Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Reflections on Year 2014

All in all, its been a great year! There were a lot of ups and downs but God kept us. A few more hours and we are in 2015.


Low points of the year 2014
  • Increased Boko Haram attacks in Northern Nigeria (Chibok Girls, Bomb blasts, Kidnappings,Suicide bombings, Killings, etc.)
  • Loss of a close friend's mum and the Burial
  • Ebola Virus 
  • Robbery of my parent's house (thankfully no one was home)
  • Extreme Financial downtimes (but God saw us through)
  • Terrorist attacks in the world
  • Missing Planes and Plane crashes
 Highlights of the year 2014
  • 100 day fasting starting from the beginning of the Year 2014
  • Surprise Marriage Proposal dinner (from Le Hubby)
  • Surprise Bridal Shower (from my girlfriends)
  • My Wedding ceremonies (Registry, Traditional and Church)
  • Happily Married for 7months + (watch out for my wedding/marriage series blogposts)
  • New Family & Friends
  • Ebola Virus eradicated in Nigeria
  • University Admission for my brother
  • My sister completing her University education
  • Safe travelling back n forth for everyone i know
  • New businesses for me, hubby, friends and fam
  • Financial provision
  • New jobs for close friends
  • Moving to a New House with Le hubby
  • Birthday of the hubby and I
  • Numerous gifts and unexpected favors
  • Blessings of healthy children for friends, family members, colleagues and acquaintances
  • Blessings of pregnancies for friends, family members and acquaintances
  • Numerous wedding ceremonies of friends, classmates, colleagues, acquaintances (i attended at least 7)
  • Engagement of friends, classmates, colleagues, acquaintances (Looking forward to these in 2015)
  • Giving back to the less priviledged as part of the Innerwheel Club of Garki rubies
Personally, the highlights of the year 2014 are more than that of the low points, I thank God for growth, good health and stability and for everyone i know (family, friends, colleagues, classmates, acquaintances, etc.), it has also been a good year for them as well in general. I look back and i'm extremely grateful, sometimes it's hard to believe its my life and i've come this far; even just by reading back on my old blogposts. I'm looking forward to a better 2015 with even more highlights and lessssss low points. I'm not the best at working with New Year Resolutions, instead To-do lists are more up my alley and are more effective for my ever procrastinating self. 

My To-do list at the moment for the Year 2015 is as follows:
  • Spiritual Growth
  • To acquire new skills (Sewing, Bead making, Baking)
  • Start Exercising
  • Be Healthier
  • Travel 
  • Finish up our house decor
  • Save more (i have drawn up a budget for my family so this seems feasible)
  • Procrastinate less *fingers crossed (so help me God)
  • Blog more (*sigh i'll tryyyyy)
  • Read more (i got a number of books already and plan to get some more)
  • Acquire more property
  • Be more creative
  • Explore more business opportunities
I can tick-off and add to the List as required, it keeps me sane

I wish us all a great 2015, may our dreams come to life and the purpose of God for our lives; i pray for peace in our lives, cities & towns, countries and the world at large. 
Happy New Year in advance!!! Stay safe.
Toodles!XooX

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

My fave birthday gift!!!!

The Picture
My last birthday was December 23, 2013 and i put up a post about it here, i ; yes it's around the corner again, but then this post is not about my upcoming birthday so let's stay on course :)
I'm here to rave about my fave birthday gift of all time! A charcoal painting of me, the gift came several months (sometime after May) after my birthday from a close friend who i really cherish. I honestly can't be grateful enough for the creative and artistic minds i have as friends, i feel very priviledged to know them on a deeper level and having them around has definitely expanded my mindset and made me more conscious of the artistic and creative abilities i possess and that surround me.
Words cannot express how much i love this painting!!! I had given a close friend one as her birthday gift but i honestly could not justify getting one for myself without feeling extremelyyyy VAIN.lol. and that was the one thing i really wanted for my birthday. My birthday is around the Christmas period so u can imagine how it goes, i don't think i ever got to celebrate my birthday in school (Pri, Sec. or Uni) because we were always closed for the holidays by then and even @home, most of my friends would have travelled to their different villages or have holiday plans made by their parents. I would be with my family and get a cake and drinks and Jollof rice and chicken (of course!) and a few cards and even fewer gifts, i did not really mind 'cos i had gotten used to it, but i would made a big fuss if my friends did not call or text me (it was more important to me than gifts). I beefed my friends who had their birthdays in school and would get loads of gift as well as loads of pranks!! Drinks will be poured on them while they were fully clothe and they would be drenched in all sorts of mixtures the minds of the perpetrators could think up (garri,dusting powder,water,closeup, etc.) and some would even beat them LOL! *smh #goodol'memories. It was always hilarious, well to me anyway, alas i never got to experience that, though i don't really care for the getting drenched part.
As i have grown older, i've been lucky enough to have friends being around to celebrate my birthday with me. My 23rd and 24th birthdays being the most 'Friendful' birthdays! and i'm more than grateful for the experience. I honestly have no idea how my 25th birthday will go and to be honest i'm not really thinking about it (stalling getting older as much as i can!!inevitable though), a holiday trip with the hubby will be nice though, y'all know how much i love to travel :D. Anyways bk to my fave birthday gift so far, the painting was given to me by Ishy B and it's a portrait of me from my wedding. He couldn't have selected a more perfect image and i'm pleasantly thrilled about it and found the perfect place for it in my new home. 
Big thanks to the artist behind the work TeenezMartinez. It was painted to perfection. You can check out the painting he made for my friend as well as other paintings he has done and the stages involved on his blog and instagram page. I put up a post about it a while back.
Ok i'm done raving about my painting. lool. It was definitely worth the wait :D

Toodles!XooX

23 on the 23rd of December (II)- Super late post

 

