I'm Loving Griddled Courgettes and Aubergines

Saturday, 15 September 2018


I am on a mission to eat more vegetables and make preparing them as interesting and tasty as I can.  I feel so much better when I eat well and I only eat well when I prepare, which I find challenging. To motivate myself, I would like to share with you griddled aubergines and courgettes I recently made. These courgettes and aubergines are a great addition to a meat dish or part of a main dish if you are vegetarian or vegan. 
I hope you can follow my recipe as I'm fairly relaxed about measurements 


Serving suggestion

As a side dish up to 4 people as part of a main meal 2

To get a chargrilled look on your vegetables, you will need a griddle pan. 

Ingredients 

  • 3 courgettes peeled into slices
  • 1 aubergine sliced thinly
  • Cooking oil of your choice (I used coconut oil)
  • Salt 
  • Balsamic vinegar

Method

  • Get your griddle pan and add enough oil so the base of the pan is covered.  It should be well lubricated with oil but not so much that a pool of shallow oil is created
  • Turn heat high and once oil is heated, place as many courgette slices as can fit in the pan without overlapping.  
  • Allow the griddle pan to scar the courgettes. You won't need to turn over due to the thin courgette slice.  Once you see dark stripes on each slice, remove from the pan and place on a dish. Repeat until you have cooked all the courgette slices.
  • Do the same with the aubergine but cook on both sides. Cook on both sides for around 3-4 minutes or until you see your desired texture. 
  • Add salt and a little balsamic vinegar to your vegetables and serve hot or cold.

Feel free to garnish with leaves of your choice, cherry tomatoes or even goat cheese.

I'm Back Blogging Again

Friday, 14 September 2018


It's been a long while since I blogged on this website.  I seriously considered throwing in the towel, closing down this website and deleting my name.  It was a burning desire to be a blogger for years however life (motherhood) got in the way and maintaining a blog was the very last thing I had the energy to do.  However, with the encouragement from my friends and so many ideas in my head, I've decided to re-launch my blog.   Afrosandhightea is back!

I'm back, and I'm hopeful that I will be consistent. I've cleared space and made it a priority to blog.   I'm back and I want to share what's on my heart, what's going on and show my passion to empower and inspire people.  So this is my first post after months.  Let me fill you in on what's been happening.

My kids have grown so much

The baby I had from the positive birth story is nearly 3 years old.  In some ways time has flown by. However, learning to cope, cultivate and distribute time and energy to 2 children has been tough and a very long process.  I love the way my kids are old enough to talk to each other, play (and fight) and love and support each other.

I've gained weight

Right now I don't look like most of my pictures on this blog. Over the past 18 months I've filled out a bit more.  I don't really like it to be honest with you but stress, not making myself a priority, tiredness, and a lack of fun has caused me to eat more.  I exercise less these days, which I'm trying to change.  Right now I'm on a journey to be consistent with exercise and eat less sugar and more plant based food.

I've been doing a shed load of public speaking

I'm a speaker at a church and I speak to 600-800 people each time. I've been speaking nearly every month for the past year. It's one of my passions that I get to create and express myself through empowering people.  This is something I am looking to develop further.

I'm returning to work after being a full-time stay at home mother

I've been a stay at home mum for three years and my time is nearly up as my youngest starts nursery school in January. I'm excited to get out, have some time to myself and focus on some projects.  However, I'm aware that I might miss the freedom of being at home with my daughter. Right now I learning to develop my confidence and begin the process of rehabilitating myself into the world that doesn't involve the school gate, toddler groups and daytime TV. 

It's good to be back blogging and I look forward to sharing much more. 

3 Oils For Your Skin You Can Buy In Your Supermarket

Wednesday, 18 October 2017


As written in a previous post, I use mostly natural products on my hair and skin. My beauty products are often homemade concoctions or natural skin products bought from health shops.  However, when it comes to moisturising my face, I always buy what I need from my local supermarket.  Here are 3 oils you can buy from your local supermarket in the food isle for your skin and gain amazing benefits.




