LOVE BEGINS WITH YOU

LOVE BEGINS WITH YOU

Love is gentle, love is kind , love is beyond what the eye can see, it’s an unwavering connection that stands against all seasons of life.

With that being said, the greatest love is the kind we give ourselves. The kind of love that forgives our past mistakes, that repairs our brokenness, that strengthens us and that makes us look for a deeper connection with everything we do.

How can you love another when you don’t love yourself?

How can you give love when you doubt yourself and capabilities?

How can you give love when you put yourself down and thus increase your self doubt?

How can you give love when you feel you’re not deserving of love?

How can you identity what is love, when you’re busy pleasing everyone else instead?

How can you give love when you hide your true self for the fear of being hurt?

How can you find love when you relate love to material things?

Loving yourself means discipline, self acceptance of your strengths and weaknesses, appreciating the priceless moments that makes you smile, listening to your inner voice and relating to people the way you will like to be treated.

Understanding being vulnerable and walking away when a situation doesn’t suit your needs is strength and not a weakness. This realisation only comes from loving yourself.

Love will make you vulnerable and strong at the same time. You can’t accept love without pain, they go hand in hand. However how you see ‘pain’ is based on your interpretation.

Loving yourself allows you to be selective with the kind of people you want around you. People that compliments your personality, your vulnerability and help you grow each day.

Loving yourself means you can only love a selected few and tolerate others if you want to. This means you’re exerting your power of choice.

Loving yourself means you have a deeper understanding you’re not meant to be loved back by all and by the same token others will also tolerate you or avoid you altogether.

Loving yourself means you’re at peace with yourself and connected to your spiritual self.

Loving yourself means maturity and understanding the complexities of humans. A realisation that exposes you to the strengths and weaknesses of others, which you can choose to love, tolerate or walk away.

Loving yourself means you don’t seek revenge on people who have betrayed you. The experience should teach you exactly what you don’t want and seek what makes you complete.

Loving yourself means you’re responsible for your actions and reactions. Understanding whatever decision you make comes with a sacrifice. A sacrifice you’re willing to give and not coerced to giving.

Understanding your physical self will attract all sorts, however your inner beauty will keep those that are meant to be to stay in your life.

The realisation that the roots of the kind of love you want lies solely with you, gives you the freedom to love in your own way.

Why not begin the self love train by treating yourself to an amazing recipe below;

Happy Valentine’s Day folks❤️

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Rustic Fisherman’s soup recipe

Enjoy this easy to follow rustic Fisherman’s soup recipe packed with natural flavours. Use any firm white Fish of your choosing and about 10g of salted fish in the absence of fish sauce.

Ingredients

300g of de-scaled and gutted Tilapia

300g of Red Mullet

300g of Wild Seabass

200g of shelled Prawns

1 tablespoonful of Coconut oil

2 large Onions

3 cloves of Garlic

2 Habanero chillies

150g of Garden eggs or Aubergines

1 tablespoonful of fish sauce or Lemon juice

Salt to taste

Spice mix

20g of Ginger

1 medium Onion

2 cloves of Garlic

1 tablespoonful of Aniseed

2 African Nutmeg or a pinch of grated Nutmeg (optional)

1 teaspoonful of Guinea Peppers (optional)

1 tablespoonful of smoked Paprika

Salsa mix

1 large diced Tomato

30g of chopped spring Onions

20g of chopped Parsley

Half a medium sized charred and diced Red Pepper

To serve

Best served with Ciabatta or Sourdough bread.

Watch how to prepare this recipe below;

Don’t forget to subscribe, try the recipe and leave comments with your feedback.

All photos, recipes and videos are by the owner of this blog.

INSPIRING AFRICAN TABLE SETTING IDEAS

INSPIRING AFRICAN TABLE SETTING IDEAS

‘Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation’.

Oscar Wilde

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Finding reasons to host dinner parties, lunches etc in the comforts of your home should not be difficult.

Coming up with obscure reasons to host my guests gives me the inspiration to display my heritage. The conversation always gears towards knowing the history of my country (Ghana) and food.