I turned 23yrs old on the 23rd December, 2012. Whoop Whoop!! oh thank you all, you are far too kind *curtsies and bows...ignore me abeg *giggles. Allow me revel in the awesomeness that was my birthday via this post. Merci, as you oblige. I celebrated my birthday in December (did a quick post here, 'cos i knew it'd take me a while to do a full post; did not tink it'd take me this long though *Covers face*) and my age and date of birth happened to be the same number 23. Yes i'm one of those people that note things that have the same no. #judgemoinot. I had the most awesome birthday ever or shall i say birthday week!! I got loads of gifts and was able to have a small get together with my friends which is what i have been craving for a couple of my birthdays now without actually getting it. I got a Nexus 4 android phone from le boo, a beautiful abaya from one of my friends that travelled to Dubai earlier, a cake, a set of make-up brushes, 2 NACK dresses, a NACK top, alcohol (White wine & Amarula which are still in my fridge, i'm not a fan of alcohol), perfumes, earrings, necklaces,cards, chocolates a red & black, bodycon gown, money and the gifts are still rolling in from people that were not in town during my birthday. I can't even start to quantify the calls, text messages,Facebook posts/messages, Tweets/DMs, BBMs, DPs & PMs, etc. I felt too too loved! This was definitely not like my other regular birthdays.
God definitely always makes a way, i had been looking forward to my birthday since December began, i wanted to have a get together and do something different from my usual birthday which normally just entails me chilling at home with my family, i get a cake and a few gifts, most of my friends are usually outta town for the holidays. I was that kid that never got to celebrate her birthday in School 'cos we were always on vacation by the time it came around and because it's Christmas period, there's usually so much preparation for that, that my birthday gets rolled over, which i have never liked! but i learnt to live with it, cherish the few gifts i get, phone calls, texts, etc. Woe betide u if u are my friend and forget my birthday!!lol, but that was back then anyway, in the years of recent, i don't even stress about people forgetting my birthday. Oya o, back to my birthday.
My week began with me stressing over what to do for my birthday and my broke state, before i knew it Friday was upon me, i got my beautiful Abaya from my friend, Habib, on Thursday so i 'launched' it to work on Friday, lol. After work hours another friend, Bolaji, took me for ice-cream (Blue bunny- birthday cake flavor) and pancakes @my fave ice-cream place Dunes!! We chatted, ate and he dropped me off @home, i saw le boo later in the day and we chilled and jisted about my birthday plans.
Saturday, some friends came to visit me and one of them came in from Zaria to pass the night @my place, i cooked Jollof Spaghetti, watched some series, jisted with my friend and just chilled wondering if my birthday would be like any other regular day that would just pass by. Saturday evening, le boo and my very close friend ND, called me up to get dressed that we were going for a dinner. YAAAaaaayyyyYYY!! (My friends are the best). We went to Uptown Asian Cuisine & Lounge, some people were also having a suprise birthday party there, it was really cool. I wasn't so hungry though + i was upset with le boo at the time (can't remember what it was about though) so i had some WonTon soup, we jisted and took loads of pics, i had a really good time and got back home around 11 pm.
Sunday was upon me!yikes...still no plan, but i had decided to cast all my worries away and let the day unfold itself. I went to church full of joy that came from somewhere i honestly do not know. I woke up early, got dressed for church and my friend dropped me off close to church, i sang songs of praises and thanks as i strolled the remaining distance to church. It was the first service and it was a swell one!! I had just 3k on me at this time but i wasn't even worried about that. I gave out of it for my offering to show my appreciation to God for all he had done for me thus far and all he will still do for and allowing me to see another birthday hale and hearty. I danced well well during praises and thanksgiving, the highlight of the church service for me was when some elderly people and youths came to dance 'azonto' and 'etighi' at the front of the church, it was hilarious although one elderly lady got it to the T. After church i strolled back home, singing and full of even more joy. I rested a bit, ate and my friend travelled back to Zaria.
I was home alone, enjoying my series and responding to calls, texts, chats, etc. when two of my friends came around separately. We jisted a bit, then one of them told me to doll up that we were going to Transcorp Hilton to have lunch, as i should not be at home dulling on my birthday...lol I Agree!! I got ready and i had a swell time! i had mashed potatoes and Stake and a Peach Melita for dessert *bliss with 2 Chapmans (i love chapman and *btw rich people dey enjoy o!!).
He dropped me off @my close friend's place where i played with her niece and nephews and they gave me a card with the sweetest wordings (dose kids just know how to light your world), we watched some cartoons and i gave my friend some money to help me get 2 packs of canned coke in case anyone came around to greet me when i got home.
I received a call from eju while there that she was baking me a cake as my birthday gift (awwwww), i felt so loved and then i got a few more calls from Mandie and his 2 bros and Saidat that they were on their way to my place (oh oh). I said my goodbyes to the kids and my friend promptly dropped me off at home. Lucky for me they had not waited too long. Le boo and i made up and he also came over, Eju came over with the cake and Josi ,Esiri, Francis and Ma bday mate Chinedu joined us. We chilled in my small room, jisted, ate the cake and had drinks and everyone left with a slice of cake. I also gave my neighbours and the guards some cake. I was super happy when the day was ova and slept with a smile on my face.
I had a brief embarrassing moment though, the Jollof Spaghetti i had made the day before had gone bad because i did not heat it before storing it (it had fish in it) and i had no clue it was bad 'cos it dint even have an odour!!! I warmed it when my guests were around and served it to 2 of dem, just for them to taste it and tell me it had gone bad!!! I cringed, apologized profusely and took it away to trash it. *shrug-these things happen.
All in all, it was a great birthday week and holiday :D
Toodles!XooX

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Caring for your hair while braided

