Category Archives: Fun

(Cheat) Bloody Mary Sundays

Photo of a Bloody Mary

At a loss of where to go on a sunny Gold Coast Sunday for a Bloody Mary, my girlfriend and I finally gave up and decided to take matters into our own hands and make our own! A reconnaissance of several establishments along the Coast for this quintessential Sunday morning-after beverage left us faced with places either without a bartender, a supply of tomato juice, an open kitchen for brunch or sun-drenched seating! With our determination strong to make sure we got what we had set out for, we changed our game plan and headed to the supermarket for a quick collection of essential ingredients to mix with the vodka we already had stashed in the freezer at home – how convenient! Not being mixologists by trade, we were pretty chuffed with the concoction we came up with.

Cheat Bloody Mary

Ingredients

  • 2.5 parts vodka
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Slice of cucumber (just a touch longer than the height of your glass)
  • Slice of celery (again, just a touch longer than the height of your glass)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Fresh grind of pepper
  • Dash Worcestershire sauce
  • Hot & Spicy V8 Veggie Juice (that’s the cheat!)
  • Extra Tabasco, if required
  • Ice

Method

  1. Fill a large tumbler half full of ice.
  2. Place the cucumber and celery sticks in the tumbler.
  3. Pour in vodka, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and stir with your veggie sticks to combine (how nifty!).
  4. Top with salt, pepper to taste and extra Tabasco if you are a brave soul.
  5. Stir and sip contently. Continue to top with tomato juice if your ice melts quickly.

Makes one delicious and potent Bloody Mary.

If you are feeling extra fancy, you could muddle some cherry tomatoes and basil. I think that would be rather delicious!

A great success! Lucky for us, my place has an amazing and sunny view! Cheers!!

As a side note: Any Gold Coasters (around the Broadbeach area) know of places to go for Bloody Marys on a Sunday, preferably with sunny seating and decent food?
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How to Spring Clean your Makeup

Picture of organised makeupYes I know, it’s winter.. but recently I de-cluttered my wardrobe, and if you know me at all, you won’t be surprised when I tell you that I whipped myself up into a bit of a frenzy and started tackling other areas of my home. One of these was the bathroom.

Skincare

I emptied out all the cupboards and tossed all products that:

  1. Had been there for over 2 years. If you haven’t used it in the last 2 years, you’re not going to start now.
  2. Had a suspicious smell, colour or was growing something (read: petri dish – ick!)

Remember that your skin is your largest organ and it absorbs 60% of the products used topically! So if you wouldn’t eat the product, it’s safe to say you probably don’t want it on your skin.

Picture of messed up beauty products

Tip out all your makeup bags and drawers

Makeup

There are a few things to consider when assessing which of your cosmetics will make the cut, such as:

  1. Have you had an eye infection / pimple / cold sore?
  2. How has it been stored?
  3. What type product is it? (ie. liquid, powder, cream etc)
  4. How do you apply it? (ie. clean fingers and brushes? Be honest!!)

Here is a general guide on lifespans:*

Mascaras

3 months (4-6 max)

Eye Pencils

2 years – sharpen and clean regularly and PLEASE DON’T SHARE with others!

Eye Shadows

Liquids and creams for 1 year. Powder for 2.

Lipsticks and Lip Pencils

2 years

Powders and Blushes

Cream 1 year. Powder 2.

Foundations and Concealers

Oil-free foundations and liquid concealers, give them a year. Moisturising foundations and stick concealers, 1.5 years.

Cleaning Makeup Brushes

Clean brushes and applicators will help your makeup (and skin!!) stay clean, and your makeup will last longer also. Look after your makeup brushes by cleaning them regularly. It kills bacteria and keeps the bristles soft.

  1. Use a professional makeup cleaner, organic or baby shampoo, or mix 1 part vinegar with 2 parts warm water
  2. Wash the brushes in a small bowl, swirling them around to encourage thorough cleaning
  3. Rise the brushes under the tap
  4. Re-mould the brushes to their original shape
  5. Lay them flat to dry overnight

Try not to get the glued bit wet otherwise the bristles will fall out.

Picture of cleaning makeup brushes

Re-mould the bristles and lay flat to dry overnight

Staying Organised

I keep my makeup stored in one of these bad boys from Officeworks**. It’s easy to stay organised and see what you’ve got. Much better than rummaging through makeup purses and inadvertently forgetting to use that fabulous new Chanel lippy that’s fallen to the bottom of the bag. Plus it’s only $15! Cheap n chic.