Almond oil

This oil is very light and suitable for normal and combination skin.  If you are exploring the use of oil as a facial moisturiser, this is a good oil to start with.  
You can use almond oil as a cleanser or make-up remover too.  Simply add 3-4 drops of oil to a cotton pad, wipe your face and then rinse and towel blot-dry your skin.  After using your favourite moisturiser put a little oil on your fingertips and apply the oil on your cheek bones and eye lids.  At night you can apply a very small amount to eyelashes (use a cotton tip or your finger) and eyebrows to encourage strength and growth. 

Coconut oil

This multipurpose oil is heavier than almond oil and great for dry skin.  The fatty acids in coconut oil are not only great for moisturising but also repairing the collagen layer and heal microbial infections. Coconut oil can be used as a lip balm and help with the process of having a cold sore. The oil contains Vitamin-E which is essential for healthy skin growth. It prevents premature ageing and wrinkling of the skin due to antioxidant properties.  

Grapeseed oil

This is my favourite oil.  I started buying grapeseed oil because it was listed as ingredient in many products I had used on my skin.  Grapeseed oil can be used for multi purposes on the skin.  It can be used as an emollient and is fabulous for managing eczema prone skin due to having linoleic acid.  I use grapeseed oil whenever my children have a bout of eczema and the oil clears their skin within days.  Grapeseed oil also contains antioxidant properties and helps delay skin ageing by minimising damage caused by free radicals. It's also anti fungal and has helped me manage athletes foot naturally.




How I use oils these oils 

Create a natural glow

I dab almond oil with my fingers on my cheeks bones, the top of my eyelids and lips to create a healthy glow. 


Foot moisturiser

To combat dryness I apply coconut oil on my feet to keep them soft.  To do the same, apply coconut oil on your feet after a bath or shower when your feet are moist by the water.  Coconut oil is especially useful on heels and can help prevent cracking. 

For children (from birth)

I have washed both of my children in Dr Bronner's Castile soap which is completely natural and moisturise them afterwards using grapeseed oil. The picture shows the containers of soap and oil I put in my hospital bag when I was pregnant with my daughter.  You can buy these small containers in commercial chemists. 













Choosing To Be Happy in 2017

Tuesday, 7 February 2017


As long as I can remember I have started each new year motivated and driven to achieve many goals. After the first few weeks of January I burn out, lack confidence and secretly dislike myself that I can't get my act together unlike so many others who go on to succeed.  Last year, I heard a talk about finding success in 2017 and the speaker posed a question; identify why you didn't achieve your goals and understand what you need to do differently to achieve them.  I did just that and I have taken it one step further, I looked at my attitude to everything in my life and have approached 2017 differently. It's February and for once, I feel relaxed and happy.  Below is a list of the things I have learned from last year that has helped me feel happy and hopeful.

The size of my waist doesn't equate to my value as a human or my happiness
This has been a tough one to believe but the statement is true.  I'm more than the size of my waistline.  Yes it's a little bigger than I want it to be right now and my clothes are quite tight at the moment. However, I'm an awesome person. I'm a devoted mummy, I grew humans inside me, I'm cultivating young minds and developing meaningful relationships. So what if my belly is a little big. It doesn't compromise who I am as a person. Late last year I went to an event and saw a lady in a hot leather dress.  She was a mum and her waistline was thick and she looked so gorgeous, stylish, and so confident.  To me, she was the hottest women in the room.

I'm going to work on 3 projects not 20 all at once

I'm someone who has great ideas but I try to do too much too soon and then burn out with nothing to show for it. So I'm only taking on 3 projects this year and will add more once they have been achieved.

I'm not going sugar, meat or dairy free
I've tried to be a vegan and sugar free but I simply love all food too much.  I will however, cut down on refined sugar consumption because I feel so much better when I'm having less. However, gone are the month long sugar fasts that keep me thinking constantly about sugar and then I crumble and eat a month worth of sugar in one day when I indulge. Plus I'm happy to not be tied to a 'label' I enjoy discovering and cooking vegan recipes and eating raw but I'm not going to beat myself up that I ate a steak and a cheesecake too.

I'm going to sort myself out before I focus on saving all my friends and the rest of the world
I'm a massive encourager and find it easy to be in the company of others as their counsellor.  I give but rarely  take my advice for myself. I'm focusing on what I need to do in my life rather than focusing on what is happening to others.

