, goths, hippies, snobs, you name it… you may find it in Camden. But it is also a great place to dine in style; well, there are one or two great restaurants anyway. You can get fantastic food out in the markets, especially recently; I have been seeing the food getting more health conscious and varied also. But for those who like to sit down and eat hassle-free, whilst being waited on, then Gilgamesh (located right by Camden Lock) is your spot. Downstairs is the famous Shaka Zulu; an African spot with crocodile on the menu and live drummers and entertainment on Saturdays. But Gilgamesh is a pan-Asian menu and, although it is huge and nearly always packed, the food has always been great and I’ve never had to complain about the service. It is set in a Babylonian style palace-like venue, with a fully retractable roof- how cool is that?! The venue is spacious, beautiful and exciting. There are also several lounges and bars in the vicinity, which means you could be there for countless hours… unfortunately I had places to go, so it was dinner only that evening.

Choice of wine was a 2013 Riesling Columbian Valley. Medium-dry. Crisp apple flavours with subtle mineral notes. It was pretty damn good actually. I love Riesling wine; can’t really go wrong imo and the bottle was only £36 which really isn’t bad.

WP_20150711_19_29_24_ProI ordered coconut rice just for the sake of it and I order crispy squid wherever I go if it is on the menu. Served with adjud sauce, the crispy squid here is certainly better than it is at Hakkasan. Just saying…

WP_20150711_19_25_03_Pro Obsessed with green. The tenderstem  broccoli was perfectly crunchy. The house chopped salad tasted real good, however if you don’t like bitter tastes don’t go for it. My only annoyance was how tight they were with the avocado… 2 small slithers!! I know that I am obsessed with avocado but I’m not exaggerating. WP_20150711_19_24_47_Pro-2

Salmon sashimi was served on a steaming, smoking bowl and bamboo.WP_20150711_19_29_28_ProI love my rolls with a crunch, so I got the king prawn tempura roll, which comes with avocado, tobiko and shiso mayo.

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This seaweed salad was almost too pretty to eat. I said almost. I gobbled it down. Delicious and healthy.WP_20150711_19_30_11_Pro WP_20150711_19_29_48_ProThe sea bass from the New style sashimi menu. Again, another very pretty dish. Beautifully presented in a citrus juzu dressing. WP_20150711_19_30_22_ProCrumble is one of my all time favourites so whenever I see it on a menu it gets ordered. However, this chilli chocolate cake put it to shame. Flour-less, with a smooth and velvety middle, a generous amount of crunch and a chilli kick, it was to die for. Seriously. Give me 10 more. Now. The pear and apple crumble was ok. But just ok. It didn’t stand much of a chance when up against the choc cake to be fair. Served with a tropical fruit sorbet, it easily could have been made at home. But I need to get my hands on the chilli chocolate cake recipe. Or perhaps it’s best that I don’t. At least it is flour-less. A little less guilt can be afforded. WP_20150711_20_47_43_ProYes. The cake deserves a repeat appearance. Can we take a minute silence for this dessert please.
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Thank you Gilgamesh and an extra thank you to Jonathan for a wonderful experience xx

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I Cry because I am Alive

I had to wait for the tears to dry and my eyes to clear before I could write this. I would have written it yesterday, but I was crying then too. I cried the day before that also, and I am pretty sure I will cry tomorrow. Ex lovers called me a cry baby. My friends label me as emotional. My family say I’m sensitive. Why can it not be, that I am just alive? Surely to be alive, is to feel everything; every emotion, every pain, every feeling whether pleasurable or torturous? Why is it that we mistakenly confuse living for only when we are feeling happy? I guess it is the exhilaration that we can feel when ecstatically happy- and that of course, is part of feeling alive. But to truly live is a painful thing; and how can it not be? As I type this, my head feels the distant pangs of abuse; someone somewhere is being attacked, fearing, or fighting for their life. A baby is being born. A father’s heart is breaking, as his only child dies. A kid is cutting himself in his room, anything to divert and focus the pain in his mind, to physical pain that he can see and control. A mother is fighting to keep her child, screaming in despair as authorities steal him away. A beggar is so hungry, my stomach twists in pain, despite the fact that I, just ate a hearty lunch. And there’s more; as I write this, a mermaid dived back under turquoise transparent waters after meditating in the sun, on her favourite rock, for a short while. She is so beautiful. Her hair flows limitlessly and you realise it is the sea, she is part of the all and everything. A lion just attacked, birds are resting after migrating, damn they are tired, did you feel that too? Exhaustion. A professor struggles with a students papers, this boy is a genius he just isn’t quite sure how. Did you feel that too? Momentary confusion of awe. A just-fed baby belches with contentment, a woman gasps as she feels the flesh of a man inside of her, a husband cries as his wife walks down the aisle – that sharp pain in the side of my stomach – someone just got stabbed, it was all over way too quickly. I feel rather calm as I stay still as a sloth, moving so slowly, many think I am dead. I feel anxious with desire and longing. I feel heartbroken. Torn apart. I want to scream until the heavens open up and the storms destroy all of earth. I am angry. I want justice. I am the woman who kept on loving even when all she was was abused. I am the man who kept fighting even though all he ever was was defeated. I am the motherless son and the fatherless daughter. I am the love that never ended, and the love that never even existed. I want to scream and roar until the caves cave in and the animals flock. The seas destruct and the winds demolish. My heart is the sun, my body the earth, my blood the rivers, my tears the sea, my breath the winds. It’s all running through me, all happening, continuously and constantly. I am always living, which is why I am always crying. I am always living, which is why I am always dying.

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Style – Nu People Magazine

It is a pleasure to be featured in the Style section of Nu People Magazine and it was an even bigger pleasure working with the wonderful creatives that I did. Details below

 

k8B5nwO2LpSO8p2lJb72q0bDO15iHvG6brc0iFAcPjE My hair was styled by Floria Amon of Toni & Guy. I have worked with Floria several times and she is amazing; I also get my hair cut by her. I’m going to need to do a quick video tutorial for you guys because I need to rock this again!

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Make up was by Sinead Mcgowan. Again, tutorials are in order because I need to grab some tips. I am obsessed with Sinead’s work and this soft, natural look.

 

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I was photographed by the fabulous Rene Connage Durant, and styled by Elizabeth Ajomale wearing Raaah Clothing. fnsYpKcIpuLb8OqDQ8JhA3DTA0LvKwW33ycNorqMDCw,Nl4MaHk41yjSHdVepYafHK2w_RDBDs9QuTghC8I4ZWQ,bLT5Sdj_0Exwuw-CwabUscU9fjqLjYg4zrnm8Ge5jjEYou can check out the website and download Nu People Magazine here straight to your phone; a beautiful app that is appealing not only to the eye, but is full with thought-provoking articles.

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How Did You Make It Last??

It’s been a while since I wrote anything in the love, or thoughts section, and as I posted something recently and observed the reaction, I thought it was a good time to share some thoughts again. This is a quick read.

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I posted this picture up. And of course, the first thing most people did was try to disprove the post. “He’s had affairs”. “He’s fucked around so many times” etc etc.

Now, first, I had to make clear that my post was less about David Beckham and Victoria, I mean, I don’t know them personally and even if I did, I still wouldn’t know the ins and outs of their relationship, but it was more about the idea it represented. About being best friends with your partner. Now, we all have, or have all had, best friends. Best friends fight right? If they’re your real best friend, you generally get over it and move on, even if you don’t speak for a while. It’s part of life.

I wondered why we as people are so quick to be cynical, so quick to doubt peoples abilities of successful relationships. If they’ve been together for a long time well then its “yeah but remember when they had that fight, remember when he slept around, remember when apparently she had a crush on his best friend”. It does make me laugh. Yes, sometimes I do remember. But do you remember how they worked it out? Do you remember how they spoke about and dealt with their issues, and moved on? Do you remember how, none of these threatening factors actually ever became more than that; a threat? You see, I can’t help but feel like we have been slowly brainwashed into the belief that successful relationships only happens in the movies and are all rainbows, flowers and lovey dovey feelings, and often consist of a knight in shining armour on a white horse, who never does any wrong – in fact he is so squeaky clean the sun decided his arse would be a good place to shine from. NO ONE is like that. We are all human and we are all connected. So if he was capable of fucking up at some point, so are you, and the only reason you fixate on it so much is probably because you’re so fearful it could be you! You get what you focus on and believe. And if you believe all men cheat and no relationship can last then, you’re probably right. And MAYBE THEY DO. Maybe they do all cheat. But here’s some of my thoughts on it:

My friends and I were having a discussion the other day, about life relationships, that meaning, ones that last “forever”. Just like life, that relationship will go through seasons. It is who you are, and what you do, during the harder seasons, that determine your strength, loyalty and maturity. Let’s talk marriage. We have two people, fell in love, got married. One day, the woman finds out the man kissed another woman at a party; he was drunk and him and his wife had been arguing non-stop for months. He was stressed. No, this is not an excuse. Or maybe it was the other way round. The wife got a little tipsy, enjoyed the attention she was receiving, and stupidly kissed another guy.

Ok. It’s not cool. But if you’re going to have 50 years of marriage, CAN YOU NOT GET OVER A KISS?? If you’re going to grow and develop and build a life together, can you not move on from arguments? Have we become THAT weak??

2 mature, ashamed adults, would realise that, the problem isn’t the kiss, the problem is about themselves, and needs to be addressed. They might recognise that they need some time apart, a little bit of space. During that time, all sorts of growing up, all sorts of revelations and forgiveness and understanding can take place. They can come back together with a clearer understanding, stronger for it as well because they made a decision to always work it out and they realised it was very possible to do so, too.

OR,

They could hastily file for divorce and go through a couple more years trying to “split up”, tear each other apart, hate each other, throw away a friendship, history, all that love, over a bad season. A BAD SEASON!! Then go and do it all again with someone else!

This is why people are scared to get married. They honestly believe that marriage means perfection. And if ONE thing goes wrong, everything is over except it’s not that simple, because you are tied together by paperwork. Forget the paperwork! Live your lives. You don’t have to be together everyday, or constantly perfect, to be in a marriage. What a crock of shit, It’s no wonder the courts make so much money of divorce; marriage is a huge profitable business for them. They know how fickle and weak society have become; they helped to feed this insecurity for years; it benefits them! Any business knows that it needs to be in constant demand to continue to stay successful, and any BETTER business knows that often you have to create that demand.

