Friday, February 28, 2014

Fit Fridays: 'Muesliforme' Review

Welcome to Fit Fridays! This is a new series on the blog, with posts on Fridays being all Okay, so the name isn't super innovative, but it's alliteration so surely I get points for that?

Today I'm kicking off the series with a review of a breakfast food I've been trialling for a couple of weeks now.

In January's Her Fashion Box, I received a sample and a coupon code for a brand called 'Muesliforme'. I was really interested to try it out, because I am always starving as soon as I leave the house, but never really have time for much food in the mornings. Breakfast is the hardest meal for me, because I'm also quite sensitive to wheat so I can't just have cereal. I love muesli, but I hate sultanas, so that also rules out a lot of supermarket muesli. Anyway, the sample pack contained in the HFB was really good, so I investigated the company's website.

The premise is simple; customise your muesli! I decided to just bite the bullet and go for the 1.5kg bag, and chose to get rolled nuts, seed mix and hazelnuts, almonds, apricots, apples and figs. 
It's mixed on the same day it's sent out to you, so is guaranteed freshness. It's shipped on the first of every month, and is really reasonably priced. My order came to just $37 (before coupon code) for 1.5kg (30 serves), with free shipping. There's also no contract, so you can cancel and suspend your order at any time. 
Unfortunately the bag mine came in got ripped in the mail, so I taped it up and poured a heap into a plastic container.

Overall, I love the idea of this. I love having someone else mix the muesli I want (because let's be honest. I could mix it myself, but I'm far too busy lazy for that #firstworldproblems). I love the seed mix with the rolled oats, and there is a generous serving of hazelnuts in the mixture. 
I would like it if there was more fruit in it though. I actually forgot I ordered apple in mine, because I haven't really had any apple pieces yet (that's if they're even in there?) The dried figs are delicious though. 

Overall I am really loving this, and I'm having breakfast maybe 4-5 days out of 7 now, which is a hell of a lot more days than I used to. I'm going to try up it to 7 days a week, and I feel I can do that with this mix, because it's just so easy that even sleepy-me can manage to pour this and milk in a bowl.

What do you eat for breakfast? Are you a muesli eater?

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Review: Lush 'Whoosh' Shower Jelly

I purchased this on a total whim in the Lush store, just before Christmas. The 'shower jelly' part intrigued me, and I'm a sucker for a good gimmick. 

This is a really citrus scented soap, with lemon, grapefruit, lime and rosemary all being key ingredients. I really, really love the scent. I love the 'kick' of it, and I love the freshness, especially for Summer. 
I can totally imagine using this when I'm stressed and tired because of uni and it giving a bit of a 'perk up' as well. The scent is really nice whilst your in the shower and it doesn't linger heavily after you step out. 

That being said, I don't think I actually like the 'jelly' part of this product. Basically, this is a lump of jelly in the pot, and I find it a bit tricky to dig a little bit out while in the shower. It's also slippery and gloopy, and when you combine that with water it gets a bit tricky to hold on to. It slips out my hands and on to the floor, wasting a lot of product. I've tried smooshing it into a loofah but that didn't quite work either. 
Basically it requires a lot more effort than I would like to expend on a soap, so I would say it definitely fails on the practicality aspect. 

SLS features predominantly as an ingredient in this product, however, despite that I didn't find this product to be super lathering. It's also a little drying on my skin, so I always make sure to follow up with a moisturiser after using.

Overall, I love the scent of this, but it's far too much hard work for my liking. The jelly is too slippery for the shower and I think the product is a bit gimmicky.

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Wishlist: Stripes

wishlist: striped fashion

As all the stores start stocking their A/W gear, I'm seriously lusting over stripes, and thinking about stripey pieces to add to my wardrobe. I love thin striped jumpers, but I'm also seriously lemming over the thick striped dress and skirt in the bottom row.
I feel that stripes are such a versatile, classic print and perfect for the cooler weather.

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Monday, February 24, 2014

My Week in Pictures #44; the Theme Park Edition (part 2)

On Wednesday we braved Dreamworld, Australia's biggest theme park and famous for "the Big 8" extreme thrill rides. The timing of us going was perfect, because there were almost no lines for every ride and in the first hour and a half we'd already knocked over 5 rides. 

