Herbs and Spices for Weight loss. Part 1



Natural Weight loss herbs

Natural Weight loss herbs

Late last year when my son turned 1, I decide to lose all the baby weight. Unlike the time before with so many failed attempts after my daughter was born, I decided that this will be different. I was also hoping that this will also support and motivate my husband to continue on his own weight loss. He was doing well on his own journey so far.  I did a bit of research and a mixture was concocted using ingredients we already had in abundance at home.

Below are a few herbs and spices that have amazing weight loss properties and I will follow this with the concoction my husband drank that saw him shed centimetres faster than if he had gone to the gym.

The mixture helped reduce appetite and saw fewer meals and craving and the amount of food he consumed was also reduced.

These ingredients will astonish you and they are all present in a good curry.

  1. Cayenne Pepper

    Cayenne Pepper

    Cayenne Pepper

For those of us who like I little heat in our food, this is almost always on the tray along with black pepper-more on the black pepper later. This pepper is filled with capsaicin; the compound that gives peppers their heat. It assist with the  fight against weight gain by decreasing calorie intake( you will eat less) and shrinking fat tissue therefore lowering blood fat levels. It also temporarily increases thermo-genesis in your body, where your body burns fat to create heat. This increases your metabolism and reduces fat storage. This is also great when you have flue.

  1. Cinnamon



I like to put a few sticks in my tea water along with ginger for variety but now I know the benefits are more than just taste. This spice helps to boost your metabolism and helps regulates blood sugar (this reduces cravings). Cinnamon has been found to significantly reduce blood sugar levels, triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes, as well as increase glucose metabolism by about 20 times. This is also great when you have flue.

  1. Black Pepper

    Black Pepper Groud

    Black Pepper Groud

Black pepper contains piperine, which blocks the formation of new fat cells. When combined with capsaicin and other substances, black pepper was also found to burn as many calories as taking a 20-minute walk. It also assists with the absorption of other vitamins and minerals.

  1. Mustard



Who does not like mustard on their hotdog? Mustard seeds have a thermo-genic effect which been shown to boost metabolic rate by 25 percent, which means you’ll burn calories more efficiently. In fact, just 3/5 teaspoon of mustard seeds daily may help you burn an extra 45 calories an hour.

  1. Turmeric



Turmeric’s active ingredient is Cur-cumin, which reduces the formation of fat tissue by suppressing the blood vessels needed to form it, and therefore may contribute to lower body fat and retard weight gain. It also improves insulin resistance, hyper-glycaemia, hyper-lipidemia, and other inflammatory symptoms associated with obesity and metabolic disorders.

  1. Ginger 



Ginger is another thermo-genic spice that also has anti-inflammatory properties and is known to help soothe and relax your intestinal tract. Ginger has an appetite-suppressant effect which will curb cravings and reduce the amount of food you eat


All these spices can be consumed dry and ground like the kind you get from the spice shelves in the grocery store or fresh from the farmers market. By incorporating these ingredients in your cooking you can make a difference on your waist line

My husband’s mixture

Husband's Mixture

Husband’s Mixture

Equal measures e.g. (teaspoon) of the following ingredients, with lemon and honey to taste in a glass of warm water.



Cayenne pepper


Do it your self face mask, the healthy option

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why spend a wad of money on store bought face mask with all the chemicals whose names you can pronounce when you can make your own at home, with ingredients that are already on your shopping list? And if you like me buy stuff and use it a few times only to dispose of it months later and repeat the cycle again all over again, this will help save you some money.

Below are masks made at home.download (1)

The first base for using all these masks is to wash your face with luke warm water. This will soften the dead skin and make the mask more effective. Oh! Remember, remember to always rinse twice and mask at least twice a week for good results. Don’t overdo it as you will be left in a far worse off position that you were in

Rooibos (Red) Tea mask

The mask will exfoliate and cleanse your face and is suitable for all skin types.

rooibos 3

Put a bag of rooibos (red tea) in hot, not boiling water in a basin for 5 minutes. Take the bag out and pore contents in to a cup and mix with a spoon of yoghurt or honey or a bit of both. Gently put the mixture on your skin and leave in for 10 to 15 minutes. Wash your face in the tea water in small circular motion to gently scrub your skin.

