Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Beautiful Food: Beautifully Delicious Raspberry Yoghurt Loaf

This Raspberry Yoghurt Loaf is di-v-ine!

It is a whole meal in one and perfect with a dab of butter and a hot cup of coffee or tea.
It's one of those breads that you can have for breakfast, a snack or for a late night munchie moment.

You can freeze it too, ready sliced to jut pop in the toaster in the morning or place in the kids lunch boxes, that is, if you really want to share...

Raspberry Yoghurt Loaf

60g butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 egg beaten lightly
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup yoghurt piled high
A big splash of vanilla essence
2 cups plain flour
1/3 cup sugar (you can use rice malt syrup instead)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bi-carb soda
1/2 cup oats (optional)
1/4 cup ground sunflower seeds (optional)

Heat oven to 190c (170c fan forced). Line a loaf tin with baking paper.
Place all the "wet" ingredients in a bowl and gently stir until just combined.
Place all the "dry" ingredients in another big bowl and stir till combined as well.
Next, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold through gently till just combined. The mixture will look lumpy and only just combined.
Pour half the mixture into the loaf tin and then sprinkle with raspberries which you can leave whole or chop into pieces. You can also do several layers of batter, then raspberries to suit as this stops the berries from sinking to the bottom or staying on top. Pour the last of the mixture in and smooth the top.
Place in the oven, 190c, and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce oven to 160c (140c fan forced) and bake for a further 45 minutes.
Allow to cool in the loaf tin for around 1 hour before slicing and serving. You really must toast this one for that di- v- ine moment.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Beautiful Food: Decadent But Easy Green Salad

I love a green salad.

Personally to me, when you mention the word salad it can instantly seem kind of plain, boring and unexciting when it comes to meal time. However, we are meant to eat lots of them because they are so good for us.

Well I am changing all that for myself and hopefully for you too if you feel in a boring salad rut. 
My green salad is not plain, it is not boring, but rather it is actually quite exciting if I do say so myself. The secret is green flavour.

Salads are not just some kind of watery lettuce with a bit of cucumber that, lets face it, a lot of us grew up with - wet and on their way to mushy. 
They are also not time consuming to make or complicated being full of hundreds of ingredients that all you can think is "who could be bothered". Salads get to be delicious, easy to prepare and rather simple yet decadent. Decadent not being a word often associated with salads but that is about to change.

My salad bases always start off dry and just before serving I add moisture with delicious sauces or dressings and a few of my fave wetter ingredient depending.

The good thing about starting with a dry base is that from there you can add and go in any direction with flavours each time. A dry base will also keep in the fridge for a few meals without turning to that mush with browning ingredients.

My green salad has a simple base and from there I add other tastes and flavours to suit my mood. Here is how I prepare my decadent green flavour salad.

Decadent Green Salad

Green Flavour:

1. One Leaf or Mix of Choice: Spinach, Kale, Asian Greens, Lettuce varieties.
2. Herb of Choice: Basil, Dill, Thyme, Mint, Coriander, Parsley and or a mix of a couple depending.
3. One Acid or Flavour Punch: Onion - red, brown, white, Shallots, Spring Onions (if you don't like onions simply skip).

Toppers: Add just before serving. The trick is to keep it simple. Often I will just pick one of the below types of ingredients and let it be the star of the show salad however, here I have given you heaps of ideas to get your salad imagination flowing.

1. Meat of choice
2. One or Two Veggie or Egg Extras: Semi-Dried Tomatoes, Capsicum, Carrot, Cucumber (yes if you like it), Grated Zucchini, Asparagus, Pumpkin,
3.  One or Two Nuts, Seeds or Spice: Cashews, Almonds, Walnuts, Macadamia, Chilli, Paprika, Pepper, Salt etc.
4. One Sprinkle Extras: Flax Seeds, Buckwheat, Noodles, Couscous, Pasta and more. 

Dressing / The Moisture:

1. Go For It: What do your taste buds and ingredients suggest? My top four dressings that I love at the moment are below.

Lemon Olive Oil: Combine olive oil, lemon juice, mustard (optional), salt and pepper.

Macadamia Dressing: 60grms macadamia nuts, squirt of lemon juice, salt and pepper and herbs of choice (optional). 
Process to a smooth past with some water to desired consistency.

Honey Soy: 2 tbs soy sauce, 1 tbs or more of honey, squirt of either lemon juice or mirin.

