Yinka’s Braids – A Review

Hello my Cakers, Bakers and Beauties!

This post is a review on hair styling services by Yinka of Yinka’s braids.

Selfishly I almost didn’t write this post because I don’t want Yinka to get so busy that she can’t do my hair anymore. However that’s not really supporting a sista now is it?  I met Yinka at NHW 2014 in London, we had a lovely chat and we exchanged business cards. I liked her work illustrated on her card so a few months later I gave her a call.

I wanted my hair to be canerowed and two-strand twisted without extensions, Yinka explained that as she currently does not have a salon she is unable to offer “wet services” that was fine with me, so we made an appointment and around a week later I detangled, cleansed and conditioned my hair,  hopped on my bike and made my way to Yinka.

  Yinka’s place is welcoming, clean and comfortable. Before getting started on the actual styling Yinka assessed the health of my hair and gave me a mini consultation. Yinka is natural herself and has fine hair – like me so she understands the struggles of not making the hair look “gappy” once the style is finished, in addition Yinka is sooo gentle. I’m used to my natural hair being handled roughly by braiders because they are not used to – or don’t like dealing with natural hair. A lot of braiders are only concerned about the finished look of the style and are not concerned about the health of your hair or damage from manipulation. Yinka did not insist on working on dry stretched hair, she was happy to work on my hair while damp and only used a comb for parting, any tangles we came across along the way Yinka gently finger detangled them just like I would.

PicMonkey Collage (4)

These small fine canerows did not hurt a bit and I loved the style so much, it was a lovely protective style, as you can see I also wore my twists in a bun to protect my ends even more. Since my first appointment I have seen Yinka regularly for twisted and braided styles. Prices start from £20.00 but are individual and based on the length of your hair or extensions and the complexity of the style, I can confirm that Yinka’s prices are very reasonable and very good value for money.

Yinka also braids with extensions and installs kinky twists, Men and children are also welcomed for hair styling services.       I know many of you twist/braid your own hair but I do not have the skill to style my hair as neatly or quickly as Yinka can – even if I could I wouldn’t do it because I don’t believe we are designed to do styles on our hair that take more than an hour maximum. If we were supposed to style our own hair for hours and hours we would have been born with an extra set of eyes to enable us to see the back of our heads clearly ( I don’t know where these eyes would be placed)  and we would have a different type of shoulder joint so our arms didn’t ache so much.

Jokes aside I honestly believe that hair dressing and styling especially of natural African/Afro/Black/highly textured hair should be a special bonding experience. Hair is very personal and has spiritual meaning for a lot of people. In some cultures including my own there are many beliefs related to hair and you are warned not to let just anybody handle your precious tresses.

Ms Yinka Herself.  photo credit Yinkas Braids

Ms Yinka Herself.
photo credit Yinkas Braids

I am very happy to continue to have my hair styled by Yinka and she is extremely talented at what she does, Yinka is happy to chat while she works if you want to talk but she can also sense when I’m too tired to talk or I’m engrossed in my book, there’s no pressure to keep talking the whole time.

To see more photos of Yinka’s work and to like her facebook page – click here

Yinka is based in London and can be contacted on 07869554529.

@yinkas_braids on Instagram

Thanks for Reading




House of Loulee!

Hi My Cakers  Bakers and Beauties!
Sorry I’ve been away so long! I explained my absence in my last post and then when my internet was finally back on, I had to prepare for so many interviews and occupational assessments (numerical, verbal and literacy exams plus a stupid role play) as I’m applying for many new roles within my company including having to reapply for my OWN job which I have been doing for 2 years now! Anyway I don’t want to dwell on all of that as it’s finally over and all I’m doing now is waiting to hear back from them, I was so stressed and nervous my face broke out, I got rashes on my neck/chest and my belly was not right!  (sorry)
House of Loulee 3
With out further ado I’d like to introduce HOUSE OF LOULEE! H.O.L.L is primarily a brand specialising in children’s apparel and soft toys however the fantastic creator/owner and designer also makes clothes for really big kids (like me)!
House of Loulee 2
For a couple of years I’ve been seeing these beautiful garments and toys around and they were so unique in their construction and quality I really wanted to buy something but I don’t have any children… After doing a bit more research and going to a few events I actually met Lucy the mastermind and genius fingers behind H.O.L.L and learned that they have a range of jumpers for children and adults called Honourable Hoodies, in addition they can create one of a kind bespoke garments for adults upon request.
This is me in My Red Butterfly House of Loulee Hoodie and matching hair bow.