Banana mask


Half a ripe banana is mashed to a mask consistency and then put on the face, leave for 30 minutes and wash off.

Oatmeal Mask


Can be used by allskin types but more beneficial for oily skin,

Soak oatmeal in warm water for a few minutes then add honey or yoghurt or a bit of both. Put this on your skin and wash it off with warm water while making small circular motions to exfoliate your skin.


Sugar can be used to exfoliate the skin all over your body,

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Put a bit in your wash water when rinsing to get a matt finish or after washing your face put a few drops on a cotton ball and use as a toner.


A teaspoon full can be used as a mask for dry skin, or used as a night repair. Just put on about a teaspoonful and wipe of excess with a dry towel just before you go to bed.



Gratitude can do wonders for you

Some time ago I made a conscious choice to be grateful, to remember to recall my blessing not count them as counting will take too long as the Lord has been very generous with me. Now after the few months that I have had it seems I have been living a sheltered life without any cares but with great abundance. I was going through a tumultuous time and I thought I do not have the strength nor will I be able to make it through this time without any major scars, but my husband reminded me that I have actually been through worse even though I did not see it.
In his words he said I will put my bet on you anytime against the odds as you have come up against difficult times countless times before and you have won every time, so statistically chances are you will overcome.

This prompted me to take stock and I have won every time, I have a clean record against rough times.
I decided then that I will be grateful every day; I will find and declare my gratitude. This has been very helpful as a few months later and this has been the past 5 months; I have had some of the worst times of my life. I have through this time been the calmest I have been with great strength and courage. I have not blamed and have continued to recall my blessings as they are more abundant and countless yet to many not memorable while the hardships are so memorable we are hyperthymesiac about them.

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With my gratitude I have relinquished the burden of my troubles to the universe. I am not saying that they do not affect me negatively but that they are punctuations of my life and not pit stop in my life. I am grateful for this as with all that happened to me recently the burden is far too heavy to carry around and to keep asking why me would mean that I have now taken the responsibility to find out why, who and how come? Which I may never find out but will most definitely waste my time. I would not be able to return things to their previous state and would miss the chance to grow and learn from the situation.
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Choosing to recall my blessing and declare my gratitude has put me in a buffered life where I am touched by trouble but am not fazed, but I am firmly rooted and secure to the world whirl winds. Where before I was living a sheltered life and ”trouble” which really was small unsettling shook me and left be drained and hollow.
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Traditional Themed Invites

Traditional Themed Invites.

Make your small kitchen look bigger

Small Kitchen

If you have a small kitchen and would like to make it look bigger here are a few tips to help you that will not break the bank, considering the financial times we are in. First look at my previous post on Small kitchen Tips. Creating more storage area is relatively cheap and easy.

First you need to keep your surfaces clean of all dirt and blemishes then free up counter space, I know it’s very appealing for some to keep certain of their appliances (food processors, blenders, can openers, mixers etc.) on the counter for easy reach but storing them here makes the room look busy, cluttered and therefore smaller.

Use Sliding doors

Convert Kitchen Doors into Drawers

Sliding doors create more space in the passages and you can open more doors without reducing the space available for moving around. It also helps if you have those deep cupboards to install drawer cupboards when the shelves are pulled out, you can easily reach items stored in the back of the cabinet.

