Pumpkin spice latte

I love love love Starbucks pumpkin spice latte. While I’m loyal customer, I often like to experiment in my own kitchen at home. Don’t get me wrong the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks can be fairly healthy (Steamed Milk , Espresso and Pumpkin syrup topped with optional Whipped Cream and Pumpkin Spice) however I knew I could replicate the recipe with an even healthier twist.

Ingredients:

• 2 cups non-dairy milk (I prefer Almond milk, but soy milk works well)
• 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
• 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
• 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or All Spice)
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Optional: Stevia or another sweetener to taste
• Optional: ½ tsp of instant coffee mixed with 4 tbsp. hot water

Instructions:

• Combine all ingredients except sweetener in blender.
• Blend at medium speed until smooth.
• If the sweetness is not to your liking, add sweetener to taste and blend until combined.
• Pour into a saucepan and heat, stirring at regular intervals, until steaming. Pour into two mugs and serve.
I thought this recipe was all too perfect… latte to wake up to. Why not add more pumpkin? 

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How to Pack: Guide

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One thing I don’t do when I’m traveling is check a bag (unless it’s long international flight then I bring tote bag with all my essentials) — I never, ever check a bag (even with Delta’s sky mile free bag) because I’ve had bad luck with losing luggage and being stranded clothes-less. It’s a very traumatic experience, trust me.

That means when I fly I have to stuff everything into a carry-on. And when I say stuff, I mean I have to hop on the suitcase to close it.
For my recent trips, I started packing my carry on methodically. Before, I would just stuff every cute outfit I owned into a bag and pray it would fit.  Instead of packing way too many outfits, although I really wanted to, I brought things I could rework. This outfit is a more casual version of this one.

Now, my game plan,  involves A) a color theme, B) limiting the quantity of items and C) bringing mix-and-match items.

In the end, the best way to pack is probably a mix of all of these: use the bundling method to keep your large wrinkle-prone items neat, roll everything you can to fill the empty. Knowing how to pack a suitcase rolling clothes adds quite a lot of efficiency to packing. But that can be easily killed if you bring the wrong amount of stuff. So how to know you’re not bringing too much or too little stuff?

Europe

I want to write an all-encompassing recap of my trip to Europe, but I’m not going to do since I’ve been there and done that before. You can read my previous blog posts or if you’ve specific questions over on Instagram (feel free to DM me).

Thinking about my trip gave me a feeling of this word that isn’t really a word, but more of a feeling —  sonder.

SONDER:
n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.

There is only one thing I feel compelled to tell you – my favorite part of my summer trip, and what I took home with me. A lot of my worst days are spent feeling dissatisfied with where I am and who I am. The fact that I am growing, that things are still happening, that I still have whole lives left to live often takes a back seat to my less than perfect present. God willing, I will live to be a 100-year-old woman with a million chapters in my book (some okay ones and some fabulous ones), and really just experiencing all.

The family that eats together stays together

Because breakfast is the most important meal 🙂

Nothing like crepes in Paris 

Favorite Souvenir from Paris

View from the hotel: Seine river statue of liberty

 
 

Hello Belgium waffle

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Love:

In the midst of a world changing right before our eyes and trying to master each and every one of our life goals, it seems silly to think that whenever my friends and I meet up we end up in a long “love is lame” or “ugh, boyz” conversation.

We talk about work, we talk about our goals, we talk about our self-image, but something about love always strikes a chord, and I don’t know why that is.
Is love what makes the world go ’round? What I do know is that it’s taken me a long time to say this out loud. Greater than my fear of not understanding everything about love is my fear of admitting I want to know.

Why is that even a thing I have to be worried about?
Why is an interest in love seen as inherently female, and even further, why then does that make it something not to be valued?
I am an accomplished adult woman who plans to continue knocking down every single one of my goals—oh, and also, I want to talk about tingly butterfly feelings and whether or not they mean anything.

You find out a lot about yourself after your first real heartbreak. I learned so much about myself that I hardly can recall who I was before it happened.
I find myself sort of like a new friend. One of the things I’ve discovered about me is something I didn’t have words for until I rediscovered this poem by Nayyirah Waheed: I am a brutally soft woman. That’s it. One affecting line.

I am not made to be hard, and I won’t spend any more of my life around people who cause me to put up armor. I don’t want to protect myself—I want to be around people who I don’t need protection from. I like myself soft and exposed.

I know it’s imperative to find someone who chooses us and acknowledges our many layers, who can be open and vulnerable, and most importantly, who is ready. To meet someone and be met. To be chosen and to choose.
To love and to be loved. This is everything. All we need is that same energy reciprocated, and despite how open and loving you attempt to be, people can only meet you as deeply as they’ve met
themselves. Don’t be afraid to be the one that loved the most and give everything you had, because you’ve got to find people who love like you do and who are ready. 
Out with the old, in with the true. Ready for summer.

Love – Faduma

 

 

 

10 SELF-CARE TIPS FOR WHEN LIFE GETS HARD

 Happy spring… Happy Monday,

I wanted to take some time today to offer self-care tips for when life gets hard because that’s the time when self-care is the most important and when we usually let it fall by the wayside. 
I know how busy, and chaotic life can get at times, so today I wanted to share how I engage in self care in my personal life. I try to engage in one of the following ideas below on a daily if not weekly basis. Engaging in self care on an on-going basis really helps to reduce stress levels, not just when stuff hits the fan.
Let’s dive in

  1.  Unplug: In a world where we seem to be attached to our phones, social media platforms etc. Taking a break from your phone and giving your mind a break can be refreshing.

