Chinese New Year 2016 – Year of the Monkey

8 February 2016

Chinese New Year 2016

Happy Lunar New Year to you all!

We celebrated our Family Reunion Dinner at my grandma’s house… and this is me, astonished by (and taking selfies with) her longan tree!

Chinese New Year 2016

It was a stinking hot 40°C day and everyone retreated indoors to the air-conditioned sanctuary that is my grandmother’s lounge room and watched “If You Are The One“, while some kids (mine) opted to play soccer outside?!?

By the time I snuck out to take this photo, some kids went back inside to find a smart phone, and the rest played Duck-Duck-Goose just for laughs!

Chinese New Year 2016

A lot of my relatives were overseas, so there were only 27 people this time… but my aunties still cooked up a storm!

Chinese New Year 2016

Tossing the Yu Sheng (fish salad) for prosperity and happiness!

I actually tried to take video of the tossing, but my 6 year old accidentally dragged all the peanuts OFF THE PLATE which sprayed out all over the table, so you could hear my other son dobbing on him, lots of laughing, and me getting snarky, possibly swearing.

Anyway, hope you all have a glorious start to the lunar new year!

xxx


 

Do More Running

6 February 2016

Run: 1 Feb 2016Hi everyone!

Yep, one of my goals for the year was to: do more running.

I’m not trying to focus on any distances or speed; I just want to simply get back into it and try to find the love again.

So.

I did three runs this week, yay!

1) A short 2.5km run at my usual pace of 6:30 min/km.

2) An interval run – 30 second sprint and 30 second walk, for 10 minutes. I was absolutely shattered after that!

3) A long 12.5km run at my usual pace of 6:30 min/km. No stopping, except to drink some water!

The days have been really hot, so I have been waking up at 5:30 – 6am to go for a run, or waiting until 7pm when the heat has subsided. The fact that I can drag my ass out of bed in the morning, says a lot about how much I’m loving the feeling of being fit and strong again.

I’ve also been following yoga, pilates and workout videos at home, in the evenings, which has been – surprisingly – lots of fun.

I definitely have my fitness mojo back and I’m making the most of it!

Mango, Cucumber and Spinach Smoothie

This is my very horribly coloured, but delicious fruit smoothie with mango, pineapple, cucumber, mint and coconut water!

 


 

Bird Nest Feels

5 February 2016

Bird Eggs

While cleaning a high shelf in the carport, we accidentally dislodged and swept down a bird’s nest.

The nest came crashing down, but the eggs remained intact.

Eeep, we felt so bad!

The eggs were absolutely perfect orbs of white. Immaculate, unblemished, smooth, delicate. They looked like they were from another world.

They were so beautiful and so perfect that they looked almost fake, as if they came out of a plastics factory.

Bird Eggs

Unfortunately we couldn’t leave them in the carport, so we placed the nest in nearby tree.

We think the mama bird came back and everything was A-OK!


 

Sneakers To Keep Us Active

4 February 2016

I have a naughty obsession with sneakers, which has significantly increased in the last few months… because my 13yo and 11yo sons happen to have the same size feet as me! Woohoo!

Haha lucky me. Would have been better if they were girls though.

Anyway, they need to update both their running shoes and everyday sneakers… so that’s 4 new sneakers for me, us, them!

ASOS is having a sale on some of their Nike sneakers, and these are my under $100 picks!

Nike Sneakers at ASOS

Nike Roshe Run Black Sneakers (Oops sorry this one isn’t on sale anymore, and not under $100!)

Nike White & Silver Court Royal Sneakers

Nike Grey Textured Primo Court Sneakers

Nike Racquette Leather Punched Swoosh Sneakers

They don’t look too feminine right??

My boys could wear them right? Haha!

Have a fabulous weekend!


 

What I Wore: The Summer School Run

3 February 2016

Black and Denim

Yep, with all the other rejoicing parents out there, I’m beyond excited that the school year has begun!

I’ve thrown myself into the planning of some work, personal and family projects coming up – Renovations! Travel! Passports! Photo editing! Writing! Birthdays! Fitness! Tuition! Car repairs! Plumbing repairs!

I haven’t had time to go out for relaxing brunches and sit at home to watch Netflix, hmph.