I thought i should share this post as i have been looking for tips on how to care for my hair while its braided to reduce breakage and dirt buildup and luckily i came across this post which is very informative on Kemi Lewis' blog. She owns a beauty bar in Lagos (KL's Natural Beauty Bar, 29C Ikorodu Crescent, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi) and i first got to know about her while researching on natural hair stylists for my wedding hairdo but due to her location i opted for a different hair stylist based in Abuja who's also really good.  I have found a lot good reviews online regarding her salon (especially with regards to 'crochet braids') and hopefully i will be able to visit her salon when i'm in a Lagos to experience the service for myself.
Check out her IG for hairstyle ideas and inspiration. Don't forget to check out her post on caring for your braids! I'm definitely gonna try it when next i have braids in. Next article i'm looking for now is how to care for my hair when i have a weave on. Wish me luck, i'll definitely be back to share my findings.
Toodles!XooX

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

One of the best Birthday gifts i feel i've ever given


if i do say so myself (i'm not being corny y'all).lol. Seriously i 'hunt' for special gifts to give my friends on their birthdays whenever i have the resources at my disposal sha. The fave gifts i've given so far to me are Spa treats (Hammam specifically-y'all know how i love pampering) and hubby's PS4 + 2games. This is the no. 3-a charcoal painting-and i'm glad my friend lurrveddd it (in her words '#bestpresentievergot'.ok ok.yh now i'm being proud.lool). Thanks the awesome talent of Monsieur Martins. I gave him a piture of my dear friend and he created a beautiful charcoal painting artwork from it, it was so beautiful that i almost kept it for myself even. :D *weird i know but that's how good it is! Here's a pic of the painting. 
You can check out his blog for the different stages involved in creating the piece.
I'd love to have a painting of moi from him sha....(post coming up soon on this-wishes get granted after all).
Toodles!XooX

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

20 Random Facts about me

I read this tag on Vera's blog and it was a pretty fun read so i decide to do the tag. This is the 1st tag i'm ever trying out so i hope u guys enjoy it. Here goes :D

  1. Long pending blogpost on this but give or take i've been married for about 5months now 
  2. I love the color green, anyone that knows me knows this, i've even had green contactsfor a while and they looked fab although maybe scary to some people
  3. I'm super animated and love to use exclamations, lols and emoticons 
  4. I've been natural (hair-relaxer free) for about 5years now and i'm a lazy natural (meaning my fave hairstyle with my hair is a ponytail or bun *covers face)
  5. I love to travel and hopefully will touch all the continents in my lifetime, so far i've been to Singapore, Dubai, Ghana and the UK.
  6. I have a bit of OCD when it comes to keeping things orderly and clean
  7. I have had a diary since my secondary school days, i love to write about each day of my life and i think this has helped my memory. You'd be surprised by the no. of things i can vividly recall from my past
  8. I love reading! (Novels, Magazines, Blogs, etc)lool.i read the most random things just for the sake of it
  9. My fave food is Pounded yam (not the Poundo Powder o! i'm a mix of Ondo and Ekiti state and thats pounded yam is like our taditional meal so trust me when i say i can taste the differece) and Edikaikong soup and i can make it. Check out Dooney's blog for the recipe
  10. I love being around water bodies *lakes, beaches, pools, etc. at some point i thot i was a mamiwater sef.lool. i just like the peace and calm that they usually have around them when its not crowded with people
  11. I love Korean series!!! Huge addict thanks to Lee Min Ho (google him if u don't know the hotness that is he), my fave till date is still 'Boys before flowers'
  12. I'm a Youtube addict. I follow soo many channels and can spend the whole day on there
  13. I have big feet, i'm a size 40/41
  14. My fave games are sudoku and scrabble. i'm not a big fan of playing outdoor sports 'cos i'm too scared of embarrassing myself but i'd gladly cheer my friends on though
  15. I'm a Capricorn and ESFJ personality type
  16. I love nail varnish and admire all the colors and design but rarely have them on because it really irks me when they get chipped
  17. I have a massive sweet tooth!and i don't even try to curb it although i successfully cut out soft drinks totally when i was in Uni
  18. My weight has always been between 54 and 58kg since i reached adulthood no matter how much or little i eat *shrug
  19. I love to dance!OMG actually this should be my fave sport, lol.i randomly do moves at home or work just for the fun of it. *i'm weird like that
  20. I have the most random taste in music and movies from genre to language. I have my Chinese, Korean, Indian, South African, Ghanian, etc. You catch my drift, language is no barrier for my love.
  21. I love writing to-do lists and linking it to my calendar and reminders. Ticking them off gives me some kind of inner joy i can't explain and also keeps me on track of things i need to get done and the timelines
  22. I'm not the most patient person, i have a short fuse but i get over things just as quickly
  23. I love to do things in my own unique way which is why i did 23 facts instead of 20 for this post. #sueme :P :D
I hope you guys enjoy this post and please feel free to join the tag or just comment bout random facts about you. I'm sure u'r used to my AWOL mode by now *biko (pls) bear with moi. juggling a lotta stuff @the moment (moving to a new house n setting it up, attending weddings, work, chilln with friends, etc. blogposts coming soon on all of these. don't wait sha o 'cos honestly i can only write when my 'writing mojo' is flowing, which it happens to be at the moment, so i'll drop about 2 more posts before it runs out. lool).
Toodles!XooX

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Google is ur friend + Wedding in Idah

