Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Year! (Resolutions)

In the Spirit of the New Year, I decided to make 3 resolutions. One is to blog steadfastly. I even signed onto Lift to keep me on track. It's a great app, check it out. If you have some targets you're having trouble reaching,you can use Lift to help you...from blogging to dieting to exercising! Have a go at it.

Since I cut my hair and went natural /returned   [whichever you find politically correct]  I've been getting a lot of questions. So this year I'll concentrate on figuring out what works best for me, ie products, techniques, work styles etc, so I can have better details for people who ask. I'll document this under Hairstory.
I  intend to make the best effort I can!
Wish me luck!!

What did you resolve to follow through this year? (And I don't mean a gym membership which you'll give up on in March,lol)

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Gems in the rough: architectural brilliance hidden Ghana.

The Dailymail carried a story headlined "The world's most spectacularly-designed houses that prove that nothing is impossible when it comes to architecture"

I idly clicked on the link not expecting to see anything close to home. But a house in God's own land, Ghana, made the list. I doubt many have seen it, or even know it exists but apparently it's here. The house belongs to Carsten Höller and Marcel Odenbach, both artists and is located near the Biriwa Beach resort.

After a little sleuthing (read as googling) on the web:

It's considered an artitechural wonder because if its unusual design, read the interview below for details: 

Would you like to live here though?

Monday, 14 October 2013

Legal knots: Ty-Tys

Ty-tys is a Nigerian brand that creates unique ties and bow ties using Ase-Oke fabric as well as vintage Damask. These ties are great for injecting a shot of colour into a dull outfit or adding a zing to a crisp white shirt.
What I found most fascinating about this line of Ase-Oke ties is that it is designed by a lawyer!
Given the jealous nature of the  law, it is always refreshing to see a lawyer branching out and combining active legal practice with other talents. 

Picture credit:
Read his interview on AfricaStyleDaily and check out his website: Ty-Tys

Friday, 11 October 2013

The Dashing yet dangerous Italian Meringue Butter Cream

I had decide to embark on the 'perilous' adventure of making this lovely icing with my friend Jen, but she's abandoned me for another end of the planet  so I decided to attempt it alone. Perilous because stories are dotted all over the 'net of how wrong it can go.

I picked a an easy(ier) recipe off the internet, after scouring through hundreds and tried my hands at it.I will forever be grateful for that recipe: 

Essential equipment: Food mixer &  Sugar thermometer
The food mixer is needed because the eggs must be whisked at very high speed. I don't think it's humanly possible to whisk that fast for as long as the recipe requires. The Guinness Book of Records should look into a challenge like that.

The sugar thermometer is needed because the sugar syrup must be at the soft ball stage, which is a particular temperature. The Cake Tekniks shop the makola mall sells sugar thermometers, in case you're looking for one.

Sugar/ candy thermometer 
It took me ages to attempt it because I wanted to get my hands on a Sugar/Candy thermometer. It's said to be essential in making the icing, unless you can gauge exactly how sugar behaves at every stage.

You basically need  sugar, water, egg whites, butter and essence.

Only the egg whites

Cubed Butter at room temperature (unsalted)

That's basically all you need to create this magical, fluffy buttercream.
I was nervous about the outcome  so I documented the process very carefully. 

I put the sugar and water into a pan and stirred it with a whisk. It took about 3 minutes and 30 seconds to boil. I then got the chance to use my sugar thermometer. About 3 more minutes later the temperature climbed to the soft boil stage. 
At this point, no more heat!

Meanwhile, I had put the egg whites in the mixer bowl already and had started whisking at low speed so and I just tipped in the sugar syrup when it was ready, being careful not to hit the sides of the bowl or the whisk attachment while pouring.

When it all went in, I turned it up the mixer to high speed.

You should smell the eggs cooking.

The mixture has to be beaten at high speed until the mixture cools to room temperature. This is to ensure the eggs are completely cooked. 
My mixing bowl is plastic, so it did not heat up as much as a metal bowl would have (I think). 
I allowed it to mix on high speed for 10 minutes and then decided it had reached room temperature.

I then reduced the speed to medium and in went the butter, a few tablespoonfuls at a time.

Some recipes suggested switching to the paddle attachment for the 'heavy mixing'. I ignored the advice (and regretted it later,lol!) Next time I make it, I will switch to the paddle at this point. The icing is much smoother, with no extra buttery bits, in my experience.  

Added in the vanilla essence, turned it on  high to incorporate for just over a minute.

Then taste! 
It can be stored in the fridge, even freezer, quite well. But good luck not finishing it all!

One of my favourite cake bloggers has a similar different recipe, minus the sugar thermometer - in case you don't have one and want to attempt it too.

I used mine to ice a cake for a friend's baby shower. What will you use your's for??

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Tag: The Liebster Award

This award is given to bloggers with less than 200 followers to recognize them and their hard work. I was tagged by the lovely MUA Annette of way back in February!! I'm extra embarrassed because this has just been sitting in drafts! so much for hard work. Smh at myself.  

