Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Thankful Tuesdays.



Thankful Tuesdays
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Monday, 29 July 2013

Currently..

image via weheartit


Reading:  'Creative, Inc. - The Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful Freelance Business'.  I started reading it about a month ago but then as usual I got sidetracked and haven't had the chance to get back into it yet.  I was really enjoying it though, so I'll have to make some time to read the rest of it soon I think.

Watching:  The final season of 'Dexter', 'Freaks and Geeks' (I seriously can't believe they only made one season of that show), 'Under the Dome', 'Winners and Losers', 'Suits'.. and I think that might be it at the moment.

Listening to:  'Torn' by Natalie Imbruglia on repeat.  Neither the artist nor the lyrics have any significant meaning to me, I just really like the song and enjoy singing it in the car. :)

Thinking about:  Dexter (why does every episode have to end with an awesome cliff hanger?), my design business, and all the things I still need to cross off my to do list.

Working on:  Blog designs, getting my design website up and running again, and completing the weekly modules for the Small Business Management course that I've just started.

Loving:  My new computer set up.  It's been a long time coming but it was so worth the wait!

Anticipating:  Seeing my Mums face after her post mastectomy reconstructive surgery in a couple of weeks, being a bridesmaid for the first time ever in September, mine and B's five year anniversary on new years eve, and welcoming my new baby brother or sister into the world in January. :)

Friday, 26 July 2013

Sloughing off the excess.

image via weheartit

I know that Christmas is still a long way off, however, for those that do their Christmas shopping early I thought I would let you know in advance that I do not want or need a Christmas present this year (unless it's a new car, in which case, of course I want a Christmas present!).  In all seriousness though.. we've recently cleaned out our apartment and have been selling/giving away any unnecessary items that were cluttering up our living space, and the feeling that I've been getting from doing this is far more rewarding than the feeling I usually get when receiving a present.  I am in no way intending to be rude (and so I hope that I'm not coming off that way) but I just had to share with you guys how much better it feels to not have all this "stuff" constantly lying around, hiding in our wardrobe or stuffed in boxes underneath our bed. :)

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for keeping a few photographs, keepsakes and pretty ornaments in my apartment, but let's be honest - most of the items that we would ideally choose to have out on display (assuming you have a choice) are items that we have purchased and/or picked out for ourselves.  Occasionally you'll receive a really cool gift from a friend, but most of the time you're just being given one more hand cream that you'll never get around to using, or one more dinner set that isn't going to fit in your filled-to-the-brim kitchen cupboards. In other words, most of the gifts you're receiving aren't really a gift at all.. they're clutter.. stress.. just another item that you have to palm off to somebody else without the original gift giver finding out - I think you all know what I'm talking about!

I realise that some of my readers are still quite young and may have 16th, 18th and 21st birthdays to get through, but that doesn't mean that you have to receive 20+ "obligatory" gifts in order to enjoy these momentous occasions.  Why not make the night easier on yourself and ask your friends and family to bring a plate of food instead?  I wish I had of thought to do that when celebrating my own 21st!  Or better yet, if you're feeling a little more selfless, why not ask your friends to make a donation to charity in your name as a birthday gift instead?  One of my younger friends from Uni did this for his 21st last year, and not only were all of his guests more than happy to do so, but we felt GREAT doing it (and the birthday boy earned a few cool points as well!) :P

Anyway.. all I'm saying is that you really don't need to get me a gift this year (or next year, or the year after..) as I already have everything that I need, and really, I don't even want for anything unless it is something that I genuinely need - in which case I will more than likely buy that item for myself.  One thing I am short of though is money, and whilst it is sometimes considered rude to ask for money, if someone is going to insist on giving me a present (like I know my parents insist on giving us gifts) I would much rather be given money that I can spend on things that I genuinely want/need. :)

What are your thoughts on receiving gifts?  Have you ever "sloughed off the excess"
and felt like a whole new person afterwards?

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Healthy Homemade Rissoles Recipe.

I was never a big fan of rissoles growing up, but ever since I started eating clean I've been looking for new ways to eat my vegetables, and hiding them inside rissoles seemed like the perfect way.. and as it turns out, an extremely tasty way!  If I have any vegetables sitting in the fridge that are starting to go a bit funny, I now just hide them inside a rissole and fry them up until they taste like amazingness. :)  I love me some healthy rissoles with a salad, baked sweet potato, or even just a pile of mixed veggies.. and more importantly, my man loves to eat them as well!

