The Beauty Chef (Review).

Hey guys,

So long time no post! My last blog was my wedding anniversary last year… which is coming up again tomorrow…. so “wow,  time has flown,  oh I just don’t know where it goes,  ugh life just been crazy” and all that…  One major thing that happened recently that HAS turned our lives upside down (for the better) was the Arrival of our dear Elle girl, She’s perfect.. but thats a post for another time.. I will be popping up her birth story soon.

so after that brief and rather vague catch up I will proceed onto my experience with some gorgeous products by “The Beauty Chef”.

Finally a beauty product that is all about what is within.

Yes, not your usual speal about you needing to look younger than your adolescent daughter and ridding yourself of imperfections you’ve been told you apparently have, those lines… that gravity… thats just life baby – embrace it and be one with it.

I was lucky enough to trial a bottle of the ‘Collagen’ and a sweet little tub of  ‘Sleep’ – AH-mazing, the Collagen is taken by the tablespoon in a glass of water and wow its delicious! so so easy to add into your daily routine – if your anything like me you’ll actually wake up craving It, its that good. this product is VEGAN, is bio fermented, probiotic rich and has vitamin C and Zinc for healthy hair, skin and nails.

I definitely saw a change in my skin after only a few weeks of taking it,  it felt firmer, looked healthier more even toned and I even noticed my lips plumped – an unexpected but pleasant surprise. the other perk is that you will unintentionally up your hydration levels. every cup of water counts.

The ‘Sleep’ powder is also super yummy – think of a warm milk with spices, turmeric, cinnamon and honey cupped cosily in your hands an hour before bed time – this product is a broad spectrum probiotic , is anti inflammatory and aids in quality sleep; this is SO essential for inner health and beauty. Sleep is when your body needs you to rest so it can do all the work of detoxing, repairing and regenerating. As an adult you should be aiming for 7 – 9 hours of quality sleep, kids and teens actually need MORE. (you can also choose your preference of milks and sweeteners for this product to still qualify as vegan).

I found this miracle powder really caused a significant improvement with my sleep, I woke up feeling like my body was actually rested – with over a year of broken sleep this was an unusual feeling at first but was recognised and warmly greeted like bumping into an old best friend that had long since moved away.

I really do love everything about these products being that they’re plant based, an inner health probiotic and filled with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to improve your concerns by targeting the core of the issue rather than the symptom. whether its ageing, acne, dehydration or otherwise, generally this is your bodies way of trying communicate with you and tell you something needs to change. I also found my body received the ingredients much more willingly than when I take a simple multivite.. the probiotics improve the gut health so whatever you eat and drink is absorbed and used much more efficiently, thus having a cascade effect on your overall health and appearance.  Below I will pop a list of simple everyday methods to take a little extra care of your skin and food for thought about the way we treat ourselves.

  • Food, baby – yuh this is a big one… if you really want your outside to be beautiful and age well you really need to be putting in foods that are beautiful too,  foods that are rich in everything your body needs to thrive…. I know I know.. you may think that after a long day the ease of a drive through Big Mac is beautiful but trust me sister, your body thinks otherwise. fill your incredible self with fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, legumes and lean grassfed meats if your that way inclined.

 

  • Get moist – Ew , but totally got your attention right? HYDRATE! we are made up of 70% water yet some days I’ll openly admit I may have as little as one measly glass… this is not good friends, Our skin is our largest and laziest organ.. and when it comes to water the insides call dibs .. so your skin is the last area to receive that much needed water mantle, eg. my one glass has absolutely no affect on my skin what so ever.. somedays I’m a superstar and manage a good 3 litres; at work this is what I ask my clients to try and achieve . Try it and you will see amazing changes in your skin; being dehydrated will definitely accentuate ageing and even for a young person will dull and cause irritating changes to your skin (hey young’n you know those times your getting all dolled up for a night out on the town and your make up just will not apply properly or sit nicely? your most likely dehydrated).

 

  • Sleep.. as I said above we need a good 7-9 hours for our bodies to complete the many tasks on its nightly to do list. It won’t only be those dark circles and puffy eyes that will thank you.

 

  • Relax – something we adults all don’t do enough of, life has become this insane burn out gig, we’re a 24/7 generation that is needing to be taught how to STOP.  Stress can cause so much trauma to the body, it knocks the immune system, will age you and can cause serious health issues and this isn’t even scratching the surface.. please start making time to slow yourself down, weather its a massage, a walk with no technology present, sitting in the park or on the beach with your favourite local brew (hot or cold) in hand. These are things we need to implement in to reconnect with our outside environment and even other human beings..