So what we have here are endless memes, quotes, movies etc all promoting and selling this idea of love, romantic love, ‘perfect’ love. They appeal to your hearts and minds and tell you this is how love should be, this is what it should look like. In the meantime, whilst they have us falling in love with love, they have you constantly scrutinising, judging, “upgrading”. This is not love! They want you to go through relationships like you go through underwear, forever searching for the perfect idea of love, so that you are never settled, never on a safe foundation of which you know you can mess up and still be loved. You are searching for perfect. But you will never find it. In moments, of course you will. But continuously for the rest of your life until the day you die, no problems, no pain, no fall outs? Oh please, grow some balls. You should WANT some of these obstacles with your partner, it is only in struggle that you grow, fact. And the stronger the love, the more your deep-rooted issues will resurface so that they can finally clear out without fear of rejection, abandonment or judgment. Anyone can be happy when it’s easy or when demands are being met! But if you chose the grown route, there would be less divorce. And less money exchanging hands. And if you chose the grown route, you’d have countries full with powerful, resilient relationships. Meaning powerful, strong families, meaning more children (you do realise de-population is high on the agenda). My point is, without having to go into too much depth as I understand this is a very short and hurried piece, is that sometimes all a marriage needs is some time out, or a little bit of faith, love and less ego, to get over its stormy seasons. And that is when the sunny seasons, have never felt better.

If David and Victoria broke up every time one of them messed up, what would be the point? What is worth more, what is stronger? The affair he had or the fact they have stayed married for years, are raising beautiful children and seem to be best friends? We have to accept people for who they are and help them to become better, so that they can do the same for us. We are taught to just dump and run but that is only a reflection of the lack of self respect and faith we seem to have for and in ourselves. When I speak to really old people still in relationships, the stories they tell me! I promise you there is nothing more refreshing. And they are solid. They laugh at the memories,  revel in the glory of what they have become. Sometimes it makes me cry. True friendship. It’s only those who failed, who couldn’t maintain or find security within themselves, that will tell you it’s not important, that will try to push THEIR ideals and judgments on how relationships should be – (but they failed??!!) – on you.

We are taught to be less forgiving with those closest to us, yet expected to remain patient and forgive those who are committing murder and evil on a daily basis. We are stuck on pettiness and judging each other over things that do not help us grow, when we should be sticking together with the ones who love us regardless of anything, and fighting for our freedom, fighting for universal happiness, collectively.

And most importantly. None of this would really need to be said, if we hadn’t lost, almost in its whole entirety, the true definition of love. To me, the question shouldn’t be, “How did you make it last?” but rather, “how didn’t you?” None of the above would need to be written. Love would cover it. But modern day love? Oh gosh….. let me write about that in another post…

 

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SpirPOW

“You don’t eat meat? How do you get PROTEIN?” – ???

When I tell people I don’t eat meat, the general reaction is a raised eyebrow and then the infuriating question, “so what do you eat then?”. Because yeah, meat is like the only food in the world. I tell them I don’t eat. I am practically starving, and becoming meatless was a self-punishment in which I will slowly and surely die. Once they realise I am joking, they then repeat the question, and, me being obsessed with talking about food and nutrition, I oblige.

The truth is, many people are becoming more health conscious, and sure, not as many people ask me such a question anymore, not with their social networks being inundated with health posts, alternatives, etc. However, there are a still a large number of people who really believe that without meat, they can’t be healthy, and I honestly believe this is down to a lack of nutritional education and food options; if people knew their options and the benefits of other food groups they would surely be excited to embark on a healthier journey themselves, instead of feeling sorry for vegetarians and thinking that karma is for some reason forcing self-abuse on this individual.

A HUGE misconception about vegetarians is that they don’t get any protein. Well sure, if anyone chooses not to eat protein well then they won’t be getting any. But there is a huge choice of food options that offer protein and the essential amino acids that mean you can be meat-free without any worries. In fact, vegans who live on plant-based diets are said to have such a wide variety of amino acids that they are spoiled for choice and get their intake with little effort.

I am a pescetarian though I rarely eat fish. But I eat it, so I’m not a veggie. I will give it up eventually. Maybe. I don’t drink milk from animals but I am obsessed with cheese although I know how bad dairy is and I want to give it up; I try a week or so without it, then I go through stages of withdrawal symptoms and eat huge bowls of pasta covered in cheese just to remind myself that the world is ok. Then I regret it. Anyway, back to protein (there is actually protein in cheddar cheese so I don’t feel TOO bad) … I want to remind you all that there is plenty of protein away from meat and it doesn’t come with some of the disadvantages of eating meat. I personally believe these are much better sources of protein.

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and there are 9 amino acids that our bodies cannot produce on their own; these are called Essential Amino Acids. A “complete protein” is one that contains these 9 amino acids. Here are some options (7 in fact)  to ensure you are getting your essentials:

 

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My favourite, has to be Hemp Seeds. They are such an amazing source of protein; whenever a meat lover goes to say to you, “without meat, how do you get your pro-“ just cut them off, throw a hand in the air and say “hemp seeds darling”. Then you can walk away. Unless you feel obliged to explain further; send them here to this blog. But know, that your answer is good enough. Hemp seeds are THE source for ALL 9 essential amino acids; 2 tablespoons will give you about 10 grams of protein. Throw some in your smoothies or sprinkle onto cereal. Or simply snack on them on their own. Hemp oil is great but the seeds are better. If you are trying to substitute meat and/or are worried about not getting your protein intake or losing weight, grab a bag of hemp seeds from your local health store.

Chia Seeds may give you slightly less than half the amount of protein than hemp seeds, but they are still a great option, and they also contain loads of fibre; more than you’ll find in nuts. They are the highest plant source of omega 3 fatty acids, so go and grab them now!

 

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Avocado is my favourite fruit. I actually didn’t like it as a child – (Yuk! What is this rubbery, weird tasting, sometimes creamy, odd flipping vegetable trying to be a fruit?) Yes, I thought it was just an odd confused vegetable that only weird adults ate. My gosh, how I was missing out. Not only does it now taste FABULOUS to me, but it has the highest source of protein of any fruit!! It does have a high caloric count, yes, but it contains those “healthy” fats, which makes it forgivable. Throw avocado on anything and everything; that’s my advice. It’s what I do anyway. Adding avocado and all of its 18 essential amino acids to certain foods helps you to absorb the nutrients by up to 400%! Amazing! Tbh, avocado should have been top of this list.

Anyone else happy to eat Peanut Butter straight out of the jar? (An organic, healthy and natural version, of course) I know it’s naughty but it’s one of my guilty pleasures. I don’t do it often. But when I do, there;s no need to feel guilty. Peanut butter is a great source of protein, but to complete your protein, eat it as a sandwich in bread. (Again, healthy organic bread, of course)

I’ve always loved Beans and Lentils, so giving up meat and upping the amount that I eat was easy. And how cheap and easy is it to cook lentils and rice? This meal is really healthy, really tasty, and gives meat eaters a run for their money! Its packed with carbohydrates and protein, so if you’re worried about sustaining your energy and weight whilst working out, this is the perfect post-workout meal for you.

 

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Spirulina – 1 tablespoon equals around 4 grams of protein. You can buy a powder and add it to your smoothies or shakes.

 

 

Broccoli
Broccoli

 

I really like Broccoli and eat it quite often, but I never actually knew of its protein content until recently. A cup of broccoli will provide women with 6% of the 46 grams they should aim to intake daily. And for men, 5% of the 56 grams they need, according to a few sources. I’m sure we can manage that aye?

The above are only a few of the varieties of food available to you, that offer you protein. But they are a very good place to start. I guess I should start posting simple recipes. But for now, start introducing these foods into your diet and, if you are hoping to give up meat, don’t be fooled into thinking you are going to lose out; if anything you are going to gain, because now you are taking control of your diet and making yourself available to all the options that nature has given you, that you may not have been aware of before.

 

And as a last, quick reminder that giving up meat does NOT have to mean losing weight, here is Chaka Bars of Spartan Fam before and after giving up meat. You see? No excuses.

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Sense 8 is not for the Sense-less

I felt compelled to write a review on Netflix’s latest original series
by the Wachowski’s for 2 reasons:

I was present throughout the whole filming process, in 8 cities, and
witnessed the genius, the magic and the hearts behind the project,
first hand.

I can relate to the concept.

This review is not in any way biased; I have an ability to step
outside of myself and analyse something outside of my own preferences,
desires and expectations. And that is what I did when I watched Sense
8. However, in moments you may find more personal perspectives, given
that this is a blog, and not a movie website.

And I am not a movie critic. And I have never written a movie/TV show
review before; I’m just going to write freely. So here’s my best; just ride with me;

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Sense 8 caused an initial stir simply for the fact that it was a
Wachowskis project, and their first TV one. The Wachoswkis excite with
their concepts and have such unique minds it’s hard to not care about
whatever they are working on, despite some of their “let downs”. I
watched Jupiter Ascending at George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch in San Francisco and
honestly? I was close to appalled, but not for lack of a great
concept. I was more disturbed by the fact that the two leads appeared
to be much more concerned with what they would be having for lunch
that day, than exploring their own characters. Their performances were
bland, uninteresting, disengaged. Was that the Wachowskis fault? Nah,
not fully. What they are guilty of, however, is intellectual,
important and “next level” concepts, which they then try to fit into
and explain in a short amount of time, and then assume that their
audiences are going to be smart enough, patient enough, open-minded
enough to care or understand.

And this is where the Wachowskis “fell short” again with Sense 8. (If
you can call a few complaints of the average TV watcher falling short.)
Yes, this time round they had the time to fully flesh out and explain
their concept, but I guess they forgot their audience. Or did they?

With baseball games having to be cut short because people just can’t
pay attention anymore, and with network shows getting worse and worse,
I am pretty sure that they were aware that successful TV shows these
days are positively awful; and so are their audiences. Lets face it,
most complaints thus far of Sense 8 has been that it has been “slow’
or “confusing”. Well of course it must seem that way, when people have
become accustomed to shallow storylines, cheesy cliff hangers, a shock a second; viewing
that requires little intelligence. If Sense 8 had been released and
been instantly understood and adored by everyone, I would have
panicked that it truly did fail, because the average TV viewer is NOT
smart. The Wachowskis knew that. Quite frankly I don’t think they
cared.

Listen, I am sure I am going to get some hate mail regarding my view,
and I am sure I could deliver it somewhat more cautiously, but I am
pretty short for time so I’d rather just cause offence and explain
myself further.

I’ll tell a quick story before I do so, in my own words.

Van Gogh was mocked, undervalued, misunderstood, laughed at, pitied,
his whole career. He was told his work was senseless, (haha!) stupid,
worthless. He didn’t make a penny his whole life. He lived off his brother and had to pick certain days in which he would eat, as he couldn’t afford to do so daily.  After his final
painting and his feeling as though he had completed all he had to here on earth, he killed himself. Years later, his work is seen as genius. It wasn’t understood at the time, but then if it had been, would it have been genius? How could it have been the future, how could it have shaped new visions for art today, if it had been whole-heartedly celebrated and understood during its time?

