I first heard this song in 2016 while I was in a True Blood watching binge.
At the end of Season 7 episode 6 – “Karma” – just before the credits began the rolling, you as the audience are introduced to the first few chords of this song and immediately I was entranced and could not stop listening.
The introduction is a beautiful combination of lots of different instruments, before you hear the soulful lyrics of Lady (which is a duo of Terri Walker and Nicole Wray) singing the first line “Ain’t no body worthier than you.”
This song has a lovely blend of jazzy tones mixed with RnB to create a unique almost nostalgic sound and nod to a previous era. It is a soulful rendition of the age old tale, what goes around comes around.
As soon as I heard it, I had to download and listen to it on repeat several times over. Once I find a song that I like, I tend to go through stages of playing it on repeat 🤣🤣. I decided that I wanted to do an acoustic version to really pay homage to the original.
I was taking singing lessons in 2016/2017, my amazing vocal coach introduced me to a talented guitarist, Afrix, who was able to provide the acoustic backing track for me.
This video was recorded in 2018 where we had a gathering of a small group of women who were interested in finding out more about healthy living as well as a musical interlude!!
I received some amazing feedback which I felt so humbled by,I have only performed this song twice, once in an open mic night and the performance in this video. I will definitely be adding this to my portfolio for when I can start doing acoustic performances out and about…watch this space!!
So it is a Sunday….and I am feeling incredibly lazy. However, my hair is need of resurrection! I mean literally, my hair is needs some serious help!! I am lounging in my comfy Dinka Kaftan from Grass-fields (no longer available on website) – click here for beautiful alternatives.
I had not done my PrePoo step from the night before and I have not made my deep conditioner – I will do a video on this another time, so let’s just do a quick wash to cleanse my scalp and condition to try and breathe some life into my tresses.
I had run out of Shampoo and Conditioner from Style Me Natural, so I had to research some other shampoo and conditioner products that I could purchase and deliver quickly. After looking at a few videos on YouTube, I decided to purchase:
The shampoo really lathers well, so you do not need to use a lot. It has a sulfate-free formula that hydrates hair and adds exotic shine, while gently cleansing without harsh moisture stripping agents.
Helps to detangle, soften and boost Exotic Shine
Strengthens hair while optimising the moisture balance of the hair and scalp
Infused with Argan Oil from Morocco
The conditioner was very thick which is great for my thick 4B/4C hair. It is an intensive conditioning treatment which is an intensively deep conditioning treatment that strengthens and helps prevent damage. Ideal for all hair types, this treatment can be used after every shampoo as a quick conditioner or every week as a reconstructor.
Deeply infuses moisture with Exotic Shine
Strengthens and prevents hair breakage
Leaves hair soft, silky and full of body
Infused with Argan Oil from Morocco
I also used the As I Am Hydration Elation Intensive Conditioner as I felt like my hair needed a bit of extra moisture and hydration. The product is a rich, penetrating conditioner, which is an exceptional blend of hair softeners and fortifiers, including coconut, sugar cane, green tea, apple and lemon, shea butter and vitamin E.
Moisturises deep within the hair shaft
Smooths and aligns cuticle layer
Repairs split ends and strengthens weak areas
Infused with pure herbal ingredients that stimulate the scalp and hair roots
Enhances manageability and hair health
On the surface, it looks like these products would be great to use, but for me – I do not like all of the ingredients that are used. As you all are aware, I am trying to ensure that products that I use or consume are as clean and as close to organic as possible. I know that this cannot be the case 100% of the time for now, but as much as possible.
On the plus side, after shampoo and conditioner, my hair felt really moisturised, soft and very manageable. My hair felt really lovely, my scalp however did not feel as refreshed as it would normally. I did find that after a few days my scalp was more flaky than it would from using other products. So I would give these products around a 6/10.
Now for styling, I will be twisting my hair – as standard 🤣🤣. For twisting, I used some of the Style Me Natural products for. I knew that with my hair feeling as moisturised as it was, a twist out would look great!
With going plant-based last year and not wanting to cook every day, I became an expert in making vegan curries in a slow cooker🤣🤣.
I decided that I wanted to expand my horizons with cooking and realise that I do not need to be a perfectionist – I have always been my harshest critique, but I wanted to experiment more and enjoy the process of discovering new and tasty dishes, without being afraid of making something disastrous!
Today I am cooking using one of Rachel Ama’s recipes from her book Vegan Eats, which is the three ingredient pancakes!! I wanted to start out with something simple and work my way up. I also have a major sweet tooth, so would like to be able to indulge every now and again without being too unhealthy.
This recipe is dairy free, gluten free with no added sugar! RESULT!!
All you need are the following:
Two ripe bananas – I used organic bananas from Tesco’s.
480 ml of plant-based milk – I used unsweetened organic coconut milk by Plenish which has four natural ingredients, Coconut, Water, Rise & Sea Salt.
You will also need coconut oil to cook the pancakes and anything you may want to serve with the pancakes.
For this I use Tesco’s own brand organic coconut oil. I used my Nutribullet to blend the ingredients together – this I completed in batches.