The following recipe is my stock standard, tried and true version, but feel free to mix it up with some zucchini, fresh capsicum, chilli etc.  You can also make these rissoles using any kind of mince, I just happen to prefer pork mince as it's slightly leaner than regular mince. ;)




Ingredients:
500g pork mince
small red onion, diced
baby spinach, washed
1 tsp minced garlic
½ tsp ground paprika
1 tbsp thyme
1 large egg
salt and pepper
olive oil

Method:
1. Combine all ingredients (except for the olive oil) together in a large bowl.
2. Sprinkle some olive oil into a frying pan and place on the stove at a medium heat.
3. Break your mixture up into large balls and press the balls into the frying pan to make a rissole shape.
4. Cook each side until nice and brown (at least 3 mins per side) and cut one open to check that they are cooked before serving.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Thankful Tuesdays.



Thankful Tuesdays
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Thursday, 18 July 2013

Zucchini Potato Bake Recipe.

Okay, so this definitely isn't a "healthy" recipe that you should be eating all the time, but it certainly tastes delicious and doesn't leave you feeling like crap afterwards (like some cheesy recipes do!).  I made this recipe for a BBQ with my grandparents a few months ago, and despite them asking me not to use too much zucchini (which I did anyway) they absolutely LOVED it!  It tastes so good that you can easily eat it as a meal on it's own.. although it tastes even better with a nice lamb steak, or some healthy rissoles. :)  For something that wasn't made from a packet, it was incredibly easy to make as well.  Definitely a recipe I will be returning to for any future BBQ's..


Ingredients:
1 tbsp raw butter
5 peeled potatoes
1 large zucchini, diced
200ml cream
150ml full cream milk
½ cup parmesan cheese
½ cup mozzarella cheese
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp rosemary
salt and pepper to taste

Method:
1. Preheat your oven to 200°C and lightly grease a large baking dish with butter.
2. Slice your potatoes into 1 cm thick slices, and finely dice your zucchini. Layer your potatoes and zucchini together in the baking dish.
3. In a large bowl, mix your cream, milk, cheeses, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Pour evenly over your potatoes and zucchini.
4. Place in the preheated oven for 1 hour, or until golden and crisp on top.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Thankful Tuesdays.




Thankful Tuesdays
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Thursday, 11 July 2013

Banana & Apple Oat Muffins Recipe.

Hey guys!  I hope you've all been enjoying my eat yourself clean series so far.  I haven't received much feedback on the recipes that I've posted previously, so if you do end up trying these out, please make sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below. :)  Today's recipe is one that I created for my students on my internship as a healthy treat for their afternoon tea on my last day with them at the school.  After making sure that none of the kids had any food intolerances, I set out to find a healthy muffin recipe that I could tweak a little to make the idea of eating a "healthy" muffin more appealing.  The recipe that I found to help create the recipe below was a delicious banana oat muffin recipe by Jordy from Jordy's Cooking.  

I tried the original recipe out beforehand to see what I could add to, or take away from it, and my partner actually suggested that I throw some apples into the mix.  Then, whilst browsing through my local supermarket the next day, I came across some dark chocolate cooking nibs that I thought would be perfect to use as chocolate chips. :)  Three bowls of muffin mix, and an hour or two of cooking later, I had a large batch of banana and apple oat muffins ready to go for my students (and even some extras for the teachers in my building).  Needless to say, these muffins went down a treat!  In fact, my students liked these muffins so much that later that afternoon they asked if I could turn our final English lesson into a lesson on recipe writing!

Anyway, as I'm sure that most of you will only be wanting to make this recipe for yourselves or your family (and not a class of 25), the following recipe has been adjusted to provide you with enough mixture to make at least 12 large muffins. :D  Enjoy!




Ingredients:
2 cups self raising flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp bicarb soda
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup brown sugar
3 eggs
¾ cup Greek yoghurt
¼ cup olive or coconut oil
1 large banana, chopped
2 small apples (or 1 large), chopped
¼ cup dark chocolate nibs

Method:
1. Grease or line a 12 cup muffin tray with paper cases. Preheat your oven to 200°C.
2. Sift your flour, cinnamon and bicarb soda into a large bowl.  Add your oats and brown sugar, and then mix the dry ingredients together with a wooden spoon.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk your eggs, greek yoghurt and olive oil together. Add your chopped banana, apple and dark chocolate nibs, and stir to combine.
4. Pour your wet mixture over your dry ingredients and then mix together using a wooden spoon until your dry ingredients are completely covered.
5. Spoon your mixture into the muffin tray so that each section is ¾ full and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Thankful Tuesdays.


Thankful Tuesdays
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Sunday, 7 July 2013

Bread and Butter Pudding Recipe - Two Ways!