This is me in My Red Butterfly House of Loulee Hoodie and matching hair bow.

This is just a pose, obviously I don't bake in my Honourable Hoodie!

This is just a pose, obviously I don’t bake in my Honourable Hoodie!

Below is the description from the House of Loulee website, but still head over there and check everything out for yourself:
House of Loulee is an online store specialising in beautifully handmade items for kids aged 0 months to 12 years with all outfits and gifts inspired by wonderfully vibrant 100% Cotton African Wax Prints. The nature of the prints H.O.L.L use capture the fun and excitement children naturally have every day, therefore why not encourage their spark by making sure their dressed comfortably and smartly with the twang of these colourful peace’s, which also come specially sewn to grow with your child. So check your child’s size on the Loulee size chart and get shopping to keep them looking and feeling sharp in the summer and warm in the winter. http://www.houseofloulee.co.uk
I (Lucy) am the designer and creator of all H.O.L.L garments which are inspired by wonderful vibrant 100% cotton African Wax prints. I aim to create original children’s garments and unique tailor made couture dresses and gowns (available on request). All items are handmade by me and available to buy on this site therefore if you every have any questions, special requests or just some help with ordering please just give me a call and I ‘ll help you get it sorted. 
House of has been a long time in the making after I was offered a place at the London School of Fashion but at the time was unable to to attend therefore it has always been at the fore front on my mind to start my own clothing label. Based in East London the cultural diversity I was born into and brought up around has given me great inspiration enhancing my love for fashion and design.With new garments added to the website regularly shopping with House of Loulee will keep you and your family in fantastic style every season. The  vibrant colourful African prints will keep you looking and feeling sharp in the summer and warm in the winter. Please take a look at our online store which currently features my children’s collection which seems to be increasing every couple of weeks, also keep an eye out for the launch of Loulee Couture Dresses because once they are here they are sold on a first come first served basis, as they are simply one of a kind.

House of Loulee 5House of Loulee 8              House of Loulee 7

Here are a few pictures of Me and my Husband in House of Loulee, these pieces were created especially for us, you should contact House of Loulee if you want something similar, please remember these are handmade couture items and you have to pay for quality, That said, prices are not prohibitive and House of Loulee is EXCELLENT value for money.







I paid for all my House of Loulee items with my own money and this is a completely honest review.

Take Care

Luv Sian


Project Embrace, The Look of Love May 18th 2013.

Hi Everybody,

Last Saturday was the launch of Project Embrace, & I was fortunate enough to be invited to showcase my fledgling business

 Cater To Your Senses

This is their description of the project and it’s aims:

“Project Embrace™ challenges the narrow perception of beautiful hair. We inspire girls and young women to love, embrace and celebrate everything about themselves including their own hair and reject the narrow ideals of beautiful hair.
To promote the idea that there is more than one way to have beautiful hair, Project Embrace™ will be taking out billboards around London and other UK cities, and featuring black models with Afro textured hair on them.Please feel free to donate to the campaign via their Facebook page.Project Embrace™ will be calling on the UK Government to look into regulating the sale and use of chemical hair relaxers and extensions, by placing an age restriction on their use, with a total ban for their use on children, until the age of 16 for hair extensions and 18 for relaxers.We also organize workshops for young girls and women on how to care for natural hair as well as developing and improving a healthy self image, because we strongly believe that a positive self image leads to high self esteem.

I know we do not need any psychologist telling us this but according to the American Psychological Association, the most important factors to happiness and well-being is self-esteem.”