In order to grow, one must first not understand. Then one must seek
understanding. Then one learns something new. Only then, has one
grown. Sense 8 forces the viewer to grow and open their mind.

Some critics have labelled Sense 8 as being “hard work”. I disagree. What
it possibly is however is hell for those used to being spoon fed. But
then those used to being spoon fed, just simply aren’t the future. Sense 8 is about the
future. And this is why it excites me so much.

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Ok, let me sum up the script in short. 8 people. 8 cities. All
connected. There was an opening scene from Daryl Hannah which tells us
she gave birth to these 8 people, except they don’t seem to know
anything about each other, until they start to pop up in each others
visions, thoughts and minds. At first, we question, can anyone else
see them? We don’t quite know what is going on. But then we aren’t
supposed to. Because neither do the characters. They are somewhat
kept in the dark just as much as we are, almost until the end of the
series I would say. I am not a fan of the first scene; though it
somehow became better once the final episodes came to play, as you
understood it more. I think what annoys me through Sense 8 is Naveen
Andrews. And I really hate to say that because I truly adore Naveen;
he has done some great work, is a fantastic actor, and after spending
time with him, he is a remarkable person. But something just wasn’t
right about him in Sense 8. I am still trying to put my finger on it
so I guess I won’t say much else until I discover quite what it is I
want to say. But he doesn’t work. He even starts to become… annoying.
I think this may partly be due to the fact that we just dont know
enough about him. And it doesn’t become mysterious and intriguing. It
simply just becomes irritating. It’s the same with the other “baddies”
who are trying to destroy these “sensates” across the world; we just
don’t know enough about them. We aren’t invested in them and therefore
there isn’t enough urgency and that OMG they’re coming!! factor that
could have been there and would have made a huge difference. In the
same way the show takes its time to explain each sensate’s character,
life and circumstance, they should have done the same with “Mr
Whispers” (annoying name) and whoever else is involved in killing them
(I’ve already forgotten their names, and I guess that is my point). I
don’t need answers straight away, so that’s fine, but then don’t
include characters we have no investment in and expect us to care
about them.

TV STILL -- DO NOT PURGE -- Freema Andrews and Jamie Clayton in a scene from Netflix's "Sense8." Photo credit: Merie Weismiller Wallace/Netflix.

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Lets talk other characters. We instantly like Nomi (a transgender
hactivist blogger person) and Amanita (her lesbian girlfriend). Let me
not be dishonest; when I first saw 2 girls having sex with a dildo for
a split second I thought oh here we go. It’s Hollyoaks with a much
bigger budget. But we instantly like them. Their relationship and love
is genuine, and we know immediately that they are going to face
trouble; and immediately we root for them. Their scenes are intimate
and personal. Freema Agyeman (Amanita) does a great job; there were so
many chances for her to over-act and she just didn’t, she nailed it
imo. Same with Jamie Clayton (Nomi). I was waiting for her to annoy me
but every time I thought she would, she made me love her just a little
bit more. I was in love with their love, the power it gave them and
their resilience. Nomi and Amanita are a power couple and their story
line, as well as Nomi, is one of the strongest.

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Capheus (Aml Ameen) alongside Nomi, seems to be a favourite amongst viewers. I did my
fair share of research and, many were longing for more Nairobi scenes.
I agree. From some perspectives, Sense 8 might have a “slow start” and
be void of effective cliffhangers, but it was the end of EP3 with
EPICNESS from Doona Bae (Sun) and Capheus that left me desperate to
continue to EP 4. In fact, Sun, a Korean businesswoman who can kick
ass, despite being somewhat bland, added that excitement that only
cool-as-fuck fighting scenes can bring, and they were only going to be
epic with the Wachowskis directing. Capheus calls on Sun when he needs
to fight for his life (or for his mums life) and we find ourselves
often hoping he will call on her again soon. For me, it was truly
Capheus and Sun and the 3rd episode that kicked this show into action
and reminded the viewer, if they were starting to question and get
restless, why they were watching. Capheus also reminds us that we must
always fight for what is right, no matter how hard it may be. His character is courageous and charming.
He also reminds us that there is always a reason to fight. Always a reason to
smile. As always, Aml offers layers and an energy to his character
that wasn’t in the script, but simply in his own understanding of
Capheus and the elements that bring his personality to life. His best
friend, Jela, played by Paul Ogola, was also phenomenal and I hope to see
more of him elsewhere. He’s a very natural actor and has a strong presence.

Speaking of natural acting, Lito (Miguel Angel Silvestre) who plays a
big Mexican actor with a secret, has
moments that are almost cringe-worthy and so far from natural that you
just have to laugh, and then after you’ve laughed you realise that he
is actually brilliant and you love him. I swear it really does happen like that. Even
his “beard” Daniela, played by Mexican actress Erindira Ibarra, who
we don’t really care about initially, somehow becomes cute and adorable in
her final scenes. And this happens quite a lot with the characters;
Max, a German safe-hacker with murderous tendencies, is bland and
boring at first, but then manages to become sexy, intense and useful.

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Will, a Chicago cop with daddy issues, is just another bloke from CSI,
until you realise how connected he is, how big his heart is, and his
desire to truly understand and connect the Sensates to each other. He
is brave and willing to do what it takes to survive.

Riley is a strange one for me; as much as her storyline seems to take
precedence I just can’t be as interested in her as I feel I am
supposed to. For the majority of the show, it wasn’t her storyline I was clinging on to, as much as some of the others, although there was no doubt a mystery about her. But as her story unfolds and in the closing episodes, when we learn more about her history, she made more sense to me and there is a deeper connection there that I believe will explain a lot more for viewers in Season 2. She also boasts some of the most visually beautiful scenes in the show, as well as being a great actress.

I can’t go through every character in depth obviously, mostly because I don’t want to ruin it
for anyone. But I must also mention Kala (Tina Desai).
Something about her is magical on screen. She is a real cutie, and I
don’t believe there is one viewer that didn’t warm to her immediately.
She is also rather comical, though some of her lines were silly, she gets away with it.

After meeting and spending several months with all of the cast, in
various locations at different times, I’ve realised that the reason
Sense 8 is also so great is because the characters are authentic. That
“something” that made each of them unique, the same way everyone in
this world has something that makes them “them”, was successfully, yet
subtly portrayed on the screen. Something that cannot be put into
words, assessed, right or wronged. They all possess a presence, a sort
of magic that cannot be denied, and I believe it is the same for Sense
8 as a whole. At first, your instincts may be to rubbish what you
don’t understand. But as the days pass, you’ll find Sense 8 is still
on your mind, and you will start to connect events in your every day
lives with events in the show. You will start to realise just how true
and human the show is. I believe, before too long, people will start
to realise that, when watching Sense 8, they are in fact watching
themselves. And facing yourself can be a hard task for even the
strongest to bear.

I cant help but feel that the few that are nit-picking and being difficult regarding the show are doing so
because they find the show makes them uncomfortable. Unlike many shows, where fast cuts, short scenes, pretty faces and violence covers a multitude of filmic sins, and keeps the viewer too busy to question
too much, Sense 8 has you so obliviously locked in, that when it isn’t continuously offering all of this and is still, or slow, so are you. You are left to face yourself, left to explore and question and that’s where it becomes a problem. A problem
that for many others, is seen as a work of genius. I am also much more
for long scenes; there is a beautiful balance of old and new in Sense
8; it is leaning more towards the new and modern, of course, but
something about its style of filming reminds me of an old love movie.
But then your love affair is burst by silly or comedic shots, and you
remember once again just how human you, we all are. It’s fantastic. I
don’t know if this was done intentionally. But it is what happens, if
you allow it to.

There is a lot of gay sex in it and honestly, I did fear that that
might be a pain for me to have to watch. Not because I am a
homophobic, but unless I am watching porn, I wouldn’t want to watch
long scenes of straight sex either; I am seeing sex more and more all
over every show and movie and it has become more and more distasteful.
Sex is sacred. It is literally a sharing of spirits. It is so much
more than the physical. And I guess that Sense 8 knew this. And
somehow, they managed to portray this despite the fact that the gay
sex was always between extremely good looking men, all muscular and
toned and very aware of their looks; it was a very thin line between
becoming silly scenes of self obsessive, soft gay porn, and scenes
that represented so much more than the sex that was being had. Of
course, the latter is what they were trying to achieve, and it worked
in moments as I was able to stand all the sex scenes without wanting
to fast forward. I’m just not comfortable with too much sex as usually
in shows, it is just used to cover up the fact that the story line is
pretty lame. It is usually sexist towards women as well, distasteful
or vulgar, and just not representative of the type of sex I want to be
having. But this? This meant more. This takes away the shame of sex,
which seems to be an underlying tone in many a movie; secret sex,
stolen sex, dirty sex. The sex in Sense 8 was more about Freedom. In
some of the orgy scenes, we must remember that, they aren’t actually
physically with each other; they are in different parts of the world.
Sex does not have to be physical. True sex, and true orgasmic bliss,
is a state of the mind. Or more truthfully, of the heart. And this
show screams, HEART.

This masterpiece, with episodes also directed by Tom Tykwer and written by Michael J
Staczynski, is incredible. We are able to delve into these peoples lives, be intimate with them, feel what they feel and, although on paper some of the story lines may seem cliche or stereo-typical, on screen they are interesting, with moments of brilliance. And then there are the additional elements that you just don’t find outside of a Wachowskis project. Finally, someone dares to tell stories that
most avoid. At last, a show of substance. A show that I can take my
time with, explore, get lost in. I think an important thing to
understand when watching Sense 8 is to not expect. Just “be”.
Understand. Hear. Feel. The visuals alone take you around the world in
its truest form. In our real lives, we get stuck in the past or
anxious about the future. And when we watch TV we tend to do the same;
“where is this going? I need to understand, I need action, I need
drama!”

Finally a show that delivers itself in the way in which it expects to
be watched; in the moment. I feel as though Sense 8 is just a series
of moments; and each character shares theirs with you. Of course, if
you have the attention span of a brick, say, the average American
viewer then you may get bored. I find it hard to understand how on
earth one could get bored of epic backdrops and a multi-national cast
that somehow seemed to be connected. And in essence, this is what the
show is about; Connection. Love. Compassion. Courage. Unity. So yes,
it is right up my street. And the fact that I can honestly relate to
so much within the various characters, is one of the reasons this show
stays in a special place in my heart. I often complain that as people
we are becoming de-sensitized, detached from one another. So selfish,
so focused on the things that we will ultimately come to find are not
real or important, they just appear to be; most TV shows survive and
thrive on, this unimportant yet unmovable delusion. I often worried I
was bi-polar; switching from such a vast range of emotions in matters
of moments, not understanding why I felt the pain of so many others,
or a sudden rush of joy which I knew came from the other side of the
world yet somehow from somewhere within me, right next to me, would
overtake my whole being. Did I need Sense 8 to help me understand this
huge part of my life? No. But I am extremely excited and relieved that
these stories are starting to be told. Because it is the future, but
it is also the past. It felt like a return to Source, when we are
truly able to be at one again, truly able to operate within our true
powers and abilities. I believe we are at our most powerful when we
are connected, but this connection takes true courage and growth, and
Sense 8 demonstrates that through delicate, heart-warming moments,
through to its exciting and aggressive fighting scenes, Matrix style.