Now I realise that bread and butter pudding isn't exactly 'clean' or 'healthy', which is why this recipe isn't going to be a part of my eat yourself clean series.  It is, however, a great way to warm up your tummy during winter.. and it's also an excellent way to use up any almost stale bread that you might have lying around. ;)  I've been trying out a few different versions of this winter dessert lately, and after making a few little adjustments of my own, I found the following two versions to be the tastiest and the easiest. :)

Both of these recipes only serve 2, so you may want to adjust your ingredients depending on how many people you're cooking for.



Ingredients:
2 eggs
1 cup milk (full cream is best)
½ cup thickened cream
¼ cup castor sugar (or a sweetener of your choice)
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 slices of bread (I use multigrain bread and it tastes amazing)
raw, organic butter
raspberry jam or nutmeg

Method (Traditional Version):
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
2. Beat eggs with milk, cream, castor sugar and vanilla extract.
3. Spread butter on 5 slices of bread.  Cut off the crusts.
4. Tear bread and place into a buttered baking dish.
5. Pour in milk mixture, sprinkle with nutmeg, and cook in the oven until golden and set (around 15-20 mins).

Method (Jam Version):
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
2. Beat eggs with milk, cream, castor sugar and vanilla extract.
3. Spread butter and jam on 5 slices of bread.  Cut off the crusts.
4. Tear bread and place into a buttered baking dish.
5. Pour in milk mixture and cook in the oven until golden and set (around 15-20 mins).

Friday, 5 July 2013

My life lately: The gym + long awaited catch ups.


1. I started back up at the gym and took this cheesy shot with Bianca to celebrate.  Since then, we've basically just been going to yoga class and doing fast paced walking on the treadmill.  Unfortunately my gym payments no longer fit into my budget, so as of next month I will no longer be a gym member. :( Bianca has to quit as well though, so we're going to start walking and doing yoga together in our aparments.  Yay! :)

2. After finishing my internship I finally had the time to catch up with family and friends.  The first on my list of people to visit were my Mum, brother and of course the furbabies. :)  B and I drove up there on a Saturday night and arrived just in time for a scrumptious roast dinner.  After dinner (and some naughty dessert.. shh!) I curled up in the recliner with the furbabies in my lap and watched a sappy chick flick with Mum while B watched the football in the other room.  It wasn't a terribly exciting night, but it was just what I needed!  In the morning we woke up late and I cooked a hot pancake breakfast for everybody.  After breakfast we took the dogs for a long walk around the lake, and then my brother, B and myself drove to the local Nandos to meet my Dad, soon-to-be step mum and step sisters for lunch. Not many people that I know like Nandos but I absolutely adore their chicken burgers!  I ended up ordering a 'mild' chicken burger with the lot as I just couldn't pass up the caramelised onions and pineapple. :)


3. After lunch we said goodbye to my family and then B and I headed over to visit our friends Katie and Brad.  It was the first time that B had been over to their new place since they moved in last year, so after being given the royal tour, we all sat down for a drink (I drank water of course) and a good bloody catch up. Katie and Brad had just recently come back from overseas so they obviously had lots to tell us.  They even gave us some souvenirs each.  B was given a Viking necklace and I was given the gorgeous three leaf clover studs pictured above.  All in all it was a lovely afternoon. :)

4. Moving on a few days and I was jumping up and down with excitement at the reality that the final season of Dexter had finally begun.  It seems like forever since the season 6 finale, and I couldn't be more pumped to find out what happens next. :D  On a slightly less happy note, us Aussies also had to say goodbye to a much loved family tv show during the past week as well.  Packed to the Rafters has been a long time favourite of mine, with the hardest characters to say goodbye to being those of the twins (pictured above) who play little miss Ruby Rafter.  It's a shame when good things come to an end, even when it's just a tv show.. please tell me I'm not the only one who feels like this? :P



5 & 6. During the past two weeks I also got to catch up with Bianca (my gym buddy, pictured on the left) and Anita and Jaana (my old roomies & study buddies from Uni, pictured on the right).  As Anita and Jaana were only able to spend one day with us before they flew back to Mackay, my Mum and Bianca came over to my place so that we could all spend the day together.  We started our day off with presents, story telling and zucchini slice fresh from the oven, then we all piled into my Mums car and drove to the closest big shopping centre.  Unfortunately for us, the shopping centre we went to was one of those partially outdoors ones, and it of course just happened to be pissing down rain for the entire time that we were there.  Despite the rain though, we all had a lovely time, and I managed to get away without purchasing a single unnecessary item. :) Once we got back to my apartment we all curled up in front of the heater and watched the first episode of 'Under the Dome' (so far so good!).  After my Mum and Bianca had left, B, Jaana, Anita and I hopped in the car and drove to our local cinema ($7.50 movie tickets.. woohoo!).  We decided to see The Internship (as who could say no to Owen Wilson?) and we loved it!


