Sunday, 20 April 2014

Superfood fun- maca

I like trying out new, random food. I've dabbled with homemade Nakd bars, green smoothies, courgette cake, peanut flourchickpea blondies... yeah, lots of odds and sods. I do love a potter around Holland and Barratt. Reading various healthy living blogs is the main reason I try these things (I'm easily influenced). I like to try and balance out my love of Malteaster Bunnies and strawberry laces, and am interested in the different benefits of all the food we eat.

So, I decided to start a post series (they'll be sporadic as always) about the different stuff I am trying, how I am using it, and what it's like.

First up... maca!

Maca crops up a lot on blogs, I've noticed. It's a powder that's meant to be super good at giving you energy. Obviously you can google it to get more information, here is the page for the one that I have. 

I didn't buy this, it was given to me by a nice someone who'd had it kicking about in his house, and thought it would give me lots of energy. But it looks fairly reasonably priced, and easy to get hold of in health food shops. 

It's a pretty versatile powder and you can mix a teaspoon or so in with most things. I have tried it in:

-Porridge (not a fan, detracted from the lovely porridgey taste!)
-Over apples (a bit better, but still made the overall snack less desirable than having just an apple)
-Homemade energy bars (see the photo above). This was more successful. I used half a cup of dates, half a cup of cashews, a tiny drizzle of oil, some vanilla, some salt, and a tablespoon of maca, then blended it up until it all clumped together. You could taste the maca still, but it complimented the other ingredients well and was pretty tasty. 

You can also put it in smoothies, cakes, cookies... wherever really. I think it lends itself better to sweeter tasting things. I've googled recipes, and like the look of the coconut and maca snack balls over at Keeping Healthy Getting Stylish (Laura does a much better write up of maca, and most superfoods, than me, but I am at least giving you the simpleton's view!)

The taste is... malty. I can best describe it as a bit like the malted Ovaltine type drinks, but stronger. It's not unpleasant, but I wouldn't personally seek it out. Combined with the right ingredients (like the energy bars) it leans towards the more caramelly side of flavour. 

Have I noticed any benefits? Perhaps, but it's hard to pin down to the maca. Sure, I felt a boost of energy after eating the snack balls, but I don't know if that's just down to the fact that I had eaten food. I don't think I use it regularly enough to know if it does do anything, and the slightly odd taste that I am not sure I like puts me off adding it to my food and drink.

Still, as I got it as a freebie, it's a cool thing to have in the kitchen, and I use it whenever I can, because why not?

Have you ever tried maca? 
Got any superfood recommendations?

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Nivea Soft moisturiser- I love it

I often ponder about spending money on beauty products (I live a rich and fulfilling life, it's true). Sometimes I'm like 'you have to spend ze money to get ze quality', but other times I feel like a mug for wasting all that cash on stuff that's probably the same as Tesco Value, and think I should wash my face with soap and water and moisturise with lard. 

I hope I've got a good balance. I don't buy high end stuff, but I do like to try things out and probably have a bit more product kicking about than is strictly needed. I could definitely refine and shrink my collection, but hey, it brings me joy. 

There are some things I am not arsed about, like mascara, lip balm, lipstick (I literally never wear lipstick). I have one, when it runs out I buy another. Easy. 

Other things, like shampoo or moisturisers, I have a ton of. If I see something I like the look of or fancy trying I grab it, even if I already have four on the go. 

Anyway, I deviate. I was talking about expensive vs. cheap. Like I said, I swing back and forth between this. I splashed out on some Redken conditioner, and it is truly good shiz. But people have lush hair and just wash with Head and Shoulders, so I don't know. 

I remember reading a while ago somewhere online about how the bog standard Nivea moisturiser (the one in the blue tub) had been tested against the insanely expansive Creme De La Mer cream, and the Nivea came out on top. 

This all links in nicely with my current favourite moisturiser- Nivea soft cream. It really is a pretty cracking all round product. My skin is normal, veering occasionally to the dry side, and I just use this everywhere- face, hands, body- and it does the job. It soaks in quickly, stops my skin being dry, doesn't overload or irritate, has a lovely fresh subtle scene, comes in a handy hygienic tube, you can get it pretty much anywhere, and it is only a pound or two. It's a little lighter than the blue tub one, but when this runs out I may get the heavier one for more hardcore moistness (eew). 

I feel like the key is getting the basic skin care stuff right before I go mad spending any money. So I'm trying to take my makeup off properly every night, give my face a wash every morning, use oils occasionally, and keep it topped up with moisturiser. 

I do think I am lucky in that I have never had any big skin problems like spots, and I guess this sort of skin routine wouldn't work for everyone. But I do feel like it's worth having a product like this kicking about. 

What are your thoughts on spending a crap ton of money on beauty stuff?
Do you have any go-to bargains?

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

I haven't got a stitch to wear... Oh wait, yes I do.

I did a little shopping on Monday. Hey, it happens. I felt pretty smug with myself, I parked out of town in a free car park and ran in, then walked/power walked/ran when no ones was watching (i.e. a lame 'I am carrying bags' shuffle) on the way back. I changed my Euros back into pounds, then promptly spent them.

