Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Recipe: Chia seed, date & walnut slice


No bake, wheat-free, dairy-free, totally vegan sweet treat in 10 minutes! You heard! This recipe packs a punch in the sweets department and is a seriously top craving killer. Wait until you try it, I can almost guarantee you won't think this is an alternative to the standard sugar crammed, cream topped desserts. It tastes way too good.

FYI - this isn't something to munch on when undertaking Whole30 unless you eliminate the oats and sugar.

  • 170g rolled oats
  • 100g walnuts
  • 40g shredded coconut
  • 45g chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
  • 500g pitted dates, chopped
  • pure icing sugar for dusting (optional)

  • How to:
    1. Put oats, walnuts, coconut, chia seeds, cinnamon, cocoa and vanilla into a food processor and process until all ingredients are finally chopped
    2.With the motor running, start adding the dates a few pieces at a time, processing until all the dates have been added and the mixture is starting to come together. Use your hands to bring it together completely, adding 1-2 teaspoons of cold water if necessary.
    3. Press the mixture evenly into a lined (with baking paper) round 20cm (8 inch) cake tin, smoothing the surface firmly with the back of a metal spoon. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
    4. To serve, dust with icing sugar and cut into thin wedges.

    Give it up / Whole30

    Sugar, alcohol, dairy and grains - we will be miles apart over the next 30 days! I'm inspired to kick off a 30 day lifestyle change after reading about Krystal's (from VillageWhole30 challenge - you can read more about her story here.

    Basically, Whole30 will see you totally strip a few food groups from your diet for 30 days and get your body bouncing back in the most incredible form. Sounds good to me.

    I kicked it off yesterday; cutting out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-disrupting, gut-churning, inflammatory food groups. My reason behind this isn't centred around reducing the kg's that my scale-pin points to either (although it's not a bad 'side effect'). My motivation is to do with centering my body, metabolism and energy levels again. My schedule of not enough sleep, busy work days and ballet training through most of my 7 day week (topped with a few champion attempts of getting to the gym in a lunch hour) knock my energy supplies d.e.a.d! And it's not just my energy that's suffering. The stress has become obvious in my less-than-glowing complexion!

    If you're interested in the journey, let me know. I'd be happy to share the experience, recipes, tips, thoughts. I've also got a Pinterest board going with all sorts of recipes and blogs for motivation.

    A few things I'll be reminding myself over these 30 days are:
    1. This is NOT hard. Triple pirouettes on point are hard! Drinking coffee black is. not. hard!
    2. There is no such thing as a "slip" up.
    3. This will require effort!
    4. Modifying the rules on the wine-ban is cheating!

    The smaller print via:

    Eat real food – meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural and unprocessed.
    More importantly, here’s what NOT to eat during the duration of your Whole30 program. Omitting all of these foods and beverages will help you regain your healthy metabolism, reduce systemic inflammation, and help you discover how these foods are truly impacting your health, fitness and quality of life.
    • Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial.
    • Do not consume alcohol, in any form, not even for cooking.
    • Do not eat grains.
    • Do not eat legumes.
    • Do not eat dairy.
    • Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites.
    • Do not eat white potatoes.
    In addition, no Paleo-ifying dessert or junk food choices.

    One last and final rule. You are not allowed to step on the scale or take any body measurements for the duration of the program.

    A few concessions:
    • Clarified Butter or Ghee.
    • Fruit juice as a sweetener.
    • Certain legumes. green beans, sugar snap peas and snow peas.
    • Vinegar.

    Monday, April 29, 2013

    What I wore // the things I did

    "I should stop talking," is what this photo tells me...
    I don't usually do the "what I wore" kinda post, but this time I was a little inspired (and unprepared) after coming across a run down white wall. My outfit is nothing groundbreaking (I know), but it was the perfect addition to a slow-paced public holiday (and that white-wall canvas I fell in love with).

