Hey, Hey Ya’ll.
Thanks so much for stopping by my little corner of the web!
I’m Shanika and I am a 29-year-old lover of all things creative, simple, with a heavy sprinkle of elegance. I’m a self-taught cook + baker, aspiring author, writer, and the all around ‘creative eye’ behind Orchids + Sweet Tea. In addition, I’m a connoisseur of interior decorating (hence my passion for beautifully staged food photos!), a wife, Mama to a witty toddler, AND absolute Foodie + Sweets-Lover (although I’m currently working on reducing my sweet tooth!). Whew! I know–I just described myself as a lot right? Whelp, that’s my day-to-day! Haha.
While most of my college career was spent studying Psychology (Yes, I love learning about the science of the mind), blogging has been my biggest breakthrough yet! It has allowed me to be the most comfortable in my own skin—the ultimate creative realm.
Because of my Southern roots (Florida–born + raised!), you’ll find a lot of my old childhood favorites (most of which were made by Grandma in the kitchen!) along with many dishes that showcase bold flavor and intricate combinations (often stumbled upon by trial, error, + a whole lot of grace!). I have written for several Blog platforms/Online Magazines, including The Breakup Queen, Rover’s Theo Magazine, UniDays The Edit, Enigma Life + continues to expand my fresh & creative perspective throughout many other opportunities. I also pride myself as a Letter Writer for the To Love Ourselves Letter Project, which I voluntarily spread words of encouragement + love to women around the world! Orchids + Sweet Tea has also been humbled to have been featured on Blog News Weekly for one of my favorite recipes–Loaded Sweet Potato topped with Guacamole and listed on the Top 20 U.S. Food Instagrammers To Follow in 2018, as well as an exclusive interview by the awesome blogger, Miss Ashley Allison. Not to mention, several Recipe Round-Ups for many sites. I am also currently a contributing Chef on a new Food App–UHungry?, where consumers learn to rethink their relationship with food as well as a Guest Blogger for Being Economical, where my recipes are shared with their readers! See my freelance work on our Writing Page.
More importantly, besides priding myself in being a wife + Mother, I am even more proud to have found my place in Christianity since the age of 13.
Throughout most of my journey to ‘My Happy Place’, I’ve had the privilege of being loved by my two favorite guys. While your journey to happiness is in fact an individual effort, it is so important to have a great support system, especially on days when you feel like giving up or turning away from life’s most challenging moments. Sometimes, it may not be an entire army or community, however, every little bit counts. I can attest to that!
Like many of you, I’ve been a survivor of some unpleasant things in my life, but my foundation in God, my support system, and my own will to fight has brought me to a place that has transformed who I’ve become in so many amazing ways. My own personal journey has inspired me to create the other element of Orchids + Sweet Tea—-Wellness.
Wellness for me is all about Mind, Body, + Spiritual wholeness. I’ve learned that oftentimes you have to lose to win! Whether that loss comes from eliminating certain things from your diet for optimal health or killing certain relationships to ensure that the positive aspects of yourself are secure and protected, or even setting aside time to cultivate your spiritual being through self-care or spiritual practices; whatever it looks like for you, rest assured that your losses will only bring forth new + fruitful gains.
Eat. Pray. Love from Within.
So, one of Orchids + Sweet Tea’s missions is to empower others to live past their brokenness, hurt, neglect, or their “difference” and live their best lives with the pieces that they’ve been given, turning those pieces into things that convey strength, awareness, insight, knowledge, and tenacity.
Check out a few of our Most-Loved Wellness posts:
- 8 Secrets to Being Your Best You
- 5 Surprising All-Natural Ingredients to Great Skin + Recipes
- Is Not Letting Go Affecting Your Growth?
- How to Best Transition into a Plant-Based or Vegan Diet
- 3 Detoxes That You Should Be Doing More Often
ABOUT ORCHIDS + SWEET TEA: This blog began in July 2017 as a way to build a community for those who desired to use the little that they had to make something great + magical, especially when it came to creating foods. Shortly after, however, Orchids + Sweet Tea began to gain traction for the Vegan desserts that were created! But it doesn’t stop there! Yet another transition happened, and instead using healthier ingredients as a whole (most of which are still Vegan!) became the mission for Orchids + Sweet Tea, in addition to the Wellness piece. On any given day, I’m the one who enjoys a daily dose of Caramel Frappuccino from Starbucks (that equates to a good glass of Wine in my head!), BUT instead, I chose to substitute dairy for almond or coconut milk. Today, Orchids + Sweet Tea is a place within the cyber community that holds true to helping others discover their love journey through Food, Spirituality, and overall Health; with a little Brooklyn Flavor + a whole lot of Southern charm!
“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicate masterpieces–just GOOD food from fresh ingredients.” -Julia Child
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