Recipe: Easy Marshmallow Caramel Popcorn

Wednesday, 15 October 2014
Holy moly! This Sydney "spring" weather sure is giving us a run for our money! Massive storms and even snow! Snow this close to Christmas! Funnily enough, it's going to be back to mid 20's by the weekend. Go home, Mother Nature, you're drunk!

Now to the good stuff.

I love marshmallows and I love caramel popcorn. This recipe came about due to an intense craving, and a need to make a quick version of all the made-from-scratch marshmallow caramel popcorn recipes I had found online! When I have a craving, the last thing I want to do is fuss about with popping popcorn, making caramel, blah blah blah.

Here is a very simple recipe which only has THREE INGREDIENTS! I know. Three ingredients, who would've thought. Let's get on with it, shall we?

Ingredients

  • 2 x 125gr packets of Cob's 'I Love Caramel' popcorn (or, your favourite caramel popcorn)
  • 1 x 125gr packet of white marshmallows (I use Pascall's, you can use whatever colour/flavour you like, to be fairly honest!)
  • 1 tablespoon of butter (don't use margarine.. that's just mean to yourself.)
Method
  • Grease baking dish, add in your packets of caramel popcorn and set aside. You could also use baking paper to line the baking dish, just don't use nothing like I did!
  • On a low-medium heat, place butter in a saucepan and start to melt
  • When the butter is half melted, add in your marshmallows.
  • Stir, stir, stir, stir that butter and marshmallow mix, until all the marshmallows and the butter are deliciously melted and combined
  • Pour marshmallow mix over popcorn. Stare at the glory that has become marshmallow caramel popcorn!
You can then eat it while it's all warm and gooey, or pop it in the fridge for an hour or so to firm up. Cut into sections, or just break it up. DANG IT IS GLORIOUS! I'm not going to lie, I ate the whole tray.. save for about a tiny square that I gave my boyfriend (oops, sorry my love!)

It is delicious, it is addictive, and it's oh so very easy. I will be making this again when December hits, and I am thinking of doing a few variations! Crushed up candy canes, dark chocolate chips, pretzels.. the possibilities are endless!

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

How NOT to blog aka my life lately.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014
I am not being overly consistent with this whole blogging thing, am I? I promise to get back on the bandwagon and get my shit sorted. There's been a little bit of drama in my life lately, so unfortunately my experiment at blogging did drop off the radar! Despite the drama though, life lately has been pretty good!:
  • J. Crew sale. Guys, I love you so much. I got a new pair of Nikes for under $75 AUD including shipping. Happy girl! 
    Nike Pegasus '83's - no longer available at J Crew
  • We've been dabbling in a little bit of home-wares fun! We got a new BBQ, a bread machine and I bought a few things to update my bathroom; a new mint bath mat and a few suction shelves to vastly improve my bathroom make-up organisation (perks of having a separate bathroom from the boyfriend!) Needless to say, we pretty much spent the recent long weekend just gone making bread and cooking on the new BBQ
  • Trialling cookie recipes for the holidays. I am in need of a cut out cookie recipe that HOLDS IT’S DAMN SHAPE. I have done an extensive amount of googling and think I have solved my problem! Baking soda and/or powder are the devils! I'm going to give it a whirl with my favourite sugar cookie recipe, and I’ll keep you posted
    That is not what my giant jack-o-lantern cookie is supposed to look like!
  • Also, I made super easy caramel marshmallow popcorn. Recipe will be up VERY soon. Warning though; it's ultra delicious and a little too easy!
  • I made pate! Exciting! I used a bacon-beef liver pate recipe by Mickey over at auto-immune paleo, but substituted pasture fed veal livers, as that’s all my wonderful butcher had.
  • WE HAVE A BUTCHER NOW! We live fairly close to Sydney fish markets, and lucky lucky lucky us, Vic’s Meat Market has opened up there! It’s a “spin off” store from the infamous Victor Churchill – a renown Sydney butcher. I've been there about 5 times since it opened 2 weeks ago. They also have a little sandwich bar there that serves smoked meat sandwiches. Damn girl, damn girl. So good.
  • Holidays, I am getting excited for the holidays! All of my Halloween goodies have arrived, and I've hung most of my garlands too! I just need to get a nice frame to put some Halloween prints in there. I even got cute little jack-o-lantern string lights! Our apartment is looking very festive – a weird mix between “hooray spring!” and “o0o0o0oooo Halloweeeeeeeen!”. I've also started getting together some Christmas things... yeah, I know, too soon BUT! Long hair don't care!
  • I conquered the neon run! And may have had a few too many drinks beforehand, so I wouldn't exactly call it a "run"! A great social event though, lots of fun to run through the Domain at night - beautiful views

