MY TIME IN KENYA. WHAT TO DO?

I have no idea how big and culturally different state by state is in Africa. When I was in Kenya, I stayed in a smaller town called – Thika, which is approximately 45 minutes away from Nairobi. I spent my time working together with a team who works for the children. There were 15 children in this home, where the kids live with their guardians (either grandmother or aunt/uncle).

During one of the days where we visited their homes, this grandmother took out their best food in the house (eg. eggs) and asked one of the children to go purchase milk. I noticed that they didn’t have much food in the kitchen, but they took out everything that was premium to serve us. They were not worried about the amount of food they have left. They just give unconditionally – this made me reflect on a couple of things. How we are in the mindset of protecting what we have, being careful about how we go about living, ensuring things are safe. My two weeks in Thika taught me to seek true happiness, sometimes we just need to have fun and laugh.

“Laughter cures all your troubles away” – someone very wise told me in Thika.

THIKA

A beautiful town is full of the most beautiful and heartwarming people. Take a Matatou, the local public transportation, which cost about USD10 to Thika from Nairobi. The experience of riding a Matatou is super fun – I love the Swahili music they play and the energy you get from the locals.

SEE

  • Volunteering with Jiamini CBO (Orphanage) – they are the sweetest bunch of crazy fun souls! I love them very much.

jiamini

  • Day trip to Umoja (beautiful women village), awesome story (watch the video) behind this village. Beautiful jewelry making that they do. If you would like to order their jewelry and donate some money to their cause – please do let me know.

umoja

On your way back, you may also stop at the Equator. equator

 

EAT

  • Spoon Zoom Restaurant
  • Amazon Restaurant

 

NAIROBI

Obviously, you would need to visit Nairobi – the capital of Kenya. We had a very short stay here in Nairobi as we were booked to head towards Masai Mara.  

SEE

  • All Saints Cathedral – have a cup of coffee/tea there – the trees are just simply amazing.
  • Giraffe Center – not a big fan of containment for animals – but Giraffe Center isn’t like a typical zoo. It’s open space for Giraffe. You get to feed them ^_^.

Giraffe Center

  • Rooftop view at Kenya International Convention Center (Helipad) – you get to see the entire city.
  • 3 Days @ Masai Mara Safari – highly recommend this! No words can justify the experience. MUST DO!safari

 

EAT

  • Al Yusra in the town center
  • Nook Café – my personal fav as they feature a special chef every now and then. It’s an amazing little spot!

nookcafe

 

The overall experience in Kenya made me realize there are so many other things in life that I have not fully learn and see. There was always this judgment that Africa isn’t safe, but I am lucky to say that Kenya (for me) is the happiest place I’ve felt on earth. People are just simply amazing and happy! Makes me miss them so much writing this… See you all soon! Sending you all lots of love and kisses!

BEING IN THE MOMENT

I believe that every country, every city teaches me, coach me to find more things about myself. It is still a constant change on my end to reflect – reflecting is the only way I get to learn. All three times that I was in Paris, it was the occasion of romance. 

Talking about romance, we all have a different perspective of what romance is. I certainly had an image in my head of what romance is. With that definition of what romance is in my head, there was no room for any other definition.

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WAY FAMILY RETREAT 2019

W.A.Y (Who Are You)  offers a new & unique family retreat concept to bring in different elements of wellness by integrating Art, Cooking, Healing & Yoga into a 3-day event. W.A.Y. Family Retreat will be held 29 to 31 Mar 2019 in a beautiful oasis just outside of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  Our objective is to find YOU – a balanced Body, Mind, and Soul which we often neglect, while also nurturing strong family bonds… We will spend 3 days (2 nights) nestled in nature at Titi Eco Farm, conducting wholesome sessions providing you and your young ones wellness education and experience, in a fun and fulfilling way.

 

WHAT IS INCLUDED?