Picture of organised makeupHappy organising!

*Most products have little symbols indicating how long they should be kept. Another good tip is to mark on the product when you opened it, then you’ll know exactly when it’s past it’s use-by date.

**http://www.officeworks.com.au/retail/products/Office-Supplies/Desk-Accessories/Desk-Organisers/Drawer-Tidy/SEDD113

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We Be MasterCheffin’

Picture of Kale Avocado and Walnut Salad, Gluten-Free Vegetarian Lasagne & Grilled Corn and Haloumi Salad

Lunch is served!

As I recall, our MasterChef dinners were the brainchild of:

  1. An attempt to pinch pennies in the midst of the GFC, rather than squandering our hard-earned cash on lavish dinners out (tsk tsk, how irresponsible.. as if we would!!)
  2. Our regard for ourselves as quite the culinarians (or at least an attempt to foster our budding interest in cooking, inspired by the at-the-time-popular TV show “MasterChef”)
  3. A great way for all the girls to catch up mid-week (the dinners were usually a Thursday night affair), eating healthy home-cooked meals, without the temptation of wine and cocktail menus.

What really happened was:

  1. We spent more money on the actual ingredients for our dishes than if we had just gone out to our favourite local $10-a-dish Japanese eatery
  2. We each ended up BYO’ing a bottle of wine, which made for a pretty dismal Friday at work and lead-in to the weekend
  3. We all overate until we felt sick (but of course still had room for the selection of desserts – what? It’s a different stomach!).

All in all, a recipe for a fantastic time!

The rules were simple: Bring a dish from our nominated food-destination. During our journey, we visited France, Mexico, Spain, Greece, Christmas-in-July, to name a few..

It’s been a while since our last MasterChef, so when our friend offered to host us for a luncheon for the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, we all leapt at the opportunity.

The theme this time was “BBQ Potluck”.

I chose a simple side from Donna Hay’s “No Time To Cook” cookbook. It’s the perfect accompaniment to roasted meats, chicken or fish.

Onion & Garlic Butter Beans

Combine 40g butter and 1 tbs olive oil and cook over medium-high heat in a non-stick frying pan. Add 2 sliced onions and cook for 5 minutes until golden. Add 4 cloves sliced garlic and cook of 1 minute. Add a 400g can drained and rinsed white (cannellini) or butter beans and cook for 4 minutes or until heated through. Stir in 150g baby spinach leaves, salt and pepper and sprinkle with grated Parmesan.

This recipe serves 4, so I doubled it. I was very generous with the Parmesan. Deliciously cheesey and garlicky! Next time I will add some dried chilli flakes for some colour and kick!

Picture of butter beans cooking

Simple one-pot side dish. The house was filled with the aromas of garlic – yum!

Picture of butter beans served

Onion & Garlic Butter Beans

Everyone did a great job and we had a splendid time! Now we just have to keep doing it and not leave it for another year! I just wish I got to wake up to a fridge full of leftovers!

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Home-grown lettuce from the garden

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Grilled corn and haloumi

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Grilled Corn and Haloumi Salad

Marinated drumsticks and steaks

Marinated drumsticks and steaks

We Aussies love a BBQ

We Aussies love a BBQ

Table is set

Table is set!

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Red roses, red wine & an array of condiments

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Kale Avocado and Walnut Salad & Gluten-Free Vegetarian Lasagne

My plate. First of three.

My plate. First of three servings.

Egg-Free Passionfruit Contintental Cheesecake to finish - delish!

Egg-Free Passionfruit Continental Cheesecake to finish – delish!

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What We Need Is Less

Picture of hanging clothes

This is something that I try to remind myself whenever I want to buy something new. It doesn’t always work, but hey I’m trying.

Reducing the amount of ‘stuff’ you have can improve your life and happiness (I use inverted commas because stuff doesn’t necessarily refer only to material possessions but also toxic behaviours, thoughts or relationships). Quality over quantity. Downsizing doesn’t mean that you’ll be living less of a life, it means you’ll have your best and favourite things around you, and you’ll have more time to focus on other areas of your life such as relationships, friendships, health, spirituality, hobbies.. whatever it is that makes you happy.

Clutter also has a way of zapping your positive energy. It’s chaotic and can cause feelings of anxiety, frustration and guilt! I know personally I can’t get anything done unless I know things are ordered and clean. Call me neurotic or OCD, but I just prefer it when I’m not distracted by a messy environment.

