Category: shopping

Oxygenetix Rules

Oxygenetix Rules

Maths is Fun.

First of all, it’s actually not.

Secondly, I am nervous that my companion to getting through Chapter One of Statistics For Psychologists is a children’s interactive website called Maths is Fun.

Who knew that when you multiply a negative number with another negative number you get a positive number? That’s just plain crazy! Or that when you add things you have to add what’s in brackets before you add and you have to multiply before you add or subtract. Really? Why?

There’s even a song about it. Not as good as the latest Busta Rhymes song, Thank You if you like a bit of hip hop.

Finding a new foundation that acts as a poly filler while looking light and translucent on the skin…now that is fun.

oxygenetix

Say hello to Oxygenetix, introduced to me by a dewy-skinned sensible friend: It was designed by a Beverly Hills makeup artist for a plastic surgeon to cover and even heal procedural scars.

Designed for doctors, Breathable foundation covers and treats a wide variety of skin problems: skin injuries, wounds, rashes, cracked, dry skin, acne scars, rosacea and other skin conditions. On post-surgical scars, patients are re-assured and impressed that after care includes safely camouflaging any evidence of surgery.

Basically, this is a healing cream that also just happens to be a banging good foundation. It comes in a variety of shades so you look like you. I use Beige which seems to be the most popular colour.  It also has an SPF 25 – ticking all the boxes.

It’s a small pump bottle and costs $85 here. I was recently in Beverly Hills (I know, I know…did a little damage in Melrose Ave…) and checked it out there thinking I would stock up cheaply, but in fact their price control is pretty standard so no need to hunt around  for hours online or travel to the States for it as I did. Do let me know if you find differently.

Also it lasts for ages and ages as you use a tiny amount for amazing coverage. I’ve had mine for months, use it religiously and there’s still plenty left.

I bought mine in Subiaco, Perth at Skin Evolution, conveniently located next to Jean-Claude Patisserie in Rockeby Road.

There’s nothing in this shameless promo for me, I still pay the $85 like everyone. Also, they are not likely to give free stuff to someone who has six followers on their blog, are they?

Now if someone could just explain interval ratio scales to me I will be content for the rest of the day.

 

Mothers Day in Matte

Mothers Day in Matte

Mecca Cosmetica is doing a matte leather-look nail varnish trio that I bought yesterday while entertaining a couple of six year olds (“you can look but don’t touch anything and don’t come in the shop until your ice creams are finished” is my idea of a craft activity).

I’m liking it. It’s an interesting shift from the shiny reds. The matte takes a bit of getting used to.

Mecca matte nail polish leather

 

Even the clear top coat is matte. It’s quite a solid look. If the matte is too dull for you, you can always top it with a clear gloss. Alternatively if you would like to matte up your existing shiny polishes, Rimmel, American Apparel and Opi all do a matte clear top coat.

Apologies for the crappy photos – I have lost my battery charger for my camera so am taking photos as fast as I can knowing that at any moment the battery will die and I will have to seek out a new charger (and spare battery). Why I don’t do this before the battery goes I do not know.

Nail Polish Mecca Leather

 

msn mecca nails leather

 

The cost is $50 and you can check it out at Mecca Cosmetica. Just in time for Mothers Day. My kids don’t know it yet but they just couldn’t go past a pair of Julianne Jean silk pyjamas for me for Mothers Day.

Year Twelve Hurts More The Second Time

Year Twelve Hurts More The Second Time

That final year of school is tough: you have assignment after assignment to contend with. Pesky teachers on your back about ‘progress’.

Your parents just don’t seem to understand or remember how hard it is. You wish you could just cruise around in the car alone for once. You fantasise about solitary road trips to Margaret River to watch boys surf.

You never have time to read just for fun. The stress that gets dumped on you is almost unbearable. The tears, the lack of compassion from friends, the parties you have to either miss or leave early….

AND THAT’S JUST ME.

