Monday, December 9, 2013

Keeping it simple

With the holiday season approaching I will admit to getting in the spirit and spending some time and hard earned dollars on one of my favourite games of risk: online shopping.

So what have I purchased lately?

To start with - this gorgeous Ted Baker Playsuit. I spotted this a few months ago and deliberated over it for a long, long time until I took the plunge and bought it from House of Fraser and I'm so glad I did! I'm yet to find the right occasion to wear it but have a few lined up and honestly can't wait to take this baby for a spin.
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The next item I purchased is this pink crepe dress (which I am still waiting to get in the mail - not happy Topshop!). I think this is going to be a great, wearable dress for summer and plan on wearing it with wedges and some chunky jewellery. It's simply and classic and actually comes in a bunch of different colours if you're interested in getting your own - I've spotted green, cobalt, red, and black to name a few.     

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Ok so I didn't buy these ones but this is what the Boyfriend is getting me for Christmas so I've got some  black ankle boots for the UK in February. These are form the Wittner sale page and I love the fact they are just a little different to a lot of the boots I've seen around. The large band around them can be completely removed so you can wear them in different ways too. I can't wait for our trip to roll around to sport them with black skinnies, a leather jacket and scarf.
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I saw this black and blue cap sleeve daisy print dress on sale on the New Look website for $11 and figured it was probably worth the *huge* expense. In summer I'm going to belt it up and pair it with gladiators and in winter it will be perfect with tights and my ankle boots. 

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Finally, I got myself a new dairy as Kikki K sent me a $10 off voucher. As I'm turning 30 in February I decided to go for something cute but crown up and this was what I chose...Merry Christmas to me!

Have you made any Christmas purchases or yourself? I'd love to know if you have - leave me a comment below.
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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Cinnamon Apple Crisps

This post is short and sweet - quite literally!

Lately, the Boyfriend and I have been trying to eat a mostly Paleo diet (with the exception of a couple of cheat meals on date night) to improve our overall health and wellbeing. We have tried to eliminate almost all grains, dairy and processed food from our diet and are sticking to wholefoods as much as we can. But what do we do when at that sweet tooth just can't be ignored?

Make Cinnamon Apple Crisps!

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These are so simple and super delicious - plus they last a few days so we can save them for when we really need a treat.

1. Core your apples and slice them up as thin as you can get 'em then sprinkle them with cinnamon.
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 photo IMG_3787_zps98d15db6.jpgMine might not look the best but they taste amazing and are a great snack to nibble on instead of reaching for some processed or overly sugary.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Primal Pantry

So the time has finally come for me to review one of my favourite places on the Brisbane cafe scene: Primal Pantry!

The brainchild of Paleo Hero's Mark Rockley , Tracey Hirst (formerly of the delightful Gillian's Garden Cafe) and Shannon Cooper, Primal Pantry delivers delicious paleo friendly meals at reasonable prices - and generally with a smile.

I've been an avid fan of this place since it opened back in June and can honestly say that the food is both tasty and a little bit 'fancier' than the paleo meals you may find elsewhere.

Heading there for Breakfast?

You've got a whole range of traditional options that have been re-designed to be paleo friendly including Potted Muesli, Bangers and Mash and the huuuuge Caveman plate (bacon, lamb, poached eggs, mushrooms, fresh spinach & roasted tomatoes). Sitting alongside these is a hearty option of Sticky Pork, some pancakes to satiate a sweet tooth and the ever popular Primal Acai Bowl.

I've tried almost all of these options (The Boy is often forced to share!) and whilst the pork was a little too rich for my liking I can't fault any of the other dishes - especially if served with one of Primal's dairy-free smoothies - my favourite is the coffee frappe!

Lunch date?

I've only been to Primal for lunch once but I managed to take some (albeit poor quality) photos. We enjoyed some seeded crackers and whilst I had to add a wee bit of salt to the hummus it was a really yummy snack.  Ordinarily, I would say you definitely don't need to order a starter unless you're super hungry - on this particular occasion we went to Primal after a big crossfit session and were starving so the little snack while we waited was perfect.
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Seeded crackers and almond hummus
I ordered the chicken pie and Tom ordered the lamb and both were lovely. The flavours were simple but very satisfying and I loved the pomegranate and mixed salad that accompanied my pie - it really complimented the dish and helped to break up what could have been a bit of a heavy meal.

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Moroccan Chicken Pie with almond & cinnamon crust
The service I've received at Primal has generally been great - even if at times the wait for a table or food has been a little long. That said, I have had a few friends say otherwise so there is probably a little room for improvement in this area.
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Twice-Cooked Lamb Shank with mushroom ragout & glazed golden onions
Another thing Primal do well is their sweets and takeaway dishes. They have amazing cauliflower fried rice,  heavenly carrot cake and mouthwatering key lime pies but although they are paleo I would still advise limiting your intake as they no doubt pack a punch calorie wise!

Overall, the food and service at Primal Pantry is good andI love that the cafe really tries to educate it's clientele about the benefits of the Paleo lifestyle - you can even pick up recipe cards! Whilst I do prefer the simpler flavours on the menu at The Paleo Cafe, I can't complain that Brisbane has two lifestyle friendly options that offer nutritionally sound meals that won't break the bank - we really are very lucky!

Primal Pantry on Urbanspoon

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Fashion Friday - fresh summer threads

Does anyone else become obsessed with aztec prints and maxi skirts when summer rolls around or is it just me?

With so many options popping up in store this season I've been nurturing my inner hippie in both comfort and style, rocking beachy blonde waves, patterned maxi's and friendship bracelets. Want to join me - check out some of these beauties available now from Dissh and Mr Zimi.

