Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I ❤ Events: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is practically over and with that Breast Cancer Awareness Month is close to an end. This month, I attended various events held in aid of Breast Cancer Awareness. I was treated to a spectacular high tea, and even took part in a 5km charity walk. This disease is tragic and can be averted if detected early.  

I'm always looking for new projects, so when I was commissioned by fabulous ladies, Fehmz and niQi to create my signature heart brooch pins for the 'Pretty in Pink' competition in aid of Breast Cancer Month, I jumped at the opportunity, donned my pink fairy wings and waved my very pink wand! 

I decided to use pink beads since we're in the midst of Breast Cancer Month.

I 'upcycled' a broken pink necklace and used the pieces to create a scarf/hijaab pin for a segment of the prize hamper.



So what do you think?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I ❤ Health: Of treadmills, vitamins and chocolate


I didn't want to do a clich├ęd, 'Let's get ready for Summer!' post, but it seems that this is where I find myself.  Let's face it: you can't eat that many cupcakes, cakes, chocolates and cheesecakes (the 4C's) post-Ramadan and still think you can get away with it! So here I am, slogging away at the treadmill and avoiding all my favourite treats.


I must admit that I hated working out, but I realised that was because I didn't have an actual 'plan'.  So I decided to do some research and found some great ways to overcome the hate.


Jillian Michaels


I'm not a fan of home exercise videos.  However, I've watched one or two of Jillian Michaels home exercise videos and I loved them.  I really like how she explains what she's doing, what your body is doing throughout the workout and she has a tough-no-nonsense approach, which, let's face it, is something some of us need.  Her routines gives different levels for beginners and the more experienced fitness junkies.  I really like the fact that she doesn't use too much gym equipment in her workouts, so that's great for those who don't have access to them.

I'm currently using the Jillian Michaels: 30 day shred video.  The video gives you three levels and should take you 10 days to do each level if you're consistent.
Check out her website for fitness plans and other tips.  

Nike Training Club app for iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch


This is a great app.  No, let me rather state that this is a WONDERFUL app.  It helps you track your workouts, share them online if you'd like (which is something I'm too embarrassed to do, lol) and of course gives you great workout plans.  I love that it has videos so you can check how to do the exercise while you're at the gym.  Some of the workouts are great for home use as well as they don't require any equipment.


Women's Health Slimdown Slamdown Challenge


Women's Health have started an online challenge for their readers to get in shape for Summer.

I haven't joined up with it as yet, but it looks like something that could work as the training and meal plans have been designed by the Sports Institute of South Africa.
They have different plans designed for training and meals and a lot of the routines can be done at home with very basic equipment.

Mark's Daily Apple


The 'Paleo' or 'Primal Living' diet caught my eye when I first read an article by Tim Noakes, a Professor of Exercise and Sports Science at University of Cape Town.  The diet suggests that our bodies are not designed to consume grains, dairy, and other foods which are not completely natural.  This diet suggest we should be eating as the Cavemen did.  Even though I'm not entirely convinced about giving up dairy (I really love cheese and yoghurt), this is a fascinating read.



Not to be confused with the 'Cavemen diet'

Sportron and FoodState vitamins


I must admit that I'm not that consistent when it comes to my consumption of supplements.  I hate taking tablets in any form and I've even bought a pill cutter for those pills that are just huge.  My sister, a complete health nut, started researching FoodState and Sportron vitamins and found a huge difference when she started using it on herself and her children.  I've tried the multivitamin from Sportron (Ultraguard combo forte) and the Calcium (Calcitone) supplement and I'm quite relieved that both pills don't have a weird aftertaste and are not that huge at all.  I call the Calcium my own personal sleeping pill as I have quite a restful sleep after taking it :)  I find that the multivitamin has helped with my sugar and chocolate cravings as well.


So there you have it, I've shared my personal beginners guide to health and fitness.  Please note that I'm not recommending it to anyone for their own use,  and I'm certainly not a health and fitness professional, so if you do use my own personal reviews, please do so at your own risk :) 


By the way, I am cheating with a piece of dark chocolate every now and then :) I love dark chocolate :)




Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I ❤ Food: Roasted Sweet Potato and Coconut Milk Soup



I love, love, LOVEEEEE sweet potatoes and coconuts.  
After finding a recipe in Larissa Green's 'Love Green Food' which combined both these ingredients in a delicious soup, I decided to tweak it just a bit to suit my taste buds.

This is PERFECT for these chilly Winter evenings! This soup makes a great alternative to the traditional haleem that everyone drinks copious amounts of during Ramadan!


Ingredients:

  •   2-3 medium sweet potatoes, diced.
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Teaspoon honey
  • 1 Teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon ghee
  • Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • 1 Teaspoon ground red chilli (add a little bit more if you want a ‘kick’)
  • 1 Teaspoon Robertsons Thai spice
  • 2-3 leeks chopped – chop the white part only
  • 2 cloves garlic – chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon ginger – chopped
  • 750ml – 1 litre vegetable stock.  This really depends on how thick you want your soup to be, I used 3 Ina Paarman sachets, and went according to the instructions, but added a little bit of extra water.
  •  ½ cup  / small can coconut milk
  • Parsley and toasted coconut shavings for garnishing (optional)

Method:

1)  Preheat oven to 220°C.
2)  Mix olive oil, honey, vinegar and sweet potatoes in an oven proof dish.
3)  Roast in the oven until it caramelizes.  +/- 10 minutes. 
4)  In a pot, heat the ghee on medium heat and add the leaks. 
5)  Add ginger, garlic and the rest of the spices.
6)  Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil.
7)  Reduce heat.
8)  By now the sweet potato should be done.  If it is still a bit hard, not to worry, add it to the pot and cook until the sweet potato is softer.
9)  Switch off the heat and leave to cool for a bit.
10)  Puree with a stick blender or regular blender.
11)  Reheat in the pot and add coconut milk.
12)  Garnish with fresh parsley, toasted coconut shavings and crackers (optional).
13)  Enjoy!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ramadan

Ramadan Kareem!  It's already Day 6 of Ramadan.  I can't believe how fast this fast is going (haha).  I've been quite busy this side.  Studying, volunteer work and other commitments have taken up most of my time and I don't see much of an end in sight!  However, I did manage to brainstorm some ideas and I'm glad to say that there are definitely some new developments on this side :)  In the mean time, here's a sneak peek on something in the works...

 

Friday, March 23, 2012

❤ Lucky Packet Design: Customised Moleskine notebook

A friend of mine recently purchased a brand spanking new Moleskine notebook for work purposes. A bit bored with the exterior of her new notebook, she asked me to 'do something with it'. Knowing that she loves simple designs and keeping in mind that she will be using it in the workplace, I stuck to a few colours and blinged it up to the bare minimum.

The end result was simple, yet fun.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

❤ Lucky Packet Design: Clay name tags

After a relaxed start to 2012, I am delighted to announce that The Lucky Packet will be supplying a few of the upcoming niQi living luxe workshops with clay name tags.

If you would like to attend any of these workshops, please check out the website here.
These workshops are wonderful and you'll be able to grab a Lucky Packet freebie while you're there :)

Photo courtesy of Saaleha