Kick-Ass Kumara, Kransky and Spinach Salad

Kick Ass Kumara, Kransky and Spinach SaladThe inspiration for this kick-ass kumara, kransky and spinach salad didn’t arise from the creative depths of my foodie brain, I’d better fess up to that, right now!   Nope, inspo for this dish comes from Salute Cafe and Deli in Taupo.  We did a roadie down to Taupo from Rotorua recently and called in at Salute for lunch.  I ordered hock and eggs, which is Salute’s version of Eggs Bene. It was it good, the coffee was hot and decent, but I had total food envy as both my Mum and Marissa, my brother’s girlfriend ordered this (rather boring sounding) ‘Kumara Salad’. When it arrived, I begged them for a taste. It was so good I took a photo, made a note of the flavours and promptly legged it to the supermarket to get the ingredients for dinner!  Mum keeps asking if I’ve blogged this recipe yet. Marissa’s already emailed me from Boston (she’s now back home) for the recipe. Last night I got a photo of the end result after she dished it up for dinner for her and my brother.  Best I get sharing. It’s clearly a goodie!   (more…)

World Organics Makeup Review

world organics makeup reviewThey say don’t judge a book by its cover. Well, I blatantly did that when I was offered the opportunity to review two items from World Organics makeup range (which is called The Organic Skin Company).  Can we just talk about the bamboo packaging for a second? Perfect and gorgeous. I haven’t seen packaging this cool for a while.  Yes please, World Organics, thanks for asking, I’ll try a few things: Your packaging is The Bomb.

Backtracking a little, I’d stumbled across some images of products from World Organics on Facebook, but I hadn’t ventured as far as checking any products out.  Why? To be honest, there so many makeup and skincare products popping up now it’s hard to try everything. Sadly, my wallet is not bottom-less.  Anyway, when Maryanne Gilles contacted me and introduced herself: Makeup Artist and World Organics Consultant, she piqued my interest. I sensed (and hoped) that as a makeup artist, she’d be using products that worked.  Bingo. During our correspondence Maryanne relayed to me that, as a make up artist  (and a beauty therapist) she wishes World Organics had been around earlier in her career.  Also, I was interested to learn Maryanne only uses World Organics makeup on her clients. 

While I waited a couple of days for the products to arrive,  I did some research. I’m a geek like that! Who was behind this company? Where were they from? What’s the guts?  First up, World Organic is a Kiwi Company, founded by  New Zealander, Megan Douglas. Megan, among other jobs (like model and fashion designer) is also a qualified herbalist. Megan used her background and expertise to  create her own organic skincare company.  There’s a few different range, including skincare, that come under the overall brand, check them out here.  (more…)

Max Factor Masterpiece Eyeshadow Palette – Review

Max Factor Masterpiece Nude Palette Review

I lusted after this Max Factor Masterpiece eyeshadow palette for quite some time after stumbling across it in Farmers.  After playing around with the tester, making pretty swatches all over my arm, I concluded this palette a gem.  I didn’t buy it though. Yes, you read that right: It got left in Farmers! Uncharacteristically restrained, right?!  To be fair, at the time, I gave myself a stiff talking to: “Lou you don’t need another eyeshadow palette”.  Oh, but I wanted it!  It definitely passed the 24 hour test.

A month or two later a makeup loving friend’s birthday was on the horizon.  I knew Lisa would appreciate an eyeshadow palette and, naturally,  I knew the perfect palette.  So, off I skipped back to Farmers and, boom, there was a sale on! All Max Factor items: Buy one, get one free. Well helllooooo!. One palette for Lisa (she got ‘Cappuccino Nudes‘), one for Lou.  Being a blondie with green eyes, I felt the Cappuccino Nudes palette would suit Lisa better, I got myself ‘Golden Nudes’ as simply as it has all the colours I like.  Happy days.  Price? NZ$33.99 each (of course, I got two for this price).