…why didn’t anyone tell me that Year 12 would be this hard the second time around?

I can only imagine what it’s like for my daughter, the one actually having to show up at school (most days); parents pretending not to be completely strung out, whispering to each other late at night about the logistics of taking an escape break somewhere without the kids. Mostly, stupid cruel parents making her to go to school. Every friggin’ weekday. And so it goes until 3.00pm November 28.

How to get through? Some lucky mothers have jobs to go to. Escape to there, make it your happy place. Those of us unemployed need other distractions. While I do wish ASOS wouldn’t keep doing their irresistible 20% off everything every second day, that has provided a little exciting spike in amongst the spiky angst. Thanks to some very stylish friends, I picked up some great biker boots the other day, it was the day before two quite big tests (Geography and French, I believe) so they were fairly expensive.

Then there’s yoga, only beware buying a ten-pass voucher and letting it expire past the extension you asked for because you just haven’t had a moment calm/alone/organised/motivated enough to get yourself to a class. It’s stress-loading yoga when you waste a whole pass, not stress-relieving.

Running – and talking about running – has probably been the greatest saviour physically for me. Alone with the dog, the wind in my hair, sometimes some music on my iPod. Below is what I listened to this morning.

Later I had coffee with one of my running pals, she of the fabulous red hair and extensive Lululemon wardrobe and we talked splits, tempo runs, mileage, races: it was like taking a short weekender losing myself in run-talk.

My oldest daughter has really good taste in music and she happily shares it with me. She has discovered the eighties (soundtrack to my life, sista!) and while I have done the right thing and put her in front of Sixteen Candles for research purposes, she has come up with some great stuff without any help from us, such as this little gem – a cover version by Ohio band Cobra Verde of New Order’s Temptation. They also do a haunting slow version of The Rolling Stones Play With Fire.

If I am completely honest my two daughters scare the living daylights out of me. They are much smarter, more determined and confident, savvy and beautiful than me. I’m not quite sure how it should all work, and I am quite tough under this soft (don’t laugh!) exterior so imagine how bamboozled my poor gentle peace-loving husband is. He lives in perpetual bewilderment.

Fortunately there is the best relief of all – friends who have been there, done that and are undamaged enough to be able to recall the terror of seeing their own kids through the end of school and pass on words of wisdom or comfort, like “it only lasts a year per child” and “don’t attempt to give up wine or chocolate for Lent” and “there, there, it’ll be okay.” Seriously all anyone really wants is to know that someone else has trod this path, whatever path that may be, and gets where you’re at. It applies to pretty much any stress we encounter in life, big and small.

Sometimes we just need someone to cry with, even if there’s no actual crying involved.

I suspect things will be quieter as our son goes through this in two years time, but just for a laugh we have another daughter headed towards Year 12. Although not for another eleven years. Rob has suggested we use this time gap to regroup, travel a little, swim regularly, perhaps a little counselling.

Apparently there’s a maths assignment due tomorrow so I may just pop off now and have another look at that nail polish I was reading about the other day…

tshirt you dont scare me

Real [Easy] Baked Beans

Real [Easy] Baked Beans

This one is one of those recipes I am just kicking myself I haven’t been doing for years and years, suggested by a sensible school mum the other day. It is so easy and the difference health-wise between this version and Mr Heinz’s is unspeakable…I didn’t ‘fess up that I had been opening the can for years; I pretended I had been making them as below (no particular recipe) forever.

So here it is. You’re probably all doing this on a regular basis already. It’s just ridiculously simple. Next time I will reduce the amount of bacon and onion only because my littlest child struggled with the sudden difference in texture and demanded to inspect the tin.

baked beans 2 MSF

Baked Beans

Throw in a pan with some olive oil half a big red onion and a few rashers of bacon. Sauté until soft and aromatic. If you have boys the smell of this will draw them into the kitchen for a chat.

