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Staying Healthy Mentally.

No, this is not the typical ‘drink more water’ and ‘exercise’ kind of post- and even though those things are so important- today I am going to talk about something that is overlooked by almost all of us; mental health. Often- especially in this generation that we live in- we tend to focus all our attention on physical health and making sure we ‘look good’ but we forget that staying healthy mentally is much more important than that.

When I talk about mental health, I mean how anxious and worked up we get because of what other people say/think, how we belittle ourselves because we think we do/say embarrassing things or simply how we slam ourselves for not completing certain tasks or goals. It is essential for us to understand that if we are not happy on the inside, there is no way we can glow on the outside, no matter how hard we try.

Acknowledging that we are upset on the inside and doing something about it is taking a huge step towards self love. So here are a few things that I do to lift me up when I feel low:

Make a Self-Care Basket.

The idea behind a self-care basket is to have a variety of all the things that make you happy, in one accessible place. The items that help me nurture my wellbeing are: my favourite inspirational books, scented candles, my journal, essential oils, pamper supplies and of course, chocolates!

My pamper supplies include my current favourite products from Rituals. I love how they leave my skin feeling super fresh and rejuvenated. I use the Face Exfoliator and Moisturising Mask twice a week; it’s like giving my skin a treat.

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The Brightening Face Exfoliator, Intense Moisture Serum, 24H Hydrating Gel Cream and Intensive Moisturising Mask are the products used in the ‘Boost your Skin’ 4-step process.

Meditate.

I honestly cannot express in words how serene this makes me feel. Meditation is something I religiously do every morning- even on the busiest of days when I get only 5 minutes- to keep me connected to myself and set the tone for my day. Once you start, there’s no going back. It is something I learnt from my parents and I am forever grateful to them for always teaching me the path of Yoga.

Journal.

This is something I have been giving high importance to, since the last 2 years. You realise how much it makes you grow; how much it calms you down. Writing your thoughts down on a piece of paper may sound so simple but the power it carries is sublime.

Whenever anything holds me down, I like to get it out of my mind and write it down, that way it no longer holds any power over me.

This is what I put on the first page of my journal:

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Get rid of Negativity.

Negativity is a block, draining you of energy and preventing you from achieving amazing things. It could be the piles of papers tumbling across your desk, the friend who always makes backhanded compliments, the anxious thoughts or the dark corners filled with junk.

The first step towards getting rid of negativity is recognising all its forms and understanding where it comes from in your life; then changing it. Taking responsibility for your own happiness is taking control of negative energy.

Unplug.

Go on Instagram/Snapchat → look at what friends have posted → get jealous → start comparing → feel discontent. Can you relate? I know I can. Being a victim of this chain is so easy in today’s world. What’s difficult is spending hours unplugging from social media, but once you do, you realise how it completely declutters the mind and creates space for growth.

Feeling bored and don’t know what to do? Why spend hours on end scrolling through Instagram when you could be spending that time doing the things you like; the things that actually make your mind feel at peace?

These are some of the pieces I’m working on during my me-time:

Stay Happy.
xx

An afternoon at Borough Market.

A few days back, I was taken to one of London’s largest and oldest food markets, Borough Market. It consists of more than 100 stalls selling different types vegetables, cheeses, breads, cakes and much more; you name it and it’s there.

As soon as enter this foodie’s heaven, you are hit by the aroma of the combinations of fresh products on offer.

After touring around the market for some time, I was taken to try the famous Empanadas there and OH MY GOD I fell in love! They were so delicious that I ended up having more than 3! I would definitely recommend them to anyone visiting the market. It is a must have!

We went on to explore some more, after that.

This was me trying Macaroons for the first time.

We also tried a burger from this Vegan Burger Bar, but I wasn’t too impressed. Given the option, I would not order another one.

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We ended our day trip with some award-winning, organic milk, vanilla and strawberry ice-cream (yes, even though it’s winter – people were staring at me on our way back). Oh well, at least I had a great afternoon!

