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Monday, October 20, 2014

Cacao Energy Bites | Recipe

I get sudden sweet cravings every now and then (like the average human being), but no one I know would say I have a sweet tooth. Once in a full moon I'll order a brownie with my coffee when out with a friend, and they'll look at me and go, "Wait, did you really do that?"
Or I'll have "candy" on my grocery list for weeks and when I'm actually in the candy aisle I'll veer off to get some healthy snacks instead, and this has proven to become some kind of ridiculous circle of "I want it, but I won't get it."

I guess I just get too conscious about it. So, since I can't seem to just get the damn candy, I needed to make something on my own that would satisfy the occasional sweet tooth-symptoms yet work as an all-around snack. What I like about these little bites is that they're so easy to make, no unnecessary fuss, and they make me feel full enough after only a couple. Sounds good, I think!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Knowing Your Worth & Why:

I've been wanting to write about self-confidence or self-worth for some time, two subject I'm insanely passionate about. Especially the latter, because the latter is able to fuel the former. Your confidence can waver depending on the situation you're in or what you're experiencing, it's generally quite easily touched.

Self-worth isn't.

It's hard to adjust to the reality that you're worth a lot (never to be mistaken for arrogance), but once you're there, it's damn hard to knock you down. And something I openly pride myself on is knowing my worth - to the point that it can't be manipulated by something or someone.

And our worth, or the perception of it, plays a huge role in our choices (or lack thereof) when we find ourselves in situations when we're not treated right. Knowing my worth has been an incredible strength in disguise and has made me fearless in making the right decisions for myself, whether that be walking away from a friend (I wrote a post on "7 Ways to Know When to Cut Ties with a Friend"), a job or a guy.

Self-worth isn't something you think about when you're young. I wish that when I was in my mid-teens I'd known that seeing a high value in myself was just as important as striving to be confident, if not so much more. Because it will come to define how you see yourself and how you'll let others see you, and therefore treat you.

So, how do you get there? It's not something you just pick up. Maybe it's something you need to build up since childhood or maybe you have to experience a defining moment to get to the point where you can say "I deserve this" (in a positive situation) or "I deserve better."

But, no.
It all comes back to the one most essential quality... self-love. Loving yourself. Loving the skin your in. Loving who you are and what you are. And determining, for yourself, that you are worth it.

What are your views on self-worth?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Tea Tree Range Review | Beauty

I admit, I was initially interested in these products due to the "tea" in "tea tree." You have me at tea-anything, really. Well, this wasn't tea but a blemished-skin suitable Tea Tree range. This is how The Body Shop describes it:

"Tea Tree is clinically proven to clear and hydrate.
The range also uses tamanu oil extract which is reputed to help
generate new tissue and improve the healing process for skin.
So say goodbye to shine and hello to clear skin!"

When my skin started acting out a little I decided it was the perfect time to grab a Tea Tree travel kit and try some of the products out and see what the fuss was about! These are my thoughts after using the products full-time for 1,5 months:

Monday, October 13, 2014

Chai-Spiced Banana Smoothie | Recipe

I've been making some homemade chai tea lattes lately, standing in my kitchen boiling spices and attempting to steam milk without a milk frother (this seriously hurts my pride as a former barista.) And as much as I want to like it, I'm not impressed by the taste of the finished product (note: because I cannot bring myself to dump in so much sugar/sweetener in the beverage to make it as tasty as at the coffee shops!)

So with the chillier weather and colder hardwood floors, I'm trying to find an alternative to my green teas (still looking, though.) Meanwhile I decided to give the chai lattes a break and go for a simple chai smoothie, and wow, I'm lovin' it.

Friday, October 10, 2014

4 Steps to Having a Good Morning | a/w

Ways to get out of bed
I have such dreadful memories of being woken up in the mornings in middle school. The methods my parents used still haunt me (blaring the TV, pulling away the covers, turning on all the lights, and plainly yelling.) But getting out of bed/absolutely not running late is obviously key for a good morning.

1. My method for getting up in the morning is: alarm goes off, count to three in my head (Mississippi-less), and immediately roll out of bed. Yes, that's it. I don’t do snoozing, checking my phone, or lazying around. It’s just counting to three and there's nothing in the world besides leaving the cocoon (four doesn’t exist.) Obviously this is relied on mind power and discipline, but it really works if that’s your strong suit.

