Thursday, April 12, 2012

Easter feaster....

A wonderful weekend away on the Mornington peninsula for the Easter weekend/my birthday was filled with yummy food, good company, relaxation, reading and wine.
What else could you ask for?
No defening hail at 3am would have been nice, but otherwise not much else!

My bestie Emma and her man were lovely enough to let me crash their family holiday house in Rye. And although my man could only come for two nights, I had a lovely weekend.

We went for breakfast, sorry brunch, on Saturday at Peninsula Pantry, which Emma has been raving about for yonks and I finally got a chance to try it out!

It's just a 2 min drive from the holiday house, but on a super hilly road and in the freezing weather we drove the car. Emma wasn't wrong saying it was a tiny space, with room for around 20 squished around two big communal tables and a bench along the window and two communal tables outside.

It was packed when we got in, but we managed to jump on the window seat as soon as the people there stood up. It was way to cold to sit on the outdoor tables, but those outdoor tables filled up as we were having our brunch.

I had poached eggs on the housemade corn bread, which is gluten free, with creamy avocado (almost a whole avocado) and spinach as well as a soy latte. They have a range of gluten free products, breakfast, lunch and sweet treats.

My man had scrambled eggs, bacon and spinach along with a vanilla milkshake which he enjoyed. It was a bit noisy in there with a lot of happy brunch banter. I didn't mind, but B didn't really like it as we almost had to yell to hear each other. Happens in such a small place with lots of people packed in though.

Emma had a Buritto (as seen below) and coffee and her man had a bacon and egg sandwhich on turkish.

I was so happy with my meal and coffee, I went back for take away coffee on the monday to accompany the scrambled eggs I made on Emma's insistence. I nabbed some cookies that Emma had also been raving about, gluten free orange and cinnamon which I was planning to eat only half of and save some for later, but it was so tasty I munched the whole thing up on the car ride home!

I saw one of my second year Uni lecturers picking up some goodies as well. Popular spot!

A lovely weekend, filled with lovely food and company. Think I will have to do this more often!

Have you been to Peninsula Pantry?
What is your fave Mornington brunch spot?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A cup of tea and....Sago?

Yes, that's right I said Sago!
Of late, the mister has been requesting my pancakes for dessert claiming I make the best pancakes. Gluten free pancakes aren't quite the same, and without ice cream, they aren't that great either. So I whip him up some regular pancakes full of gluten and coated in deliciously delectable dairy, but settle for a cup of tea for myself. I made some Sago a while ago with my mother-in-law to be (MILTB), so when I saw a box of Sago on the supermarket shelf I had to grab some and give it a go.
For those of you who have never heard of Sago, it is starch made into little balls. On the box it states that "Sago is a starch typically extracted from the pith of Sago palm stems. It can also be produced from tapioca, potato, sweet potato and maize starch."
As my ingredients list says "Sago or tapioca" I'm not sure what mine actually is, but its yummy!
The Sago I made with the MILTB was with coconut milk, and considering there was a coconut recipe on the box, I decided to forgo trying to supplement the milk in the traditional recipe for lactose free milk as that doesn't always work for me, plus...I love coconut!
You just soak the Sago in the coconut milk and some water for an hour, then bring it to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 mins.
Stir in a little caster sugar, pop in little bowls and chuck in the fridge for 10-15 mins. The recipe on the box had a passionfruit and pineapple sauce but in the absence of these, I drizzled some honey over, and wallah, gluten free, dairy free dessert! It is quite gelatenous and the little Sago balls don't have a lot if flavour but with the coconut and syrup, the texture and taste was lovely!
It was too late for the mister to have any as I started it pretty late and he was in bed by the time it was done, but even if he doesn't like it then its pancakes for him and all the more for me! I don't think he will argue!

What do you think of Sago?
Have you had it before?
If not, would you try it?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Coffee and study

I am in my fourth week of my new uni course, and am loving study. My undergrad was a BA with a major in sociology, and when I started working in youth work last year, I realised that was where I wanted to be, so decided to continue study.
I am now doing a Masters in Adolescent Health and Welfare.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed my undergrad but so much of it was theory. This course is much different with it being directed at those already in the work force, so the readings and all the information we are given actually makes sense to the real world.
The course is almost wholly by correspondence, as would make sense for the students its aimed at-professionals, with only a few optional sessions per semester, and I am embracing it with open arms.
I always thought correspondence wouldn't work for me because I used to find excuses for not doing work in my undergrad, but because the field of study is so interesting to me, and applies to my current, as well as future work, it is enjoyable and keeps me wanting to learn more.
I still need coffee to keep me going, but that's about the only similarity to my previous studies.
So I think that if anyone is considering going back to study and its something you love, and you can afford to do it, do it!
It will open your eyes and your mind, and all sorts of doors you never thought possible!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New shopping Motto

I am always on the lookout for items for my home. I love decorating, by purchasing things, as well as creating things myself.

