Monday, August 24, 2015

August: Random Muse!

Just thought I would share a few random things that have inspired me this month. I'm thinking this might be a regular series on the blog...... Maybe.
 {Obsessed withAfrican literature}

~My dad always pushed my siblings and I to develop a reading habit from a tender age. I embrace this ideology... Knowledge is indeed power~
 {Adding sugar to flowers}

~ I do not like flowers. Well, maybe just orchids. Either way, I learnt a neat trick to preserve flowers by adding a little sugar to the water~
 {Appreciating flats}

~Ever since I fractured my foot last October, I was forced to wear flat shoes for a while. Since then, I have slowly discovered an ignored elegance in flats and there's nothing as good as being stylish and comfortable  all in one go. True story!~

~If you like a very chilled spot in Westlands, with great food and creative decor, this is the place to be~


{Applauding Uber Duka}

~I am proud of the artistic creativity I have come across in various parts of Africa. I applaud individuals/ organizations like Uber Duka, who are a community marketplace developed to create an online presence for various crafts from local artisans~

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Product Review: Mikalla Total Moisture Boost Leave-In Conditioner!

Pictures by DannySkech

Oh goodness! I can't believe it's already time for me to conclude the Mikalla product review series! A special thank you to all those who have given feedback regarding their experience with Mikalla. Here's to celebrating and promoting local brands... if we don't, how will we ever grow endogenically?

About the Mikalla Total Moisture Boost Leave-In Conditioner:
The Mikalla Total Moisture Boost Leave-In Conditioner is specially formulated to invigorate, moisturize, detangle and protect hair. It is enriched with menthol (helps soothe itchy scalps), shea butter (works as a great sealant & heat protectant) and castor oil (moisturizes and thickens hair while reducing breakage).

My Review:
I loved the mild hint of menthol in the product. I started off with dry hair as I had already washed my hair earlier in the week, so my scalp was still clean. I undid my hair, spritzed it with some water and proceeded to apply the leave in using the L.O.C method, which simply signifies how you should oil and moisturize your hair... (Leave-In, Oil, Cream). This is an excellent way of sealing your tresses as it ensures maximum moisture retention.. and we know that moisture in hair = growth!
 {I applied the Leave-In then followed with Oil & Cream}
 .{.. And simply styled my hair in an easy up do}!
 Verdict:
I always prefer using light (in thickness) leave-in treatments because the L.O.C method calls one to use three different products all at one go. When I used thicker leave-ins in the past, my hair felt weighed down by the amount of product I had applied. The Mikalla Total Moisture Boost Leave-In Conditioner was the perfect consistency. I also noticed how quickly my hair softened after adding the leave-in and before I added oil... it made styling a whole lot easier so I would definitely repurchase this product!

I have had a great time sampling each Mikalla product for the past four weeks! I hope that all four reviews have given insight as to what the Mikalla brand has in store for all {natural, permed and texturized hair}. Hope you try it out and let me know how it goes!
Thank you for reading!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Product Review: Mikalla Honey & Butter Conditioner!

Pictured by DannySkech

 Hey guys! So today's post continues the Mikalla product review series. If you have missed the other product reviews, you can scroll down my page or alternatively, find them here: shampoo and treatment review.

When we were planning how to review these Mikalla products, Dan and I decided to dedicate one Saturday per product so I can truly observe how my hair responds to each product. However, when I reviewed the Mikalla Quadra Oil treatment, I mentioned that I co-washed my hair using the Mikalla Honey & Butter conditioner.  I noticed how soft my hair became immediately I applied this conditioner and I knew that this would no doubt, be my favourite product from the Mikalla range.

About the Mikalla Honey & Butter Conditioner:
The Mikalla Honey & Butter Conditioner is enriched with honey, which is a natural moisturizer and shea butter that has a lot of nutritional benefits such as; moisturizing qualities, acts as a sealant (to lock in moisture in the hair shaft), softens hair and acts as a heat protectant. The Mikalla Honey and Butter Conditioner claims to soften, detangle, moisturize and protect the hair cuticles against heat styling. The conditioner comes in a variety of sizes and with affordable prices; 500ml. (KShs.150), 1ltr. (KShs. 285) and 5ltrs. (KShs.565).

