Life Lately and my new obsession with Halloween

Wednesday, 17 September 2014
Let me tell you, I feel like a bit of a social butterfly of late! I always seem to have something to do every weekend!

Last weekend was great; a nice night in on Friday, Saturday consisted of a massive clean out of the spare room, dinner and drinks with friends followed by the Arsenal vs Man City game…. Which then resulted in not getting home until 3am, ayyiyi! My friend and I though, were up early on Sunday morning to do the Big Red Kidney walk around Darling Harbour which raises funds and awareness for Kidney disease. Although we were tired and slightly hungover, we got up and out of bed for charity! It was a beautiful day – the sun was shining, it was that perfect spring temperature.
Afterwards, I had a bit of a nap and got back to it! Boyfriend had other plans, which involved lazing about on a boat for the afternoon, and I (willingly) stayed home to get some things done around the house. I took clothes to the charity donation bin, hauled garbage down to the garbage room, and gave our balcony a thorough clean in preparation for the warmer weather – spring BBQ’s and dinner outside here we come!! I only have a few items left on my to-do list, and I’m quite pleased with my progress!

Plans for the coming weekend are going to be interesting. We’re getting in full on Oktoberfest mode, with a few keg tappings at various locations around Sydney (and yes, we are dressing in authentic Oktoberfest wares – for some of it anyway!) and for some CRAZY reason, after the big keg tapping event on Saturday night, we will be doing the Sydney bridge run on Sunday morning. But walking. Still, what the hell are we thinking! Well at the very least, it’ll be punishment for drinking too much on Saturday night, or keep us in check to not drink too much (I suspect the latter..)

Ok ok ok ok. Now that’s a lovely update and all, but here’s what I’m really excited about. I know it’s only September; I know Australia “doesn’t do” Halloween, but to hell with it. I AM SO EXCITED FOR HALLOWEEN!! I am blaming the fact that there’s all pumpkin everything all over pinterest. It makes me giddy. I love pumpkin, savoury or sweet, therefore it’s natural that I would love this holiday. That’s what I’m telling myself anyway. I have been scoping out so much CUTE Halloween inspired wares, here are a few of my favourites so far
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
It’s times like this that I wish we had kids, or puppies or something/anything I can dress up in little outfits other than myself. Actually, why the hell does nobody make cute Halloween pj’s and clothes for grown-ups?! I keep wondering if I’d be able to squeeze myself into kids tops.. and I think I could if the cute ones came in large boy sizes.. but they don’t. Toddlers and babies are getting the cream of the crop and I am completely jelly. Though I have found this top on Etsy that I’ll be getting. And this garland too (not pictured above.)
I have also decided I’ll be making a day-by-day “things to do in October” list! Given that it’s spring in Australia and not Autumn (boo to that!) I’ll be modifying it to suit our season. I’ll be including a movie marathon weekend, with the list of Halloween-y movies to watch, and a TV show Halloween episode binge watch – including some of my old favourites like Roseanne! And then I will bake ALL THE PUMPKIN GOODIES!! I have picked up these cookie cutters, and I think I’ll probably just use a pumpkin pie spiced sugar cookie recipe
1. 2. 3. 4.
The cookie cutters though, hahah, will not just be used for cookies. Ghost bread sandwiches, jack-o-lantern deli meats and cheese, bat toast, witch pancakes.. Oh dear me, my poor, poor boyfriend hahaha! I have also planned my Halloween outfit to wear to work. I’m a little bummed it’ll be on a Friday (because we have casual Friday, and I was planning a more corporate attire outfit), but I think it will work anyway. It involves wearing my black and white striped PJ’s to work (surprised? No? Me either). Possibly a cat ear headband. Black nails for sure. I’ve got a bit of a thing for witches at the moment, could you tell?

OH! I can’t even believe I didn’t mention this until now. My pre-ordered iPhone 6 arrives on Friday. HAZZAH!!

I hope you’re having a wonderful week so far, and have a fantastic weekend ahead! If you have any Halloween ideas or go to recipes, gimme gimme gimme (please and thank you in advance!)

Getting back to running; Couch to 5k style!

Saturday, 13 September 2014
I used to run. And it wasn't that long ago! Ok. So maybe 2+ years was that long ago. I had a very weirdly lazy reason for running too (are you even surprised?)
I used to walk to and from work every day, when I lived in my old cute apartment by the water and it was about 30 minutes both ways. If I walked fast, it was maybe 20-25. I then figured if I ran, I would get home even quicker!

Getting home even quicker WHAT A GREAT IDEA!

