A healthy Couscous recipe

I sincerely never liked couscous because there is nothing grand about it. Besides being a starchy meal as it’s sourced from Semolina and a few nutrients, it was a meal I didn’t like giving my kids because kids need a highly nutritious meal for their growing mind and body.

The best way to serve a not-too nutritious foods like starchy foods is by accompanying them with other nutritious foods, which is what I now do. 



Recipe for my nutritious couscous:

Couscous 

Butter

Parsley 

Plantain 

Chicken

To make couscous, I boil water until it reaches boiling point, I turn off the heat and pour in two cups of couscous. Once the water has been absorbed by the couscous, I melt butter in a non stick pan over medium heat. Once melted, I stir fry the couscous and add parsley to it. I also add seasoning. Once done, I fry some plantains which I had cut into cubes and chicken as well. Once served, my kids do not delay in eating it because this recipe makes couscous a nutritious and appealing meal. You should give it a try.

Better heart health with scrambled eggs 



It’s a known fact that eggs are rich sources of protein and that both egg yokes and egg whites are nutritious components of the egg which makes it a desirable food. You can even make egg a more nutritious meal by adding parsley to eggs.

Parsley is a highly nutritious herb known to contain a rich source of antioxidants. Parsley is good for the heart, helps to prevent tumors especially in the lung and is a highly rich herb. 

When I want to make scrambled eggs, I use eggs, parsley and sesame oil, which is a healthier alternative to regular cooking oil. So, my scrambled eggs recipe is pretty simple. Just sprinkle parsley into beaten eggs and fry with sesame oil. The taste is delicious and you would be doing your heart a lot of good by making scrambled eggs with parsley and sesame oil.

Inspired by nature



I was so fascinated by the beauty of this pepper that I had to blog about. In my many years of cooking, I had never taken the time out to even give a thought to the peppers I used – until the day I came across this. I took time out to appreciate the petal looking red pepper. It did hold a significance for me though in that we are so busy that we don’t take the time out to appreciate nature. You cannot begin to measure how much inspiration nature gives to us.

Cheers!

Orijin Amplified Cocktail

I love a good drink, especially alcoholic cocktails. I love Mojitos a lot. And I love Orijin.



Image courtesy: http://www.brandessencenigeria.com/orijin-is-very-good-for-the-health-of-the-consumers-says-guinness/

Orijin is a Nigerian drink made by Guiness Nigeria. It contains fruits, herbs and alcohol, thus making a perfect cocktail. When you drink it, you get a mixture of different tastes like bitterness and sweetness and of course, the taste of exotic fruits flirts on your palette.

So, I love this drink so much, I decided to amplify it a little more. For we ladies, canned Orijin contains a meager 5% alcohol so when it came to making this amped Orijin cocktail, I opted for the can.

Here are my ingredients:

1 can of Orijin

1 shot of vodka

1 shot of Campari

Half of a lemon

And 2 shots equivalent of Sprite.

I had all these mixed and poured in some ice cubes before settling down to enjoy my Amplified Orijin Cocktail. My husband actually loved it and thought it was a smart blend. It was smart because Campari and Orijin both contain exotic fruits so I loved the way the fruits tingled on my tongue.



This drink is addictive and not for everyone. If you are light-headed, do not bother because at initial sip, you don’t get a punch; instead, the alcohol slowly slips into your body until it whelms you. 

For all alcohol lovers, go give this drink a try and tell me if you loved it or not.

Cheers

The weakness in anger

Anger is a sign of weakness; a sign of no control; and most significantly, a sign of vulnerability. Temperamental people are like weak threads that when pulled with a little force, rips apart willingly.

When women are faced with temperamental husbands, what they see in those men is weakness. And the more a man loses his anger at will, the more respect he loses in the eyes of his wife or partner. All she sees is weakness.

Food for thought:

The Bible refers to an angry man as a fool.

Why am not voting for Jimi Agbaje

Am writing today as a frustrated Nigerian voter. I am officially sick of the unintelligent and demeaning election campaigns being touted by Nigerian politicians on our air waves. Not only are the campaigns “cover” versions of popular Nigerian tunes, the campaign contents are reflections of how little Nigerian politicians regard us the voters and the nation in its entirety.