Google is the most popular search engine i know of, Bing comes in 2nd i think. I love Google, i have learnt so much from the resources i have been linked to via the search engine. Its the same kinda love i have for Youtube. There is so much to see and learn and absorb that it's mind-blowing that i can access it all once i have good internet connection.
So what is making me profess this obvious love most people (especially students) have for google? My Camera, i was able to fix my jammed lens thanks to Google! Its a Nikon camera and i've had it for quite a while now, i love the camera and though its starting to die out on me, 'cos i now have to hold down the shutter button hard to take pics and the battery dies out quick,  i'm not ready to get a replacement for it yet. It still gives me decent pictures and i'v gotten a hang of how to handle its issues plus i'm just not ready to make that financial investment as much as i'm a fan of taking pictures (plus my phone is no good for taking pics). 
I travelled for a friend's wedding in Idah, Kogi State and of course i had my camera in tow, the trip from Abuja to Idah took about 4hours, we got there just in time for the traditional ceremony, quickly ate and dressed up. I took several pics on the 1st day (Traditional Wedding) {We danced out with the bride, greeting the guests, then she went in and changed and we danced out with her again till she sat on the mat before her parents with two of her close friends; Her husband danced in next and joined her on the mat. I got my hand Henna-ed and got to witness a new cultural wedding} and then on the 2nd day (Fathia and Wedding Reception), the camera lens just got stuck as i was taking pictures of her Henna-ing {she was taken out with a wrapper covering her face then seated on a couch in an open area between seated guests, they put the henna mix on her hands and feet while the musicians sang and were sprayed money. After her hands and feet were rinsed, she danced with her mother and friends while they sprayed money. I was told all the money sprayed during this event usually goes to the musicians (this was new to me)}. 
Back to the camera-It was showing 'lens error' on the camera screen and the lens were stuck and refused to retract back, i tried all my technical know-how on it to no avail, so i just kept it in my bag the way it was {and tried to enjoy the rest of the ceremony, we left before the reception though, in order to get back to Abuja in time}, to figure out what to do with it once i got back home and had access to the internet. Honestly the rest of the day my mood was dampened 'cos i kept wondering how i'd fix the camera and what it would cost.
I decided to try and see if i could remedy the situation myself 1st before losing hope, I typed in the Google search bar 'how to fix a Nikon camera lens error'. It brought up the results, and i opened a number of them that looked like i could get relevant answers from, in new tabs and then went thru the content of the sites, eliminating any that was irrelevant.
The most useful and easy to apply result i got was this one. I tried most of the simpler Fixes before Fix #6a finally worked for it and my camera lens happily retracted in and my camera was back to normal again. It took me just about 45mins from the time i searched Google till i found and tried out the fix for it. I can't even describe how happy i was that it worked!! I had been low throughout my trip back home thinking that i would not be able to fix it myself and a repairer will charge me quite some money for it which would make me end up abandoning it and having to get a new one. 

Moral of my story- Google is your friend. The internet is your friend. Make use of these resources available to you, not only for social networking and fun but to also solve real-life problems that would otherwise cost you your hard earned money. Remember sometimes the answer you're looking for may be on the 3rd page of the results, so don't be lazy and quit when you don't find it on the 1st page.
Toodles!XooX

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

My Woman/Style Crush!!!! Nhlanhla Nciza

Nhlanhla Nciza, the female singer of Mafikizolo (one of South Africa's fave music groups). I first found about her and music group when their song 'Khona' (from their Reunited Album) gained popularity in Nigeria and reached my ears. I fell in love with the song, their style, the dance, EVERYTHING!!! I can lipsync to the song and say some of the lyrics which is in Zulu language (tnx to Google) and even have an understanding of what the song is about. The rhythm and beat of the song is just super catchy and gets u moving. I did not really bother checking up on her until the 'Tchelete' song came out, which was a collaboration between Mafikizolo and Davido. This was when i realized her style was something different and i loved it!! It was fresh, especially her neck pieces, head gears, dress cuts, color selections, hairdo. Impeccable & Unique!She obviously pays attention to her style. I'm fascinated and in loveee! can u tell? lool. I googled her and found out her name (beautiful and captivating name, its Zulu and means Luck), her interviews, her IG page and that of Theo (the male singer in their music group) and much more. She has been featured on quite a no. of magazine covers including Forbes Woman Africa.
I read up on her life and she has been through a whole lot, from the loss of her daughter (Zinathi) in a car accident in 2009 to the loss  of the 3rd member of their music group leaving just 2 of them who are currently in the group. She went solo for about 4 years before Mafikizolo was reunited.
I admire her strength, to be able to rise above all these happenings, find her voice and passion and delve back into music and still remain so beautiful. She is a true survivor, she is 36yrs old and married with a son at the moment and has been into music for just over a decade.

Their genre of music is Kwaito (which i'm a big fan of) while some can put it under Afro-pop, Mafikizolo has won awards this year including Best Group and Song of the Year at the MTV Africa Music Awards 2014 and several nominations including for the Best International Act:Africa at the 2014 BET Awards (they also performed as part of the Music around the Globe presentation  at the BET Experience at L.A live) . Another reason i love the duo asides from their singing abilities is that they put in obvious work in their lyric content, stage performances, outfits and even music videos. They have released 8 albums till date. Their songs also bring back fond memories of Brenda Fassie's Vulindlela and Yvonne Chaka Chaka's Umqombothi and other related songs. 
                            

Check out her IG page and Theo's IG page and definitely listen to their music, my fave are Khona (featuring Uhuru), Majika, Emlanjeni, Tchelete-Good life (they were featured by Davido) and Happiness (featuring MayD). Sure u'll fall in love with her too and Mafikizolo's songs.
Toodles!XooX

Naija Food the modern way and more-Dooney's Kitchen


You know how much i love my naija cooking!!! Here's one of my top faves for recipes- Dooney's Kitchen. I love how she takes her time to write her posts and put up pictures of the process for the reader to be able to understand and simulate the process easily. What i love most about her though is her knack for finding easy ways to implement otherwise stressful traditional Nigerian meals with modern equipment and ease stress and the western twists she puts on it, her presentation of the meals is also very appealing.#2014Nigerian cooking is the way forward for modern wives like me who have no interest in spending forever in the kitchen e.g. her Blender pounded yam is my top tried and tested and loved innovation, she also has the Handmixer Amala, Food processor Ojojo and Ikokore and sooo much more. She's working on a cookbook and i can't wait to have it once its out. She just joined Youtube so stay tuned for a lot of tantalizing and mouth-watering vids. You can check out her blog for loads of recipes to experiment with both Nigerian and Western dishes and her mixed creations lol. Dooney is a blessing to people like me that wanna make awesome meals but wanna do it in efficient ways leaving enough time and energy for other things after cooking is done. You'll see Blenders, Food processors and the likes put to use like never b4!
Check out my previous posts here and here on amateur cooking/healthy living and other food blogs to watch. Thank me later :)

Toodles!XooX

Friday, 8 August 2014

Lumo Naturals Salon Updated Review (Lvd it!!)

