Honeymoon Destination

Honeymoon

I can’t wait for our wedding. Just thinking about celebrating the day with family and friends and leaving as a newly married couple, makes me feel ecstatic. I am also just as excited about our upcoming honeymoon in Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) and Mauritius. We will be exploring these beautiful places over two weeks before heading back to Sydney.

Images via 1 & 2

Wearing Right Now

6.04.15 Wearing right now
[1. ‘Mise En Dior’ earrings; 2. SABA blazer; 3. Seed bralette; 4. Prada handbag; 5. sass and bide denim; 6. Trenery t-shirt; 7. Zara shoes; 8. Essie ‘Lovie Dovie’ nail polish]

There is something daring about white-on-white outfits (potential food stains, for instance). But if it’s pulled off well, it can be a show stopper. An all white outfit is so versatile and gives you a clean base to accessorise or layer with different textures. I like breaking it up with a bit of colour or black, yet mainatining that clean and fresh look. The relaxed fit SABA blazer paired with sass and bide distressed denim is my favourite combo. A hint of the chevron lace bralette under the t-shirt and asymmetrical high-heeled shoes with vinyl edging detail bring the whole outfit together.

My Favourite 10 Minute Workouts

yoga-at-home-1
Yoga and core strength training is an integral part of my Half Marathon Training Program and you can pay a high price for ignoring it. Stretching via yoga helps to improve my flexibility when running and also to aid recovery. Strength training complements my speed, especially towards the end of a long run when I need that extra push.

Training for a big event while working full time can be challenging, but achievable. I tend to exercise at home on days of yoga and core strength training. If I’m limited in time (mornings before work), these 10-minute workouts from POPSUGAR Fitness are my go-to routine (I am a big fan!)

  • Vinyasa Flow (easy)

  • TMAC Flow (challenging)

Top image via

My Tea Guide

My Tea Guide

There is nothing more comforting than a cup of nicely brewed tea! To me, tea is a part of my personality – perfect for social occasions or a quiet time at home. In my family, tea has always been a finishing statement at any dinner, served with sugar and homemade jam. Here in Australia, being so close to Asia, I was lucky enough to discover new types of tea, like Oolong, White and Pu-erh. I also became a lover of herbal teas, especially for their calming properties during my stressful years of studies.

Recently, I realised the importance of brewing. It takes a little bit of effort at the start (as you have to measure water temperature) but guarantees a completely different experience. So I decided to create a tea guide which I can always refer to when brewing. Hopefully, you will also find this tea guide useful.

white
[White Flowery Pekoe brewed for 7 minutes in water at 80 degrees Celsius]

White tea is harvested in China and is the least processed tea. Generally picked and air dried and thus is the closest to the natural state of tea. It has a clear flavour with savoury and nutty hints.
Brewing
Quantity: 1tsp per cup
Temperature: 75-80C
Time: 4-7 minutes

green
[Green Rose brewed for 3 minutes in water at 80 degrees Celsius]

Green tea generally comes from China and Japan and is the world’s first form of processed tea. It’s either steamed or pan fried to stop the leaf’s natural process of oxidation. The flavours are grassy, vegetal, nutty and sweet.
Brewing
Quantity: 1tsp per cup
Temperature: 80C
Time: 1-3 minutes

black
[English Breakfast brewed for 3 minutes in water at 100 degrees Celsius]

Black tea originated in China, but today is mostly cultivated in the former British and Dutch colonies of India, Sri Lanka, Africa and Indonesia. The harvested leaf is spread out and left to wilt, losing some moisture, stiffness and much of its weight. It is then rolled, exposing essential oils to the air and hastening the oxidization process; a final firing is the last step in processing. Black teas are known for their robust, full-bodied flavours of cocoa, earth, molasses and honey.
Brewing
Quantity: 1tsp per cup
Temperature: 100C
Time: 2-4 minutes

oolong
[Royal Oolong brewed for 6 minutes in water at 80 degrees Celsius]