But running was not really my forte. I was still quite chubby at this stage, even though I had lost 20kg at that point in time. I have shit knees and ankles, but I thought if i got my stride right and warmed up, I'd be ok. And I was.
I used the C25K app to help me get started - this one being a 5 day program. I think it was 5 days. I might've made it 5 days just because of the work week. By the 3rd week I was over the walk/run pattern, so I gave it a shot and just started jogging the whole way.

Thus started my rather surprising enjoyment of running.

I kept it up, ran in the morning and often in the evening too. I didn't have my eating down pat then, but whilst I wasn't losing a lot of weight, I noticed that my cellulite had reduced, my core muscles were improved and that my collarbone was looking miiiiiiiighty fine. I was quite happy with myself!

Then I moved in with the boyfriend, and was insanely closer to work. It takes me 10 minutes to walk to work when I stroll. So I got lazy. Oops.
In the mean time I did yoga, Jillian Michaels' 30 day shred (both of which I really enjoy! Well, sort of. J-Mike is a tough mistress and I have chicken arms.) I missed going for runs though. I tried to start again, but I was just so damn slow, I gave up easily. And, y'know, it was taking me longer to get home and therefore wasting my couch/pinterest time so WTF was I doing (yeah, see, lazy.)

Anyway, nice little back story there. My friend and I have decided that we will do the 5km Santa run in Darling Harbour this December, so we're getting into it with C25K! Tuesday was our very first day, and I loved it. I also loved doing it with someone else! I've only ever run by myself, so to have someone to chat to was really nice - it made the time go so much quicker, and I am really looking forward to seeing our progress and nailing our 5km in December!

What are your tips for pushing through the "omg-kill-me-now" barrier when exercising? I'm going to need all the help I can get!

Foundation who? BB Cream Review!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Over the last couple of months I’ve been on a fairly serious no-more-foundation kick. It’s not that I have anything against foundation, I just don’t like the feeling of wearing that much makeup anymore. Ah, the perks of advancing in years.

I’ve swapped my foundation for CC and BB creams. I’ve got to say, I’m really starting to get myself a little collection! I use these in conjunction with RMS un-cover up concealer and Nars light reflecting pressed powder (a translucent powder I use to set my foundation and cream blushes.. it’s amazing!) I apply with my fingertips and a beauty blender.

My pre-makeup morning routine is as follows: wash face with water, apply moisturiser, apply physical sunscreen. I’ve had to tone down my oil usage lately (I think I was getting a bit too over excited!), so it’s pretty basic – and I always wait 15 minutes after applying my sunscreen to start applying my makeup.



Kiehls Actively Correcting and Beautifying BB Cream
I love Kiehls, and I really wanted to love this. Out of all of my BB/CC creams I keep on hand, I have had this one the longest. It has a very high SPF of 30+ and is a chemical sunscreen. I think that has something to do with my on-the-fence status. It feels like a sunscreen. The coverage is very nice, but I feel like it sits on my face like a sunscreen – a bit greasy. I do use a powder to set, but it still seems to “slip” during the day. I’d say this is ok for Autumn and Winter when you don’t really get too sweaty, but summer, I would need to carry powder around with me or use a primer to make it stay. I do really like that it has vitamin C in it though. It comes in 3 shades also; Fair, Light and Natural. I have 'Light'... which is ridiculously spot on for me.



L’Oreal Nude Magique Anti-Redness CC Cream
This is actually the only CC cream I use, but I am keen to try more! I really like it because it’s lightweight, and really helps in reducing the redness of my skin (and, er, any annoying little pimples that decide to stop by for a visit!) Not too buildable. I’ve used this throughout the Autumn and Winter months, and am looking forward to giving it a whirl over Summer. Nice sized and easy to use tube, has an SPF of 20 (though it is a chemical sunscreen, not physical), it’s very liquid so a little goes a long way and the fact that the CC cream itself is green and then matches to your skin tone, is a little bit fun and cool! But, that can also be a downer, there are no “shades” and I’m not entirely sure how it’d go on darker skin.



Philosophy Hope in a Jar A-Z Cream
I picked this up when I was in San Francisco, even though I was really looking for the new supernatural airbrushed foundation (that we used to be able to get in Australia and was freaking amazing, but for some reason we don’t get the new package one) I’ve only used this a couple of times so far, and whilst I like the pump-tube idea, I think it will make getting the last little bits hard. I do very much appreciate the fact that the built in sunscreen is physical and not chemical (hazzah!) with an SPF of 20. It provides a light coverage, but I find this to give more of a soft matte finish, evens out skin tone and more easily buildable. There are only 3 shades; light, medium and tan/deep. I have medium, which is probably a slight bit darker then what I’d normally get.




