What I got for Christmas 2016

Hey! I hope you all had a Merry Christmas, celebrating with family and friends. I walked to my family friends house halfway through the day and it was quite charming seeing how empty and quiet the streets were – everyone was inside relaxing and enjoying time together.

For Christmas I was so spoilt by family and friends, and although the presents were an awesome addition to the day, the best part was just talking and laughing with people close to me.

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Excuse all the presents strewn in the background, my family has a habit of becoming messy whilst chaotically opening each gift and thanking/chatting to the people we received them from.

From my parents my main gift was given in advance, because they paid for my flights to Asia in January, as I’m holidaying with a friend and paying for the rest of the trip myself  (stay tuned as I’m thrown in the deep end travelling for the first time without family around the Phillippines, Vietnam and Thailand).

However, they were a bit naughty and still gave me a present to open on Christmas day, which was a VS Sassoon hair curler, because I’ve been loving the 80’s corkscrew curls look lately. From my extended family I was spoilt to a couple of high quality make-up items including the NARS sheer glow concealer, the NAKED 3 palette, Laura Mercier Translucent setting powder and a beauty blender.

A close friend who I grew up with knows my addiction to tea, so gave me T2 Choc Chip Chai, T2 Madagascan Vanilla Tea, some Nepalese lemongrass tea from her travels in Nepal and a Morrocan mint tea. I’ve just been loving the T2 Choc Chip Chai, it’s made with an array of spices (Black tea, cloves, star anise, ginger, cinnamon, orange blossom, gingko, flavouring, cardamon) to imitate a spicy chocolate flavour.

Other friends gave me LUSH bath bombs which I am going to treat myself to when the weather gets a bit cooler, a make-up bag from a small Sydney based boutique, a 2017 calendar made out of recycled paper and cute cupcake patty pans embellished with pink polka dots and gold lining.

As you can see I was so spoilt and I am so appreciative of all the gifts I’ve been given. I’m getting really excited for my trip to Asia and will take lots of photos and keep you updated.

Hope everyone is enjoying the festive season as much as I am!

xx

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Atomic tangerine, as we move out of Christmas and into the holiday season of the New Year

 

 

What I ate on Christmas Day

I started off the day a little cheekily with a candy cane cookie (Vegan recipe – my friend made them for me) and a T2 Choc Chip Chai with soy milk.

Traditionally my family has celebrated Christmas Day by opening presents in the morning, and then having a large Christmas lunch, which always becomes dinner as well because we all sit around talking into the night. So, in order to make room for the meal to come, I didn’t have much for breakfast and spent time after presents making a Bread Pudding.

bread-pudding

For starters we had assorted cheeses (Camembert, Brie, Cheddar) with biscuits, salami slices, bread sticks, beef jerky sticks, chopped veggies with avocado dip and tomato relish. These were savoured with mulled wine, pina coladas and champagne.

At the main meal there was an array of dishes but I had some smoked ham, roast chicken and prawns. We also had a quinoa, kale and roast beetroot salad that I made.

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By desert I was so full but made room for some bread pudding, a bit of traditional Christmas pudding soaked in Brandy, and a fruit salad with custard/vanilla ice cream.

Despite the food coma overall I had a huge treat myself and such a wonderful day. Merry Christmas! I hope everyone had a lovely day, whether you celebrate Christmas or not.

xx

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Sea Green for a Warm 28˚C Christmas

 

Healthier Mulled Wine (Gluhwein) Recipe

Okay so wine’s wine, and it is always going to have a couple of calories. But, it is Christmas and time to treat yourself after a successful year, so I’d love you to try out my healthier Mulled wine recipe to celebrate the festive season.

The recipe substitutes using sugar, with dried fruits and spices. If Christmas had a scent, the warm and inviting aroma of this recipe would definitely be it.

You will need:

  • 1 bottle of red table wine
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 grated nutmeg
  • Rind of 1 orange
  • 1 chunk of ginger

Bring water, raisins, cloves, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, orange rind and ginger to the boil in a saucepan. Then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the red wine and simmer for another 10 minutes. Strain the mulled wine and serve immediately. I like to put little orange peel curls or cinnamon sticks in each glass for decoration and extra flavour.

