Winter Fashion Bits

Hello everyone,

I know if you live in North Queensland right now like me the last thing you want to think about is winter clothes, as it is still so stinking hot (I type as I sit in the air-conditioning) but as you are all aware, my boyfriend and I leave for our Europe adventure in 2 weeks’ time…Oh wowwww, that has come up so quickly!

So, as I want to start preparing and packing my bag, I realise that I lacked a few cold weather essentials. It wasn’t such a bad thing as it was a good excuse to go shopping! I thought it would be cool to share the few bits I picked up with you guys here 🙂

DSC00265 (2)DSC00269 (2)Country Road $69.99 

I shopped for just some simple thin material jumpers to wear underneath jackets everywhere! Finally, I found these two from Country Road. They were a little more expensive than I wanted to pay, for what I was searching for, but I had tried on others in less expensive places and they just didn’t look or feel as nice. Plus I am a big believer in buying a few good quality items of clothing and keeping them for years than having a cupboard full of cheapies that you have to keep replacing and probably ends up costing you more in the long run!

DSC00273 (2)DSC00275 (2)Forever New; Nelly Horizontal Batwing Jumper in blush pink $79.99
This knit is soooo soft and such a nice colour! They had another one in grey too but it wasn’t really in my budget so I needed to pick one.

DSC00282 (2)Uniqlo; Ultra Light Down Jacket $109.90
Omg! Okay I am excited to talk about this one. This jacket is from Uniqlo and is made from a material called ‘down’. It is so warm and cosy plus because of the way it’s made, it is as light as a feather and folds down into a tiny bag so you can literally keep your jacket in your handbag, what an amazing idea, especially for travelling. It looks cute on to.

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Having a few pairs of quality staple jeans is such a good idea for anyone as you can just keep re-wearing for years and the good part is, the less you wash jeans the better they look so it means not as much washing for you to do, so its a win, win situation.

DSC00290Levis; 711 Skinny Jeans $129.95
You can’t go wrong with a good pair of Levi’s, need I say more?

DSC00292DSC00294These Ryder Jeans, I bought on sale so I can’t find them online but they were $60 (from $100) at Myer, loooove a good bargin.

DSC00302 (2)Nike; I can’t find these online anymore either, as they are probably previous stock,  but I think they were around $100.

My boyfriend Brandon bought me these cool Nikes for Christmas but I wanted to include them in this post as they are still new and I haven’t worn them yet as I have been saving them for Europe. As much as I love the idea of wearing funky heeled boots every day and look like the typical Parisian, they are not very practical when you will be doing lots of sightseeing and walking (of course I’ll still pack some for nights out though). But I am really in love with these trainers and they are super comfy!

Please let me know if you guys liked this kind of fashion haul post. Make sure you keep up to date, lots of travel posts to come! 🙂

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My 20th Birthday Weekend

So as most of you are aware I turned 20 on Friday. I know 21 is the big birthday but to be honest this is the most surreal feeling I have ever had when getting older. When I turned 18 I didn’t feel much different as I am not a big drinker, so nothing changed that much and you are still a ‘teenager’, but to me, saying I’m 20 years old, is a really weird thing!

On my actual birthday, I got my hair chopped, coloured, and styled, my makeup done and since I am very lucky that my amazing boss is a photographer, we did a studio glamour photoshoot as a birthday present from her. It was so much fun and honestly made me feel so confident and beautiful all day.  I am so in love with my hair chopped, I love that feeling when you get a new haircut and you feel it’s almost like a ‘new beginning’.

And yes, I will be posting the photoshoot pictures on here, but that post is TBC! 😉

The rest of the weekend was really lovely and spent with close friends and family. We went to dinner last night at a new Italian restaurant in my town and the food was amazing!

Below are some pics I took last night.

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Also a massive shout out to my boyfriend’s mum Kerry (who is a cake maker extraordinaire) , who spent her Saturday with me making this beautiful (gluten free!) cake shown in the above pics, she is seriously so talented, thank you for such a fun day.

Hope you enjoyed this little snippet of my weekend, thank you to all my beautiful friends and family for all the lovely messages, calls and Facebook posts, I felt very loved! The only thing missing from my weekend was my brother who now lives in Melbourne, wish you were here, you were very missed Peter.

Make sure you keep posted as there is only 5 weeks left until my boyfriend and I voyage to Europe…exciting things to come!

Love Kate xox

 

Sunday Baking: GF Coffee and Walnut Cake

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Mum and I made this cake a few weeks ago and I forgot all about it until now when I found the images I took on my computer. As most people know I am gluten free and it definitely doesn’t stop me from baking delicious cakes, that you would’nt even know are gluten free!