Read my most recent post (Oct 2016) here.
Everyone deserves a 2nd chance or 3rd chance or umpteenth chance that is if they want that chance though and i have to say i'm greatly pleased to have given this salon another chance. I'm proud to say they have now found a customer in me and i will gladly make the trip to Gwarinpa for their service because they have proved to be worth the effort and my hard earned cash. Is this the same gal with no good things to so about Lumo Naturals salon in her last post?  Yup!! Na the same me o my beautiful people! I really do appreciate growth and improvement when i see it displayed and do my best to commend such in order to promote more growth and even much more improvement. 
I called out the salon in a post i wrote in April after 2 visits (late December/early January which i specified in that post) there and getting extremely unsatisfactory service. There was no feedback initially after the post before all of a sudden in July, comments came in on the post and then i got a buzz on whatsapp from the owner of the popular Nigerian blog i had mentioned in the post where i had read up on the salon before my disappointing visit, she asked what was going on between me and the salon and pleaded that i remove her blog name from the post because of some legal thing or smtn like that was being brought up and she did not want to be involved which i perfectly understand. I really wondered why a big fuss was being made about my post since it was about my experience there and i had written it a while back also specifying the period of my visit.
I eventually found out the cause of the fuss. I had forgotten the address of the salon as i was preparing to make my 3rd visit (for the updated review) and decided to google the salon to get the address, as i scrolled down the 1st page of the results, there it was, the cause of all the drama! My post on the salon was on the 1st page of the google results!! No wonder! I had absolutely no clue of this 'cos after my visits to the salon and putting up my post i had more or less written them off, forgotten about it and moved on. I scrolled through to see the other results from Google and found another interesting post, this time from the Lumo Naturals blog and it was a rejoinder to my post (explaining the reason for the service described i my post and being overwhelmed and some other stuff) and that was honestly also my first time seeing their post. The only feedback i had noticed were the comments made on my own blog to the post and the only one i took seriously was that of the Salon Manager who apologized for the service and asked that i pay them another visit nothing about the rejoinder was mentioned in her comment . Anyways all that one don pass, lets move to the koko of this post make i no bore una with my long tori.

I kid u not, this salon is now the ish!! I'm not one to succumb to pressure and though some of the 'commenters' tried to bully me with their comments, i honestly didn't give ahoot about them, i made up my mind not to do an updated review till i visited the salon again for myself especially for the sake of the salon Manager who had commented on my previous post and though it was a bad review was courteous in her comment. Every single item under my 'What can change' list in the 1st review i did on them HAS changed!!! like really really changed and for the better! (i'm sure its not due to my post though as they said they were transitioning to the salon the times i visited, i had no knowledge of this till i stumbled on their rejoinder to my post)
Below is the closing comment that i wrote in the 1st post/review i did about the salon
"I'm furious at this salon because it has a lot of potential, i don't know any other 'Natural Hair' salons and there is a high natural hair community in the FCT from the last NITC meeting i attended. 
What can change?
The salon arrangement
The scheduling process for customers
The seating provision for customers
The no. of staff
The no. of appliances,shoulder towels, shower caps, etc. for customers to use
The customer service
The provision of entertainment for waiting customers (can be looped Natural Hair Youtube videos-hairstyles, advice, products, etc.)
The storage of hair products for sale (against theft)
I believe these changes will take the salon a long way!"

I was very detailed in my last post and i owe it to u guys and it is only fair to the salon that i be just as detailed in this post. I would have taken pictures also but i didn't want anyone to come on here and start commenting about unauthorized pics and what not so i'm gonna put a pic of my hair instead, hopefully the salon manager will take some cool shots of the salon at some point and post it on their blog so i can link it up here and you guys can get a visual of the changes, then again you can just opt to visit the salon and see it for yourself.

I called the phone no. i found online to book an appointment, the person was courteous and noted the time and day i will be coming and also told me how much the hairstyle would cost after i described it to her. I received a call from their landline about 20mins to my scheduled appointment to confirm if i would still be coming (i was very impressed by this). I got to the salon at around 3:30pm on Thursday, it was a nice sight for my previously sore eyes, the salon was refreshingly light and airy,a beautiful beige/eggshell off-whitish wallpaper was at a section, while the rest of the walls had an off-white paint color to it that blended very well and made the salon space seem more spacious and airy. There was a 2-seater sofa in the corner with a small table, a TV was up on the wall, the hair dryer has been replaced with a wall mounted mount one that can be moved to where the customers are seated. The main customer section is now fitted with 3 mirrors with drawers attached leaving enough leg room space. I also spotted a pot plant in the corner, the chairs where mostly green or orange with just about 2 black ones in the mix, these colors added a very nice touch to the space and y'all know green is my fave color anyways. There were 3 staff clad in work aprons in the salon while i was there and they were extremely courteous, 1 of them picked the attachment while the other 2 braided my hair, this was the part i enjoyed the most to be honest 'cos i'm not a fan of picking attachment and i was able to enjoy my novel (Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie). I was also given a consultation form to fill which is a good thing as this will aid feedback from customers and help build a relationship with them if properly reviewed. There were about 3 wall shelves, 2 of which contained the hair products for sale (Jamaican black castor oil, Natural Nigerian products, Shea butter, Argan oil and much more) while the last shelve was close to the washing area and contained mostly products for washing. There were also wall hooks with hair bands/scarves, Spritz bottles, combs and similar hair accessories for sale. I also noticed that they had hair clasps and ankara bangles for sale. My favorite feature of the salon has to be the Natural hair quotes hung on the walls and the centerpiece lighting, it was too gorgeous!!! The lighting was a dangling 3 step cube with colorful yarn of turquoise, red and yellow spun randomly with a different color on each cube, it gave the salon the nice finish that it needed. The salon was also kept clean as the floor was swept as soon as i was rounding up with my hair. They also had an air-conditioner installed and two wall fans and there was also a generator and there's enough ventilation through the window and 2 screen doors in the salon. There's also a fridge although i don't know if they sell refreshments as i did not ask for any I took a look at their general rates and they were very reasonable and affordable.