 

  • Get it on… your skin, so I’m talking about skincare.. find a great spa with a skin scanner, this will allow any therapist a really deep look into your skin to observe its current behaviour.. this is where a therapist can help your skin with an in-spa treatment and take home products for the surface and underlying layers.. you do the inside work listed above – they worry about the outside.. but you must be willing to commit to see the changes your after. On a more playful note though… they do say that women who have relations 3 times + per week tend to age better … go figure.

 

  • exercise – If its walking and yoga or your into HIIT and weights, exercise will dramatically improve the appearance of your skin. Getting all hot and sweaty causes extra blood flow nourishing the skin cells, excretion of toxins, balancing hormones and just to top it off you get a delightful wad of endorphins. Get it girl.

 

  • SPF – Those UVA rays will age you like a mutha – lately I have become more wary of chemical sunblock, so I tend to find invisible zincs if possible.. currently I’m using Botanical Extracts clear zinc spf30 –  get slip slop an a slapp’n.

So Pretty basic tips, but all together these simple staples work in conjunction and will create substantial changes for your skin.

Before signing off Just a little reminder, although I’m sure you know.  The only beauty that really TRULY matters is that within your actions and words toward others and yourself.

As for “the beauty chef” products.. I one hundred percent recommend these.. Am I sold??.. YESS … will I order again? FO SURE, until next time friends.

Steph. x

 

 

Our First Wedding Anniversary

After spending so much of today going back through our wedding images and feeling the different emotions wash over me in waves … I find I am at loss of words for a day I hold so dear.

To whom ever is reading this I hope you find or already hold tight the purest and most precious love that carries you joyfully throughout your years…

 

Those whom true love has held, It will go on holding.

– Seneca.

 

25/08/2016 – Our Wedding Day.

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Happy Anniversary my love,

Steph x.

 

 

Images captured by : Marina Locke Photography.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby E & My Journey To Three

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This is a bit of a strange post to write … and I most definitely had my reservations, but the more I thought about it I hoped by sharing my story maybe ..just maybe one mother somewhere out there would feel some sense of comfort .. even if its just the fact that we are or have been in the same foreign and unexpected boat.

My pregnancy with Baby E started out text book…. I was late, I took a test… It was negative – weird! .. a few more days later… also negative – this happened a few times until those two pink lines exposed themselves- (by this point I had assumed I was just having further hormonal issues and pregnancy wasn’t the diagnosis). I walked out of the bathroom with a blank look on my face pretty shocked, Nathan asked me what was up –  deep breath, slight awkward/worried laugh … “I’m pregnant” i said unenthused, he asked if i was sure.. yes i was sure, we had a bit of a laugh and a “oh man” moment as we had recently come to the conclusion two girls was enough.. life was getting easier as they got older and we could make more progress financially as well as enjoying more trips etc.

The rest of the day we both kind of zoned out and were completely absorbed among our own thoughts as to .. how, when, what etc etc…

Soon I started to feel sick… REALLY REALLY sick.. I was rather unwell with Annalise but this was definitely next level and so much sooner… we made do, he cooked, he cleaned.. he was amazing – I lay on the couch for a solid 3 months and my poor husband had to deal with my emotional outbursts and frustrations dealing with what felt like a never ending gastro virus.

The time came for our dating scan (around 8 weeks) and there She was our little bean with a beautiful beating heart…. it was at that moment the reality of the situation hit me and i knew I could make it through…. as the scan carried on I said to our ultrasound tech… “so your sure there’s only one in there?” … She looked at the screen intently and asked “whys that?” I said ” I just felt so so unwell so incredibly early” she replied with “oh okay” again looking at the screen with pure concentration and didn’t say anything further, our scan finished up yet we waited after for our pictures for about 30 minutes.. I thought it was a bit odd but oh well maybe they ran out of that shiny photograph paper they use to print the baby pictures, who knows….. it was only a few days after I was to see my doctor… She told me during my appointment that among thyroid issues and insanely low iron that we had in fact conceived twins… sadly baby E’s sibling’s heart had stopped beating and I had joined the percentage of women that have had what I now know as “Vanishing Twin Syndrome” Ill be honest it broke my heart.. I felt so strange during my appointment as my doctor told me In such a simple manner as though It was nothing and I really didn’t know how to react.

I left the doctors and rang Nathan.. after telling him there was a pause on his end of the phone… I could feel his disappointment and we both didn’t know what to say… its so strange, at a time when you feel you should be celebrating this little baby yet here we were feeling loss.. and then guilt for not feeling happy over the perfect little baby who was thriving… what a mix of emotions – and a giant bag of pregnancy hormones thrown In the mix obviously doesn’t help. I cried. I doubted myself.. what have I been eating? did I do something? … I googled looking for any tiny scrap of information that the ultrasound technician had made a mistake and somehow our second baby would be there and doing well in the following scan.

