summer

So today I thought I’d share a little recipe that I made the other night because it was an absolute treat! Of course it was plant-based and vegan but that’s not to say you have to stick to the recipe 100%. The best thing about this recipe is that literally ANYTHING can be subbed in our out depending on what you are feeling. I made mine with chickpeas as my form of protein but you could easily switch that out for chicken, tuna or any other meat you fancy. This really allows you to play around with different flavours and be a little more adventurous! Whoever invented Buddha bowls is an absolute genius.

Buddha bowls are typically made from a combination of grains, vegetables, protein, nuts and seeds and are the absolute bomb because you can make up new concoctions every time. It’s a dish I know I can rely on when I don’t have too much time but I want something nourishing and tasty! The highlight of the buddha bowl from the other night though was definitely the coconut rice. I got this idea when I ordered coconut rice from a Thai joint the other week and once I tasted it, knew I had to recreate it at home! Is coconut rice something I’ve been missing out on for a while now?! No, don’t answer that question, I already know the answer 🙁 Either way, normal rice is really going to have a tough time competing against my boy coconut rice now because that stuff is soooo tasty. Sticky, creamy, coconutty.. It’s almost like a pudding *drools*. OK continuing! I used the rice as my base but I’ve seen a lot of other recipes using quinoa too. My stomach absolutely hates quinoa so I try to steer clear from that nasty stuff (no offence to anyone who loves it!!). On top of the rice I banged on a few different veggies; some cooked, some raw, a chickpea concoction, and topped it with pumpkin seeds, pepitas and a semi-homemade dressing. I say semi-homemade because I basically just used two pre-made dressings and mixed them together #chefextraordinaire! The finished product was so delish that Seewah (Steve, remind me to tell you the story) nearly ate two bowls worth! So much for thinking I had lunch covered for tomorrow.. HA! No chance.

Needless to say this recipe is healthy as … but because of the rice it makes it feel a little more hearty than just a regular salad for dinner. I tried to cut and chop the veggies differently to give the bowl more texture and don’t be afraid to go a little wild with the substitutions. I would have loved to have added a bit of avo in there but alas, I ate it all at lunch. Whoops! As these bowls are based on the principles of Chinese and Japanese ways of eating it’s best to try to have a little bit of lots of things rather than just stocking up on one food type (I’d have a whole bowl of rice and nothing else otherwise!). This way of eating is said to be great for lowering your risk of chronic diseases and reducing toxins in the body. Sounds good to me, so time to get creative!

Coconut Rice Buddha Bowl: (serves 2)

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup uncooked sushi rice
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/4 large cucumber
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • 8 button mushrooms
  • 1/2 can chickpeas
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 shallot
  • 1/4 green capsicum
  • handful of sunflower seed and pepita mix
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Dressing:

  • 2 tbs hummus
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • garlic powder to taste
  • water
  • pepper

TO COOK THE RICE:

  1. Rinse the rice and place into a small pot with coconut milk and roughly 1/4 cup of water
  2. Cover and bring to the boil. Once boiling, lower to a simmer and keep covered to for 20 minutes, stirring regularly.
  3. Once all liquid is absorbed set aside to cool with lid off

TO MAKE THE DRESSING:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a small cup and add enough water to reach the desired consistency. I prefer mine a little more watery than too thick for this recipe

TO MAKE THE SALAD:

  1. Slice the mushrooms and sautée in a little olive oil
  2. Peel the carrots into fine shreds
  3. Julienne the cucumber
  4. Slice the cherry tomatoes, celery and shallots
  5. Dice the green capsicum small
  6. Rinse the chickpeas and place into a mixing bowl and mash them up with a potato masher. Then add in the chopped capsicum and shallots and give it a good mix
  7. Add the ingredients in a layering type system starting with the rice, then top with the salads. Sprinkle seeds onto and finish by drizzling over the dressing. Eat up!

Love, Rachelle xx

 

Today’s blog post is just a cheeky little baby one because it’s Christmas week and I’m feeling on the relaxed side #sorrynotsorry. Although I am sorry for the title.. what a mouthful! Lately I’ve been pretty darn obsessed with H2coco’s “Cocoespresso” drinks to feed my caffeine addiction to the point where it’s getting expensive. I found myself craving one everyday until finally I said “enough is bloody enough” and decided to try and create my own similiar concoction. Well, not to toot my own horn here but I think I may have nailed it. Actually I would maybe go as far to say that I think my recipe is better than the real deal. Shock Horror!! Big call I know, but if you don’t believe me then try for yourself!