This recipe is really easy to make and it tastes amazing, especially for coffee lovers. 🙂

Here is the recipe below:

Ingredients:

Cake:
200g Butter
6 Large Eggs
350g Muscovado Sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
270g gf white flour
100g almonds
4 tsp baking powder
150g walnuts

Filling:
3 tbsp light muscovado sugar
1 cup strong black coffee
225ml whipping cream

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line two 20cm cake tins with baking paper.
2. Melt butter and let it cool. Using an electric mixer, beat your eggs, sugar and vanilla extract together until tripled in volume (6-7 mins). Drizzle in butter, whisking well.
3. Sift the flour, almonds and baking powder over the mixture and fold in carefully not letting any air out. Fold in the walnuts.
4. Scrape the mixture evenly into the tins and bake for 35-45 mins.
5. Once cakes are cooked and a skewer comes out clean from each of them, cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes and then turn out and cool on rack until completely cool.
6. To make the filling, stir the sugar into the coffee until dissolved. Turn the cakes over and poke small holes in with a skewer and brush in the cooled coffee ensuring you have around 4sps of coffee mixture left over.
7. Whip your cream and fold remaning coffee through cream. Place one cake on a plate and use cream to sandwich the cakes together and top with coffee buttercream (icing sugar, butter and coffee!) Decorate with walnuts to finish.

Happy baking!

Kate xo

Original Recipe from: River Cottage Gluten Free book, although recipe altered by me.

Ways I like to Unwind and Relax at the end of the day.

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Sometimes it feels that you have days where nothing goes right or maybe you just look in the mirror that day and just feel bleh! (even if you’re a person with lots of confidence, everyone has days like this!)

I have put together a few things that I like to do at the end of the day to make myself feel better and more relaxed.

Take a bubble bath

I loooove bubble baths. Nothing is better when you are a bit stressed than dropping a Lush bath bomb and watching the colours swirl and sizzle in the water as you light some candles ready to close yourself off from the world for an hour or two. While in the bath I either like read a good book or I put my iPad at the end of the bath and watch Netflix/YouTube. It really is my favourite way to relax as it feels like my time.

A pamper evening

Joining with the first point, if you have the time, having a pamper evening is a great way to unwind and make yourself feel 100% better. I like to shave my legs, put on a facemask and hair mask, use lots of lovely smelling body wash, exfoliator, moisturiser and then finish with some self-tanner and I can guarantee you will feel like a shiny new person when you’re done.

Logging out of Facebook. 

This is one thing I have been trying to do recently each night before I get into bed. Because I work on a computer all day at work, I have already been staring at technology for around 7 hours that day, so I feel that logging out of Facebook before I get in bed resists my urge to stay up and binge scroll for hours, and it gives my brain a break. I don’t just mean close the app, I mean logging out, this goes for any type of social media that you may be addicted to, scrolling on etc. such as Instagram, Snapchat, twitter. Trust me, it will remind you not to go on it if you open it by accident, as you will already be logged out and not tempted. Reading a book before you sleep is much more relaxing.

Plan the next day

My boss recently gave me this idea. Sometimes I am just staring at the roof awake thinking of the things I need to do the next day (even if it isn’t that much, I still tend to overthink). So before I go to sleep I like to plan the next day and make bullet points of what I need to do. I feel that this clears my head, and I can sleep better knowing that I won’t forget anything that I need to get done the next day. I have this great planner that I got online that lets me meal plan, plan your workout, track your water intake as well as having a check list. I recommend it if you want to stick to a routine.

Stretch

Normally after I work out in the morning I don’t have much time to spare to stretch out my muscles, so at night in bed I like to stretch. I normally just use this video by Blogilates (her workouts are amazing too, if you are stuck for time) . Even though I already know how to stretch I like to use video tutorials because it makes sure that you stretch out each muscle for long enough. I find that by stretching and relaxing I feel ready to go to sleep after I finish. I also find that I don’t normally wake up sore from my workouts if I take time to stretch properly each day. I know people say meditating is great for relaxing, but I still haven’t mastered that, I don’t have enough patience to sit still for too long. (I’m working on it!)

I hope this post has been helpful for those busy people out there, I would love some suggestions if you have any other ways you like to unwind.

Kate xx

 

Going Vegetarian?

Hi Everyone,

Today I wanted to talk about food and my opinion on vegetarian and vegan foods.

DISCLAIMER: Please don’t be offended by this post if you are a vegan or vegetarian, this is just my choice on how I want to eat and I’m really no expert on the topic, I know people choose to eat like this for bigger reasons than I’m talking about today.

As of a few months ago, after reading about fitness fads and other people’s lifestyle choices, I decided to start experimenting with more vegetarian/vegan meals and snacks, this isn’t because I have an issue with eating animal products (although sometimes I feel the way the animals are treated could be a lot better!), I was just curious to see the difference in how I felt.

Overall, it made me feel great, I feel I am less bloated and feel less full when I don’t eat meat and I noticed how nice my skin felt when I avoid dairy for a few days. It also doesn’t give you that food hangover feeling were you feel sluggish and wanting to nap all the time. 

I did consider becoming a vegetarian for a while as I could see the great health benefits from it physically and through research, but in the end I decided that I didn’t like being restricted to what I can and can’t eat and wanted to enjoy both.

So… my aim this year is to just eat whole nutritional food that is natural and healthy for you. Some days I might avoid meat more than others but for now I think everything in moderation, works for me.