This week is already looking fairly busy. I'm off to the movies tonight with 2 of my girls, and this weekend we're off for a little girls weekend away! I can't wait :)
Spring is in full swing here.. well, it was until yesterday where we had a cracking thunderstorm roll in, and the temperature is back down to below 20C. Not complaining at all. I bought an amazing new Revlon ColourStay moisture stain in "Parisian Passion" yesterday, it's perfect for this type of weather! Also, I get a reprieve from being insanely jealous over the beautiful US Autumn.

In other news, I am trying some new things with my diet. I went and had my check up with my haematologist last week, and my platelets and white cell counts are still low. For no reason, thankfully. I am otherwise very much healthy. I have a feeling it's more to do with my previous history of sickness and constant tonsillitis infections, and my body has just never recovered from it fully. I've been reading up quite a bit on nutrition specifically relating to auto-immune issues, and there are some modifications I'll be making to my diet - namely upping my intake of good fats and leafy greens. Just call me the 'Kale Queen' from now on. Hmm.. maybe that should be my new blog name! I'll post a week-in-the-life-of-Stacey's-food soon, just to give you an idea of where I am heading. I'll be keen to see if there are any changes in my results in my next check up in December!

OH MY GOD DECEMBER! Christmas is SO CLOSE! Surely there is someone out there as excited as I am!? 

Skincare Routine change up

Thursday, 25 September 2014
My Mac is a bit dead at the moment. It's being looked after by the lovely people at Apple who are replacing its busted battery! So I'm posting this from my phone (because I forgot to charge my iPad.) I'm also baking pumpkin pie cupcakes, but more of that later!

Since my last post on skincare, I've altered my routine a bit (not that long ago, I know.. fickle pickle.)

I was a bit over excited at the time. It was winter, I was in love with all the oils... then I went traveling, had to scale back my toiletries because I needed room for shopping, and I wasn't planning on wearing any makeup for the entire 3.5 weeks I was away (and stuck to this, save for 2 small stints.) Oh yeah, and it was summer!

I also discovered some new products while I was away MUWHAHAHAHAHAHA! And have incorporated them into my daily routine. Oh and Zoe Foster Blake has a flipping awesome new skincare line, so I decided to try some of that too and have promptly fallen in love (oooooeeer!!)

Morning
And that's it. Sometimes I will add in a few drops of Aesop's fabulous face oil to my moisturiser. I have a sneaking suspicion it was breaking me out with my over use, so I have scaled it back and just use it every now and then.
Night

3 times a week I have been using Exfoliating Swipey's by Go-To. I love them because I can still use my Hada Labo afterward, whereas with my PTR un-wrinkle peel pads I couldn't because they contained retinol.
I also masque it up 2-3 times a week, either using Origins Clear Improvement or Aseop Chamomile Concentrate Anti-Blemish Masque. I find the Aesop one good fore more frequent use and it really helps zap those pesky white heads that appear randomly.

I stopped using straight up rose hip oil, as the Trilogy cream already contains it. The cream is super hydrating and great in the colder months, but I will look to get a lighter one when that hot hot Australian summer heat gets here.
My nuxe oil, while great for winter, is not something I feel like I need as the weather gets warmer. I still put that bad boy on my hair though and damn is it ever delicious! And shiny, so shiny.

How much do you change your skincare routine when the new season rolls around?

Weekend Fun!

Monday, 22 September 2014
Well. What a weekend that was. I am getting far too old to be doing so many things without at least taking a nap each day!

Friday night we went to the Bavarian on York Street in Sydney for their Oktoberfest keg tapping and some dinner with our good friends, who are often our partners in crime on such adventures!