I no longer compare myself to other people
Comparing yourself to others is self destructive.  I have been committing this act far too long and this year I'm fighting hard against this negative thought process. I will not compare myself to what other people my age or younger are achieving, the number of followers others have on Instagram, houses, marriages, waistlines and friendships.  I am who I am on my journey.


I'm grateful for my family
I think I took what I had for granted but recently I'm appreciating my entire family. Even though things get difficult, family however big or small is a blessing and more important than most things in life.

The problem is not with my husband, it's with me
As a stay at home mama with limitations I used to focus on what my husband should be to make me happy. However it was brought to my attention that instead of trying to change my husband into this adventurous go getter who fulfils my every need, I need to focus on my own personal ambitions to find fulfilment.  No one is perfect but my husband is right where he needs to be. I'm adventurous and crazy and he is steady and practical. It took me a while to realise that our differences complement each other. I need to fly and he can carry on building the runway for me to take off and land on.

I've created a coffee shop in my living room and will learn to make restaurant favourites at home
Eating out is great but costs too much. Last year I found £40-£50 restaurant bills too painful when that money could have contributed to a supermarket shop for the week. These days it feels so wonderful to learn and cook my restaurant favourites while the kids can roll around or sleep in the comfort of their home, all for a fraction of the restaurant price.  Also I recently bought a Dualit Milk Frother , some beautiful mugs from Emma Bridgewater and Habitat and I simply make my own lattes and cappuccinos'. Nowadays Im struggling to part with my £3.60 to buy a drink In a coffees shop when I know I can make it at home.

I'm listening to what I really need
Instead of being focused on what's cool and exciting. I've sat down and listened to my body and mind and realised that what I need is water, sleep, nourishing food and love.

I'm switching off my phone and sleeping during the night rather than looking at meaningless websites and Instagram stalking at 3am.

I'm accepting that for now, my primary role and duty is to be a mother
In 2016, I felt like I was just a 'mum' I felt angry that I was so limited and so exhausted to add extra commitments. But that is just where I'm at right now.

I'm learning to be powerful in relationships rather than passive.
I'm going to do a blog post about this one but last year I realised I need to love others as a gift rather than love others in order to get something in return.

I no longer care what people think of me
As long as I'm not hurting others, people need to take me as I am or not at all. I'm done with moulding myself to the taste of someone's pallet so they can digest me well.  Take me on or don't.  It's ok to not be everybody's cup of tea.

My life is a journey and I am learning all the time.
It's ok to try out and see what works and what doesn't. As long as I'm alive I'm on a journey of potential.

Can you identify with any of these too? Have you learned lessons from last year that you have brought into 2017?





Caramelised Brussels Sprouts

Friday, 20 January 2017




I never ate these little cabbages growing up and most of my adult life until someone I knew requested them on the menu when they came over to my house for dinner. I also got interested in them when I found out that they contain vitamin K, and so I added them to my smoothies for a while.  Anyway, I find the texture of boiled Brussels sprout quite strange and boring to taste.  For me, roasting them and allowing them to caramelise is quite delicious. A dash of balsamic vinegar with some oil and salt in the oven gives a sprout a little spruce.  They are in season in the UK till March.

Ingredients
 A bag of fresh Brussels sprouts
A dash of salt to taste
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoons of olive oil (or oil of your choice)
1 teaspoon of honey or agave nectar

Method
  • Set the oven at 350/180/Gas mark 4 
  • Trim the ends of the Brussels sprouts and remove any loose layers
  • Cut Brussels in half
  • Wash Brussels lightly in a colander and shake off excess water
  • Place Brussels on a tray and add all the remaining ingredients 
  • Using your hands mix well so all sprouts are covered in oil, salt and balsamic vinegar
  • Roast for 25 minutes and serve hot or cold.  






Metallic Shoes

Wednesday, 16 November 2016


One of the greatest things I love do is wear a statement shoe and for me, metallic shoes are the new black. My love started when I saw a gold pair of brogues with fuchsia velvet ribbons for laces online. They were sold out but I started my hunt in finding a pair. On the hunt I found gold desert boots by Bronx and then I couldn't help myself with the silver ballet pumps from Boden.  Then eventually I found a gold brogue I loved at ASOS.

