VANILLA CLOVE DIY BODY OIL SPRAY

Hello Lovely,

I always thought it would be cool to make my own scent. When I went to the VIVA conference, I did that but forgot to take a particular ingredient out and it ended up tainting the entire scent making it useless. But when I did make it, it was a delicious spice scent that kind of reminded me of cookies baking while you admire a fresh pot of flowers. (Weird combination I know). So after that epic fail, I decided to try again with simpler ingredients that anyone could find in their kitchen pantry (minus the sweet almond oil base).

Even my brother admitted that he liked the smell of this and he generally ignores my existence. So I think we have a winner!

I plan on gifting this to my sister-in-law as a thank you for everything she's done to help me out these past two years. I also plan on buying more sweet almond oil from Whole Foods so that I can make more of this over the holidays to bring back for friends. Here's how you can make your own.

CAUTION: You just might attract that special someone to meet you under the mistletoe if you wear this!

Vanilla Clove DIY Body Oil Spray

  • 1/4 cup almond oil (walnut or jojoba oil would also work)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. You can also use vanilla essential oil.
  • 2-3 drops clove oil or 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • A small spray bottle

Combine all of the ingredients. I prefer to let the whole cloves sit in the mixture for about 5 minutes, just to infuse the scent. Remove the cloves and pour into a small spray bottle (you should definitely use a funnel for this, I ended up spilling some of mine). If you’re not smelling enough vanilla, go ahead and add a 1/2 teaspoon more.

My hand was a little heavy on the vanilla extract, so this smells very vanilla-y. I hope that's not a problem for her. If you go heavy on the vanilla, use the spray sparingly because a little goes a long way, trust me! I was really tempted to keep this one for myself. Who would you gift this to? Share with us in the comment section below!

Weekend Recap: How I Spent Cinco de Mayo

Hello Lovely,

THIS WEEKEND WAS LIT!!!!!! I had the best weekend of my life! I went to a concert with two close friends of mine on Cino de Mayo for Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival. We saw a lot of amazing artists like Visage, Bunji Garlin, Faye Ann Lyons and most importantly MACHEL MONTANO! That's right folks. I FINALLY got to see the lengendary man in the flesh! And he is just as sexy as ever!

There was a moment where I doubted if I would actually get to or not after the rain came down. But I was determined! I stood in the rain during and after Bunji and Faye's performance waiting. And guess what, they shut down the whole thing. Lights turned off, speakers, lights and other equiment was covered and sheltered from the rain and most of the crowd scattered. Some people went home, but again, I was determined. I waited under a tent. Just waited. Machel couldn't let me know. I knew he would somehow sense my desire to see him just once in concert (let me know if I'm getting overly dramatic with this).

And after about 10 minutes of waiting, Bodine Johnson the host came back out and said, "Are you guys ready for Machel? I NEVER RAN SO FAST IN MY LIFE! I actually left my friends behind and ran off in one direction while they went in another. I sprinted to the front and witnessed what I believe to be a miracle (again let me know if I'm getting overly dramatic with this).

There is something so liberating about dancing in the rain! I enjoyed every minute of it. Singing and chanting with the crowd awoke a spirit of fun in me that had been surpressed by the burdens of adulthood.

I rested on Saturday, then Sunday was my Cinco de Mayo dinner with my best friends. We turned up with sangria, margaritas, nachos and great music! My best friends are like family to me so it's always a good time when we're together. We played with the Charades and Dinner Party Conversation Cards and heard some really awkward answers that'll make anyone blush. The night totally made up for my failed attempt to catch a beach soccer game this weekend, but all in all, this was definitely the best weekend ever!

Apple Cheese Wraps

Hello Lovely

File this recipe under my all time favourite snack! Ever since I was a kid, my mum would peel and dice apples for me to eat as a snack because I never liked the skin. She couldn't understand how I claimed that I couldn't swallow the skin on the apple. I don't know what to say. I would chew and chew, but it just wouldn't go down. Like lettuce. But I digress.

Over the past year I became obsessed with cheese and crackers. Diced apples or cream crackers and cheddar cheese always satisfies me when I need to snack on something. So why not combine them? 

Do you remember eating Lunchables as a kid? I never liked them. I liked the idea behind it but it always tasted fake (not to mention my parents complained about the price). If you have kids who love Lunchables, why not save money by making it yourself? It's so easy and so much healthier because you'll know exactly what's in it. This snack covers all of the critical food groups with fibre, protein and good carbs. The best part? It's fully customisable. Add nuts or grapes or whatever else you like for added health benefits. 

 

Apple Cheese Wraps (serves 4 )

Prep Time: 2 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 apple
  • 1 slice lemon
  • 2 slices cheddar cheese, cut in half
  • 2 slices pre-sliced deli turkey or ham, cut in half

Preparation

1. Slice the apple into 1/2 inch thick slices. Rub the apple with the lemon wedge to prevent from going brown.

2. Slice the cheddar cheese into 1/2 inch wide slices and the ham in 1/2 or in 1/4 (the ham needs to be large enough to wrap around the apple). 

3. Place an apple slice and a cheese slice on top of the deli meat and fold over deli meat to wrap.

4. Serves with crackers and a dip of your choice for a satisfying on the go snack.

Friday Favourites: Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Hello Lovely,

Mother's Day is this Sunday and you probably forgot to make/buy something AGAIN. You've got to do something special for mum. So here are 3 gift ideas for that special lady in your life.

