Thursday, 30 January 2014

Restaurant Review // Manuka

20. 50. 70 times? I have been to this restaurant a lot, it's like a child hood memory. This restaurant is located in Devonport, we used to go there 24/7 when I used to live there. It is a lovely restaurant, they have a wide range of things, including breakfast/brunch, lunch, dinner and dessert as well as baking. I went to Devonport with my friend Sam, my sister and my grandparents on Wednesday and we decided to go to Manuka, I already knew what I wanted, I always ordered the same thing.... Pizza. Manuka pizza is beautiful, it's beautiful, crispy bases, delicious toppings, my favorites were the classic 'Hawaiian' and the 'Margherita' and especially the 'Tandori' pizza. Chicken, capsicum, mango chutney, cheese, onion and yogurt, oh my it was good. So I wasn't exactly gluten free, but we barely ever go there and I love, I really love that pizza so I shared one with Sam. Manuka is a restaurant I highly recommend, it's great for pizza ~ they do takeaway as well and the pizza prices range between $20 - $25. 

School // Breakfast, Lunch & Snack Ideas

I always get hungry at school and I have the type of stomach that makes noises (really loud noises) when I'm hungry, which is generally just embarrassing. So, eating healthy but satisfying food is very important, it also needs to be food that provides you with energy, brain power and the nutrients that are necessary. Don't starve yourself at school please, it makes it extremely hard to focus and therefor learn, so always eat something. Firstly, you need to be organized storage wise, have a good lunch box as well as lots of small and medium containers. I have gotten nearly all of my containers from 'Sistema' they are very handy and very simple and come in a large range of shapes and sizes. Another good thing to do is to prepare things the night before, for example, you could slice up veggies (carrots, cucumber etc), put nuts into a container, get out certain items. Storing things in the freezer is a great thing to do, especially with baking. I feel like this post is a whole heap of ideas written down in a paragraph, ah well. I will do gluten and gluten free options

Breakfast Ideas:
Muesli with yogurt and fresh fruit (simple but it fills you up)
Toast with nut butter (it is amazing if you add banana and you get that extra protein) 
Fried egg(s) 
Muesli/yogurt/fruit parfait ~ simply layer your ingredients in a tall glass and eat
My banana pancakes (recipe on blog, look in recipe section)
Sophias Super Smoothie (recipe on blog, look in recipe section)
Scrambled eggs with whole grain toast  

Personally, I've never been one of those people who can just eat and apple and go, I get hungry. My usual breakfast is my 'Super Smoothie' or 2 fried eggs and I alway, always pair it with an almond milk cappuccino, I cannot start the day without my coffee! 

Snack Ideas:
Mixed nuts (almonds, pistachios, brazil nuts, cashews, walnuts) 
Sliced apple with cinnamon 
Mixed berries 
Raw muesli bar (these are not very nice but I eat them anyway opps)
Sliced cheese and crackers (or just the cheese)
Low sugar yogurt
Vegetable sticks with hummus 
Mixed yogurt and fruit
Yeo Valley probiotic yogurt suckys (i recommend strawberry)
3 pieces of dark chocolate 
Homemade baking 
Dried fruit (apricots, cranberries etc)
Popcorn (with no flavoring, it's actually not at all bad for you)
Banana chips
Apples and peanut butter

Lunch Ideas:
Quinoa salad ~ add vegetables and chicken or any other meat, this is rather filling
Roast Vegetable salad ~ We always do a big plate of roast vegetables at the start of the week, put them into a salad with spinach, olive oil and feta is always nice
Simple salad ~ Just any salad veggies you have plus some meat 
Sandwich ~ Whole grain bread with protein (chicken, lamb, beef) and vegetables (lettuce, tomato)
Pita pocket ~ Spread hummus and add chicken, falafel or other meat along with grated carrots, lettuce and other items of choice
1 avocado (you'll need snacks to accompany it)
Tuna salad ~ Tuna, spinach, hard boiled egg, tomato and onion 
Brown rice mixed with chicken and salad vegetables
Gluten free pizza 
Wrap ~ same ingredients as sandwich or pita
Pasta salad 

Always make sure you have a full drink bottle of water and you drink at least two of them at school. If you need a snack between classes, almonds are always great. I hope this has given you some ideas, oh and our school isn't back yet that's why I'm talking about preparing for back too school now! 

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Back To School // Organization

Back to school can be rather stressful and is something one can dread, but being organized always sets you up for a chance at a more successful term. I enjoy getting organized, I like writing out diaries and organizing stationary and lunches. You're better off getting organized a few days prior rather than the night before, because panicking is not great. Below I've written a few ideas to hopefully help you prepare and feel more organized for school in 2014. 