Oolong tea is the world famous Chinese tea and Oolong means “black dragon”. Partially oxidized and often bruised after picking, the processing of oolong tea allows the leaf’s essential oils to react with the air. This turns the leaf darker and produces distinctive fragrances before heat is applied to set the taste. The resulting flavour lies between a green and a black tea and can be recognized by its complexity that ranges from highly floral and intensely fruity to mildly roasted with honey like nuances.
Brewing
Quantity: 1tsp per cup
Temperature: 80C
Time: 3-6 minutes

pu-erh
[Pu-erh Earl Grey washed and then brewed for 3 minutes in water at 100 degrees Celsius]

Pu-erh tea is a post-fermented tea made from a large leaf varietal grown in Yunnan Province. This tea is often aged, which mellows and refines its flavor and character. Pu-erh has traditionally been savored in Hong Kong, Guangdong Province and Taiwan; other post-fermented teas are also made elsewhere in China as well as in Burma, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Japan.
Brewing
Quantity: 1tsp per cup
Temperature: 100C
Time: 2-3 minutes
Note: wash the leaves before brewing – pour hot water over leaves, swirl and tip the water out

chai
[Brewed using this recipe]

Chai tea, or “Spiced Tea”, has its origins in India. In this culture, drinking chai is as common as drinking coffee elsewhere. It’s made on a stove top, cooking black tea with local spices, milk and sugar. The spices used to make chai very from region to region and from household to household. They are typically a variation of black tea with cardamom, ginger, clove, black pepper, bay leaf, star anise and fennel. Making traditional chai is an all-day process in which whole spices and black tea are simmering with milk.
Brewing
I use this recipe.
Here you can find my Chai Iced Tea recipe

herbal
[Relax herbal brewed for 5 minutes in water at 100 degrees Celsius]

Herbal infusions are not true teas. They are made from flowers and plants other than Camellia sinensis, and they do not contain any caffeine. They are generally calming and soothing from the simplicity of a single leaf infusion to the complexities of many blends.
Brewing
Quantity: 1tsp per cup
Temperature: 100C
Time: 3-5 minutes

fruit
[Sweet Spice brewed for 5 minutes in water at 100 degrees Celsius]

Fruit tisanes are both sweet and delicious. They combine real fruit and herbs that can be served both hot and cold. Since there are no tea leaves in fruit tisanes, they are naturally caffeine free. They have a wonderful aroma of mangos, pineapples, cherries, oranges or whatever fruits the blend contains.
Brewing
Quantity: 1tsp per cup
Temperature: 100C
Time: 3-5 minutes

Click here to see what a cup of tea looks like in 22 different countries.

Source

March Beauty

March Beauty

The official countdown to the wedding has begun, since it’s now just a couple of weeks away. While there are still so many things we need to finalise, I can hardly contain my excitement! In the meantime, here are just a few beauty products that have been with me in the past month: KORA Enriched Body Lotion, Diorskin Nude Foundation and Chanel Rouge Coco Shine.

KORA body cream

I use KORA Enriched Body Lotion after I shower, which helps my skin to stay soft and nourished. It contains organically grown Jojoba, Noni Extract, Cocoa Butter and Macadamia which help to reintroduce essential fatty acids into the skin. I like its earthy scent and how well it soaks up into my skin.

Dior foundation

When I booked a make-up artist for my wedding, I started thinking about the way I’d like to look on that day. I watched a number of short videos, flicked through magazines and realised that almost every professionally done make-up involves using foundation. Dior has always been my go-to brand (seen here), and so I went to the Dior store for a beauty consultation. We tried a few different options, and I also tried some other brands, but nothing suits me better than Diorskin Nude Foundation. It’s really light, easy to apply and provides a subtle velvet finish. It blends with the skin perfectly and adds just the right amount of natural glow for a bare-skin effect. Unlike most foundations that create a mask-like effect, this foundation uses translucent pigments which leaves the skin luminous in any light.

Chanel lipstick

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine lipstick provides the right amount of gloss effect with natural shine. For someone who naturally has dry lips this lipstick provides a long-lasting hydration while maintaining a beautiful sheer coverage.

