This monthly round-up of beauty and foodie goodness is overdue, did anyone notice I didn’t do one last month? I had my hands full and I just couldn’t get laptop time! Sorry folks. I hope this one makes up for it Enjoy! Lou x
Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation
I’ve been hankering after a Bourjois foundation for ages: I’ve heard from a variety of sources that they are top notch. However, Bourjois was only available overseas, until…. I stumbled across a stand in Farmers! I was euphoric. Bourjois, which used to be owned by Chanel, is a well-known French brand that I use regularly when I lived in Paris in my early twenties. To celebrate their NZ launch I treated myself, courtesy of my Farmers beauty points, to a foundation.
In terms of coverage, Healthy Mix Serum offers a medium to full finish, which, as a lover of a relatively light finish I need to be careful with. So, I use about three-quarters of a pea sized to do my whole face (or a whole pea for a night out), taking my time to buff it in thoroughly with a foundation buffing brush. The finish is flawless, it covers all of my acne scars, takes away any redness. The best thing is that it lasts pretty much a full day on my slippy skin: You can still tell I’ve got it on at 5pm (though I’ve noticed it lasts longer with a primer). This is, hands-down, the best foundation I’ve come across – in fact, I haven’t used any of my other foundations since I got this five weeks ago. I got shade 53 ‘Light Beige’ which gets brownie points for having a yellow undertone, which is rare to find: Despite getting a lot of my foundations colour matched they always seem to develop have a pink undertone, which I dislike after a few hours wear on my pale (yet olive) skin.
Available from: Farmers. Price: NZ$40. (more…)
I love this. I’ve been playing around with variations of this granola recipe since I learnt a bit more about the Paleo way of life and, more importantly, since I attended one of Ben Warren’s seminars (if you haven’t heard of this guy, google him or check him out on Facebook. Nutritionally, he speaks a bucket load of sense). I’m not a paleo follower by any stretch of the imagination, however, I like the philosophy and I’m a big believer in eating clean. We’ve been slowly ditching processed food in our home – and we feel better for it.
Anyways, having played around with this recipe, I’m rapt to report that I reckon I’ve perfected the flavours. I enjoy recipes where you can ‘biff in what’s in your cupboards’ – and this is one of those. This is paleo friendly and, bonus, gluten-free devotees will also give it the thumbs up.
Paleo and Gluten Free Granola
- 2 and ½ cups mixed nuts (you can use raw nut mix from the supermarket too - I use a mix of almonds, brazil nuts and cashews usually)
- ½ cup Pumpkin Seeds
- ½ cup Sunflower Seeds
- ½ cup Sesame Seeds
- 2 cups coconut flakes (flakes are so much nicer than shredded coconut – much thicker!)
- 50mls coconut oil (you could also use olive oil - don't use EVO, it's got too much flavour)
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2-3 tablespoons honey or maple walnut, based on your sweet-tooth requirements! (Note, this is optional... I like my muesli with some sweetness)
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees (normal bake)
- Line two roasting trays with baking paper.
- Blitz half the nuts in a blender - don't over do 'em, you want 'em still a bit chunky. Tip the nuts onto the two roasting trays (i.e. split the nuts across the two tins).
- Add the pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds to the nuts.
- Melt the coconut oil, vanilla essence and maple/honey in a pot or in the microwave so it all melts together. Sprinkle the coconut oil mixture over the nuts and seeds. Stir to combine.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes or until golden. Turn mixture half way through. Keep a close eye on it, once it starts to go brown it'll take off and go REAL brown fast!
- Once golden, remove from oven.
- Then toast the coconut in a roasting dish - this can burn like a bastard, so again, watch it carefully. This usually takes 5 mins max. When done, add the toasted coconut to the muesli. Stir.(I do the coconut separately as I find it burns too quickly if I cook it with the nuts)
- Leave to cool. When totally cooled tip into an airtight container.
- Delicious with almond milk, a dollop of yogurt (I know yogurt isn't paleo...) and berries.
- If you are like me and love sweetness, drizzle with a little honey or maple right on serving time. YUM.
I found this little ripper of a recipe in Cuisine magazine years ago. I used to make this all the time when I was at uni and my (fellow foodie) buddy Ants would come over for dinner on a Sunday night. More often than not, I’d make this and we’d devour it. I also used to make this for the family I used to nanny for (I’d trek to work with my food processor tucked under one arm as they didn’t have one). The kids used to polish this off.
I have also successfully made it substituting the fish with chicken (thighs or breasts, both work!). If you stay true to the recipe and use fish, be aware that the fish really takes hardly any time at all to cook. Note, you will need a food processor to make this. (more…)
Zoeva Cocoa Blend Palette It’s as good as it looks…
Let’s cut to the chase: A photo of the most gorgeous eyeshadow palette that I’ve ever seen, Zoeva’s newly released Cocoa Blend, popped up in my Facebook newsfeed, on Beauty Bay’s Facie page. So dazzled I was, that I inhaled, sharply, and my stomach did a lurch. “Sod it”, I thought. “I’ve got to have it”. So, for the absolute bargain price of AUD$33.20 (NZ$36.90), thanks to Beauty Bay, this bad boy from German cosmetics company Zoeva, was mine within two weeks (free international shipping). I had a feeling I needed to act FAST, this palette is a thing of such beauty I knew it would sell out fast. I’m right – it did: I’m feeling slightly smug at my trend-spotting abilities.