Too Faced Beauty Balm
One of my more recent purchases! Wow, the coverage! It’s a little thicker than the rest of my BB/CC creams, but it is great at evening out skin tone and has some serious staying power without being all foundation-like. It also has a physical sunscreen with an SPF of 15 and has a really nice matte finish. A little definitely goes a long way here, and the tube is a fairly good size – I think this will last me quite a bit. They actually have 6 shades, I got vanilla glow. I have a feeling in summer I will need linen or cream glow instead. I’ve still got a little post-holiday tan leftover and it’s maybe a tiny bit too light for my face, but blends in my neck well. Nothing a bit of bronzer wouldn’t fix!





Rimmel BB Cream Matte
I bought this yesterday! I know, I couldn’t help myself. I sort of just wanted one for every day of the work week to try out.. and well, I had a test of CoverGirl and Maybelline as well, but the Rimmel one was by far the nicest and the closest matching shade for me, As I walked out of the door at Priceline though, I saw the Revlon CC cream and had a “d’oh!” moment. I wore it today, and I was very happy with the result. Definitely matte, little goes a long way and honestly, better coverage than I had anticipated. I'll save any further comments until I give it a good workout though!
I'm kind of having a bit of a giggle at the moment, noticing that the shades are actually fairly different! I am surprised by the Rimmel one, because it really isn't that orangey on!




All in all, my faves so far would have to be L’Oreal and Too Faced. Too Faced probably hits in at number 1 due to coverage and physical sunscreen. Regardless of the SPF content of my makeup, I always, always apply sunscreen, as you need at least 1/4tsp to get the right amount of SPF!

Quick little reviews, I know! Would love to hear any BB/CC recommendations that you might have!

Clean Eating: Meal Planning for the work week #2

Tuesday, 9 September 2014
We had a pretty busy weekend this past weekend.. we didn’t get home until 11:30pm on Sunday night after a late lunch date and many games of pool. Which I suck at.. UNLESS I don’t have to play with the white ball, or someone tells me exactly where to hit it. Then I do ok.

And now back on track.

I did manage to do some grocery shopping early on Sunday morning, but no prior meal planning, so I’ve done it in reverse this week! I like to shake it up, and sometimes I get distracted by different veggies that I’ve never tried.. purple potatoes, purple cauliflower… or something looks really good like MASSIVE sweet potatoes.. and it all goes out the window.

But again, I digress. Here’s the meal plan for the week!

 
Monday

  • Breakfast – Wholegrain organic sourdough toast topped with ½ avocado and greens
  • Lunch – La Zuppa soup with added greens, half a slice of wholegrain organic sourdough bread, a radish and a banana chia pod pudding
  • Dinner – Slow cooked lamb ribs (rosemary, garlic & lemon), capsicum, beetroot, sweet potato, mixed greens and cous cous salad with a mustard vinaigrette

Tuesday
  • Breakfast – Wholegrain organic sourdough toast topped with ½ avocado and a boiled egg
  • Lunch – Leftover salad
  • Dinner – Toulouse sausages with leftover beetroot, roasted cauliflower and carrot and parsnip chips

Wednesday
  • Breakfast – Overnight oats cooked with water, cottage cheese, ½ avocado and chia seeds
  • Lunch – La Zuppa soup and salad of greens, avocado and radish
  • Dinner – Baked chicken thighs, roasted capsicum, sweet potato and sugar snap peas

Thursday
  • Breakfast – Overnight oats with water, cottage cheese, sweet potato, cinnamon and chia seeds
  • Lunch – La Zuppa soup with greens and leftover capsicum
  • Dinner – Leftovers & cheese frittata (any veggies or meat left in the fridge!)

Friday
  • This will be my naughty day! I’ll buy my breakfast and lunch, and the bf and I will get takeaway for dinner (ooooooo pizza!)
Snacks
  • I bought some blueberries, strawberries, preservative-free prunes and almonds to have as snacks this week. I found that last week, I was a bit snacky by the afternoon and my cup of tea just wasn't doing it! I prepared in advance this week.

In case you can’t tell, I really like soup. La Zuppa make amazing soups and my absolute favourite part is that they have no added sugar, preservatives, colourings. None of that junk! It’s exactly what you would put in it if you were making soup at home. So tasty as well! I like to beef the veggie ones up by adding chicken peas, leftover veggies or even just greens like baby spinach, kale etc.