The worst election campaign still comes from the Jimi Agbaje camp. My perception of Jimi Agbaje who is a PDP candidate for Governor of Lagos State was that he is an elite professional but his campaigns bear resemblance to what other half-baked politicians would tout. Not only is his latest campaign a “cover” version of popular Nigerian music “Shoki”, it says nothing about the man, his accomplishment and vision for Lagos State. I find rather demeaning and insulting, a part of the campaign that tells Lagosians to move from “eating kpomo to eat meat” That was horrid! I mean, what is that supposed to communicate to us the voters? That we are so inept that the message had to be communicated in “plain” language? Is that a joke?

Of course, election, much like governance in Nigeria is a joke to Nigerian politicians. The vast majority of politicians have no plan for Nigeria; no agenda, no vision, no manifestos but of course “stomach infrastructure!” We are finished as a nation.

So while PDP’s Jimi Agbaje is serenading voters with popular beats and making no sense at all, his counterpart, Akinwunmi Ambode is giving a semblance of what election campaign should be. I know the APC candidate has some jingles too but the majority of his campaigns contain a good enough content that talks about his profession, his accomplishment and plans. Though not in-depth or content-rich as I would have wanted, but at least, it’s not a “Shoki” tune, telling me to quit eating Kpomo for meat. How ridiculous and inept!

My assertion of Nigerian politicians is simple: it is either they think Nigerians are too dumb or inept to be bothered by intellectual contents or they the politicians themselves are dumb and inept.

Security steps to take when hiring domestic staff

Personally, employing domestic staffs have always been a challenge for me, including semi-skilled workers that we employ to work at my various business outlets. Almost every staff we employed robbed us in one way or the other; and after one of frequent trips to the police station and a police man remarked, “why do you people take risk by employing total strangers and committing your entire house into their hands?” That got us thinking of course because we realized that we were making a lot of mistakes in hiring domestic staffs or business staffs.

HERE ARE COMMON MISTAKES WE MAKE IN EMPLOYING DOMESTIC STAFFS OR EMPLOYEES IN GENERAL

1. We don’t really know their last names. How many of you know the real names of your nannies, maids, drivers (chauffeurs) or sales staff? This is one vital fact that eludes us.

2. How many of us follow up on references or even agents? Do you know the office address or home address of the agents you use? Besides their first name and phone numbers, we know very little about them.

3. We do no background checks and rely on references from friends or families.

Following current trends of domestic staffs robbing their employees or abducting their employees’ kids, I had to consult with my security operative who provides security services for me and these are his recommendations:

SECURITY MEASURES TO ADOPT IN EMPLOYING DOMESTIC STAFFS AND STAFFS IN GENERAL

1. DO A BACKGROUND CHECK

Background checks include making the agent and the staff submit passport photographs, getting them to fill Guarantor forms, providing sureties should something go wrong and getting to know where both the agent and staff reside and some family details. My security consultant found out from background checks that the addresses provided by staffs were false and so also were the people they claimed to be relatives false as well. Background checks cost money but money wisely spent secures life and property. One practical example of why guarantor forms and background checks are important was when my parents’ chauffeur and sales staff stole my dad’s car only to crash into a shop moments later. Not only were they apprehended but the agent got members of the staff’s family to pay for the car.

But please, do not be deceived by companies claiming to build database of domestic staff and asking you to pay for verification. Not only are they not affiliated to the police, their database only contains information provided by the staffs themselves. They do not conduct any background check and say staff verification exercise is just a scare tactic. If you ask me, I can scare my staff all by myself without having to pay anyone to scare them for me. If you have a criminal in your employment, such scare tactics mean nothing.

2. INVEST IN CCTV. CCTV or “nanny cams” are an expensive investment but with it, you can monitor your staff’s activities, telephone conversations and any suspicious moves. Most times, your staff do not act alone; there’s always an outsider – and many times, the cohort is the agent, so there is a higher chance that you can arrest any unfortunate situation before it happens with the CCTV.

3.CHANGE YOUR ROUTINE:
My security consultant recommends one changing routines periodically. By shuffling your routine, staffs are unable to predict your movements. You can choose to vary the times you get home, be erratic and unpredictable, that way your patterns become confusing to employees.

