Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Homemade Museli...

           I am just loving my morning muesli these days and I find it filling and satisfying...and most importantly rich in flavour. The other bonus to it is that it is much more affordable then buying it off the shelf and by making it yourself you know what is in it... so here is the recipe...simple and easy (which is the way I like to bake or cook)

3 Cups of Coconut Flakes (these are hard to find but health food shops have them, otherwise there is shredded coconut at Coles or Safeway which also works)
3 Cups of Rolled Oats
1 Teaspoon of Chia Seeds
1/2 Cup of Pumpkin Seeds
1/2 Cup of sunflower seeds
1 cup of mixed nuts (which I tend to crush up into small pieces, or slices)
5 Table Spoons of Coconut Oil (melted)

Preheat Oven to 180 degrees fan forced
Mix all the ingredients together in a big bowl leaving the oil until last as these gives helps toast it and give it that sweet flavour. Its a much healthier option then sugar.
Spread it across 2 trays.
Put in the oven for 10 minutes and then check as it toasts quite quickly. Shuffle the muesli around to try and bake the other side of the flakes and nuts.
Give it another 10 minutes and it should be done. Its more up to you how toasted you want your muesli to me. I find 20-25 minutes in total tends to make it quite nice and crunchy
Let is cool (and by the way your kitchen will smell amazing)
Put it in an air tight container to keep it fresh and it should last for a couple of weeks depending on how much you eat of it and how many days per week.

Final Touches
I usually pack 4 -5 Tablespoons in a container and take it to work with Jalna Sweet and Creamy Yoghurt (as I am a sweet tooth..there are low fat options...most supermarkets stock this brand) and you can either use defrosted frozen berries or fresh. Coming into Summer the Strawberries, Blueberries and Raspberries are quite affordable and I definitely recommend fresh over frozen. However again its flexible and up to you.

Other things to note...if you don't like nuts or seeds then don't use them. If you want dried fruit mix in sultanas or dried apple once the muesli has cooled out of the oven.


Monday, 29 September 2014

Tips to the perfect fake tan...

So the sun is beginning shine and the weather is getting warmer (Yay!) but the legs are white as a ghost (boo!)

So I have been desperately trying to try and self tan so I can wear my skirts to work. I often get laughed at for the patches, or orange tone I seem to develop. I don't care usually as, well, its better then blinding white legs, but after I applied tonight I thought what are the the critical things you need to know to get the perfect tan...

I know you should exfoliate prior to tanning to get rid of all dead skin cells. I also learnt that a bit of moisturiser before application, especially around knees and elbows, helps the tan to build up in those areas creating those orange spots on your joints...however after doing a bit of online research I learnt a few things and worked out I have being doing a few things wrong...so here is a summary of what I have learnt...

First, Prep Work...so I usually exfoliate in the shower and shave my legs (as I know if you shave when you have a fake tan it reduces the longevity of the tan). What you should do...

1. Exfoliate (Check). Sources say often the body scrubs developed by the fake tan companies are the best. The apparently tend to be stronger and best for removing those dead skins cells. Also it is important to ensure your scrub isn't too oil, if its left on your skin it can make it hard for the tan to take.

2. Shaving time. Now here is what I didn't know. Apparently you should shave the day before (or at least 12 hours before application, and 24 hours prior for waxers). This is due to the face that just shaven skin is quite sensitive and reactive to the tanning formulation.

3. Avoid Deodorants, Perfumes and oils as perviously stated. It creates barriers for the tan to take.


4. Apply moisturiser to dry areas such as knees, elbows, and heels (check) apparently it helps  the tanner from saturating those areas.

5. Wear loose fitting clothing to allow tan to be able to set properly. Night is the best option as it allows time to set without clothes rubbing it off (unless its a hot night then maybe best not too so that it doesn't stain your sheets...hot tip!)

Second, Application...ready to go. So pretty self explanatory I thought, use a mit, apply it evenly (not so easy) and not so much on joints...but this is what I learnt that I now know I'm have not been doing right at all (hence over tanned feet...eek!)

1. Apply tan with the use of a mit (check...as it avoids tan on the hands and showing those obvious "I tanned myself" signs) and rub cream (they recommend creams are the best but I'll get to that) on the large areas of the body first (I hate using the word large when talking about the body, but you know what I mean) then focus on smaller parts of body, such as feet (That might be the solution to my over tanned feet problem?!)