Add paprika, basil, salt and pepper, a tablespoon of molasses, about half a big jar of pasta sauce or sugo (I like Five Brothers Tomato) and anything else that you think will go well. I also add a big dollop of homemade tomato sauce/ketchup for extra sweetness.

Cook it down a bit with about half a cup of water. Add a can of cannellini beans, drained.

Pop it on buttered toast for brekky or over a bowl of rice or cous cous for dinner and Bob’s your uncle.

baked beans on toast msf

 

As a grand finale I urge you to have a read of the latest post of my all-time favourite food blog which is written by my whole food pin-up gal, Jude Blereau. Many years ago MSF Ali and I did a four-week whole food cooking course with Jude and there can just be no better grounding in food love than her teaching.

Jude has such a great take on what constitutes a ‘super’ food as well as her famous bone broth recipe which is very similar to that of my other foodie heroine, Sally Fallon who I saw speak several years ago when she headed up the Weston A Price Foundation.

If you’re on the hunt for a new recipe book you can’t do much better than Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions.

nourishing traditions sally fallon

How to Lose All Your Excess Fat. Forever.

How to Lose All Your Excess Fat. Forever.

Fed up to the eyeballs with faddish weight loss programs that work for six months, tops? Ready for some in-your-face-in-a-good-way common sense? Read on, girlfriend.

I won’t tell you what you should or shouldn’t eat or even how much because I think you already know this. If you don’t let me know and I will post an update with suggestions that were provided to me by my sensible friends.

We live in a society that is just plain spoilt and greedy. We expect to always feel content, full, happy. Never to feel empty, lonely, sad. If we experience what used to be seen as ‘the blues’ we’re whacked on lexapro faster than you can say ‘bummer’. Of course there are exceptions to this and the recent progress by popular culture such as the film Silver Linings Playbook in de-stigmatising mental health issues is great. But back to the main event for today – blubber.

Hunger is designed to be out of everyone’s comfort zone. It is supposed to make you sit up and plan for the next feed. It’s your body talking to you. It triggers you to feel dissatisfied, slightly irritable, even sad. That’s the whole point. If we felt serene and calm when we were hungry we’d all starve to death as our bodies wouldn’t prompt us to do anything about it.

It’s just that fixing ‘hunger’ can lead to too much of a good thing: Excess fat.

My sensible friends have en mass chipped in with ideas and advice over my many years of yoyo dieting; the yoyo staying on the upside of fat for longer each time, staying on the skinny side for shorter and shorter periods. Sigh. This, along with guidance from bariatric (fat) doctor, Hendrik Rensburg has armed me with enough knowledge on the issue to feel confident enough to write about it. But of course you never stop learning about these things and there will be a mountain of things I miss because I don’t know it yet.

Eat less. Much less.

It sounds so depressingly simple, doesn’t it? It actually really is. However (big however!), there are just a few hurdles to overcome before a body is prepared to do this. If you know what they are it isn’t hard to jump them. First of all is working out whether you’re a hummingbird or a polar bear. You can pretty much guess what this means:

Polar Bear or Hummingbird?

Rensburg uses these animals as a way of explaining in layman’s terms how people’s metabolisms differ. A hummingbird has to eat at least its own body weight in food each day just to survive. They often eat around 14 times their body weight. No fat hummingbirds.

hummingbird

A polar bear on the other had needs to go for several months without food each year and is highly efficient at storing fat for this reason. People’s metabolisms vary from person to person. I am a polar bear. It sucks but at least I don’t have to think about eating all the time (ironically I do, though). Some of us have metabolisms that require frequent feeding to stay stable, others have clever, efficient metabolisms that extract every last calorie from whatever’s eaten and stores it carefully for the next famine.

polar bear

Denial

If you’re reading this and you’re overweight, this is step number one. Yes you probably have a metabolism that is good at holding onto every last calorie from that piece of sourdough fruit toast. Yes you are one of the “lucky” ones who is so efficient at storing fat that, come the next famine, will triumphantly survive while your perpetually skinny bestie who scoffs pizza every Friday night will be dead within three days. Suck it up, princess.

