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Malindi Fashion Show Slays La Malindina

Elegance, glamour and splendor filled the ambiance of La Malindina Resort in Malindi during Malindi Fashion Show previous Saturday on International Women’s Day; celebrating phenomenal women all around the world. Not to mention, La Malindina was recently reopened 3 months ago after three years of shut down.

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Aldo Menduni (left), Scarlet Were (middle), Charity Karimi a.k.a. Stella Customized(right).

Italian Owner of La Malindina, Mr. Aldo Menduni, birthed the idea of the fashion show event partnering with the talented Fashion Designer, Charity Karimi owner of Stella Customized Kenya based in Malindi to showcase her fashion designs to potential International and Local clients who attended the esteemed event. Our African Queen, Scarlet Were was the special guest that night. Scarlet Were is the former Miss Universe Kenya 2016 who broke the record of becoming the first Kenyan and only African to make it to a top 6 placement out of 86 beauty queens at the Miss Universe Competition.

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On entrance, a hostess welcomed us with a white rose walking on red carpet floor heading for a welcoming photo session as the Photographer dutifully took photos. Stella Customized background banner and red carpet floor themed the venue of the fashion show. Both ladies and gentlemen were dressed impeccably. Majority of the guests who attended the event that night wore Stella’s elegant unique designs making them stand out from the crowd.

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Guests took their seats in the stunning restaurant ready for the fashion show to begin. A few minutes later, the tables were full as waiters were bustling serving delicious dinner. The murmur of conversation throughout the venue was distinctively Italian and English.

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Heliana Vogli; Italian lady who is one of Stella’s biggest client and supporter, was the MC of the event. She opened the welcoming speech honoring International Women’s Day.

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Young gorgeous models marvelously took over the runway strutting around the swimming pool. They all walked so confidently with so much elegance giving justice to Stella Customized classy designs.

First Round was showcasing Afro-beaded accessories from Vera’s designs. Chic and retro!

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Second Round showcased Stella Customized fabulous casual wear with Vera’s accessories.

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Third round showcased Stella Customized dazzling beach wear.

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Forth Round showcased Stella Customized elegant evening wear.

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Finally, the night’s showstopper Scarlet Were; Miss Universe Kenya 2016 made a special appearance on stage.

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Scarlet had her long black hair tied up in a ponytail sweeping back to her waist, glowing in flawless makeup, and dressed exquisitely in Stella Customized elegant shimmery low back dress that had a thigh high side slit and accessorized with a necklace piece from Vera’s accessories collection. She effortlessly walked through the stage leading the runway like the African Queen she is as the rest of the models followed her lead.

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Guests were amused by her presence as photographers snapped her pics like paparazzi. Scarlet gave a touching speech to close the Malindi Fashion Show that explained her crown of valor. The message she sent was to break stereotypes of objectifying beauty queens against lecherous gazes on runways especially. Bravely opening up about her background as an orphan, challenges in her journey to top 6 of 86 position in Miss Universe Kenya. She added that Kenya does not have any financial advantage it was through her own financial effort that she succeeded. Also, she talked about how she started her Shades of Life Foundation and since Malindi is sadly known to be a drug  and prostitution avenue, she would want to use her platform to raise awareness against drug abuse especially among youths and empower young girls by raising awareness against prostitution and mentor them to divert attention from ill-fated social behaviors.

“My brother unfortunately became hooked to drugs and the damages completely changed his life. Which is why I started the Shades of Life Foundation to raise awareness against drug abuse among youth. Also, I own a lipstick line called Scarlet Lipstick Collection which Contributes to the Shades of Life Foundation with every purchase of lipstick.”