Get a diary ~ Diaries are an essential for school, you need to write down events, classes, homework, exam dates, sports, cultural activities, birthdays, reminders, appointments or anything note worthy. This keeps you feeling you prepared and you know some of what is happening in your life. My diary is a Collins 2014 black diary. 

Stationary ~ If your school is like mine you will most likely get a stationary list with all the things you need for your subjects, to get this I just went to warehouse stationary, when it comes to buying stationary, if you think you need it get it! Otherwise you will probably be wishing you had it. Always stock up on folders, I have these lovely white ones and also on blue and black pens. Be sure to try get stationary that you like, and get at least one nice pen, kikik have good ones. 

Homework planner ~ write up or buy a planner which would be suitable, these are great, it allows you to sort out time allocations for each piece of work, for example 'Monday: 4.30 English 1hr' just things like that really help you feel organized 

Organizing lunches ~ containers. Containers are so good at school, get lots of small/medium containers. Write a list of meal and snack ideas and stick them up in the pantry or on the fridge. I will do another blog post specifically on food. Depending on what you're having, you can probably prepare some parts of your lunch the night before so it's but a huge rush in the morning.

Study space ~ this is really important, I like having my own space with a desk and drawers for everything but I don't have one in my room anymore I have to use the one downstairs which I don't like all that much because it is shared by others, but if you can have your own study space, lucky you!! Get storage containers for pens/pencils and erasers etc and I'm unsure of what the proper name is for this item but I guess you could call them 'magazine boxes' for documents and folders. Also have your laptop and charger as well as anything else that suits you and make it look nice so it's somewhere you actually enjoy being in. Add photos, flowers, a toy, lamp, little accessories, use it as a makeup table as well, do what suits you. 

I hope this helps in making you feel more organized and ready for school this year, I hope it'll be a great one! 

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Best Gluten Free Pancakes

Pancakes are such a lovely thing to have for breakfast, especially on a weekend. I have done another healthy pancake recipe which was my banana ones (I'll post the recipe link down the bottom) but sometimes it's nice to have 'normal' or 'plain' pancakes, ones that everybody will like. To create this recipe, I went through and looked at lots of other recipes and crafted it to what I had and liked. To compliment this recipe I also improvised a berry compote which turned out rather well, so I will put the recipe for that in this post. Any sliced fruit would go nicely with these pancakes, orange, kiwifruit, berries, pear you can change it up a bit to what suits you.

Pancake Ingredients:
2 cups buckwheat flower (I used 1 cup buckwheat 1 cup almond but whatever suits you)*
4 eggs
1 cup milk 
2 tbsp maple syrup (or honey, we had none)
1tbsp apple cider vinegar 
1 tsp vanilla essence 
1 tsp cinnamon 
1/2 tsp baking soda 

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until a batter is formed 
Spray pan and cook pancakes (brown on each side)

Berry Compote:
*this was very improvised so i'm unsure of exact amounts*
1-2 cups of berries
2/4 cups of water (or so berries are sitting in water)
1/4 cup of brown sugar (or more if you think) 

Place berries in saucepan and leave for 1-2 minutes
pour in water and add brown sugar
Just leave and stir and go with it until it looks all right 

Friday, 24 January 2014

Flowery Days

The Wintergardens by the Auckland Museum are one of my favorite places to visit, this is actually the first time I had been in a while and it was a gorgeous day. There a two green houses, one is normal temperature and the other is really humid because it houses tropical flowers, I honestly had my phone out 24/7 taking pictures of these beautiful flowers. I don't think we went at the best time of the year because the flowers weren't as pretty and perfect as ever, but never the less. I have also made a decision that sunflowers are possible my favorite flower, along with another in the tropical house to which I do not know the name. 

This is the flower I forgot the name of, it's so beautiful 

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Pumped Up Playlist

I think that we all have those songs that we play to get us in a good mood, you know the ones I'm talking about? The ones you dance around the house to, play whilst you're doing chores, the ones that get you dancing and moving and flicking your hair about and just generally embarrassing yourself. If you are lacking these songs, or just want some more, here are some fo my favorites!

Jump for my love ~ The pointer sisters
I want you back ~ Jackson 5
Christmas Is all Around ~ Love Actually (Bill Nighy)

I'm a believer ~ Smash Mouth
Don't go breaking my heart ~ Elton John
Everytime we touch ~ Cascada
I will survive ~ Gloria Gaynor
Teenage Dirtbag ~ Wheatus 
Out of my limit ~ 5sos
Under the sea ~ The Little Mermaid
Somebody told me ~ The Killers
Thnks fr th Mmrs ~ Fall Out Boy 
Bye bye baby ~ Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
Don't stop me now ~ Queen
Bootylicious ~ Destiny's Child 
Feeling good ~ Michael Buble
Hakuna Matata ~ The Lion King
Just can't wait to be king ~ Lion King
Pocket full of sunshine ~ Natasha Bedingfield
Tide is high ~ Atomic Kitten 
Voodoo child ~ Rogue Traders
Wake me up before you go-go ~ Wham
9 to 5 ~ Dolly Parton 
What makes you beautiful ~ One Direction

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Best Nut Chocolate

Credit is given to as I gained the inspiration for this chocolate from there. Just because you're eating healthily, or gluten free doesn't mean you can't have things that others still enjoy. This recipe is gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free, it is great to cure a chocolate craving, one small piece is all you need. 