Deprivation

Do you honestly actually know what this feels like lately? One of my current fave blogger’s, Rose at The Londoner has a great little chart that describes the difference between a craving and proper hunger:

hunger versus craving

The uncomfortable side effects of hunger in the First World will not kill you. You can satisfy your hunger in an instant if you wish. However for those looking to reduce fat, unless you allow your body to partly consume itself, you are not going to lose excess fat. It’s just scientifically not possible. And having your body eat up its own fat is not a pleasant feeling no matter how exciting it is seeing the pounds come off. Just deal with it and have another drink of water. I bought a soda stream to make it a bit more interesting. I’ve come to love soda water, you can too. Learn to be at ease with what Rensburg calls the pain of deprivation.

soda water

Nutrient Density

If you’re going to eat a small enough amount that your body is going to have to feast on itself for a while (i.e. more energy out than energy in) you want to be sure that the calories you are taking in are actually going to feed you at a cellular level. Don’t eat food that contains little nutrient value (you’re a big girl, you work out what those are). Otherwise you’re going to be excruciatingly hungry the whole time and eventually get sick, fail, and get fat. Fatter than you were before. That doesn’t sound like much fun, does it? Take it from a pilgrim; it’s not.

The easiest way to do this is eat “clean” foods. Avoid anything that comes in a package of any sort. If you have to brush or wash earth dirt off it, more power to you. If it’s meat try to see that the animal was a happy one, ie pasture fed before becoming your dinner. This way you can still be primal, paleo, vegetarian, whatever floats your boat, and know that your body is getting properly fed, albeit in small doses for a little while.

Chocolate cake for example can have plenty of calories but because it contains foods that have little nutritional value (flour, sugar), it’s going to fill your tummy for a bit, then leave you wildly hungry and likely to snack unnecessarily. Trust me on this one.

Being Strong

Your biggest enemy is self-pity. We all go there. It’s something most of us avoid checking out to ourselves because well, it’s a bit embarrassing. Who wants to be caught out eating a massive second helping of risotto because they feel sorry for themselves? So to avoid acknowledging that we are over eating due to a “poor me” habit, we blame it on anything else: My marriage is hard, my daughter is strung out, I’m tired, I’m time-poor. The list goes on. You can try to work out why you overeat or you can just stop doing it, the choice is yours. I went for ‘just stop it’ and decided to check it out after the weight was gone. There is a time for navel gazing and there is a time for harden the fuck up. Your choice. Either road will get you there if you eat less regardless.

Exercise a Bit

While you’re dropping excess fat off, it pays to try not to get massively hungry so you want to be doing some exercise but not so much that the hunger is just too much to bear. I love to run but while I was losing the extra kilos I cut down how much I run and did a lot more walking. Happily, I found that even with cutting down my kilometres, I came out the other end after a few months able to run faster than ever before.

Do some fast walking and do some weight-bearing exercise. I just use the equipment at the outdoor exercise park and my own body weight for weight-bearing.

Bathroom Scales – they’re not the enemy

No one can love the bathroom scales; I get that. There are some of us who can monitor a healthy weight without ever getting on the scales. Sadly I am not one of these people. I can quite easily gain eight kilos without even realising it. So for me it’s onto the scales every day or so. If I am up, I eat less, if I am down I relax a bit. I try to keep within a two kilogram yoyo rather than a 15 kilogram yoyo. I can only do this if I keep my eyes firmly on the scales. If I know I have a big feasting period coming up, like a holiday or Christmas, I try to lose the extra kilo first rather than afterwards. It works so much better than trying to get extra holiday fat off as it doesn’t feel punitive this way. Instead, the feasting is a reward, nothing to feel guilty about. Hummingbird types reading this will have no idea what I am talking about but you polar bears do, don’t you?