I think the running inclusion made me inclined to get some workout clothes. I love these tops from Primark- I have one in blue too- they are so comfy and flattering, and only £4. Keep your eyes open for them. I also got some 50p rings, I never wear rings but thought it might be cool to sometimes. I got one stuck on my finger for ages in the shop, which was fun. 

I also got some loose fitting light trousers, which I returned cus I'll never wear them. Wish I could pull them off, as they are so comfy!

H&M was also awesome. I got some super soft new skinny jeans, as my current Topshop pair are getting baggy (after years of sterling work). I picked up this awesome sports bra and top too, again pretty reasonably priced. I can definitely recommend Primark and H&M for exercise clothing. 

I got this skirt for £10 in the sale. I do really like it, but it's far too restrictive around the knees, resulting in an odd penguin shuffle walk which, whilst hilarious, is pretty unpractical.

I was drawn in by the blokes selling baklava, dried fruits, and olives. I swear they are hypnotising wizards. Somehow I spent £4.40 on these! I am mad. But they are almondy and good. 

My wardrobe is pretty full now. I'll always find new stuff I want, but I think an Ebay session is on the cards soon. Gotta balance it out. Or perhaps a blog sale, hmmm...

Bought anything nice recently?
Have you ever had, or bought from, a blog sale?

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Tuesday garden times

My brothers very kindly sorted out the mess that is (was) my garden. View the cut grass, neat hedge, and newly flattened car parking area.

I was happy to crack out the flip flops this afternoon. They had their debut run in Malta, but if the sun is out then so are my feet (I am very much a no shoes if I can help it kind of person).

Got to love this amazing chainsawed mushroom, courtesy of my housemate. I'd love to have a whole magic pixie circle of them. 

I have been enjoying hooping on the grass while the dogs play. I am also looking forward to firing up the chimenea and cooking some chickeeeen...

Oops, close your ears girls. These two have started laying eggs again, which I am fully on board with.

I love watching Hairy go into full on 'I am a fog and I play' mode. Small isn't much of a player (she's got too many sinister plots and schemes going on) but Hairy does enjoy dicking about with random items, like a dustpan or plastic bottle. I'm just happy he has found an actual toy to enjoy.

Here is Hairy with his toy, and Small eating poo. 

I have still been getting to grips with blogging from the I Pad. So far it's been a really positive addition- it's so much easier to bang out a post as I can take photos and upload them straight away. Granted, it does make for more random, unfocused posts, but I think that that is my nature so the blog should reflect it. I always love checking in here and keeping a record of what I am up to. 

And I'm also fighting my selfie fear. Here, I am seeing what I look like with a centre parting. About twelve, is the answer. In the bottom photo is accidental duck face, the top was was on purpose, for lolz.

Hope you're enjoying the beaut sun too :)

Monday, 14 April 2014

I Dig 14.4.14

Wanted to share a few holiday photos before I kick off with the links and whatnot...

I'm on the right, definitely digging sunbathing!

And here is the beatiful moment I was reunited with Small Dog!

Otherwise, here are some of my bookmarked pages and general things I have been loving recently...

First, for da lolz... Fraiser!

Look at these lil wee icing cats! Makes me want to try and make some little dogs.

Being an introvert seems to be cropping up a lot over the Internet recently. I keep having mini-epiphanies when I read the lists or articles- they are so me. It is kind of good to not feel bad about the way I am, it all ties in with how we get our energy. Basically, I see it as some people recharge around other people, some recharge alone. I really identified with this list especially.

I am in love with Wolf and Moon necklaces. This one is beautiful. I may treat myself, but then again, birthday is coming...

Game of Thrones Mr Men! I had to include my favourite guy, of course.

Some beautiful ASOIAF art

I have been loving and adoring getting my Game of Thrones on, and watching episode one series 4! Without being spoilery, OMG, that last scene. I thought it was going to go down differently to how it did. It makes me hope we're going to have a lot more of My Favourite Character TM (for those in the know, do you think the above scene will go down differently?)

Here is an interview with GRRM that I saved, some interesting stuff!

I also got geeky over this article about how pronunciation errors have over time changed our language. 

Do you have tight shoulders? Mine are sometimes. I found this post at Peanut Butter Runner so helpful- 3 yoga poses for tight, rounded shoulders. And you do them lying down!


Onto fud!

I want to make the above spiced oatmeal smoothie. Looks lush to make thick and scoop with a spoon.

After the day of two cheesecakes, I have been thinking about them a bit more. Truth be told I can take or leave a cheesecake usually, but this banana and peanut butter onecould be very good indeed!

Cookie dough oreo cake! If you're going to go all out, you got to go for it.

Ooey gooey looking peanut butter blondies.

An actually very helpful Buzzfeed list about some simple but yum and impressive looking dinners, with handy photos.

Do you think your an introvert or an extrovert?
What have you been loving this fine week?

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