My Review:
I loved the thickness of this product! Plus it smells heavenly!!!!! Other than as a co-wash, I always use conditioner to take down old twists or braids to avoid tangles, which can easily result in lose of hair. The reason why I use conditioner for this process is because it has 'slip', which simply means that the conditioner has a good-kind-of-slippery-essence that makes hair easy to detangle therefore preventing breakage or split ends.
 I started off with old twists that I had on for a week. 

{The BEFORE pic}
As I slowly un-did each twist, the conditioner provided the slip my hair needed in order to loosen the strands and tackle the tangles.
{The AFTER pic}
Once the take -down was complete, I was ready to co-wash my hair.
 Look at that miniscule ball of hair I lost during the takedown!! In the past, I lost so much hair because I never applied conditioner for this process and would end up battling with my tangles especially at the exact point where the braid meets the hair {... you know that point of installation- ladies, I know you get it...}
 Since I had recently treated my hair, I jumped in to the shower for a quick co-wash. I loved the fact that I did not need to add any more conditioner in the shower, as I already had enough product on my hair for the wash.
 Verdict:
I loved how soft and fluffy my hair felt after using this product! Just look at the picture above! In true testament, I was even able to braid myself with so much ease after my drying my hair.... {and not forgetting the fact that I am still practicing the 'no-comb' method}!! I also appreciated the fact that I was able to use this product not only as a detangler to undo my old twist-outs but also as a shampoo. This was definitely my favourite of the Mikalla range so far! I would definitely recommend and re-purchase this product!
Finally, the gift hamper that two lucky winners will win every Sunday for the remaining two weeks! Follow me on Instagram (@threadmuse) to enter!

Thank you for reading!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Food Review: The Terrace, Qaribu Inn!

Pictures by DannySkech

Hey guys, so Dan and I had lunch at Qaribu Inn last Monday. I had first been to Qaribu Inn in May this year with my boss who was looking for a quiet place our team could sit and work with minimum distractions. Ok, let me start from the beginning... A few months back, I had driven around Loresho and and noticed the bright orange Qaribu Inn sign. With around thirty minutes to kill, I decided to randomly drive in and check out their premises, seeing that I am constantly scouting for venues to hold work meetings. I was met by jolly staff who were eager to give me a tour of the establishment and let me just tell you that when I walked in to the terrace restaurant, I knew that it was only a matter of time before this beautiful hidden gem was known to the world.

So fast forward to May, when bossman asked me to book a venue for a meeting that was not only close to town but with a quiet environment, Qaribu Inn just popped into my mind! So after that initial experience, I was super excited and honoured when the management accepted my request for a non-sponsored food review. 

About Qaribu Inn:
Qaribu Inn is an easily accessible 3-star budget hotel that offers comfortable accommodation for business and holiday travellers. The hotel provides a meeting room for conferences for up to 100 people and cosy and well-designed rooms for accommodation. The spacious terrace restaurant overlooks a well maintained gently sloping grass path with canopying trees bordering a picturesque dam that is frequented by ducks.

Contact information: www.qaribuinn.com

{By the pond}
{Beautiful views overlooking the terrace}
{Friends across the pond}
The Meal:
When I was reading their menu, I came across the Qaribu Inn beef burger. From my experience, any food or beverage that is named after the establishment is definitely something worth trying out.... its like a signature meal. So Dan, my brother and I all ordered for the Qaribu Inn beef burger but I opted to have it with vegetables instead of fries. So we put out our order and the meal was ready in 12 minutes, which was perfect seeing that I purposely did not have breakfast so I could thoroughly devour the meal. The meal cost KShs. 700 and additional KShs. 200 for juice.. {or in my case, for the virgin mojito}.

 Let me just tell you, this was one succulent burger! At first glance, the burger looked so big but I gently squashed the burger so that everything can fit for several big bites. The meat patty was well done and so deliciously juicy. The cheese was that perfect consistency.. half solid, half melted. Then there was this exquisite relish on top of the cheese! I think it was caramelised onion, but the colour and the delicate sweetness made me think of caramelised beets.... the jury is still out. And lastly to top it off, bacon! Yuuuuummm! May the heavens open and shower us with this burger! 