Metallic shoes go with just about anything and enhance the dullest outfit. When I started wearing metallics I was scared of the attention they would attract.  People would stare at them and I assumed they thought that I was over the top for wearing a gold pair of shoes to the supermarket.  But now I don't care as metallics glam up my mundane days.




Tips on wearing metallics

  • Love the idea but lack confidence? Perhaps start off with silver or a dull gold tone.  These metallic tones go with just about everything. 
  • If you are still nervous wearing metallics start off with a sandal which shows lots of your skin.
  • Don't be afraid to wear metallics during the day.
  • Dress down metallic shoes with a pair of jeans.  
  • If carrying an unusual bag with your metallic shoes, consider keeping your clothes neutral.

All my shoes are from an older season.  Here is a list of metallic footwear like mine in the current season.

Lace up flats

Boden
Kurt Geiger
Very

Brogues

Zara
Marks & Spencer
Steve Madden

Ankle Boots

Dune
Anthropologie
Joules



Tips For Preparing For Primary School

Friday, 10 June 2016

This time last year my boy was 3 years old and was about to start primary school in September 2015. I remember a month before school and still 3 years old we took him to Marks and Spencer's to get his uniform. His dad waited outside the ladies changing room and I got him dressed in his school shirt and trousers. When he marched out to show his dad, his trousers were falling down due to his baby waist and his little body looked too fragile for a proper stiff school shirt. I burst into tears saying to my husband "This is not right. He's too young for this".
I remember the first day of school, still looking like a baby we took pictures of him outside our house, we went to school and every parent was inside the classroom taking 10 minutes to leave their child. Some kids were crying hysterically, some kids looked so frightened and fragile as if they would fall to the ground if you blew on them. Others looked confident that they were reunited with their nursery friends they had made the year before.

It's been an interesting and wonderful journey.  My son has developed so much during this academic year. I have developed in getting used to the fact that my baby is in the school 'system' - which is actually ok.


Having nearly completed our first year of school, here is a list of practical tasks you can help your child learn so they survive and thrive in their first year of big school.  

  • Help your child learn to dress themselves.  Teach them to undo and do up their buttons, pick up their clothes and put them on and also learn to put them down in a safe place. This is needed for PE. I struggled with this because it was easier and quicker to get my son dressed in the mornings than teach him these useful skills.
  • Teach your child to wipe their bottom.  Also, how to wipe their bottom with dry toilet tissue because there is no moist toilet wipes in big school.
  • Help your child hold a pencil correctly, also help them use sharp ish scissors and handle it safely.
  • Start to work on phonics. Alpha blocks on CBeebies is good, also Jolly phonics on YouTube.
  • Help your child to sit down and engage in an activity for 10-15 minutes
  • Interact with your kids, talk to them loads, read lots of books
  • Get them to respond to orders such as sitting quietly to engage, washing hands, hanging their coat up, taking their shoes off and tidying up.
  • Teach your child to be aware of cars on the road, learn to walk close to you and stop at the road crossing.
  • If you plan on walking to school, walk locally to the shops, the park or visiting friends etc rather than using the car.  This is to simply get their leg muscles used to walking longer than 5 minutes on the road.
  • Get your child in some type of activity class where they will interact with other children and learn to take direction from another adult and be a member of a large group of children. This will help them understand that they are not the most important child there.  Every child is important. In group activities your child will need to share. They will also learn that other children may have a successful moment which may be celebrated by all.
  • Put your child in situations that will allow them to play with other children rather than mostly adults such as parents, grandparents and other family members who simply adore them.
  • When playing a game with your child, don't let them always win. This will help them understand that they will not always get their own way.
  • Get your child to try a wide variety of foods so they are open to eating school dinners.
  • Talk to your child and build a relationship with them where they can tell you how they feel about things and situations that may occur with others.
  • Teach your child to share their toys or allow other children to take part in an activity they are involved in.
I state these tasks not because my child has achieved them but to help you be aware of what your child will encounter in their first year and what you can do NOW to help them overcome their challenges.

May you and your baby/babies have a wonderful school year ahead.


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