* 2 Nights stay at 40 acre Organic Titi Eco Farm surrounded by lush hills

* 6 fresh & organic farm to table meals

* Adult Sunrise Yoga Sessions

* Sunset Family Yoga Session

* Meditation Sessions

* Energy Healing Sessions

* Art Workshop for Kids

* Discovering Who You Are

* Eat Well, Eat Fresh Cookery Demo

* Kids’ “Young Chefs” Cookery Demo

* Connecting with Nature: Kids’ Activity

* Family Tea Making Tour: DIY Tea Time

* Harvesting Your Food: Family Titi Farm Experience

 

NORMAL PRICE RM750.00 PER ADULT

NORMAL PRICE RM400.00 PER CHILD (6-12YO)

RETREAT VALUE WORTH: RM1800.00

Registration closes: 8 March 2019

 

INTERESTED?

TO REGISTER:

https://goo.gl/forms/noryxfEpMLDzjKSm1

FACEBOOK TO FIND OUT MORE:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1948437041938709/

 

 

AMAZING FRANCE

I have to admit that I don’t enjoy France that much, but it definitely has beautiful places outside of the commercialised cities.

BORDEAUX

Took a bus from San Sebastian, Spain over to Bordeaux, France. I chose to come here as I previously work with someone from Bordeaux and I wanted to see her cute town. I absolutely loved it!

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#JLHomeCook Vegan Bolinhas (Bean Balls)

Ready in 2 hours
Serves 6-8 people

Ingredients

  • 2-3 White Onions
  • 1 tsp of Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of Cumin
  • 3 tsp of vegetable oil
  • 2 Cups of Rolled Oats
  • 3 Cups of Soaked and Cooked Red Beans or Black Beans
  • A Handful of Basil
  • 6 Cloves of Garlic (Minced)
  • 3 Tablespoon of Tomato Paste (Home Cooked preferred)
  • 4-6 TBS of Olive Oil (Adjust it accordingly to the consistency)
  • 4 Cups of Water (I used the water that cooked the red beans)
  • 2 tsp of Paprika

Preparation

  1. Set Oven for 180C. Slice the onion into circles. place them onto the baking tray. Sprinkle cinnamon and cumin (or any other preferred spices) onto the top and bottom of onion. Bake them for 5 mins – rotate them to ensure spices are both sides.
  2. Place vegetable oil onto the pan, gently cook the onions until soft – add more spices to taste. Set them aside.
  3. Place the rolled oats in the food processor until a flour forms. Pour out the flour onto a bowl.
  4. Place the cooked onion (half portion) into a food processor and add the rest of the ingredients into the food processor (keep the flour the final ingredient to ensure there is enough liquid for blending). Blend till everything is well combined – you want to ensure the flour is fully processed.
  5. Begin rolling the beanball, use an ice cream scoop to ensure the consistency of the balls. I would highly recommend making smaller balls to ensure the cooking of the balls is easier inside.
  6. Once the balls are rolled, place them into the fridge for about 20 mins. Use this time to prepare the side dishes or sauce to compliment the balls.
  7. In a larger non-stick pan, heat the olive oil for 1.5 mins. Add your balls and cook for around 1 minute on each side. (Place them aside to drench the oil)
  8. Place the rest of the onions onto the tray, and add the balls on it and serve. Serve this with pasta, on their own or with salad.

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Tips

  • Be creative with how to serve the balls. If you are cooking with the sauce, place balls onto the sauce until the balls are cooked throughout. (You may increase the size of the balls if cooked this way).
  • Balls will last in the fridge, in a tightly sealed container for up to one week.
  • For homecooked tomato paste, I usually like to roast my tomatoes to sweeten the tomatoes before mashing them together with Basil, Oregano, and salt to taste.

#JLENDLESSTRIP – ARE YOU TRAVELING ALONE?

MANY PEOPLE ASK ME – ARE YOU TRAVELING ALONE?

It is probably the second most common question people ask me. Are you seriously traveling alone? YES – it is possible. I will be honest, you are never alone.

After arriving Galway, I decided to do the day trips. Did not have time to mingle with others from the hostel, I decided to head out to party by myself. Obviously, being a female traveller has its perks – you get many help along the way (as my backpack was super big for an Asian lady to carry). People often offer to help carry my backpack.