2. Use the best product that suits you. There are numerous brands and types on market, St. Tropez and Bondi Sands are my favourites (I usually find St Tropez is cheapest at Chemist Warehouse for under $40, and you can find Bondi Sands at Priceline for about $19.99). With Dove Summer Body Glow being my favourite daily tinted moisturiser (Also really cheap at Chemist Warehouse for under $5). Generally creams are the most moisturising option, however they are usually non tinted and need to be applied with extra care to not miss any spots. Sprays are apparently better for topping up tans as they can be tricky to manoeuvre, and those without a 360 degree nozzle hard to get coverage in those harder to reach areas. And finally theres mousse which is the most popular as they usually have built in bronzers allowing you to see where you have applied. I personally find it gives the best colour but is the hardest to spread evenly.

3. Choose the right shade...now I thought being white as a ghost use a dark shade, as opposed to a light to medium to get my legs tanned ASAP. Apparently I was wrong.  If you are fair and want to go dark, do a couple of applications of a light-to-medium shade and develop a more natural looking tan.

Third, Maintenance...usually I use the Dove Summer Body glow moisturiser on a daily basis and obviously pat dry after the shower.

1. Whilst in the initial first 8 hours, while your tan is developing, avoid light clothing as it easily rubs off on the clothes, or will create a nice patchy look.

2. Do not shower 6-8 hours after application. The longer you allow it to develop the darker the tan needs to be

3. Exfoliate about 3 days after you have tanned. Exfoliating dead skin cells as this point helps the tan fade evenly.

4. Pat Dry after your shower to avoid tan coming off prematurely.

5. To make sure your tan endures you need to stay hydrated. Drink lots of water and apply moisturiser daily. There are tan extended products on the market that you can try. One is the Reef Coconut After Sun and Tan Extender which is relatively inexpensive at $10.50 from Priceline.

Now my tan right now wont be so great, I have learnt I have already done a few things wrong in the process. However I now know what I need to do to ensure I have a more natural looking tan...at least I hope...xo

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Lipstick marks on your coffee cup...

Monday morning is fast approaching...and so is the first morning coffee to kick start your week...

Now again I'm slow to the party and have just discovered lipstick...I know, I know its been around since our mother's time, and our mother's mother's time, and so on and so forth...but I always had a fear of it...
Lipstick on the teeth, it wearing off and looking like I just had a massive night and am going home in a saturday night walk of shame, I always felt awkward re applying lipstick! However everyone else is doing it. It looks hot on all/most girls (as long as the colour is appropriate with the outfit! I must admit I have seen ladies make that mistake a time or two!)

However my biggest thing on a weekday morning is applying my pink lipstick (1 of the 12 shades of pink I have) and feeling like my lips have life...I go to work have my breakfast, check my emails and by 8:30am I have my coffee in hand..and after that first sip my lipstick is gone and the cup now has a sheer pink gloss surrounding it...there goes my lipstick. And I don't care what L'oreal, Revlon or Maybelline's marketing manager says...they aren't longer wearing when you have a cup of coffee...or more importantly that first champagne at a party...

Until now...I was looking amongst a few blogs I follow through numerous social media sites and came across the trick to not having your lipstick rub off on your coffee cup, or champagne glass if so the case. So here it is...

When you first go to take a sip...ever so slightly (and VERY discretely apply a bit of salvia along the edge you are going to sip...now I am not saying give the coffee cup a great big pash...I mean a slight, lady like quick touch of the tongue before putting your mouth on the cup to sip your morning coffee...this seriously works. It's completely up to you... but having my lipstick last longer and not having to reapply straight away has made my day!

I wanted to share this little beauty secret to you all as I have found it invaluable. You can choose to have pretty lips beyond you Monday morning coffee or scoff at me and say "how disgusting"...I will leave it up to you...but give it one try....just one...live a little...xo

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

ChezPrudence...affordable, and adorable, baby wear (and toddlers too)...

This is just a quick post/boost about a friend of mine who is so creative and talented in everything she does. I just couldn't resist telling you all about her. She is a mother of 2 stunning children and is just naturally good at everything she does (I know I usually hate those kinds of people that are great at everything, but you can't not like Polly and the creations she brings to life.

My little one is wearing a Big Letter S on his little belly and it makes my heart melt. I actually find it hard to put it on him. I know as soon as I put it on something gross is bound to be smeared all over it within 5 mins....but its too cute not to wear either (Mum dilemmas?!).

These are great gift ideas for new mums, first time mums, as well as any of those little ones we adore so much.

Polly...I hope you don't mind I have taken some creative licence and put some of your images up. I just wanted to share ChezPrudence to make sure people don't miss out on such gorgeous little people clothes...xo

She has made so many cute options...so make sure you check out her store on Etsy ChezPrudence...xo

When Life Gives you Lemons...

