Ultimate valentine’s day breakfast

Nothing says’ i love you and appreciate you ‘ quite  like a breakfast served in bed. Try out these mouthwatering recipes and you will wish everyday was a special breakfast in bed affair.

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Nutella Espresso mug  cake with raspberries/Double chocolate heart donuts/Hot chocolate with marshmallow hearts/Red velvet waffles/Eggs in clouds/Greek yoghurt dipped berries/Nutella french toast with strawberries/Valentines day egg in a basket

Happy valentines Day.

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A New Year

Happy New Year.

Its been a couple of weeks since i last blogged and am happy to be back. Had an amazing Christmas holiday in Spain, i enjoyed every single day…giving and receiving gifts, drinking hot chocolate  by the fire place, playing board games till late in the night, watching spanish movies .

What a year 2013 has been filled with change, joy, opportunity, love, loss,new beginnings, all wrapped up in one. I married the love of life, moved to Italy. If there is one thing that i have learnt this year : If life gives you lemons make some lemon juice. I have learnt to focus on the positive and beautiful blessings in my life.

In 2014  am focusing on improving my Italian, i want to be more courageous and to  take more risks , continue to nurture my marriage , have longer phone calls to my parents and brothers that live far away, be more creative and adventurous.This end of year has been more of a time of reflection ,and looking back on how far the Lord has brought me . Am excited and really positive about what this year has in store for us.

Happy new year again.

20+ Beauty Sins You Might Be Committing

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For the past couple of months i have slowly shifted my skin care routine  from chemical products to more natural homemade products. I am no skin expert but i have realised that the best way to achieve healthy looking skin is to keep away from things that might damage my skin. For a long time i didnt know that the habits i was taking as trivial and small  were actually sabotaging the good health of my skin.
So here is my list of things that i wish i heard realised earlier,  hopefully you will put them to good use sooner than i did.
Buying products that are marketed as natural but are not. Many a times we are  blinded  by packaging and we buy products believing they are safe and non toxic simply because the label says so. But this is far from the truth. Carefully read labels and ingredients and avoid spending lots of money on “natural” products only to be disappointed.
Not drinking enough water on a daily basis. Yes  many of us would rather have a soda, anything but water. Big mistake! Our bodies are made up of 70% water and every cell in our body needs water . If you give your body the water it needs it definately pays you back with glowing  skin.
Oil and your skin are friends. Its often thought that applying oil on your skin leads to breakouts especially  if  you have oily skin. What happens is that applying drying cleansers and astringents products to our skin triggers the sebaceous glands to produce more oil and hence keeping our skins oily. Simply dab some oil on your face , this will dissolve the dirt and old oil and replace it with clean oil.
Expensive doesn’t always mean the best. I remember being in university and trying to save up money to be able to buy a certain expensive beauty cream that i had seen in a shop or that my friends were talking about. Only to buy it and realise that it wasnt all it was hyped up to be, sometimes even leaving my skin irritated.
Cellphones can affect our skin health. How ? Spending alot of time speaking on the phone can cause break outs on the chin and jaw area. If you notice the side of your face where you normally break out its probably the side where you hold your phone. Wipe you phone with antibacterial wipes regularly.
Rubbing eyes regularly. I am  guilty of doing this especially back in school after long hours of studying . This with time damages the thin skin around your eyes and can also lead to dark circles.
Washing your body and hair with really hot water. Your body and  hair dont get cleaner just because you wash them with hot water.  Very hot water drys out our skin and hair causing it to look unhealthy. Rather use warm water and pat dry .
Having no control when it comes to what we put in our bodies. I love chocolate, cheese, and everything else that my can cause my skin to break out. So i try to limit my intake of these products. The biggest change we can do for our skin is watch what we eat.
Not wearing sunscreen. As a rule of thumb, everyone needs to wear sunscreen regardless of skin tone. Apply moisturiser to  protect your skin from external elements like wind, air condition, strong heating.
Not Exercising. – Exercise will slow down and reverse the effects of aging, stress that cause are bound to affect the youthful glow that our skin has. Even a couple of squats everyday is a step in the right direction.
Missing out on your beauty sleep – Am sure you have all noticed the times you dont get your beauty sleep it shows on your face the next day. That is simply because your skin goes into repair mode when you sleep. Get seven to eight hours of beauty sleep tonight and you will see a difference.Picking  pimples. Growing up it was really hard for me to resist the urge to pick and press my pimples. I hated them and and i always wanted my skin spotless and pimple free, so i pressed them .Big Mistake. This caused alot of the spots and blemishes some of  which i am currently still trying to get rid of.Not sleeping on a satin pillowcase. This is not only harmful to your skin but also your hair. Satin pillows help to prevent wrinkles, hair loss and also split ends. They are really smooth so your hair doesnt easily get tangled. You should seriously consider getting yourself a satin pillow especially if you have curly,dry or damaged hair. It will make a difference.

