Kamfy Living

Pantry Organization Update

March 26, 2017
pantry organization on a budget

I’ve been wanting to organize our pantry for a long time now and finally this weekend we started and got a huge chunk of it done. It’s not perfect yet and I still have a couple more things that I need to get done before I officially categorize it as finished, but I’m not sure when that will be, so I’m posting about a pantry organization update today.

I LOVE pantry organization videos on YouTube, in fact, they are some of my favorite kinds of videos to watch, after vegan recipe videos, that is. I have been watching a bunch of videos and scouring Pinterest for ideas for an organized pantry that also looks as beautiful as it functions. So, today, I’m going to walk you through what I did to organize our pantry on a budget.

So this picture shows you how our pantry looked before we organized it. It was actually quite organized, in that we knew exactly where everything was. But, I wanted everything to look uniform and also wanted it to be visually appealing. A lot of the pantry items were stacked on top of each other, and everything was overly crowded. So, I thought it would be a good idea to build two more shelves to get some more working space. The original shelves were spread quite far apart, so I thought we could fit two more shelves. I measured the tallest item in our pantry and made sure that the shelves that we would build would accommodate this item.

I then took out every single item in the pantry and sorted them into cans, sauces, bulk items, teas, etc. and got rid of expired items and things we don’t use anymore. This was also the perfect time to wipe down and clean the pantry.

Next, we went to Home Depot and got a piece of wood cut to the size the shelves in our pantry were originally. This cost us $11 for 2 shelves! I then got Gursheel to install these shelves in the pantry. He did this by using the remaining pieces of wood and nailing them to the sides of the pantry and placing the shelf on top. Just looking at the empty pantry with the new shelves got me super excited that I went right away to Michaels to get some baskets in the dimensions I measured so that they fit perfectly into the pantry! I would have preferred lighter colored baskets, but these were the only ones I found that were the perfect width and height for our pantry. And I got them buy 1 get 1 free! Score!

I wanted to get clear, glass jars that would fit a lot of the bulk items in the pantry and I was able to find the perfect ones for 1-4 bucks at the Dollar Store (for the smaller ones) and IKEA (the larger ones) and spent under $100 for all the jars! I just took off all the labels, washed the containers with soap and water and dried them off completely before putting bulk items in them.

Finally, I bought this amazing white Sharpie Paint pen from Amazon to label all the jars. I originally had bought these clear labels from Avery where you can print off a label. I tried this but I found that they would be too permanent, in that if I wanted to change out the jar for something else, I would have to peel off the label. This can get annoying because that glue gunk that remains always is so hard to get off. Although, I recently heard of Goo Gone which can help take that off pretty easily. Anyways, the Sharpie pen is amazing because first, it’s white and I love white everything. And second, it is easy to wipe off with a wet cloth if you want to re-name the jar or mess up when labeling the jar.

pantry organization on a budget

pantry organization on a budget

I’m so happy with how everything turned out! Everything isn’t perfect yet, but I wanted to post what I have done so far today and then post a follow up complete Pantry organization blog post where I give a short tour of what we have in there. I want to create labels for the baskets as well. Right now, two of them contain cans and sauces, 1 contains our tea collection and the last one contains miscellaneous items. But, I definitely want to organize these further before I create labels for them. I also need to get a couple more of the smaller jars to store some other commonly used items, but I’m really hoping that this pantry organization causes us to eat healthier, whole foods and try to make as much as we can from scratch.

pantry organization on a budget

pantry organization on a budget

pantry organization on a budget

pantry organization on a budget

pantry organization on a budget

pantry organization on a budget

pantry organization on a budget

I can’t stop staring at the pantry now and when I compare the before and after pictures, I feel like I accomplished something. It’s always been my dream to have a pantry that is functional and beautiful. I really want to see what your guy’s pantry’s look like and if you try some of the tips I mentioned today please send me pictures! And make sure to take before and after pictures so you can see what you’ve accomplished! It really is quite satisfying.

I’ll keep you posted and happy organizing!

Kamfy Living

DIY Natural Whipped Coconut Oil for Skin and Hair

March 19, 2017
DIY whipped coconut oil perfect for hair and skin

I’m back again with a super easy DIY natural whipped coconut oil that you can use for your skin and hair. I’ve decided to do a series of spa/skin care/beauty related DIY natural products that you can easily make at home on a budget!