Stay Happy.

xx

Essential Oils are the new Antibiotics?

*uses essential oils for every problem in life*

Being a serious essential oils lover, I am ecstatic to share this post with you.

Recently, I have added something to my morning routine; something that makes my morning calmer, brighter, greater. Burning essential oils, first thing in the morning, not only helps me wake up feeling much happier but also makes my room smell wonderfully pleasant.

I am currently using the Fresh Skin Lavender Oil (I like to use oil burners instead of diffusers because, honestly, there’s just something beautiful about using the old natural methods, rather than the electric ones).

Now you must be thinking, what is so special about essential oils if that’s all they can do? But actually, that is not all. Essential oils are perfect for a list of things, such as fighting cold & flu symptoms, soothing sore muscles, healing skin conditions, balancing hormones, improving digestion, reducing cellulite & wrinkles and much, much more.

Here are a few science-backed reasons why essential oils may be the new antibiotics:

  • Japanese researchers found that people with depression who sniffed Lemon oils were able to lower their dose of antidepressants; the scent helped normalize hormone levels.
  • In one study, adults who inhaled Orange essential oil and then took a test, handled the pressure sans increased anxiety.
  • Lavender oils increase brain alpha waves associated with relaxation and deep sleep. The do-it-all scent may also alleviate PMS symptoms and reduce pain. Reach for it to soothe scrapes and stings.
  • Antifungal, antiseptic and antibacterial, the Tea Tree oil is so potent that it has killed MRSA and Staph in lab settings. Also used to fight off athlete’s foot, acne and dandruff.
  • Smelling the Ginger oils ease queasiness, as per research done by anesthesiologists; cancer centres use it for patients who have had radiation.
  • In one study, rubbing Peppermint oil into temples soothed headaches. In another, a massage with this and Eucalyptus oils reduced post workout muscle cramps. Also, the scent of the Eucalyptus oil reduces stuffy noses and head pressure in people with sinusitis, as per a German study.

Stay Happy.

xx

London life, so far..

So I have 3 course-works due in the coming week, but here I am, writing this post. 😛

My first two months in London have been nothing less than a rollercoaster ride, with some amazing, heart-warming days and some not-so-happy days but, as cliché as this sounds, there’s nothing I’d ask for than this. The past two months have been super eventful- I definitely have learnt loads from it and had such wonderful experiences, oh and of course, met some fantastic people that I will forever love !

Here are a few highlights from my London life, so far..


Dinner at Casa Mia!

Starters: Bruschetta di Montagna & Funghi Saltati All’ Algio.

Penne al Pesto Verde

Pizza Siciliana


Sunset at the airstrip!

I still remember how beautiful this day was; in fact how beautiful this moment was. Driving back from Costco while the sun was setting forced us to make a small detour to the airstrip, just to watch this breath-taking sunset. Such a memorable moment!


Golfing for the first time!

My first shot at golfing- I turned out to be pretty good. 😛


Trip to Bicester Village!

During both my visits to the countryside, I’ve been lucky enough to spot huge, stunning rainbows while on the go.


An afternoon at Waffle House!

That one time we drove for 40 minutes just to have Waffles, because ignoring Waffle cravings is a sin!


First Diwali in London!

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Fireworks for the home display.

The fireworks display at the Swaminarayan Temple was the BEST EVER! I stood there- during the entire display- with my mouth wide open, in awe. Every single firework perfectly matched the beats of the songs played; it was simply surreal. It’s definitely something to never be missed!


 

To end it with, a few photos I have taken of the stunning sunsets here in London.


 

Stay Happy.

xx

 

What’s In My Carry-On Bag.

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In just a few hours, I leave for the UK. It’s going to be a 14 hour journey that includes spending 9 hours on the plane from Nairobi to London. If I had my way, I’d bring everything I owned on the airplane for these long flights (I’m not exactly a minimalist), but I tried narrowing it down to these ‘essentials’. This is what is in my bag, and what I’d recommend for any traveller flying around the world. 

