Homemade Larabars.

I am a terrible snacker, I don’t eat many big meals but I am constantly snacking.Therefore I am always on the hunt for tasty healthy or at least semi-healthy snacks.
My wonderful father brought me back a selection of Larabars from the United States of America a couple of months ago and I just fell in love with them, especially the Cherry Pie flavour, it is just the right amount of sweet and tart. Since you can not find these in Australia, well I have not found them anywhere, I decided to try and make them myself. It seemed an easy enough task especially because in most of the bars depending on the flavour there are only 3-4 ingredients. After some quantity tweaking I think that I got the recipe right.

Chocolate Chip Larabars
<Ingredients
1 cup raw Almonds, Cashews or walnuts
1 cup dried Dates or Figs
1/2 cup Chocolate chips

Method
1. Place the dates/figs and almonds/walnuts/cashews in a food processor.For the chocolate chip ones I used dates and cashews because thats the ingredients that are listed in the original Larabars.
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2. If making one of the variations listed below add the other ingredients and blend once again. For the chocolate chip bars, just add the chocolate chips and pulse till combined.
3. Spread out on a baking sheet lined with baking paper
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4. Once the mixture is cooled this should take a couple of hours, cut into bars. I cut mine into squares because I like them a bit smaller.
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Notes
In the bought Larabars they don’t use figs. I prefer figs both texturally and taste wise. If you do you figs remember to cut off the hard stem because this will not blend. Mixing figs and dates makes the bars really yummy.
Try not to use only walnuts when making these bars, it is better to use a mixture of almonds and walnuts. Using an entire cup of walnuts might make the bars slightly bitter.
Do not use a high speed blender to blend the mixture this will make the mixture too pasty. You want there to be little bits of nuts throughout the whole bar.

Variations
Apple pie- 1 Cup walnuts/almonds/cashews, 1 cup dried apple, 1 Cup dried figs/dates, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
Mint Chocolate- 1 cup Walnuts/almonds/cashews, 1 cup dried figs/ dates, 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder, 3-4 drops peppermint oil.
Cherry pie- 1 cup walnuts/almonds/cashews, 1 cup dried Cherries, 1 cup dried figs/dates, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (Optional). Make sure that the cherries are good quality, I used bed cherries once and the whole thing tasted like sultanas.
Banana bread- 1 cup walnuts/almonds/cashews, 1 cup dried Banana, 1 cup dried figs/dates,1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 cup chocolate chips (Optional). For a more banana bread flavour, use a mixture of walnuts and almonds.
Lemon chia (Inspired by organic cliff bars)- 1 cup almonds, 1 cup dried figs/dates, zest of 2 lemons, juice of 1 lemon, 3-4 tablespoons chia seeds. This works the best if you soak the chia in the lemon juice 15mins prior to adding them to the mixture.

I have not tried a Carrot cake version, I do not have a dehydrator and I expect for the carrot cake bar they use dried carrot.

My fave skin care product.

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For the better part of the last 6 months I have been using the Bioderma crealine H20 solution micellaire. I bought it in France and it is so cheap compared to here in Australia so I thought that I might as well try it out because it will not break the bank. I bought a pack of 2 500 ml bottles for 15 euro which is about 25 dollars for both which is amazing value.

I was using this product to instead of my normal facial cleanser mostly because I was too lazy to wash my face properly in the evening. After a few months of using this product I thought that my skin might be better if I started to wash my face properly. As soon as I stopped using this cleanser my face started breaking out, it was not bad but I started to get little blocked pores all over my face and a week after I started using this product again they were almost all gone.

This cleanser cleans better than anything else I have ever tried. Even after I have washed my face with my cleanser + clarisonic and I wipe a cotton pad soaked in the Bioderma solution it appears that it is still able to get some of the residual dirt off my face, using a cotton pad also adds some extra exfoliation which is always nice.

On a day to day basis I do not wear makeup and therefore this product works perfectly for my needs. I have tried to remove a full face of makeup bit the Bioderma solution several times in the past and it does work well but it is not as amazing as I thought it would be will all the hype around this product. I find that it doesn’t work that well for mascara especially waterproof mascara. To remove waterproof mascara any oil based makeup remover works much better or my favourite extra virgin olive oil any kitchen oil works great in my opinion. If I am removing my makeup with the Bioderma I will first remove my eye make up with an oil based cleanser or olive oil and them remove the residual oil and face makeup with the Bioderma cleanser.

Overall I love this product, it works for me because I rarely wear makeup and I have really sensitive skin. For those who wear heavy makeup on a daily basis I would recommend a different cleanser to remove eye makeup.

Yummy apple crumble smoothie.