With years of experience organising such private events, I have compiled a few videos covering table setting, how to set an African inspired table and how to include your heritage and personalise your table setting for the festive season.

After watching the videos were you inspired?

Tell me a bit about your culture and what pieces you will incorporate into your table setting.

Please your comments below with your answers and thoughts.

VLISCO ME ALL DAY

VLISCO ME ALL DAY

Imagine having a bad day and reading an email that changes your mood for the better. What bad day? Please ‘bad day’ my appointment with you is over, I’m busy filling my head with good thoughts ooh!

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The email acknowledged and praised my sense of creativity including my style and an offer to visit Ghana briefly for a campaign shoot. Did I read ‘billboards in over 6 African countries, magazines etc…’ Mama where are you? I’ll surprise her instead.

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My last visit to Ghana was to bury my little brother hence this email was a welcome distraction from my grief.

The realisation of seeing Mum again made me happy as I impatiently counted the days to immerse myself into this incredible experience.

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Vlisco Group was founded in Helmond, The Netherlands in 1846 and produces fashion forward African Wax prints. Vlisco fabrics are an integral part in most African homes particularly in the Central and Western part of Africa. I grew up knowing about Vlisco from my Mum as it was her favourite in terms of design and quality.

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Mums vintage African fabric pieces are from Vlisco and they still look new (I  rummage through her wardrobe and wear them whenever I’m in Ghana).

Vlisco Group’s brand portfolio consists of four brands: Vlisco, Woodin, Uniwax and GTP..

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INTRODUCING OUR CAMPAIGN STARS |

Fafa Gilbert @ndudu_by_fafa puts Ghanaian cuisine on the world map via social media. Coming from the Volta region in Ghana but living in London, she skillfully interweaves both cultures in her recipes as well as in her unique fashion approach.

Fashion by @lumierewoman.

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The positive energy  on set was electric as each creative individual expressed themselves through the entire shoot. I’ll talk more about this later in another post; including the two amazing ladies I worked with during this campaign.

The theme for the campaign was ‘NEW BOLD ROMANTICS’ and they certainly made me feel like a ‘Queen’.

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Link below to purchase the fabrics directly from their website.

https://shop.vlisco.com/en/all-fabrics?collection_code=760

The designers chosen for my outfits were Lumiere Woman and Sadia Sanusi, Hair by Kush Taylor, Jewellery by Chyba Jewellery, Make up by Woena Makeup Artistry, Photographs  by Matthew Miziolek with Creative Directors Grietje Schepers and Sanne Huijsmans.

To be continued……

All photos and videos are by the Vlisco.

 

 

 

 

 

THAT ACCRA LIFE

THAT ACCRA LIFE

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The gentleman sitting opposite blatantly stared as I held his gaze for what seemed like eternity. His gaze told a brief story of worry and anxiety as I smiled to say it’s okay ‘today to shall pass’.

I sipped on my chilled glass of fresh Watermelon blend as another gentleman approached in a pensive mood. Oops! Why the stern look, I asked myself.

The conversation between the two gentlemen explained both their moods. My ‘konkonsa’ ears were activated 🙈

Seemed Mr. Worried Gaze has been naughty at work and was getting an earful of ‘blasting’. I decided to walk away from where I was sitting to save the gentleman from any further embarrassment.

I found myself by the poolside (which was quiet as I set my plan in action to surprise Mum and cousins for breakfast.

This surprise could go two ways, they either surprised me by declining  my invite or better still honour the invite and interrogate me. I preferred the latter but not the interrogation.

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The look on my Mums face was priceless coupled with the exuberant conversations that ensued thereafter. I managed to have an informal interview with Mum, however I missed recording most part of the interview (maybe due to my excitement 😢).

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We headed to a local Chop Bar as I craved Fufu and Goat Meat Light soup with a chilled glass of Star Beer.

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The next 3 days were packed with the main reason I went to Ghana (which will be revealed at the opportune time).