Tab I usually carry my tab with me during flights so I can listen to a few TED talks or watch downloaded YouTube videos.

My go-to pouch– This cute, little pouch is something I carry everywhere I go, consisting of:

  • 2 sanitizers.
  • Wet wipes, to keep myself refreshed at all times.
  • Bandages, in case of emergencies.
  • Hair ties, because esvery girl is always in need of one.
  • Mints/ Chewing Gum.
  • Chapsticks- I added one to my pouch (even though I’m not a big fan of them) since you’re bound to feel pretty dry even if you drink lots of water in-flight.

Planner & Journal– the other two things I need with me at all times. It’s safe to say that I cannot function well without them. And of course I’m carrying a few coloured pens in case I need to jot down my thoughts or underline phrases I like while reading. Or if I feel the random need to doodle. 😛

Reading Material- Reading is one my favourite things to do because not only are you passing your time but also adding value to it. Currently I’m reading ‘You Can Win’ by Shiv Khera. This book is a life changing one and I’d definitely recommend it to be read at least once in a lifetime. I’m also carrying my other favourite book; ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne.

Snacks– I’m a rare breed since I dislike airplane food. In all my years of travelling, I’ve only had it ONCE, and that too because I was forced by my brother. So if you’re like me, carrying a few snacks is a lifesaver because travelling hangry is the WORST.

Toiletries Pouch– This African-themed pouch is one of the cutest things gifted to me (who doesn’t love meaningful gifts?) It consists of my comb, travel lotion, travel tissues and toothbrush kit.

Wallet– to hold some cash.

Extra Battery– in case I run out.

And of course, the most important of them all; my travel documents.

I’d love to know what’s in your carry-on bag! Let me know in the comments? 

Review of the Strawberry Cheesecake Waffle + Chocolate Tart.

MNKafé – One of Mombasa’s favourite and reigning café has upped their game even more with the all new Strawberry Cheesecake Waffles.

But, there’s bad news in the end.

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The unique, decadent waffles were artfully executed, making it a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. As soon as you take the first bite, there is an explosion of flavours in your mouth; first of the carefully picked Strawberries, then of the cheesecake and in the end there is an aftertaste of the Graham cracker cheesecake waffles that are soft yet crunchy, making them have the perfect texture required. Each of the ingredients were impeccably complimenting each other.

The divine waffles were served with a cute little cup (which I fell in love with) consisting of layered ice-cream that had a rich aftertaste of Strawberries and cream cheese. You could say that it is a visually and delectably exciting experience that definitely leaves you craving for more. Though I would love to be selfish and keep the waffles all to myself, the work of MNKafé is too good to stay hidden for long.

The bad news is that this dessert is not on the menu currently but will be releasing soon. Till then, you can drool over these photos. 😉

Chocolate Tart

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The beautifully presented tarts may appear simple but have remarkable depth. The base is not too hard nor too soft; it has the perfect consistency while it falls apart in your mouth, just the way it’s supposed to. Its crunchy texture is fabulous. Even though the tart is oozing with chocolate goodness, there is no flavour that is overpowering the other. In fact, the firm crust balances the richness of the chocolate very well.

It seduces your taste buds for only Ksh.350. I’d empty my pockets everyday if I were skinny.

*On my way to MNKafé to indulge in more of this goodness*

My 10 favorite Empowerment Quotes.

During the greater part of my teenage years, I have suffered from anxiety, self-hate, the fear of not fitting in to society and much more.

Through these tough years in my life, these quotes have built me, taught me patience, motivated me and made me love myself. Reading them each day would make me feel stronger. Today, I can proudly say that I am on the path of self-love. I do not let negative criticism get to me and with each passing day, I love myself even more.

I hope and pray that this post helps you become a stronger and truer you.