Charity Karimi – Stella Customized

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Charity Karimi a.k.a. Stella Customized Kenya is an inspiring fashion designer in Malindi originally from Embu. Charity was born below poverty hence learning tailoring at 12 years old as a survival talent. In 2012 she launched her cloth line named after her daughter Stella; Stella Customized. Malindi was best choice for her ever since she moved for work 14 years ago and for being a serene town best for creating. Scarlet and Charity happened to share a multitude of things including style and empowering trait. For that reason, she chose Scarlet to be her brand ambassador.

Through online and offline marketing she has managed to get both Local and International clients. Moreover, she has taken part in many fashion runway events in Kenya including Swahili Fashion Week among others.

Charity not only gives free fashion and design training to a handful of young girls but also  hires young models for photo-shoots and runways to empower them. Adding to her passion to encourage women and empower young women to embrace their beauty and use their beauty for a good cause. Moreover, as a business woman in the tourist sector, Charity offers sustainable fashion using her patch works as statement pieces to avoid littering. Also, she collaborates with women from the beach.

Today, Stella Customized has recognition that has exceeded her expectations. Soon, she will be attending Botswana Fashion Between Borders.

Charity has a message to young girls,

“You always have a choice. Set your goals, have faith and be ambitious. Look at the bigger picture. Success will come when you are determined to win. Do not give into temptations or let poverty define you.”

To revive Malindi, Charity reckoned that readily available resources in Malindi need to be properly utilized by youth and investors in Kilifi County who need to work collaboratively to uplift the tourism in Malindi.

In a nutshell, everything about the Malindi Fashion Show was divine. Aldo commended the number of attendees at Malindi Fashion Show – 70 guests – as a big turn out for Malindi.

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Photo Credits: Rogim Photography.

Live|Love|Slay

Karibuni Villas Getaway – Malindi, Kenya

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KARIBUNI is Swahili name for ”Welcome All” in English.

LOCATION

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Karibuni Villas is a classic beachfront villa in Mambrui consisting of 150 private beach villas and a resort which can accommodate about 200 guests; approximately 12 KM North of Malindi town (20 minutes drive) past Sabaki bridge near oldest Mambrui Village. You can easily access the villa by car/ taxi/ shuttle/ tuktuk from Malindi Town. Moreover, Karibuni Villas provides shuttle services for guests starting from a minimum of  5 guests KES 600/- each or 10 guests KES 300/- each. If you need a quiet and peaceful place to stay away from the city hubbub, Karibuni Villas is for you!

ARRIVAL AND CHECK-IN

Karibuni Villas was the perfect getaway for me last week, hence, I am honored to give you an insider’s peek of the spectacular villa.

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Entrance to the Villa after a tight security pass at the main gate, Karibuni Villas has a grand compound with ample and secure parking space, a roundabout leading to the reception with an attractive fountain that is mounted on its perfectly trimmed star-shaped lush grass and sand filling the spaces. Eight country flags (Kenya included) are aligned at the entrance of the villa. A Concierge carried my luggage while ushering me into the villa’s opulent 24-hour Reception for my 12:00 p.m. check-in (check-in is at 12:00 p.m. and check-out at 10:00 a.m.).

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The high ceiling and lobby space creates a welcoming atmosphere mirroring the true meaning of the Villa’s name, KARIBUNI, as it boasts a Maasai statute whereas a plush period sitting area is popped by quality white furnishings and Maasai wall paintings appreciating African culture.

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The receptionist warmly welcomed me as he handed over to me my villa key with full information of the available facilities and activities time & location. Excitedly, I strolled to the large outdoor swimming pool centered between Chui and Tembo restaurant as directed by the receptionist since it is visible from the reception lobby.

SWIMMING POOL AREA

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That has got to be the main attraction of Karibuni Villas because of its unique creative style with two pairs of enormous white elephant tusks similar to the famous aluminum elephant tusks boasted in Moi Avenue of Mombasa town which is one of the town’s attractive landmarks. It intrigues a sense of being in my hometown, Mombasa, as the elephant tusks were initially commissioned to commemorate the visit of Queen Elizabeth in 1956 when Kenya was still part of the British Empire!