I cannot wait until I get to design my own home and fit it with all the possessions I have acquired over the years, but I read something a few days ago that made me think about my purchases.

Someone made a comment on a pintrest post (yes, I will admit it, I may have a slight pintrest obsession) that you should only have posessions in your home that are useful or that you find beautiful.

I tend to buy things because I like them, not because I truly need them. As I have not been working much of late, thus have had less expendable income, I tend to have this saying ring in my ears when out shopping/browsing.

But why is retail therapy so satisfying? I find if I am in bad mood, sad or irritated, that if I go off on my own and wander the shops for a while- Op shop or other shops, and finding something to purchase lifts my mood.

Not food shopping- what I gravitate towards of late is homewares, books or creative goodies, with clothing usually coming up last.

If I am in the mood to cook, or am craving something specific, food shopping can help, but it is usually the material possessions that give that sense of relief from what I had been stressing over, or the feeling of happiness.

It is so odd. And I know of many a girl who will do the same thing. I do wonder what it is that makes buying something so gratifying?

But suffice to say, after reading the quote about purchasing only useful or beautiful things I have already altered my habits, although creating a use for something could be a long term effect of this concept.....

Image found here

Do impulse buy for the sake of it?
What are your shopping habits?
Will you take on my newly acquired shopping motto?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

crafty corner

After being introduced to Pintrest by my sister (see her shop over at Hennie & Fox) recently, I have found some wonderful projects I would like to get done. As I'm not working much of late and have just finished up my Uni degree, I hope to get some projects done in the next few months.

I found this cute display heart:
....and today, whilst exploring down at the river at the back of the farm I found some driftwood, and although the mister made fun of me for lugging it back up, I cannot wait to make one of these!
I have a star shape of wood that used to be a mobile that I disassembled which I could also use as a frame, but the heart is pretty sweet so I might try that first.

Might make my little sis one for a housewarming gift as she moved recently.

Lots of projects, but finding the wood makes this one the top of my list. Might start tomorrow :)

Happy blogging.

C xx

Ulta3 love

I have never really been a fan of nailpolish as it tends to chip so quickly and then I scratch it off and it annoys me, as well as looking horrible, but earlier in the year when I got a set of acrylic nails I began to search for a few colours to bump up my collection.

My friend Emma (emmabovarybeauty) worded me up on the affordable but comparable quality polishes by Ulta 3. I picked a few up with her on a city outing one day a few months ago.

Emma and I have been the best of friends pretty much as soon as we met but we are almost completely opposite in many ways. Fashion wise I tend to go for colours and vintage, whilst she wears a lot of darker colours with a "pop" handbag and keeps on top of all the recent trends.

We have a very different taste in music- she knows more of the top 20 and new stuff while I tend to listen mostly to JJJ due to the lack of annoying advertising and its Indie and Australian content (which she doesn't enjoy at all haha).

But differences aside we teach each other a lot of things. She has taught me a lot about beauty products and I always know to ask her if I have a question. Ulta3 was one of the things she introduced me to and I am grateful. I generally thought the cheaper nailpolishes were of lesser quality but with Ulta3 you  definately get value and quality for money.

Here are the polishes I picked up with Emma....
wild berry, blossom fever, chocolate cake (my fave). lily white and gooseberry.

I thought I had images of the colours on but I can't seem to find them. I do have photo's of this kit polish though. Was a freebie via Shop Til You Drop Mag.
This coraly-pink colour is one of my favourites.

These are my fave colours of the season.
Do you like these plain colours or do you go for glitter??
Do you maintain acrylics or go naked?
Anyone tried Shelac??

Happy blogging.

C xx

Saturday, November 26, 2011

End of my favourite season...

As November comes to a close I find myself saying farwell to my favourite season- Spring (in the Southern Hemisphere).