I buy a lot of my cupboard ingredients from Buy Whole Foods online – they have a mixture of organic and non-organic produce, however I tend to buy mainly organic ingredients.
They are family owned business and independently run as well.
I am using pure Canadian maple syrup to add a bit of sweetener to the mix – which you can buy at Tesco’s or Sainsbury’s. It’s a good quality maple syrup and it is suitable for vegans.
For the first batch I used one banana, some of the oats but quite a lot of milk…yikes! Checking the recipe, it should have quite a thick consistency – I kept on adding oats to thicken out a bit.
The second batch I used the remaining banana, oats and milk which had a good consistency. I tasted the mixture, but felt like it was lacking banana flavour so added another banana. I also added some organic mixed spice for a little extra oomph! The pancakes need to be cooked for a few minutes on a medium heat, once they start to bubble, you can turn the pancake over. Once they are golden brown, the pancakes are done! You can eat the pancakes on their own with some maple syrup or lemon juice and sugar. To make this more like a dessert treat I will make coconut cream – as an ice cream replacement.
I will make some whipped coconut cream – this recipe is also from Rachel Ama’s Vegan eats and serve with some stewed blueberries. You will need some coconut cream and that has been in the fridge overnight, some finely grated lemon zest and a tablespoon of maple syrup.
The coconut cream in the fridge overnight will separate the hardened cream from the coconut water. The coconut water can be used for other uses, such as smoothies etc.
Spoon out the coconut cream and place into a container, using a mixer, blend this for a few minutes. Add the grated lemon zest and tablespoon of maple syrup. This is now done.
Now get some blueberries and place into a pan over a medium heat, add some maple syrup – as much or as little as you need. I used around 1 tablespoon. This just needs to be stewed down for a minute or so.
For those with a sweet tooth, but trying to keep it healthy, now you can enjoy your banana vegan pancakes with whipped coconut cream and blueberries. Bon appétit!
Let me know your thoughts! I really enjoyed this as a fresh alternative for a dessert. The pancakes & whipped coconut cream can be refrigerated for a few days in an air tight container and heated up in the oven for about 10 minutes.
In Secondary School as part of my music class I was introduced to ‘Round Midnight – Composition by Cootie Williams and Thelonious Monk.
I instantly became connected to the soul and emotions in the lyrics. Adding the piano accompaniment just added another level, it was full of blues and even more soul.
When I finally listened to the Jazz version, I knew I had just experienced something I had not felt before. I finally understood the meaning of ‘feeling the blues’!
Due to the music taste of my step family as well, I started to to hear more from the like of Charles Mingus, Billie Holiday, Miles Davies & Etta James etc. So much so, we had three cats called Mingus, Billie & Sisqo – you can guess which cat I named!!
Fast forward 15 years, during my vocal lessons, I was trying to find a song that was full of emotion with beautiful lyrics that I could gift as a wedding present. I remembered At Last, and wanted to be able to perform this if I could, so I rewrote some of the lyrics to reflect this.
Etta James has a voice that is full of raw emotion and has the ability to emote these feelings directly into your soul through her music. I hoped my version would also be able to provide similar levels of emotions.
I met Geegee (The Afro Curly Hair Coach) when I was looking for a natural hairdresser in the North and after reading reviews I decided to take the 50 mile trip to get my hair done.
I have really thick 4B/4C hair that loves water, gets dry quickly and always has some flyaways – but I have accepted that my hair is the way it is, she does not like to be bothered or manipulated too much.
I have been a client for nearly three years and have always admired her professionalism and knowledge when it comes to Afro Hair. Geegee’s personality is amazing, she genuinely cares about the quality of your hair and she ensures you are completely happy with the hair services that she provides.
A year ago she told me about the natural and organic products that she was making, and as I had just recently started reviewing all products I was using as well as foods I was consuming and reducing non organic products. I was in the process of looking into a new hair care brand that offers organic products, so it seemed like divine timing! I also wanted to support a local business.
I bought all the products listed below, and started to use. Geegee was insistent that I provide feedback on how I was getting on with them. Initially, I was unsure as the scent for the products were all strong of a herb I was not used to. Also, I felt that as my hair was thicker, and the shampoo did not lather, if it worked as well as I thought it should.
However, after a few more uses, I got more accustomed to using the natural products and balancing how much product to use each time. My hair and scalp started to improve and started to stay more moisturised without my scalp flaking too much from product build up.
From my feedback, the next batch I received had an improved formula with regards to scent and consistency and I was really appreciating how my hair was progressing.
My absolute faves are the Refresh spray, Hair Oil & Boost & Seal. I am yet to try Stimulate, however, I hope to try this soon as some of my edges need a bit of love and attention.
The Shampoo (Cleanse) provides cleansing without feeling like you are stripping away any essential oils.
The Conditioner (Repair) has good slip, however I like to add in some of the butter to thicken a little – as my hair needs this a little thicker.
Butter (Boost & Seal) – hair loves loves loves it! Never feels like it is too heavy on my hair, if you have finer hair, you may want to use a little.
Hair & Scalp Oil – is like magic in a bottle. My hair and scalp loves this and drinks it up like nothing else.