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I would recommend that you come and have a dip into their refreshingly clean swimming pool as you get the feeling of Mombasa right here in Karibuni Villas for amazing pictures of their incredible elephant tusks. Also, to confuse people a little in this hideout.

TEMBO RESTAURANT

Karibuni009Karibuni010Right ahead of the stunning swimming pool, is a huge amphitheater that leads you directly to Tembo Restaurant of which is also marked by two gorgeous white elephant tusks on its entrance. The creativity of the restaurant’s name, Tembo, is quite impressive as Tembo Swahili meaning of elephant tusks is synonymous to alcohol.  Moreover, Tembo restaurant bar is designed to serve a range of drinks and beverages; both alcoholic and non-alcoholic served with potato/cassava crisps. Also, tea is served in here  everyday at 5:00 p.m. with snacks.

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Tembo restaurant next to the large amphitheater.

In addition, this restaurant offers A LA CARTE menu to all guests the opportunity to choose from a menu of meat cooked on the grill and the best of the Indian Ocean can offer: lobsters, crabs and other crustaceans presented in choreographic preparations.

Nevertheless, guests can lounge in the spacious restaurant completed with high-quality white furnishings and a flat screen TV to kick back and relax while watching your favorite series and movies. Bookworms are not discriminated either as there’s a small book shelf strategically placed next to the TV with a wide selection of novels.

CHUI RESTAURANT

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Stunning Cheetah painting representing Chui Restaurant. Chui is Swahili name for Cheetah. The wall painting is located between the ladies and gents toilets in the restaurant.

Chui restaurant is located on the left side of the pool.

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The Chui Restaurant’s buffet services will tempt you with Italian & exotic specialties with a wide selection of mouth-watering appetizers, good Italian and international dishes, meat and fish accompanied by rich side dishes of fresh vegetables and other specialties. Desserts include cakes, fresh vegetables and tropical fruits such as papaya, mango, pineapple, cakes, espresso or tea and a wide range of fine Italian and South African wines. Once a week special Swahili dinner such as samosas, mchicha, chapatis, ugali and many other specialties. KARIBUNI!

Amazingly, Chui Restaurant is very spacious in that you can host wedding lunches or events as it can accommodate a lot of people. I love how the white furnishings and leaves décor pops the restaurant.

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FOOD

Among the meals that I ate are healthy portions of fish sauce pasta & pineapple juice, chips & fish, ugali with chicken & kachumbari and rice with fish (tomato curry on the side), as I still try more meals; a taste of different cuisines. Prices are affordable ranging from KES 500/- to 3000/-

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Fish-sauce pasta with pineapple juice
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Chips and fish
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Ugali and 1/4 chicken
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Rice and fish + tomato curry

RESORT

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Karibuni Villas Resort’s guest rooms are each equipped with a functioning A/C & fan – NEEDS! – a flat screen TV with satellite reception, a mini fridge to store your refreshments, kettle complete with a double bed, spacious closets an en-suite bathroom. It’s a decent size for a couple/friends/bachelor/bachelorette. The resort rates are pocket-friendly with single guest rooms ranging from KES 4,000/- to 6,000/- and double KES 7,000/- to 11,000/- depending on the meal plan you choose. Laundry services are provided at an additional cost.

Furthermore, some rooms are equipped with a chilling area.

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BEACH VILLAS

The beach villas consist of one or two bedrooms of your choice, a bathroom and a comfortably, furnished living room which is combined with a kitchen corner. Self-catering facilities are provided in the kitchen corner complete with cooking utensils and crockery at affordable rates; KES 6,000/- for a one bedroom and KES 8,000/- for a two bedroom. Laundry services are provided at an additional cost.

FACILITIES

Boutique: There is a small boutique with a selection of high quality handmade African clothes, sandals and accessories which many guests buy as souvenirs.