This week it’s just coconut oil that you can whip up and use to apply to your skin and hair. Everyone knows coconut oil is amazing for your skin and hair and I’m sure a lot of you use it on a weekly basis one way or another.

But, the most annoying thing to me is coconut oil in my home is usually located in the kitchen, because we often use it in baking and cooking (for good reason, because I LOVE coconut everything). But, because it’s usually located in the kitchen, it means it’s in that big tub that it comes in. So when you want to use it for your hair or skin, it means getting a spoon and taking out a bit of the coconut oil by digging your arm way into the container (which also involves getting oil on your arms and clothes), before finally putting it into a bowl to heat up a little bit. Because, usually the coconut oil is so hard, it needs to be softened enough to put onto your hair and skin. This whole process I go through every week when I want to put coconut oil onto my hair and it’s super annoying!! All for just getting a little bit of coconut oil into my skin.

But, not anymore! Because when you whip up coconut oil, you can keep it in a little container in your washroom and it’s the perfect consistency for using as a lotion for your skin and perfect for applying to your scalp!

And all you literally do is whip it up using a Kitchen Aid (or something similar) and put some drops of essential oils and place the contents into a glass jar! Easy peasy!

And all you do is soak up the benefits. I particularly love coconut oil for its benefits for hair, especially for promoting hair growth and preventing breakage. It also helps with fighting against dandruff and adds softness and shine to the hair. It is a winner for hair growth and I love the smell of it!!

But, coconut oil also has many benefits to the skin, including being an excellent moisturizer, but I’m sure most of you knew that. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, but as soon as you apply it to your skin, it melts right in, without leaving any clumps. You can apply it to your arms and legs as well as your face! The one interesting property I learned as I was researching coconut oil, is that it has antimicrobial properties. This is because coconut oil is composed of lauric acid (a fatty chain that makes up 85% of coconut oil) that acts as the antibacterial agent. And finally, coconut oil has an SPF of 4, which isn’t much at all, but applying coconut oil everyday can provide some sun protection. Coconut oil is an antioxidant that soaks up the free radicals that the UV rays of the sun trigger, preventing further DNA damage.

Coconut oil is a hair and skin winner!

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DIY whipped coconut oil perfect for hair and skin

DIY whipped coconut oil perfect for hair and skin

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INGREDIENTS

1 cup coconut oil (food grade)

3-5 tsp of essential oil of choice (I like citrus-y ones)

DIRECTIONS

Scoop out 1 cup of room temperature coconut oil (should be solid).

Add your essential oil of choice and whip up using the whip attachment of your Kitchen Aid (or whatever else you use to whip things at home).

Whip for at least one minute, until softened and fluffy.

Place in a clean, glass container to enjoy.

 

Kamfy Living

DIY Bath Salts in Test Tubes

March 12, 2017
DIY bath salts in test tube

Today, I am back with another DIY project! And I am so happy with how it turned out and how easy it was!

So, on my birthday, I received a bunch of bath bombs from Lush and have been taking advantage of them by taking a bath once a week! I also have been adding Epsom Salts to the baths because I’ve heard a lot of people talk about them and my massage therapist recommended them to me as well. After a quick google search, I learned that Epsom salts are named after a spring in England and is not actually a salt, but a mineral: magnesium sulfate, which is really good at improving absorption of nutrients, flushing toxins, reducing inflammation and easing headaches. I’m not sure about the easing headaches property (because fortunately, I don’t get headaches too often), but they are AMAZING at flushing toxins and providing relief to muscles because they have seriously worked wonders for me.

That’s why in this post I will be writing about an easy DIY using Epsom salts that you can use when you take a bath: DIY Bath Salts!!

They just contains three ingredients: Epsom Salts, sea salt and baking soda. You can add essential oils for added benefit, but I just added lavender seeds for scent.

So, a little more about the benefits of Epsom salts. Magnesium and sulfate are both easily absorbed through the skin and play role in the body including regulating enzyme activity, reducing inflammation, muscle relaxation and flushing toxins. Because both are so easily absorbed through the body, they make an ideal mineral to add to a bath.