  1. Time heals almost everything. Give time some time.l-135679
  2. But you were made to be this brave little human who does not back down to the things in life that try to tidal wave over you and force you to be small. Unknown.jpeg
  3. Does the sun ask itself, “Am I good? Am I worthwhile? Is there enough for me?” No, it burns and it shines. Does the sun ask itself, “What does the moon think of me? How does Mars feel about me today?” No, it burns, it shines. Does the sun ask itself, “Am I as big as other suns in other galaxies?” No, it burns, it shines. Unknown.png
  4. “What are you?” “To define is to limit.”images.jpeg
  5. Look at you. You’re young. And you’re scared. Why are you so scared? Stop being paralyzed. Stop swallowing your words. Stop caring what other people think. Wear what you want. Say what you want. Listen to the music you want to listen to. Play it loud and dance to it. Go out for a drive at midnight and forget that you have school the next day. Stop waiting for Friday. Live now. Do it now. Take risks. Tell secrets. This life is yours. When are you going to realize that you can do whatever you want?Unknown-1.jpeg
  6. There is no force equal to a woman determined to rise.Unknown-4.jpeg
  7. Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.images-1.jpeg
  8. Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no-one’s definition of your life; define yourself.images-2.jpeg
  9. I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life- and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.Unknown-2.jpeg
  10. Aspire to inspire before you expire.Unknown-3.jpeg

Road-trip to Nairobi.

An 8-hour drive from Mombasa is the gorgeous capital city of Kenya, Nairobi.

Nairobi (also known as the ‘Green City in the Sun’) is a dynamic, exciting and culturally diverse town, where I spent my last 3 nights at.

      The view was beyond breathtaking!

The first stop was at the Mackinnon Pir, the magical mosque that serves all.

The next stop was the Makindu Gurdwara. The beautiful Sikh temple provides a peaceful atmosphere and has facilities for free food (langar) around the clock.

My stay was at the Lotos Inn & Suites, a beautifully elegant 66 room hotel with a fabulous view of the Oshwal Religious Centre and the Oval. Being a continental breakfast lover, this place was heavenly to me.

Day 2

My view, during breakfast.

Lunch was at one of my favorite restaurants in Nairobi; Artcaffe. I had ordered Capresa In Ciabatta with the House Focaccia & Choco Chip Cookie Milkshake. 

The rest of my day was mainly spent at the International Organization of Migration (IOM). It was, definitely, not one of the best ways to spend my day since the procedures there were too many and the waiting was absolutely crazy long! I had to wait for approximately 4 hours until I was done.

Day 3

The first half of the day was spent shopping! 

                    Brood’s bakery at the Sarit Centre (left). A glimpse of the Dubai & Egypt Expo at the Sarit Centre (right).

The rest of the day was spent at the Visa Application Centre. By the time I left from there, I was completely exhausted; and you can obviously guess why. The waiting there, too, was ridiculous and I ended up having to sit there for 3 hours just to do get my interview done. 

Day 4

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Nairobi City Centre Masai market.

Day 4 was spent just like day 1; on the road. Obviously, I couldn’t leave without treating myself to a good cup of coffee for the road. 

The ‘Secret’ To A Happy Morning.

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We all know the struggle: we begin the day by hitting the snooze button five times until we must drag ourselves out of bed. When we finally wake up, it’s a race to get out the door; we rush to shower, do our hair and quickly gather our things for the day, never making time to eat breakfast, hence we leave the house feeling irritable.

That was my life, a year ago, before I made a few changes to my morning routine.

Now? I’d rather wake up earlier and have an amazing start to the day. It sets the tone for the day. Taking my time and getting things out-of-the-way means I’m not rushed or stressed.

So, if the sound of your morning alarm is worse to you than nails on a chalkboard, and if the thought of sunbeams through your window is cringe-indulging, this post is for you.