One of the most unique facilities offered at Karibuni Villas, is a prayer room (near the tennis court) readily availed for us Muslims to help us not to miss any of our Fardh (compulsory) prayers and read Qur’an.

Outdoor Facilities: In addition, Karibuni Villas outdoor activities is also included in your stay; Boccia game, Tennis Court, and a fully equipped & functioning gym to maintain that sexy summer body.

More so, the open space with good ventilation and fans in the gym room despite the hot outdoor temperatures attracted me to work out!

Needless to say, it is one of Karibuni Villas strategies to get younger people to come and enjoy their all-inclusive outdoor facilities.

ACTIVITIES

For Karibuni Villas, they utilize their Pizzeria by hosting Pizza night every Sundays from 8:30 p.m. That Sunday night, I witnessed their talented chefs in the open kitchen pizzeria making a wide assortments of pizzas from scratch from their eco-friendly oven served hot! It was yummilicious!!!!!!!

Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Karibuni Villas utilize their amphitheater space to host movie night and parties respectively.

Sea and Land excursions are also offered at Karibuni Villas on booking. Get adventurous and feed your eyes and soul with divine views of the Kenyan Coast!

Not to mention, valentines day (yesterday) was a ball. After a delicious buffet dinner, we watched Italian guests acting drama scenes and dancing at the amphitheater and of course, we joined the fun!

BEACH

Karibuni Villas beach has a stunning private beach carpeted with sparkly brown sand dunes and blessed with clear blue water, secure from beach boys. Grab yourself a book or a relaxing playlist as you peacefully chill in their sunbeds under a makuti shade attaining full tranquillity!

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To be honest, Karibuni Villas is a great choice for families or groups of friends wishing to enjoy beach holidays. Also, perfect for weddings, Organization/club meetings, parties e.t.c. simply because Karibuni Villas offers the best space, atmosphere and facilities.

Contact +254724215418 for bookings.

KARIBUNI!

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LIVE| LOVE | LAUGH

Hello 2019: Taking Stock 2018

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Happy New Year Peaches! 2019! I am thankful for the gift of life and health from the Almighty granting us all access to 2019.

2018 has been a hell of a rollercoaster. Revelatory to say the least. To be fair though, I’ve had some great moments and met phenomenal people hence I appreciate it. All I’m trying to do right now is focus on the good and positive things that 2018 blessed me with but not dismissing the bad moments either. Those are the ones that have shaped me into who I am today. Not bitter at all, but better, composed, stronger and wiser. ‘Never a failure, always a lesson.’

2018 adventures and events:

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Zip lining. One of the most thrilling adventures in 2018!
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I made new friends. Cool fun people to be around.
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Laughter and good vibes
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I attended candid conversations and met my all time favorite Kenyan Lifestyle Blogger ~ ThisisEss!
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At the Candid Conversations event, I met phenomenal women who made me feel empowered.
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I got the luxury to stay at Watamu Treehouse. One of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in Watamu. Made me realize that I love nature and art.
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I did yoga for the first time at Watamu Treehouse. It was a new elevating and therapeutic experience.
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First time seeing a whale with my naked eyes! I went whale watching at Hemingways in Watamu. Such humongous creatures. I wish I could swim with them.
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The bubble Suit at Rock and Sea in Watamu totally wowed me! The interior, set up, nature views! I was lucky to be there in the hidden gem thanks to Stephano who is the Manager. Also, one of the nicest people I have met in Watamu.
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Rock and Sea bubble Suit. Eye candy
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Attended Breast Cancer Awareness walk. It gives me joy to make a difference in someone’s life. I am also happy to have been a part of Rotaract Club Malindi. Very enlightening!

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Attended Youth Innovation event at United Nations in Nairobi through Rotaract Club Malindi – I met brilliant youths that were an inspiration.
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I attended the historic Sustainable Blue Economy Conference as a delegate at KICC in Nairobi, Kenya. It was educational and it was a privilege to be in the same room with very prominent persons. I am loooking forward to conserve our country’s Blue Economy!
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When I see women in power, it gives me joy and hope in changing the narrative of women in power. We need more women in power for a better future for the girl child.