Spelt and Oatmeal Scones

Spelt and oatmeal scones

I’m a big fan of Devonshire Tea – scones with clotted cream and jam are an absolute treat and have always been on my list of things to make at home. I was pleasantly surprised to find a healthier version of scones in Women’s Fitness magazine. I baked them yesterday and served with natural yoghurt and jam for our afternoon tea.

Ingredients (makes 12 scones):
2 cups wholemeal spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
100g butter
120g fresh pitted dates
1/2 cup milk of your choice
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup rolled oats

Method:
Preheat oven to 200C. Combine spelt flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Rub in the butter gently using your fingertips. Add dried fruit. Combine milk, honey and vanilla separately, then pour into the dry ingredients. Mix to form a dough. Sprinkle half the oats onto a working surface and place over the soft dough. Flatten down then sprinkle the remaining oats on top. Gently press down the dough until it’s about 2.5cm thick. Cut the dough into rounds with a cutter or squares with a sharp knife. Place onto a lined baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Serve warm or at room temperature with strawberry jam and a little natural yoghurt or whipped ricotta.

Infused Lemonade: 3 Ways

Infused Lemonade 3 ways

Cold refreshing lemonade is the best drink for picnics and barbecues. While some lemonades sold in stores are loaded with sugar, these three home-made lemonades are made with stevia instead. I decided to make three basic lemonades with a twist and infused them based on the recipes from this blog. Hope you enjoy it!

Blueberry Lavender Lemonade

Ginger Lemonade

Watermelon Mint Lemonade

Lip Scrub DIY

Lip Scrub DIY

One of the best tips I’ve received on how to apply a bold lipstick is to exfoliate your lips beforehand. The easiest way to do it is to whip up your own lip scrub with ingredients you are likely to have in the kitchen. Here is how I make it:

Ingredients:
1tbs brown sugar
1tsp honey
1tsp coconut oil
a drop of your favourite essential oil (I use rosewater)

Method:
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix. Apply it onto your lips, gently massaging in a circular motion, before washing off with warm water. Hydrate your lips by applying a lip balm, before finishing off with lipstick.

Roasted Kumara, Asparagus and Goat’s Cheese Frittata

Frittata

It’s the second week of autumn in the Southern hemisphere and I really enjoy the cooler mornings and nights that have come with it. I’m starting to embrace the change of seasons and adjusting the meals we cook. While it’s a little early for bigger winter meals, this Roasted Kumara, Asparagus and Goat’s Cheese Frittata is one of our favourites to make. It’s healthy, easy to make and incorporates my favourite ingredients.

Ingredients (serves 2-4):
1 medium kumara (orange sweet potato), cut into 2cm pieces
1 tsp coconut oil
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
175g asparagus, trimmed and cut into 5cm lengths
1 tbsp finely shredded fresh basil
6 eggs
1/4 cup iced water
50g soft goat’s cheese, crumbled

Method:
Preheat oven to 200C. Place kumara on baking-paper-lined oven tray; drizzle with half the coconut oil and roast for about 30 minutes or until browned lightly and tender. Heat remaining coconut oil in a small frying pan; cook onion, stirring until softened. Add asparagus and cook, stirring for about 3 minutes or until almost tender. Add roasted kumara to pan, sprinkle with basil, toss gently. Whisk eggs and the water in a medium jug until frothy. Pour the egg mixture into pan; sprinkle with cheese. Cook frittata over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes or until about halfway set. Place pan in oven and cook frittata for about 15 minutes or until browned and set. Garnish with extra basil.

Flower Arrangement for Women’s Day

Flower Arrangement for Womens Day

When I was a little girl, I liked to make my mom feel special on International Women’s Day. On this day, I would wake up early and sneak out, tiptoeing passed my mom’s bedroom, to the market to get a fresh bunch of flowers. I wanted to bring it home for her before she was awake. The thrill of planning and doing something on my own at that age made me feel very independent.

Even though this day isn’t widely celebrated in Australia, I try to keep the spirit of it alive. To celebrate the women in our family this Sunday, 8th March, I decided to combine camomile (my mom’s favourite), roses (my sister’s favourite) and veronicas in a little flower bouquet.

Flowers
Flowers on a door copy
DSC_0053

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