Thursday, May 31, 2012

Go, and embrace your liberty.

This Week Under the Influence:

So, mum made homemade raisin toast this week...twice. Needless to say, it has featured heavily in my breakfasts this week.

This week I started reading Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I have wanted to read this for ages, ever since seeing the movie with Winona Rider as Jo March.

As someone who is really close with my sister, I also enjoy that aspect of the book. I believe the bond between sisters is very special (love you Anti) so following the March family sisterly interactions and relationships is also a joy (sorry the language must be rubbing off on me). I know not everyone shares a close relationship with their sister but I happen to think mine's pretty swell.

There is one scene where Jo eats an orange when up late working on her script. Man when I watched that scene I never wanted an orange so bad. 

Below are some of my fave quotes of the book. I think you'll find that most are actually super amusing.

Marmee: I am going to write this man a letter.
Jo: A letter. That'll show him.

Jo: Late at night my mind would come alive with voices and stories and friends as dear to me as any in the real world. I gave myself up to it, longing for transformation.

Jo: He's dull as powder, Meg. Can't you at least marry someone amusing?

Amy: Butter! Oh isn't butter divinity? Oh god thank you for this breakfast.

Amy: We bear our souls and tell the most appalling secrets.
Jo: Imagine, giving up Italy to come live with that awful old man.

Meg: [Meg tsks] Oh Jo, please don't say awful; it's slang.

Saved the best till last...I always find this one inspiring. Lil' pep talk from mum.  

Marmee: Oh, Jo. Jo, you have so many extraordinary gifts; how can you expect to lead an ordinary life? You're ready to go out and - and find a good use for your talent. Tho' I don't know what I shall do without my Jo. Go, and embrace your liberty. And see what wonderful things come of it.

Don't the last two lines just make you wanna pack up your suitcase and see the world!


Pics that have inspired me this week:

Ultimate summer chillin'
Elsa Hosk - elle norway 2012
Knight Cat

Perfect makeup. And that pronounced jaw line - dang!
Natasha Poly at cannes 2012
Source: Knight Cat

Hong Kong adventure - dessert art. All I can think is: multiple sugar mouthgasms. I NEED TO GO TO THIS RESTAURANT. Preferablely now.
Source: Gary Pepper

Please send chair with fluffy cream fur cushion resembling shaggy bear to Niki's room. My behind would really appreciate it.
Source: Knight Cat

Dear black bow. You're simply divine. Let's tie the knot. (Quiff, you're pretty great too). 
Source: Wild Fox

I've wanted to visit Subi markets for a long while now. This post by Style Voyeur has only cemented this desire. The reason I haven't yet ventured there is it would require an early rise on Saturday for it to be a worthwhile journey as it's only open till around 12pm I believe. I just love markets. Going fruit and veggue shopping on a Saturday is one of my fave pastimes. You saw the macaroons right?

Tara Lynn for Vanity Fair
Two words: Sex Bomb!
Source: Wild Fox

Personally, I think this jacket would look better on me...
Source: Oracle Fox

Dree, you are looking all kinds of hot (gedit, gedit!)
Source: Alice in Wardrobe Wonderland

Amazing Cross Stich Art. See Oracle Fox for more amazing artwork.
Source: Oracle Fox

Dear Cop from Once Upon a Time. Let's live happily ever after.

Two seconds away from licking my computer. Mum it's called the Mars Bar Cheesecake - get onto it (please).
Source: Berry Simple

Hey chocolate cake with cream. May I say you are looking mighty spectacular this day. My tastebuds would like to befriend you. Call me.

Hey, pizza on the right. Have you met my tongue? It's currently single and looking to party.
Source: Because it's Awesome

Niki's tongue: Pink, fleshy, easy to please. Seeking sweet, multilayered companion on lazy weekend mornings. Must enjoy spooning. Apply within.  

Additions to the workout playlist:

Have a great weekend folks.

Embrace your liberty!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Getting of Wisdom

I’ve always been someone who likes to write, reflect, make plans, devise life goals, dream about my future, make vision boards and trial and implement a whole gamut of life enhancing habits into my lifestyle. I think it all stems from a desire I’ve always harboured to make life the best it can be; to live radiantly, deliberately and with purpose.

Yes, I’m one of those people who stalks the self-help book isle. Yes, the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People variety. It’s not at all that I’m unhappy with life. Quite the opposite. But I’m open to different ideas and actions that can make it better and instil some direction.