  2. Say No: If you feel that saying yes to projects or commitments that you are not in the space to carry out would add more to your plate, simply say no.

  3. EXERCISE: Just as sleep is important, so is exercise. For some, exercise is only about preventative health measures, but for others like myself it is also critical to my mental health. I am no longer using it as an escape, but as something that starts my day off on a positive note. I am able to channel whatever negative thoughts and feelings I have into an activity that improves my overall strength and clarity and leaves me feeling better than when I went in.

  4. Go to a coffee shop and  order your favorite drink: There’s something about ordering an almond latte from my favorite cafe that does something for me.

  5. See a therapist: There’s nothing like investing in your emotional health. It may be pricey, but it’s beyond worth it. Don’t be embarrassed about going to therapy either. There’s power and strength in feeding yourself emotionally to live your best life.

  6. Pray: My faith is the most important thing to me. It’s a driving force in how I live my life, and how I treat people. Praying, cultivating a personal relationship with my lord is a perpetual thing for me, and it honestly, just helps.

  7. Talk to a close  trusted friend or family member: Use discernment about who you share with and what you share. Again, why number 5 is so important.

  8. Make a dope playlist: Whatever speaks to your soul, sign into your iTunes, Spotify or music gallery and curate a self-care play list.

  9. WRITE: Even if you’re not a writer, get a notebook or journal to write about what is going on. If you are anything like me, your mind is racing a million miles a minute and you have a tendency to overthink every scenario. Spend a little time each day writing about your feelings, what is going on at that moment, and whatever you feel compelled to put on paper. Don’t worry about anyone reading it and just write. Even if you think that writing will be useless, do it anyway. I’m always surprised at what comes out when I start writing and the amount of free space in my brain after I am done.

  10. FEEL WHAT YOU ARE FEELING: This is one of the most important self-care tips. For many, many, many years I didn’t know how to feel my feelings. I ran from them at every chance I got because I was so uncomfortable. This led me to using anything I could to mask them. When I realized that I had to stop running, I had to learn what feelings, and how to specifically identify them.
    I know that any negative feeling is uncomfortable. No one welcomes sadness or pain with open arms, screaming “I CAN’T WAIT TO FEEL YOU!” The tough thing is, though, that we have to. By going through those feelings we come to terms with the situation, we learn from it, and we often come out stronger on the other side. The process is often the most painful, but not going through it can actually draw it out much longer.
     

These are just a few things I do when I need to refresh and take some time for me. Hope you found a thing or two on this list that you’d like to try. If you found this helpful, and think a friend would love it, please feel free to share!

Love,

Faduma

My 23andme Result

Have you heard of 23andMe? It’s the latest trend to catch fire around here and ironically right after having  a discussion with my mom centering around the desire to try a DNA kit,  23andme contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in trying it out.
Of course I jumped all over that because I was extremely interested in trying it, if for no other reason than to come back and share what the process was like and what 23andMe results look like with my family. Of course I have to share my 23andMe results with you too, so you can get a look at what the results reveal and what you might benefit from by doing it yourself!

Doing the 23andMe DNA test is very easy. Get started by ordering your 23andme kit from their website. You have the option of choosing either the Ancestry only kit or doing the health and ancestry kit for a higher price.

 

My 23andme results pretty much as expected, with no major surprises. It turns out I am 99.7% sub-Saharan African.
I grew up knowing that I was Somali. People always assume that I’m mixed with something since I’m light skin, but as you can see my result, I’ve 0% North African & Arabian in me.
A PROUD Somali girl!

 

There’s a ton of really fun reports that indicate how likely you are to have certain traits. I discovered the report indicated I was like lactose intolerant which is true (if you know me then you know I use almond milk on my coffee and cereal). It also indicated that I have the gene to smell the unique smell in urine after eating asparagus. How weird is that?!

I also discovered the reports indicated that I am not likely to be a deep sleeper which I find to be true as I wake up easily. Interestingly, it indicated that I am more likely to taste bitter. I also love salty food more than sweets so true. I’m so intrigued by how accurate, these reports have been! It’s seriously cool.

 

There are many, many detailed reports to view. You can also view them in a summary style, printable report. Above and below you can see some of my summarized reports. They are right on in their indication that I am unlikely to flush from alcohol, consume less caffeine and have more movement during sleep.

23andMe results also indicate if you are a genetic carrier for several different diseases. I was happy to see what diseases I carry and don’t carry.

23andMe also gives the option to connect with relatives you may not know you have. You can decide whether you want to reveal your identity and full name or remain anonymous. You can choose to connect with relatives and the report reveals the likely relation to you. I had a long list of  3rd or 4th cousins that I could connect with if I want to.

You can also choose to participate in research to help them identify more common traits among people with your similar DNA traits. By participating you’ll unlock additional reports as well!

Get started and find out what your DNA reveals about you! Do you have wet or dry earwax? Do you sneeze when suddenly exposed to bright sunlight? Find out these and many more surprising things revealed by your DNA! Get your DNA kit at 23andme.