After getting through all of the above stages I came to the point of acceptance.. tinged with a slight hope.. after all that’s all we could do.

Nuchal scan – It was time and I was SO looking forward to It, our scan went fine and there she was our little girl now looking like a little baby, moving around and bouncing up and down.. the ultrasound technician had a bit of trouble doing measurements because of this, she also measured the home of our lost baby which now looked like an empty bubble this Is because the vanishing twin Is absorbed by the placenta – hence the name “vanishing twin” I felt a bit sad but I mostly appreciated the closure I’d needed, Baby E was healthy and we could now move on focusing on her and maybe I could stop worrying so much.. so I thought!

Not long after the scan I met my midwife.. she’s AMAZING and I cannot wait to bring our little girl into the world with her… It was like when you meet someone for the first time yet you feel you already know them.. I was so comforted by this and so happy we landed a good one!

She read me my nuchal results for baby E and although one area came back In the intermediate range she felt everything was fine and there was no need to worry.. fast forward to the following day.. my phone rings early in the morning and its my doctor .. she is a flurry of words over the scan results and blurts out how dangerous they are and how there is something wrong with our baby, she starts saying I need to make a decision NOW about further testing or termination… I was in disbelief, I felt pissed.. what the hell, why has this pregnancy been so taxing both physically and emotionally.

After I rang my midwife (who was also pissed about what the doctor had said as it was completely inaccurate). I rang my mum.. I explained I cried some more, She was so confident and said nothing was wrong but we both agreed for my piece of mind and for the sake of the progressing pregnancy to get further testing done.. just so i could finally relax and enjoy our baby – we also gave that doctor the flick and found a much more savvy practitioner – who is absolutely beautiful.

After seeing her we opted for the Generation harmony test … a non invasive blood test, my blood is taken and the DNA of our little one is separated from mine and tested for defects, $450 and 7 days later and one evening my phone rang.. I answered unsure as it could have been anyone… my new doctor said hello and asked how I was.. my heart started to pound in my chest and I waited for her diagnosis…. “Everything looks great” she said…. “baby is at the lowest risk for everything”… oh man I took the biggest and most satisfying breath at that moment and silently thanked god.

She then went on to tell us we were expecting another little girl (this is just a side perk of the blood tests they can find out the gender as soon as 10 weeks now!).. We were so happy and from this moment Ive been able to feel so much more of a connection to this little girl and really enjoy the remainder of the pregnancy.

So here we are.. half way through to meeting you precious little lady, how special you must be baby E after everything… and yes baby E stands for your name which we have already agreed upon and chosen just for you.

For all the Mama’s out there going through pregnancy struggles, loss (this was my second experience with loss), the intense changes making a baby can cause, the emotional roller coaster and prenatal trials your enduring… there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, I feel your pain…and from one mama to another I say… and I totally believe …

You’ve got this.

Steph x

 

 

Double Choc Chip Peanut Butter Vegan Ice Cream

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It’s Sunday, the baby is snooz’n, our eldest is taking the grand opportunity to watch something other than Trolls while her sister sleeps and Nathan is fixing his work car – I am at my desk, listening to music and drinking a delightfully black coffee whilst telling myself how its most likely a contributing factor to my current hormonal imbalances.. something i may blog on later… anyway, the recipe is as follows….

Ingredients:

Frozen Bananas – if i could guess how many i used maybe 6-7 medium.

3x Tablespoons of Cacao Powder

1 LARGE handful of Organic Coconut Flakes

8 Pitted Dates

50g or half a block (chopped) of Sweet William chocolate (find this at Woolworth’s) or another vegan alternative.

1/2 Tablespoon of Vanilla Extract

1/2 can of Coconut Milk

1/4 – 1/2 can of Coconut Cream.

Put all of the above ingredients EXCEPT the chocolate chips in the blender. Once the ingredients have mixed together to make a thick but runny ice cream consistency turn the blender off and remove the blade, add in your chocolate chips and mix through, using a spatula scrape into a tub like container… as you can see I just used a baking loaf tin. Next is the peanut butter – this is optional but in mine and the husby’s opinion it really makes it. Use smooth peanut butter and place blobs randomly over the top of your mixture then using a bread knife slide through the blobs in a swirly motion to mix it around… and lets face it make it look cool too.

Freeze and enjoy later,

Steph x

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Is There Room In Bed For One More?

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I’m talking about baby makin, how does one know when they are finished? or when they are ready to create another little life?

Our youngest is fast approaching three and we are at that point, the one when you are standing at the edge of a diving board trying to decide whether or not to take the plunge ….. again.

I have never planned a pregnancy, both of my girls were surprises so the idea of planning a baby seems weird to me… “hey Hun, should we make a baby tonight?”- I mean don’t we need to sit down and work out finances, up sizing the vehicle or if our house is big enough? and what about hands… what is it like to not have enough hands for children, Is this the point you introduce the kid leash?…. (that’s a solid deal breaker right there).