Hoping for a fairly low key weekend coming up, so I can get some spring cleaning done! Plans so far are to have dinner and drinks with friends on the Saturday night, before heading to the casino to watch Arsenal play. Sunday morning my friend and I will be doing a 2.5km charity walk followed by Day 3 of Couch to 5k! (More on that soon :))

Hope you have a great week!

Oil Pulling: the experiment!

Monday, 8 September 2014
Oil pulling. Sounds a little gross. Is a little gross. Definitely gives your face a workout (but that’s supposed to be sort of anti-aging, isn’t it?!)
 
I decided to start oil pulling after constantly seeing pins on Pinterest about it. The premise is that swishing with oil in your mouth for 20 minutes helps draw out the toxins, cleans teeth better and helps to repair your teeth... really, better overall mouth health.

My teeth are prone to cavities (but that could have something to do with my love of gummi lollies and the fact they get stuck in your teeth!) Truth be told, I am not great about going to the dentist either. And I actually really like the dentist! But I’m lazy (you already know that though..)
All the articles I’ve read haven’t said anything about when you’re supposed to do the oil pulling, so I’m sort of winging it here. This is how I roll swish:
  • I’m using refined organic coconut oil, simply because that is what I had on hand. If I manage to keep it up though, I will go and buy some unrefined organic coconut oil to get benefits from the increased amount of lauric acid. You don’t have to use coconut oil – there are plenty of people who use other oils.. but hey, coconut oil is delicious as well as being very beneficial to your health!
  • I do my oil pulling at night. When it’s time to start getting ready for my shower and laying my clothes out for the next day, I pop 2 teaspoons of oil (melted or hard) in my mouth and start swishing away. I swish as I get my clothes ready, use my cleansing balm and while I am in the shower - which is probably a good thing for me, because sometimes when I swish too hard, I have a bit of coconutty dribble happening’!
  • I then spit it into the rubbish bin, and rinse my mouth out with water. By the time you are finished swishing, it should be a creamy colour. Don’t swallow the oil. The idea is that you are using the oil to pull the toxins out, so you don’t really want to be swallowing that junk.
  • I also give my teeth a quick brush with toothpaste.
I’ve only started oil pulling last Wednesday, but I’ve managed to keep it up since then (no matter how tipsy I am when I get home from a night out with friends!) I find that doing it at night while I’m getting ready for the shower, and then showering, is best for me. There’s no way I’d get it done in the morning. Swishing for 20 minutes while I’m half asleep? Not on your life. I can just picture coconut oil going evvvvverywhere! And it’s bad enough when I get toothpaste on my shirt.
 
Have you tried oil pulling before? Would love to hear if you have, and whether you found it beneficial or not!

Clean Eating: Meal Planning for the work week!

Monday, 1 September 2014
I mentioned in my last few blog posts that after all our holiday fun, I am trying to get back on the clean eating bandwagon. I thought I would share a simple meal plan I put together for this working week. It’s not flash, or fussy, nor does it require any weird ingredients! I just hope it’ll give someone else some inspiration or ideas during a slump they may be having! I do this before I go grocery shopping, and then tweak afterwards if I got a good bargain or something wasn’t in stock.



Meal Planner from Kikki K
Monday 
  • Breakfast: Fruity Chia pudding topped with granola and a large black coffee
  • Lunch: Organic high fibre flaxseed sourdough toast, topped with full fat cottage cheese, chia seeds, mixed greens and 2 boiled eggs with a side of radish
  • Dinner: Baked pork loin chop, quinoa and vegetables sautéed in butter, garlic, chicken stock and parsley
Tuesday
  • Breakfast: Fruity Chai pudding, topped with granola and a large black coffee
  • Lunch: Half an avocado, leftover sautéed vegetables & quinoa, with radish, La Zuppa soup and chia
  • Dinner: Roasted capsicum stuffed with quinoa and sautéed vegetables (I normally change the flavour up; add some cumin, chilli, coriander etc.)
Wednesday
  • Breakfast: Organic high fibre flaxseed sourdough toast, topped with half an avocado, greens and boiled eggs
  • Lunch: La Zuppa soup with chia, and leftover roasted capsicum
  • Dinner: Grilled chicken with roasted sweet potato and a side salad of greens
Thursday
  • Breakfast: Organic high fibre flaxseed sourdough toast with butter, sweet potato, cinnamon and chia
  • Lunch: I have a lunch date, so nothing specific planned. Possibly sushi or thai
  • Dinner: Ham and vegetable crustless quiche
Friday
  • Breakfast: Organic high fibre flaxseed sourdough toast with half an avocado and vegemite
  • Lunch: La Zuppa soup with chia and 3 wholegrain ryvita’s topped with cottage cheese, avocado and greens
  • Dinner: Having a girly night out, likely to be pub food to go along with those beers I will be drinking!
 Snacks
  • I try not to factor in snacks, because I found I would watch the clock like a hawk! I try to make sure that my meals are big enough and filling enough to last me until the next. If I do get peckish when I’m at work, I’ll have a cup of tea, some air popped popcorn from the vending machine or duck downstairs to the convenience store and grab a Bounce protein ball for a quick fix. If I’m at home, I’ll have a handful of almonds (yep, I said handful, not this measly “7 almonds as a snack” stuff people talk about!), a piece of toast, or a small serving of oats cooked in water with cottage cheese and black pepper added after.
The weekend can be a bit hit and miss for me though and I have found that planning just doesn’t work, as we are always off doing something! This Saturday I’ll get a decent brunch from the farmers market in the morning, and we are double dating at night and going out for Thai. I think Sunday breakfast will be at a local café, and we’ll have a late lunch/early dinner of a Sunday roast the pub with friends!