Ok I'm back... and alive again after being quite ill most of last week and weekend :( Don't you love it when you take annual leave from work and then become sick as soon as you stop. Its just doesn't seem fair.

Anyway my little family of 2 are back to full health and back on track (except for one who is beginning to show signs of the "terrible twos"...back to that later)

So thinking about my health I try and keep as healthy as possible. Don't get me wrong, I wont say no to cake or chocolate, however being a single mum, and working full time, I need to ensure I look after myself.

One thing I have been doing religiously now is making a hot water with lemon every morning while I get ready for work, as well as add it my mineral water at night; to sweeten it. Now I have never really looked into the benefits of lemons and what they can do so I though I'd start now...

I have heard of things such as:

"A cup of hot water gets your metabolism going in the morning"

"Lemon helps colds and flus"

"Its cleansing for the body"

I have often heard of this "lemon detox diet" which I don't buy into. A day not eating food, as opposed to 3 in a row, and only drinking lemon water, just doesn't seem right. I mean if I died tomorrow I would want to ensure I enjoyed my food...

So I did my research and here is what I found...

  • Supports the immune system: The juice of half a lemon in a glass of water is rich in vitamin C, which helps boost the immune system and assists the body in fighting colds and flu. 
  • Aids digestion: As lemon juice is similar in atomic structure to the stomach’s digestive juices, it has a positive effect on the gastrointestinal tract. (Gross!!!) The digestive qualities of lemon juice can also help relieve symptoms of indigestion, heartburn and bloating...this will definitely help ladies when you are pregnant and suffer all these wonderful things..I mean when you get to "enjoy" the experience of all these great things (I'll let you be the judge)
  •  Repairs skin: Lemons are great for combating skins ageing (Woohoo! Jack pot!) Apparently lemons are rich in vitamin C and that is really what creates collagen synthesis, which is wonderful in terms of keeping wrinkles at bay. Vitamin C is required in the synthesis of amino acids into collagen. The collagen then works with the connective tissue to hold things tight and protect our skin (Forget Botox Ladies...Lemons are the way to go, and more cost effective)
  •  Reduces appetite: Lemons contain pectin, a soluble fibre commonly found in citrus fruits. Pectin helps stave off hunger as the fibre creates a feeling of fullness, which results in the suppression of hunger cravings. By feeling fuller for longer, you’re less likely to snack or make poor food choices (I have yet to experience this as I like a good snack most days...guilty pleasure some may say)
  • Cleanses the urinary tract: Lemon juice is a diuretic, meaning it encourages the production of urine. As a result, toxins are released at a faster rate, helping to purify the system and keep it healthy. Lemon juice can also change the pH level of the urinary tract which discourages the proliferation of bad bacteria (Ok this was a pretty gross fact but in terms of health its good to know so I felt I should include it in my findings)
  •  Freshens breath: The antiseptic qualities in lemon juice help kill off bad bacteria in the mouth by acting as a disinfectant. A glass of lemon water is also a healthier morning wake-you-up than coffee.  (Ok so I'm doing ok for my morning ritual...although I still have my morning coffee)

  • Protects overall health: High levels of potassium in lemons can help brain and nerve functioning and control blood pressure. Lemon water can also ward off stress and depression. 
  • Promotes healing: Ascorbic acid, vitamin C, promotes wound healing in the body and is an important nutrient in maintaining healthy bones, tissue and cartilage. It also calms inflammation in the body.
  • Detoxifies the liver: Lemon water acts as a liver cleanser by assisting in detoxification. It purifies and stimulates the liver by encouraging the production of bile, an acid required for digestion. So simply add it to your Gin & Tonic, or Vodka Soda, and basically your liver is fine (Ok I made an assumption but I like the sound of it so I'm going to go with it).

  • Low in Calories: Lemons are less in calories to most fruits, carrying just 29 calories per 100 g, the value being one of the lowest in the citrus fruits group. They contains zero saturated fats, or cholesterol. However they are also a good source of dietary fibre. 

So there seems to be many benefits to Lemons. So as the saying when life gives you lemons...take them and feel amazing, both inside and out! (or simply pour yourself a G&T)...xo

Thursday, 11 September 2014

R U OK? I want to know...

