Category Archives: Lifestyle

(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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Dry July

Clear Your Head, Make a Difference

Back in April my boyfriend and I had 6 weeks off the booze, in an attempt to be healthier and to save some money. It really wasn’t that hard especially since we were doing it together. We felt energised and positive! So when I heard of “Dry July” – a charity that raises funds to help adults living with cancer – I thought, why not participate? It’ll give me an opportunity to have another month off and re-focus, and more importantly, it’s a good deed!

A colleague of ours is currently going through the heartache of helping her loved one fight cancer, so we have set up a workplace team to show our support. If you wish to donate, you can do so by visiting http://au.dryjuly.com/team/chesswealthpartners.*

Eating Clean

A month without alcohol is also a good motivator to eat clean. I must admit that lately I have been indulging a little more than I should be in sweets and processed foods (white flours and sugars.. I’ve been naughty!) so this is a good time for me to reset. I’ll be making an effort to have a juice or smoothie everyday and to eat clean.

I kicked off the morning this Energising Green Juice.

Photo of Energising Green Juice

Energising Green Juice

Ingredients

  • 1 green apple
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 stick celery
  • 4 leaves kale
  • 2 sprigs mint
  • 1 lemon, peel removed
  • 2cm-piece ginger

Method

Put all ingredients through a juicer. Simple!

You can use any combination veggies and fruits you like. There are no rules.**

Stay tuned for more clean recipes throughout my Dry July!

*If you want to sign-up for Dry July yourself, visit https://au.dryjuly.com/sign-up/. My individual profile is http://au.dryjuly.com/profile/fionawhite.

**Remember to eat the colours of the rainbow – mostly veggies. Fruits are still high in sugar so have these in moderation. More green veggies = higher alkalising effect = better for you! Happy juicing! x

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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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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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