Accra’s aura felt so different this time round; maybe because I looked at it from an artistic and creative point of view.

Accra exuded confidence in its warm embrace of hardworking individuals who either gave you the occasional smile or blank stare.

It felt good to be home, however I knew I had limited time and couldn’t catch up with everyone (which was disappointing).

The atmosphere felt positive as mothers dropped their kids off to school, the Police doing their random checks on vehicles, hawkers balancing their wares on their head whilst skilfully dodging on coming traffic as we traveled to different locations across the city.

The smell of charcoal roasted ripened Plantain filled the vehicle as we all had a bite of this wonderful Ghanaian snack, whilst driving past the Accra Supreme Court

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The entire crew had dinner at the Gold Coast Restaurant and we ended the night at Carbon Night Club which was an incredible experience.

The final filming was done as the crew headed back to Europe and I had 12hrs free to spend with Mum before heading back to London.

Watch excepts of my short time spent in Accra. Hope you’re intrigued enough to visit Ghana soon.

 

 

 

 

I arrived in London on Monday morning, dropped off my luggage’s at home and dragged my tired self  straight to the office. Phew! What a memorable weekend and a priceless experience.

Watch Accra through my eyes in a compiled video and photography below;

Don’t forget to like the video, share and subscribe.

All photos, recipes and videos are by the owner of this blog.

PLAYING ‘DRESS UPS’

PLAYING ‘DRESS UPS’

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Today is going to be a ‘Me’ day, said ‘I’ who stretched out of bed at 5am. Can I make it to the Carnival today? I knew the answer already (🤫) if I had to even ask myself that.

I spent yesterday spring cleaning the house and my wardrobe; which meant today was scheduled for a self indulgent ‘dress up’ day!

The few bags of clothes could wait till tomorrow for the charity shop as I began to run the bath for a long relaxing soak.

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Why am I writing this?

Over the years I have been working relentlessly towards my dreams and pushing myself even when I should have taken a break. I achieved most of the things I wanted but I also lost a great deal. I lost the little priceless things that made me feel alive, connected to my spirit and outrageous.

I did not realise this till I lost my little brother and became grief stricken. I could not hide from this pain, I couldn’t brush it aside… I tried picking myself up but I couldn’t… So I decided to write a letter to my brother instead. The one letter has turned into 6 letters so far. I didn’t realise I had so much to say…phew

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I decided to do some self loving this bank holiday weekend, (feeling lighter and positive) by changing the ambience of my environment starting with the house.

Just as I was about to put on something comfortable after my bath, I had the thought to dress up instead and go about my day. I grabbed my puffy Gold Kimono gown from Lumiere Woman, cowrie necklace from Malene Birger and cloth from  Vlisco (head wrap).

Wrapping the headpiece took me back to my childhood, where I dressed up wearing my Mums vintage dresses (and quickly placing them back before she got home) and dreaming of being a Princess one day 😂😂😂.

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Dressing up for me was a perfect escapism for a life I wished for, a dream I held close and the courage to pursue them. Growing up in an environment where being different (especially with your thought process) wasn’t encouraged, made it difficult to be expressive and creative. However I found a way of expressing myself with no inhibitions by dressing up (this time not hiding from my Mum) as I imitated her mannerisms and looks which made her laugh, to convincing my cousins Francisca and Jeanette to sing ‘Long Time Ago in Bethlehem ‘ at an Aunts wedding 😂😂😂 inclusive of the dreaded dodgy dance.

I had to take a few pictures for my memory bank about today. I feel lighter, I miss my brother (I told my cousin Juliet whilst writing this piece how much I miss Theo) I’m actually ‘welling’ up…phew.

