Thursday, September 25, 2014

FOOD: Chia Pods


Love this sugar-free, dairy-free, high fibre, energy boosting little snack I came across in a Woolworths in Newcastle, AU.

While they might not be available in South Africa (yet), the ingredients are simple enough that you could make them at home quite easily (and probably a whole lot cheaper per portion as well).

These would be perfect for a quick brekkie, lunchbox snack or anytime you were craving a little something for flagging (jet lagging) energy levels.

Homemade version: 
Soak chia seeds in coconut milk overnight. Add vanilla seeds and cinnamon to taste. A little natural sweetner like coconut sugar or honey wouldn't go amiss either. Store in the fridge.

Did you know?
Chia seeds are the super food referred to in Christopher McDougall's book Born to Run.







Thursday, September 04, 2014

FOOD: By Nature (preservative free)


Dried olives, mangoes, raisins and raw walnuts.
I have been adoring medjool dates of late, which have turned my tastebuds up to full volume in craving dried fruits.

Cue the search for preservative-free dried fruits that don't cost a ton.

Enter By Nature and Tierhoek.

Tierhoek I've known and loved for a while now (OMG their dark chocolate covered apricots!), but By Nature is new to me (maybe not so much to Capetonians). 

I just got my stash delivered from the online shop Faithful-to-Nature and called the supplier to make 100% sure there are no preservatives in the fruits. Peter assured me that they cater for the preservative-free demographic (aka. those people who hack and cough-up their pleura/turn red/whose throats close-up/who have asthma/etc. who are allergic to preservatives). In addition, most of their products are organic as well. Bonza!

Honest to goodness preservative free dried fruits!

I've started-in on the dried mangoes. I don't know if I will be able to stop. Deeeeelish!

Nature's sweeties :)

Dried plums and mixed fruit (apples, peaches, apricots and such).

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

DECLUTTER: WHAT ENOUGH LOOKS LIKE TO ME (aka. THE GREAT CLOSET PURGE OF 2014)


You know when you read something and your brain just goes WHOOSH in an Eli Cash - Royal Tenenbaums "Pew....wildcat" kind of way?

"Getting rid of the clutter, excess, and all the things that were distracting me, made room to figure out what I wanted. I wanted freedom. Freedom from the things that weighed me down, and freedom to want what I wanted and time to do what it took to get it, and enjoy and appreciate it."

Well, that was my brain a while ago which helped a closet overflowing and chock-a-block with 15 years worth of this:

Take it ALL out, try it ALL on...
transition via many, many, many loads of these:

Donate it ALL...
and fuelled by lots of this:

Nigiro's Ceylon Pettiagalla tea...
and saying goodbye to these (which were so pretty but I had never worn):

These held the promise of an (un)fashionably broken ankle...
to this:

Enough.
That is IT
Summer and Winter. 
Nothing hidden (shoes live separately - a post for another day). Nothing in the wash.

Breakdown:

  1. The TOP top shelf holds a bag with my swimming gear. Next to that, a bag with a few Winter hats (my ears protest wind) and a pair of gloves. To the right of that, my "I'm not ready to let go of these/maybe I will wear these sometime" pile.
  2. The top shelf holds a bag with two woolen Winter jerseys, and another bag with some transition season lighter cardigans.
  3. The first of the smaller shelves holds my yoga teaching gear and workout wear.
  4. One shelf down holds undies and pyjama sets.
  5. The 2nd last shelf holds my basics: 2 pairs of jeans, 2 denim skirts (1 midi + 1 maxi), 2 pairs of denim shorts and 4 good-quality t-shirts that can be dressed up or dressed down with accessories (1 in red + black + blue + white).
  6. The bottom shelf holds socks and slippers in a basket.
  7. Hanging: 2 heavy Winter coats + 2 fitted blazers + 1 linen jacket + 1 soft-shell + some scarves/pashminas + 4 dresses + 2 cotton skirts + 3 collared cotton shirts.
Realisations so far:
  • I used to wear only a small portion of my clothes over and over again. Boring.
  • I hung on to clothing for far too long - items I had worn in my teens and twenties (I have been the same dress size since the 10th grade). Although the size still fits, the style no longer does. Honesty in this regard is vital for this process to work. People change. Roll with it.
  • I cared less about the quality of the garments, and wore my favourites (that were actually LESS my favourites and more just sloppy convenience), even when the quality had deteriorated with fading/piling/small holes in the fabric. I am now aspiring to Jennifer L. Scott's lesson from Madame Chic about using only your best, and I am liking the results.
  • I am far less overwhelmed when opening my cupboard because I have so much less to go through. Part of trying EVERYTHING on during the paring down phase was also making matching outfits. I now know what goes with what, thereby putting an end to the: "I have nothing to wear" in a closet FULL of clothes conundrum.
Highly recommended resources:

Tips for decluttering and paring down minimalist-style.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Fashion: Body Shop Make-Up


The Body Shop is having a fabulous 3 for 2 sale. Can I get a "woot"?

I just happened to mosey on in to the Brooklyn branch to pick-up a new tube of BB cream when I happened upon the sale. 

Since I also wanted to try their new Extra Virgin Minerals Loose Powder Foundation, I thought I'd throw in a new puffy make-up brush for said foundation powder, and cash-in on the 3 for 2 offer.


I haven't used loose powder foundation since finding out about my corn allergy and realising that a large number of the varieties available in South Africa are talc-based, which may or may not include corn starch (which, in retrospect, certainly explains the years of skin rashes and itching after applying powder foundation).

So the great thing about this Extra Virgin Minerals Loose Powder Foundation is the distinctive lack of talc. It contains:
Mica (Opacifier), Titanium Dioxide (Sunscreen), Kaolin (Absorbent), Illite (Anticaking Agent). [+/- CI 77492 (Colour), CI 77491 (Colour), CI 77499 (Colour), CI 77891 (Colour)].

On the subject of great Body Shop products, their Hemp Hand Protector has been a staple in my Winter toiletry kit since 2000. Nothing overcomes the Highveld's dry-skin cracking tendencies like this stuff does (especially for obsessive hand washers such as myself).


I love this video where Carrie Peterson explains her daily make-up routine and how she makes her own powder foundation powder using arrow root powder and cocoa powder. Clever!



I love wearing a hint of mascara on my upper lashes but had to throw my new Yardley one out after it made my eyes sting and burn and tear-up.

If you know of a great mascara that is particularly good for sensitive eyes, please tweet me. I'd appreciate it!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Fighting the good (immune) fight


This Winter has been a good one in terms of illness for me. 
I have managed to dodge the majority of bugs which have come knocking at my door due, in large part I believe, to daily (sometimes twice daily) yoga sessions. 

As those of you with autoimmune diseases can attest, this is no small feat.

However, there is something about the unholy triumvirate of changing seasons + a bit too much dairy + a sugar attack (hello slab of mint Lindt I comfort ate in the time span of a day) which kicked me in the metaphorical nuts. The throat tingle my husband brought home after sharing a classroom with a strep throat sufferer turned, for me, into a raging and lingering sinus/strep/chesty type infection which I am still fighting a week later.

Determined not to hot foot it to the doctor for a course of antibiotics if I can possibly help it, I have chosen instead to turn to the following mini arsenal, starting of course with the age old wisdom of:


  1. REST! Nothing to it but to do it - even when you are an antsy mo fo like myself who struggles to sit still.
  2. GINGER TEA. Fresh ginger. Boiled water. Feel the soothing and burning properties on an inflammed throat.
  3. ACC 200. There's a delicate way to say this, but I'm not going to find it. This stuff loosens up the mucous (aka snot) so that you can hack it out - great, big, green globs of it!
  4. LOCABIOTAL. Anti-bacterial. Antifungal. Anti-inflammatory. Spray the throat. Spray the nose. Hope for the best. Burns like a bastard.
  5. WILD OREGANO OIL. This is a new one I haven't tried. Simmy brought some home for me yesterday, so it is a brand new soldier in my fight. Apparently, it is touted as being nature's antibiotic. We'll see how it goes.
  6. DETOX YOGA. Granted, for the past six days my pressured head has balked at the thought of hanging upside down in downward dog and just having a shower has sent my heart into a frenzied flutter, but no matter. Today I started practising what I preach and incorporated a few detoxing poses into my standing moments, right here next to the bed. Keep the lymphatic system happy and what not.
So there you have it!