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I guess we need to ask ourselves, what is our intentions with
story-telling these days? Are audiences influencing movie-makers, or
are movie-makers influencing audiences? What stories do we want to
tell? Is it just about earning a quick buck? Is a successful movie or
show now only simply defined by how much it cashes in? By how many
millions tune in? It would seem obvious to define its success this
way, of course. But with the intelligence and attention span of the
average viewer dropping dramatically, would it be wise to continue to
only make films, shows that are seemingly in demand? Will that not only
keep us stuck? If film can influence, don’t we want to shape powerful
futures, encourage powerful visions? We must think of our futures when
watching and creating films. And we mustn’t be scared to be original
either. People are scared of true originality. They are scared of the
unknown. But if it isn’t unknown then it has already been done and if
its already been done well then, what is much of the point?

Kudos to the Wachowskis. This project is and was right up my street
and I as well as many others who still appreciate good art, will very
much be looking forward to Season 2.

I’d like to again thank the Wachowskis and Tom Twyker for having
me on set and making me feel a part of this journey. The Wachowskis
are warm and welcoming people, with huge hearts and their priorities
seem to lie in what is important, what is true, over what is popular.
I respect that. I am always drawn to people who, no matter what, even
if the whole world told them the sky is blue, if they knew deep down
in their hearts that it was black, even if that truth meant they would
have to go through hell in their lives, they would still swear the sky
was black. There is nothing more powerful in this world than love, and
I think the Wachowskis have always known that. I hope their mission to
continue to spread this truth and to encourage unity and freedom
throughout the world, for all, is supported and strengthened.
 I happen to randomly be in one of the episodes looking ROUGH
thanks to Lana Wachowski. “Hey Portia, do you wanna jump in this
scene?” (as I busied myself taking behind the scenes pics) But you generally
only see the side of my face. So it’s all good ☺

Reviews on Sense 8 so far, critics, press and viewers worldwide, I would say are roughly 85% good, but I have a feeling, based on the delivery of its story telling, that its a creeper and before long, everyone is going to be mind-blown. It’s literally a case of “you either love it now or you love it later, either way you’re gonna be head-fucked”. Sense8 is what people didn’t even realize they needed until they got it, and I suspect the demand for a 2nd series will be high

The cinematography and visuals of this show is outstanding. I will be uploading some more posts with behind the scenes images from various cities soon. I do wish there was more from some of the cities. I say this because, having visited them myself, I failed to see some of the qualities that make them such fantastic cities, delivered in the show. Of course aesthetically, they were beautifully represented, but I would have liked to see more from the locals, more from the people. I don’t know. Something was missing though. It felt like almost a waste because the fact that they filmed in all these 8 cities really was a huge achievement. 

 

Some of the dialogue in the show was just unnecessary and took away from what otherwise would have been even more effective scenes.

There are some brilliant scenes and lines i really want to talk about but I don’t want to spoil it; just get to watching if you haven’t already and feel free to tweet or message your thoughts x

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Travel Through Pictures: Dhobi Ghat, Mumbai

Walk with me through Dhobi Ghat, an open-air laundrymat in Mumbai, known as the largest outdoor laundry in the world. Here you will find thousands of pieces of clothing, being hand-washed by locals, also known as “dhobis”.  From hotels through to hospitals, everyone seems to send their clothes here for the “lower cast” of people to wash and handle. Well they may apparently be lower on the ranking of importance (meh) but they were certainly very free and happy people. It was a pleasure being there.

 

Let’s go…1Q1A9597 1Q1A9599 1Q1A9601 1Q1A9602 1Q1A9603 1Q1A9604 1Q1A9605 1Q1A9606 1Q1A9608 1Q1A9609 1Q1A9610 A school gather for class.1Q1A9611 1Q1A9612 1Q1A9613 1Q1A9614 1Q1A9618 1Q1A9620 1Q1A9627 1Q1A9630 1Q1A9636 1Q1A9640 1Q1A9642 1Q1A9643 1Q1A9645 1Q1A9646 1Q1A9649 1Q1A9650 1Q1A9652 1Q1A9653

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Beautiful, Glowing Skin…. Naturally… by Me

I think it’s about time I shared this! This post and the products involved is SO overdue. I always intended on eventually sharing and promoting my home-made remedies and concoctions but I just never seemed to find the right time; did I want to turn my obsession and knowledge in all things natural and healing into a business? And if so, would I need to deal with all my labels, packaging and branding first? Or did I just want to share the actual and exact ingredients? So people could perhaps try creating themselves?

 

I figured just giving away the ingredients and ideas was stupid; I had something that worked and I was passionate about it, why not do it properly?

 

In addition, it’s like I heard very little else besides comments on how amazing my skin looked, from various strangers, friends and work colleagues, continuously for weeks. And considering I am not a fan of foundation, compliments on my skin are even more appreciated. I’ve been asked what foundation do I use, when I wasn’t even wearing any! Most recently, I had a make up artist gain much pleasure from stroking the skin on my face, exclaiming, your skin is just too amazing and smooth omg, it’s a joy to touch! I then argued with a woman at a cash till trying to convince her I was over 17. Yes. 17!!! Then, when I was getting my eyebrows done, the therapist asked me, “So what are you studying in college?”.

 

That’s when I thought stuff it, I’m going to start selling my own products.

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I’ve made some samples of the beauty lotions I am currently using; one is for the body, and the other specifically for the face. Of course, they are natural enough to be used all over (and almost good enough to eat!) but one is specifically for the face due to it’s smoothing and toning properties. Not to mention that it is packed with vitamins C and E. The beauty lotion for the face includes: Rosehip oil, Shea butter, Almond oil, Wheatgerm oil, Avocado Oil, Sunflower Seed oil and Pure Cocoa Butter. The rose hip oil is abundant with vitamin C and is a fantastic anti-aging oil. The pure cocoa butter smoothens skin and evens out the skin tone, and the Shea butter offers maximum moisture. This cream is the COMPLETE package for your face. Your skin wants nothing more than vitamins C and E, and to feel hydrated. Your skin feels as soft as a baby’s.

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In the above picture, you can see how dry my hands have become; I’ve been washing up daily without gloves and using non-natural washing up liquid (terrible, terrible, terrible). I haven’t rubbed the oil in yet, but just applied to show you just before absorbing into my skin. It’s such a protective oil. I am really lazy with hand-care but I am going to start making an effort.

 

The cream is “hard” at first but immediately softens on your fingertips and is a cross between  lotion and an oil when being applied. Similar to coconut oil. It’s amazing. WP_20150522_14_23_19_Pro

The body lotion is RIDICULOUS; I often find myself just stroking my skin and being delighted by it’s silkiness. It is loaded with vitamin E and nourishing Shea butter. Very lightly scented with vanilla and lavender, it has a natural and earthy, yet somehow sherbet-like smell… hard to imagine? You will just have to try it yourself. The coconut oil leaves your skin glowing.

 

There are always 7 essential oils and ingredients in my body lotions because 7 is my power number. I shall perhaps elaborate on that later.

 

I guess I now decide if I want to sell them, how I want to sell them… and I am open to any advice or anyone who would like to get involved. I guess I need a little logo. I have one in mind. But what is most important to me is that these products actually work. And that people are always questioning me about my beauty regime and what products I use. It feels good because, I often worry a lot over the way I am NOT taking care of my skin; constantly stressed, never sleeping, forgetting to eat at times. Which just proves to me even more just how much my beauty choices have done me so many favours.

I love the way my skin glows, naturally. And if I do choose to wear make up, it applies so smoothly. Generally, I like to be bare-faced and free (perhaps my products shall be called BareFace!!) and this lotion ensures that my skin looks so healthy that I can feel confident stepping out of the house completely natural.

 

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I’m not going to lie to you, I am VERY lazy when it comes to getting ready. I love to wash and go. Or should I say wash, oil and go. My beauty oils and lotions have become my foundation!

 

 

 

 

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I want to send out a few samples so that you can experience it for yourself. If you are interested in receiving a sample, please firstly subscribe to this blog and confirm via your email. Secondly, post a selfie picture on instagram and tag it portiafrenobeauty. I will then randomly select at least 5 people to send samples out to.

 

I am really excited about sharing this with you! These samples are not in fancy packaging; they may not even have any labels or cute pictures on them. These are literally the original, original samples haha! The first of the first. And I appreciate all feedback.

I can’t wait to start sharing my hair products also…

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I will be posting more soon, on other uses for the lotions, and other products. I suffer from stress break outs quite regularly, and I have a go-to that I use as an overnight fix. I will be sharing that with you all when possible. Be sure to subscribe, and I look forward to our natural journey of better and even more beautiful skin!

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Portia xx

 

Photo by Rene Connage-Durant

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I eat it ALL at Amorino, Berlin

This one’s a tasty one. And if you’re on some sort of strict diet or ice cream ban, or can’t afford a cheat day, then it may be best to click on a fitness post instead. Although, to be fair, the ingredients in this post are mostly all natural and healthy. So don’t feel guilty should you choose to read on….

I was invited to eat and play at Amorino, Berlin. But the way in which I was invited was not the usual, same old, emaily, businessy kinda way, but in fact it is quite a nice story, so I will tell you quickly before taking you to eat ice cream.

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So I had just finished a really tasty burger from burger de ville, and was washing it down with a juice from dean & david.

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I was also coming across weird things like this

1Q1A7242 And naturally doing weird things like this1Q1A7243 1Q1A7244 1Q1A7245Then, as I sat down to finish my juice, a man appeared with ice cream. I kid you not. He came to me, holding the most tempting and charming little cone with the creamiest looking ice cream and said, you must try this. I promise you it is the best ice cream you will find.

 

How could I say no? He looked trustworthy enough.
1Q1A7211 He wasn’t lying. It was to die for. I can honestly say, it was the best I had ever tasted. It was perfect. It tasted so natural and pure, the flavour was bursting through, it melted perfectly on the tongue; it was just too good. I even ate the cone, and I usually don’t like cones. But I needed to get to every bit of ice cream :) 1Q1A7223No surprise why I’m smiling like that. Free ice cream, good weather, a new city… wouldn’t you be?