The second ingredient added to the DIY bath salt is baking soda, which also has some beneficial properties and is safe and inexpensive, perfect to add to a bath to soak in more more health benefits. Baking soda is good at detoxifying your body by neutralizing your body. It also helps relieving pain from yeast infections and discomforts in the genital area including soothing irritated and itchy skin. The other amazing thing about using baking soda in a bath is that it doesn’t leave any residue in the bath tub, making your skin feel clean and soft!

The last ingredient for the bath salt is sea salt which also has many health benefits. This is because it contains several minerals including potassium which helps to balance skin moisture; bromide which helps reduce muscle pain; and sodium which helps with circulation.

Each of these ingredients on their own has amazing benefits and you could potentially take a bath with each alone. However, we will go above and beyond and soak in all of their benefits by combining them in this recipe, which is super easy!

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INGREDIENTS

1 cup Epsom Salts

1/2 cup baking soda

1/4 cup sea salt

2 tbsp lavender seeds

2-4 drops of essential oil (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients in a bowl using a fork.

Using a funnel, pour the bath salt mixture into your container, I used test tubes which you can find on Amazon.

To use, draw a bath and pour the contents of the test tube into the bath.

Relax, enjoy, and soak up the benefits.

To gift: add some decorative Washi tape and tie a ribbon!

Kamfy Living

Monthly Favorites – February Favorites

March 5, 2017

February is over and with that comes monthly favorites time!! February is probably one of my favorite months because my birthday and Valentine’s Day fall in this month and it’s the shortest month of the year and goes by super quickly. February for me this year was an okay month because I was thinking about my family a lot this month. But, because it was my birthday month, there were quite a few freebies that I got this month that definitely got added to my favorites list. Read till the end for some amazing birthday freebies you can get as well!

BOOK

Cover of The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson, showing artwork by Alexander Nanitchkov.

  • The Emperor’s Soul: Surprise surprise, another Brandon Sanderson book! I love this author so so much! So far, every book I have read of his has been amazing. One thing I love about his writing is, you can pick off wherever you stopped reading, and immediately get sucked into the world of the book! This particular book is another stand alone book and it literally took me 2 day to read (3 hrs total). So, if you’re looking for a book to see if you would like Brandon Sanderson books, this one is a great one to start!

PODCAST

  • Pod Save America: I think this podcast through Crooked Media is just a couple months old and I love it. One of the hosts was the former speech writer for Barack Obama and the guests that come on this podcast are often people who have some sort of connection to the White House or have worked there in the past. The hosts are hilarious and are  always updating everyone on what Donald Trump is up to. It’s a really good podcast about American politics and I really have been learning a lot and been keeping up to date as to what’s happening in politics. Highly recommend!

APP

Image result for flipp app

  • Flipp: OMG guys!! How come I have never heard of this app before?!! It’s amazing!! If you haven’t’ heard of it before, it’s an app that helps save on groceries. It has all the weekly flyers as well as coupons you can clip, print and use to save money. I learned about it from a cashier at Walmart when Gursheel and I went grocery shopping. Our mom had given us a stack of flyers to use to price match some groceries (because FYI, Walmart does price matching). It was so funny, when we got to the cash register, we kept saying to the cashier we had a flyer to price match, but it took us forever to find the item, because different items were on different flyers. It was such a mess. Good thing there was no one behind us and the cashier was patient with us. That’s when she told us about Flipp. Basically, you can create a grocery list on the app, and when it comes time to price match, you just search the item and all the flyers that have that item will pop up and you can just show that to the cashier to price match any item. It’s amazing and we have been saving quite a bit of time and money! Super easy to use!

FOOD

  • Aloo Parathas: I had to include this as a favorite because I’m honestly impressed with myself as to how amazing these parathay were! If you haven’t checked out the blog post, check it out and try making them! They are delicious and definitely a February favorite!

ITEM

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  • Brass plant mister: Gursheel and I have three plants: a bonsai tree (Mr. Bonsai), and two cacti (Gutti and Porcupine) and we bought a new terranium for Porcupine, but it was quite hard to water it. Sooo.. we bought this beautiful plant mister on ebay (see link) and it’s the cheapest one I’ve seen anywhere! It’s useful because it helps us water Porcupine and it makes a beautiful decorative item as well!