WHAT YOU NEED: (Serves 2)

  • 3 tsp instant coffee.. or 2-4 shots of coffee (depending on how strong you like your Coffee!)
  • 500ml coconut water
  • 4 tsp coconut sugar
  • ice
  • blender

METHOD:

  1. Boil your kettle and place instant coffee in a mug. Add roughly 1/4 cup of water or enough water to dissolve the coffee. Alternatively, make some shots of coffee.
  2. Add coffee to the blender
  3. Add coconut water
  4. Add the coconut sugar
  5. Bang in your ice
  6. BLEND AWAY!

So as you can see it’s a really tough recipe and you will need to have some serious kitchen skills to pull it off 😉 But in all seriousness though, for something SO easy it really comes out like something you would get at a hipster cafe. It should turn out to be frothy, light, coffee-coconut-y amazing-ness. If it’s not cold enough, add more ice and blend some more.. I added a good handful of ice for two people. If you want to make it more of a frappe type consistency then add even more ice.. YUM! I just think it’s such a great twist on the typical black iced coffee plus the coconut water is nice and hydrating for the summer (insert thumbs up emoji). It contains no nasties and is Vegan friendly too, perfect for hot days when you want your coffee fix but don’t want to swelter whilst drinking it. I’m personally going to be making gallons of this stuff over the rest of Summer and hey, to join the Christmas festivities I might even add some Vodka and make myself one of my favourite cocktails – the espresso martini! Just the one though, I swear 😉

 

Hope you love the recipe as much as I do and wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a beautiful New Year!

love, Rachelle xxx

Ok, so cat’s out of the bag, I’m naturally pale as pale can be. Casper is basically my spirit animal. And whilst I don’t all out hate my fair skin, I do feel for those people who have to see me (sans sunglasses) in those summer months when the only way to survive the Aussie heat is to strip off. I don’t mean getting butt naked but I’m talking about losing the sleeves and pants and opting for singlet and shorts options instead. I’ve never really been able to naturally achieve a tan as I’m lucky enough to have the skin that burns, peels and then reverts back to its pale self with the addition of a few freckles (thanks mum!), so I’ve had to rely on fake tanners when I want to look a little less white. Also, in fairness (ha! #punny) I am a bit of a sucker for protecting my skin so I don’t go out in the sun much and when I do, try to avoid getting burnt at all costs. So with Summer scratching at our heels, I thought what better time to talk about tanning (the fake way!).

I’ve been slapping tan on since the ripe old age of 13. Now hold up! Before you think I was actually socially aware of my pale skin at that age let me clarify that it was actually for dance comps. We ballroom dancers like to go overboard on the tanning side of things and it is just as important as hair or makeup on the big day as those UV lights are not our friends. I used to use a horrid orange stain called ‘Contest Colour’ that was a liquid you basically rolled onto your body with a small foam paint roller (not joking) and then stood around like a starfish ’til it dried and you could apply however many more coats. It was horrible, kids at school used to call me Oompa Loompa which was never my favourite nickname, no matter how fitting! And worse yet it used to take weeks to scrub that stuff off. I tried everything ranging from rubbing cut lemons on myself in the shower, toothpaste, and soaking in the bath and it just wouldn’t budge. When it did eventually start to wear off, you wish it wouldn’t as it would go patchy and horrible and leave your skin so dry and sore. Aaah the things ya do for dancing hey!? But times have changed and luckily now there are brands out there willing to help us pale folk resemble a more bronzed, holiday-y version of ourselves without leaving us looking like burnt oranges. I now have a few go-to favourites that I love and are super easy to both purchase and use and better yet, people don’t realise I’m wearing it! Triple winner!!