The Rules:
1. Each person must post 11 random things about themselves (optional)
2. Answer the 11 questions that the tagger set for you.
3. Choose 11 bloggers who you would like to give the Liebster Award.
4. Create 11 questions for the bloggers you have tagged with the award to answer. 

11 random things?? pick 11 from here:

1. Food or Music?
That's a toughie!! But music is the lazier option, so I'll go for that,lol. Food requires a lot of work, unless I am not the one cooking it.... I'm lying food.

2. Favourite movie
My fave Ghanaian movie of all time is True colours. I'm not sure if animation counts but my all time favourite movie would be the Lion King, lol.

3. Favourite Shop
My fave shop is Zara. I will raise money and pull that company to Ghana. 
credit: The Guardian 

4. What is your pet peeve?
I have so many...from black polyethene bags in my fridge to people digging for gold (boogies) in public...mad hatter trotro drivers...oohhh don't get me started
for sale at:

5. I have a "phobia" of ......
cockroaches...they're disgusting and sooo hard to destroy.
(don't expect a picture)

6. Tell me a secret about you
I'm very shy. But I fake being bold so well even I believe it,lol. 

7. Makeup or Hair?
Until very recently I'd have said hair. But I'm getting into make up now so I'll say both.

8. Heels or Flats?
What are flats????

9. Boobs or Butts?
I have boobs so butts...which reminds me I must start doing squats!

10. Facebook or Twitter?
Facebook. I like pictures and talk too much for Twitter.

11. Natural Haired or Relaxed Haired
Naturalista and enjoying it!

My 11 Bloggers:
+Annette Akye  of
+Esther Gbudje  of
+Cecil Tim-Pappoe of
Dava of
+Nana Achiaa Amoako of
+Juliet Ajaab of
+Nana Oye Odame of
+Jemila Abdulai of the famous
Sandidy of
 +Theo Acheampong of  (it's not an economics quiz but try! lol)

Totally Random Questions:
1.What was your first blog post about (not the welcome one)?
2. What's your style sense like? Not a hair out of place or more laid back?
3.Would you rather watch TV or read a book?
4.R & B or Rap?
5.Homemade cake or bakery/ shop bought?
6.Favourite book and favourite author?
7.Cupcakes or muffins?
8.Daredevil activity you would attempt if you knew you'd come out unharmed?
9.5 of your Wardrobe staples? (eg. white shirt, black tee...)
10. Would you wear African print daily if you could?
11.Facebook, Instagram or Twitter?

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Against the Tide

Sitting on a rock on the stony shore, she watched the waves wash the sand away from her feet, then run back to kiss her toes. Over and over again. 
She did not have a particular reason for being on the shore so late. Maybe she did. Perhaps it was to make sense of the turbulent waves of her own life. Perhaps it was for some peace. Even she was not sure. 
Her phone rang, as phones often do, inconveniently interrupting the moment before the long awaited epiphany. Irritated she said, "hello!" sharply into her earpiece. 
The sound of his voice surprised and disarmed her. She had not been expecting to hear from him. Her tone immediately softened, and she apologised for the frosty reception. |She smiled because they said people could hear a smile in your voice and she wanted him to know she was happy to hear from him. They exchanged pleasantries, he delivered a mundane piece of information a went on his merry way. Just like that. He never seemed affected or bothered. She was the one left struggling to hold it together. Once again.  
Her disappointment was so palpable that she could taste it in her mouth. It was salty! Then she realised that the salt was from her tears. She hated how he dangled himself as a carrot before her. She was the ass, the proverbial donkey, hankering for a bite of the juicy carrot and drooling after him. How she hated it and yet how helpless she felt. 
Slipping out of her jeans and sweater, she waded into the ocean. It was an icy shock to her system. Any shock was better than the heart shocks she felt though. Determined to outrun her pain she swam deeper and deeper. 
The ocean was a mystical thing: dark and swirling, foamy and frothy. It called to her, opening its arms in a welcoming embrace, and she answered. 
picture credit:

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Recommended Reading

I love to read. 
As a child, I was a regular at the Ghana Library board, next to the courts in Accra Central. Initially, I would borrow 25 books but I was usually done with them within 2 days. After that my poor father would know no peace, as I would bug him for books to read, even going to the extend to sharing his law books with him. I Graduated to 50 books and had soon read most of the books they had, if not all appropriate for my age bracket and slightly above. They had so many books, from Tintin to only God knows who. I was a voracious reader and devoured them all. 
I don't understand why people don't like to read. Books can instantly transport you back in time or propel you into the future; set you on a crime scene or on a magic carpet or broom, zooming through the air. It's like a mini-break from the environment you find yourself least for me, it is. And along the way you effortlessly pick up vocabulary. Goodness knows it is needed around here! I am a wannabe grammar nazi, so don't get me started on the English language. 
Today the Ghana Library board library is a shadow of its former self, as far as I am concerned. It was like a magic cave of wonder to me when I was young, with tons of adventures waiting to be had. It makes me really sad that kids who might want to read won't get the chance to. Would love to lend them all books to read...
Anyway, I digress. Like most ghanaian children I grew up mostly on the books of foreign, non-African writers. Titles from the African Writers series were frequently on my reading list though. I also remember a series called Young writers or something like that with very relatable characters and stories. Fast forward time and there more and more African writers whose works are more readily available. I found this 'list' of books on facebook: Afro Book's page: 
male authors