SKIN CARE

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  • Smith’s Rosebud Salve: This smells so good!! Normally I use Vaseline on my lips when they are dry but I thought I’d try something new. I got this from Chapter’s and I’ve been loving it. It smells good and hydrates my lips, although the price of $9 is quite high. I bought this with a rewards card I had for $10. Although I do love this, I wouldn’t buy it for myself. I think it makes an amazing gift though!

BIRTHDAY FREEBIES

  • Booster Juice: If you sign up for a newsletter, they will send you an email on your birthday for a free regular sized smoothie! This is an awesome freebie because a smoothie normally costs around $7!
  • Starbucks free drink: Starbucks gives you a free drink around your birthday for having a Starbucks account. Any size, any drink. Awesome freebie.
  • Second Cup: if you are signed up for their rewards program they give you 500 points around your birthday, which is enough for any size any drink.
  • Body Shop: If you have a body shop rewards card, you can get $10 towards a purchase in your birthday month! I got my rewards card for free, but it normally costs $10 and gives you tons of discounts!

That’s all for this week! Hope you have an amazing March 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kamfort Food

Easy Aloo Paratha Recipe

March 1, 2017
aloo paratha recipe

Sorry for not posting anything last week, but I was having a tough week. I’m back with something amazing!! An easy Aloo Paratha Recipe!!

I think every Punjabi person grows up eating some type of paratha on the weekends and generally Aloo Paratha is everyone’s favorite. Well, it certainly was for me. But because I had both my mom and my grandma make them for us growing up, I never actually had the chance to make them myself. Now that I am married, I want to make them for my family, and YouTube and blog post recipes are what I’m using to find the perfect recipe. And as I watch and read more and more, I’m realize that the authentic, delicious Aloo Paratha recipes are just not the same as the ones my mom and grandma made me. So, I asked my mother-in-law and she showed me how she makes them and they are delicious, and that’s what I’ll be sharing with you today. AUTHENTIC and DELICIOUS Aloo Parathas!!

So, for those of you who do not know, Aloo Paratha’s are a potato stuffed roti (or chapati) that is a common weekend breakfast in many Indian households. And trust me, they are so so good.

Now, let’s get started on the recipe.

The first thing to do which will also take the longest, is to boil 2 cups worth of potatoes (I used 4 regular sized potatoes), and any type of potato you have lying around at home should do. So, I just boiled 4 potatoes in some salted water until tender, let them cool a bit, and then peeled off the skin.

After this, it’s pretty simple and foolproof. Add the potatoes into a bowl and add salt, haldi (turmeric), mirch (green chili pepper), freshly grated ginger, and some fresh cilantro (exact amounts will be listed in the recipe below). Mash this up and this is the base of your Aloo Paratha.

If you already have some roti dough in your fridge, you can skip this next step, but for those of you who don’t, it’s super easy. We just need to make some roti dough next. Basically, this involved mixing together some flour with some water until an elastic dough is made!

Now you just roll up the roti dough using some flour and a rolling pin and place a tablespoon of potato filling in the middle. Now, pull up the sides of the dough to create a ball (see pictures below) and flatten this out and roll it into a paratha (again, pictures will do this description more justice).

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INGREDIENTS

2 cups boiled, cut and peeled potatoes

1.5 tsp salt

1/4 tsp haldi (turmeric)

1 tsp hari mirch (we blend and keep some frozen) – green chili pepper

2 tsp freshly grated ginger

2 tsp chopped cilantro

DIRECTIONS

Bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook potatoes until tender. Peel and chop the potatoes.

Add salt, turmeric, green chili pepper, ginger and cilantro to the potatoes and mash together.

Roll out the roti dough into circle and place a tablespoon of the potato filling into the center.

Pinch together the dough into a ball and flatten. Roll this out into a large circle.

Cook the paratha on the pan. Make sure to add a little bit of butter/margarine on each side so that the Paratha gets nice and crispy.

Serve with some dahi (yogurt) and achaar (pickled mangoes).