1Q1A7235So, it turns out Peter (Peter, giver of ice cream) owns the Amorino in which I was sitting outside of on Kurfûstendamn (below), but when I told him I was a blogger, he invited me to his other store, on Oranienburger Straße to try out ALL, yes, he said ALL of the flavours, as he said the other store was bigger and had more variety. I couldn’t believe my luck as I am a true fattie, and all I could see was ice cream and waffles. Besides, after what I had tasted thus far I was already hooked. Why not get as much of it for free while I could, before I found myself in ice cream debt? 
1Q1A7216So, a couple days later, that is exactly what I did. (Don’t be mistaken, I would have gone straight to the other store there and then, but I was heading to a museum)

1Q1A7662 1Q1A7661 1Q1A7663 Amorino, Oranienburger Straße 1-3. It is no surprise that you are full with people, and happen to be busy from the time you open until you close. 1Q1A7665

1Q1A7612 1Q1A7631Vaniglia Tahiti, Frutto della Passione, Pisstachio Verde di Bronte, Sorbetto Al Cioccolato Bio, Limone Femminello di Sorrento. (Vanilla, PassionFruit, Pistachio, Chocolate, Lemon)

 

Ok. So a bit of an odd mix. But it worked. Honestly, because it tasted so natural, nothing was sickly or overbearing.
1Q1A7635The prettiest, yummiest rose. 1Q1A7638 1Q1A7639I looked at the picture two images up and it dawned on me; we try so hard so often to not “ruin” things, to not “shake things up” or allow them to alter. We constantly strive for perfection and fear anything less. But to me, true beauty comes only after all imperfections have been exposed, revealed and accepted, and only then can true strength follow. You can only be perfect when you are complete and at peace with your imperfections. Oherwise you aren’t complete. And in order to grow as people, we must first discover our weaknesses. And to truly discover our weaknesses and all our mess, we must come undone. And to come undone is a beautifully spiritual process. Like a seed cracking open. And one musn’t be afraid of the mess or the madness. Not if one has the aim of growing, of becoming fearless. 1Q1A7646Just like this ice cream below. No longer in it’s “perfect” or acceptable state. You wouldn’t think of selling an ice cream in this state. No one would want it! But in actual fact, it tastes even better now that the flavours have all mixed together, and slightly melted so it’s not too cold to taste the flavours. And I think it looks absolutely beautiful , the way the colours have found each other. I am obsessed with this picture… 1Q1A7659 1Q1A76701Q1A7668 OMG adorable! 1Q1A7671Mango and Raspberry. I had about 3 of these. Officially my 2 favourite flavours. Because they use real, fresh fruit, it was literally like eating a bowl of fresh raspberries and mangoes, just 10x more refreshing. This is THE ice cream of the year! Healthy, scrumptious, and how pretty does it look?1Q1A7672 1Q1A7674 1Q1A7677 Ok so you see the beads on my neck? The string broke the other day :( My sisters and I retrieved as many as we could; hopefully it will still be as long when repaired. I got it from a boutique called Ida in Seoul and I doubt I could find it again… I adore it!1Q1A7680 1Q1A7684 1Q1A7685 1Q1A7687 1Q1A7688

Some information on Amorino, which explains why the ice cream tastes so amazing, taken from the website:

Created by two childhood friends, Cristiano Sereni and Paolo Benassi, Amorino was born in 2002. The two founders’ passion is highlighted in their values : exacting standards of quality, consistency, pleasure and flavour, as well as the cosy atmosphere in their shops. Paolo Benassi : “Our objectif is to make the highest quality ice cream as naturally as possible with no artificial colours or flavourings”.

Very soon their success allowed them to open more stores around Paris.The crowds in front of their shops are now much a part of Paris’s summer scene.
Cristiano Sereni : ” My biggest satisfaction is to allow people to discover, through Amorino, the magic of authentic traditional Italian ice cream…it’s part of my home, my native culture”.

The creation of each new flavour of ice cream starts with the most rigorous choice of sourced ingredients, combined with the patience and skill of our highly trained chefs. Amorino takes conscience of the process that it requires. We, at Amorino, are fully conscious of the requirements that are needed to make perfect ice cream and we won’t rush that delicate process. For each new recipe, we push ourselves to maximise the flavour and the taste sensation. How? By simply using organic and natural products, by sourcing our ingredients directly from reputable suppliers and by ensuring that we oversee every stage of the production process.

1Q1A7693 If you are going to eat 20 ice creams, at least do it with class. Quality darling, quality. 1Q1A7698This has to be the coolest company car! Too cute!
1Q1A7701I could very, very easily do nothing but drive around Berlin in this car and eat Amorino ice cream all day. In fact, it’s quite worrying just how easily I could do that. Simple pleasures and all that.

1Q1A7708 This Fiat 5oo Convertible is too much fun. And it’s the perfect little size; big enough to not get bullied on the road, (yes I think about those things, road rage DOES exist) but small enough to be nippy, and fit into those tight spaces. It’s perfect for driving in Berlin.
1Q1A7723You can also eat ice cream in it in a million different ways; it looks compact but it’s very spacious inside :) 1Q1A77251Q1A77321Q1A7735I love the fact that Amorino’s ingredients never contain any artificial colours or additives.

“Absolutely no colouring agent or artificial flavours will be found in our ice cream – this is one of Amorini’s fundamental principles”.

 

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Back inside, and I’m eating macaroons.

I don’t even like macaroons.

To be more precise, I hate macaroons.

Ok. Amorino have got something special going on.

Ice cream macaron Pistacchio

1Q1A7744 1Q1A7745 I tried every flavour….

 

The chocolate flavours are to die for. And between the Banana, the Salted Caramel, the Cherry and the Amaretto, I simply kind of slipped into an euphoric state of oblivion; I wasn’t quite sure what was happening past the pleasure hehe.

1Q1A7748 Oh what’s that? More macaroons? But you don’t like them right?

OFFICIALLY CONVERTED.1Q1A7751 1Q1A7755 1Q1A7772 Now, these hot chocolates are proper Italian style; like a pudding. Rich, thick, smooth and velvety. Just imagine… do you not wish you were drinking one right at this very moment? I certainly do. 1Q1A7767 I knew I’d love the white chocolate one, but I was full of doubt when Peter placed Orange and Chocolate in front of me. I detest orange chocolate- oh hang on. I’ve said this before.

It was divine. I still cannot work out how this was possible; I can only assume its down to the natural quality of the ingredients.

1Q1A7777 1Q1A7780 And then there was the extra dark chocolate. Oh my….
1Q1A7781A love affair1Q1A7783 1Q1A7785 Heaven in a cup1Q1A7787 1Q1A7791 I’ve never been a “sweet” person; I’m more savoury, or cakes and ice cream, yes, but not sweets sweets. But I’m ruled by Venus and I’m a sucker for all things beautiful, pretty, sparkly…1Q1A7800 1Q1A7801 1Q1A7802Too pretty to eat! I did try a few though… the rose seeds and rose petals… wow! So light and delicate. And the tender strawberries… *mouth waters*. I’d recommend dropping a few of these in your champagne glasses1Q1A7797 ;1Q1A7803 The store was literally busy throughout my entire visit. I was told that customers travel for miles, in the winter, to get their Amorino fix. Dammit! What have I gotten myself into?1Q1A7806 1Q1A7809 Caption?1Q1A7814 1Q1A7818 Thank you Peter for your hospitality, inspiring stories and AMAZING ICE CREAM! These are the sort of cheat days I don’t feel guilty about AT ALL. 1Q1A7824

One could say that I successfully ate Amorino out of business. 1Q1A7832 1Q1A7833 1Q1A7835 One for the road? :) 1Q1A7837

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My GoldCrush Journey Begins!


I am so excited to be starting my GoldCrush journey finally! I was sent these little gems a while back, but due to photo shoots my hair was mostly curly, and was also going through different cuts and styles. As I wanted to document my hair growth, and make use of the really cool t-shirt that came with the package, I decided to wait until the right time.

 

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GoldCrush are natural supplements for hair, skin and nails. You can fuss over all the oils and creams you like, if the right nutrients aren’t getting in to your body, then you might struggle to achieve optimum hair and skin health. GoldCrush offer to feed the follicles with vital nutrients, as well as improve both skin and nails.

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The supplements come with a cool t-shirt where you can actually measure your hair growth and keep track of progress; I love!

 

My nails are actually in awful condition right now, as I had my first shellac and it totally weakened my nails! I’m grateful for all these much needed vitamins and minerals._I1X6104

I just had quite a big chop, so I’m pretty eager to grow my hair again; my GoldCrush journey couldn’t have started at a better time._I1X6105

So I read the ingredients and they include Golden Bamboo, Organic Linseed powder, Zinc, Vitamins A, C and D, complex B Vitamins, Selenium, Spirulina, Iron, Collagen and Calcium._I1X6112

 

The capsules are completely free from Gluten, Wheat, Lactose, Yeast, Artificial Colours, Added Sugar and Preservatives. Good good :)

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Exciting! I wonder where my hair will be in 2 months time… I’m going to keep an eye on it’s condition, manageability and growth. In the meantime, why not start the journey with me? You can order yours online here, and receive the below straight to your door.

 

GC-Wide

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The Perfect Bun

Yesterday I visited aimee at Blo Bar in Chiswick for the perfect bun. This up-do took Aimee all of 4 minutes, and my hair is very thick. I never wear my hair like this but I absolutely love it! You may see me like this more often….

 

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I wasn’t wearing any make up, but I decided that a hair style like this needed a strong lip. So I grabbed my Bobbi Brown Art Stick in Cassis. I am LOVING this crayon, it is so amazing! The way it applies is so perfect, and it doesn’t dry out your lips in any way; if anything they feel more moisturised! This is definitely one of my favourite lip colour purchases. I only applied it lightly, but a more dramatic look can also be achieved upon further application. Bobbi Brown’s Art Stick in Cassis cost me £19.50.

I applied NYC Color Wheel Mosaic Face Powder to my cheeks; this cost me less than a fiver.

I put a slick of YSL Dessin Du Regard Crayon eyeliner on my eyes; I’ve never had the patience or steady hand for anything more but one day I may learn. This fab eyeliner cost me £20

And that’s it! I’m still on a foundation ban so my skin isn’t looking flawless, but I’m definitely happy with how great my bare skin looks.