We hit the Tower of Terror II first. This was my first ever 'thrill' ride when I was a kid, going on it when I was about 7 years old. Back then, the original launched face first, and you descended backwards. Now they launch you backwards and you fall face first. Over the whole day, we went on this ride three times, and being in the first car is absolutely the best experience. 
This ride propels you at 161km/h, with a maximum of 4.5Gs and 6.5 seconds of weightlessness - eep! 
The drop is measured at 99.9m. 
I think it's awesome that they use the side of the 'Giant Drop' for this ride.

The Giant Drop is probably the ride I was looking forward to the most; the floorless platform ascends you to a height of 115m. There's no countdown at the top, and you're left dangling there for maybe 90 seconds before you plunge back to Earth in a free-fall, attaining a terminal velocity of 135km/h. This ride held the world record for being the tallest tower drop for an impressive 14 years! 

I loved this ride so much; the feeling of free-fall, and the suspense at the top is incredible. Waiting in line my heart was racing, and I was scared as hell but it's so worth facing those fears. 

The Claw is a swing ride, where you're seated on a circular platform that rotates as you swing. I really enjoyed this ride; it goes fast, and you get a feeling of weightlessness at the top of the full swing. 

We hit up Pandamonium, themed to the Kung Fu Panda movie, and the Motocaster. The thrill version of Pandamonium reaches G forces of 3.8, and you swing upside down at a height of 8m which is really fun. I love upside down rides (I guess all that pole dancing has trained me for it?)

The Motocoaster was a lot more fun than I thought it would be. The carts are motorbikes, and the harness straps around your back so you feel like you're riding a motorbike. You accelerate from 0 to 72km/h in two seconds, which is fun. Apart from that, the rollercoaster is quite tame and there are little sidecars for kids to ride with their parents. 

The Buzz Saw was one of those rides that looks and sounds seriously impressive, but was a little bit of a let-down. The Buzz Saw has the highest inversion of any ride in the Southern Hemisphere, and second in the world. I didn't really think much of it though, and it wasn't as scary as we thought it was going to be. That being said, we were in the second-to-last car. It probably would have been a very different experience in the front seat. 

We spent quite a bit of time in the Dreamworld Corroborree, where there was a lot of native animal displays and some animal shows. The tiger show was a definite highlight. This was great to break up the day a bit, and give our lunch some time to digest before we hit the crazy rides again. 

Dreamworld also has a fun zombie-themed laser tag arena, which we finished our day with. It was a great low-energy way to end the day, before the long drive back to my mum's place.

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My Week in Pictures #44; the Theme Park Edition (part 1)

Last week J and I jet-setted off to Queensland for a mini-holiday. We stayed with my mum, who lives about an hour north of Brisbane. It was so great being able to see her after months and months, and check out her new place. We spent two days at Warner Bros Movie World and at Dreamworld, which was the basis of our little getaway.

We started off on Tuesday at Movie World. I last was at Movie World over 10 years ago, and it's a lot more DC-focussed than I remember. I have to say though, I totally commend them on their theme-ing of the park, because they have done an awesome job with that.

The Superman Escape rollercoaster, and the Arkham Asylum coaster (previously known as the Lethal Weapon) were easily the best in the park. Superman Escape had the longest wait time of them all, but even so it was only about 20 minutes. The Superman Escape accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in under 2 seconds which is just so, so much fun. 

I think the funnest rollercoaster of all of them was the Arkham Asylum - it has 5 inversions, reaches speeds of 88km/h with an experience of 4Gs. The track is above you, and your suspended so your feet dangle. This ride is so intense, and I think was my favourite out of all of the ones we experienced. 

The Batwing Spaceshot was a lot of fun - you basically shoot up 61m, experiencing a force of 4Gs while travelling 64km/h. You can see a lot of the park on the ride which is nice, for the views. 

The Green Lantern coaster was pretty fun - not quite as intense as Arkham; if you're after a little thrill but still a bit of a 'fraidy-cat, this would be a great ride for you. The ride reaches speeds of 66km/h, with an experience of 3.5Gs. That being said, I was surprised to learn it does actually feature the steepest drop in the Southern Hemisphere and the second steepest in the world. 

Just chillin' with our mate, the Joker. 

The last time I went to Movie World, the Scooby Doo Spooky Coaster had just been built, and the lines were so long that there was over an hour and a half wait to get in. This time, there was no such line. Unfortunately, the ride was a bit of a disappointment. Towards the end of the coaster part, there was a lot of stop-starting which kind of ruined the experience. The first time we stopped was at the end of the last drop, and I honestly thought the ride had broken and we got stuck. 

Movie World has fun little shows on, which is good to break up the day. The Batman one was pretty good, and easily drew the biggest crowd. Unfortunately the Wild West show got cancelled (but not before we were all standing in the sun for 20 minutes waiting for it to start). The Scooby Doo show was also funny and lighthearted; there were a lot of children at that show.

Movie World is a great theme park; it has an entire Looney Tunes section with rides just for little ones, so it would be perfect for all ages.
Stay tuned for my post later today on Dreamworld!

Have you been to Movie World before? What's your favourite roller-coaster ride?

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Guest Post: 10 Life Lessons We Can Learn From Our Dogs

Today's post comes to you from Teena!!

Hey I’m Teena Cathey the personal personal trainer. When I’m not with a client I’m either painting, running away from my chihuahua Mister or dogging globs of slob from my nephew Jae.  If you want more health and fitness tips like this follow me on Twitter @teenacathey and check out my website

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  1. We Can't Always Have Our Way - Doesn’t it just irritate you sometimes when you don’t get your way? My dog (Mister) used to get an attitude when he couldn’t get his way. He’d throw his toy at me. What’s the point, forcing someone to see or do things your way doesn’t help.
  1. Following  Directions Has Rewards - When my dog listens and follows directions he gets a treat. When we follow directions well it can lead to a promotion, or simply keep us out of trouble.
  1. Be Patient- For many this is easier said then done. My dog (Mister) used to rush me when getting his food. He would bark, jump around in circles and just be so annoying about it. But it didn’t make me move any faster. We have to realize that being in a rush doesn’t make time move faster. Rushing and not being patient makes us anxious and flustered. Who wants to live like this? Try taking your time.
  1. Appreciate What We Have-Are you dissatisfied with what you currently have? Well we have to try try looking at it from another angle. Instead of what you lack or don’t have look at what you have. You’ll be so much happier.
  1. Imagination Is Wonderful- Our dogs will roll around with its toy as if it’s alive. He does this all the time. Just because we aren’t five anymore doesn’t mean we have to stop using our imagination and creative senses. We should use our imagination with work, our ideal lifestyle and things.  Having an imagination only makes things more fun and interesting.
  1. Sleep Is Necessary- I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen my dog lay down and nap as if he worked a double shift. But this gives him bursts of energy to play 10 times harder than he did before he took his nap.  Sleep is necessary to recharge the body and brain. We should follow suit and try to get as much as we can. It’s recommended we get 7-8 hours. But honestly I get from 4-6, because that fits my lifestyle. Get in where you fit in.
  1. You Don’t Need Money To Have Fun- Mister sleeps like he works double shifts, but that fur ball is not bringing home the bacon, he eats it. But he’s always so happy. And you can be happy too. Try doing things you enjoy, it can be something like catching up on your favorite show. Learning a new skill. Or attend a free event. Sitting around waiting for money to enjoy yourself and have fun is not living. Money comes and it goes, that shouldn’t stop you from living life.
  1. Show Love No Matter What (forgive and forget)- Mister just got in trouble. Seriously, he’s sitting in the cage as I write. But when I take him out the cage he’ll jump up on me, try to lick my face and wag his tail so hard his entire body moves. When someone hurts your feelings or does something mean, forgive them and move on. Not saying you have to be filled with joy every time your paths cross.Just show love, because at the end of the day it’s a lesson learned. And being mad only hurts you not the person you are mad at.
  1. Time Is Precious- We are always in such a rush to do things and or get something done. Having my dog around reminds me to slow down. I notice when we take walks he will stop and sniff, or look up at the sky. Yes he has motive, but he gets me to do the same. Look at my surroundings and take it all in. Try taking time out to stop and smell the roses.
  1. A Closed Mouth Don’t Get Fed - I’m no dog whisperer so when my dog is hungry I don’t know unless he tells me. And you have to take this same approach in life. Keeping your goals to yourself doesn't’ help you. How can someone assist you in achieving them if they have know clue what it is you are trying to do? Let people know what your plans are and see how people will help you get there.

Now You: What are some habits your dog has that you can take as life lessons?

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Guest Post: Let Your Geek Flag Fly

Today's post is brought to you by Cassie from Reluctant Femme! I absolutely love her blog and was really excited when she offered to guest post for me. She's a fantastic writer, and in her own words a 'nerdy, activist, beauty blogger.' Also check her out on twitter here.