Curry Dressing: 1 tsp curry powder, 60mls coconut cream, salt & pepper, chilli (optional), tiny squirt fish sauce (optional), squirt of lime juice. 
In a dry pan toast curry powder for 1 minute over heat. Add in the coconut cream and other flavourings and bring to a gentle simmer. Remove from heat and add lime juice. Serve warm or allow to cool.

Decadent salad perfection!!

I would love to here your thoughts and ideas on salad and any easy salad dressings that you love. Just share in the comments below.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Weekend Fun

Why not bake a batch of cupcakes and let your kids, yourself or the man in your life decorate them - whatever they turn out like. You can grab a yummy recipe for cupcakes by clicking here.

I am also thinking this for dinner, click here, but outside in the beautiful evening.

Have a lots of fairy lights left over from Christmas, that's perfect, why not decorate your kitchen, dinning area or even outside, in a non-Christmas style of course, in twinkle pretty pleasure for the New Year.

Don't forget if your out and about then go with orange power, you will not regret it - click here.

Have a wonderful weekend gorgeous babes.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Life Storms! What To Do In Hard Times

Wow Christmas is upon us! I love Christmas but I think we all do. It's that chance to add sparkle, love, and fun to the year that was and the opportunity to spoil and simply be with the ones we love most. Yet, in all the tinsel, life still happens and for some it's not that grand, in fact it is downright painful.

Hard times = yuk!! How else do we put it. We all face challenges and I do love that saying "not to judge others because everyone is facing their own challenge".
Life sure does throw the curve ball usually unexpected, tragically, or unbelievably and it must be faced, you have no choice.

I know first hand what it is like to be facing a massive challenge as I stare down the barrel of another Christmas as a single mum. I sure never knew that this would be apart of my journey and this challenge I walk has sure been painful - there have been lots of tears.

I have learnt several things that, amidst what I call the DARK, have brought rays of light into my world as I face my challenges and as I fight despair and feeling horrible at times.

1) Nature
Get out into the environment.
Nature is so powerful and teaches us strength, beauty, resilience, growth as well as giving us peace, stillness, joy and reminding us that life goes on in beauty.
I get out everyday and enjoy the elements, forces and natural wonders all around me. It awakens my soul and lifts my eyes out of my pain to see my value and the possibilities of my future. Taking a walk and feeling the day upon my cheeks is invaluable.

2) Respect
It is so very important to respect yourself when going through challenges and in fact it's a must for every day no matter what.
Respecting yourself is key to moving through the situation in elegance, and dignity.
I apply it to everything even when I feel ugly, a failure, fearful, messed up and really don't want to put my makeup on or even get out of bed.
For myself, the best way I can bring respect to my being is through the following practical ways:

- Speech: The words I say about myself and others especially in front of my children are important. It's not letting my inner voice that so easily wants to criticize me and pull me down get away with it. It's controlling my verbal voice to the world and choosing to remain true to my values and not letting loose in misguided or hurtful ways - keep in mind that inner pain always wants to verbalising itself.
It's not that I don't get emotional, feel angry or upset and this is perfectly ok and even needed to be felt, but I just don't let it get away from me in an attack on those around me or to disrespect myself and others in outbursts.
Talking to a trusted friend who knows the situation or a qualified councillor is great to work through pain and also getting out into nature really helps that escaping pain be released.

- Food: What and how I eat is very important. I make sure that I am feeding my physical body correctly and in self -worth. When you aim to put on your plate "edible respect" in the type of food, portion size and focus on eating to enjoy and not to stuff it down you are respecting your being. The effects of this are not to be underestimated.
Health plays a big part in our emotional well-being and when we eat to respect ourselves it brings a resilience in our health and in how we treat our physical body that helps manage our emotions and emotional expenditure. Yes, you can still have your chocolate because respect shapes your diet choices and amounts and the focus is gone from having that perfect, impossible, restrictive diet to get thin!!!

- Style: Presenting myself with pride and effort is rewarding and is power to get you through the day. I get up, I get dressed and I put my make-up on to suit the day.
This brings motivation, inspiration and is a great way to connect with one's self to keep discovering yourself as a person with your own individuality and value. This act of wearing what you love in respect and presenting yourself in beauty or style has a ripple effect for your day and to those around you. It makes it easier to step out into the world and do what you must.