I totally support this project and so I was delighted to be part of this amazing event. The event took place on 18th May 2013 at the Yaa Asentewaa Arts Centre in Maida Vale, West London.

I was so nervous as this would be the first event at which I had a stall. I had started preparing for the stall weeks in advance by buying items I didn’t already own, such as a very large table cloth, cash box and colour coordinated napkins. I didn’t know how many attendees there would be and I was agonising constantly about how many cupcakes to make, I didn’t want to go home with any cakes left at the end of the day but I didn’t want to sell out too quickly either.

In the end after changing my mind about a billion times I finally decided to make 120 cupcakes. I chose my current best selling flavours : Banoffee (with and without whipped cream),


Chocolate and Hazelnut &  Chocolate and Cherry,


Oreo, Vanilla


Coconut and Lemon & Red Velvet


My day began at 6am, I woke up,  got ready and fussed and flapped about for an hour or so before my lovely Mummy turned up and we were off for the day. My Mum had volunteered her Saturday to help me and hubby at the event.and Carrot Cake (Gluten-Free) . No Photo sorry.

I was too nervous to even eat breakfast! In fact I was so nervous I dropped two boxes of cakes! Luckily I had stored them in the fridge over night and the decorations had set, so I was able to turn them upright in the boxes with minimal damage.

I had used larger boxes than normal and bought them from a new supplier, unfortunately there were no support ” legs” in the centre of the cardboard divider like there are in my normal boxes, these cardboard legs prevent the dividers from touching the bottom of the box, you need a gap between the divider and the base of the box  so that the cakes are individually sitting snugly in little hole, without that gap the divider is just a flat circle and the cupcakes are not stable which is why all mine toppled over when I dropped the box! I’ve learned my lesson now and will be sticking with my usual supplier.

It was a quick car journey to the venue and Mum and I started setting up the stall, I had printed large photos of some of my other cake creations to display on my stall but my Mum had the Amazeballs idea of putting the photos up in a wall display.




When I go to other events I am naturally drawn to the cake stalls but I’m always put off by the fact that the cakes are displayed out in the open where anyone can touch them, breathe on them, sneeze on them and so on.

With this in mind I looked high and low for a light and portable display case for my cakes, eventually I found this one  but it still had one open panel at the back. I called the company and asked if they could put a door on the cabinet for me and they confirmed that they could do it and send it to me within a week. I was so happy! I also made sure we had gloves, antibacterial spray, and wipes and lots of other important hygiene tools.

As you know, money is also really dirty so throughout the day once we were set up and when I was serving cakes I used tongs and handed people their cakes in the serviette or a “take away” cupcake pod. I didn’t handle money I left that to hubby and Mummy.

SONY DSCStill Setting up..

We wanted to give free samples of my cakes so I set up a covered dish of cupcakes cut up into small pieces. The free samples turned out to be a really good idea, although we did have one lady try every flavour and only buy one cake! Some people are just craven like that…

There were so many fantastic vendors and speakers there on the day and I got to meet some lovely people including the Beautiful Belinda from BeUnique, the gorgeous ladies from Root2Tip, Valley Fontaine and Heather Katsonga-Woodward (and her lovely husband)

SONY DSCHeather and I

Finally having a little nibble...

Finally having a little nibble…

Putting together an assorted box for Melissa of Bespoke Hairstyles

Putting together an assorted box for Melissa of Bespoke Hairstyles

Akua Wood of Shea Butter Cottage.

Akua Wood of Shea Butter Cottage.

I was lucky enough to have my stall next to the House of Loulee Stall. Hi Lucy!

I was lucky enough to have my stall next to the House of Loulee Stall. Hi Lucy!

Lekia Lée the founder of Project Embrace.  Thank you Lekia! xxx

Lekia Lée the founder of Project Embrace. Thank you Lekia! xxx

It was a fantastic day and at the end of the event we only had 3 cupcakes left.

Take care, thanks for reading


Sian (The Baker)