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My slim fit jeans are from H&M and my boots are from Zara. My sleeveless blouse was purchased from a random boutique but I honestly cannot remember what country the boutique was in haha. My black t-shirt underneath was bought from Bershka in South Korea. My silver neck piece, picked up at Topshop a few months ago. And my Emporio Armani watch went perfectly with this outfit. It is such a classic watch, that it goes well with most outfits to be honest.
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My Pandora rings never come off, so they are a regular feature in my style posts :) I adore them. My earrings were a gift to myself from a jewellery store in LA. I can’t remember the name, but they they were no more than $25 if I remember correctly… 20150319_175110-1-1

This New Look jacket was such a great buy! It was on sale for £25. The faux fur is the perfect touch, and it makes all the difference in this (horribly) cold weather!

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Thank you Aimee for my fabulous bun :)

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Bad Breakfasts, Cocktails and Lingerie Shopping in Berlin

My first meal in Berlin. We dropped our stuff at the hotel and stepped straight out to explore. Within minutes, we were in this pub, slash, restaurant, slash cafe type place. I’ll be honest; the food didn’t impress me. In fact, it was pretty rank. The mister enjoyed his…. but I was disappointed with a capital D.
1Q1A6952 1Q1A6953 1Q1A6954 The best part about this breakfast was the jewellery I wore whilst eating it. My Pandora rings and a beautiful bracelet that my bf gifted me with from a jewellers in South Korea.1Q1A6956 I love this shot….1Q1A6960 Time to hit the streets…. do you see what I see?!1Q1A6977 1Q1A6980 I can’t help but be a little troublesome….

I’m wearing one of my old faithfuls; a pair of Topshop jeans in the “Leigh” cut. I’ve literally bought these jeans at least 4 times; one of them are now a pair of shorts, the others are lost somewhere. I just love the way they fit and stretch so I keep going back…
1Q1A6981 My cute little jacket is from a cheap boutique in LA. Larchmont village in fact. It was about 20 quid. I kid you not…. I adore the faux fur features.1Q1A6982 Wearing a pair of Adidas trainers as always…1Q1A6983 1Q1A6984 Walked into a homeware store and look what I found….1Q1A6993 1Q1A6995 1Q1A6996 1Q1A6997
1Q1A6998Is it vain to just sit and stare at yourself?
1Q1A7014 1Q1A7029Being troublesome again….
1Q1A7034 1Q1A7035 Jet lag finally hit me….1Q1A7036 Just kidding! I always have energy :) 1Q1A7037 1Q1A7038I found myself at Gios Fagiano on Fasanenstraße and it totally made up for the bad breakfast choice earlier. Amazing cocktails, cute and comfy seating and a great bar!
1Q1A7044 1Q1A7045 1Q1A7050 1Q1A7056 I am so ashamed to say that I have totally forgotten the name of this lingerie boutique! It is right next to Fasanenstraße, minutes from Gios, and there is a second hand designer shop a few stores away if I remember correctly… I hope that helps you find it. The store owner is so helpful and sweet and helped me pick some beautiful pieces. Beware of her dog though; if you ask me it’s pretty scary. It literally had to be locked away before it ate me alive.

 

 

 

1Q1A7074 1Q1A7075 1Q1A7076 So beautiful inside, which contributes to a wonderful shopping experience. 1Q1A7077 1Q1A7078

 

Thank you for having me, and for spending so much time selecting the perfect pieces for me!

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Road Trip to Naivasha pt.1

In this post, we drive from Nairobi to Naivasha, which is approximately 47 miles away. We also get a quick peek at the Sanctuary Farm where I will be staying for a relaxing break.

kjrgbcy bvaqeqd Quick stop at the Great Rift Valley to admire spectacular views and to have a chat with locals about the history behind this scenic phenomenon. The great rift valley is a continuous geographic trench apparently around 6,000 kilometres in length, that runs from the northern Jordan Rift Valley in Asia to Mozambique in South Eastern Africa.

rq45elj  It was sunny but really breezy with a slight chill, so I paired my sunflower-yellow cropped jumper from Topshop with my handmade skirt; a gift from a friend who had just returned from Malawi. 03htmjy 4qzcu4q  What a view.aoadmmxgpkpz2aGift shop ran by Masai locals

zw5wjkz ppf5w1vAfter buying some lovely bits of jewellery for family and friends we jumped back on the road.

pavtvlaAs soon as you arrive at Sanctuary Farm you are surrounded by animals! q0lp0ccFeels so wonderful to walk wild and free. hpea0sq mk2jcv2Well hello theremssughq 5pgzn04 iqvtek1Lunch was awaiting us; home made bread, fresh salads and pastries… it couldn’t be more perfect. There were perhaps 2 or 3 others staying in the vicinity and they were nowhere to be seen. Peace and tranquility is an understatement.e4ke4po zrow1e2 Cheers! To good health, travel and love.cqv3u54 qxescm3Part 2 of this post includes exploring the farm and running with giraffes! But until then, a quick look at the room…bp2xqlu

qshv2to 2gmoz1x nnpihgi oxbo3ndIt really is perfect, with the farm at my doorstep. I can’t wait to share more with you :)

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Mad About Masks; innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay

I’m really excited about sharing this product with you as I can 100% vouch for it and have been so impressed by it’s results. This cooling and exfoliating clay mask is a best seller at innisfree and that doesn’t surprise me one bit. It has actually been quite a rough time for my skin; since returning from Mumbai to the cold of the UK my skin went extremely dry in a way I hadn’t experienced before. I used castor oil and shea butter to protect it and tried to be patient. I then went to Iceland where the pure Iceland water did wonders for my skin in a short few days. But once I got back to London, my skin decided it had had enough; I broke out in itchy dry patches and spots. I decided it was time to give this super volcanic pure clay mask a try.

1Q1A0652“Jeju Volcanic Scoria, made with hardened lava when the volcanoes erupted in Jeju, is a purely natural ingredient with powerful sebum control capacities.”  The mask promises to exfoliate dead skin cells, control sebum production, deep cleanse and enhance skin tone. It also promises to tighten the skin’s pores but I don’t fully buy that as I am pretty sure that you cannot change the shape or size of your pores, you can only minimize the appearance of them. Below is a snap shot from their website which I find useful and informative.

img_super_view2The clay is thick, yet extremely smooth and easy to apply. Due to the sensitivity of my skin, I decided to be cautious and apply a thin layer.

1Q1A0672It was almost instantly cooling. I felt my skin slowly relax underneath the cooling effects of the clay. I left the mask on for 10 minutes as instructed and it rinsed off easily. The results were immediate and obvious; my skin tone WAS enhanced and looked brighter, healthier. My rashes had calmed down! And my skin was not excruciatingly itchy as it had been before. There were no dry patches… nothing! The difference was dramatic. And I certainly felt as though my skin had undergone a deep cleanse, absorbing and removing impurities from my pores. Finally a mask I’m excited about! And I’m only 3 masks in, in my search for the perfect face mask. innisfree Super Volcanic Pure Clay Mask scores a 9/10. It comes in a cute, portable tub so is easy to travel with and is free from artificial fragrance and pigments, parabens, benzophenone, ethenol, animal ingredients and mineral oil.  So why not a 10 you ask? Tbh I’m not quite sure; it could be the fact that there are still a few ingredients that I am not 100% sure about how natural they are. Or perhaps because I have only used it once and would like to see how it works when being used every couple of weeks; it’s pretty intense so I don’t think extra-regular use is necessary, yet it doesn’t strike me as a mask that will irritate the skin if over used either.  Grab a tub and experience the results for yourself

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Random Thoughts; Love is Power

I am sure we can all relate to frustrating times of trying to make someone else see what they are doing ‘wrong’, or how they are being ‘wrong’. I am sure we can all relate to how painful it feels to be misunderstood, or how it feels to be outraged by another’s actions. Sometimes we get so consumed in blaming others, or even blaming ourselves, trying to make sense of everything, judging every event, every action, to understand the present moment. Yes, often we are right, and what we are trying to advise another is perhaps true, or necessary. But maybe it isn’t the right time for them to digest your advice. Or maybe it isn’t the right time for things to change. Perhaps they just don’t agree with your advice, or care for anyone else’s feelings. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter. Why should they care about your feelings? Why should they understand, just because you do? Why should anything or anyone change? I am sure, we all have answers to these questions, often reasonable, fair and well-thought out answers. And yes, people do wrong and wrong things happen and the world is not fair. But here’s the best way to deal with ALL of that; LOVE. Don’t worry about what others do to you; only worry about what you do to others. Be the best version of YOU. Understand that that version is still to come, and is a work in progress. Yes, someone did you wrong, but what did you do? How did you react? Perhaps you should have responded, rather than reacted? And how will fighting fire with fire help? We have all experienced enough in this world to know that anything you “attack” never works. War, anger, violence. None of it serves the world or yourself. The only way to respond to hate is love. Love yourself even when you mess up because you know that you are going to do better today. Love others when they mess up because you know they are going to do better today. The only place we need to grow towards is love. There is no other place worth striving towards; it is all really a waste of time. We are supposed to make mistakes and get things wrong, so that we can exercise our true power and allow it to strengthen within us; love, patience, forgiveness, compassion. If we make mistakes and react in hate, fear or judgement then we are only continuing a mistake, and digging a deeper hole.  Surround yourself only with people who want you to grow and will stand by you through the painful process. Only love cures hate, pain and fear. Only love can free your soul. Choose love over hate, always. Only then will you allow your blessings to unfold, your love to strengthen, and your pain to heal. Only then will you realise just how powerful you are and how love is the only thing that is real. Your ego is not real. As a newborn, were you egotistical? You learn the ego as you grow, as you learn many other things that are not real during the growing up process. Society is designed to feed only your ego, to take you away from your higher self. Your higher self has NOTHING to do with financial gain or ANY label, none at all. Many of us will die only realising that at the last second. Your higher self is pure, unconditional love and there is no man more powerful on this earth than the man of unconditional love. Unlearn all that the ego has created for you in order to “protect” you. It won’t be easy; it will be painful and testing, and you will need some die-hards by your side along the way, but omg it will be worth it. Let’s not speak about being free, let’s actually be it ☆♡☆♡☆

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Back to Black at TONI&GUY

TONI&GUY. Seoul, Korea.1Q1A6121

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Before travelling to Korea I told myself it was time for a little hair change; nothing outrageous, but I flirted with the idea of going back to black. My hair had fully returned to it’s reddish brown and I missed the glossy effect my black hair had. I was delighted to hear that the director and her team of the Toni&Guy at the IFC Mall and The Conrad, Seoul would be giving me my new look. I was in perfect hands.