4. GET TO KNOW YOUR STAFFS
Do you know that maids change their names every time they change employers? Many maids give away vital information when you converse with them. Ask them personal questions like their family name, the name of their village, do they have relatives near or far, and what relationship they have with the agent. Such information will come out in friendly conversation.

5. KEEP YOUR BUSINESS PRIVATE
By business, I mean keep your personal life private. Some weeks ago while waiting to pick my kids from school, I overhead chauffeurs exchanging fact sheets on their employers and I was amazed. It’s during such gathering that the devil rare its ugly head! While your staff may be innocent minded, the people around him may not. Soon enough, they would suggest they rob you or abduct a loved one for ransom and all your staff need do is provide an opportunity while they do the dirty work. A parent at my kids’ school once told me that after giving the cheque for her kids’ school fees to be paid by the chauffeur, the man screamed in amazement that how could she pay so much for such little kids. Next day, he asked for a raise! People like that will see an opportunity immediately to either rob you or abduct your kids. You may not know but your chauffeurs hear every business conversation you have on the phone on the drive to work; your maid hear you and your spouse or friends say how much you bought this or that; and all they can think of are the big numbers. Some employers are an open book – no secrets and not discreet. The more you expose such big numbers to your staff, the more you present an opportunity for evil.

6. BE SUSPICIOUS OF EVERYONE!

I hear people say how they trust their staff only for the staff to turn around to harm them. Evil minded staffs begin by winning your trust before harming you. Watch out for changes in behavior, soft cues and inconsistencies. Something bad usually follows.

7. BE SAFE!
If you live in a gated community like an estate, take your staff to the security guards at the gate and tell them he or she is not allowed to leave your house with your belongings or your kids without your authorization. Give them your phone number, and from time to time, show them some appreciation. Do same at your kids school as well.

Being safety conscious is very important so please find time to put safety and security measures in place.

Cheers!

Nature’s healing power in a cup

This post was originally posted at my beauty blog – http://www.bronzegoddessnig.wordpress.com

Two weeks ago, I was involved in a gas explosion in my kitchen! My entire body was on fire, all the hairs on my body fried! Fortunately, the damage was minimal as only a few parts of my skin were badly injured.

Though I was hospitalized, I ditched all the topical creams given to me for my own natural skincare product – Bronze Goddess NG Body Butter –
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This is not a marketing ploy but a testament that nature is the greatest healer. I turned to this body butter for its truly natural ingredients: Shea butter, olive oil, hemp seed oil, Rosemary oil, lavender oil, Vitamin E, orange oil extract, among others. These essential oils and carrier oils are great for cell renewal because of its ability to accelerate collagen production so you can understand why I would turn to them.

It’s just been two weeks and my new skin is formed and healing very fast.
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This is not the first time I am having to depend on this body butter to heal my skin. I had a fibrous growth on my finger that was operated upon and removed. Two weeks after surgery, the fibrosis grew bigger and fatter. Rather than go back for a second surgery, I began massaging the body butter into the fibrous skin twice daily. In a matter of weeks, the growth disappeared permanently, with the surgery scar no longer visible. I also use the butter to treat spider veins as well.

I am always happy to share my knowledge with people so if you are resident in Lagos, Nigeria, please walk into my all natural spa for samples. If you would rather we ship them to you, then cost of shipment would be born by you.

You can buy this product from my online store – http://www.bronzegoddessmakeupstore.wordpress.com today!

Cheers!

How I make Black Soap with love❤️

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My company, Bronze Goddess NG has an all natural skincare line made solely by me and with a lot of love❤️. If you follow my blog – http://www.bronzegoddessnig.wordpress.com , you will find that care and research is paid into caring for the skin the natural way.

It is this love for a truly naturally beautiful skin that led me into producing customized natural skin care products for all skin types. I recently added Black Soap to my collection.