Get to Grips With Yourself

Honesty time: how skinny do you seriously expect to be? If you’re entering the glory of middle age you might want to re-think that size zero, or eight, or whatever sizes your country does. It’s not a good look to be underweight. Seeing a doctor for guidance on this is a really good idea as you’re going to get totally unbiased advice.

On the other side of the coin, how long do you want to be fat for? It’s your choice. I’ve been fat and I’ve been thin and thin is much much more fun.

The Local Grocer Delivers the Goods

The Local Grocer Delivers the Goods

This week I took a “preview” delivery of gorgeously fresh and mostly* very local fruit and veggies from new Perth business, The Local Grocer. It’s not available for orders until next week – I happened to have thrown an embarrassingly small amount of money at the business to help them start-up via the hot new(ish) concept of crowd funding – so they let me order a week early. They also asked me not to publicise their website until next week but I just couldn’t wait so please don’t tell on me.

Local Grocer seasonal box

It is chockas! The fruit and veg are fresh, cold and crisp and the local ham…lovely. It came at about 5.30pm so I whipped out a few ingredients and threw it together to make a ham and vegetable risotto.

risotto ingredients

It was all locally fabulous with a handful of frozen peas because the kids love them.

risotto local grocer

The box was $70 and will easily feed the five of us for the week. My box is a conventional box; the organic box is $90. I will have to supplement a couple of things – we eat a lot of apples here and we also have a beetroot, celery and carrot juice (Juice-Plus! we call it) each morning so need big quantities of those.

You don’t have to order a seasonal box. You can just pick and choose exactly what you like and in any quantities. I wanted to check out the seasonal box to see what is actually seasonal right now, and also to see if it would suit me as I like the idea of one-click ordering (are you getting how lazy I am yet?).

If you live in Perth and you’re interested in supporting Greg and Mary Winning and The Local Grocer you can jump on board to order as of next week. Just don’t tell anyone or give it away that you had a sneak preview this week, promise? It’s our little secret.

*While the business is newly growing, there are a few items that need to come from interstate. They plan within a couple of years to be 100% local. It’s a work in progress, as with any good idea.

Margaret River Farmers Markets Part 2

Margaret River Farmers Markets Part 2

You’ve never seen so many hotties in one place as here at the farmers market. It must have been well into the high thirties by 10am and people were wandering around sweating and eating freshly grown peaches and home made icy poles to try to cool down.

The lovely Lara and Jamie McCall were there selling their home grown avocados, wine and honey. They have Burnside Bungalows and an amazing organic farm:
Burnside Organic Farm
The markets are now open in Margaret River every Saturday from 8.30am, you can check out who’s selling what here:
Farmers Market Margaret River

20121229-121213.jpg

20121229-121256.jpg
While in town MSF Keir and Clever Man Ian (from now on I am officially abbreviating, like Abed in Community, so MSF is a reference to those sensible friends) joined me for cake and coffee at Blue Ginger. It’s the sort of shop you want to move into and live in. You half expect to see Angus Stone and John Butler just jammin’ out the front for the fun of it.

It’s my opinion (rare as a hens tooth on this blog…promise) that there’s a global and powerful shift towards produce-shopping more like our grandparents did and less like the big supermarkets encourage us to with their cheap prices and shiny cling filmed food. I barely even washed my beetroot before juicing it this morning. So there.

Thanks to MSF Rosie (she who runs when she isn’t busy having babies) I had a voucher for both the Blue Ginger cafe and the shop, so no second mortgage on the house needed this time (much as I love to shop like this, I can’t afford to all the time). But seriously, you get what you pay for and in this case, and I got coconut oil, Australian apricots, coconut flour, muesli, cacao powder and several of their own mix of spices. My favourites are the Tuscan mix and the Creole mix. Almost all deliciously organic and holier than thou.

I didn’t manage to get a photo of us there because I forgot, but did snap a couple of shots as I was melting out the door back into the heat wave.

20121229-121311.jpg

20121229-121321.jpg

%d bloggers like this: