Do you like Beetroot? I love it. So much. M does not. So when M was interstate on business last week and I had 2 big fresh beets in the fridge and no motivation to cook, I make the below super easy, super healthy and for me, super yummy din.
(Disclaimer; This may be referred to as 'Natty Food' - a description invented by M to described foodstuff that only I could possibly think is yummy. In his mind, anyway). So what is this...
Well, it's roasted beetroots (olive oil and salt) Roasted garlic (whole clove (don't peel!), roast with the beetroots, squeeze it out when it's done and mix through the warm beetroots) There's butter beans (but you could use chickpeas - I think lentils would be too strong but up to you) There's fresh dill (it's in my garden, it grows like a weed) And there's natural yoghurt (if I had greek yoghurt or feta, I would've used that).
Do you think I'm mad?
Maybe you'd have more acceptance for it if it were made as a side or a salad.. but I am a 'let's have 2 beetroots for dinner' kind of girl.
I'm no beauty expert, but I'm pretty confident that cold air outdoors coupled with heaters being pumped indoors isn't doing anyone's skin much good.
This is what's working for me right now;
ASAP Daily Facial Cleanser My awesome brow lady (who I see at her skin clinic) gave me a sample of this cleanser a couple of months ago when I was complaining about the little bumps all over my forehead. The sample lasted 3 days of morning and night use and in those 3 days the bumps 70% disappeared. Prior to this I had tried so many things to get rid of them (other cleansers, exfoliants, masks, toners, witch hazel - you name it, I tried it!) and nothing was working. I bought it as soon as the sample ran out and the bumps have not reappeared. Super highly recommend this stuff. You only need a pea size amount for your whole face and neck so the bottle lasts forever.
Philosophy Hope in a Jar I have no idea why, but for years I have wanted to try this moisturiser. As soon as I stepped foot in Sephora San Francisco, this is the first thing I bought (thinking it might stop my skin going feral after such a long flight). I am wearing this during the day under my make up and absolutely adoring it. Absorbs in seconds and not a single sign of dryness despite insane heating in my office building. Definitely worth the dollars!
Sodashi Rejuvenating Serum I'm sure if you do a search on this product my name will come up. I've always paid for this product and have no affiliation with the brand (nor do I for any of the above), but I just adore this serum. If you love rosehip oil, it's like that, but totally suped up. I put this on before bed at night and wake up to totally glowing skin. This little bottle has lasted me at least 3 winters now, so I continue to buy.
With all these heavy products I do exfoliate once a week, steam my face (bowl, boiling water, large towel) and put on a clay mask just to keep everything clear.
I used to be such a beauty junkie and it's totally faded off since I've found a passion for keeping things minimal and not having too much 'stuff' (despite the blog name), so it's nice to find things that work for me.
For reference, I have pretty normal skin, I'm very pale, and I get a dry nose and blocked up chin in winter. I never get oily but I'd recommend the serum and especially the cleanser for those with oily skin anyway. Maybe Hope would be a bit heavy...
It was cold. No, it was freezing. It was snowing and the absolute top temperature it got to during our visit was 2 degrees celsius. On the coldest day it was -7 (that was the top!) and there was a wind that went straight through you. I'd never been to the snow before and never been in below freezing temperatures so, while I was there, I was struggling with the weather. I actually said at one point in relation to the 'I LOVE NY' t-shirts that I needed one saying 'I sort of like NY'. I would never go back in winter as I have a seriously low tolerance for being cold.
But it did have perks.
Winter and nearing the end of a super cold version of it meant NY was quiet. I was wandering around wondering why everyone told me it would be super busy - it was quieter than Melbourne. We totally missed the crowds coming this time of year and that is something I loved. Looking back, although I will never return in winter, I am glad I saw it quiet and covered in snow.
NY was also a little more special for me as that's where my gorgeous girl C now lives. Seeing her was super super special and having her as a tour guide was the best!
I've done my best to not photo spam too much.
They're pretty dark and grey. This is how NY is in winter. If you search a NY instagram hashtag now you'll see it looks like a totally different place.
Oh how I would love to return in spring summer. Maybe next year...
C & I getting waffles. Waffle carts on the street. So yummy.
This is inside 'Eataly'. You must come here if you visit NYC for the coffee (all the other coffees I tried were rubbish).
Our first squirrel mate.
Carrie Bradshaw's street. There is no way in hell a columnist/writer could afford to live here.
C & I watching some kids in shorts play soccer in the below freezing temps. It started snowing shortly after.
Our beautiful hotel - The Bryant Park Hotel. Highly recommend for location and comfort of the bed. Do not recommend if you have kids or are freaked out by a sex toy room service menu (I ripped it open thinking it was for the mini bar...)
I hated it. It's loud, crass, full of rubbish and nothing like the rest of NY. I am so glad we didn't choose a hotel here (Bryant Park was a 10 minute walk away).
Wholefoods cookies. So good.
Every street you look down is just lined with giant buildings. Totally overwhelmed me when we first drove in in the cab from the airport. The place is huge. You can't even imagine.
Out the front of my beloved library. The most beautiful building ever.
The amazing 'I can't believe this is a train station' Grand Central Station. There's a giant food court underneath it too.
Pizza & Pasta feast at Eataly with C & M. This was such a fun night and we caught the subway home at midnight because it's so safe.
NY is so safe. It was just strange.
Central Park (frozen lake)
I started crying one day because I was so cold and couldn't warm up and stopped being able to move my legs properly. I had thermals and jeans on and 4 million layers and I just didn't know what to do any more. You'd come in from outside, try to talk, and slur because your lips were a bit frozen.
We visited the World Trade Centre memorial site and new buildings. It was insanely moving. The memorials are beautiful. When you're in Australia looking at the news having never been to NYC it kind of seems like a cold, big city other world. It's not. It's huge, yes, but it's like a giant, beautiful, alive community. I can't imagine what this did to the hearts of New Yorkers. The names of the victims are carved all around the memorials as you can see above - a white rose is placed in their name on their birthdays. Really beautiful.
I could write about New York forever. It's not the buildings that make it amazing, it's the people, the vibe, the conversations you hear in the cafes, the food, the culture, the most beautiful mix of people from all walks of life coexisting.
I can't even remember where we ate in New York (so many places) apart from Eataly.
If you have the chance, GO. Forget everything you've heard or what you think it might be, you can't describe it until you get there. Also, please go for longer than 6 days - I wish we had at least 2 weeks. We didn't get to any of the big sites (Brooklyn Bridge, Statue etc) as we were having too much fun walking around and then ran out of time.
Did you love NY as much as I did? Maybe it helps knowing a local!
Today I am sharing with you how I keep fit, and there's no time more motivating (for me) than Saturday morning.
Ever since my health was challenged in my late teens/early twenties, I've been pretty big on keeping my body as healthy as possible (both physically and mentally). I went through a phase of 5x a week at the gym + walks and never eating anything high in carbs and then rebelling and eating all the pasta in the world and only working out when I felt like it (which started becoming once a fortnight if I was lucky).
But in the past few years I've found the balance. I don't like gyms, so I quit. The machines seem so unnatural and I absolutely despise gym classes (I am motivated enough without someone telling me in an annoyingly perky voice to keep going - thanks! I know they're not all like this but it just wasn't my thing).
So what do I do?
I work out when I feel like it, but I never miss a Monday and must intentionally work out 1 day of the weekend (I try to make sure at least one weekend workout lasts over an hour), and I aim for 5x per week (one of these might just be a walk for 30-60 minutes or if I am tired or sore, some yoga or stretching or dancing!). I try to help out my upper body and abs in one session and lower body in another and apart from that I just make sure I get my heart pumping!
I do it all at home, even in the middle of winter, with the following;
My beloved exercise bike.
M bought this for me a couple of birthday's ago and it is used at least 4 times a week. I don't often sit on it for long periods of time (unless I can't be bothered working out, then I up the resistance, get my phone and catch up on emails/instagram/blogs while I sweat away). I usually jump on it for 5 minutes, do 2 sets of weights, back on for 5 minutes, do 50 squats.. etc. So I use it as part of a circuit. It definitely keeps my heart rate up! It does sort of ruin the look of my favourite place - my back room, but I don't care. If I stick it in the garage I know I won't use it as much as I do now (if I get a larger home one day I will definitely have a dedicated gym room).
My bucket of goodies which hides behind my door. 1 yoga mat (I also keep one outside for outdoor use) 2 x sets of weights. 1 skipping rope (I also have to go outside for this) Varied resistance bands. Having it just behind the door and easy to access eliminates the whole 'oh I can't be bothered getting it out' thing. I need to beef up this kit (I need some heavier weights and want some ankle weights to intensify some of the moves I do) but I haven't got around to it yet.
So why is she now showing me her rug? You say.. This is an Eco Outdoor Rug (you can buy them here or Google 'Eco Outdoor Rugs') It is made from 100% recycled plastic bags, is cheap and is super easy to clean (by wiping in or taking it outside for a hose down). I needed my room to be a pretty place to relax and a place to work out and this 'rug' lets me lay a yoga mat on it, walk around in my runners, sweat .. and it's fine. It's also fabulous for my kitties as they can roam freely in here (if you've had cats you know how they can get their claws and fur into carpet!).
This is my bathroom and it's mirror (and my stomach) Sometimes, work out in front of the mirror (for me, the bathroom mirror is the largest). If you've never seen a personal trainer or been to a gym, or even if you have, the mirror is super useful for checking yourself out and making sure your form is correct. I really recommend seeing a PT or meeting with a gym trainer at least once to learn how to move correctly if you're going to work out at home.
Poor form and lifting weights or even doing squats in the wrong way not only means you may not be getting the full benefit from a move, but you might hurt yourself! So see a professional at least once to get it right, and don't be scared to work out in front of a mirror (at least some of the time). (Even if your fiance, like mine, makes fun of you every single time you do it).
How do you keep fit? Do you have a setup at home? Or do you already have an active job? (or an active set of children!)
Working at a desk all day I go a bit feral if I don't get some movement into my day, so I crave my work outs and get really mad if they're disturbed (just ask M!)
I know I am not the only one who loves Nina Proudman's home.
There is nothing I love more than a door that gives no clues as to where it's leading.
This lounge is what I love. None of this super-staged everything is bang-on-trend stuff. Apart from the concrete render, I don't see much that's everywhere right now (chevron, I am talking to you - STAY AWAY!). Someone who can build an interior to look like it's been built and loved over years and years for the sake of a TV set is, for me, a super talent. I will settle for actually building a home over years and years (I think that's better in real life anyway).
I've always loved exposed brick. Perhaps growing up in a ranch style home in the country with two giant exposed brick fireplaces had an influence.
Floorboards that have seen plenty of love. Nothing better.
I'm not much into television, but Offspring is the exception. I love this show and I think Asher Keddie is super talented. And yes, I loved Patrick and did shed tears when he died. I'm that person that really didn't think they'd let Patrick go.
I also can't wait to see what this big twist is that's happening before the end of this season.
Let's also give a shout out to talented artist Adriane Strampp who owns this amazing property.