Kamfy Living

DIY Rose Mist Toner – Affordable Facial Toner

February 12, 2017
diy affordable rose mist

I’ve been loving the Rose Hydrating Mist by Saje, however, last month I finished my bottle! It lasted me a good 6 months and it was well worth the price of $14.95 (although I got it on a discounted price). Anyways, I had a thought that it must be fairly easy to DIY a rose mist for the blog and today I will describe to you how I did just that. Super simple, super affordable! And this may just be my shortest blog post ever!

So when I looked at the ingredients on the Saje rose mist, there were just two: distilled water and rose! Well, in a typical Indian household, there is normally some rose water (sometimes added to Indian desserts), so I thought can’t I just put that in a bottle and call it a rose mist? Well doing some google research, I discovered that that is indeed true! You can just use a rose water as a facial toner!! Well, if I literally just added rose water into a bottle, I would have little to write about in this post, so that is why I’m going to add a few more ingredients into the bottle with the rose water, which are the following:

Rose water: well duh, this is going to be 99% of the recipe! And what makes rose water critical to the mist? Well it’s in the name of course 😛 Also, rose is apparently very anti-inflammatory and very hydrating! I agree because I’ve been using it the past 6 months and have probably broken out just once or twice!

Vegetable Glycerin: Honestly speaking, the reason I added this to the recipe is because I literally had it lying around and hadn’t used it in a while. I had bought it a while back because I needed it to make a soap recipe (let me know in the comments below if you want me to write a blog post about affordable and easy soap recipe). Yupp, I had it so I decided to use it. Now that I am looking up the benefits I’m glad I did. Vegetable glycerin is a clear odorless liquid made from plant oils and has two amazing benefits to the skin. The first is that is is very hydrating for the skin and the second is that it increases the solubility of the active ingredient. This property, in the case of a rose mist, means it will make it easier for the skin to absorb the rose water! Yay for more hydration! Also, it’s better to use this than alcohol, but does the same job.. I must try making more skin care/beauty products that are easy and affordable!

Essential Oils: I chose a combination of essential oils, because I have quite the collection from Saje. I love Saje in case you hadn’t noticed (Saje, please collaborate with me, I love you). I added them just for fun, and to have more than one ingredient in this DIY rose mist (hehe).

That’s all. I literally just added all these things into a bottle (which happened to be my old Saje rose mist bottle, because I love to reuse and recycle of course) and called it a blog post!

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The only thing you need to know are the quantities of each, so here we go for the full recipe:

INGREDIENTS

1 cup rose water

2 tbsp vegetable glycerin

2 tsp essential oils of choice

1 glass bottle (better to have a tinted bottle)

1 mini funnel

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients into a glass bottle using a funnel.

Mix by shaking and spray onto your face to stay hydrated and smelling rose-y!

Kamfort Food

How to Make Baked, Crispy Kale Chips

February 5, 2017
baked kale chips, easy recipe

 

This year, Gursheel and I have decided to eat healthier. For him it means to cut out cookies and chips, and for me… well… I have not been doing so well… whoops (still having cookies for breakfast some days, shhh, don’t tell him that) 😛

I know I know, I can’t be a hypocrite and should join him in healthy eating. So, I’ve been looking up some snacks that we can eat that are healthier and delicious and oily? Because I sure do love my oily, fried foods. One thing that I have started making is baked chickpeas and they are delicious (I may do a recipe post on those in the future), but the snack I’ll be talking about today is kale chips! And they are not fried!! Way to be healthy! And did I tell you they are delicious?

When I think of kale, I think super healthy, iron rich, and bitter, extremely bitter. That’s because a while ago, when I first heard of kale being a super food and was a good vegan (:P), I used to eat it in salads and smoothies. But, honestly, I never liked it. It had too of much of a strong bitter flavor that was very hard for me to get used to. But then, a little while later, when I worked at a cafe, I made kale chips and they were amazing!! Kale chips at this point were quite trendy and you could get them anywhere. But I couldn’t justify spending a bunch of money (because, yes, they are expensive) on a snack that was made of kale that I already didn’t even like. So, when I made them at work and tried them and realized how great they were, I knew I had to make em again and try the ones that came in packages at the grocery stores.

I think now it’s probably been a little over two years since I last had kale chips, let alone kale. I’m not sure why, but I am gonna change things around and start making them again! Starting today!

So, I didn’t follow any recipe, I didn’t even google how to make kale chips, I just used what I remembered when I made them at the Boulevard (the cafe I worked at). It’s a simple recipe and just has three ingredients: kale, oil and salt, but to make it taste amazing, there are a couple of tips to remember.

The first thing is to make sure you buy some nice looking kale, by that I mean kale that is not pre-cut or pre-washed. Kale that is green in color (not yellow or brown), and kale that is not wilted. So just some nice looking kale 😛

The second tip is to remove the stems of the kale. These tend to be quite thick and are not really what kale chips are all about. You just want the leaf part of the kale.

The third tip is to wash it really well and then dry it completely. You want to make sure you wash off any dirt there is on the kale, because some bunches of kale have a LOT of dirt! And you want to make sure the kale is completely dry because if it isn’t, the kale chips won’t crisp up as much. So I recommend taking the time to wiping the kale dry (this is probably the only time consuming part of the recipe anyways).

And the final tip is to MASSAGE the kale with the oil! Get both your hands involved and use some of that elbow grease to really massage the oil into the kale. This step is crucial because this is how your kale chips will get crispy and delicious.

Once all the oil is massaged onto the kale, lay them out onto a cooking tray. Make sure to give the kale some room to breathe (:P). Then sprinkle the kale with some salt. And remember, a little salt goes a long way!

Bake the kale at 350’F for 15-20 minutes until the kale has crisped up and you’ll notice that the kale shrinks in size a considerable amount. I thought we started off with a lot of kale, but it shrank down to just a cup of really delicious kale chips.

And the ultimate critic, Gursheel, who’s never had kale or kale chips for that matter before, thought they were really good as well!!

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INGREDIENTS

1 bunch kale

3 tbsp oil

1 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350’F and take out a couple of baking trays.

De-stem the kale, wash well, and then completely dry off the water from the kale.

Tear off the kale into bite size pieces and massage the oil into the kale.

Lay out the kale onto the baking trays and lightly sprinkle with salt.

Bake at 350’F for 15-20 minutes, flipping the kale after 10 minutes.

Let cool completely before enjoying.

 

Kamfy Living

Monthly Favorites – January Favorites

February 2, 2017
baked vegan falafel recipe

I’ve decided to start doing monthly favorites where I will talk about what I have been loving for the month! These are actually some of my favorite type of YouTube videos to watch, so I’m really excited to share with you all what I have also been loving in terms of food, books, TV shows, podcasts, products and just whatever else I discovered in the month that I think you guys will also like!

So first up, is the month of January!!! I read a lot of books this month!! I’m already working on my fourth :O I also was sick most of the month as well with the worst cough that kept my up at night, especially in the beginning half of the month. It was also the month I became addicted to podcasts. Normally I used to listen to a couple podcasts a week, but now I listen to around 7 a day!! I usually listen to them at work at 1.5 times the speed and I love em. I’ve discovered so many amazing podcasts and have been listening to a lot of news ones in particular. I have my favorites sorted in categories, so let’s get started:

FOOD

  • Boom Chicka Pop: When we were in BC during the holidays, we tried the Sweet and Salty Boom Chicka Pop popcorn and it was so addicting!!! And surprisingly, it was low in calories as well (not that I care, but Gursheel sure does) 😛 Anyways, Gursheel made a new years resolution to cut back on chips (we were addicts of Lays) so we bought the Sea Salt popcorn flavored Boom Chicka Pop and it was also amazing and “healthier” according to Gursheel. So, definitely a favorite, and definitely will be trying new flavors in the future. Let me know your favorite flavors down below!
  • Baked Vegan Falafel: Since we discovered that baked falafel tastes just as amazing as fried, I’ve been loving making this recipe!! It is so good! Check out the recipe on the blog!
  • Ricola cough drops:  So, for most of January I was sick. I got sick near the end of December while I was in BC with this horrible cough that would keep me up at night, and it continued on for 3 weeks! And then I discovered Ricola. I had heard of the brand before, but I had never tried it. But, I bought this randomly one day and it was so good, so soothing. I don’t think it anything but make me feel better, which when you are sick makes all the difference!

bag

BLOG

  • Vintage Revivals: OMG I LOVE THIS BLOG SO SO MUCH!!! It is amazing and I love everything on it! It is a blog about DIY home projects!! The blogger, Mandi, has the most amazing ideas and I am gonna try so many of her projects, and am currently working on one of her lamp DIYs, which I’ll be sharing in a future blog post. I was introduced to this blog by my sister, who sent me a YouTube video of room that Mandi had done for a YouTuber.