1Q1A6123 My hair was a mixture of browns and reds.1Q1A6128 1Q1A6133 A quick peek at the Toni&Guy magazine whilst the colour is prepared1Q1A6142 The colour is applied. I wasn’t worried about damage from the colour at all; the team had already discussed the protective products, as well as the treatments and after care that would take place during my visit.1Q1A6147 The colour was left on for about 15 minutes. 1Q1A6150Plenty of peppermint tea and conversations about places travelled.1Q1A6135Washed out…1Q1A6160 And my hair is wonderfully black. A treatment is then applied to my scalp; I could feel it tingling as it soothed and did it’s magic.1Q1A6176 1Q1A6179 Head massages always put me to sleep…. there is nothing better.

I was in a private room and they were playing the most perfect music; jazz, soul and chillout tracks.1Q1A6186 The treatment left my hair ridiculously soft. Like, it felt SO good. I must get my hands on the products used! Many of the products used were in-house and not for sale.1Q1A6193 Label M hair products were also used to add protein protection1Q1A6196 1Q1A6198And Relaxing balm to ensure a smooth blow dry.1Q1A62061Q1A6207 1Q1A6222 It’s pretty long… you don’t realise so much when you wear your hair curly. And yes it took 2 people to blow-dry my hair…

I’m loving the silkiness of my hair.1Q1A6232 1Q1A6237 1Q1A6239 Time to cut!! This is always the scariest part for me yet I always seem to look forward to it. It’s therapeutic; like getting rid of the old and the negative and any dead energy.1Q1A6244 1Q1A6246 1Q1A6249Haha! The pic below looks like I’m praying for my hair to still be there once it’s over lol. 1Q1A6267 Quite a bit shorter right? But HEALTHY :) 1Q1A6256 Final touches….1Q1A6269 I couldn’t be happier with my new look! I wore black and white pinstripe to match my new hair perfectly.1Q1A6271 1Q1A6272 1Q1A6273 What do you think?1Q1A6274 Toni&Guy did an amazing job. I am obsessed with my new hair, it’s shine and bounce and how much healthier it looks. 1Q1A6277Thank you so much guys!
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You’ll find this wonderful Toni&Guy salon adjacent to the IFC Mall and The beautiful Conrad hotel in Seoul. Let them know I sent you!

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Postcards from Mumbai pt.1

The next destination is India; Mumbai to be exact.

There’s only a few short hours to explore; what with traffic, and the intense humidity slowing you down, that really isn’t a lot. 1Q1A9115 1Q1A9125 Victoria Terminal. The roads are absolutely crazy here! No one waits for anyone, the beeping of horns is constant, and indicating is a foreign concept. Nevertheless, death by car accidents are few and rare. Thank God. 1Q1A9120 This picture below, captured by Aml, has to be one of my favourite shots of all time. 1Q1A9154 1Q1A9155 1Q1A9157 Pose. Even if the entire street is watching. Especially if the entire street is watching. 1Q1A9158 1Q1A9160 Obsessed with my outfit. I was so happy with how it looked that I forgot to put any jewellery on. It was too hot to wear my hair down. Swept back and simple.1Q1A91611Q1A9162 1Q1A9165 I am so happy to see you! Quench my thirst! 1Q1A9172 1Q1A9174 1Q1A9179Coconut obsession
1Q1A9182The surrounding area of Victoria terminal offers lots of cool little book shops and jewellery stands.
1Q1A9190 1Q1A9204There are so many cool side roads. I fell in love with this one.

 

1Q1A9214 1Q1A9216 1Q1A9217 1Q1A9218 1Q1A9223 Poverty here is strong but it doesn’t stop the beauty of the place1Q1A9227 We return to Victoria terminal to jump in our waiting car. 1Q1A92291Q1A9241

 

They are moped crazy here! No helmets and no holding on! Where to next?

You’ll soon find out :)

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STK = Style not Steak

This style post is a special one as it shows one of my many earthday celebrations :) However, for this birthday reason, it also means the pictures are not of great quality, as who has time worrying about pictures and blog posts when it’s your birthday?

In the cab heading to STK. I will share make up and hair details in a next post.

Loving my silver necklace from Topshop. It was only 8 quid!photo-1IMG-20141101-WA0061 IMG-20141101-WA0056

I wore a cropped black long sleeved jumper from Topshop. It is also available in red which is so hot and cute.

I teamed my cropped sweater with my new favourite skirt from Armani Exchange. I purchased this in Korea several weeks ago but didn’t get the chance to wear it until now. I am obsessed with the print and the material. I will definitely be wearing this skirt a few different ways so look out for future style posts on that.

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My over the knee, sexy suede, black boots are from Zara, priced £139. They have a very small heel and i find them absolutely perfect for dressing up an outfit or keeping it sexy but casual. As they have no silver or gold elements on them I find them even more versatile.

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On my wrist is my new watch, a special birthday gift from my partner. Details on that soon. I kept jewellery simple so besides a Pandora ring also, I wore nothing else.IMG-20141101-WA0021With my beautiful stylist and blogger friend Elizabeth (@eajomale)

 

I might as well quickly share my food with you… (I’m a pescetarian). I ordered the sea bass with seaweed mash and greens. My side was the lobster mac ‘n’ cheese; amazing!!! The homemade brioche for starters was perfection. IMG-20141101-WA0014 Oh, I forgot to mention, my best friend bought me a wonderful bracelet so that is what you can see on my wrist. It says “Do what you love and love what you do”. IMG-20141101-WA0013 IMG-20141101-WA0006Make up details coming soon photo 2-3With my beautiful bestieIMG_20141101_142720IMG_20141101_141208

Cheers!  xxxx

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PostCards from Seoul

We are staying at The Conrad, Seoul. It is a beautiful hotel. I shall post more on it soon.

Quick selfie before stepping out…. as you do

1Q1A6304 1Q1A6310 1Q1A6308 Did i say “quick” selfie?…..1Q1A6311 The IFC Mall, Seoul is attached to The Conrad Hotel; so was a daily temptation….1Q1A6313 1Q1A6314 1Q1A6318 The outfit; Cropped jumper and boots both from Zara, pleated skirt and over the knee socks both from H&M, and the perfect finish; my new hat from Bershka. 1Q1A6320 1Q1A6327Fascination….. This little girl was the cutest! 1Q1A6328 Don’t you just love this hat? It was around $35 from Bershka…. grab one!!1Q1A6330 Instagram check….1Q1A6335

 

Hold on! Is that The Maze Runner showing in cinemas in Seoul, Korea? Loving it!!

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Feeling peckish so time to grab a bite to eat, but not before playing peek-a-boo with the cutest little girl!1Q1A6362 1Q1A6365

 

Blueberry yoghurt smoothies at Le BRUNCHIC – these are just too good!1Q1A6376 1Q1A6379 1Q1A6383 Yummmmmmmmm. *Slurp*1Q1A6378 Ok so my boyfriend was sensible and got a raw mushroom salad with parmesan and rocket, which actually tasted DELICIOUS and caused me food envy!1Q1A6384 1Q1A6386 I made the mistake of ordering something fatty and being in “greedy” mode, because I was just so hungry. The crab spaghetti with lobster bisque was lovely, however it was too rich and after a few forkfuls became too sickly; but why am I craving it now as I type? Hmmm. Strange. I must be in a naughty mood again. 1Q1A6393

Back upstairs to shop….1Q1A6400 Aml loving life! Be Grateful, be Free!1Q1A6406 We’re all guilty….1Q1A6403 Had to pull my hair into a pony tail as it gets so hot in the mall! And despite my Zara top being cropped, the thick material means you are never cold1Q1A6417 “Just Do It, Just be Happy”1Q1A6418

Canon Selfie while the mister tries on clothes.

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Like I said, we are all guilty…..1Q1A6483 We do SO much travelling…. new travel bags perhaps?1Q1A6500 What do you guys think of this dress at Armani Exchange? They also have a mini skirt in the same print. I fell in love1Q1A6514 1Q1A6517 Heading back to The Conrad, but the night is not over yet….. TBC1Q1A6523

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Postcards from Nairobi; PORTIA X ASAYF

A spontaneous photo shoot with the renowned photographer Asayf (Asif R Khan) in the CBD, Nairobi, Kenya.

Styling – me

Make Up – me

Hair – me

As I mentioned, this shoot was spontaneous and also came during a stressful and tiring day for me so I was pleasantly surprised by the shots Asayf and I managed to get. Asayf made it pretty easy; he’s a fantastic photographer. I am obsessed with his instagram and all his travel photography; huge inspiration for me as I have been working on my own. I met up with him wearing what I had been wearing all day, and brought no changes with me…. and we just made it happen. I wore my boyfriends denim shirt which I always steal because I am obsessed with it and I tied it up over a black vest from Joy. I love the length and fit of this vest and have had it for a few years now.  Denim on denim; I teamed the shirt with a pair of Leah jeans from TopShop; this cut has always been my fave from TopShop and I have bought a few pairs of the exact same jean; one of them have actually been cut up and turned into shorts. The Leah cut is the closest to a “jegging” without being so, and hugs your figure beautifully. On my feet, I wore a pair of boots from Guess which haven’t stepped out since the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes premiere. 

Make up was minimal as I lack patience haha, plus I am not very good… but my latest favourite lippy, Liable in orange Red by Illamasqua was used in some shots and brought some drama to the images.

My hair was just me; wild and free. I had spritzed it with my favourite leave-in conditioner by Acure Organics earlier that morning, and pulled it back for some of the shots.

I adore these photos; they are honestly some of my favourites which just goes to show; you don’t always need to be covered in make up, neither do you always need to fuss over wardrobe, hair or even, ahem, sleep, in order to have a successful shoot! More to come…

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Postcards from Kenya

So I am currently in Kenya……. I’m just going to allow you a few seconds for that to really hit home…………….KENYA. The Motherland. I have been here for 2 days only yet I feel as though I am home.

Here are some pictures from my first day in Nairobi. As with all the cities I have visited, I will post a more lengthy piece once my travels are over, or when I have real time. But in the meantime I shall just send you all a few postcards every now and then, just to let you know I am thinking of you :)1Q1A3108 1Q1A3080 1Q1A3079 1Q1A3106 1Q1A31121Q1A3180 1Q1A3181 1Q1A3178 1Q1A3177 1Q1A3167 1Q1A3179 1Q1A3108 1Q1A3109 1Q1A3165

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Premiere

I had visited the Palace of Fine Arts twice before, both times on my way to the Golden Gate bridge. It is such a beautiful place and I fell in love with it, so it was pretty cool to find out it would host the Dawn of the Premiere of the Apes premiere. (I later came to realise a lot of the film was shot there also)

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The film was incredible. I had been wanting to see it so badly and it lived up to my expectations. It was viewed in 3D which was a little annoying; I’m not a fan of 3D, however I was able to watch it without it being a real bother to me. There was so much more to the story; an underlying message of history and future, friendship and acceptance, giving the film depth and quality.  Andy Serkis did such a fantastic job, as did all the cast members including Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke and Toby Kebbell as Koba.