To conclude this post, I am going to share with you a few pictures of a vegetarian chilli that I have been making, that tastes amazing! It is made with lots of yummy vegetables, spices and beans. I made this batch for my lunch’s during the week, as I go back to work tomorrow from my christmas break. Meal prep is a great way to make sure you eat healthy all week.

The recipe is from the blog Cookie and Kate, here is the link if you would like to make this yourself: http://cookieandkate.com/2015/vegetarian-chili-recipe/

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When I serve this for myself I like to have it with tortilla chips, avocado and cashew cheese but you can choose to have with it what you like.

I hope you enjoyed this post and will try to make this yourself!

Love Kate x

5 Lifetstle tips to start off your day!

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For the past 6 months I have been working in a full time job. When I started I thought it was going to be exactly like school routine – I was totally wrong! Hats off to people who have been doing this adult thing for years – it’s exhausting! I wanted to share a few things that I have learnt so far that makes me start my day in a positive, motivated way.

1.   Wake up early

This may seem like a silly idea, as you would think the more sleep you get, the better you would feel for the day. But I have found the earlier that I get up in the morning the more productive I feel and I don’t have to run around and rush to get ready – I have time to have an enjoyable morning before heading to work.

2. Exercise 

When I was a casual position in retail I was going to the gym every day, sometimes twice a day.  Now there just isn’t enough hours in the day! I have found a great alternative – HIIT Workouts. They are 4 minute high intensity workouts that make you feel like you have been working out for an hour, you can do them in your living room and as long as you do them consistently they work!

Here is the YouTube link for the workouts that I use and work for me: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCag7XoiJLutjBTsM0tAzUzg  – she is really good for beginners.

3. Spend time on your make-up and hair for the day

Now I looooove applying make-up, it’s one of my favourite things to do but after the first few months of working full-time,  doing a full face of make up every morning got really time consuming and I was putting less and less on until it got to a point where I wasn’t wearing any to work at all. I noticed that when I showed up to work wearing no make-up, my hair chucked up messy that I was less motivated to want to work, as I didn’t feel at my best.

Also I should add, I don’t wear make-up because I am self-conscious about myself.  I quite happily don’t wear it when I don’t want to, and it is good to let your skin have a break too, but when I’m going out to work or out to dinner, just like a nice dress make-up gives you that little more confidence and makes you feel like you’re at your best because you have put in the effort and pride to present yourself at your best! Anyway back to the point – If you spend a little bit longer on your hair and make-up in the morning I can guarantee you will have a better day.

4 Have a healthy breakfast

I have always been a breakfast person, I always make sure I eat before I leave the house although I have only recently started eating a proper nutritious breakfast. Instead of just eating one piece of toast I make sure I make myself a meal that will fuel my body, like scrambled eggs and avocado on toast or a green smoothie and porridge. I have recently been reading ‘The Body Book’ by Cameron Diaz and she explains how important the right food is for your body. If your New Year’s resolution is to stop eating so much processed rubbish food then I recommend this book, as you will find out what it’s doing to your body and turn you off!

5. Pack your handbag for the day

I always ensure I have everything I need before I walk out the door. What I mean by this is that I make sure that I have a packed lunch (it saves so much money!), a book or magazine to read at lunch time. I don’t like sitting in the office during lunch hour, it’s really good to get out and go for a walk or read to take your mind off work for a while. I recently bought a new handbag by Michael Kors – I am in love! It makes me excited to go out because I can show it off.  Spoiling yourself every now and then is a great incentive to work as it shows how hard you work for your money.

These are just my tips that I wanted to share. If you have any tips you use please share them in the comments as I would love to read them or if you have your own blog please leave it in a link below! 🙂

Love Kate xxx

Sunday Baking – The Best Cookie Recipe!

 

I love baking. It puts me in such a great mood!  I am a healthy person, but I have the biggest sweet tooth when it comes to homemade cakes and cookies, as I have talked about in previous blogs ‘Everything is good in moderation!’ 🙂

This by far is the BEST cookie recipe I have ever made or tasted as they just melt in your mouth.

It is Tanya Burrs Cookie Recipe from her book ‘Love Tanya 

As I am gluten free, I swap the flour for GF flour but my family and friends love them too and can’t notice the difference – which is good if you are also gluten free!

You can find the recipe from Tanya Burrs Blog or her in her Book but I have typed it out below also:

Ingredients: 

200g butter
300g caster Sugar
1 large Egg
325g Self Raising Flour ( I substituted this for GF self raising flour)
A dash of milk (optional)
200g White Chocolate
200g Milk Chocolate (I have also used Rollos which taste amazing!)

Method: 

Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees celcius
Whisk butter and sugar together until it is pale and creamy
Crack in the egg
Gradually add the flour until all mixed in
If your mixture is to dry add the dash of milk
Break up your chocolate into the mixture; make sure the chunks are spread thoroughly through the mixture.
Shape the mixture into 10 balls with you hands and put them on a tray with baking paper.
Bake these for 10-12 minutes, but no longer as this is what makes the chocolate in the middle nice and melty and gooey! Leave them on the baking tray for 25 mins to cool and set.

I highly recommend you make these and I hope you love them as much as I do 🙂

Love Kate xox