Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Vivid Sydney - A Festival of Lights and my Second Last Night in Sydney

Last night I had the pleasure of heading to Vivid Sydney with my lovely friend Hannah of Nellie and Oliver. For those of you that don't know, Vivid is an annual light festival that transforms Darling Harbour and Circular Quay in Sydney into a luminescent wonderland. Interactive lighting installations, projections and music set the scene for thousands of people that visit the display in Sydney each year.

Hoping to avoid the crowds, Hannah and I decided to check out the Festival on a Monday night, in fact my second last night in Sydney before I return to my home town and my parents house in Newcastle (partially why I have been so quiet of late). It was a great night out.


We had dinner at a Moroccan Restaurant by the water in Darling Harbour, just near the Marine Museum. It was called Kazbah and their chicken tagine with carrot cous cous was delicious. We were surrounding by tables filled with people smoking Shishas, something that I have never tried but the smell was nice I guess.

Here are some shots from our journey around. We also saw a water/light show in Darling Harbour but it was difficult to get photos due to the crowds.

Customs House


There were a few kids dancing in front of Customs House, boy did they have some moves!


The Opera House. This was my favourite display of a lady dancing. This might have been because the display was synchonised with Empire Of The Sun's latest single 'Alive'. Love that song.










My first ever picture of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. After all these years I haven't done the tourist thing and taken a shot. Unfortunately I only had my iPhone on me for the photo.


Trees lit up along our walk.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Recipe - Delicious Chia Pudding

The other day I decided to give Chia Pudding a go, and it was delicious. I think I am going to start having it for breakfast with some gronola and berries.

It's super easy to make, I did it while sitting at my desk, and chia seeds are really great for you. Here are some of the benefits of 3-4 tablespoons of chia seeds a day:

  • Chia seeds assist with weight loss - they expand in your stomach and thus leave you fuller for longer
  • They reduce glucose levels, which can benefit diabetics
  • They are packed full of fibre and protein and are gluten free
  • They are also packed full of Omega-3, which has been found to help those suffering with mood disorders. Who needs fish oil tablets then right?
  • It goes with just about anything! You can have it on your cereal, in your porridge, in a smoothie, on a salad, any which way!
So here is how I made my delicious Chia Pudding. It takes about an hour because you have to wait for the seeds to soak up the liquid, but it's as simple as sitting the dish beside you and stirring it occasionally.

Delicious Chia Pudding


Ingredients:
- 1 cup of almond milk
- 3-4 tablespoons of chia seeds
- Whatever toppings you want to have with it, whether you want a sweetener like Stevia, cinnamon, berries, etc. I mixed in some organic cashew spread and some berries.


1. Combine the cup of milk with the four chia seeds.


2. You need to stir occasionally otherwise the chia clumps together. Just break up the clumps every now and then. I added the cashew spread early so that it could be soaked in as well. I put a teaspoon in.

The soaking process takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. You will know that it is done when it becomes a gluggy texture and when the seeds stick to your spoon, but not in clumps. It's almost like a gluey porridge, and the seeds are no longer hard.


3. Add in your extras, I put delicious berries in. 

THAT'S IT. It's honestly that easy. It makes a fantastic dessert, snack or breakfast. I definitely say it's worth a go. It's good for you and only has 68 calories per tablespoon! Yummmm.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

One active weekend

Hi everyone,

How was your weekend?

I wanted to share with you my active weekend. I decided to stick away from the drinks and just have a relaxing weekend, my last relaxing weekend in Sydney. I was really proud of myself though, as I did a lot of exercise over the weekend.

Saturday

On Saturday I went for a 17km walk/journey around Sydney, including a walk through Centennial Park, I went to learn how to meditate at my Yoga Studio, walked to Paddington Markets and then walked home. It didn't feel like that long, I really enjoyed it.

I then went out for a Morrocan meal and a movie with a friend from work. The restaurant wasn't fantastic, we waited 1 and a half hours for our meal and it didn't come. As we were going to the movie afterwards we eventually said that we had to leave and nicely enough they apologised and gave us our meal in take away containers, which we enjoyed very much in the movies (and probably annoyed others with the delicious smells). The movie we watched was The Place Beyond The Pines featuring the fantastic Ryan Gosling. It was seriously an amazing movie, I advise that you go and watch it for sure!

Centennial Park - so beautiful
A beautiful view on Oxford St in Paddington. This is of an art gallery.
The fantastic clutter and people of Paddington Markets

The delicious food of Paddington Markets.











Moore Park - a bit of artwork.


After my long walk I treated myself to a chicken, avocado, brie and spinach roll and a home made smoothie made of almond milk, banana and organic cashew butter.

Sunday

On Sunday I got up and had a light morning snack, pumpernickel bread with organic cashew spread (obsessed), banana and a cup of tea. I shoved on my workout gear and did the Coogee to Bondi run, which is about 7km. I was surprised how I went actually, I got there in just over 45 minutes. I met up with a lovely friend, Natalie, and we had a nice brunch on a lovely sunny day at the Gelato Bar in Bondi.