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Merry Christmas Eve!

xx

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Deep scarlet for warm, bubbling wine

My Favourite Afternoon Treat

Everybody has those days that they need a little pick-me-up or me-time. When I have down-days I like to take myself to a Frozen Yogurt bar and treat myself to a Frozen yogurt with an array of toppings.

Sydney has a number of Frozen yogurt places, but easily my favourite is Yogurccinno because it has such a wide selection of funky flavoured yogurts (such as grilled banana & salted caramel) and toppings, for reasonable prices. I often mix up what I get each time I go there, however my go-to yogurt treat is plain yogurt, with a chopped strawberries and kiwi fruit, lychee flavoured jelly balls, coconut flakes and a cheeky Tim Tam for good measure. Yum!

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xx

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Olive Green for how to: Treat Yourself

 

The Best View in Sydney

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I love Sydney because it merges a beach culture and the city together to create a stunning waterside city. What I believe is the best view of Sydney is this look out point in Kirribilli, which affords an incredible view of the cities skyline, dotted with the cities icons (Harbour Bridge and Opera House). This view is easily accessed after a 5 minute walk down the hill from Milson’s Point station, and offers an incredible sight both at day and night time.

One of my favourite things to do is to grab burgers and shakes from Batch Burgers (on the way), and then sit and eat my meal with friends in front of the view.

xx

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Honeydew Grey, for incredible architecture

 

My super easy, healthy homemade Butter Chicken

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I just love Indian food and this is one of my favourite recipes because it’s so quick and easy (I’m a sucker for a meal with a short prep time).

All I use is chicken thighs, store bought curry paste, tomato paste, sliced almonds, greek yogurt and coriander. After mixing everything but the chicken thighs and yogurt together with a fork, chop the chicken thighs into small pieces and mix them in with the paste you just made. Then fry it all up with olive oil on a high heat, and once the chicken is done just stir through the greek yoghurt.

It’s as easy as that! I usually serve this with some falafels or brown rice, but you could definitely pour it onto Basmati rice or Garlic Naan if you want a moret authentic Indian experience.

xx

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Deep Sienna for rich Indian cuisine

A Day in my Life

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After pushing myself for an hour through a tough gym class (Bodycombat by Les Mills), I set off to the city mall to do some serious Christmas shopping.

My goal today was to buy presents for the main people in my life (Mum, Dad & close friends), and getting all of them under my belt felt like a massive accomplishment. I sifted through dozens of stores throughout the day and finally ended with a mix of presents I am really happy with.

For Mum, I got a satin robe with floral detail and some black cotton placemats/marble coasters to match her dining room. For dad, I got the Gillette gift pack and a new stainless steel kettle because their current one was $7 from Aldi and the plastic is already starting to crack. I also got my best friend two MAC lipsticks (Faux and M.A.C. red) and a satin nightie which I got myself as well so we can match! Satin is a huge favourite of mine at the moment because I just love the silky feel of it against my skin. Even better, the material doesn’t make me overheat on balmy nights considering we are moving into summer here in Australia.

I also had a cheeky treat myself, and bought myself a Belgian waffle at Oliver Brown which was delicious, but I have to say it did feel a little funny just hanging out in the chocolateria alone, amongst couples who were chatting and eating fondue together.

choc-waffle

 

For lunch I explored a little eatery plaza called ‘Hawker Lane’ which offers a fusion of Asian cuisines. However, feeling a little unadventurous today, I went for my go-to brown rice avocado/salmon sushi roll and some edamame beans. Yum!

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Once I got home I wrapped up all the presents and placed them under the tree. It is starting to look super festive!

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Then, I began to prepare dinner, whilst watching the Netflix movie ‘How to be Single’ which is actually incredibly funny, and I would definitely recommend. It’s also really relatable to my life right now… For dinner, I fried up some homemade falafels and paired them with a light baby spinach salad and some butter chicken. I think I’ll share my butter chicken recipe in a later post. It’s much healthier than the typical restaurant bought butter chicken but still rich with flavour and spice.

dinner-spread

xx

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Lavender for gifts, giving and productivity