Female authors

female authors

I've only read:
1. The Girl Who Can and other stories
2.Anthills of the Savannah,
3.Things Fall Apart and
4. half of No Longer at Ease.
5.The Colour Purple
7. Dilemma of a Ghost
8.Half of a Yellow Sun
I have a lot of reading to do, as far as this list is concerned.
I trust that bibliophiles such as the lovely Dava of willl make minced meat of this list. She's already reviewed Americanah:
How many have you read?? and When are you going to start with the others?

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

The "Thrilla in Tudu"

The rains had the ability to turn the streets in and around the market from bustling commercial hubs in their own right, into a competition with garbage and debris.  And as if is that wasn’t enough, mud and puddles of murky, foul water laid ambush for hapless pedestrians. The harsh afternoon sun would chair over the proceedings with its punishing glare.
Ugh. As you can see, I was really dreading the monthly trip to the National Service Secretariat at Tudu. (I don't even want to start on that subject) At least I had company today, and that made any arduous activity more bearable. 
On our way back to the Ecobank at Tudu, where we had parked under false pretences, the four of us walked in a single file. I could never understand why the sellers left no space for the pedestrian-buyers to walk. Surely, it had to be better for business if they had room to walk, stop and admire wares etc…wasn't it? Instead they left thin strips of pavement, slimmer than the planks on the Kakum walkway and you were forced to stage an elaborate balancing act in order not to disturb the well-arranged wares.

All I was thinking of was the cool banking hall ahead of me, where I could sit down. 
I suddenly almost lost my balance. The dirty urchin who had just pushed me must have heard my thoughts and wanted to offer me a seat on the ground…in the mud, or on someone’s pile of children’s jelly shoes??  

None of the options appealed to me, so I flailed my arms about me wildly, trying to steady myself. I lunged forward again; the twat was still steadily trying to make his way past me, attempting to floor me in the process.  Righting myself, yet again, I sharpened my mouth ready to launch into a tirade. “Are you stupid?” I planned to begin. 
As he was directly in front of me, I couldn't help but notice his grimy hair and clothes. His head looked small and slightly misshapen and his mouth looked as if it had been slapped onto a too small chin as an afterthought.  Even I, occasionally, have bouts of compassion and decided to let the matter slide. I dusted myself off and began to walk away.
[This all happened in less than a minute]

“Hey!! Hey!!” I heard a woman shout, and began to beat a hasty retreat before I got yelled at for stepping all over the glittery, little, plastic shoes.
“Where is your phone?” My colleague asked me, holding on to the pushy man firmly.
Alarm bells set off. I felt my pockets. Pocket one: the galaxy was present. Pocket two: *gasp!* the blackberry was absent!! 
I quickly turned around; the dirty ragamuffin was holding the white blackberry in his filthy hand! 
“Why do you have her phone?” my associate asked the pickpocket.
People had started to pay attention now, gathering slowly around the two of them.
He replied in twi, hastily “It’s for her, it fell down, and I was picking it for her”

The scene of the boxing bout. Can you spot the shoes? 

Further dialogue was unnecessary. My phone had not fallen from my pocket. He had pushed me to distract me while stealing my phone and had hidden it under the towel he was holding. 
The phone was promptly handed back to me. A dark man standing behind the thief landed a hefty slap on the fellow's check, he never saw it coming. That signalled the beginning of the Thrilla in Tudu and flurry of slaps rained down on the thief. Instant mob justice, feeli feeli. So much for  legal process,lol. I was frozen in place! To think I had just felt sorry for the guy a few minutes ago, while he was doing me in! I did almost feel sorry for him now, he had just become the vent for everyone's frustrations. A lot more 'slappers' had joined in, and the melee had moved to the middle of the street. Blows and kicks were flying, all directed at the thief, with our friend in the thick of it all.
Such excitement!
The market women huddled around me, asking questions, full of praise for the rescuer of my phone.
The thief suddenly came running right towards me in his bid to escape. In a flash he had pushed past me and fled, with a few men in hot pursuit.  

Huddling around the man of the moment, I thanked him over and over. The market women were showering him with praise and bestowing appellations on him. “Wo de gentle no ato nky3n!” “Wo y3 b33ma paa!!” “W’ay3 adi3 paa!! Mo!”
Who on earth would want to steal in this economic climate, which had people's tempers permanently heated?Tightly grasping my phone, we walked away recounting the event and wishing we had filmed it. 
The bustle continued. As we drove off, we saw a guy walking through the crowd behaving in a similar manner...hopefully, he will be as lucky as 'our' thief had been when he gets caught.