A bit about my experience with depression...I struggled with prenatal anxiety and depression whilst I was pregnant. It felt like it came out of no where...I was crying for no reason, all I wanted to do was be in bed and any situation I didn't feel comfortable in (which became any situation that invoked people) I had anxiety attacks. I didn't understand what was wrong with me, I didn't feel like me, but I couldn't do anything to change it. I kept telling myself I'll come good. Just have a few "feel sorry for myself days" and I'll be alright. My partner at the time couldn't cope. He was the only one I wanted to let in and he couldn't cope which made me feel like I was a burden and I was making life too hard. I started to think "if only I had more time (before the baby) to get better". I didn't tell anyone what I was going through. I felt guilty for having such negative thoughts. I would often cry in the bathroom, or in my car, but made sure I was fresh faced for people at work and often cancelled plans with friends so they didn't see this sad depressing person. I would tell them some story about being tired from pregnancy, which was not true, but it was a plausible excuse. I finally asked for help as I couldn't deal with it on my own any longer and I didn't want my husband at the time to suffer. Now I didn't talk my friends straight away, but I went to my doctor who I trusted and just said "fix me" with her advice I got there...I followed her instructions, and even though I went through another life changing ordeal (something I'll leave for another time), I got better...felt stronger and began to realise it's ok to fall down sometimes, but don't ever be afraid to ask for help or understanding. And if you see someone you care about not acting themselves don't be afraid to ask if they are ok?! I didn't want to talk about it atthe  time but being around my close friends, and those who did care, definitely made a huge difference. 

R U OK? Is a great intiative that we all should get involved in. Especially when we have seen so many media personalities we have seen as strong and successful become victim to such a negative state of mind. We often think "they have the dream life...what could they be depressed about?" It's something you can't explain, or completely understand, whether you have suffered through it or not. It's not not a whole lot anyone can do to "fix it" but support is definitely a treatment towards a cure.

There is a quote that always resonates with me, and I think we should all consider it from time to time in any situation...

Don't be afraid to show someone you care by simply asking R U OK?...xo

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Leopard Print...late to the party but I'm here!

Ok I know animal prints have been in for the past few years and have adapted well to fashion trends. Whether it be handbags, scarves, dresses, hair ties, you name it will be available in animal print. I was so scared to take this trend on board. I felt I was too plain jane for such a (well what I considered) stand out print for people with style, character and who are "trendy". These are things I do not consider myself to be. I see myself as what I would deem "Plain Jane" I play safe. I usually wait for others to test the waters for me before I dip my heels in...

Recently I started by buying a $5 leopard print scarf from Kmart. Im not a gambler, so whats $5 between friends, and if I cant pull it off well its only $5. Safe to say I love it. Yes I hear you all saying "how ridiculous is this woman", "its so 3 years ago" but for me it was kind of a big deal. Sad, but true.

This led me to my next "leopard print purchase". Now I love shoes...anyone who knows me will know that about me, and I am very well known in my office for always wearing high heels. I love them. I always think of Elle Woods quote from Legally Blonde where she says 'They are a male invention designed to make the woman's butt look smaller' that is one of the reasons I wear them. Tony Bianco is one of my favourite brands of shoe. They fit me well. They are classy and somewhat affordable. Yes I would prefer Louboutin's however I have yet to acquire that much cash (one day!) so I suck to my guns and TB released my favourite stilettos in leopard print. I finally clicked "add to cart" and they were mine. They are simply gorgeous, I love them. Now all I need is somewhere to go wearing these beautiful creatures with skinny leg jeans, black shirt and my $5 leopard print scarf and I'm away...

My next leopard print purchase came across my eyes this afternoon. Senso leopard print sandals. Again the thought rushes through my head "I'm too plain Jane" but I don't think I'm far from that "click to add to cart" stage. I'll keep you posted (I also might need to save a little first)

Also to note these are definitely great for mums. Perfect sandal for going out for coffee with their friends and wanting to be stylish...yet practical (a word I hate to use when it comes to fashion, as its simply a bonus, but not a must in my books!). I believe its a step in the right direction in feeling like an adult again and not type cast as a "mother" lol...xo

Chapped Lips...over it!

I guess the seasons are changing, and typical melbourne; warm and sunny one minute...hail, rain and storms the next (let's use yesterday as a prime example shall we?!) and I don't know about you but my lips are ALWAYS dry!

Now I have just joined the world of lipstick...lip shades, colours, styles (ok there is no such thing as lip styles but I felt like I needed a third option to sound like I have done my research and know all there is to know about lipstick) I love pink. I'm a pink girl, and all my friends will vouch for that. I love reds, oranges and nude colours but I always stick to pink...I would say there are about 300 different shades of pink (slight over exaggeration but you get my point) and I am slowly growing this collection.