As I was walking into the bar – there was a random guy asking me about the time – I had a weird feeling that this isn’t that simple. And I was right – he then started a conversation about are you alone? Can I join you and your friends at the bar? Here I was trying to make an escape plan – I got creative and head fast on our way to the bar counter and asked a guy who was buying a drink to just pretend talking to me. It worked! He left.

I then ordered my favorite drink – Guinness and was sipping through my drink. Enjoying the live music and trying not to look like a sad loner. I quickly caught a girl who was also standing alone with her drink and started to cheers with her. Soon enough another guy and a girl (who are my lifetime friends now) joined and the fun night started.

Moral of the story : You are never alone when you are doing your solo travel. You just have to go outside of your box and make yourself feel uncomfortable sometimes to meet people. If you do not like your situation, you are in charge to walk out of it strategically. How your travel trip – who you meet – what happens … all these are within your hands. You create your own destiny.

TIPS TO MEET PEOPLE

  1. Download Couchsurfing APP – get a chance to meet locals and fellow travellers. You may want to stay with them to experience “Homestay” or you can simply just attend a hangout session. BE sure to take time to write your profile and read the profile of the people you are meeting. Read their reviews too!
  2. Checkout MEET UP – another online tool to meet locals and fellow travellers.
  3. Use Tinder to meet people who moved to the city you are visiting, I am always very curious on the reason behind why people love the city they move to. (Of course, it isn’t just a simple app for meeting people – you know what it is for)
  4. Stay at Hostels – don’t stay at hotels as it may get lonely – unless your intention is to relax and have some peaceful sleep. Stay in hostels, airbnb with the host – this way you get to meet different kind of people in different stage in life and learn a lot from them.

That is it for now. Safe travels!

 

WHY ARE IRISH PEOPLE SO HAPPY? TRAVELING THROUGH IRELAND

DUBLIN

Dublin for me was a beautiful capital city of Ireland, it is a typical capital – bars, restaurants, modern city has to offer. They have nature to offer too – parks and rivers are just simply breath-taking. Stayed here as I had to meet up with an old colleague. I call it my HAPPY TOWN as there are plenty of live awesome music, whiskey and Guinness around. It is all about DRINK DRINK DRINK! Local whiskeys to try : Bushmills and everything else.

 

SEE

  • Harcourt Street and just walk around getting lost and find amazing photos

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  • Saint Patrick’s Park

Dublin green park

  • Saint Patrick’s Cathedral – perfect place to chill out for lunch picnic!

Dublin church

  • Dublin Castle
  • The Oak
  • Guinness Storehouse

Dublin baby guiness

  • Molly Malone Statue
  • Trinity College Library – amazing collection

Dublin library

EAT

  • Hatch and Sons – perfect place for Brunch – must try their bread! Super good!

Dublin hatch food

  • Zakura Noodle & Sushi (missed my Japanese Food)
  • Bar – The Stags Head
  • Bar – O’Donoghues Bar
  • Bar – Devitts
  • Live Music – Whelan’s (this is where I discovered these awesome band)

STAY

DAY TRIPS – Giant’s Causeway

  • Before boarding – get your hot drink fix at Keoghs Cafe.
  • You have an option between Titanic Museum (below picture) or Belfast Political Black Cab – I would strongly recommend Belfast.

titanic museum

  • Belfast Political Black Cab Tour (such an eye opener) showcasing Peace Wall between Catholic and Protestant (I do not even know the difference).
  • Dunluce Castle (GOT Movie Set)
  • Giant’s Causeway (13 Degree) – ensure you have enough clothing for the weather change.

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  • Cute town called Bushmills

 

 

GALWAY

I loved Galway, I loved Doolin even more. Small town but you still get your music, Guinness and Whiskeys! I love the day trips organized to visit the other towns and it is SUPER AMAZING. Must visit!

