Putting a smile on my face

27 Mar

It’s been a good couple weeks over my way. I’m filled with gratitude right up to here. Juicy details ahead!

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Surprise anniversary gifts

A round of applause is most definitely deserved by my beloved. That handsome man bought home ‘The Vegetarian’s Bible’ for me on Monday night as a surprise anniversary present. He knows me so well. The book is from Sweden and includes a tonne of raw dessert recipes as well as savoury dishes and a stack of nutritional info. Yum.

B-School

At the moment I am oscillating between extreme excitement and the dreaded I’m-not-(insert adjective here)-enough fear: I’m not good enough I’m not smart enough I’m not creative enough I don’t have the experience My inner-voice can be a real bitch sometimes. And she makes things up, like all of the above for instance. I know, deep down in the recesses of my heart , that all of the fears don’t have much basis, but at the moment it’s a bit of push and pull in my heads between me and the mean girl. Melissa Ambrosini wrote some great stuff about her ‘mean girl’ here, lap it up.

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Delilah Says

My friend Bree is amazing. In general, but also as an artist. On Friday we got head out in the Valley to see Bree’s work exhibited for Raw Generation. Gosh darn, is that girl talented or what?! You can check out her blog here.

Functional stretching class

Yes, it does sound slightly pretentious but it was that good I no longer care. It’s basically like BodyBalance (tai chi/yoga/pilates by Les Mills) but it’s focused more on longer stretches and less on movement and transitions. I felt so flexible and nimble after the class, it was a pity I had to go hunch over my desk for another four hours! The class was a one off because our instructor wanted to try something new, I’m hoping it gets put on to permanent rotation.

Plus… Easter break coming up + the sun on my face at lunch time + raw bliss balls + Kate Forsyth’s new novel, Wild Girl + a marked improvement in my body measurements (yay progress) + dry body brushing + great customer service + Tribes by Seth Godin + cooking dinner for my family.

Just an extra note: I was not keen on writing this post at all. I have a sore shoulder from sitting on my computer at work today and honestly wasn’t feeling particularly gratuitous (does that work here?) but BOY am I glad I just started typing! Gratitude truly is the true path to happiness (wow, that was a bit woo woo for me, but I’m going with it).

Your turn. What’s lifting that frown upside down? Filling your cup with love and light? If you write your own (online) gratitude list post a link.

Bloglovin

21 Mar

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Putting a smile on my face

11 Mar

My weekend was so great that I already have a whole gratitude-soaked post for you. And it’s only Monday! Dig in lovelies…

 

Our first ever dinner party (minus the dining table)

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As you may now know, I’m a fan of the ole cooking. This is something I still find slightly surprising as I never had much interest in the cooking side of food till a couple of years back. As a teenage vegetarian I was left to my own devices when it came to cooking a lot of the time as the rest of my family ate meat. I also had a part time job that meant I often got home from work after 9pm. Needless to say, I was really lazy with what I ate and hot chips and creamy instant pasta were on high rotation. This is not at all my parents fault, they just had no idea what a healthy vegetarian diet looked like (neither did I obviously!). This diet pretty much continued up until about two years back. I can’t say there was a definitive moment or anything, but I think joining the gym (for the first time in my life) may have been a catalyst to my burgeoning interest in nutrition. Cut to now, and health and wellness are right up there in my priority list. In fact I now annoy my parents and my boyfriend with what I call nagging-cause-I-love-ya-and-want-you-to-be-around-a-long-time. I think they just see it as plain old nagging, but hey it’s coming from the right place! On a side -note over the last two years I’ve also lost about six kilos, not much but I feel so much healthier and fitter.

Anyhow, what I am (very long winded-ly) getting to, is that I was lucky enough to cook for my  gal Emma (from Girl Says Go) and her man friend on Saturday night. The menu:

Starter – Brown rice crackers with camembert, and Thai chilli prawns hot of the grill (I have been assured that I was missing out!) made by my boy Cheyne.

Entree – Potato and leek soup with chives.