    The day was as good as they get. My morning hours were spent brunching over strong coffee followed by the sweetest walk through autumn leaf-lined streets. Yeah, there was some penny-spending (again...ehm) that took place at this store I told you about in this post (also where I got my buttery soft leather!). The best bit was when these threads took me through to the evening hours. My boy and I got the chance to break our commitments and escape to the basics - good food, good laughs and red wine at a tucked away bar in the Adelaide Hills.

    The only threads to stand up to all that relaxation and sudden inspiration was my silky soft leather teamed with comfortable navy stripes. What's your outfit option for a day of relaxing walks, laughs and good food?


    Friday, April 26, 2013

    Friday's Finds

    It's Friday and I have more stuff for you to kick back to. Enjoy!

    1. These James Perse Pacific Stripes!
    I snapped up the maxi-skirt version from this all-time-favourite store (I cannot walk into without buying some kind of beautiful threads, leather or homeware!).
    It's a summer staple, but I'm hanging to team it with boots and a knit in these cooler days.

    2. DIY Burt's Bees Lip Balm. The recipe has been tested by this lady.
    Now we can make our own, natural lip balm. Worth it!

    3. Momo Suzuki is the elegantly styled lady behind the perfectly pared down line, Black Crane - perfection in my eyes (like magnets for minimal, simple, clean lines).
    Her closet is just as amazing. Take a snoop!

    Can I just take a sec to say "Thank you" and "I'm so appreciative of my lovely bunch of wonderful readers (you) that stop by, follow this little blog of mine and leave wonderfully thoughtful comments. Means so much!" xo

    I hope you're all set for a great weekend ahead! I'm looking forward to getting into another
    less-planned, less-scheduled couple of days that I'm keen to fill with starting to paint my new canvas (procrastination is over!) and getting my toes through a few hours of ballet.

    Monday, April 22, 2013

    Sweet nothings

    A few of the visually inspiring things seeing me stop to look twice...

    Hope the weekend was a great one for all. I (as you can see) spent mine relaxing, feet up, searching the web for sweet nothings.

    images via // 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

    Friday, April 19, 2013

    Friday's Finds

    Are you smiling? It's Friday! Plus, I found more stuff!!! Smile!
    1. I'm not a great fibber - the words don't flow and I blow my cover with a smirk. That's not a bad thing, right? Thing is, when I go for the honest, emotional spill, I can't get the words out either; my mind races 10 (overly emotional) paces ahead before my mouth can keep up. Good news for anyone suffering the same is that Daily Odd Compliment puts it all in writing. Problem solved.
    2. Scarves (my weakness). I found really, really beautiful ones from the talented Emily Green.
    3.  We're all guilty of taking those ridiculous shots of the food we didn't cook. Now we're taking shots of the hipsters taking pictures of food.
    Thanks for reading, wonderful readers. What are your plans for these next couple of days off?

    Wednesday, April 17, 2013

    Pocket note


    You know the type? The one-of-a-kinds, the cute-as-a-little-polka-dot type. That's the type I'm folding up and keeping in my pocket.

    A dot-inspired-interlude made my morning shine a little brighter. x

    Tuesday, April 16, 2013

    What I've been up to

    If you're interested (which is possible), here's my ramble on the things consuming my past-little-while.
    1. Guest posting - my first, by the way. The ever so lovely Amanda Rose from Sew Much To Say asked me to write about my interpretation of Martha Stewart's New York style cheesecake. See it here. If only I'd seen Martha's video first!
    2.  Hey, yeah! I took a minute to sit back, breathe and stop glorifying 'busy'.
    The view from my lunch break went something like this: bright blue sky, palm trees and perfectly plane-drawn lines.
    sory about the iphone quality...
    3. Coffee and a book. Solo.
    4. I got new kicks. Well, I got a few (the savings are going fine, thank you). Aside from introducing my much-longed-for Hunter Boots and other penny spends to my wardrobe, I got myself some shiny new ballet points. I understand this might not tickle every one's fancy but breaking in (by breaking in, I mean breaking wood) these newbies was topping the list of satisfiers. Yea, that includes blisters.
    5. Simplifying. Remember my motto for 2013? It's not always easy to turn a shoulder to the things that have become tag-alongs in my world.
    6. Movies and I are not so compatible; I'm a fidgeter, a doodler, a daydreamer.  First Position, however, had my eyes glued for the 2 hours it rolled for; all about 6 brilliant kids competing for their chance to 'make it' in the professional ballet world. I'm not a huge supporter of ballet competitions - I don't think it's what the art is about, BUT the talent in this documentary was incredible.