 

 

 

GOAT & CHOCOLATE MINT TURNOVER (PIE)

GOAT & CHOCOLATE MINT TURNOVER (PIE)

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INGREDIENTS

PIE

500g of Plain flour

1 levelled tablespoon of baking powder

(Alternatively use self raising flour)

1 teaspoonful of dried Rosemary

250g of cold butter

1 Egg yolk

1 teaspoonful of Salt to taste

60ml of cold water

 

GOAT MEAT

500g of diced Goat Meat without the bones

20g of Ginger

1 large Onion

1 teaspoonful of Aniseed

3 Cloves of Garlic

Salt to taste

 

FILLING

500g of diced steamed and tender Goat Meat

2 large chopped Ramiro Peppers

1 medium sized and roughly chopped White Onion

1 medium sized and roughly chopped Red Onion

1 tablespoonful of Coconut oil

2 tablespoonful of natural Yoghurt

20g of Chocolate mint leaves or Mint

Salt and Pepper to taste

METHOD

Watch how to make this flavour packed Goat Meat recipe and more on my YouTube channel, ‘Ndudu by Fafa’ below;

Dont forget to subscribe, like the video, try the recipe and share.

All photos, recipes and videos are by the owner of this blog.

SMOKY CORN SALAD RECIPE

SMOKY CORN SALAD RECIPE

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Inspired by the Ghanaian snack of Roasted Corn on the Cob with Coconut, enjoy this smoky and spicy Corn and Coconut salad. 

For a Vegetarian version use the baby flesh of Coconut for your dressing, as described below;

INGREDIENTS

2 large corn on the cobs

100g of fresh Coconut shavings

1 medium sized, peeled and thinly sliced Red Onion

10ml of Olive oil

2 sprigs of fresh Rosemary (optional)

1 deseeded and chopped Red Chillies

50g of Chopped Coriander or Parsley. Alternatively you can use the Ghanaian Basil (Akuko Mesa or Koklo Gbe)

Juice of half a Lemon

Salt to taste

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DRESSING

50g of Parmesan shavings

1 teaspoon of horseradish

3 tablespoonful of Olive oil

Half a teaspoon of freshly milled Black Peppercorns

Alternative Dressing inspiration;

Use 100g of Almonds or Baby Coconut flesh in place of Parmesan.

A teaspoonful of grated

METHOD

Watch how to make this refreshing, nutritious and flavour packed recipe on my YouTube channel, ‘Ndudu by Fafa’ below;

Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel, ‘Ndudu by Fafa’, try the recipe, leave comments with your feedback and share.

All photos, recipes and videos are by the owner of this blog.

 

 

 

40 LIFE LESSONS

40 LIFE LESSONS

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40 lessons on my 40th year

1-Fafa don’t forget to live.

2-Do something a day that will make you smile.

3- Select your core group of friends with attributes such as honesty, empathy, love and adventure.

4-Forgive to rid yourself of pain

5-Stay humble but don’t be a walkover.

6- Be selective 

7- Be brave

8- Read a book each month or learn something new

9- Give hope and love

10- Laugh it off

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11- Gain wisdom from your experiences 

12- Be a blessing in other people’s lives

13- Enjoy each day of your life

14- Don’t forget your manners and if you do ‘apologise’.

15- Don’t involve your self in other people’s business 

16- Walk away from unnecessary drama 

17- Believe in yourself

18- Be proud of your achievements

19- Eat well

20- Feed your soul

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21- Push yourself each day

22- Place yourself in uncomfortable situations that increases your knowledge bank.

23- You only need 1 house and a car

24- Travel

25- Save at least 3 years worth of your salary

26- Do 1 random thing that’s out of your comfort zone at least once a week 

27- Spend a minimum of an hour a week meditating

28- Have a plan

29- Visit your plan each week 

30- Don’t waste your time around ungrateful people 

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31- Be kind

32- Treat people the way you would like them to treat you

33- You loose your crown if you ever look down on another

34- Be slow to anger

35- Be patient

36- Love without boundaries 

37- Be loyal

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38- Don’t publicise your generosity 

39- Make sure everyone leaves your presence feeling much better

40- I’ll learn my 40th lesson today🙏🏽 

A8D0DC59-2753-474A-BA85-5A16CBA71851To be continued….

Thank you @lumierewoman for my outfit 😘