Sliding Doors

Increase space

High kitchen cabinet doors

If you currently have space above the cupboards consider installing more cabinets above them (Stacking). This frees up space in the cupboards below for the items that are regularly used and transferring those items you use seldom to the top cupboards

Increase the lighting

Consider under-the-counter lighting; the kitchen will appear larger. Use light colors when decorating, and lighten your cabinets and countertops. Add glass fronts to wall cabinets or replace solid cabinet doors with glass fronts along one wall. It will give the room a more open feeling, as light reflects off them. This does not have appeal for untidy people for obvious reasons but for those super tidy people with this is ideal

Where possible, enlarge windows and if possible move them to the east site of the room for maximum exposure to light and a beautiful view that will increase the aesthetics of the room

Under counter lighting and drawers

If your kitchen has walls to an adjoining dining room and you have some money, consider opening the wall between them to create an open plan. If you know that you will need your privacy in future, the wall can be replaced with folding sliding doors and you can decorate or darken them as you wish for when they are in use. This could be a do-it-yourself project if the wall is not load-bearing.

Folding Sliding Doors

Helpful hints to maintain your furniture good as new

Coffee and Walnut furniture fix

Rubbing a walnut over scratches on your furniture will camouflage knocks and scrapes in them, polish as normal. For the darker furniture a solution of instant coffee will do the trick let it stain, polish as normal

How to give furniture a crackled look

Crackled furniture

This technique is similar to the one mentioned in the previous post,https://ladulcelavie.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/improve-the-look-of-your-vases/ ,https://ladulcelavie.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/give-your-furniture-an-antiqued-or-distressed-look/and https://ladulcelavie.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/collage-table/.I have used it on trays and table tops to plates and bowls. The beauty of it is that you can add pictures to it.

Step 1: Apply the Base Coat

Crackling occurs naturally when the wood beneath an old, brittle finish expands and contracts because of fluctuations in temperature and humidity. Begin by applying a base coat of acrylic paint to an unfinished piece. Let dry. This stage is where you will add your pictures before you apply the base coat; you will use modge podge or glue to stick the picture on the furniture piece. Please remember that your pictures need to be transferred on to an 80gsm paper or less.  

Painted Crackled Furniture

Step 2: Apply the Crackle Medium

Apply crackle medium over the base coat with a brush. To create small cracks, use a thin coat. For larger cracks, apply a thicker coat and remember when you buy this to specify which size cracks you want as you get variable size cracks.

Step 3: Apply the Top Coat

After the crackle medium dries, paint over it with a top coat of different colour paint, using long, sweeping strokes. The process works best if the top coat is applied 2 to 4 hours after applying the crackle medium. When applying the top coat, avoid overlapping or re-stroking.

There are also filler paints available that will fill the cracks with a colour of your choice, like gold and brown depending on the item I’m cracking of course. To apply this put a small amount on a cloth and wipe gently over the piece, working in minor portions.

crackle paint has sizes

Step 4: Darken the Hardware

Hardware is often overlooked in the process of giving a reproduction an antique look. To darken shiny new brass or bronze hardware, brush on a commercial antiquing solution. As it dries, the chemical solution will darken the metal. Once the metal has darkened, use a pad of extra-fine steel wool to distress any areas.

Step 5: Seal the furniture.

After the crackle medium dries you will need to seal the cracks with a sealant that is not water based to prevent the cracks from dissolving when they come in contact with water.

Give your furniture an antiqued or distressed look

Distresse look furniture

A few years ago while in high school I learnt about antiquing, now when I look at this table that has been in the storage room for some time and I need to use it again but the is not budget I thought back to that. This technique is very simple and it gives furniture a character and best of all it can be used on just about anything from frames to tables and cupboards

Antique finish

The trick thought is making the worn effect realistic. To know where exactly to apply the worn effect, except for the edges try handles and areas that are handled regularly and to know what the history of your article is. That is has it been painted over and over before or has is just been painted once.

If your history is continuous painting you will need two different paints it preferred that the top coat be brighter than the top to get the full effect of the distressing and for the painted once effect you will need just one paint and the effect will reveal the bare wood below.


Layered didtressed look

Layered didtressed look

To preserve the genuineness of your colour choice for long, you will need to paint clear polyurethane over the finished project. A water-based polyurethane that won’t yellow over time and is therefore my best choice.