Main – Crispy skinned salmon (prepared and cooked by Cheyne, which I obviously skipped) with sweet potato fries plus zucchini and carrot pasta topped with tomato salsa and basil pesto.

Dessert – Originally was going to be a raw chocolate mousse based on avocados, however the avos weren’t ripe! Instead dessert became a raw choc coconut granita (Whizz together raw dark chocolate, cacao powder, coconut cream, a frozen banana and some agave syrup to taste. Freeze for about an hour and a half. Rough up with a fork and scoop serves into martini glasses). I also added some raw bliss balls to the top of my guests granita – because you can’t have enough of those bad boys!

Bellies were rubbed and lips were licked, and I think those are the hallmarks of a successful dinner party.

PS. We’re short on floor space so we can’t fit a dining table in our house. We ate at the bench, cause we’re classy folk!

Typo binging

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B-School starts tomorrow you guys! So of course when a stationary-buying opportunity arises I am sprinting straight into Typo. I walked out with many a glitter pen, a cat eye pencil case and some rocking multi-subject notebooks for all my B-Schoolin’ needs. Psyched!

Booking a getaway

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Cheyne and I will be celebrating our three year anniversary at the end of this month. Because of bad timing, we can’t do anything on the date but we have booked a short two-night getaway in April to celebrate properly. So we’ve booked to go to, wait for it, a working cattle station! Yeah I know, we’re wild! Well, this is pretty regular for Cheyne but not so much for this city-slicker. We will be staying in a completly self contained cabin which can only be accessed by four wheel drive. We bring in all of our own food and linen. There ain’t no power, we will be running on gas. No phone reception. Defintely no internet. For entertainment we shall be purveying the spectacular views of Clarence Gorge. Hitting up some kayaking action. Trying our (well, just Cheyne’s) hands at bass fishing. And the pièce de résistance will be horse riding (which I am super excited about and haven’t done in about 10 years).

What it really means is time to switch off, connect with each other rather than our devices and relax without interruption. Amazing. Can’t wait.

The Spiralschneider and the zucchini – a love story

6 Mar

So after much indecision I bit the bullet and order a spiraliser. For those playing at home a spiraliser is a clever little contraption for making raw pasta from zucchini or carrots. Mine is actually a Spiralschneider. True story. It’s German.

Anyhow how could I hold back from my raw pasta dreams now!? Well I couldn’t and I last night I went wild using both zucchini and carrots in my dish. Added a little basil pesto and a chunky tomato salsa in top.

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In addition we had some oven baked sweet potato chips and Cheyne added some pan seared salmon to his plate.

Simple. Amazing. And chockfull of nutrients.

Also, my meal was very, very filling. This wasn’t expected as I can always chow down a huge bowl of regular pasta. The perks of fibre eh!

Putting a smile on my face

5 Mar

It’s been some time huh! I’ve been in a bit of funk when it comes to gratitude, but I’m back on the wagon with a bang. Read on lovers and let me know what you’re feeling grateful/loving lately.

B-School

BSchool

Duh, right?

This baby is pretty self explanatory (and if not you can look at the post below!), but jeez am I thrilled to be a part of this course/community. Inspiration is already running thick and hot.

Day spa girl-dates

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*stole the collage from Bree

I’m not a ‘spa person’, not through any choice of my own just by lack of trying really. After this weekend I’m thinking I should put some effort into this whole spa-ing situation. I was lucky enough to asked by the boyfriend of one of my besties, Bree, to accompany her on a surprise (for her obviously!) girl-date to the day spa. Said spa is a hidden in the hinterland of the Gold Coast called On Eagle Wings.

So Bree had no idea what was in store for her. Her boyfriend had simply said Katie will pick you up and pack a bikini. The ‘pack a bikini’ instruction was probably especially confusing since it was pouring rain.