1. Start your morning the night before.

Before going to bed, take out only 5 minutes to plan for the coming day. Whether it’s about making a to-do list or preparing your outfit – so you’re only left to pop it on – this technique will help make your morning less dreadful and more stress free. You get it out-of-the-way and free up that mental energy and feel much more organized in the mornings.

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2. Lose the Snooze.

Start your first day with setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier and continue doing that each day so you’re accustomed to being an early riser. And honestly, even 15 minutes can make a whole load of difference when it comes to mornings.

Also, keep your phone far from your bed so that when the alarm goes off, you have to actually get up and walk to switch it off, and that itself is what wakes you up.

(Alarmy is the app that worked as the game-changer for me. Give it a try?)

*Change your alarm tone to a calm and pleasant one to wake up to a relaxed, positive attitude.

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3. Tune out tech for at least 30 minutes after waking up.

Trust me when I say this: it’s okay if you don’t reply to your messages/e-mails first thing in the morning, or don’t check what your friends have posted on social media as soon as you wake up. It really is okay. The world will not end; but you definitely will have a much more productive & cheerful morning.

When you focus more on you than on others, you guaranteed live a much more blissful life.

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4. Hydrate yourself.

I can not tell you enough how important and how beneficial this is. Drinking a glass of warm lemon water – as you wake up – not only boosts your immune system but also cleanses your system and aids digestion. (And of course there are way more benefits to it, that are too long to list.)

It has, undoubtedly, helped me wake up with a much clearer mind and given me the energy to face the day ahead with a positive attitude.

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5. Stretch/ Meditate/ Exercise.

Set aside some time to get your blood flowing. It can be for only 5-10 minutes; something as simple as meditation or a few Yoga postures that help awaken your muscles and body. It’s important for mental health & helps you keep a composed and elated attitude throughout your day.

Also, exercise is super important, not just to get your heart moving but for a fit and productive day.

I, personally, use the 5K Runner app to keep me motivated & improve my fitness routine.

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6. Treat yourself to a healthy breakfast.

Research suggests that eating breakfast, specially, carbohydrate-rich, can improve your mood. Eating in the morning after a night’s slumber will provide glucose to your starved brain. Most people are also likely to be happier and less grouchy when they aren’t distracted by hunger pangs.

Try to pick something that is nourishing to both your mind and body. Rather than eating in a hurried manner, make an effort to savor and enjoy your food.

Smoothie Bowl + Chia Pudding – Healthy breakfast option.

7. Make your bed & de-clutter.

In a survey of 68,000 humans by Hunch.com, 71% of bed makers consider themselves happy; while 62% of non-bed makers admit to being unhappy. Bed makers are also more likely to like their jobs, exercise regularly & feel well rested, whereas non-bed makers hate their jobs, avoid the gym & wake up feeling tired. All in all, bed makers are happier and more successful than their rumple-sheeted peers.

I could never believe that such a small thing could make any difference in my life, until, one fine day, I decided to give it a go.

Astound, I finally understood what they meant. It just does make you happy. You can think with a better, a much clearer mindset. When your room is clutter-free, you are bound to procrastinate less and be productive.

For the past one year, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘no’ for many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

⇒Have a fab day, you beautiful people!

⇒Lots of love coming your way. ♥ xx

 

 

 

 

Smoothie Bowl + Chia Pudding

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*Apologies for the poor quality photo.

Bursting with energy and ready to take on the world, this morning I charged my batteries with this filling, delicious breakfast.

Smoothie Bowl:

  • 1 frozen Banana.
  • A handful of frozen Strawberries.
  • 1/2 cup Almond milk.

Toss all your ingredients into a grinder and blitz until smooth.

Vanilla Chia Pudding:

  • 4 tablespoons Chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of Almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and whisk well. Refrigerate for an hour. When removed, if the pudding is too thick, add some milk to give it a smoother consistency.

–Into a serving bowl, pour your smoothie onto one side and your Chia pudding onto the other. Top with the ingredients of your choice.