1 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup honey 
1/2 cup nut butter (I used a mix of penut and almond)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
6 roughly chopped almonds
4 thinly chopped brazil nuts 
Any other dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, currants) 

Place coconut oil, honey and nut butter into a sauce pan on low heat
Add cocoa and stir till mixed, take off heat and add other ingredients
Pour onto lined baking tray and place in freezer 

Carrot Cake

I love my carrot cake, it is one of my favorite cakes! I never bake them much because I've always found they use far too many ingredients which I dislike, but this one by is so simple and easy and it looks great! This carrot cake is also gluten free, Carrot cake is a great cake to make for autumn, just a tip.

2 cups ground almonds
1/2 cup grated carrot (I just used 1 carrot)
1/2 cup shredded coconut 
4 tbsp butter (or coconut oil)
4 tbsp honey
4 eggs
2 tsp cinnamon 
2 tsp ground cloves 
2 tsp nutmeg 
1 tsp baking soda
Any other nuts or dried fruit 

*preheat oven to 160 degrees* 
Place all ingredients into blender and mix until a smooth batter is formed
Pour into tin and bake for 20 minutes 

Icing (just my basic cream cheese) :
60 grams cream cheese (softened)
30 grams butter (softened)
3/4 cup icing sugar 
sprinkle of cinnamon 
Walnuts (to place on top)

Place all ingredients into a bowl and beat with a hand held mixer
Spread over cooled cake 
 Sprinkle over walnuts 

Monday, 20 January 2014

Spiced Apple & Currant Cake // With Helena

Today Helena ( and I became domestic goddesses and baked a delicious, healthy, gluten free spiced apple and currant cake. When the mixture was finished it didn't look like the loveliest cake batter, but it turned out rather well. This cake is also very simple and quite fast, definitely a go-to cake for me!

6 eggs
1 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
1 grated apple
Zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup buckwheat flower
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup currants
2tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1tsp baking soda
1tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 sliced apple to decorate & juice of the lemon

*butter cake tin and preheat oven to 150*
1. Place all ingredients except sliced apple and lemon juice and currants into a blender and mix
2. Mix in currants and pour into tin
3. Slice apple and place on cake, squeeze lemon juice over
4. Bake for 45 minutes

This cake is great, double the recipe for a larger cake. It would be lovely with greek or plain yogurt or with a dolup of whipped cream

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Great Movies

I do enjoy watching movies and I have a large number of favorites or movies which I really enjoyed. I've decided to list them because wanting to watch a movie, but not knowing what to watch is really frustrating! These are not in any particular order.

Devil Wears Prada
Confessions Of A Shopaholic
Love Actually
The Great Gatsby 
The day after tomorrow 
The Avengers
Harry Potter
Sex And The City
The Notebook
Shutter Island
Love and Other Drugs
Angus Thong and Perfect Snogging
The little mermaid 
Anna Karenina
Valentines Day
Mission Impossible
Spider man movies
Sherlock Homes
Bride Wars
The proposal
The Holiday
Catch me If you Can
Whats Eating Gilbert Grape
Basketball Diaries
Letters to Juliet
Wild Child
Pirates of the Caribbean 
Alice In Wonderland
Schindlers List 
The Princess Diaries
This Is Us
13 going 30
Just My Luck
When A Stranger Calls
White House Down
The Day After Tomorrow
Olympus Has Fallen
Mean Girls
Legally Blonde
The Lord of The Rings (I just enjoy looking at orlando bloom)
Bad teacher
Friends with Benefits
Hunger Games
Now You See Me
The Prestige
Virgin Suicides 
Perks Of Being A Wallflower 
500 days of summer
Breakfast Club
Charlie and The Chocolate Factory 
War Horse
Easy A

Yes, okay, I think I may just have listed enough! I've probably forgotten heaps.