As an adult, buying a Mother's Day gift is still a struggle, but it doesn't have to be. Why not go back to the classic "coupon book" that worked so well for us in the past? The only difference being this time you'll make some coupons mom will actually want. Here, we've compiled some for you already. We’ve even left some blank for you to fill out yourself. You can print as many as you’d like to make your coupon book as thick as you want.

These are so simple and easy to make- they make a fantastic keepsake and also a perfect gift for any occasion – Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Teacher Appreciation, Christmas Gifts you name it! The best part is – it will cost you next to nothing to make tons of them!

How awesomely simple is this idea? You can't beat the classic personalised Mother's Day Mug as a gift if you're in a pinch.

Cinco de Mayo Dinner Party Cards

Hello Lovely,

It's Cinco de Mayo!!!!!! I'm not sure if I've ever been so happy for an excuse to cut loose, drink and party with friends. This weekend is going to be hectic but totally a blast! Tonight is night 2 of the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival concerts and my favourite Soca artist (AKA my Trinidadian baby daddy) is performing: Machel Montano! Can you believe that I have never seen him live in concert? It saddens me to admit that. That's why I HAVE to fix it! I will be sorely disappointed if I miss my chance again.

So because the concert is tonight, which clearly takes priority, my Cinco de mayo party with friends is this Sunday. We're so excited! Even though we just had a party two nights ago, we're really going to get down this Sunday. To make this more interesting, I came up with these dinner party cards. It's a set of 20 cards: 12 are for charades and 8 are conversation questions. Charades and dinner conversation starter cards are simple to print, cut and have handy for any meal! 

Whether you’re hosting a dinner party with friends or finally sitting down to a family meal after a less-than-sober Cinco de Mayo, these free printable charades and conversations starters are perfect! Download your free printable here. 

Thirsty Thursdays: 5 Cinco de Mayo Drinks to Try

Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of Mexican culture that takes places on the 5th of May in commemoration of a significant battle. While Cinco de Mayo traditions include parades, music, street festivals and all round dancing, what makes it a party are great food, friends and, of course, delicious drinks. With cocktails such as the Paloma and the Tequila Caliente, who knows, you may even be inspired to play some mariachi!

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5 WAYS TO TAKE A BREAK IN YOUR DAY

Hello Lovely,

Sometimes you just need to take a break. Over the years, I've mastered the art of constructive procrastination. It may seem like I'm not doing anything (and a lot of times I really do feel like I'm not doing enough) but everyone around me is still amazed at how much I can accomplish on a daily basis. I may have mentioned before that I perform best between the hours of 10-1. Something within me just awakens midday and then crashes again right after lunch. But as we all know, the workday doesn't end at 1 so there's a lot that still needs to be done. If you have an office job or work in a strict environment, taking a break is usually frowned upon. However, what many employers should learn is, the busier and more chaotic your day, the more important it is to take a break (or two!) at some point in the midst of all the craziness for both your mental and physical well-being.  Here are 5 ways to take a break in your day when you need just 15 minutes to clear your head, get out of the kitchen or just up and out of the desk chair.

Go For a Walk

Did you know that “Prolonged sitting, particularly in work settings, can cause health problems..." So what should you do? Go for a walk of course! Walks are great because they not only get you moving physically but there’s something about the change of scenery that jolts my mind into thinking differently or creatively about whatever is on my brain at that time. There are many ways you can take a walk that doesn't look like a waste of time. Walk to the prnter, the water cooler, the bathroom or drive somewhere just to eat your lunch.

Read Something Not on a Computer Screen

Can you remember the last time you read something not on your phone, computer or e-reader? It’s scary, huh? I think our eyes need a break from screens as much as our legs need to move and our brains need to think about something other than work. There are some days my eyes actually burn from being overworked. Reading something like an actual book, magazine, newspaper or cookbook even is not only a great mental break (and forces you to think about something else besides work) but a much needed reprieve for our eyes.

Apple Cheese Wraps.jpg

Eat a Snack

 I’m a big believer in snacks being substantial. 100 calories isn’t going to do me any good and I need a decent balance of protein/carbs/fat to feel satiated. I usually snack around 11 to keep me going until lunchtime. My favourite snacks include apple slices, cheese and crackers, or a peanut butter sandwich. Keep your metabolism going to keep up the energy.

Take a Nap

This is my favorite kind of break. I keep a pillow at my desk whenever I just need 10 minutes of peace and quiet. During my downtime, I like to take just a few minutes to refresh and reflect. A lot of times, I don't actually fall asleep but the relief of closing my eyes for a few moments helps my brain to shut off for awhile or come up with a new way of looking at the problem. If taking a nap isn't an option, try daydreaming. It can be surprisingly productive .

Clean Something

Yes, I’m telling you to clean something as a way to take a break and refresh yourself. Here’s the thing, cleaning is normally looked at as a chore we all hate doing. The things to clean (your desk, the bathroom, the kitchen…) all pile up throughout the week and before you know it, you’re spending half your weekend and/or downtime cleaning. When I feel myself needing a break in the day, I’ll pick a small area, room or surface to clean, give myself 10-15 minutes and get it done. It completely breaks the mentality of cleaning being a chore and instead makes it a welcome break in your day. Not only do you give your brain some downtime, your house or office gets cleaned in the meantime and you free up a substantial part of your weekend. Boom.

3 Tips for Protecting Your Hair at Night

3 Tips for Protecting Your Hair at Night

Caring for your hair as you sleep is just as important as caring for it when you’re awake, and even more-so because what you do before bed can be the difference between your curls being on point and being a big matted mess in the morning. Whether you’re rocking a TWA or waist-length Locs, it is important to protect your hair as you sleep in order to retain moisture and preserve your style. 
 

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