Verdict:
The location provided a perfect ambience to enjoy a meal with friends and family. The service was quick and offered with joy and pride. The waitress was very knowledgeable of the content of each dish after asking her several questions on the various meals offered on their menu. The food was very delectable and I will definitely be back! I would recommend that if you are anywhere around Loresho, Westlands or heck, anywhere in Nairobi, do pay a visit to Qaribu Inn and enjoy your meal overlooking the serene view of the pond!
Have a prosperous week!

Dress- Mr. Price | Earrings- Woolworths

Monday, July 20, 2015

Product Review: Mikalla Quadra Oil Hair Protein Treatment!

Pictures by DannySkech

 Hey guys! So today's post is the second in a four-part series reviewing Mikalla products. Over the weekend, I treated my hair using the Mikalla Quadra Oil Hair Protein Treatment which contains four natural oils, that is, olive oil, mint, wheat germ and shea butter. 

When it comes to oils, it is important to make a distinction on the two categories of oils; essential oils and carrier oils. Vegetable oils such as coconut and olive oil are classified as carrier oils used to dilute essential oils while also providing nourishment to your hair or body. Essential oils on the other hand, can be extracted from a wide range of plants (leaves, flowers, seeds). They have a strong scent and are very potent, hence the need to dilute them with carrier oils. The carrier oil, therefore 'carries' the essential oils to your hair or skin. Knowledge of this oil classification may inform you as you create your own homemade oil mix.

About the Mikalla Quadra Oil Hair Protein Treatment:
The Mikalla Quadra Oil Hair Protein Treatment contains a mix of both carrier and essential oils that enrich and nourish your hair. This amalgamation of these oils seeks to treat dry scalps and promote growth (mint), acts as a moisturizer and heat protectant (shea butter), infuse vitamins A, B, D, E and acts as a hair emollient (wheatgerm) and offers antibacterial qualities, acts as a natural conditioner and promotes growth (olive oil). 

My Review:
I am one of those people who love smelling products (even though scents may not contribute to the value of the product... think coconut oil....), so the first thing I did was to smell the product, which has a refreshing scent courtesy of the mint. The treatment comes in a variety of sizes and with affordable prices; 150g. (KShs. 110), 250g. (KShs. 225), 400g. (KShs. 350) and 1kg. (KShs. 785).

I started off by washing my hair with the Mikalla Honey & Butter Conditioner (this product will be in my next review) because I only shampoo my hair once a month. Hold up, that does not mean I only wash my hair once a month. Let me explain... Shampoos are naturally made to cleanse your scalp to be squeaky clean and may end up stripping off the sebum your scalp naturally produces. Frequent use of shampoo may result in dry hair meaning brittle strands that cause breakage. I therefore, choose to wash my hair with conditioner commonly referred to as 'co-washing', weekly or every fortnight which is a better option to keep your scalp clean without stripping your natural oils.
I loved the thick consistency of the product. Yessss!
 I applied my treatment in segments, which makes it easier to rinse off later on to avoid tangling. I placed a shower cap over my hair and stayed with the treatment for 45 minutes since I did not use a dryer/ steamer (which if I had I had, would have only required me to stay with the treatment for 15 minutes).
 I then did an apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse before oiling and styling.
 Verdict:
 My hair was so soft after I rinsed off the treatment and left free of any tangles! The only con was the fact that one of the ingredients included paraffinum liqidum, another term for mineral oil, which prevents healthy ingredients from penetrating the hair shaft, therefore preventing the hair from fully receiving the nutrients from the oils applied. I enjoyed using this product and would definitely recommend it!
Earrings- H&M | Leather Jacket- House of Holland | On my lips {MAC Nightmoth lipliner & MAC Diva lipstick}

Do not forget to check out my Instagram page {@threadmuse} for the weekly giveaway with Mikalla! Thank you for reading!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

PRODUCT REVIEW: Mikalla Shampoo!

 Hey guys! If you follow me on Instagram, you definitely know that the good folks at Mikalla (from the Alkhemy Group) reached out to me to review their hair product line. This sponsored review will focus on the Mikalla's shampoo, conditioner, treatment and leave-in treatment for the next four weeks.