After I ran my butt home, and actually made it back in under 45 minutes. My housemates and I then put together a picnic and headed to Centennial Park to watch our two male housemates play soccer. Lucky they won - it was freezing. Then headed out to dinner and drinks for a bit of celebration.
Yummy pre-breakfast snack.
The beautiful view of Bondi Beach and the baths.
At the soccer

Not bad for a weekend hey, how was yours?
SQUIB xoxo

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Your Accessories Made From Upcycled Tyre Tubes - What a Great Idea

I came across this little business a little while ago and I thought it was just a fabulous idea. Based in Byron Bay, UPCYCLED Tyre Tube Accessories was a concept developed by Micha and Marlen following a road trip through Australia in August 2012. Along the way the duo experienced a flat tyre, and while waiting for the dealer to fix it they came across a mountain of old tyres and inner tubes. Until this day they had given little thought to where old tyres were put, sent into landfill or worse. Inspired by saving these tyres from a dismal existence somewhere under the ground, the two started playing with the material and creating creative goods out of the product.

The result, amazing and interesting accessories that help towards sustainability and reducing waste. Belts, wallets, jewellery, bags and laptop bags are just some of their amazing tyre inventions.

I just had to share these guys with you because I think that their idea is very unique and that we could all take a leaf from their books when considering recycling and re-using, for amazing and fashionable purposes too.

To view more about Upcycled and maybe even buy one of their amazing products, click here.

Please note: This is not a sponsored post, I just generally think these guys are amazing.


Camera bag, such a great idea.

A bracelet.

A pouch for a tablet


Monday, 13 May 2013

A Very Relaxing, Special Mother's Day for my Mum

It was Mother's Day in Australia on Sunday and I was very lucky to have enjoyed a very lovely Mother's Day with my mum, sister and dad. We headed out to Berowra Waters which is just outside Sydney. It's a beautiful little area with a marina, houses on the water (with boats right outside...who needs cars right?), a steep hill with painted cliffs (there was bright blue cliff face on the steep road down, I have decided we need to paint more of our cliffs, it was so pretty and like a magical land), a ferry that carries cars to the other side and lots of docked boats. We had a picnic beside the water before we got on the ferry and ate an ice cream during the trip to the other side and back. It was really lovely and special.

Happy Mothers Day to the most amazing mum in the world...mine (sorry guys but it's true).



Our picnic lunch was really yummy, particularly the salad.

My dad checking out the boats, there was also a sea plane.

The car ferry.

My mum and dad enjoying an ice block.

My lovely mum!

My sister eating her child's ice block (rainbow Paddlepop - they are the best though) and looking disgruntled.

It was a stunner of a day.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Raw Food/Eating Clean Diet - Why it Worked for Me but only on the Short Term

Last week I decided to really dedicate myself towards eating as clean as possible and attempting to eat food as close to it's natural state as possible, i.e. raw. It is a new concept for me, as cooked food has just been my natural choice...naturally! However lately I have warmed to the concept of eating food as close to their original state and as they should be. Last week I put together a little plan for myself and gave it a go, to see how I would manage. I did it over the course of five days. Here's what my diet consisted of:


Before Breakfast - I drank mugs of hot water with lemon, up to four cups (a liter) before I had breakfast and after my 600ml bottle I had during yoga in the morning. Lemon water is fantastic because it gets your internal organs moving and helps with detoxifying the body.


Breakfast - I mixed together (in my magic Ninja) a combination of a cup of unsweetened almond milk, a cup of blueberries, a handful of spinach, a half cup of water and some coconut oil. Sometimes I threw in some goji berries as well. It was quite delicious!



Lunch - I had a very vegetable based lunch consisting of a green capsicum sliced in half filled with celery, tomato, carrot and homemade hummus - so delicious but perhaps a bit garlicy for work!


Afternoon snack - I had a few nuts and another shake made up on water, whey protein powder and a banana. I love this shake so much. I know that the powder is not exactly natural, but I would struggle without it.  


Dinner - I made up a soup using my Ninja as well, consisting of corn, zucchini, capsicum, carrot, chilli flakes and water. I had to slightly warm this as the concept of eating it cold was a bit disturbing.



So how did I go, well I lasted the five days fine and I did feel great. I found that instead of craving fatty foods and what not, I simply craved a warm meal. I lost a kg from being on this plan and I learnt alot about myself and my relationship with food. HOWEVER, I would not be able to do this for a long length of time, I think cutting out food groups like your meats, dairy and carbs, is too hard to maintain over a long period, it is a great way to detox though. I have decided to use the principles of raw food across my days, by eating raw food for breakfast and lunch but having my nice warm, yummy salmon for dinner.

Have you tried a raw food diet? What did you think?

Thursday, 2 May 2013

My Life Lately on Instagram

For those of you who don't follow me on Instagram, here's a bit of a catch up on what's been going on in my life lately. Feel free to follow me - squibgrams.

The beautiful Seal Rocks North of Newcastle, stunning beach.

During my holiday I managed to get in a lot of tennis matches agains the parents and my friend, Cherie. Such a fun way to exercise.

Sigh...beach life.

I got my nails done perty...geeze I have wrinkly hands in this picture.

Dressed up for a wedding!

Enjoying a delicious fruit breakfast with chia seeds and a side of hot water.

The reason I was so quiet last week, I got to see this beautiful bundle of joy!

An interesting little shop they have in Brisbane that serves different Japanese dishes. It was quite tasty although perhaps a bit too carb heavy for my likings.