2. Another thing I learned that I found fascinating is that you can train your mind to automatically “get up” by the sound of your alarm. How to do that is to literally practice getting out of bed when you hear your alarm. Do this in the middle of the day; set your alarm, (set the scene and) lay in bed like you’re sleeping, and get out of it when your alarm goes off. Do this ten times or more and it’s proven to embed the natural reaction of getting out of bed when you hear your alarm - cool, huh?

Keep snuggly & warm
I’m fully feeling autumn mornings as of this week; I can hardly tell the difference between night and early morning anymore. And it’s so freaking chilly. The only way to decrease the torture of leaving your warm bed is jumping into something super snuggly out of your bed, I think.

Cozy slippers or socks are a must-have to keep your feet warm from the cold floor. Or one of these bed slippers (pictured above) - they are heavenly; the snuggliest, most comfortable things to ever be put on your feet! Then a blanket, a robe, or a onesie to keep your body just as warm and snuggly while you're getting ready.

A little extra
A good thirty minutes extra in the mornings goes a long way. It’s worth it! You won’t even feel the difference of thirty minutes less sleep. Instead, especially if you tend to be rushing around every morning, use that time not to.

I wouldn’t put it in the “getting ready” part but I love just having that little ‘me’ time and lighting a candle (current fave pictured above: Yankee Candle Vanilla Cupcake), reading a few chapters of a book, or simply getting to sit down and have a relaxing and calm moment before heading out to meet the day (or more correctly, the morning commuters.)

Don't skip fuel
I normally drink coffee no earlier than noon so (green) tea is my always go-to morning beverage. It’s tasty, it’s comforting, it’s good for you, and it’s just a really nice start for your stomach. I’m currently hooked on Twinings Green Tea & Lemon.
(I don’t do it too often, but I find it so cozy when people bring coffee or tea in a travel mug on the train.)

And, of course, a good breakfast! “The most important meal of the day” and so on, we know the shebang, but the difference between having a good breakfast in your stomach and not, is incredibly significant in your mood. We need the fuel to function to our best capacity!

What are your fave things to do in the mornings?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

My Home Office Dreaming | Interior Inspiration

Home offices aren't something I've really thought about needing in my dream home but the more it crosses my mind, the more I'm loving it. I like the idea of having your own space where you can be creative, focused, and hard-working. And where you can leave your work.

As much as I love checking my e-mail in bed, I need to be sitting at a desk to be on top of my game. And even though I'm perfectly content with having just a desk, it would be pretty sweet having an office in your home for maximum efficiency!

Below I picked out some of my home office faves:

1 How insanely pretty is that gold branch on the wall? I love that this is so stylish without being 
overly fussy - beautiful yet... attainable. Can I see myself heading to this room - with a cup of tea
in my hand - in the mornings? Hell, yes.

source / ph: virginia macdonald

2 So neat how the slightly industrial vibe of this office corner is softened by the pops of yellow
details, the flowers, and even the sawhorse desk. Keeping it cool-chic.

3 I'm a little torn between beauty and basic. While I'm a sucker for the magazine-editor-sort-of 
office, too much glam would most likely distract me. This is a good example of a perfectly 
balanced pretty/simple office.

source / ph: françois halard

This takes me away. I can just feel the serenity, warmth, and silence. This would be the perfect
getaway office, someplace calm to de-stress... while working.

5 This is unfortunately my reality when it really comes to it. I'm one of those people.
Forget working at a coffee shop (from the bottom of my heart: I wish) or even at the library. I need to 
be somewhere alone, with no stuff around, and facing a wall.

6 Lastly, the office I initially found to be most my taste in terms of styling. I do like me some
pretty-pretty. You spot the humongous difference between this and the one above; I guess it's called
reality and dream-reality (I live in both.)

Which one was your favorite?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Pear + Grape & Banana Smoothie | Recipe

I like green smoothies but don't necessarily love them - only because you can't get too adventurous with the ingredients without affecting the great green color. And that color really makes a difference, especially when the smoothie turns out an unappetizing brown (who knew just the one strawberry too many had such power.)

However, adding apple or cucumber in my green smoothie just feels so... plain and basic. So after a couple of brown-ish blends, I ended up with pear and grapes. Even though I love finding interesting smoothie combos, I do just use what I have in my fridge (which isn't always mind-blowing.) The pear and grapes added a really nice hint of sweetness without being obvious. I also preferred that the smoothie was more on the banana side, but you can obviously easily alter it to enhance more pear!

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