So what have you been up to lately?

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Zucchini Slice Recipe.

Hey guys!  Today I am super excited to post my first ever, super easy, all time favourite 'Eat Yourself Clean' recipe.  I have made this so many times over the past few months and it is always a winner!  Everyone seems to adore this recipe - kids included - so it is the perfect healthy treat to whip up and take along to a party when you're asked to bring a plate.  Once cooked, your yummy zucchini slice can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days, or frozen to eat at a later date (although I guarantee that it will be all gone within the first few hours days).  You can eat your zucchini slice cold or fresh from the oven, and it can even be reheated in the oven without burning (it actually tastes best when reheated in the oven!).  Trust me.. this zucchini slice is seriously the BEST. THING. EVER!



Ingredients:
500gr zucchini, grated
1 brown onion, finely chopped
125gr Perfect Italiano grated parmesan cheese
100gr shaved ham (optional)
150gr self raising flour
4 large eggs, beaten
salt and pepper, to taste

5 cherry tomatoes
olive oil

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius and line a shallow tin baking pan with baking paper
(a tin baking pan is best).
2. Combine all ingredients (except tomatoes and olive oil) in a large bowl with a wooden spoon.
3. Spoon mixture into baking pan.  Depending on the size of your pan, you may find yourself with leftover mixture.  In this case you can lightly grease a tin muffin tray to spoon your leftover mixture into.
4. Top your zucchini slice/muffins with cherry tomato slices and then lightly drizzle with olive oil.
5. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the edges are golden and crispy.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Thankful Tuesdays.


Thankful Tuesdays
<a href="http://www.pursuitoffelicity.com/"><img src="http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/n598/felicitynielsen/thankfultuesdayslinkup.jpg" alt="Thankful Tuesdays" /></a>

Monday, 1 July 2013

Project: Longer Locks - 9 Month Update!

Hey guys!

It feels like forever since I last did a hair growth update, but in reality it's only been about 3 months since my last longer locks post.  Since then I have been under a massive amount of stress, and as a result I have noticed a hell of a lot of breakage and shedding in general.  Fortunately, despite all of this, my hair still appears to be as voluminous as ever and is actually the longest that it has ever been.. like ever!  I don't know the exact measurements, but my hair is currently sitting just above my back bra strap, or when pulled out in front, just at my nipples. :)



My current rate of hair growth is actually pretty awesome when you consider that the average rate of hair growth within a 3 month period is normally 3.75cm, and that my old rate of hair growth (prior to starting this project) was only 1.25cm every 3 months!

What I've been doing to promote healthy hair growth:

I've recently run out of my Lee Stafford hair growth products, but for the majority of the past three months this is what I have been doing:

  • Washing my hair once every 3-4 days using the Lee Stafford Hair Growth Shampoo, Hair Growth Treatment, and Hair Growth Conditioner.
  • Applying 2 pumps of Lee Stafford's Nourishing Miracle Oil to the mid lengths/ends of my hair while it's still damp after being washed.
  • Using a wide toothed comb to comb through wet hair, starting at the ends and working my way upwards.
  • Using a Michel Mercier detangling brush for fine hair when brushing knots out of my hair before going to bed and upon waking up of a morning.
  • Only using snag free hair elastics.
  • Not curling or straightening my hair, and only using a hair dryer for special occasions.
  • Not having my hair trimmed or recoloured.  Although I'm definitely due for a trim now.

Other things that might be helping:

  • Taking 2 Odourless Fish Oil/Vitamin D3 capsules and 1 Vitamin B Complex supplement daily.
  • Only drinking filtered water from a non-plastic water bottle.  Period.
  • Maintaining a diet that consists of around roughly 80% organic, unprocessed foods.
  • Yoga.
  • Getting a full nights sleep.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

As I'm almost at the end of my longer locks project (which was originally intended to last for 12 months, although I fully intend to continue growing my hair out afterwards) I've decided I'm going to spend the next 3 months changing up my products and methods to some of those that I've used previously that I suspected weren't very helpful.  I figure that this will be a fun little experiment, and a great way to make sure that the products/methods I believe to be working are actually the reason for my improved rate of hair growth.

I will posting the results of this experiment, as well as my final measurements for the longer locks project, on the 30th of September. :)