SEE

  • Day Trip to Cliffs of Moher

cliffs of moher wide

  • Dunguaire Castle (where I discovered this super yummy chocolate!)

best chocolate ever

  • Doolin Town
  • Doolin Cliff Walks
  • Cliffs of Moher

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  • Ancient Celtic Cross
  • Leamaneh Castle (Legendary Irish woman with 25 husbands)
  • Poulnabrone Dolmen (5800 YO Tomb)

EAT

  • The Burgerstory – MUST TRY! Very cute place and great food!
  • Bar – The Kings Head (Amazing Live Band)
  • Bar – Murty Rabbitt’s
  • Bar – John Keogh’s – The Lock Kepper

STAY

I LOVED IRELAND! Irish people have a special place in my heart.

TRAVELING THROUGH WEST COAST ITALY

I have been to Italy many times now, I’ve visited the popular high traffic commercialized cities such as Rome, Venice, Florence and Milan. This time – I’m taking time to explore food through the West Coast of Italy traveling from South of France and head towards Africa from Sicily. Italy has always been the Eat Pray Love country for me, I took my time traveling through Italy. It would be endless long to write down my entire journey, but here would be my travel tips in summary.

TURIN

Turin is a beautiful peaceful place, I’ve only stayed 2 nights here exploring the town. Food is AMAZING.

SEE

  • Palatine Towers
  • Musei Reali Torino
  • Turin Cathedral
  • Piazza Castello
  • Piazza San Carlo

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  • Palazzo Carignano
  • Mole Antonelliana 
  • Teatro Gianduja – the building is amazing.

 EAT

  • Porto Di Savona Ristorante Torino – Try the Zucchini Stuffed with Ricotta Cheese. (This was prior to my Vegan Days) 
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  • Eataly – Slow Food Italia – awesome concept and food is good. 

STAY

  • Bamboo Eco Hostel – clean & good bathroom, good bed, good kitchen and hangout area to meet others.

 

 

CINQUE TERRE

CT is such a lovely beautiful place, it’s a must-go spot in Italy. If you love the ocean, beautiful views, hiking – this is the place for you.

SEE

  • Walk through the town of Vernazza and explore small alleys to discover beautiful views
  • Hike through Vernazza

ct_Vernazza

  • Take a ferry from Vernazza to Monterosso Al Mare
  • Swim and get tan in Monterosso and have lunch here
  • Take a train from Monterosso to Riomaggiore
  • Have a cocktail in A Pie De Ma, Riomaggiore
  • Hiking Trail in Riomaggiore is among the best (Sometimes closed) 

ct_hiking trail riomaggiore

  • Take a train to Manarola (time it for sunset) 

ct_manarola

 EAT

  • La Cantina Di Miky, Monterosso (Basil Pasta was super good) 

ct_basil Pasta

  • There is a very popular Ice Cream Store in Vernazza in the beginning of the small alley – you will see lots of people lining up to get ice cream. 

STAY

  • Ostello Corniglia – DO NOT STAY THERE! I had bed bugs attack there.
  • If you are on a budget, I would highly recommend that you stay at La Spezia area – which is a train ride from Cinque Terre. Ensure you know the train schedules to take the last train back to La Spezia.  

TRANSPORTATION

Ensure you get this Cinque Terre Card which allows you to use of ecological park buses, access to all trekking paths, wifi internet connection and unlimited train travel on the Levanto – Cinque Terre – La Spezia Line.

Price adults:

from 1 april to 1 november:

1 day Cinque Terre Train Card € 16

2 days Cinque Terre Train Card € 29

3 days Cinque Terre Train Card € 41

 

 

MODENA

Modena is another food town, here you would find the ultimate source for Balsamic Sauce, a town that celebrates food and history.

SEE

  • Palazzina Dei Giardini Modena
  • Ducal Palace of ModenaProcessed with MOLDIV
  • Millitary Academy of Modena
  • Torre Della Ghirlandina
  • Piazza Grande
  • Mercato storico Albinelli – very good market to check out Balsamic Sauce. This is my favourite brand of Balsamic! They are very good. 

modena_Balsamic Sauce

EAT

  • Osteria Francescana – Fine dining restaurant but you would need to book!