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Shorts from Dissh
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Mr Zimi's summer collection
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Skirt from Dissh
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Shorts from Dissh

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Listomania: What's going on in my world

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When catching up on one of my favourite Blogs recently - The Littlest Things - I was struck with motivation. Sophie had created a list of her current life and despite it being a simple post it really made me think. Why hadn't I done this before? I am a chronic list-maker in my day to day life when it comes to all manner of things to do (job tasks, groceries, dates to remember, you name it) but I don't often sit down to write about what's actually on in my life, to appreciate it and to be present. So I made haste and wrote my list. Not all of my list is introspective but I think it provides a nice little package of my present state. So here we go - time to cross this one off the list.

My List - November 2013
- eating: paleo foods (I am baking cinnamon apple crisps as we speak and my house smells like Christmas!).
- drinking: as much water as I can, along with Green tea, smoothies with almond milk, banana, spinach and berries and the very, very occasional red wine.
- practising: building my confidence - I've had a pretty rough year this year so I'm doing my best to build myself back up. I'm also practising visualisation techniques and trying to create new mind patterns. Yup really. Oh and also my photo skills so I'm better equipped to capture moments.
- mastering: crossfit - ok, not mastering but I've started it and am feeling muscles I've not felt for a loooong time.
- learning: gratitude. I'm really trying to identify the things I am grateful for. I do sometimes take things for granted and want to move away from that mindset to one of thankfulness as I believe this will make my life fuller and more positive.
- playing: with my blog, a bunch of other social media and my hair cut and colour (although not drastically on those last ones).
- finishing: a cup of tea.

- reading: bucketloads of blogs, magazines and a few new books including Benjamin Law's 'The Family Law' and The Happiness Code by Domonique Bertolucci. 
- enjoying: writing, experimenting with new recipes and watching back to back episodes of The Only Way is Essex- listening: to the wind outside and the whir of my computer as it heats up.
- needing: a pay rise, a holiday and time to clear my head and 're-set'. 
- wearing: my pyjamas...but on the weekends I am rocking the maxi-skirts and gladiator combo.
- wondering: if I can convince our landlord to allow us to get a puppy...I want one so bad!!
- working: at trying to upskill myself and score a job I love that makes me feel more fulfilled.
- liking: fresh roses and lillies in my living room- travelling: to the England and Hong Kong in will I survive the wait?
- planning: for our overseas trip, namely what I'll wear, where we'll eat (can someone say Heston's?), and what I'll buy; only the big issues.
- wanting: a new summer wardrobe, but it ain't gonna happen this side of the New Year. Oh and just a little something called life direction and clarity.
- loving: my boyfriend. Recently we finally got a rare two days off together and it reminded me of how wonderful he is and how lucky I am to have him in my life. He makes my heart happy.
- wishing: I could have a white christmas and be living my dream life overseas.
- marvelling: at how quickly the year has gone.
- smelling: the apple and cinnamon baking in my oven - told you so! 
- hoping: I can achieve a few personal goals in the next few months.

So there is is. A whole mishmash of thoughts and goings-on in my current life. Why not try this yourself and let me know how you go? I'd love to read what's on your list

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Summer blonde

Needing some fresh inspiration for summer hair? Here's mine! Balyage and blonde are still going strong and I'll be taking these pics to my lovely hairdresser to update my 'do and get myself looking smokin' again.

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Paleo Cafe

Recently I encountered a few health problems and this, combined with my boyfriend's new-found love for crossfit, has seen the two of us slowly adapt to following a Paleo lifestyle (for more information on Paleo scroll to the bottom of this post).So it was with much excitement that we waited for The Paleo Cafe to open up in Brisbane last month (we had visited the Cairns location earlier in the year and simply loved it).

Our anticipation for lifestyle-friendly food reached fever pitch when I clocked the new cafe - with its signature orange and white decor - opening just down the road from us at Paddington (look out for a few new franchises set to open up around Brisbane in coming months).

The week it opened I went twice in two days and I'm happy to admit I was one of the many people lining up again last weekend for a table.

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Eggs and Avocado on Toast with  side of Nitrate Free Bacon
The food is simple but delicious!

To date I've enjoyed the following:

- Eggs and Avocado on Paleo Toast with the addition of nitrate free bacon - this was yummmmmy! Completely no fuss but still full of flavour - and the bacon tastes amazing and contains no harmful additives or preservatives. Win!
- Pistachio & Coconut Crusted Ocean Fish served with seasonal greens - this meal was delicious. I absolutely adored it and will definitely be going back again and re-ordering it. It was a great size for lunch and the combination of pistachio and coconut was really light and complimented the fish perfectly.

The boyfriend tried the following and loved both of them:

- Caveman's Big Breakfast of free range eggs cooked to your liking served with sirloin steak, crispy bacon, pork sausage, wild mushrooms, roast cherry tomato, red onion and spinach on Paleo toast with Paleo tomato sauce
- Seared Tasmanian Salmon served with sweet potato and pumpkin mash, grilled asparagus spears and caper and lemon ghee. I can confirm the salmon was excellent, but perhaps not as amazing as my ocean fish.

Drinks wise I've tried the Breakfast smoothie, the Acai smoothie, an iced coffee and some chocolate banana smoothie thing - all non dairy and all very, very delicious.
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The Caveman's Big Breakfast
Overall, I can safely say that The Paleo Cafe has already become my new local favourite and I am positive that I'll keep it in business for years to come. It is perfect for anyone with food intolerances (hello all you non-gluten and non-dairy warriors) and also for those who just love good grub.

Now if only they opened for dinner all my prayers would be answered...

Paleo Cafe on Urbanspoon

If you're looking for more information on the Paleo Lifestyle some websites I found helpful include:
- Eat Drink Paleo (I also have this recipe book which is full of delicious and easy to make meals!)
- Paleo Diet Lifestyle 
- NomNomPaleo