Our parents generation didn’t really think like that and nor did most “plan” for children, it was simply what was done once one was married (or they were married very swiftly after the pregnancy test delivered a big thumbs up).

At this point we are enjoying our freedom a lot more now that our youngest is so independent and only growing more so by the day. Everything is easier from sleep to grocery shopping… although we have our moments. For me the idea of a new-born at this point is incredibly intimidating and the memories of pure exhaustion and post birth body are enough to have me running for the door, yet that sweet new baby smell is absolutely intoxicating and during that time nothing else truly matters anyway – also I can’t seem to get rid of the nagging thought for when I am older will I regret not having more children with the only reasons having been worry and pure selfishness?

So, I would love to know from any mothers out there.. what was your deciding factor? how did you know (if you did) when you were done and dusted or if you were keen and ready to place another delicious baby order?

Steph x

The Vegan Ice Cream Cookie

So its been raining non stop here, usually during these snugly weather patterns I tend to get the urge to cook and bake, read and just generally feel the creative vibes flowing…. Maybe this is from when I was a child, if the weather was average mum would tell me to stop annoying her and go find something to do (in nicer way of course…. sometimes).

Anyway, today I made something a bit creative, a little messy but super tasty.

Introducing The Vegan Ice Cream Cookie….Okay, so not original but Ive been wanting to try it for ages! It would be super easy to knock up a whole batch of these if you were entertaining or just wanting a winning dessert one weekend. I mainly create one offs before I commit with all my ingredients, but Ideally all you really need here is a batch of vegan cookies … (thank you Earthy Andy!) and either a little or a lot of home-made vegan ice cream… AND you don’t have to be a vegan to enjoy these, I think most (if not all) wouldn’t even realise.

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For my batch of cookies I used Earthy Andy’s Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookie recipe – go check it out here.

Vegan Ice cream is super simple to make and you can create whatever flavor you like – add coconut cream or milk, cacao powder and nibs for chocolate, berries for well… berry flavored, In all honestly it kicks the pants off normal ice cream PLUS its actually beneficial for your body.

Today the Ice cream of choice was frozen bananas and mixed berries (also frozen), a dash of fair trade vanilla extract and a smidge of almond milk … just so the blades in our blender were actually doing something… keep adding milk bit by bit , remember you want Ice cream consistency.

Being that I only made enough for one, I positioned two non stick egg rings one one top of the other, filled them with the ice cream and put it in the freezer – this was to get the ice cream to freeze in a really nice clean looking chunk. I’ve seen others simply scoop homemade ice cream out of the tub and put it straight between the cookies, which I think looks better – that messy, melty delicious kind of look. Next time I think I may try warming the cookies or making the cookie sandwich as soon as they have come out of the oven… dribble dribble.

Steph x

Another year.

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This year has already well and truly begun and I’m feeling a little left behind, after I injured myself i lost so many weeks, and here i am with an obnoxious feeling, an undertow creating such a strong sensation of lag, struggling to catch up with those who grasped the first day of the new year with strong and confident hands.

Another year in which I am unsure of the outcome; if i were asked the following question – Do you want to be in your current situation at the end of this year? I would swiftly but warmly answer, no….. no way, followed by an awkward laugh of some kind.

And just to clarify I am not unhappy with my life, i am in fact blessed beyond belief …no not unhappy, yet not willing to become stagnant either, change is necessity, it is needed to move and graduate through life, to experience, to learn, to grow and one day lead you to your destiny.

I imagine this to feel as though your soul is on fire and your passion is explosive. You feel as though you are in the right place at the most perfect moment throughout the beautiful transitioning mess that life is.

This is where the majority of us want to be.

So here I am, another year, a little behind writing another list of goals, some from previous years and some newly affixed, time becoming more relevant to the day and the overwhelming sense to create a strategy and arrive at a place I cannot rely on Siri to find for me.

So how do we all get there?

I apologize if you have read this far hoping for an answer to that question. I really have no idea.

I, just like many of you am figuring this out as I go.

Life is this insane gift – it’s a journey, and you have been given the tiller – you have absolute choice as to what course your life will take.

So, live. Live like your life depends on it. (it kind of does)  Make goals, try new things, take chances, embrace change, don’t be afraid to feel like a rookie, love, forgive, delve into the unknown and move through life confident that you belong here.

There will be dark moments throughout your travels, but only you can choose how long you allow yourself to linger in those places and whether you treasure the lessons so brutally learnt.

Here’s to another year, writing goals, finding passions, hidden talents, love and an expansive sense of happiness.

Better late than never. #goals

Steph. x