Mexico // Restaurant Review

This is most definitely one of my favorite restaurants! There are two located in Auckland, one in Takapuna and the other in Britomart. Mexico serves authentic, Mexican street food ~ so you're not getting your burritos and nachos etc etc. You get delicious soft tacos, exploding in flavor and they are very different to the usual, or the quesadillas which are so fulling and are great to share, and you can not go to Mexico without trying the best drink in the world ~ their Virgin Margaritas, it is everything good in a glass with a cinnamon rim. And it's not only the food and drink that is phenomenal, it's the interior and the atmosphere, it's so loud! You basically have to yell to one another and everyone is laughing and music is playing, the walls are covered in unique, beautiful Mexian designs and paintings and it just gives the restaurant this exciting atmosphere. 

Tortilla chips with beetroot dip (it was a special)  
Hallelujah, one of the yummiest things i've ever tasted

 Char grilled chicken quesadillas 

 The Goddess of all drinks ~ Virgin Margarita 
I promise you will be glad you got it!

 Some of the gorgeous photos, art and designs

Chocolate citrus tart with caramel ice cream

Now I am usually gluten free, but I mean come on? I will not turn down quesadillas from Mexico! I highly recommend this for a family meal or a large group.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

lazy afternoon

Guilt Free Super Easy Pancakes

Something no matter how healthy I am, I will never be able to give up, is pancakes, oh man! The fluffy, hot delicious cakes, dripping in maple syrup, how can you not? But they aren't the best if you're eating healthily, obviously you can treat yourself to them now and then,  and also pancakes do include gluten which isn't great if you're gluten free (gluten free pancakes with all the different flours are way too complicated). I got this recipe from 'Blogilates' but I but my own twist on it, now this won't be the best recipe for you if you dislike banana or banana muffins/cake etc, but if you do love banana this is great for you! They are completely guilt free, carb free, gluten free, you get all the magnesium and benefits from the banana so it really is ideal for if you want something yummy that will treat your cravings. 

1 banana 
2 eggs
Plain or vanilla protein powder (I use 'clean, lean, mean protein')
Vanilla essence 
Cinnamon (optional)
coconut oil (too cook) you can use normal oil  

1. Mash the banana and crack in the 2 eggs
2. Add vanilla, cinnamon and protein powder and mix (the mixture will be lumpy)
it should look like this:
3. Heat a non stick frying pan and melt oil
4. Ladle a small amount into the pan (they're meant to be pikelet size)
5. You can sort of tell when they're ready, should be brown on either side:
6. Once the mixture is gone, slice up fruit of your choice and serve!

Monday, 13 January 2014

You Have A Beautiful Mind

I have a real complication with people feeling as though being different is a negative thing. What is so bad about being a little different? Why the hell (excuse my language) would you want to be the same as everyone else? The same is usually boring. Imagine a world with no differences. Everyone with the same face, same hair, everyone wearing the exact same outfit with the same lip color, everyone the same height, buildings identical, as well as houses, pets, trees, how un-interesting would that be?

So what, if you think differently to the person sitting next to you?
So what, if your style is completely different from that group of girls over there?
So what, if you're really loud?
So what, if you're 6.ft and everyone else is 5.5 ft?
So what, if you like music others don't?
So what, if you dislike makeup?
So what, if you are a total nerd or smartass? 
So what, if you're against something everyone is for?
SO WHAT if you are different.

You shouldn't be afraid of being yourself, even if yourself is a little different from everyone else. You should be happy if you are unique. 

Don't you dare let anyone, anyone tell you different. 

photo ~ mine

Sunday, 12 January 2014

The Bag Essentials

Everyone needs a handbag, I don't actually have a set one which I really want! I really want a large black leather handbag, but at the moment I use a large leather one from Country Road which is a peachy/orange tone. One needs to be prepared at all times, you never know what may happen, so it is rather important to have a well packed bag. 

Your bag should include:
Wallet (or money)
A good book
Phone + Headphones
Another bag (like a plastic bag) 
Sunscreen (if it's summer)
Safety pins (you never know)
Makeup bag ~ lady products, deodorant, any makeup, perfume, lip balm

I think thats usually what I keep in my bag! It is important for one to always be prepared for the worst. Have a lovely day 

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Super Smoothie

If you read my last post about going wheat free, you'll know it was a friend of my mums who told us about this, she also gave us a smoothie recipe, this is basically what she consumes for breakfast every morning. I usually do have smoothies, but, they don't tend to fill me up, so at school my stomach rumbles continuously and it is rather embarrassing. I will generally have this smoothie or 1-2 eggs in the morning. 

Berry Banana Super Smoothie
1 banana 
Mixed berries 
Clean Lean Protein powder ~ 2 scoops (NuZest) 
Good Green Stuff protein powder 1 teaspoon (NuZest)
Flaxseed oil ~ I just get the oil from the capsules 
Coconut water
Almond milk
Tiny bit of honey 
Chia seeds ~ 2 teaspoons 

I will be honest and say this smoothie isn't the nicest at first, it has a very strange taste to it, but, you do get used to it and it definitely fulls me up, so I do recommend this.