A proper towel was around my neck while my hair was being braided, i had already washed my hair and de-tangled at home before heading to the salon, i bought my attachment from the market closest to the salon as the salon does not sell extensions or weaves. 2 people braided my hair while the 3rd picked the attachment and asides for a customer i initially met there, once she left i was the only customer there till i left. My hair was started around 3:50pm give or take after the attachment had been pick and cut and they were completely done (trimming and all) by 6:58 pm  ( i looked at the time to be certain) which is approx 3 hours and very good timing for the braids i did. I paid 3k for the braids (which is really affordable for Abuja even if i add the cost of transportation to/from the salon) and filled the consultation form and left a very happy customer! I do not know their closing time, i'm guessing it depends on customer traffic but they closed shop after i left as i was the only customer there. I will definitely be referring this salon to my friends (both naturals and otherwise) henceforth. My braids are extremely neat, they were also very careful with my front hair. I'm glad i got to do this updated review and at the changes in the salon. Great customer service and prices! What more can a natural gal ask for :D Keep up the good work! 

This is not a sponsored post and i was attended to just as any other customer would be, as my identity was anonymous and i also paid in full for the service rendered. Naturals in the FCT! this is where you wanna get your hair done! Call to get an appointment, their land line 09-2911727 works and they give preference to customers who book an appointment over walk-in customers, You can visit their blog for more info on them. Avoid unnecessary antics to get u to relax ur hair  from regular salons because the stylists think your hair is too hard or any of that annoying stuff!!

Change is the only constant thing, Embrace it.
Toodles!XooX

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Dates!

The fruit o! Not goin on dates with guys or gals o.
Fresh Dates
Dates are quite popular in the Northern part of Nigeria moreso during the fasting period (Ramadan). I have been having quite a lot of it of recent and i have to say it's very tasty and filling and has quite a no. of health benefits asides catering to my sweet tooth. The fresh ones are more of my favorite, very juicy! while the dry ones are more chewy, sticky and gooey. All dates are high in iron and potassium and are a good source of fibre.  
Dried Date
Health benefits of dates
  • Wonderfully delicious, dates are one of the most popular fruits packed with an impressive list of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are required for normal growth, development and overall well-being.
  • Fresh dates compose of soft, easily digestible flesh and simple sugars like fructose and dextrose. When eaten, they replenish energy and revitalize the body instantly. For these qualities, they are being used to break the fast during Ramadan month since ancient times.
  • The American Cancer Society declares that usage of one date on a daily basis assists in maintaining healthy eyes for one’s life time. One date each day can prevent eyes blindness. 20-35 grams of soluble fiber every day is sufficient.
  • Dates are referred to as an outstanding treatment for alcoholic intoxication. Dates offer fast comfort when it comes to alcoholic intoxication. 
  • The problem of sexual weakness/low libido can be countered by dates, as they are beneficial in increasing the body's sexual stamina. One needs to soak handful of dates in goat's milk overnight. Next morning, grind the dates in the same milk and add a mixture of honey and cardamom powder. This yields a tonic capable of increasing sexual endurance.
  • Dates consist of 20 different kinds of amino acids which facilitate the digestive process. This is why dates are easily digestible, and furnish the body with required energy for physical activities in about half an hour, after consumption. 
  • Dates are a high source of energy, with 100 grams of dates yielding about 300 kcal of energy. They are packed with 29 grams of natural sugars (glucose, sucrose, dextrose and fructose), 3 grams of dietary fiber, and 31 grams of carbohydrates. Therefore, the tiny date fruit can be appropriately described as an energy-boosting dry fruit.
  • Dates help in weightloss as they help you avoid overeating. The factor responsible for human hunger is shortage of sugar in the blood. Consumption of dates takes care of this shortage, and pacifies the feeling of hunger with its sugar content. Moreover, the dietary fiber and other nutrients in dates, gets absorbed by the body quickly, which prevents people from overeating after a day of fasting. Dates are nutrient-rich brown nuggets, that not only satiate the palate, but also provide a variety of nutrients to the body. Consuming a couple of dates when one's hungry will be a good idea, because it will help prevent binge eating. Enjoy the sweetness of dates along with its numerous health benefits!
  • Dates have been found to promote growth of friendly bacteria in the intestines. Moreover, the nicotine content found in dates is also believed to help cure intestinal problems. Pregnancy is a time when a woman experiences extreme bloating, constipation and other intestinal problems. Dates are an excellent remedy for such intestinal disturbances. However, women with gestational diabetes must control the intake of dates, unless otherwise specified by the obstetrician.
  • Loaded with soluble and insoluble fibers, dates not only help improve bowel movements, but also clears toxins from the gastrointestinal tract. In order to benefit from the laxative properties of dates, one should soak dates overnight in water. The soaked dates should then be ingested in the morning along with the water to gain the actual advantages. The roughage provided by dates increases bowel movement, thereby solving constipation issues. Pregnant women are advised to eat dates to alleviate constipation, because it is not only a high-fiber snack, but also contains lots of nutrients that are good for the growing foetus. 
  • While most of us are trying to cut down our weight, there are some people who are desperately trying to gain weight. Dates are high in calories, with one date corresponding to 20 to 60 calories (depending on the type). Including 5 to 6 dates in one's daily diet can help increase body weight. Dates, unlike junk food are a healthy way of gaining weight. If you don't like to eat dates as they are, you can also add dates to cakes, puddings, and other baked items to reduce the sugar content in them. Soaked and pureed Medjool dates, when combined with applesauce and added to cake batter, not only add moisture and texture, but also do away with refined sugar, added in the cake. Dates also add fiber and increase the nutritional content of the baked food item. If the dates purchased are not soft, microwave them along with a little water for a minute. Blend the softened dates in a food processor. 
  • The fruit is rich in dietary fiber, which prevents LDL cholesterol absorption in the gut. Additionally, the fiber works as a bulk laxative. It, thus, helps to protect the colon mucous membrane by decreasing exposure time and as well as binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon.
  • They contain health benefiting flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants known as tannins. Tannins are known to possess anti-infective, anti-inflammatory, and anti-hemorrhagic (prevent easy bleeding tendencies) properties.
  • They are moderate sources of vitamin-A (contains 149 IU per 100 g), which is known to have antioxidant properties and essential for vision. Additionally, it is also required maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin A is known to help to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • They compose antioxidant flavonoids such as ß-carotene, lutein, and zea-xanthin. These antioxidants found to have the ability to protect cells and other structures in the body from harmful effects of oxygen-free radicals. Thus, eating dates found to offer some protection from colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers. 
  • Zea-xanthin is an important dietary carotenoid that selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea, where it thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions. It thus offers protection against age-related macular degeneration, especially in elderly populations.
  • Dates are an excellent source of iron, contains 0.90 mg/100 g of fruits (about 11% of RDI). Iron, being a component of hemoglobin inside the red blood cells, determines the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. Consuming dates on a regular basis can provide the body with the iron content it needs. Pregnant women are often advised to consume dates, so as to prevent iron-deficiency anemia in mother and child. However, since vitamin C is required for iron absorption, it's important to consume vitamin C-rich foods as well. Anemia patients are advised to eat several dates on a daily basis to raise their level of iron in the blood.
  • Dates contain fluorine, which is an essential mineral to slow down the process of early tooth decay. Fluorine is also known to keep plaque at bay by strengthening the tooth enamel. However, many people are of the misconception that tooth enamel can magically reverse tooth decay. This is not true. Tooth enamel consists of hydroxyapatites, which when brought in contact with fluorine forms hydroxyfluoroapatites, which is resistant to decay. This clearly means that fluorine helps prevent further tooth decay, but cannot reverse the decay process.
  • Further, they are very good in potassium. 100 g contains 696 mg or 16% of daily-recommended levels of this electrolyte. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that help controlling heart rate and blood pressure. They, thus, offers protection against stroke and coronary heart diseases.
  • They are also rich in minerals like calcium, manganesecopper, and magnesium. Calcium is an important mineral that is an essential constituent of bone and teeth, and required by the body for muscle contraction, blood clotting, and nerve impulse conduction. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required for the production of red blood cells. Magnesium is essential for bone growth.
  • Further, the fruit has adequate levels of B-complex group of vitamins as well as vitamin K. It contains very good amounts of pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), niacin, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin. These vitamins are acting as cofactors help body metabolize carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Vitamin K is essential for many coagulant factors in the blood as well as in bone metabolism.
  • Dates are also seen to strengthen the uterine muscles and facilitates childbirth. A study (2007-2008) was conducted at Jordan University of Science and Technology, on pregnant women to analyze the link date fruits have on labor. 69 women were asked to consume 6 dates every day, for the last 4 weeks before their due date. On the other hand, 45 other women were also included in the study, who were not given any dates. After analysis of all their births, it was found that the women who consumed dates showed more cervical dilation, along with higher percentage of spontaneous labor in of women, as compared to those who didn't consume dates. The study noted that dates helped labor and spontaneous labor. However, more research has to be conducted in this field. 