Wearing an outfit that I think expresses something about who I am and what I like can make an enormous difference to my mood and self esteem. While I do have a terrible habit of wearing all black far too much (something left over from my misspent youth as a ridiculous gothling), few things can lift my mood as easily as a "pop" of personality. Wonder Woman headscarves, a t-shirt with Rose from Doctor Who on it, Converse sneakers covered in The Joker - these things say to the world, "I'm a nerd, and that's not only okay, but awesome."

Unfortunately, on weekdays I’ve long been confined to an office environment, and offices generally require my least favourite style of all time – the dreaded “smart casual.” No t-shirts, especially Doctor Who ones, no sneakers, no colourful headscarves, just "normal" boring outfits as far as the eye can see.

Maybe “smart casual” works for you, but I’m not a “smart casual” kind of person. I’m a little bit weird, and I like geeky things, and I’m a relatively unfashionable shape – to quote Tori Amos, I’m anchovies and “smart casual” is tuna. Unfortunately, looking like tuna when you’re really anchovies is one of the things you get paid for in an office job.

So how to reconcile these two styles? I love my geek chic wardrobe, but if I don't get paid then I can't afford to add to it, and that would be disastrous. If you're anchovies pretending to be tuna like me, here are my top five recommendations for things to let you fly your geek flag without getting fired.

Talia's Unique Treats on Etsy is a great first stop when looking for geeky accessories that are small and unobtrusive enough to fly under the workplace radar. My personal favourites are these Super Mario inspired star earrings, because if someone doesn't know the game they just come across as adorable little stars. They're small enough to not scream out for attention, but bright enough to add a little sumthin sumthin. Plus, they're ridiculously cheap.

If you prefer something a little less cutesy, how about these Star Trek inspired Star Fleet insignia earrings from Planet Pickle? They're a bit more obviously geeky, since after the enormously popular movies just about everyone and their dog knows what the Star Fleet symbol looks like. But they're also sleek, silver, and very stylish. If you want to get a little more avant garde, Planet Pickle also have a delightful line of pendants shaped to look like various items of clothing hung from a washing line, like a labcoat or a straitjacket.

Another exciting shop for chic geeks on Etsy is Edenki, who does a wide range of acrylic laser cut jewellery inspired by all sorts of fandoms and geekery. My favourite from her current range is this Doctor Who inspired pendant, that says "Spacey Wacey" in Gallifreyan. Arty abstract design, or hardcore fan reference? Your boss won't know the difference, but you will!

Maybe you're not a jewellery sort of person - don't worry, I've still got you covered. Shiro Cosmetics, based out of the US, have built an indie cosmetics business based entirely around geeky inspirations. Not only are their loose eyeshadows really pigmented, smooth, and easy to use, there's collections inspired by The Hobbit, Fullmetal Alchemist, even Nicholas Cage! While they're all gorgeous, for a work safe look I'd recommend taking a browse through the Game of Thrones inspired Seven Kingdoms collection. I'll be doing a full review over on my blog soon, because I was lucky enough to be gifted with samples of the whole collection for my birthday, but these are my picks for a nice, safe yet geeky work look.

From left to right we have Mother of Dragons, Women's Weapons, Queensguard, Hodor, and No Men Like Me. Because these look a little different actually on the eye to how they do in a swatch, I put together a look using Women's Weapons in the crease and corners, and Mother of Dragons across the lid.

Coming back around to another local, geektacular business, my final recommendation is from Pretty Serious Cosmetics. While it's independently owned and run by one (fabulous) woman, the cosmetics are all manufactured professionally, so you can be sure each and every bottle of a shade will be absolutely consistent - something that can be tricky to achieve with hand mixed indie polishes. Pretty Serious have several geek themed collections, but my work safe pick for today is CGA.

This polish is a pale lilac with a vibrant pale blue shimmer in just the right light, and it's named after the piece of hardware that changed the way we saw computing (literally) forever. It doesn't get a lot geekier than that! CGA also has a matching eyeshadow available, AND they're both on sale right now, so if that hasn't convinced you to run over there and make an order I just don't know what else to say.

So those are my Top 5 Picks for the Chic Geek who's stuck in a staid "smart casual" environment. I'd love to hear from any stealth geeks out there - how do you like to let your geek flag fly?

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