3) Ambiance
Creating a home, office space (where possible) and surroundings of ambiance that reflect you is a balm for your soul. You get to have and do what you love. Space to just be and be in  with the things you love brings calm, security and opens the door to dream. It's a place to come home to and be as you are, safe and having a retreat. Music, candles, books, colour, open windows, furnishings you love, photos, inspirational sayings...
Ambiance for me is also letting gratitude and thanks fill my space. I practice being grateful and feeling blessed with what I have and this creates a beautiful tone for my home.

4) Others
Humans are made for humans. Connection.
Two aspects I make sure to always have in my life are:

- Surrounding myself with friends and family: We need each other. We need to share life, laughter, moments and be a witness to each other. We support each other, love with each other, cry with each other and walk the paths of life.
Be the initiator, inviter. Don't sweat that you may have to always step out and organise that dinner or outing  - life is too short "just do it".
Don't isolate yourself, which is so easy to do when going through hard times, as this pulls you down into despair and aloneness. I struggle with this at times because it seems easier but in fact it makes things harder long term. Get with those who know you and bring joy.

- Give: Nothing on earth is more powerful then the spirit of love to help another.
Giving to another is so wonderful especially to those who can give nothing back to you. This helps you to not be self consumed but able to still see others.
Make giving apart of your life. i.e. sponsor a child, give to a mission or cause financially, give time to help a charity, blog to bring inspiration, visit or take time to chat with a neighbour, or help a single mum out with a gift of dinner... so many, many ways to give to others.

5) Spirit
A controversial topic and you may disagree but one that is based on truth, my truth, because I have seen it work time and time again in my life.
We are spiritual beings as much as we are physical and emotional (soul).
Meditate, pause, pray, dream, be inspired. This is the light you can shine on the dark path to keep moving forward. Amazing light and love will shine back to you from the God of the universe for we are not walking life alone.
You were created to connect in spirit with something bigger then yourself and the force that weaves this planet and human connection together in love. God is this love and wants your life to be immersed in it so you can face anything.
Stop and pause on this and release your spirit to connect with this Love who wants the best for you and to walk with you in every aspect and area of your life. It just takes a whisper of  "Love be in my life" and to take time everyday to pause and connect your spirit with God's spirit. You'll know it's real when you do it, it's the only way to know.

What do you do to get through the tough times?

Friday, 28 November 2014

Weekend Cheer and Ideas

What are you up to this weekend? We are off to the ballet to watch a special Christmas story and (excited scream) we are putting up Christmas decorations. Come and join us, you can see our fun over on Instagram here.

In the meantime:

Share with me your own Christmas decoration via instagram or facebook. Tag your photo #looksalotlikeabeautifulchristmas and I'll come and have a peek at Christmas your way.

Read some of my favourite Christmas fun via my link magazine and add your own link to your blog post or Chrissy idea you've found. You can do that all here, just click and your away. We are spreading Christmas fun, that's for sure.

Fancy some cooking? Brownies are always the answer right? For my super, yummy brownie recipe click here.

Style it up with stripes this weekend for a fun, casual vibe. Click here to read up how to wear stripes.

Have a beautiful weekend beautiful babes. xx

Monday, 24 November 2014

How To Do A Lipstick Photo A Day Challange

So it's no secret that I am a big fan of lipstick.

I love nothing more then changing my look by changing my lipstick and I just think, no I actually know, that lipstick can give a women a wonderful, confidence boost for any type of day or event she is about to have. Lipstick is powerful!

So a week or so ago I decided to do my own lipstick challenge via instagram which I am sure, if you follow me there, by the end you were inspired to get in and wear your own favourite lipsticks. Either that or your just thought that I had a case of the selfie love!!!

I do think every women needs to do a  7 day lipstick challenge to get some babe power and lipstick grrrrrrr going on. You may be amazed at the confidence and beauty you feel. Something so simple... So inspire yourself, me and your friends by your lip shade.

Here is the list if you want to copy mine or you can simply make up your own seven days of fun.

Let us spread the lipstick power for no other reason then for ourselves.

Day 1. Pretty Pinks
Day 2. Nude
Day 3. Gloss or Matte
Day 4. Orange
Day 5. Diva Red
Day 6. Hot Pink/Purple
Day 7. Your fave - I went for a berry red.

Tag your lipstick week of power @ohsobeautifullipstick and let me know @_allthatisbeautiful_ via instagram or upload to my facebook page here.