Andy played Caesar, a character I fell in love with for his love and kindness. He could be accused of being a little naive however, and that naivety almost cost him his life…

Andy Serkis on the red carpet

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Aml and I on the red carpet.

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I wore the Clarke sleeveless LBD and the Ciona Open-Toe Chain Booties, both from Guess.

 

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Swarovski studs from Givenchy. Teamed with the Lara bangle in solid gold from Jamilah Jewels

unnamed-17unnamed-16There literally wasn’t time for hair and make up, so I threw my hair up and kept it simple; black pencil eyeliner and mascara, a bronzer on the cheeks and Acure Organics “Daaang” Lip Lush. I actually adore this lip gloss for it’s natural, deep, rich plum tone.
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The premiere after party was set in a room next door to the cinema room. What a cool set up! I was a little scared when first entering lol. I guess we were supposed to feel as though we were in the forest, and it did kinda feel that way!unnamed-1unnamed-4unnamed-3

 

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Plenty of food; sandwiches, steak, salads etc.unnamed-2

This photo feature was seriously cool! Aml wouldn’t let me hold the spear so naturally I had to take 2 photos.

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So it appears that I would stay cool and calm when under attack.

unnamedI strongly recommend this film; I will be watching again! A big thank you to Paradigm and 20th Century Fox for the invite. 
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Be in Love with Life

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I’m not quite sure what direction I am going in as I write this post. I’m not entirely sure what this will even be about. All I know is that I went to bed last night feeling a certain way, and I woke up the next day feeling another. As I struggled to fall asleep last night, I tried to tackle the million thoughts that invaded my mind un-welcomed. Beautiful, happy thoughts, mixed with sad and worrying thoughts. I worry a lot. I know the consequences that worrying can bring, and I understand that an often anxious person like myself worries unnecessarily, but that knowledge doesn’t mean I worry any less. And what was I even worrying about last night? Life; getting certain projects done, not failing myself. Love; concern for the ones I love, family and friends. Health; why did I feel so run down? Why was my body constantly in pain? Why was my anemia at it’s peak, causing all sorts of problems? What happens if something bad happens to the one I love, or the people I love? What if I become ill? It’s silly really, but it was what I worried about as I tried to force myself to sleep.

However, at some point in the night I woke up with a voice saying to me, “Be so in love with life that it has no choice but to love you right back”. Even though I knew I wouldn’t forget those powerful words, I had to turn the bedside lamp on and write them down quickly.

Scary things happen in life. Sometimes thoughts of what could happen, threaten our happiness. Bad things can happen, they might happen. But that doesn’t mean we must fear them. That is part of life. And the best defence we have against any troubles or obstacles in life is love.

I often feel so blessed in life, that I worry that it will not stay that way. I am fortunate enough to have a family, yes I miss them ridiculously when I travel but I am lucky enough to have them there on the other end of the phone, beautiful and supportive friends who are also like family to me, a loving, intelligent partner who I love dearly and have a best friend in; do these things last? Why am I questioning tomorrow? The truth is life is blessing me right now, and I should embrace and love life with every single part of me, so that it has no choice but to continue to bless me. And if bad things, whether big or small do happen, as I am sure they will from time to time, it doesn’t matter. I will deal with them to the best of my capability, if and only if, they happen, and I will still continue to love life, because love is unconditional. I am not going to turn my back on life just because it seemed to have let me down for a moment, or because it’s causing me some problems.

The love we have for life must be unconditional. Because ultimately, that is the love you are giving to yourself and to the future that you want to have. Life will never turn it’s back on you, you can only do that to Life. Don’t let that be the case. Live and Love.

 

P xx

 

 

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Pre-Order the “Ossie EP”, ft Sadie Walker

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I didn’t know about Ossie until very recently, after discovering UK female singer/songwriter Sadie Walker. She recently jumped on a track for Ossies forthcoming ep release, “Colours”, and her dark yet warming vocals reminded me of summer a few years back, warm evenings getting ready to head to a club, driving through central London looking pretty; there is definitely a type of nostalgic feeling that comes with her music. And listening to some of the featured tracks on Ossie’s EP, “Ossie EP”, that feeling remained. His beats remind me of old school summers and give me that feel good vibe. Not to say that they are dated, more timeless in fact, tracks that’ll be enjoyed in clubs for many years to come but also that’ll be played when you’re indoors and wanna vibe. This EP is fun, exciting and will certainly be on repeat following its release date, 26th February. Pre-order yours by clicking here

 

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Most Insane Species?

I came across a post on instagram (as pictured below) and thought, how damn true. Why on earth would I choose to eat products that mean destroying the earth, taking lives, harming the environment? I’ve dabbled in veganism and have gone through stages of eating no dairy products, back and forthing, always desiring a ‘balance’ which yes, I do still believe is important. (however, by saying that, am I not saying there should be a balance in the slaughter of animals, and to think that that is ok if only sometimes is ok?) I gave up red meat ages ago, can’t even remember when, but when I cooked lamb several months ago for another, I tried a bite as I believed my body ‘asked for it’. This is another thing, I do feel very in touch with my body and try to listen to it. And according to my blood type (o) I should be eating lean meats. I then ate chicken a few weeks ago when I was offered a plate of jollof rice, plantain and chicken and although I wouldn’t have felt bad to say, actually can you remove the chicken? I decided to eat it. It was only a little. Does that make it ok? No. But I listened to my body and it didn’t feel repulsed or revolted, it didn’t give me the tell tale signs of “you are going to want to throw up as soon as you eat this”. It told me yes, it’s been such a long time and I can definitely digest this. Ok so I probably sound a little crazy to some of you who don’t hear your body talk to them. Sound like a mad woman having convos with my body as though it is separate of me. (Although it kinda is really isn’t it?). But here’s the thing. Despite the health reasons and facts that PROVE why eating meat is a NO NO, regardless of what your body is saying at the time, the fact that it is just wrong MORALLY cannot really be argued. Or can it? In my personal opinion, to eat products knowing that in doing so you are contributing to the worlds largest environmental problem, as well as mass slaughter of innocent animals, is morally wrong. I guess many are not even aware that that is what they are doing. But have you tried to tell a meat-eater the effects of their choices? Oh gosh. The ignorance then becomes very apparent. Is it a guilty conscience that causes them to react that way? Is it intimidation? Not feeling equipped to supply an effective argument to oppose your facts, therefore they become irritated and uninterested? Or maybe all that meat is clogging up their brain? I am NOT trying to diss meat eaters, we all know I’ve been there and I’ve been very open and honest about when I’ve slipped up and eaten meat, but I was always kind of aware that something wasn’t right when I was eating it, and I knew in the back of my mind that it wouldn’t be forever. And when all the facts became available and I felt ready, I gave it up. It wasn’t even hard to be honest. Becoming a pescetarian was a very smooth and swift process. Giving up fish was a little harder but I was able to do it as I didn’t eat it that regularly, however I have started eating salmon again. What I do mainly struggle with however, is becoming a vegan. And is “struggle” even the right word? I don’t struggle to understand why I should be, and want to be, a vegan. I don’t struggle trying to understand just how agriculture affects the environment, and therefore all of us, as a people. I don’t struggle to understand the health benefits of giving up all animal products. Do I struggle with caring enough? The effort of practising what I preach and believe?

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All of this is so obvious to me and yet I still eat dairy products and fish from time to time. The times when I don’t, the differences in my health and wellbeing are instant and immediate. I have no doubt about the health benefits of being a vegan. However, morally is another story. You just can’t argue the fact that it is morally wrong, harmful and evil to eat animal products. The truth and facts are all there, you just have to do the research. I’m not sure why I eat cheese sometimes, I just bloody love it. But if I don’t buy it I don’t miss it. And after I eat it I feel like shit. Back to being a vegan again me thinks… after I cook and eat the salmon that’s already in the freezer…. and finish the rest of the cheese in the fridge. (Sounds bad but I always keep it real and honest). I won’t be throwing it away and giving it to another is just as bad.

What are/were your main struggles, if any, in becoming vegan? Or are you a meat eater who thinks being vegan is insane? What do you think of the above post? How many of you are “flexitarians”?

Share your thoughts x

p.s – Watch Cowspiracy on Netflix

 

 

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Shea Moisture – Reconstructive Finishing Elixir – Spray & Shine

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What was I doing before this product? Anyone? No? To be honest, I’m not sure either. This Raw Shea Butter Finishing Elixir by Shea Moisture is perfect, the main reason being because it is just so light. It’s not what you might be thinking; an oil you need to avoid because your hair easily looks greasy, or because it will weigh your hair down. Nope nope nope. I put oil in my hair, but usually in treatments or perhaps a few drops at night if I am wrapping my hair. But this is ideal for applying before leaving the house, as not only does it add an instant moisturising shine, but it smells fantastic. If you don’t already know of Shea Moisture’s signature scent then you need to go and run to your nearest beauty store, grab a tub and have a long sniff. It sounds dodgy, but you’ll be thanking me. The scent is addictive.  And more importantly, the ingredients are quality. Check them out below:

 

20160111_120734 The order of ingredients is so important, as I often stress in my reviews, as it is in order of quantity. This blend includes some of my favourite ingredients when it comes to hair care: shea butter, argon, avocado and carrot oil. This isn’t an oil for use before applying heat. This is a finishing spray, whether your hair is curly, straight, wild and out, tied back in a pony, it really doesn’t matter. Spray into your hands (I spray about 3-4 pumps) and apply to your hair for fabulous tresses. 20160111_120749

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Tasty Omega 3 and Fibre smoothie

This mornings smoothie was really tasty, and knowing that it was a great source of my daily fibre and omega 3 made it even tastier for me.

I used banana, strawberries, spinach and almond milk and then I added a wonderful little “top up”.

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Linseed, Goji berries, sunflower and pumpkin seeds were added to my smoothie with this convenient bag of goodness by Harvest Morn. This is a great source of fibre and omega 3 and such an easy way to obtain it! And priced under 2 quid at Aldi, there really is no excuse for not getting for daily intake!
20160109_124911 I did’t realise that whole linseed cannot be utilised properly by the body (because of its tough outer coat). Seeds are therefore put through a cold milling process to make for easier absorption. Why thanks guys :)

 

Another way to eat this is to sprinkle on your cereal or eat with yoghurt and fruit. I might try with pancakes… I love the crunch, so I’m sure it’ll be great in a crumble. And for something more savoury, how about adding to your soups?20160109_125022-1Yum.20160109_124213

Good Food, Good Health, Good Sex, Good Thoughts, Good Travel.