I just love reading about positive psychology, personal development and business/career development. I find it motivating, empowering and stimulating. Granted, it’s not for everyone and yes, there are a lot of BS ones out there, but sometimes a book can transform the way you look at life. It can be the kick in the ass you need to make some positive changes and serve as a guide to take you where you need to go. Words are powerful.

If you are interested in checking some out here are a few I’ve come across and enjoyed.

·         Flip the Switch – Andrew May
·         The Four Agreements - Don Ruiz

The following are currently on my radar. Some aren’t quite relevant to my life right now so I’m saving them for a more appropriate time.

At the moment I’m dipping my toes into Add More ~ing to Your Life: A Hip Guide to Happiness – Gabrielle Bernstein. Uplifting.

Today I somehow stumbled upon Normal Get’s You Nowhere - Kelly Cutrone while surfing the net and I’m super keen to get my hands on this one.  Like many, I first encountered Kelly on The City as the direct and assertive boss who doesn’t sugar coat. At first I found her quite domineering and decided I would find her terrifying as a boss. But my opinion of her slowly changed as I saw her as fulfilling a mentor role for Whitney and I began to admire her no nonsense approach. She simply gave her opinions straight up, no added sugar, which can actually be quite refreshing, albeit confronting. 

I guess a part of my facination with these books is witnessing the journey of others (a lot of them shed personal insights and life trajectories) and absorbing the stories of people who are doing kick ass things in the world.

Whether you prescribe to them or not, they do share some powerful universal themes and messages which we could all benefit from heeding:

Believe in Yourself
Live Couragously
Be Authentic
Give and Your Shall Recieve
Be Grateful
Take Action

Are any of the books mentioned on your list?

Please bringeth forth the recommendations too J.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Chill Bro - Winter Inspiration Ahead

Winter in upon us Perth! You've probably already begun slipping into your warm PJs maybe even changed to your winter bedding by now. While we have been blessed with sunny days for the past couple weeks in Perth, the air has been ultra nippy in the mornings and evenings.

This morning I had to wake up earlier to help setting up at the markets. Markets = early starts. I didn't realise how cold it would be when I agreed to the job. But at least I'll get some wear out of my winter clothes before I escape to Europe for the summer :).

Here's some wintsperation.

 Bring out the (fake) fur and go wild!

 Roll out the cosy knits.

 Go vintage a la Abbey Lee who always looks bangin'.

 I love a good beenie.

 Long skirts and boots = a cool (warm?) bohemian vibe.

 Sweaters, stockings and long socks make a cute vintage glam look. Just don't forget to pop on a skirt.

 A fur vest seems to work well with any look.

  If you've got the legs, a pair of trousers with an interesting print can offer a welcome reprieve from your tired jeans. could just admire Bahati's pins.

 Thick socks and boots to keep your tootsies warm.

 Shades of orange, brown, grey, mustard and khaki are a stable. Add a pop of colour for some interest.

 For me this is a staple winter look. Neutral shades, soft stretchy fabrics and comfy accessories. Doesn't get much better.

 Who doesn't lover a killer scarf. This mammoth looks like it would serve you well.

This last image just captures the beauty of winter in my eyes. I imagine those socks would feel a bit like sashaying on clouds.

Stay Cosy

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superfood!

When was the last time you felt this good?

If it's been a while, perhaps it's time you become aquainted with "superfoods", the stuff Hercules was surely snacking on in his downtime.

These nutrient powerhouses earn their label by containing an abundance of one or more of the following:
·         Antioxidants
·         Vitamins
·         Minerals
·         Enzymes
·         Essential Fatty Acids
Basically all the things that do kick arse things for your body (fight disease, charge you with energy, increase your libido, boost your immune system, balance hormones, promote longevity, cleanse the body, promote healthy digestion, boost circulation, repair the nervous system, reduce inflammation, increase metabolism and all that jazz).