STAY

  • Ostello Modena San Filippo Neri – clean beds, good space, no common activities for getting to know people. Decent, central and good to sleep. Walking distance to bar, restaurants and the city. 

 

  

NAPOLI

Naples or Napoli is the city of Pizza! It offered me amazing food, amazing people and amazing views of the cities. There was definitely a lot more to explore here – and I would recommend to stay at least 4 nights here to explore day trips to Capri or Pompeii.

SEE

  • Galleria Umbertoi
  • Castel Sant’Elmo – super awesome view!

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  • Castle Nuovo
  • Piazza Plebiscito
  • Sant’Anna Dei Lombardi
  • San Gregorio Armeno – super cute street with things to buy and things to eat! 
  • There is a sea view at the end of the town which is beautiful.

naples sea view

EAT

  • Pizza a Portafoglio (Super Famous!)

modena pizza

  • Trattoria e Pizzeria ‘O Vesuvio (Neapolitan Restaurant – very authentic – super good pasta!)
  • Trattoria Da Nennella

STAY

  • La Controra Hostel Naples – It is a bit of a hilly walkway but it is one of the good ones. Clean beds, bathrooms, the reception peeps are the best. Great kitchen to cook too.

DAY TRIPS

  • Capri  – great day trip to a very cute island . It is an island where rich people live for a weekend getaway – yes I said LIVE. Houses here cost a BOMB! There was a beautiful estate on the top of the mountain that cost about USD13M. Nevertheless, get yourself immersed into this beautiful view from the top of Garden of Augustus. On my way back on the boat ride, the driver was kind enough to show us additional places of the island – blue hole which is beautiful.
  • Pompeii Trip – highly recommended trip! Please spare about half a day at least to walk around, I took about 5-6 hours. Strongly recommend that you purchase the audio guide – find someone in the queue to share as they have a promotion in which is cheaper to purchase two audio guides)
  • Cooking Class with Toffini Academy Corsi di Cucina  – entirely in Italian but you get a very authentic experience of the locals taking a cooking class. They have different teachers swinging by and putting together different courses. The facilities of the academy is beautifully designed and helpers to help you clean.

 

 

PALERMO, SICILIA

I lived in Palermo, Sicily for about 2 months, here are some of my fav joints and tips.

TIPS

If you are withdrawing from a Singapore Account – some ATMs would give you a higher credit of withdrawal – check around on the amount to withdraw before the actual withdrawal. 

SEE

  • Teatre Massimo – you can only view the place from outside – during some open day – you may enter. Took a few beautiful photos here.

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  • Quattro Canti
  • Cathedral di Palermo – must go to the rooftop!! 

rooftop

  • Capella Palantina
  • Night Stroll in via Maqueda
  • Fontana Pretoria

EAT 

There are many must try dishes here in Sicily. Caponata, Arancini, Cannoli are some of the important dishes you should try. Living here and having the locals show me different dishes – my two favourite local dish to eat would be – Sicilian Tuna Pasta and Tuna Meatball. They have it in most of the restaurants.

  • Osteria Lo Bianco
  • Trattoria Al Vecchio Club Rosanero (please reserve in advance) – this would be my favourite place to eat! 
  • Pacinotti’s (please reserve in advance)

DO

  • Cooking Class with Mamma Corleone – one of the most authentic cooking class experience I had.

cooking class

  • Take a road trip to Zingaro and have dinner at a beautiful town of Scopello – maybe stay there too. Here’s a view from Zingaro. 

zingalo

  • Take a road trip to Capo D’orlando and take a nice evening walk around the town of Capo D’Orlando. 
  • It’s a bit of a drive to this restaurant but it’s worth it. La Rotonda – Mushroom Specialist Restaurant, only locals will go to this place – get someone local to bring you here. Food is amazing and mushroom is superb! Call them up before heading there to reserve your spot. MUST TRY!
  • Take a road trip to Monreale – go up to the rooftop of the Cathedrale to get the beautiful sight of the town and visit this Bakery called Forno Litria.