So we hopped in the car and after a quick pit stop to for some lunch (quinoa salad!) we were off into the hills on this most drizzly of days. We almost made it to the spa, with Bree not knowing where we were headed, but were cut of by a flooded bridge. Luckily our lovely hosts from On Eagle Wings were on hand with a four-wheel drive to ferry us across the creek. Remember Bree still has no idea what’s going on: for all she knows we’re being kidnapped by the dude with the unknown accent who knows our names.

A few short minutes later we have gone further up into the hills and arrive at the spa. We are taken through to the back where we are seated on the deck. We look over a 25 metre infinity pool to the misty mountains of Mudgeeraba. Apparently the view is spectacular in clear weather, but we thought it was mighty fine and quite impressive with the tops of the mountains meeting the clouds.

Cue the pampering. We enjoyed  five hours of facials, massages, an infrared sauna, hydrotherapy spa and a mouth-watering high tea. Bliss.

Yes, becoming a ‘spa person’ is definitely on the agenda – if only to regularly have the knots worked out of my shoulders!

The weather

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Dare I say it, but I am frothing this rainy weather we are having South East Queensland at the moment. I like the need for an extra layer of clothing. I like the smell of wet earth and moist grass. I like that comfort food is being served for dinner each night. I like that cuddles are more than welcomed during cool nights. I like that I can have beautiful scented candles lit around me while I work during the day from my home office.

Yep, I’ve found a lot to like about this ‘dreary’ weather.

Photo Credit: Spice ♥ Daddy ♥ Baby Rheina via Compfight cc

It’s official…

3 Mar

I’m a B-Schooler!

I spent the majority of the B-School enrolment period giving myself excuses as to why B-School was not right for me: It’s too expensive, I can’t afford it. I have a degree in communications, it would be pointless. I know this stuff already. I’m not ready to take the leap. I don’t own my own business. I could never own my own business. I have shaky ideas on what (if any) business I could run. I’m only good at working for someone else. It’s too expensive! Maybe next year…

Anyhow, on Friday these excuse gave way to a huge HELL YES! And the fabulously freeing feeling of hope. Zero guilt. 100% excitement. As in the mad excitement where you do a little jig in the toilet cubicle at work because you just. can’t. hold. it. in!

Making the excitement fizz that little bit more is the fiendishly-fine extras I’ll be getting amongst from Rach and Tara (In Spaces Between and Such Different Skies respectively) for simply enrolling through their affiliate link. I can’t think of much I like better than some freebies, and the kind of freebies you would actually pay for at that.

Even though the anticipation is bubbling and the creative juices are a-flowing, don’t get me wrong, I am shit-scared about dropping significant cash. And about taking the metaphorical plunge into the B-School experience. I don’t have a business. I don’t have concrete ideas. BUT, it feels right, right down to the bottom of my gut right. And that’s all I need to feel right now to make the good stuff take centre stage over any fears.

And guys, enrolment in B-School closes tomorrow so hop to it!

Sephora Rouge Shine Lipstick No. 36 – A short review

25 Feb

Sephore---no.36

THIS. IS. SO. DELICIOUS.

Why oh why do we not have a Sephora in Australia? This is up there with the other big life questions of: What is the meaning of it all? And, when will Topshop come to Brisbane?

Well lasses and ladies, while I could go on for ever with my whining, I shan’t. What I will do is tell you how great this lipstick is:

This little baby made it into my hot little hands straight off the plane (well by way of Sri Lanka) from Dubai, thanks to Emma from Girl Says Go.

To be upfront, I am not one for a shimmery lip product (that’s 14 year old me you’re getting mixed up with) and shimmery is definitely what No. 36 is. However it’s so subtle with it’s shimmering ways, no chunky glitter here. What this lipstick does have is a tonne of gloss, a super nice scent and a sheer dose of rum and raisin colour. It also lasts, not through eating and drinking, but it can hold up to my commute and morning cup of tea just fine.

What I’m saying here guys, is if you’re lucky enough to be within shopping distance of a Sephora, go forth and purchase!

Note: This is totally my own opinion and I have not received any payment for this review.