I love the garden in Spring and have recently been doing a bit of gardening in my spare time now that Uni has finished.
I wish that it could be Spring time all year long. The weather is perfect, not too hot with some rain here and there, as well as the beginning of more sunlight in the day, which makes me happy just thinking about it.

My gardening plans were pushed back a little as I was waiting on the Mister to do the heavy lifting to change a few things around, but now that he's flexed his muscles, building me a beautiful rock garden bed too, I've been able to get all the plants I have been collecting, finally in the ground. 

With the spring rain we are having today, I got them in in time to take advantage of the free watering!
Being on tank water I hate to water, but I found a tap in the garden and it is dam water so at least I can use that without fear of using up precious tank water.

But at the end of the season of Spring, comes a busy season-the Holiday Season, that will keep me well occupied and excited.

Being the first Christmas on the farm I don't have any christmas decorations, so am starting fresh with my colour scheme etc. I would like to make many of my decorations but depends how busy I am in the next few weeks. I was given a tree by my MiL (Mother in Law) and have gotten some silver and green ball decorations, but am after some cute handmade decorations. I have found a few that I like-

Pretty bird wreath. Could possibly be displayed year round and not just at Christmas time by simply changing the decorations.
I had more but my computer is being slow. Will pop them up if I actually get any made.

Talking about the next few weeks, it is my niece's 2nd birthday on the 15th of December so I have birthday presents, as well as Christmas presents to organise. The adults in my immediate family, are trying a Kris Kringle system of present giving this year. My Dad is not fond of the idea but we will try it this year and if it doesn't work out we won't do it next year! The mister's family do it too, which lightens the load, as well as the impact on the hip pocket too.

Booking our holiday to the Whitsundays in January has put a dint in the pocket but I am so excited! January is going to be a busy month with my best friend's 21st on the 7th, departing for our holiday on the 9th, back on the 17th, bridesmaid in a wedding on the 21st then back to Uni (fingers crossed) in early Feb.

No rest for the wicked eh?
At least they are all things I am looking forward to.

I hope to begin posting more often in the near future :)

Happy blogging.

C xx

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The quest for the flawless complexion....

I have, of late, been wearing a significant amount of make-up. This is due to the fact that I hate how uneven, red and blotchy my complexion is, and how tired I look without concealer!

In my quest to get a more flawless and even skin tone, that would allow me not to wear make up if I didn't feel like it, I have been trying to work out the perfect routine for my skin. I am after something that isn't too time consuming- I do like make-up, skin-care etc. but have a busy life so like to keep things simple and easy.

And I am also after products that aren't going to bankrupt me every month when I have to restock.
I always ask my bestie over at EmmaBovaryBeauty for her tips but have picked up some products that looked nice and gave them a go.

I do try and buy Australian when I can, but being on a pretty tight beauty budget, I tend to buy what is cheapest a lot of the time. I have actually found a lot of great products that are cheap, or "budget friendly" as I like to say, and don't think you have to spend a lot of money to get a quality product.

I'm going to start with face scrubs today, as my current one is almost empty and I found some bargains yesterday I thought I'd share!

I have been using the St. Ives Green Tea scrub for the last few months. I had used the Apricot scrub previously, and wasn't overly excited by it, but I love green tea, so I jumped on this one when I saw it!
The smell is lovely- like a sweet green tea. It seemed quite strong at first, but I soon fell in love!
It is quite a thick paste with grainy exfoliants throughout that are sandy in texture. If anyone has had green tea ice-cream, then it is a similar texture to that, if that makes any sense!

It says the it is "Oil free" and that it "Helps clear breakouts and soothes skin".
 It also says it has 1% salicylic acid- for acne prone skin and 100% natural soothing green tea.

As this one was almost empty, I was in search of another scrub. I like to try new products and then if they work better, I use them, or if not, I go back to the old one.

The other day, after Emma and I slept in and missed our Uni classes, we decided a shopping trip was what we needed. I had spotted a gorgeous candelabra her Mum had, and after she had told me that she got it at the reject shop, we stopped in to grab one, and spotted some skin care goodies for a steal!

I bagged each of these goodies for $3 each! I couldn't go past them at that price! If I remember correctly my green tea scrub cost around $10, so if they were at a similar price, a saving of $7 for each scrub is great!
The Moisturising Olive scrub looked nice and as my boyfriend works on an olive farm, and I do love a good olive product so jumped on this one too. I hadn't used olive products until I was introduced to a wonderful star and rose Olivette hand cream that is made from the olives on his farm, and ever since I've been a convert. I will do a post on this product at a later date.