STAY

  • Vespa B&B – operated by a couple (Italian + Korean), super clean, spacious, with lockers, WIFI, strategic location. Smack right in the town area. 

 

From Sicily, I departed with a Grimaldi ferry to Tunisia – take note that they do not have Tax Free counters here.

ferry to tunisia

That’s all folks! Italy is amazing and beautiful – I hope you enjoy it as I do.

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#JLHOMECOOK – PATTY’S KARE KARE

RECIPE

PATTY’S KARE KARE
Ready in 30 minutes

Serves 8 people

 

INGREDIENTS

3 Tablespoons Canola Oil

3 Garlic Cloves (cubes)

1 Medium Onion (sliced)

1 Banana Blossom

1-2 Tablespoon of Achuete or Annato Powder

2 cups of Coconut water (pure from Coconut)

1 cup of Olive water

3 cup of water

2 eggplants, sliced

½ Pumpkin (diced)

1 Hand full of Mushroom (diced)

1 Carrot (diced)

1 cup of Almond Milk

4 Tablespoon of Peanut Butter Creme

½ Tablespoon of Soya Sauce

1 Teaspoon of Salt

½ Tablespoon of Pepper

1 Teaspoon of Chilli Flake

½ Tablespoon of All Purpose Flour

Protein Source : A bowl of Tofu/ Mung Beans or White Beans

1 Small bunch long beans, cut to 2 inch slices, ends removed

2 Kale (cut)

3-6 Tablespoon of fermented black bean sauce (as condiment)
Preparation

In a large pot, saute garlic and onion with oil.

Add banana blossom, achuete till fragrant.

Add Eggplant, coconut water, olive water, and water.

Add in all other vegetables (except long beans and kale), let it simmer for 5mins.

Add in Almond Milk, Peanut Butter and stir.

Add in Soya Sauce, Salt, Pepper, Chilli Flakes to taste.

Adjust seasoning by adding more almond milk or peanut butter.

Add in All Purpose Flour, adjust to consistency.

Add long beans and kale and protein source (tofu/ white beans/ mung beans). Put to boil and turn off heat.

 

TIPS

Serve hot with rice / quinoa / millet and black bean sauce on the side.

Protein can be added into the rice instead – as per above illustration, Millet with Mung beans and all the additional vegetables.

 

SHARE WITH US YOUR PHOTOS AND YOUR VERSION OF THE RECIPE!
Contact Us if you would like for us to be cooking in your kitchen!

Email us : jolenelyc@gmail.com

LOVE IS A JOURNEY

Egypt teaches me so many aspects of myself.

I met someone when I went to Italy; he was the seed of my spiritual journey. When we were together, we have learned a lot about each other and ourselves through time that we shared. When I had to leave EU due to the VISA, we had a period of the long-distance relationship. I’m no fan of the long-distance relationship. In the end, we broke things off. It was a period of confusion, but it was the beginning of my spiritual journey of getting to know myself. A wise woman told me this many years ago that I need to learn from my relationships – but I was too arrogant to listen to it – wanting to just go with the flow. So when I reflected on what this relationship taught me – I think the biggest lesson was that there are different ways to truly love someone. Sometimes the right way to love them is to let them go.

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PAIN VS LIGHT

In my Journey of finding myself, I was reborn in Egypt. Many of you asked what happened there and what is this spiritual journey that I’m on… To give you a glimpse into some parts of the beautiful conversations I had. Here’s one of it that was deeply beautiful. In the conversation with Iten, one of my Egyptian sister – we shared many deep conversations – including this one about PAIN.

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TOP PLACES TO VISIT IN EGYPT

Egypt fulfills me – it will always be a special place in my self-discovery journey. Now let me show you why this place is a gem. 

CAIRO

Personally, Cairo is a combination of India and Southeast Asia, that was my first thought. It’s a big city that has everything you need – historical buildings, modern expat area, bustling traffic, cultural communities, traffic, and dust! I would recommend at least 2 full days to visit Cairo.

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