Saturday was much of the same. Lunch with a friend, then a whole bunch of us got dressed up in Oktoberfest costumers and had ourselves a celebration! We went back to the Bavarian, down to the Belgian before our final destination of the Lowenbrau at The Rocks in Sydney. We had booked a table for their keg tapping feast - they kicked off the same time they do in Munich! It was a great night, and I am so glad everyone dressed up!
I had a bit of a wardrobe malfunction while doing the swim song.. apparently my bustiness does not comply with a costumer made of thin material.. and I popped the sides! Luckily it stayed together so I wasn't flashing anyone, but I'm a bit sad I won't be able to wear the dress again!
Excuse the face!
Surprisingly enough, my friend and I got up early Sunday morning to do the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival 9km bridge run! We walked and soaked up the amazing views - we got to walk along the Sydney Harbour Bridge, right on the road! We did have friends who were out with us the night before who actually ran the half marathon though!! I reckon it was a pretty good effort for all of us to get up and get into it, whilst meeting our time goals as well! We knocked our walk over in an hour and a half, so of course we went to the Opera Bar and treated ourselves to an icy cold beer and some bubbles.
Walking down the middle of the bridge
Sunday afternoon was almost a repeat of Friday and Saturday.. Boyfriend and I headed over to Manly on the ferry, met our friends again at the Moonshine rum and cider bar for a tipple and an amazing view, then we headed to the Bavarian at Manly for their keg tapping! I was over beer by this point. So very, very over it. We had a few glasses of wine in the beautiful spring sunshine and took part in some fun Oktoberfest singalongs with random German people. We ended up having an amazing dinner at Papi Chulo's on the water. We are definitely going back there!!
The view from the Moonshine rum & cider bar at Hotel Steyne in Manly

The view from the Bavarian Bier Cafe in Manly
All in all, I had a great weekend. Even though I'm tired today and behind on my housework (and just about every other chore!) it's times like these that I am so happy and so grateful for my life and the wonderful people I have in it!

I'm really hoping for a low key week ahead, and to focus on C25K, but we've already planned a brewing class for Wednesday night! No shenanigans planned for the weekend though, and I think that's a great idea! I wouldn't mind a lazy weekend on the couch :)

Hope you enjoyed your weekend as much as I did. Happy Monday!!

Clean Eating: Fudgey Nut Butter Chia Snacks

Saturday, 20 September 2014
Last Monday night, I went to an ‘I Quit Sugar’ talk by Sarah Wilson. Let me tell you, that woman is awesome. I’ve got quite a few of Sarah’s IQS books, and I absolutely adore them. She is not preachy, it is all based on her own personal experiences with quitting sugar. Sarah has a mantra that we need to be kinder and gentler to ourselves; that this is not a diet or some fad, it’s really about taking care of ourselves through the right nutrition, without restrictions.
To hear her speak, was amazing. Sarah is so warm, friendly and absolutely open. There’s nothing hiding there. You ask a question, you get an answer! It was such a wonderful night (with an awesome goody bag to boot!) and I really look forward to going again someday!

After I got in later that night, I prepped my breakfast and lunch for the next day. I got a little inspired too, thanks to the DELICIOUS IQS desserts we were given at the talk! Salted peanut butter fudge anyone?! Yeah I though so. Well, I sort of wanted more, but didn’t really have all the ingredients to follow the IQS recipe, so I made my own! And here it is!


Makes 4 decent sized fudgey snacks.. but you could go smaller and get 6.

Ingredients:
  • 2 tbsp Mayvers Peanut & Coconut butter spread
  • 1 tbsp Mayvers Immune nut & seed spread
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1.5 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp coconut oil (not solid)
  • ¼ tsp rice malt syrup
  • 1 tsp cacao powder (optional)
  • Sea salt flakes (optional – you can skip if you used salted nut butter)
  • Cupcake/Muffin/Mini cupcake patty papers
How To:
  • Put nut butters and coconut oil in a bowl and mix together until combined
  • Add chia seeds and water, and mix well – if you’re adding cacao, do it at this point
  • Spoon into patty papers
  • Sprinkle with sea salt flakes
  • Pop in the fridge to set – about an hour
Pre-refridgeration!
So, so easy and so delicious! You can easily omit the rice malt syrup, and use any nut butter you like (you just might need to increase your coconut oil slightly.) I like these because you can make as many or as little as your heart desires!!

I hope you have a great weekend! Sydney has turned it on today, we've got some beautiful spring weather!!!

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!
 
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