First up, it’s a bit of an old fave. Good old Le Tan Fast Tan in Deep Bronze. Le Tan was my first ever fake tan brand  that I used to buy for a ‘non competition’ tan. Meaning I wanted to look like a person, not a dancer with patchy tan feet (you fellow dancing gals know what I’m talkin’ ’bout!) I was probably around 17 and chose Le Tan because it was the cheapest (ha ha don’t judge!) but it actually turned out to be awesome! I usually apply this one with gloves as it’s a type of instant brown moisturiser that develops more colour over time. I also used to use another product by Le Tan which isn’t instant and goes on clear and develops gradually over a few hours, which is nice but I find it too risky not being able to see where I’ve put it! So the bad news, unfortunately this product had been discontinued but they do still have the Fast Tan in a Can version. Le Tan has done a bit of a revamp on its products and now has some new instant and gradual tanners containing Argan Oil or Coconut water. I assume they are very similar to the Fast Tan products they used to stock but now have maybe been slightly improved as I feel like the brand is always changing and upgrading which is nice. Definitely going to give the new products a try as I assume they will be very similar to the Fast Tan but maybe slightly more moisturising. I love the Le Tan products as they are an Aussie brand and are always reasonably priced and never leave me looking orange. Le Tan is stocked at Priceline and their products range from around $8AUD to $20AUD. Extremely reasonable and the colour of this product is great!

Next up is a relatively new tan that I just tried last week and luuuurved (loved). It’s by the brand Vani-T and it’s the Brazilian Bronze Self Tan Mousse. Its Australian made, cruelty free and whats great about it is its ready to go in 1 hour! That shit is speedy!! The consistency is like a brown foam and I applied it with a tanning mitt from the same company. I’d heard a lot about tanning mitts from other dancers and friends but hadn’t really jumped on the bandwagon but NOW I GETCHA! They are awesome and they really buff the tan in beautifully. It was a little tricky doing my back with it, but nothing some contortionist skills can’t handle.. otherwise best to grab a loved one to do it for you 😉 So, you apply it and can simply rinse off an hour later for a light tan, 2 hours later for a medium tan, and 3-4 hours later for a darker tan. I only ever really want a light tan with my red hair, so I washed it off after an hour and a half. Just a note with this stuff, washing off the excess caught me by surprise. I got out of the shower and I looked like streaky bacon.. not the look I was going for. Devo, as I thought it was the tan’s fault (obviously) I went on to apply some moisturiser and realised maybe I hadn’t rinsed it off well enough. I hopped back in the shower and rather than just letting the water hit my skin (which is usually enough) I washed my skin with some body wash and a loofah and that did the trick! No more streaks, just gorgeous glowy skin. You can buy this tan and the mitt online at salonstyle.com for $37.95 and $11.35 respectively. It’s definitely worth a try!

Lastly my absolute favourite tanner, the Bondi Sands Self Tanning Lotion in Dark. This is SUCH a good tan guys, everything from the colour, the smell and the way it wears off is 10 out of 10! Similar to Le Tan I use the product that is instant and I buy the darkest colour. I haven’t tried the light to medium colour but what I do to make the colour less intense is pop it on (with my disposable gloves) and the wash off the excess 2-3 hours later. You can leave the product on for up to 6+ hours. Don’t be alarmed when you first apply this tan though because you will look pretty dirty and green. Also similar to the Le Tan products the Bondi Sands tan’s have a green undertone which is what you want when looking for a self tanner as this is what looks most natural. Anything throwing off too much orange looks fake. It smells like coconuts and when you wash away the excess will leave you looking like a bronzed goddess! The colour is really natural and whats better is the way it fades. It doesn’t at all go patchy and simply fades away like a natural tan (or so I assume?) unlike the previous two tanners I mentioned, which don’t fade badly but are prone to a little bit of patchiness. Bondi Sands has quickly become known as Australia’s number 1 tan and I can see why! It’s available at most pharmacies in Australia and I’ve even seen it in the UK! I bought mine at Priceline here in Oz and it retails at $19.99… BARGAIN!

As a sort of personal tip, I never apply fake tan to my face. This is just a personal preference as I had a pretty awful experience as a 14-year-old after getting spray tanned for a competition and the lady did my face. At first it was just funny because it was so brown but after a couple of days it started to go really patchy and horrible and I was so embarrassed! I remember Mum having to put a bit of foundation on me just to get me to go outside #SCARRED!! From that day I’ve never tanned my face as I feel it’s just as easy to get the face up to scratch with makeup. Otherwise when I’m not made up I’m usually at home where I don’t mind having a brown neck and white face 😉 So it’s totally personal choice, but I’m not a fan.