This post is a review of my eyeshadow palette, Golden Nudes (02). (more…)

Scrambled eggs with cumin feta and mint

scrambled eggs with cumin feta and mint I’ve been whipping up this dish, scrambled eggs with cumin feta and mint,  on the weekends for breakfast, or brunch, or lunch, for donkey’s years.  It’s quick, simple and doesn’t require any fancy ingredients. It’s got enough wow factor to serve up to guests. That’s my kind of kai: Low key, tasty and impressive! (more…)

Lou Loves – October Faves

Here’s my October round up of things that are floating my boat!

Ketz-ke Lace Core Tank

Ketz-ke Lace Core Tank

I wasn’t going to mention this singlet in this month’s faves simply as I featured Ketz-ke’s trackies in a faves blog post a few months back… I didn’t want anyone to accuse me of being in bed with Ketz-ke and being on commission! I’m not! I adore this singlet and it’s been thrashed by me for the last two months and, out of everything in my wardrobe, this is at the top of my Love List ATM. So there. By the way, it’s officially a ‘tank’ not a singlet. But I’m a kiwi, and I call it a singlet.

This is essentially a simple black singlet (95% rayon, 5% spandex) that has a feminine lace trim detailing at the bottom which makes it the PERFECT layering singlet. I particularly love wearing it with tops that are probably verging on being slightly too short. Whack this singlet on underneath a top that’s too short and your problem is eliminated as the singlet adds length. It also totally dresses up a plain singlet and a pair of jeans. I love items of clothing that can make a quick transformation.

I bought my singlet from Willow in Rotorua. Locals: Donna has these singlets in as base stock and if she doesn’t have your size, she’ll get one in for you (next day delivery). Alternatively you can buy these online. I’m dead keen on getting the white one for summer… Price NZ$59. (more…)

The Secret Life of Luke Livingstone – Book Review

The Secret Life of Luke Livingstone book reviewThe Secret Life of Luke Livingstone is a book that’s lead to two firsts for me….

First up, I was compelled me to dedicate an entire blog post to a book review (I’ve never done that, I usually lump these in with my monthly faves blog post).

Secondly, I messaged the author, Charity Norman, through Facebook, to let her know that it was her fault that Tuesday morning’s makeup prep involved Clear Eyes and a bold lip to distract from my tired eyes. Why? I was up until stupid o’clock reading as this book. It was good there could have been a 5.5 shake and I’d have not noticed. I didn’t even care that my husband was snoring,  despite his man cold finishing last month (FFS). I’ve never emailed an author before with positive feedback.  Guess what? She replied. I did a little fan girl dance!  Turns out she loves cats too. Cool.

Here’s my The Secret Life of Luke Livingstone book review which is, no contest, the best book I’ve read this year.  I loaned it to my colleague Amanda, a fellow bookworm. She devoured it over one afternoon/early evening and concurred that it was “super”. I wonder what her kids had for dinner that night. 

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Roast Carrot Salad with Spiced Yoghurt Dip and Dukkah

roast carrot salad spiced yoghurt dip dukkahSince a mate dropped off a whole heap of carrots, and I mean a whole heap (we took half to the neighbours) we’ve been going crazy on carrot related dishes.

So far, apart from my tried and tested cafe-style carrot cake, this Roast Carrot Salad with Spiced Yoghurt Dip and Dukkah, is in firmly our No1 Best Dish.   My fussy monkey of a son would debate that… He’s a fan of the humble carrot stick.  This is, more often than I care to admit, constitutes the vegetable component on his plate. Oh, sometimes we give him a chopped up apple (he doesn’t eat fruit…).  We’ve been making a little progress though: Recently he’s progressed to eating broccoli. Stop the bus.
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Essano Review

essano reviewLast month, the good chicks at Essano sent me a freakin’ BOX of goodies.  Suffice to say I was fizzing with excitement and my colleagues were dead jelly. One of the ladies who works on our floor was slightly perturbed at my good fortune and has since been musing starting a stationery blog.   Anyhoo, I’ve been thrashing all of these products on a daily basis for the last month ready for this review blog post.  Now, I’m good to go!  So, here’s my Essano review. Put the kettle on love, park up and get reading. (more…)