Tag Archives: lifestyle

Fresh Flowers – adding colour to your life.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s really hard to find time to blog these days. Life is so full and colourful, that the last thing I feel like doing at the end of the day is sit down in front of the computer. Sometimes, I don’t even have the energy to. My computer sits in the corner and languishes.

But in the midst of all the Christmas rush and cheer, I felt that I had to share this. If only this, in time for the Christmas season. I’ve discovered something recently – I’ve discovered the joy in having fresh flowers at home.

I’ve always been one to poo-poo the idea of having fresh flowers at home. I thought they were a waste of money, they die and then you have to deal with either drying them or clearing them up. What’s the point? But for a recent bloggers meetup at my house, I purchased some beautiful fresh flowers to help with food styling and decoration. The leftovers were popped into a make-shift vase and they not only stayed alive for another 4 weeks, but they also added a gorgeous spot of colour to the house. (Not that my house really needs the ‘spot of colour’, anybody who has visited can attest to that!) I caught myself marveling at how long they stayed alive for, and found that contrary to my belief, I actually quite enjoyed having fresh flowers around. Who would have known?

So when Freshflowers.com.au offered to send me some for my housewarming, I found that I couldn’t say no. I found myself craving for another hit of these floral goodness, so I said yes, and in came the most gorgeous-looking flowers ever.

There is a certain joy in receiving the flowers at the door. There is a smile and a laugh that leaps to the face when you inhale the floral goodness, and the schoolgirl giggle that escapes as you pull off the card stuck into the bouquet – who could it be from? Even if you knew who it was from, the joy does not pale.

You can call me a convert. Ever since that first bouquet, I am now constantly on the lookout for flowers to decorate the house with. It brings in life and outside smells (good ones only!), and makes me smile when I look at them. I’ve started considering investing in vases, and jumped with joy when I found gorgeous flowers that didn’t cost the earth at the Gepps Cross Sunday markets. But I do definitely still secretly hope that I get another knock on the door, with a deliveryman holding a big bouquet of flowers for me.

I think, perhaps, that pure schoolgirl joy, the one that goes: “Oh, is that for me!?” just doesn’t get old. Or maybe it’s just that I rarely receive flowers from anybody. Don’t be as ‘generous’ as my boy. For Christmas, why not get somebody a beautiful bouquet?

Fresh Flowers sent me a bouquet for my housewarming. I willingly stuck my head into it to inhale the floral goodness. I do not believe that any of that beautiful scent has addled my brain, so I do believe all opinions are my own.

Squeeze!! Juice those toxins out!

urban remedy

Slightly more than a year ago, I talked about whether Juice Detox diets really help us on the blog. Since then I’ve tried a few of them, did they help? Interesting question.

I guess you have to first ask yourself Why exactly are you doing this diet?. Is it because you are following a trend? Is it because you genuinely believe it will work? Or is it because you want to lose weight? Many people seem to think that diets are programs you do only if you want to lose weight. I get told: “I hate diets” more often than not. Interesting. Have you gone on a diet for any other reason?

Personally, I’m still on my eternal quest towards a healthier me. I’m happy to try different things, to challenge myself and to see if they actually work. For Science.

So I took on the Urban Remedy Cleanse. It’s basically a juice detox diet that can run for 1, 3, or 5 days depending on your willpower. It’s designed to cleanse the toxins out of your body. It replaces all solid foods for the period of time you have chosen and comes in 3 different levels of difficulties.

Image source: Urban Remedy

I also thought that it would make for an interesting willpower challenge. I’ve done it the cleanse before, and had failed after the 2nd day. So I was keen to give it another go and see whether or not I would make it through this time.

The juices themselves were quite delicious. I have to admit that by Day 3, I was quite sick of the taste of them and I have the utmost respect for those who try for the 5 day challenge. I went with hardcore mode! and picked Level 3 as well. Here’s a little rundown on what the juices were and how they tasted like:

Juice 1: Avocado, Spinach, Banana, Raw Vanilla, Chia.