You will need to clean and sand down your chosen furniture before you start painting on it.


Paint the whole piece in the base coat colour you’ve selected then for the bare-wood look: When the base coat is dry, start sanding off areas that would naturally end up distressed do not get carried away with the sanding and sand too much of the paint off then wipe the furniture piece with a cloth.

Layerd detail

Paint the whole piece in the base coat colour you’ve selected, for the two colour look: Rub candle wax on the areas where you’d like to see colour show through. Don’t forget to do the sides and back; you want the entire piece to be finished. Then apply the top coat over the base coat and the wax, cover the entire furniture piece well. After the paint dries, rub the steel wool over the areas you’ve waxed, if you dip it in hot water it will be quicker and easier then wipe off the piece with the cloth.


Apply a finish if desired

DIY Epoxy Garage Floor coating.


Epoxy covered garage Floor


There are a number of nationally and international professional floor coating companies but installing your own epoxy floor coating can be cost-effective and gratifying. A garage, play room or lapa area might not be the show off room of your house, installing attractive floor coating can help make it more appealing. This is similar to the staining the concrete that was done in my previous post but for more heavy duty use. It comes in various colours so you can choose according to the rooms specific décor and colour scheme.

The various colours of Epoxy paint













Before you start, remove all furniture and items in the garage, clean the floor as best as possible and ensure the floor is level and roughly smooth by sanding if possible. Remove dust from cracks and corners to ensure that the Epoxy adheres to the floor as firm as possible, remove oil stains to the best of your ability then use either air-pressure or water-pressure spray the day before the application to ensure the floor is well dried, it is important to ensure that no moisture is still on the floor as this would not adhere otherwise.  If the floor was previously sealed or painted remove with the relevant remover well in advance. To test for this presence, pour a small amount of water onto the floor if it seeps in there is no sealant and if it doesn’t, and instead forms beads of water on top, the floor still has some sealant.

Vinyl Chip Epoxy Floor colour

Each of these preparation steps may be performed multiple times to ensure the whole surface is well prepared for priming. The process may take several days.

Mask of any areas that need to be protected with wide masking tape.

Please wear protective gear, it is essential to wear protective gloves, rubber boots, and safety glasses

Primer Application

Epoxy Floor Paint

Once the entire floor surface has been prepapred for coating, it is time to apply the primer. The primer is applied just like paint and allowed to settle for several hours before the epoxy goes on. This process is very simple and requires general painting tools, like a roller and a splash pan. Directions on the epoxy bottle should be followed, these may vary slightly between the different manufacturers but the generally go this way.

Apply the supplied EPOXYShield concrete etch and then rinse thoroughly and allow to dry completely, please note it will be easier to work in sections as opposed to  applying to the entire floor.Allow the floor to dry completely before moving on to the next step, this may take several hours.


Paint chips In the Paint

Depending on the manufacturer and the kind you have chosen, stir the contents of cans A and B and then pour A into B and mix well for approximately 3 to 5 minutes, then use a wide paintbrush to apply around the perimeter for a neat finish.

Pour epoxy into the paint tray. Insert the extension handle into the roller, dip in the paint tray and apply an event coating onto the surface working in small sections guarantees that the decorative paint chips will be scattered into the freshly coated surface.

Polishing off, the final touch

Do not use the area for at least 16 hour and make sure it is well ventilated

Tree Stump Table

Tree trunk with concrete top

  •  tree stump
  • Wooden frame for concrete mould
  • Wire meshing
  • Reinforcing bars


The base for the table is a fallen tree stump. To produce the custom concrete top, build a frame with a plywood base and 2.5cn x 12.5cm x 1.5cm in a shape of your choice. Reinforce the bottom with wire mesh and reinforcing bars as concrete is heavy and the table top may crack and fall. Cut a cross section of a large stump that will fit inside the frame. Fill the frame with concrete even with the top of the stump. Let dry for three days and then, remove the frame even out and polish. Clean the tree stump seal it and vanish (optional).

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