SKIN CARE

ROSE

  • Saje Rose Hydrating Euphoric Mist: I’ve been using this rose mist for the past 6 months as a toner every morning and it’s so refreshing and hydrating and smells amazing, like roses! But, it just finished the other day. It lasted 6 months which is a looong time! I have another mist, the Jasmine one from Saje that I’ll be using next, but I really want to try to make my own DIY rose mist. Blog post coming in the future, keep your eyes peeled!!

BOOK

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  • Elantris: I read the Mistborn trilogy a couple of months ago and was obsessed. I was recommended books by the author, Brandon Sanderson, by several people, so I had to read all his books. Elantris is a stand alone book so I finised it a lot faster than the Mistborn trilogy and it was perfect. Amazing plot, amazing characters, and all around a solid book that I think my sister will also love!

PODCAST

  • Under the Influence from CBC Radio: I’ve been listening to a lot of new podcasts this month, but this one by Terry O’Reilly is one of my favorites. It’s a podcast about the ad industry and how were make decisions and are influence by words and images. His voice and how he tells the stories really gets you hooked. I got Gursheel hooked as well!

TV SHOW

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  • The Fall: I was recommended this show from my supervisor at work and it is seriously so good! We are hooked. I normally don’t like shows where there is a ton of suspense, a murderer or a combination, but something about this show just sucks me in and I really have been looking forward to watching episodes when we get home. We also recently put a TV in our bedroom, so we enjoy watching it before going to sleep.

I can’t believe January is already over! 1/12 of the year already done, 11 more months to go 🙂

 

Kam Travels

Maasai Mara Safari – Holiday Part 2

January 29, 2017
zebras eating while on safari in the maasai mara

Last week I wrote about our amazing adventures at Giraffe Manor and today will be all about the second part of our trip which was our safari at Maasai Mara!!

We were driven to the local airport and took a small aircraft through SafariLink to get to the Maasai Mara, from where our guide picked us up. On our way to our tented luxury cabin, we saw our first animal, a cheetah with her two cubs!! It was unreal!! We watched the animals for a while, but it was mid-day and quite hot, so the animals were just relaxing in the shade, and after a while, we decided to do the same.

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We stayed at Ol Seki Hemingways Mara  in a luxury tent, and man it was luxurious! It was a tent in the middle of the Mara and we could see and hear animals all around us. Now you might think, lions right near you? Is that safe? But the one thing we learned is that lions, cheetah’s, elephants, etc. don’t see humans as a threat! We don’t look like food, don’t smell like food, nor taste like food (not for them that is), that the animals leave us be. The only time they will attack you is if you attack them, or think to attack them. So, it was perfectly safe to be surrounded by animals (although, to be truthful, I was slightly terrified).

We saw so many animals!! We were on safari for 5 whole days and went on game drives in the mornings and evenings, and one day on a hot air balloon safari! We didn’t see all the Big 5, unfortunately, but the animals we did see were amazing! The big 5 include the lion, elephant, leopard, rhinoceros, and the buffalo. We saw a rhino at the David Sheldrick animal orphanage, but didn’t get to see any leopards, although a cheetah looks remarkably similar.

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After watching animals for 5 days, my favorites are definitely elephants and giraffes. Giraffes because they are so tall and beautiful and just really fun to watch as they run, sleep (they literally sleep for 5 minutes a day), and hug (yes, we definitely saw giraffes hugging and it was just so adorable), and elephants because how much they care for each other. Just watching animals interact with each other, you learn so much. And elephants are one of the few animals we observed that you can actually see how much they care for one another and their children. A couple of times we tried to drive closer to them, but had to pull back because they seemed to want to come after us (oh oh) :P.

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These were our Maasai guides, the one on the left took us on our morning and night game drives, and the one of the right took us on a walking tour. The Maasai are famously known for their red clothing that they wear (which we were told represents blood, because they actually drink animal blood) as well as being tall and brave warriors since they live together with the animals in the Mara. Our guide told us stories of where even lions have backed off from eating the Maasai’s cattle because the lions were intimidated by their bravery.