Black Soap is an African heritage, predominantly West African. It is made from unripe, green plantain skin and the process of converting fresh, green plantain skins into soap is a daunting task. But not only do we produce these soaps, I take it a step further. Naturally, all Black soaps contain Cam Wood, which scientifically is known as Baphia nitida. If you are Nigerian ‘Osun’ might ring a bell because that is what it is called in Yoruba language. Cam wood is a skin dye that treats skin diseases, ring worms, among others; and gives Black Soap its characteristic black color. Here is the process:

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This is Black Soap without Cam wood. To make it richer and even more potent, we add Cam wood and sulphur.
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After mixing Cam wood and sulphur with the soap, we mix and knead as though one is kneading dough. It’s not pretty but allowing the soap to sit for a couple of hours makes the texture softer and the color darker. This is where most soap makers stop.

But this is where we bring in the love😊. Black Soap naturally, dries the skin so over time, I found that people with sensitive skin or dry skin were avoiding it completely. People complained it gave them white heads – not my product thankfully! So, in order to create a power product suitable for all skin types, I brought out my bag of goodies – essential oils.

Yes, essential oils came to the rescue. Here is the ingredient list in my Black Soap:
Grape seed oil,
Avocado oil,
Orange oil extract
Rosemary oil
Rosewater
Glycerine
Lavender oil
Vitamin E
And a pinch of turmeric.

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Both Grape seed oil and avocado oil are rich in antioxidants, make excellent moisturizers, contain Vitamin E and C, and help to accelerate skin renewal by promoting collagen production. Grape seed oil treats acne while both avocado oil and grape seed oil contain anti aging properties. So when you combine these with the skin brightening properties of orange oil and turmeric; and with the healing properties in the remaining ingredients, you create a perfect balance of a brightening and moisturizing soap that does not over dry the skin. Because avocado oil gives supple skin, you can expect a healthy skin as well.

This soap brightens, treats acne with a good fragrance, all thanks to Rosemary oil and lavender oil.

As part of the Black soap making process, we use silicone cake moulds in creating the shapes that we desire.

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The soap is completely hand made, no preservatives, and made with love.

This soap comes in liquid form as well for people who love foaming bath washes.

We are giving away free samples to Lagos residents only. So, if you are interested, let me know. While you can walk into our natural spa for product samples, we can ship samples to you but you would have to bear the cost of shipment.

You can also order this product from my online store – http://www.bronzegoddessmakeupstore.wordpress.com today!

Keep me posted! Cheers!

Quotes to live by: Proverbs 22:13

“Proverbs 22:13 The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.”

I came across this quote as a teenager and it struck a cord in me. But the King James Version quoted above does not give the kind of depiction that the Good News Bible version gave me those years back. It says:

“The lazy man stays at home; he says a lion might get him if he goes outside” So what does he do? He tucks himself under the blanket and snoozes away. That is why the Bible adds in Proverbs 6:10-11 that “Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.”

I have carried this quote with me all my life because I realized that the difference between a successful person and one who isn’t is actually the mind. Our mind is a powerful tool that if used properly, propels us to greatness. The can-do and valor attitude of heroes past didn’t fall on them by chance; they chose to be dogged, determined and resilient in the midst of adversary, in the midst of lack and the midst of negativity. If we were to fold our arms and blame our inability to succeed on the government, environmental issues, our parents, the blame list is pretty long – then we will never succeed at anything.

I hardly make excuses. When challenges come, I draw inspiration from other people who made it against all odds and I say to myself, “do they have two heads?” Of course not! My mother always told me as a child to never let other people’s experiences deter me from trying. When I had issues in school, and she suggested I went to see my Head of Department and I gave excuses like “he’s not approachable “, he did this or that to some other students… And she would say “and so what?” “Are you that person? Does that person’s failure determine your success? No.” And I would do it and succeed even when others couldn’t because I believed in my ability to succeed.

I tell people that if they want their situations to change, then they need to change their psyche. It doesn’t matter if hundreds were turned down at the job; it doesn’t matter if there’s lack around you; so long as you continue to see the lack, you will never see the gain. In spite of how poorly developed Nigeria is, businesses are thriving and each day, young Nigerian entrepreneurs are becoming success stories. The difference between you and them is that while you concentrated on the lack, they created a need for the lack.

That “lion” on the street is only in your head and you must train your mind to succeed against all odds. The mind is a powerful tool to waste, so use it wisely. This is my tool for success.

Cheers!