Ladies make up does have a shelf life. Yes many of us are guilty of keeping our lipsticks, glosses and mascara for far too long. So then instead of enhancing our beauty becomes a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause irritations and breakouts. Follow below guidelines for make up shelf life:

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Sleeping with make up on – The skin cells regenerate and rejuvenate in the night as you sleep. So when your skin pores are clogged and suffocated with makeup the skin has no chance to breathe and regenerate itself.

Always holding hair in a tight ponytail – This puts alot of stress on the strands of your hair especially around the hairline causing it the hair to break.

When did you last wash your makeup brushes and sponges ? – It is important to clean , oil and condition your make up brushes inorder to get rid of oil, bacteria, dirt and old makeup that can clog pores and cause acne.

Washing your face before your hair – This causes the pores along the hairline to clog and can lead to acne especially if you have a sensitive skin.

Facials – Not only does this set you back a couple of euros but also if its not done well can cause your skin to break out. Make sure the the aesthetician you visit for facials is well trained so they can use the right products for your skin type .

Wearing too much or too little moisturizer clogs the pores and prevents the skin from breathing. Too much of anything is never good but at the same time do not under moisturise . Find a balance depending on your skin type and moisturise accordingly.

Switching routine/products without giving them a chance to work. Sometimes especially with acne breakouts you want your skin to clear so bad that you are ready to try anything and everything. It is important to choose a skin care routine or product that suits you and to stick to it for atleast a month inorder to know if its working or not.

Using harsh products to clean the face – Bar soaps may contain products that strip your delicate skin of the natural oils  l leaving it dry and flaky. Instead use a gentle cleanser that will not damage youe skin.

Removing eyelash extensions – You know those days when your eye lash extensions have stayed on too long and are now starting to grow out. If you do  attempt to pluck them off  be really careful as they are attached close to your natural eyelashes and you might end up losing your lashes in the process. Been there done that. Alternatively go to a professional to have this done.

Biting nails – I dont even remember when i started this habit , i was probably around 12 years. Its been so hard to break but finally my nails are growing out and am not biting them anymore. Not only do you introduce germs into your mouth but also have  short unsightly nails, torn cuticles and sometimes even infections .

Licking biting and chewing lips causes  chapped lips that are dry and sometimes even painful. Keep lips moisturised and avoid repeatedly licking them.

What beauty sins are you guilty of  commiting ? Please let me know in the comments below.

Loro Ciuffena- Italy

On our way from Arezzo, we decided to stop by a small beautiful town called Loro Ciuffena. This small hidden gem is rated one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.“Uno dei borghi più belli d’Italia”- Rightly so. IMG-20131106-WA0011

The name itself  tells about this towns  Etruscan origins. In the middle-age Loro was a fortified village at the junction of two rivers bridged at two points, which led to two gates in the village walls. There was once a castle in Loro, which is mentioned in documents as far back as 1065. The old town still retains a lot of its original character. The town is quite small and you can pretty much visit all the tourist spots in a day.

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Water powered mill from the 1200  that has was until most recently been  producing chestnut flour and other flours.

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Planning your trip make sure to visit  museum in Palazzo Ventura, dedicated to the local artist Venturino Venturi

This ancient town is also famous for wrought iron works.

Places to eat : There is a pizzeria right opposite the old mill where we sat and watched the locals go about their business as the sun set. However if you would like to enjoy the typical tuscan cooking you can head over to Osteria New Conte Max at Piazza Nannini 3.

As we left that evening we were truly glad we had  stopped by this town..really glad.

Bad Hair Day: Quick Fix

This is definately every girl’s worst  night mare. Bad hair days- why do they always happen when you have something really important planned, like a date, interview..So had my hair braided  a while back ( thanks to my dear friend Onyin for working her magic) .The front part always grows out and i really dont like when that happens. So i took out the front braids forgetting i had italian classes in the  afternoon. So there i was natural afro hair at the front and braids in the back….!!! I pulled the braids back into a high bun ,grabbed my scarf wrapped it on using it to make a knot at the front . This is actually how i sometimes wear my hair around the house but today was more of an emergency fix. And voila , i was good to go.

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