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On our third day on safari, we woke up super early to drive across the Mara, almost near Tanzania to go on our hot air balloon safari. I don’t know why but I thought it would be a bumpy ride, but it was completely the opposite, it was so smooth and so peaceful. I felt like I was the only one around and it was so serene and beautiful and amazing. As we were in the air, we saw the sun rise and watched below as we saw zebras, giraffes and hyenas. It was definitely a once in a lifetime type of experience.

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We loved each and every minute in Kenya, and we can’t wait to go back. It is definitely one of my favorites places in the world now 🙂

Kam Travels

Giraffe Manor Holiday – Part 1 of our Trip To Kenya

January 22, 2017
selfie with giraffe at giraffe manor

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Last week I did a packing guide on what to pack for an African Safari, but before we go to the Safari experience itself, I want to tell you all about our stay at the Giraffe Manor! I first saw a picture of giraffes poking their heads into windows in an Ivy covered building on Pinterest, and couldn’t believe such a place existed. When I searched where it was, Kenya, I never thought I would ever visit this place. However, a year later, when we were planning our honeymoon, we decided to go to Kenya, because Gursheel was born there and he wanted to go on a safari. I decided to include a trip to Giraffe Manor so we could have the trip of a lifetime!

Before going to Giraffe Manor, I was excited but didn’t know what to expect, I imagined it to be amazing, however, I had greatly underestimated how amazing it actually is! It’s unreal and I still can’t believe we stayed there. Even when we were there, I was constantly saying, “This is unreal, this is amazing, I can’t believe I’m actually here”. It looked amazing and I even got a picture that looked exactly like the one I first saw on Pinterest…

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Giraffe Manor is owned by the Safari Collection, who own a bunch of other luxury camps and lodges in Kenya. When looking to book a room at the Giraffe Manor, we were shocked to see how much it costs!! A LOT!! You can look at the pricing on their website to see how much a room will cost you, depending on the season you go, and the room you stay in. To make it more affordable, we decided to stay just one night at Giraffe Manor and started doing research into other agencies that can plan your trip for you. We negotiated with several agencies to plan our entire Kenya trip, and I recommend the same because we ended up saving over $1000 USD at the end! And if you are going there for you honeymoon, you can get special rates as well! We ended up choosing Mahlatini and had a good experience with them.

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One thing I absolutely loved about Giraffe Manor was their decor!!! I love it, it is amazing and you see giraffes literally everywhere. There are giraffe art prints, giraffe-shaped candles, giraffe pillows as well as a chess set carved into animals including giraffes!! The aesthetic at Giraffe Manor is very similar to my style and I loved admiring all of its finishing details…

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But the most beautiful room was our room!! The rooms at Giraffe Manor are named after the giraffes and we stayed in Betty’s room, which apparently is the best! And I agree.. I absolutely loved everything about it…

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But the best part… Giraffes came to our windows!!…

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And our balcony…

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But the ABSOLUTE MOST AMAZING part about Giraffe Manor is breakfast! Not only was the food delicious (they accomodated our vegan/vegetarian diet), but the staff were amazing and giraffes literally came to our tables as we ate!

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And I had to take a selfie, with a giraffe of course 😛 …

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It was magical!

During our stay at Giraffe Manor, we also went to Giraffe Center, which is where the Rothschild giraffes go during the day and is open to the public. So, even if you can’t afford to stay at Giraffe Manor (which I highly recommend btw), I suggest going to Giraffe Center, for which you just have to pay a park fee and will be able to take pictures with the giraffes and get to feed them as well. This is a picture of me feeding one of the giraffes at Giraffe Center…

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Another place we went to was the David Sheldrick Animal Orphanage, which is free for the public. We, however, donated an elephant and were able to go in the evening when the orphanage is only open to those who have donated an animal. This is a perfect time to go because the orphanage isn’t as busy and it’s not so hot outside either. Also, it was amazing, because it was where we saw our first and only Rhinoceros in Kenya (we didn’t get so lucky to see them in the wild in the Maasai Mara)…

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Next week: Part 2 of our trip to Kenya, the Maasai Mara 🙂