I spotted the 'Warming Scrub' and as I have used a warming scrub before and loved the feel of it so jumped on this one!

My third bargain was the Apricot face wash. It comes in a pump bottle, which I like as it makes it easier on my arthritic fingers, and it is a 'blemish and blackhead control' wash, which I thought I'd give a try as I have noticed a few blackheads of late. It doesn't look as thick as the other scrubs, with a more jelly like texture.

I have a few more uses out of the green tea scrub, then I will start on one of my new ones and will let you know how they go!

Do you use face scrubs? Have you used any of these products?

xx C

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The importance of the first impression...

I was checking my diary the other day for what I had scheduled this week, and was shocked to realise the date read as August!

"Impossible", I thought to myself.

But indeed, my diary was correct, and it is the 8th month of the year, the beginning of my last semester of my Undergrad degree, and the middle of an abnormal Victorian winter.

We had a few days last week of 21 degrees (Celcius) and I was wearing a t-shirt outside, without a cardigan, jumper, scarf and coat piled on top. Crazy! The news reported the warmest winter day on 36 years, so it wasn't just my imagination!

I am very much so a 'Summer Girl' and I think it differs with Arthritis sufferers, but Winter is the most uncomfortable season for me. Although heat makes my joints swell, Summer is more comfortable for me as heat is generally more soothing on my joints.
The cold makes me ache and stiffen up, and I have a pretty much constant headache for the whole season.
I am having issues with my neck of late, that is frustrating me to no end, for the more intense and more frequent headaches than usual that I am experiencing. The cold contributes to this, and as I have short hair, I don't have anything around my neck to keep it warm.

Because I choose to have short hair, thus lose the benefit of the warmth of long hair on my neck, I got thinking the other day, to what level do we do things that make us uncomfortable or how do we modify our lives and our surroundings to create physical comfort??

I have to modify a lot of my daily activities from what 'Non-RA' people would do, to ensure I can get through the day with less pain and restriction and be able to function the next day, and not just sleep the day away.

Something I had thought of previously, due to my general life approach- to think what it would be like to be in another person's shoes, and was inspired more recently by a blog I was reading last night (I can't remember which one and can't seem to find it, sorry), made me think of  the idea of modification of general tasks to accommodate for unwanted and outside influences.

There are a lot of people out there that have chronic illnesses, suffer from other non-chronic medical conditions, and have physical injuries or emotional/mental stresses and illnesses. So I was thinking about this, and that having a chronic illness is not the only condition that affects day-to-day life.

Of late I feel that I don't want to explain my condition to strangers as well as associates who may not know of my condition, but this idea that may people suffer from outside effects on their lives that they may not have any control over, has changed my mindset a little. My recent work in the mental health sector has also opened up my eyes to the positive aspects of discussion and talking in breaking down barriers and stigmas.

There is no reason to deny, hide or brush over my condition. Education and discussion of it will make non-sufferers aware that it exists more than they realise, and this, in turn, will lessen the shock when someone does ask why you are limping, or when they look at a 20-something getting out of a car that has a disabled parking permit that it is their permit. Maybe they will think twice about judging others at face value and that there is often more to any story than what is presented.

I am almost at the stage of counting down the days until the warmer weather arrives, but I guess it is more practical to just take every day as it comes and live in the 'here and now', rather that look to the future for satisfaction, otherwise I'd be missing a lot of enjoyment and pleasure.

Here is to living like there's no tomorrow, breaking down barriers, and making others think twice :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

About me...

About me.... 
I cannot remember the last time I did one of these so thought that must mean it was time for another. I was inspired....well okay, I copied and pasted the form from Sophie over at Her Library Adventures