I love smoothies, I find it a great way to start the day. My standard morning smoothie is banana blueberry but the other day I decided to try and make something different, because it is getting a bit cold at the moment I wanted to make a smoothie that can be drunk warm. 

So here is is the apple crumb smoothie.

Ingredients: 

1 cup apples, peeled and diced or 1/2 cup apple sauce 

5-10 dates depending on how sweet you want it 

1/2 cup baby spinach 

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 

3/4 cup almond milk or water 

Method: 

1. Put apples, dates and 2 tablespoons water in a saucepan and cook on low for 20 mins.

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2. Once the apple and date mixture is cool, blend with the other ingredients.

3. Enjoy warm or cold 🙂 

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Notes: 

If using apple sauce you might need to soak the dates in hot water for 5-10 mins before making the smoothie. 

 

Co-washing?

Sorry I have not written a blog post for a while, I was away on holiday and it turns out that not all 1st world countries have easily accessible internet. 

So first things first what is co-washing? 

Co-washing is essentially only washing your hair with conditioner and skipping the first step of shampooing the hair. This technique works because in all conditioners there are small amounts on cleansing agents. 

So why co-wash? 

The cleansing agents in the conditioner are much less harsh than the one in shampoo and it therefore still maintains the natural oil balance in the hair which helps it staying healthy. Plus it leaves hair a lot sleeker than it does when using shampoo then conditioner. Since it does still leave some of the natural oils intact this probably won’t work for people with oily hair.

10 tips for co-washing

1.Use a light conditioner I generally use one that is recommended for oily hair. Use whatever brand that you want my preference is any brand that is cruelty free

2. Wash your hair with water thoroughly before applying the conditioner. 

3. Use the conditioner as if you were using shampoo, apply it to the roots and give them a good scrub.

4. Try and use as little conditioner as possible, usually its the same amount as you use shampoo.

5. To make the conditioner cover more of your roots just duck your hair quickly under the shower and give your head another good rub. 

6. If your ends are dry use a heavier conditioner on them.

7. Wash your hair with shampoo every 6 weeks to remove product built up I love the Big shampoo by Lush but really you can use whatever you want.

8. Try and avoid conditioners with silicones in it, even though it makes your hair sleeker it also means that there will be more product build up on your scalp. 

9. Do not try and use a hair mask instead of conditioner this will just make your roots really oily. 

10. Co-washing does tend to leave your hair a bit flat, for extra volume dust a tiny bit of dry shampoo onto your roots. 

 

Give co-washing a try! It has done wonders for my hair

 

 

Macadamia Natural Oil, hair care review.

The beauty world has been buzzing about this brand for a couple of years now so I finally gave in and tired it out. The macadamia and argan oil sounded super nourishing for my crispy dry hair plus they claim that they don’t test on animals, which is a super duper plus in my book.

The masque, shampoo, oil and no tangle-pre styler in a set on beauty bay. Its cheaper buying it in a set and I didn’t want to invest more money in it than I needed to for something that I might not like.

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The review

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The masque: The first thing that I noticed with these products is that they smell amazing, as soon as i opened the box the smell filled the entire room. I got this in the 100ml size, this is packaged in a tube rather than the tub which the 250 and the 500ml sizes come in. I always prefer tubes to tubs because I always seem to get water into the tub and its always so hard to close when your hand is slimy from the mask. So it was already winning on the packaging front. When I first used it I was shocked at how thick it was, but it melted like butter once it came into contact with my hair. I left it in for about 5mins then washed it out. Once dry my hair was slightly softer than usual but I didn’t find it the miracle product that everyone thinks it to be.

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The hair oil: I hate the smell of this hair oil, it smells like Angel by Thierry Mugler, I hate that scent so much! Thankfully once absorbed by the hair the scent disappears completely. It is absorbed well by the hair, it performs best on damp hair but I use it on dry as well, just to prevent it from drying out too much, it is great to use before the beach or the pool as well to protect it from the elements and chlorine. It leaves my hair soft and deeply nourished. It is a great product and performs much better than something bought at the drug store. When this is used after the masque it makes a noticeable difference to the hair.

The shampoo: It smells nice, like the masque. I don’t find that it performs any better than other shampoos with out sulphates. It froths nicely but other than the scent its no better than the $3 bottle that I buy at the supermarket which doesn’t contain sulphates either.

Tangle pre styler: Again it smells nice, its a good heat protectant but like the shampoo it is no better than other much cheaper products on the market.

Final verdict: The masque and the oil are the 2 best products of this set. Save yourself the money and only try them, the other two products are very disappointing for the price, they do what they need to but nothing more than that.