I try to follow the 80-20 rule and eat well 80% of the time.. buuuuuuuuuuut like I say, I am by no means rigid - I was eating cake batter yesterday (and damn it was good haha!) I try to eat as best as I possibly can during the week, and save my poor choices for the weekend. Generally on the weekend though, we’ll only have brunch and dinner and maybe a snack in between, so I figure I can get away with it!

Happy Monday!

Clean Eating: Fruity Chia Puddings!

Sunday, 31 August 2014
What a weekend it has been! We traveled up to Newcastle yesterday to celebrate our friend getting married! The ceremony and reception were great, and so very, VERY them. It was a great night and we were also able to catch up with some old friends too!
Today is the last day of winter in Australia... cue sighing. Just when all the Americans are getting excited about 'Fall' and pumpkin everything... our temperature will start climbing. I have a love-hate relationship spring because of hayfever. But what can you do! (other than start a winter countdown, or pretend it's autumn/winter and continue to wear leggings and jeans and boots until it gets so hot you can't get your jeans on properly...)

In my bid to get back on the clean eating bandwagon, I've been trying to experiment with breakfast noms. If I had my way, I'd just eat toast every day with avocado or butter and vegemite... but I try to use breakfast as a starting point for the day, to fuel my body until lunch time and to be really darn tasty and easy to eat at work.
A go-to breakfast of mine is usually overnight oats in a jar (or "ooiaj" as the kids these days call it.) I love chia seeds. I love oats. I really, really like ooiaj, but I also some times really, really don't like ooiaj. But it's super easy to make the night before and tote to work in the morning - and if you've been reading along, you know by now that I like to be efficient lazy. But lately, oy the oats >.<

To solve my dilemma, the last few days I've been making chia pudding for breakfast instead! PUDDING FOR BREAKFAST! Healthy pudding. Uhhuh. You heard me. And delicious pudding. I'm still working with it, but here it goes.
Basic recipe, serves 2. You'll need:
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 small banana, approx 75gr
  • 5-6 strawberries, approx 100gr
  • Blueberries, 60gr
  • Plain, full fat organic yoghurt, 100gr
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of chia seeds, 20gr
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of a seed/nut mix, 10gr
  • Granola for serving, 50gr (optional)

Method:
  • Peel banana, roughly chop strawberries and add to a bowl along with the blueberries
  • Give the fruit mix a rough mash with a fork, then add the lemon juice
  • Mash some more, popping the blueberries, and let the mix sit for 10 minutes to give the lemon juice time to macerate the fruit
  • Add the yoghurt, chia and seed & nut mix, and mix well - nobody like chunky chia lumps in their pudding!
  • Pour mix into 2 bowls / containers / whatever you like, and leave in the fridge to plump up. The longer you leave it, the more pudding-like it gets. I leave mine anywhere from overnight to 48 hours!
  • Add granola just before serving, if you'd like a bit of crunch

The result: a deeeeeeeelicious, quick and easy breakfast. I make 2 at a time, so I can be lazy some more. You can use whatever fruit combo you like, but you may need to add in more liquid if you're using fruits like apple. I've just made a batch for the next 2 days and I've added in mango instead of blueberries - super versatile!

I hope you enjoy, and please feel free to share your favourite chia pudding recipe if you stop on by (hell, even if it's savoury dinner type chia pudding.. I'll go there!)

 
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