One of my besties (Georgia-left) and I, at Rockstar bowling for my birthday this year.
A. Age: 24
B. Bed size: Queen, but my boy has a king :)
C. Chore that you hate: Mopping, its just so annoying that you can't walk over it after you do it.
D. Dogs: My parents have a gorgeous boxer called Chloe, who is getting a bit old now and has grey eyebrows, but still looks like a puppy (she was runt of the litter) and my boy has a sweet Husky called Kye.
E. Essential start to your day: A cup of tea, some toast and then not long after a strong soy latte. mmmmm that gets my brain working...
F. Favourite color: Teal, Purple and Silver at present.
G. Gold or Silver: Silver
H. Height: 5.1”  and I hate it when people state the obvious and say, "oh your short" (or something similarly daft) or pat me on the head. My 6.4" Boy probably makes me look shorter than I really am :p
I. Instruments you play: nothing- learnt piano as a youngster, dabbled in guitar and clarinet and really want to pick up the Violin one day when I have time.
J. Job title: Student/Casual Youth worker
K. Kids: I have a gorgeous niece and nephew- Harper and Tully, and am loving playing with them and watching them grow up but I'm not sure if kids are for me. The best aunty is a pretty fun role :)
L. Live: in Central Victoria in the Macedon Ranges. Have lived in Canada (for a year when I was 15)
M. Mother's name: Cheryl
N. Nicknames: Candi, Tiny but Mighty, Dandy, Canned Rice (long story)
O. Overnight hospital stays: Yeah had one that I can remember for a drug trial I did when I was about 13 for a Rheumatoid Arthritis medication, and when I was little I was in hospital after I was born, but can't remember that so I was lucky cos I really am not a fan of hospitals.
P. Pet peeve:People who fidget.
Q. Quote from a movie:  Can I be a total nerd and use the quote Sophie used? “Damn the man. Save the Empire.” – Empire Records 
R. Right or left handed: Right
S. Siblings: Two sisters- one older one younger. Yep, I'm the middle child.
T. Time you wake up: Depending on the day. For uni, around 7.30am, if I'm at home around 10am (I'm not lazy, I need lots of sleep) For work, cos its only round the corner, 8am :) I am not a morning person, I need time to wake up and you won't be able to talk to me until I've at least had a cup of tea and a shower.
U. Underwear: Black bonds, and cute, bright bras.
V. Vegetable you hate: Brussel Sprouts. yuck.
W. What makes you run late: My constant fatigue that makes me put off getting out of bed until the very last minute, as well as my shocking memory that makes me run back inside about 5 times to get  something I've forgotten and probably wont even need anyway, as well as my annoying habit of somehow not snoozing my alarm and turning it off instead.
X. X-Rays you've had: Knees, ankles, hip, neck, shoulder. yep I've had the works. Thats what you get with a musculoskeletal disease.
Y. Yummy food that you make: All things asian- favourites are Thai. I made a chinese feast last night. It was divine!
Z. Zoo animal: I haven't been to the zoo in ages, but I went to Sea World in Jan and the polar bears were soooo cute. They were just lazing around because it was so hot. I felt sorry for them and wanted to set them free. I would like to go to Werribee open Range Zoo.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My first foray into Beauty blogging.....

My bestie over at emmabovarybeauty has introduced me to the world of cosmetics and beauty, as well as the world of beauty blogging.

Don't get me wrong, I wear make up and have some favourite products, but Emma has shown me a whole other side to beautification and blogging and it has opened up my eyes to so many possibilities!

I was super excited to be Em's 'plus one' at the Kiehls beauty blogger event to 'launch' their price reductions at Myer Melbourne last week. (emmabovarybeauty post about it here)
I met some lovely ladies, got some great goodies and sipped on my nudie coconut juice whilst perusing all the products they have. I was super tired and on the verge of getting a migrane, so wasn't my usual chatty self, but still had a blast observing everyone (I'm a sociologist, that's what we do) and getting some good beauty tips.

I've only just started using my gifted Kiehls products so I will review them in time :)

Although.....I have decided to do a little post of some goodies I got today.

Whilst killing time waiting for my dentist to open, I found some sale items (yay) at my local Guardian Pharmacy. I know all the girls there, so wandered around for a while, but then spotted the sale stand, and nabbed myself some goodies.

Mini Maybelline Colorama nailpolishes in 'Berry Jam' and 'Baby Doll', Loreal Colour Riche Lipstick in 'Pretty Peach' and a Revlon Colourstay brow enhancer in Blonde/Gold.

I am new to the world of lipsticks, thanks to Emma (I never liked the dark colours my mum always wore and didn't ever think that light ones could work for me!), so am happy with my sparkly purchase. It was half price at $12 and isn't too thick or heavy, which I like.

I've yet to try the other goodies but will pop them up once I do. I usually like dark polishes for my toes and light for my fingers so was happy with these little bottles for $2.50 each :)

What do you think? Does the colour suit me?
What is your fave lippy shade at present?
Do you always go for the same shades or do you have heaps of different ones?