A few tips and tricks for the novice tanner:

  • Always make sure to exfoliate the skin beforehand. I use some scrubbing gloves and/or my cactus brush from The Body Shop.
  • Tan using disposable gloves or a mitt and go easy on ankles, knees and elbows. If you like you can apply moisturiser to these areas beforehand because they like to go browner than the rest of the body 😉
  • Wear loose or silky garments while tan is developing and relax. An obvious one, but don’t decide to go out for an afternoon jog or participate in any sweaty activity for that manner!
  • STAY AWAY FROM WATER!
  • Once you’ve washed off the excess, make sure to pat dry with a towel and then be sure to apply a HEAVY amount of moisturiser. I love the Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Body Lotion.
  • Keep lightly exfoliating and moisturising throughout the week after tanning and your skin should stay pleasant and lovely and not start to resemble Ayers Rock.. been there!

Well I hope you got something out of this post! Any other fake tans out there that people love? Hit me up below!

Love, Rachelle xx

 

 

Rockin' them
Pants Preview

The other day whilst I was doing a little (early) Spring cleaning, I came across a pair of GUESS jeans that I never wear. I was naturally about to toss them into the Salvos pile until I remembered how good they fit around my waist and bum. Thinking about it I realised the only problem was that the length was more suited to a 6ft super model and I thought to myself ‘c’mon, if you haven’t gotten them altered by now are you ever going to?” the firm answer in my brain being “NUP”. Then it came to me to try to make use of them somehow. Usually, I would get way ahead of myself eager for the warmer weather and cut my old jeans into some shorts but one can only have so many pairs of denim shorts, right? So I thought maybe it would be better to cut them into a style I’ve seen #croppingup (pun intended) all over the net lately. Cropped fringe jeans. Perfect for Spring as they are just above the ankle and force us to put away them winter-y boots and considering we are almost well and truly done with winter it seemed perfect timing!

My jeans were so long that I needed to don a pair of stilts underneath them just to avoid the hem dragging in the mud (or maybe I’m just really short.. we can’t all have Victoria Secret model legs can we!!). This being said, I needed to cut off a fair amount, but if you have a pair of jeans kicking about that are already of a decent length then you wont need to cut off too much. The style of these jeans is to be above the ankle but not high enough to be 3/4 length. All you will need to create these bad boys are some scissors and tweezers, oh and some jeans. And maybe a little bit of a crafty side.. but that’s it!

  1. Put the jeans on first and then measure and mark roughly on one leg where go would like them to finish
  2. Take a book (or anything with a straight edge) and draw a straight line across the leg where you have marked
  3. Fold the jeans in half lengthways lining them up at the hem (I just held mine upside down holding the hem) then lay them on a flat surface
  4. Cut across the line making sure you are cutting both legs of the pants so that they are the same. We don’t want you looking all uneven, peg leg style!
  5. Try them on to make sure you’re happy with the length. Too short? You can either rock it or cut them into some 3/4 length pants girlfriend!
  6. Draw a line about 1 inch above the hem line (or however long or short you want the fringe to be)
  7. Cut strips roughly 1-2cm apart from the hem to the line you drew in 6 all the way around on both legs
  8. Now comes the fun part! I say fun.. but that may be a slight stretch of the truth. It really did start off fun, but if you are anything like me and wont stop until you can see the finished product then it becomes a bit of a nightmare. Get some tweezers and
    Pull each white thread
    Pull each white thread

    pull the white threads away from the blue threads. I tried to photograph this to the best of my ability but once you get the hang of it you will start to be able to pull out 3 or 4 threads at a time. SPEED DEMON! Keep unravelling until you reach the end of the cut, and repeat on each strip

  9. Continue to do this for a million hours. I kid.. But seriously, I did it all in one sitting and this part took me roughly 2 hours so be warned! If you cant stand being crafty for that amount of time then I recommend breaking up the job over a couple of nights in front of the telly watching the last of the summer Olympics

Aaahh, it really was worth it in the end guys. Even though I felt like I was going cross-eyed and thought I would never regain use of my opposable thumb again, I am so happy with the way they turned out. Now I’ve got a new pair of jeans for free! #SCORE! The Salvos missed out this time I’m afraid , but who knows what the future holds. I’ll probably look back on these photos 5 years from now and cringe thinking “why oh why?!” But for now I’m just going to ease my way into Spring/Summer 2016 showing a little bit of skin at a time.

If you are as crazy and DIY loving as myself then these are a cheap and easy way of refreshing a pair of tired (or in my case ill-fitting) jeans. Let me know how yours turn out!

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