 

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Collaborated with Aaliya (Imakeuplikethis) and Shahista (makeupbyshahista). It was a first Halloween make up for me and I totally enjoyed it!
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My girl Farhana launched her clothline and I will always support my friends so it is also the highlight of my year, because I love seeing my friends winning and I am always here for it. So proud of her!

 

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Attended Farhana’s pop up shop to support my girl. She has an amazing collection!

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I partnered with Watamu Transfer Tours and Safaris (still do). Through them, I am learning a lot especially when it comes to our wildlife Conservation and the Tourism Industry. Hence why I want to learn more languages. Through them also, I found my passion and for that I am grateful!
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The first people I met through Watamu Transfer Tours and Safaris. Such beautiful and talented souls!
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Watched dolphins for the 3rd time. It was one of the best dolphin views with a whole pod of dolphins swimming, diving, and jumping with joy. I’m still yet to swim with them. 2019 goal!
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I did snorkeling for the umpteenth time. Swimming while enjoying views of beautiful fish, corals, and all that’s glittery underwater is one of my favorite things to do
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Breakfast at the beach. It should be a lifestyle! Amazing views
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I met such wonderful people at Watamu Treehouse. Barbara is a total sweetheart!
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I learned a new water sports. Stand up paddling at Mida Creek in Watamu. It was intense work out in the scorching sun but totally worth it. Of watersports adventures!
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Mida Creek Adventures

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SUP sundowners! Amazing!
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One of the best most therapeutic experiences in my life was yoga meditation on water. I came out feeling brand new and healed. My mind is clearer than ever. Worked like magic.
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Shamsa got engaged! She’s more of a sister than a friend. Words cannot explain how happy I am. May Allah bless your union as we wait for the big day!
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And I slayed!! Favorite outfit of 2018. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication!

A few important lessons I learned the hard way in 2018.

  1. Observe not absorb.  Being empathetic makes me question if it is a curse or a blessing because I can get sucked up into people’s energy and moods. I get so concerned with hurting peoples feelings more than I do care about mine. That has to change because it’s suffocating.
  2. It is okay to be selfish. A hard one and a bold one too. I came to the realization that you can lay down for people and they will still say your back is not flat enough. Favorite quote because it summarizes everything I have to say about it.
  3. Create boundaries. Walk away from disrespect. It is always so hard to walk away from people we love regardless of how they treat us sometimes. But there’s always a limit. We should stop making excuses for people’s ill behavior, unfiltered words, cheaters, liars, pretenders and back stabbers. Speak up, confront where need be and do not entertain anyone’s disrespectful behaviors towards you. We have to accept that some people will never respect you because they don’t respect themselves. Save yourself from such people.
  4. Financial independence is empowering. So is emotional independence. If you manage to achieve those two, you will live  a more peaceful life. Be your own sugar dad
  5. Empowering women and conservation initiatives are vital in the world for better livelihood.
  6. Follow your passion. Life is too short to work in a field you are not interested in, a waste rather. Also, I learned that it is never always about the money, but what gets your creativity wheel spinning!

Incase you didn’t notice, I took a long break from social media sometime in February 2018. As dramatic as it sounds, I was about to lose it! I could not focus. My mind was all over the place. My brains were about to fall out. I had to take a break. I could not form a sentence let alone think right or through things. I cannot really explain what I was going through because wild events were happening in my life back to back like the devil was on a mission to end me. I had to quit so many things and people dear to me to get my peace of mind; to save myself. Shockingly, I took a bolder step by moving  to a totally new place where I knew literally nobody – Watamu. Honestly, I needed some quality time alone to regain my sanity. Luckily, I got a job at Watamu Treehouse and ever since, Watamu has become my new founded home. Proudly, I can say that I have found inner peace. It’s not about the people, rather, the place itself; A hidden gem. Exploring and more.