In an effort to live more simply, I took on the task of streamlining my wardrobe (and even made over $400 selling items on the cheap at my friend’s garage sale!). And to think that this was from stuff that was just sitting around, taking up space. I deposited half my takings onto my credit card, and half towards buying something I really love. Compromise right?

De-cluttering and downsizing can be overwhelming, so here are some tips to help you get organised (I’ve written these specifically for your closet but the same general guidelines could apply to all areas of your home):

Cull

  1. Dump everything out onto your bedroom floor. All of it. Every sock, every shoe, everything.
  2. Go through each item and ask yourself: Do I use it? Do I like it? Do I need it? Answer “no” to all of these and chuck the item (by “chuck” I mean donate or sell). Be ruthless. Remember the aim of the game is to downsize and surround yourself with things you love and actually use.
  3. Get rid of anything that is falling apart and beyond resurrection, ill-fitting and not worth getting altered*, is unflattering or makes you feel miserable, or simply that you think it could have a better home.

Clean

  1. Clean your wardrobe. Give it a good wipe-down. Add some lavender oil to your cleaning water or place some scented sachets throughout for a fragrant touch.
  2. Get rid of all any wire hangers. I’m not going to tell you go out and buy a million new wooden hangers because that’s going to be a super expensive exercise, especially if you visit specialty storage shops. Plus if your wardrobe is small, wooden hangers can take up a lot of space. You can find very reasonably priced wooden hangers (for silks), metal-clip hangers (for pants and skirts) and slim plastic-coated hangers (for everything else) at discount variety stores. The key is to use sturdy hangers that won’t snag or pull of your clothing out of shape.
  3. If you need more space or storage, buy some plastic cartons (again I buy these at discount variety stores) or Space Bags.

Organise

  1. Divvy up your clothes into sections. I use “Work”, “Casual” and “Dressy”. I also have a “Coats & Jackets” section. Living on the Gold Coast means we rarely use these items so I keep them separate and to the side – out of the way of getting dressed everyday. Choose whatever works best for your lifestyle.
  2. Sort clothes into type and colour within their lifestyle groups.
  3. Put the items back into your wardrobe. I hang most items but it depends on your space. Fold chunky sweaters or heavy or embellished dresses. I have a chest of drawers where I keep the daggy home stuff, pyjamas, gym clothes, socks, swimmers, infrequently worn accessories etc.
  4. Display your handbags, accessories and hats so you don’t forget about them.
  5. My shoes are lined along the wall (some in boxes, some not – just depends whether I kept the boxes originally and how often I wear the shoes). They are kept under each of their corresponding clothing sections. That means boots under Coats & Jackets, heels under Work, flats and sneakers under Casual etc. You could take Polaroids and stick them to the boxes for easy viewing.
  6. Store jewellery in clear drawers (I buy mine from Officeworks, and are great for organising my makeup also).
Picture of clothes on a walk-in-rove floor

Cull & clean..

Picture of an organised walk-in wardrobe

Organise!

Once you’re done, you’ll be able to see so everything you own which will encourage you to use the items more and hopefully buy less. It’ll also be easier to stay organised.**

As you can see, I’ve got a lot there but I promise I am trying to buy only what I need and love, and taking care to look after my possessions. It’s a work-in-progress.

MORE LOVE, less stuff xx

*Take a trip to the cobbler and tailor if it’s worth it. Fixing something you already own is most likely cheaper than buying something new and also less wasteful.

**I came across a handy tip the other day: Once a year, turn all your hangers the wrong way around. When you wear the item, put it back the right way. After one year, whatever is facing the wrong way around can go straight to Vinnie’s. De-cluttering made easy!

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Instagram

I have a confession to make (though some of you would already know), I am just ever so slightly Instagram-obsessed! Once I started sharing my pics, I just couldn’t stop! It probably has a lot to do with my inherent passion for food styling and food photography. The introduction of Instagram to my life awakened the little snap-happy pixie inside, and provided the perfect platform for me to discover and develop my vision.

Fun ‘fact’ of the day:- Someone told me that 2012 was the year in the history of the world with the most photographs taken EVER, thanks to the iPhone and Instagram. I use ‘inverted commas’ as I’m not absolutely certain that this is factually true, but I believe it!

Instagram is such a fun way to share your pursuits and perspective, and to peep into the world of others! Are you hooked yet?

If you don’t already, follow me on Instagram @fiedmeblog to stay up to date with my food, fitness and fun adventures and inspirations! Here is a selection of snaps from @fiemeblog. Say “Cheese”!!

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