I bought the set here:

http://www.beautybay.com/haircare/macadamianaturaloil/luxerepairset/

All images courtesy of beautybay.com

DIY hair lightener with minimal damage

Ingredients 

2 bags of camomile tea 

1/2 a tablespoon of honey

1 tablespoon of coconut oil

1 teaspoon of olive oil

1/2 a cup of 30% hydrogen peroxide 

Method 

  1. Place the tea bags  in 1/2 a cup of boiling water 
  2. Once the tea has cooled to warm remove the tea bags and add the honey, coconut oil and olive oil. Mix well till all the honey and coconut oil have melted
  3. Once the tea has completely cooled mix in the 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide.
  4. Put the mixture into a spray bottle and spray onto the sections of the hair that you want to lighten.

Notes

A mixture of coconut oil and olive oil will prevent the coconut oil from solidifying at room temperature.

This will not lighten hair straight away, it might take a couple of sessions before seeing a difference. 

Make sure to use a hair mask after use because this can still be a bit drying on the hair. 

 

Lush Massage bars

I have a Lush obsession, firstly because they are against animal testing and secondly because the shops smell amazing.

Recently, my skin has been dry as the Sahara and I have felt like a scaly lizard that has been basking in the sun all day. Because of my serious dilemma, and the fact that I could no longer stretch my arms over my head in the fear that my skin was going to split open I went on a quest to find a new body moisturising product.

It turns out that this seemingly simple task was not as easy as it sounds. Supermarkets have very few products if any at all that don’t test on animals and the only one that I found was one that I tried in the past and my skin just refused to absorb it.

I gave up going to every shop around town that might have products that aren’t tested on animals and just went to Lush. I really was avoiding going into Lush because number 1 was never game enough to spend the $30 on a body lotion that looked like it was going to last me 3 weeks and number 2 because I always end up coming out of there with something that I will never use such as a bath bomb. The bath bombs always smell amazing and I temporarily forget that I hate baths and that it’s summer right now so most days its 40 degrees Celsius which is really not the kind of weather that makes you want to have a bath in.

This is a really just long way of explaining that once I got to Lush I realised that I have been silly and that obviously the massage bars can be used as a body lotion/body butter. The massage bars are much more wallet friendly than the body lotions.

As usual I couldn’t decide what to get so I decided to get 2. The Hottie Massage bar because it smells lovely and the Wiccy Magic Muscles Massage bar because the beans in it looked really soothing and my calves and feet have been really tight recently from running along the beach.

So finally here is the review of both products………..Image

I will start with the Hottie Massage bar first because I have been using this for the longest. I thought that the bumps on the surface would have a nice massaging effect when you apply it. In reality they have no purpose at all other than looking nice I don’t know if this is because of the weather and since its really hot it melts too quickly or it is actually just there for ascetic purposes, but when the bar is applied directly on to the skin it applies way too much product. When too much of the massage bar is applied it will take a long time to be absorbed by the skin and you will feel sticky and uncomfortable for hours.

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On a positive note the bar is really moisturising, smells great on the skin and when applied correctly (Melting in the hands and then applying it from your hands to your skin) it is absorbed really quickly without making you feel too oily.

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I can’t imagine that the Wiccy Magic muscle massage bar will appeal to many people. It doesn’t look as nice and the others and the smell is a bit offensive as well. To be honest if I didn’t have issues with my feet and calves when I went into the store that day I wouldn’t have even looked at it but I’m sure glad that I did.

The beans feel amazing on any tight muscles. The bar can be applied straight to the skin beans side up without applying too much product. Which makes it less fussy than the other bar to use, but I do rub the product in afterwards. Once applied to the skin it also has a lovely warming sensation.

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The reason why I was so hesitant about getting this bar was because of the smell but after a couple of hours the smell dulls down to a really nice spicy scent and it can fit into a lush massage bar tin which makes it much simpler to travel with.

So if you have been hesitating getting this massage bar because of the scent I say don’t its a lovely product and the scent doesn’t last long on the skin.

New year, new me.

I have decided to write a blog.

I am neither a good writer, nor am I particularly funny or clever.

Then why are you writing a blog you ask?

Well, number 1 it’s the holidays and I need something to do other than just watching increasingly bad  T.V. shows.

Number 2. I am a person without a hobby, and I have decided that I need one, I don’t know why but it makes me sound more interesting. I have also been told that running/exercise, cooking and online shopping do not count as hobbies. (Which was news to me)

and lastly Number 3. I need something to do outside my all consuming university life.

Writing a blog lets me share my “not” hobbies, hobbies with you all. Which means that I now have a hobby that really just involves everything that I already do the perfect lazy person way of finding a hobby.

Enjoy!