There's a plethora of info out there on superfoods these days, but a couple of books marked my foray into the realm of warrior nosh. I was intrigued by the idea of super healthy foods outside the conventional "fruits and veggies" dietary counsel. You'll notice, there's a few foods that feature on both lists below: Aloe Vera, Seaweeds, Blue-Green Algae.
Living Food For Health: 12 Natural Superfoods to Transform Your Health - Gillian Mckeith
  1. Sprouted millet
  2. Sprouted quinoa
  3. Alfalfa
  4. Aloe Vera
  5. Green barley grass
  6. Flaxseeds
  7. Parsley
  8. Dulse
  9. Nort
  10. Stevia
  11. Sunflower Seeds
  12. Wild blue-green algae
Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future – David Wolfe
  1. Goji berries
  2. Cacao
  3. Maca
  4. Bee products (honey, bee pollen, propolis, royal jelly)
  5. Spirulina
  6. AFA blue-green algae
  7. Marine phytoplankton
  8. Aloe Vera
  9. Hempseed
  10. Coconuts and coconut products
Honorable Mentions: Acai, Camu Camu Berry, Chlorella, Incan Berries, Kelp, Noni, Yacon

After reading both texts I was inspired to try out many of the foods mentioned.

Said to "help maintain energy levels, vitality and wellbeing" this four in one green powder is a great addition to boost a green smoothie or juice. Or you can drink it straight mixed in a glass of cold water. It's not exactly "tasty" stuff, but it's palatable. I like to mix in a teaspoon with water and drink half and hour before breakie to super charge my day. I also find it refreshing to drink after a light workout like Yoga. I've noticed whenever I drink it I feel quite full for an extended period of time - probably because it is super nourishing and jampacked with protein. Did you know green algaes like Chlorella and Spirulina contain mega amounts of protein? It's not something you usually associate with greens. According to David Wolfe's book Spirulina contains 65-71% protein and all 8 essential amino acids (the building blocks of proteins). This particular mixture by Swisse is 43.4% protein.

Touted as the Peruvian superfood, this root vegetable is excellent for regulating hormones, supporting the thyroid, boosting immunity, increasing libido (rawh!), increasing stamina and athletic performance and elevating your energy levels. In fact, it's promoted as a healthy substitute for caffeine in regards to giving you a kick-start in the morning. It has quite a strong nutty flavour but works well with raw cocoa which is excellent news for chocolate smoothie lovers (me). The effects of ingesting maca can be quite intense so its's recommended you start slow to allow your body to adapt and avoid bad detox symptoms. The flavour also works well in soups. If you are experiencing hormonal imbalances this is one to google.

Famous for it's lauric acid content, coconut oil is a healthy saturated fat you should get to know. It's the anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-parasitic, anti-fungal wonder fat! Contrary to popular belief, fats are not the enemy. You can read more about that story here and the benefits of coconut oil here. The beauty of this one is it's great for enhacing beauty too. You can use it as a natural cleanser, moisuriser and hair mask. It's the perfect summer moisturiser in summer, because who doesn't like to smell like coconuts? Just make sure you buy the good stuff - organic, raw, coldpressed. It's also the safest oil to cook with due to it's high smoking point. And should you encounter an energy slump and want a quick snack, have a teaspoon of coconut butter to power through - it's super filling! There's so much more to say about this superfood it warrants it's own post so I'll leave it here. Just try it!

I am rather obsessed with organic shredded coconut at the moment. I was never really that big on coconut before but my how things have changed. I put it in my bircher muesli and snack on it whenever it comes into view. It's also great on its own sprinkled with a bit of cinnamon or on banana slices topped with nut butter.

Raw cocoa is a superfood. Yes, let us all rejoice. Put it in your deserts, smoothies and hot cocoa. This winter I'm going to try mixing it porridge. Chocolate for breakfast? Yes, chocolate for breakfast. But, unlike Coco Pops it's good for you!

I think goji berries are an aquired taste. They are quite earthy tasting. Honestly, I wouldn't rave about munching on these on their own but given their amazing antioxidant properties they are worth adding to your diet. Mix them in a fruit smoothie (I'd soak them overnight so they blend better), add them to a trail mix, make goji berry tea, mix them in raw deserts, spinkle some in your cereal or muesli or whatever else strikes your fancy.

Again these are an aquired taste - very bitter, but you may enjoy them sprinkled in a trail mix or used as choc chips in deserts and other sweet oriented foods. Good for an energy boost.

My mum introduced me to these way back and they've remained in my diet to this day. I generally sprinkle them in my cereal, muesli, bircher muesli and rice and salad dishes. Sunflower seeds are packed with essential fatty acids, vitamins E, A, D and B complex and the minerals zinc, iron, calcium, manganese, potassium and phosphorus, as well as protein.

I'll leave you with a bunch of healthy dish porn, because sometimes we just need a visual to gather the motivaton to wash and chop up that salad :).  

Enjoy your weekend!

What "health" foods are you into or trialing at the moment?