Now this post isn't on lip colours (that is to come) its on keeping you lip colour on long enough. Yes I know lipsticks now are marketed that you will have 'longer lasting lips' but I have bought those and well...they don't last! I will keep searching, however, for now I have been looking at lip balms and yesterday I came across Carmex. I am not familiar with this brand (you may be) it comes in a retro looking tube, stick or tub and looks very 70s. It made me think it will be one of those products you will eventually label "my trusty old faithful.." which I am quickly starting to say (even though I have had it just over 24hours). The best part to this is that it not only hydrates my forever chapped lips, but because I applied it prior to the lipstick application I found my lip colour lasted longer, even after my morning coffee and mid morning cup of tea...I am in love. I don't usually fall this hard this fast but there is always a first for everything...

Oh and I forgot to mention one of my favourite things about it (well one of my favourites clearly...) its not tested on animals. So it ticks all the boxes for me...xo

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Everyone needs a night light sometimes...

Never thought a night light could mean so much to a child...

The woodland animal nightlights are all the rage and can be very expensive.

Sophie Vine featured it in their kids bedroom in The Block back in 2012 and it retails around $120.

It became such a fad and I loved it but could not justify such a high price. I have found a few other options over the time that are cheaper however this little chestnut was only $5 from Kmart. If you like them save yourself $100 or so and buy one for your little ones. Also a great gift idea for baby shower gift or stocking stuffer at Christmas...xo

Eat Less - what a ridiculous notion!

sophia bush zero is not a size  300x239 The clothing company selling t shirts that tell young girls to eat less.
Sophia Bush has spoken out against the American chain Urban Outfitters who have on range a T-shirt which reads "Eat Less" 

outfitters eat less tee  The clothing company selling t shirts that tell young girls to eat less.

The actress release the following statement "To promote starvation? To promote anorexia, which leads to heart disease, bone density loss, and a slew of other health problems, not least of all psychological issues that NEVER go away? Shame on you. I will no longer be shopping at your stores. And I will encourage the tens of thousands of female supporters I have to do the same."
Read more at Mamamia

Now some could say that its simply a sarcastic comment and should be interpreted as a joke, however with our society these days I wouldn't want to take that chance. Not sure what message its trying to convey either way its not "cool" I prefer Sophia's top if you ask me...xo

Sonia Kruger Pregnant and Just as Stylish

18 weeks pregnant and she is embracing her curves and continuing with her style. Sonia Kruger herself said in a recent article "I’m not going to start turning up in kaftan's — (a) because they look really bad on me, and (b) fashion is a big part of the show.” (Source: Herald Sun ) and I could not agree more and had the exact same mentality when I was pregnant. 
Now we cant all be designer like Ms. Kruger as we don't all have stylists following us around prepping us for cameras. However we can still look and feel good. When I was pregnant I found lots of great lose fitting tops, dresses where the seam sat above the belly, and shift dresses. Even fitted dresses look great and are comfy. I agree Sonia I wouldn't start trying to rock a kaftan either. You already feel fat so why dress frumpy when you don't have to...xo
**Sonia is wearing Paolo Sebastian  and jewellery by one of our favourites Elizabeth Jean

Monday, 8 September 2014

Kid Friendly Cafe - Coco Latte Review

As my little one gets older (nearly 2) he does not want to sit in the pram/high chair sipping his baby chino whilst mum has an in depth conversation with her friends. Having a coffee catch up lasting longer then 20mins is becoming more and more difficult as he get older, and has larger stores of energy! (I would love some of that by the way, it not something you acquire as soon as you become a mum to keep up...if only!)
Instead of being forced to have coffee at McCafe or at your local Bunnings Warehouse, because they have a playgound, I needed something that felt civilised, had good coffee (top of priority checklist of course), and was child friendly. Now when I say child friendly it could be interpreted as accommodating to a pram, has high chairs, or even better has a playground. This cafe I discovered has it ALL!!


Coco Latte is on Union Surrey Hills. Its quaint, spacious, friendly and near a train stations (for those who dont drive or for kids who love watching trains go by...my son does!)
It has everything you need, good coffee, good food allowing for good company.

Its open Monday through to Sunday for Breakfast and Lunch and is quite affordable.

All relevant details and feedback can be found here at Coco Latte


Royal Baby #2

The Royal family has confirmed that Kate Middleton is pregnant with their second child and we couldn't be more excited!! 

I wonder whether it will be a boy or girl...we have at least 6 months to try and figure it out. 
And there is no doubt baby boy George will be a great big brother.xo