Fresh Date
In the stores, one may come across soft, semi-dry, and dried types put for sale. At home, store them at room temperature in a cool place inside an air-seal container or in a refrigerator where they stay well for several months. You can also leave them out to ripen before eating them.Dry and soft dates are usually eaten out-of-hand.
  • They can be stuffed with fillings such as almonds,walnuts, candied orange and cream cheese.
  • They can also be chopped and used with fruit salad and in a range of sweet and savory dishes.
  • Dates are also being used to prepare juice and Jallab (a type of syrup popular in the Middle East and made from dates, grape molasses, and rose water).
  • They can be chopped into tiny slices and scattered across cakes and puddings to ameliorate their flavor. 
  • Date paste can be mixed with yogurt, milk, bread, or butter to enhance their flavor.
There are several types of dates depending on the region/country they are grown i believe.

Do the necessary research and hop on the Date wagon (eating the fruit) y'all. lool!!
Toodles!XooX

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Laughter Therapy :D

This therapy works ma people! I'm no doctor or specialist but its definitely worked for me, when i'm feeling tense, upset, sad, exhausted, angry or any of those not so fun emotions or even if i'm just up for a good laugh. I tune into my fave spots and laugh till i cry and my tummy hurts a bit. It can clear the mind and put you in the state to make good decisions and can also infect those around you. :D Sometimes its a comedy show, hanging out with my funny friends, other times a Youtube vid or an Instagram vid or maybe just one of my funny TV shows or a Nollywood movie. I have an easy sense of humor so it doesn't take a lot to get a laugh out of me, which i think is a good thing and has helped me a lot in life. Here are some of my fave spots to get a good laugh, hope u enjoy them, so sit back and forget the stress and worries for a bit and have a good ol' laugh to ease your soul and spirit.
  • instagram.com/chief_obi
  • instagram.com/oluwakaponeski
  • instagram.com/thefoxhimself
  • http://instagram.com/funny_african_pics
  • http://instagram.com/emmaohmagod
  • https://www.youtube.com/user/AfricanComedians
  • https://www.youtube.com/user/boviTV/
  • https://www.youtube.com/user/AYTVAYTV
  • https://www.youtube.com/user/JuliusAgwuTV
  • https://www.youtube.com/user/JimmyKimmelLive
  • https://www.youtube.com/user/SpokenReasons
  • https://www.youtube.com/user/EmmaOhMaGod
  • https://www.youtube.com/user/basketmouthtvshow
  • https://www.youtube.com/user/IkennaAzuike
  • https://www.youtube.com/user/EmansBlogs
Toodles!XooX

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Surprise Baby Shower!!!