    7. Keeping healthy...relatively healthy. I've relaxed on my healthy-living-rules recently and am finding it a struggle to keep things in a balanced (fitness) perspective. If anyone has a tip or two on keeping calm, looking forward and not focusing on the irritatingly-less-than-ideal-body-image I currently hold, I'd be glad to hear them.

    8. Stretching. Never underestimate the power of a good stretch. Ever.
     And that's about it. Hope you've been up to all sorts of great things?

    Friday, April 12, 2013

    Friday's Finds

    Look what I found!
    1. My pay cheque is eyeing off Elk's winter range - online! As the seasons roll on, my wardrobe has become more elk-spotted than ever. Natural fibres, clean, simple lines; beautiful leathers; natural accessories.
    2. Stuff to feed your design-bones - Micha Weidmann studio's recent projects special.

    3. F***ing great idea! Folklore design agency's self promotion.
    Thanks for reading! Who's ready for the weekend?

    p.s.  See those gorgeous polka-dot pants? Am I the only one that's inspired to DIY-polka-paint some slacks? Stay tuned...I'll be posting about it next week. xx

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

    La vie en rose #2

    no source
    I often wonder why exactly I'm blogging. I can never pin down one convincing reason but it's something (a habit?) I can't yet kick...but what a beautiful thing to have! To be able to collect thoughts, inspiration and memories and look back on what filled my days in time to come.

    Today marks my second "la vie en rose" post; all about a little acknowledgment for the simplest, rosiest things in life.

    1. I'm not a messy type. Promise, but when my car looks like this, with a week's worth of life on the
    passenger floor, I know it's been a good one!
    2. A fresh breath of cello-tuned-air! Literally.
    I walked past the most beautiful notes singing from a cellist's front door.
    3. Getting organised. Even just a little.
    4. I've become so busy I'm "bad with my phone." Hurrah!
    Loving that the glue has peeled a tad between my cheek and phone.
    5.  No nail polish on my digits.
    6. Friends. Really, really good ones!
    7. I baked that cheesecake and it was D-elicious.
    8. I know, I say it a lot. But. A smile and hug (with no words) from my
    boy centres me and injects the calm back into my whirlwind days.
    9. Coffee. With my mum.
    10. Autumn sun with a chill in the air.

    Have you stopped to smell the roses recently?

    Friday, April 5, 2013

    Friday's Finds


    It's Friday! It's Friday! It's Friday! And here are my finds...

    1. Salty-sweet-lemon-biscuits! If you try them, let me know.

    2. Portfolio envy: Jason Booher's conceptually fantastic work.

    3. Have you seen Jac & Jack's a/w13 collection? This duo has done it again. Their new threads for 2013 have been hitting my browser all week - put effortless, simple lines with just enough femininity to balance out the masculine and I'm all over it. I feel a wardrobe update coming on...
    Hope everyone's weekend is spent doing all sorts of wonderful things! Maria x

    Wednesday, April 3, 2013

    Back to it

    We just spent one magical weekend away in Melbourne with my boy's extended family; totally (almost) out of site from work responsibilities and able to enjoy some rare and special moments together, celebrating in song, with laughter, and of course good, rich and unnecessarily sweet food! I've possibly indulged too much in the stuff and ignited a pretty serious craving issue; one that I've given in to over the past tail-chasing-month of mine. Now that the Easter eggs are gone, time has come for me to kick off the sweet treats and quick-fix energy boosters (too much caffeine) and switch back to my cleaner, leaner eating habits. Remember my "salad a day" post?

    Salads aside, I have come back from the weekend with a few exciting baking recipes to trial. Looking forward to sharing them with you soon...


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