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Here I am, today I can think somewhat clearly with no background noises of what if’s n whys. It’s peaceful in my head. However, I am still working on sharpening my listening skills. I am still adjusting my focus. I am still trying to find a way to forgive people completely and forgive myself for hurting people in the process. All I can say is, I don’t have it all figured out. I am a work in progress just like you and I. I might look like I have it all figured out but I’m far from that. Which is why I had to speak out when I was breaking silently for people to understand that I am only but human needing support just like I would support people who needed me. But I work everyday to improve on myself and learning to love myself and people I care about more fiercely. Most importantly, I am trying to work on stabilizing my emotions.

I hope 2019 is going to be a fruitful and prosperous year for everyone. Make everyday count and never lose hope.

To more adventures, new ideas, successful businesses, investments, travel destinations and healthier relationships.

Happy 2019 Peaches!

Live | Love | Laugh

MY 25th BIRTHDAY❕

Hello Peaches!

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Hello Peaches! My name is Habiba but you can call me Byba. I just turned 25! My birthday was on 17th October -last Tuesday – and it turned out Fabulous! 25 is sort of a huge deal to me so I decided to go ham on it. I normally don’t throw parties nor dinners for any of my birthdays because I wait to be surprised or just end up doing something random like go out with my friends. Needless to say, I can be frugal and a little passive aggressive so I normally don’t bother much. But for once in my life, I decided to do something memorable for my 25th birthday; Hashtag Treat yourself! I randomly chose Dusitd2 Nairobi Soko restaurant as the venue for my birthday dinner and made a list of a few close friends in Nairobi to celebrate with. A handful didn’t turn up but the special ones who did made it A1! ♥️

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I had my red bandage dress ready and black stilettos. Hanako did my make up of which I totally loved the simple look.

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You guys should see the look on my friends’ face when they saw the dinner table all decorated with confetti filled balloons, Gold helium filled letter balloons and crowns on the table. The set up was absolutely beautiful. I’m glad I came across DopePartyke on Instagram for my birthday decor.

‘There’s a photographer too? Habiba what’s going on?’ One of my friends asked. I could see all of them filled with curiosity. Plot twist! I ended up surprising them instead! Yes, I was a little extra inviting Tintseh the photographer and he did not disappoint! My pics came out amazing and flawless!

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The food was exquisite, however, a little too gourmet for ‘some of us’ who are not that adventurous. It was a great idea to pre-order a starters meal for everyone because the food takes forever to be served. On the starters menu though, I liked the humus and ceaser salad. To be honest, I did not enjoy the squid of which was a lot mhhhh. On the main meal menu, I ordered seafood fettuccine which tasted okay then. I was overwhelmed I guess but I took it as take out and had it for lunch at work the following day and it was Oh so damn good!

The dessert was my birthday cake of course!  By the way, you get charged Kshs. 1,500 for exclusive birthday cakes at Dusitd2 Nairobi Soko restaurant. My birthday chocolate cake was so pretty and it matched the taste and the lips n crown toppings from DopePartyKe fit so perfectly! Thankfully, Shazila did a spectacular job. Just how I wanted it to be (Like it was on Pinterest, lol). I’ll drop her contacts if anyone is interested.

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Guess what l wished for?
So I’m that legit social butterfly who does not have one particular squad but different friends with totally different personalities. It was also a good thing to see them mingle. I was a little sceptical on how awkward it would be but to my surprise, everyone got along pretty well in that short amount of time we spent together as it was filled with so much fun, joy and laughter!

Oh and selfies! Lots and lots of selfies!

I was all sorts of happy. It was LEGENDARY! Thanks to everyone who made it amazing! I love you all. ♥️

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Mantra: Live… Love.. laugh! To 25!🎉

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