Mel has given birth!!! and on her wedding anniversary too!April Kid!! How awesome is that?! And seriously that seems like the best anniversary gift to give her husband, though i'm not sure how much fun it'll be for Zoey sharing her birthday with her parent's anniversary. But we'll wait till she's old enough to care about that. I'm soo excited u'd think sey na me born. I went straight to the hospital to see her as soon as i got the good news. Okay let's take some steps back, this post is called 'Baby Shower' afterall and it definitely happened before Zoey's birth. So here's the jist bout how it went down.
Y'all know we love surprises!! So of course the baby shower was a surprise planned with Mel's husband (He's always a huge supporter of our surprise plans). We went with the easiest plan and minimal cost. We started by creating a bbm group and adding close friends to the group, we agreed that we would not be contributing money this time around, instead each of us picked something to bring and to handle, e.g. i chose to bring a cake, handle decor and make waffles, while others picked snacks, pop corn, drinks, food, ice-cream etc. 
We agreed to get to have the shower at her house, we spoke with her husband and he let us know when they were back from church, so we arrived at the house one after the other. I was the first to arrive around 3pm and i went with a friend, Mel was sooo surprised to see me and not long after the other ladies arrived as well. She went to change into a comfy picture friendly outfit while we decorated the house. We did not know what gender she was having so i used pinks, blues and whites for the decor. I had done quite some research (Pinterest mostly) before the day so i had a programme for the shower and fun games for us all to play, my experience with the bridal showers also helped because i knew the type of games to select based on the guests attending the shower so no one was bored. You can check out the programme & games here  and here for other useful links(themed drinks, decor, music,etc,). 
We all wore colorful beads to spice up our outfits.

Our music playlist comprised of only songs that had baby in it-Justin Beiber, Britney Spears and More

We had loads of fun playing games and left the house at around 7pm to go to the Karaoke Bar before we rounded up for the night, I had a swell time with this shower. We made waffles and had it with ice-cream, had cupcakes and a cake with a Supermom topper, Pop corn, Fried rice, Peppered chicken, Juice and soft drinks, water, biscuits, cookies and other mini pastries. The games we played were:

  • Midnight Diaper-This game was fun, i made a list of funny and witty statements and handed everyone markers and 2 diapers each to write on, the mom-to-be picked her favorite stamement and the guest that wrote it was the winner. We then piled up all the 'marked' diapers with the statements into a stash for the mom-to-be and dad-to-be to use when the crazy midnight diaper changes start. Hopefully it will put a smile on their faces on such days.
  • How huge is Mel's Tummy- For this game, all the guests picked a ball of yarn and cut it to the size they felt the expecting mom's tummy was, after all the guests have cut a piece and have it in hand, each person will measure their string around the baby bump and the guest with the closest size to the bump wins.

  • Guess when Baby 'Cool' will land and the gender- I printed a Calendar with only the month of April since i knew that's when mel was due and passed it round for each guest to write their name in d date box they thik the baby will be born and draw the head of the gender they felt Mel will have. There was no winner for this game 'cos we had to wait till she gave birth to find out.
  • How many nursery rhymes do you know- This game involved guests singing the nursery rhymes they know and trying to top that of the others while i took note of the number of the nursery rhymes each guest had mentioned, after a little while i told them to stop and the guest with the most no. of rhymes won. (It was fun reliving our childhood through this)
  • Baby name game- I modified this game a bit and made each guest write 3 names for a boy and 3 names for a girl that they felt were really cool names then i made Mel pick her favorite names for both gender and the guests that wrote the names were the winners.
  • Name that Baby Animal- This was my favorite game 'cos i laughed till my tummy hurt, i had printed a list of many popular animals and some rare ones like Platypus, Kangaroo, etc. and i was the moderator. I would read out the name of the animal and the first to get the name of the baby animal would get a point, at the end, i tallied each person's point and the guest with the highest point wins. I got all sorts of hilarious guesses from the guests and the game was also educative.
  • Advice for the mom-to-be -There was a mom among us so she gave a lot of useful advice on how to prepare and care for the baby while the rest of us focused on talking about her keeping her relationship and home and also asked each other questions and got useful answers.
  • Name that Disney Cartoon- For this game i did a mashup of many different popular old and new Disney toons and while each clip played, the first to get the name of the cartoon gets a point, after the clips finished playing, i tallied the points and the guest with the highest number wins. Watching the tunes was definitely a fun trip back in time and we all had loony smiles on our face by the time it was over.
  • Draw a baby- No artistic skills needed for this game, had a good laugh looking at the stick drawings from the guests
Gifts
The momma-to-be got 2 gifts, a diaper cake from me (i learnt how to make it on Youtube here with just diapers, baby wipes, rubber bands, blankets, Bibs and Ribbons) and a baby bottle sterilizer.
The guests that won the games got Bon-Bons  as their win. I eventually gave the other guests though! Its all about having fun afterall.

We compiled all the docs used and advise written into a folder and gave it to the mom-to-be as a keepsake
We all got to take a piece of the cake home and some mini pastries.
Pictures
We took tons of pics, each winner with their game item and the momma-to-be, personal pics with bibs, group pics and at the karaoke bar.

When the shower was over, we cleaned the whole house and kitchen so she wouldn't be stressed with doing the cleaning, then we went over to the karaoke bar and bellowed some sweet tunes out with the momma-to-be before we went to our various homes. We also left the daddy-to-be lots of eatables to show our gratitude for his support!
All the best planning or having a baby shower. 
Toodles!XooX