Sadly, as I write this blog post it’s still out of stock on Beauty Bay, but keep checking lovelies, it’ll be back. I want to get another one too as this eyeshadow palette is as every bit as good as I hoped. In fact, I’m hoping it comes back in stock soon as I want to get one for a friend’s ‘zero birthday’ that is looming. Note: You can buy this online from Zoeva directly, but you’ll get whacked with EUR16.00 shipping fee (NZ$26). Ouch. Beauty Bay seems to be the way to go.
Luxurious is the first word that springs to mind when I look at this. Oh, and good enough to eat. In fact, when I’ve showed it off to friends they’ve thought it’s a bar of chocolate as it’s about the same size as a bar of chocolate from Whittaker’s new Artisan range, actually, the packaging ain’t that dissimilar either. When you open it up, the word ‘chocolate’ is the next word that’ll pop into your head: The colours range from chocolate tones, to rose gold shades. (more…)
I made this winter appropriate salad for dinner on Saturday night and both my vege-dodging husband and super-fussy friend scoffed this. In fact, my husband ate so much he complained “I’ve eaten too much” for the rest of the evening. However, this might have something to do with the chocolate fudge self-saucing pudding I made for the kids… That he tucked in to.
When I made this I marinaded the chicken breasts for a couple of hours. That said, I make versions of this salad on week nights and, not being a particularly organised creature, thinking ahead to put the chicken on to marinade is in the too-hard basket. So, as I do when I’m in ‘quick-cook mode’ simply pan fry the chicken sprinkled with some of your favourite seasoning (I love Masterfood’s Tuscan Seasoning, Moroccan Seasoning, or Mrs Dash Garlic & Herb Seasoning). Actually on that note, this whole recipe, like many of mine that you’ll find on my blog, is very much of the ‘improvise or get creative’ type. No kumara? Use pumpkin. No green beans? Use capsicum. No cashew nuts? Use almonds. No bacon? Leave it out. Lastly, the ingredients look like a lot – I get that. Take some shortcuts if you like, hell buy a pre-made Ranch Dressing to speed things up (Paul Newman’s is a goodie).
If you do make the dressing though – save the recipe, you’ll want to use it over and over…
Note: Usually I use a special feature on my blog to layout my recipes, but this app I use is misbehaving itself and I’ve admitted defeat for now. So if you are reading the recipe below and moaning at the layout (and lack of a print button) – sorry! I’ll try redoing it next week,b ut for now, my patience has, errr, expired… Lou x
Ahhhh. Happiness. LOVE Moreish’s re-branded look!
On the face of it, being contacted by a PR agency to see if you are interested in reviewing some natural, cruelty-free and Kiwi-made products for my blog sounds super exciting. And, usually, emails of this regard cause me to do a little dance of joy (and it would be cool if it happened more often, LOL). But, here comes ‘the but’… On this occasion: I got really nervous. What was my dilemma? You see the PR company didn’t mention what brand of products I’d be reviewing and I’ve got a reasonably long-standing love affair happening with Moreish, the NZ made, natural, cruelty free skincare range. Clearly I’m a loyal creature, because I got my tits in a right tangle at the prospect of potentially falling in love with a range from Moreish’s competitors. What happened if I loved Moriesh’s competitor’s products just as much, or even more? Then what? Clearly, sometimes, I catastrophise and fail to consider the obvious. Because when the box of goodies arrived, guess what? It was a sample of recently rebranded and relaunched Moreish goodies. What a relief. I’m such an egg sometimes.
I’ve waxed lyrical about Moreish before (see this blogpost, crikey, I wrote this over 18 months ago!), raving about: Their great price point, ethical practices, quality of product, and ‘no baddies’ approach to skin care. Yeah, I’m a fan and, to cut to the chase, I still am. So, I’ll keep this post relatively brief (I can hear you all snorting in disbelief that I’ll ever have few words on any topic…).
I got three items sent to me (thank you PR Shop and Moreish!). Nothing disappointed, rather, all delighted. Here’s my thoughts. (more…)
Is it just me, or do these monthly favourite blog posts rock around super fast?
Jordana Blackberry Lipstick
I slipped putting the lid back on the lipstick. Forgive me for the slightly dodgy shape!
Right, let’s get this out of the way, yes, I bought a $4 lipstick from my local 1,2,3 Shop (i.e. $2 shop) and it’s CRANKING HOT. It’s so good my work colleague Lauren went and bought one as well and she’s rocking it daily. It’s the perfect winter shade, it’s a deep berry colour with a slight sheen finish to it and it applies smooth and pigmented. It’s also got a scent that is reminiscent of my youth when I played with Strawberry Shortcake dolls (but I can’t remember which doll). I mention this as some people will be put off by this.. Oh and the packaging is as you’d expect for $4 (pretty shoddy). Skin tone wise Blackberry is pretty versatile: It looks great on my super ghostly winter complexion and Lauren looks like a supermodel wearing it with her deep tanned olive skin tone. Beauty on a bargain. Happy times. PS I reckon lovers of MAC’s Rebel lipstick will adore Blackberry. Price: NZ$4. Available: Keep an eye out for a Jordana stand at your local $2 or 1,2,3 Shop.
Jordana lippy and Motion Lotion in my wavy hair (I did the latter with my hair straighteners, I’m rapt I’ve finally learnt how to do it – I’ve been trying to master the ‘wave technique’ for years!)
I’ve been trying to get a bit more organised with week night dinners lately and, at the same time, I’ve been getting creative with my slow cooker. The creativity for this dish started when I scored a six pack of chorizo sausages from Countdown on sale for $4 and figured I’d try my luck with them in the slow cooker. This was the result, purely trial and error – with, ha ha, no error. We’ll be having this warm and hearty dish again!