    The breakfast juice! This was the most solid of the lot, with the avocado and banana making it quite a delicious drink. It was quite green and I enjoyed starting my days with it. My colleagues didn’t think it was quite as awesome though, I think the green colour put them off.

Juice 2: Lemon, Cayenne Pepper, Stevia, Water.

    I usually have this as my morning tea. Being a teacher, you get reminded of the existence of morning tea everytime recess comes around. (Which basically means, everyday.) So this juice was a lifesaver to quell the recess hunger pangs. It was also very refreshing and I loved the addition of Cayenne Pepper to the juice as it definitely gave you the kick that you need mid-morning!

Juice 3: Cos Lettuce, Spinach, Cucumber, Celery, Mint, Parsley, Lemon and Ginger.

    This juice is what the boy calls the salad juice. It sounds like salad, looks like a salad and taste like a salad. Except in liquid form. It was quite pleasant on Day 1, but by the time I got to Day 3, I was really quite sick of this as for some reason I had this as my Juice 5 as well. So to have both of my main meals in the day supplemented by the exact same salad juice was just a bit of a buzz-kill.

Juice 4: Cucumber, Carrot, Lemon, and Mint

    This juice was super yummy! I must admit that yummy as it was, I started having issues with it on Day 3 as the sweetness started to get cloying halfway through the bottle and I was basically just pouring it down my throat in a “let’s get this over with” manner. I found it funny that when you start drinking liquids of colours that are not normally seen, many people seem to feel oblige to ask what it is you are drinking.

Juice 5: Cos Lettuce, Spinach, Cucumber, Celery, Mint, Parsley, Lemon and Ginger.

    I don’t know why my Juice 3 and 5 were the same. Looking at the website, I shouldn’t have received identical juices but I did. So I had to deal with it and to be honest, I yo-yo’d between “this isn’t so bad” and “this is really starting to get old”. Which is understandable if you have to drink the same juice twice a day, I guess.

Juice 6: Almond Milk, Coco water, Raw Cacao, Cinnamon, ABC mixed nuts, Dates and Water.

    On my first day, I nearly threw up drinking this juice. Because I really don’t like almond milk. It was a struggle to get it down and I might have shed a few tears throwing a tantrum at the boy who insisted that I sucked it up and finished the bottle. But I have to be honest here. After having to drink 4x Juice 3 and 5, this juice actually didn’t taste so bad on the 2nd day and by the 3rd day I was chugging it down like it was the best thing I’ve ever had.

urban remedy

Pros:

  • I felt energized. Throughout my 3 days, I was waiting for a slump but it never came. I was wondering whether I could really survive on just juice alone for 3 days but I was chugging along fine and never felt better.
  • I actually got some form of breakfast in. It convinced me that having breakfast was a good thing and I have been trying very hard to keep that habit now.
  • I didn’t have to worry about cooking for 3 days! It gave me a chance to really clear my thoughts and decide on my next course of action.
  • It allowed me to exercise my willpower. Good to know that if I really try, I can achieve what I want!

Cons:

  • The bottles were really hard to open and I grazed myself pretty badly more than once struggling with the lids. It didn’t help that the bottles were soft so I was terrified of making the bottles explode while I wrestled with it.
  • 6 x the same juice for 3 days had me really bored of it by the end of Day 3. I don’t know if I could possibly have done 5 days of that!

Would I do it again? Yes. Coming off the back of this juice detox, I felt clean and healthy. Happy enough to go straight into the Paleo Diet and felt that I had the willpower and energy to go through with the change of lifestyle and eating. ( I will discuss the arguments, pros and cons of the Paleo diet in a future post so stay tune!)

Should you try it? Yes. I really think it’s beneficial to step back from all the junk that we eat from time to time and just concentrate on the bare essentials. It gives our body a chance to reset (whether it really does so or not is debatable but sometimes a psychological reset is even better than a physical one). At the end of the day, you are the one who has to decide whether or not this is good for you, so the only way to do so would be to try it.

Product provided for consideration. The first round of juices were paid for by yours truly. Opinions are as always, honest and fully juiced.