Before I go into the review, allow me to briefly share my hair story. I chopped my hair on 01. 01. 2013 as a new years resolution (yes, I am one of those...) but also with the aim of transitioning to natural hair. So after the big chop, I didn't do much to my hair for a whole year!! No one told me natural hair needed a whole lot of time and TLC.... talk of complete confusion and frustration! As a result of what I thought was complete disillusionment, in 2014, I had to invest a lot of time researching on natural hair products. So after a few trial and errors (and a lot of wasted money buying wrong products), ladies and gentlemen, I finally managed to develop a healthy regimen all done at the comfort of my home.

Now with all that information at hand, you can somewhat understand why I am particular when it comes to selecting hair products. Today's review will solely focus on the Mikalla shampoo and for every Monday for the next three weeks, I will be reviewing one of their products. There will be a giveaway every Saturday so look out for that!! 

About Mikalla:
The first thing I asked when I met the Mikalla team was the meaning of the name, which is Luhya for 'we have arrived'.  Mikalla is a relatively new product in the market that can be used by women (or men, hello!) with permed, texturized or natural hair. I was particularly happy to hear that they are a local brand which is great seeing as I am all for promoting our own, plus a good chunk of the hair products we buy are imported which doesn't give opportunity for local brands to grow. The Mikalla Cleansing & Conditioning Shampoo has vitamin B5 that strengthens hair while maintaining its moisture, is paraben-free and consists of low sulphate and salt. The shampoo is available in 500ml. (KShs. 150), 1 ltr. (KShs. 200) and 5 ltrs. (KShs. 460). You can buy the Mikalla range of products from these outlets.

My Review:
So I did a wash and go with the Mikalla shampoo last weekend. 
 I undid my two strand flat twists and finger detangled.
The Mikalla shampoo really lathers well, so a little goes a long way.
 The shampoo softened my hair and you can clearly see my curl definition.
 I then rinsed my hair. Yo, that shrinkage is REAL!
 I then applied the Mikalla Total Moisture Boost Leave-In Treatment (I will review this too in the coming weeks) and my homemade oil mix as I styled my hair.

Below: Earrings- Woolworths | Jumper- Toi Market
 Verdict: 
I only blow dry my hair once a year when I go for a trim so I loved how refreshing my scalp felt after using this shampoo. I am also trying a no-comb experiment to try retain length by only finger detangling, so I was excited to discover how easy it was to style my hair after rinsing out the shampoo. The only con was the fact that one of the ingredients included sulphur, which I am not very keen on. All in all, I liked the product!
Finally, the gift hamper that one lucky winner will win every Saturday for the next four weeks! Follow me on Instagram (@threadmuse) to enter! Have a blessed Thursday guys!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Oven-grilled Chicken, Chips & Stir-fry Vegetables!

Cooking is about passion, so it may look slightly temperamental in a way that it's too assertive to the naked eye ~ G. Ramsey

Pictures by DannySkech

Anyone who knows me well definitely comprehends the kind of love relationship I have with food. It's deep. I cook when I am happy. I cook when I need to clear my mind. I cook when I am angry (...yes, and it still turns out good, if I say so myself :-). .... Basically, I cook a lot! It is intrinsic and I love it.
I haven't had a food post on the blog for a while and that had something to do with my numerous recent trips. 
My hope is that this segment of the blog shares quick and easy meals that anyone could effortlessly re-create using locally available produce. Anyway, back to the post. I made this easy meal last weekend. Just follow the quick recipes if you want to recreate the same meal. Enjoy!

{All the ingredients that you need}
{Sauces for the marinade}
Step 1:
1. Marinade the chicken.
{I used all the sauces above, sea salt, black pepper, onion and garlic}
Step 2:
Add olive oil, black pepper and some salt to the chips. {You can choose any other spice you like}
Step 3:
Lightly stir fry the onion, garlic, sweetcorn,  mushrooms, courgette, green pepper, tomato, basil leaves and coriander.
Step 4:
Put the chips and the chicken in the oven and keep flipping them as they cook along.
Finished product!

Have a blessed Thursday!