 

 

 

Neutrogena Acne Stress Control Power-Cream Wash: a short review

4 Feb

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Hi y’all.

Just checking to do some good ole complaining about my skin. Now I don’t think I’m the only one to have thought this, but seriously, by the age of 23 I didn’t think I would still have me some issues with blemishes/acne/pimples/whatever-you-want-to-call-them. But, by golly, I sure do.

However, what I know now, that I didn’t through those lovely teen years, is that there is a lot that goes into the making of a pimple. It’s not just a simple case of washing your face a lot, to get rid of the ‘dirt’ that is causing those rosy-red bumps. Blemishes occur due to a range of different things, with the biggy being hormones. Yes, those joyful badboys. And it’s not just your lady hormones (estrogen and progesterone) and your man hormones (testosterone (and yes us ladies have it too)) that play havoc with your skin, it’s also stress hormones ( cortisol and norepinephrine) that can have dramatic effects on your face and body.

For me stress also shows up in the form of bad skin on my face and psoriasis on my scalp: itchy, flaky and stingy patches of skin. Yep, I’m sounding super attractive right now, ain’t I?

Anwhosit. What I am getting at is that in leiu of sweeping life changes to eradicate stress, I’ve gone for the band-aid measure of purchasing a good cream cleanser. Said cleanser being Neutrogena Acne Stress Control Power-Cream Wash.

For the RRP of $14.99 in Australia, this cleanser is a veritable bargain. I started to see results within a week of twice daily use. I’m told (by the trusty intewebs) that the magic ingredient is salicylic acid. Sounds scary, in fact it is a bit scary, but when faced (literally, ha!) with a red and bumpy visage I was willing to go out on a limb. As I said, after about a week, I stated to feel like I had my skin back under control – less oil, less bumps and none of those horrible, sore and huge blind sons-of-guns. I didn’t change anything else in my skin care routine so I can say with confidence that my results were from the cleanser.

However (yep there is a however), last week was a particularly stressful one and BAM my skin and scalp has flared up.

So my point is this, dear readers, a stop-gap measure such as a cleanser can only do so much for your skin, the rest is up to you.

OH right, I have a blog don’t I?

25 Jan

Well hot damn it’s been some time hasn’t it lovers?

Lots has been happening over the last month or so, with Christmas, New Year’s and getting settled in a new role at work. Of course these are all sad excuses for not checking in and saying hi.

What I do want to say it that I never, ever wanted this blog to feel like a burden for me to write – that’s what we have corporate jobs for right (Kidding. Sort of)? And lately I just haven’t felt inspired at all, hence the long absence.

The bad news is I’m not really feeling all that inspired now either. Neither am I feeling done with my blog, I’m just waiting for my blog-mojo to return.

With that out on the table I shall bid you adieu and return when I have something much more enthralling to write about.

Putting a smile on my face

7 Dec

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My pets

Guys, how great are pets!? I have three and I just couldn’t do without them. Even though they cost me exorbitant amounts of cash (vet bills are horrendous), they are my little cheerleaders who are always happy to see me. You can’t  say that about all most people, no matter how much you love ‘em.

Air conditioning

You know how a little while ago I was raving on about how great the hot weather in Queensland was and I was soooo grateful for summer? Well, I take it back. On Tuesday the thermometer in my car told me it was 43 degrees outside. Even allowing for the heat of the car adding to the temp, that is still ridiculously steamy.

Usually on those types of days we will get a cracker of a storm to cool things of a bit. No such luck this week! Today we’re still in temps around the 30 mark, and I’m feeling really grateful for my air conditioning at home and in my car.

Our friends

So in my last post I mentioned that y ladies were coming up to visit me. Well my man’s mates came up too. Hello impromptu party! The night was filled with laughs (So many laughs! The proper from-the-belly kind), food, drinks and a great big mess for me to clean up the next day (totally worth it). I love that our friends made the effort to drive the 45 minutes up to our abode (and back again, thanks to the designated drivers) to spend the night with us.

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