I’ve been working from home; I pop in and out; and I try very hard NOT to wear my faded t-shirts, denim shorts and thongs when I drop my kids off at school. Pretty good considering it’s 40C outside!

New denim skirt by Nobody Denim (on sale)… I love the return to denim this season and I LOVE the blue hues in Nobody’s latest collection. They make some kickass quality denim pieces.

An off-shoulder top by The Fifth that’s a winner for day-to-night wear.

Pointed flats by Charles & Keith.

Have a lovely week!

xxx


 

JumpAbout Trampoline Park, Rivervale

2 February 2016

Jump About Trampoline Park

My boys and I were recently invited to check out a new trampoline park, apparently the largest in Perth – JumpAbout!

Yep, we were excited to check it out, because my boys love a good jump session and quite frankly, I needed them to burn off some energy.

Jump About Trampoline Park

JumpAbout is WA owned and operated, has 2 large jumping trampoline areas with 300 interconnecting trampolines, a dodgeball area, a bouncy slide, a climbing wall, a soft climbing area for toddlers, a slot car racing track, gaming arcade and (most importantly) a cafe and lots of tables to sit and watch. It’s a really big area!

I found that the centre has a really different atmosphere to other trampoline parks that I’ve been to.

At other parks, spectators are on a raised platform that look down into the trampolines, so you feel “watched” and I always get the feeling that there’s a small element of “showing off” and “trying to look cool”… so it feels quite intense, especially with the loud music, large crowds and strict time sessions.

But my experience at JumpAbout was almost like going to a public park… it was chilled, easy going, lots of room to spread out and have some personal space, and no one was going to scold/police me if I did something minor like sit on the floor to remove my shoes.

They seemed a bit more relaxed about the session times and movement to and from the trampolines and the spectator area, meaning, we could wander around to different trampolines, take a toilet break, hang out at the climbing wall, go back to jumping, stop to have some water… it was great!

Prices are slightly cheaper too, which suits larger families and big groups.

Jump About Trampoline Park

My older boys ended up spending most of their time at the dodge ball arena, while my youngest boy and I explored the rest of the park.

We spent about 2 fun hours at the park – jumping for 1 hour; trying the other activities, hanging around and having a snack.

It was a fantastic and super relaxing experience for me because I have older kids (6-14). But if my kids were any younger, I would’ve had to follow them around and therefore, it wouldn’t be so relaxing. Then again, when you take toddlers anywhere, you can’t really relax haha!

Cheers to the JumpAbout team, we had a blast!


 

Korean Skincare Review – S2J Cosmetics

1 February 2016

Brought to you by Aniqa

Aniqa Korean Skincare - S2J

Hi everyone!

You might remember that I’ve been experimenting with several brands of Korean skincare products from Aniqa – an online store based in Australia, that specialises in popular/cult Korean beauty products.

Well I’ve recently fallen in love with this new brand called S2J.

Their products are a standout for me because they are simple, good quality, and I’ve had good results.

The brand offers no frills, no magical claims… just high quality skincare that works how they are supposed to!

There are only 5 products in the S2J women’s skincare range, so it’s super easy to follow their beauty regime.

Korean Skincare S2J

This is the S2J Ultra Vitamins Facial Treatment Cleansing Foam, however I have the travel size pack ($9) because I just wanted to try it and I was doing a bit of travelling at the time.

Generally I prefer foaming cleansers to cleansing creams, because, after I take off my makeup with makeup remover (which is quite oily), I like to give my skin a really good clean after that.

Korean Skincare S2J

The consistency of the cleansing foam is soft, smooth and creamy. It cleans really well and is gentle on my skin.

It doesn’t have a strong smell. It’s just lovely and light.

Unlike most cleansing foams, this one doesn’t leave me with that dry, tight feeling on my cheeks afterwards. I really like it!

Korean Skincare S2J

This is my other favourite product – the S2J Ultra Collagen Moisturizing Essence.

It is absolutely lovely on my skin. It absorbs SO well and leaves my skin feeling super hydrated, without the greasy shine.

I like the pump pack because I don’t like sticking my fingers into pots of cream and getting the cream stuck under my nails.

Korean Skincare S2J

The range was developed by celebrated Korean makeup artist,  Seo Sujin.

With 20 years of experience in the makeup industry, she has been described as Korea’s “Queen of Beauty” and leading the way as one of Korea’s first Hallyu makeup artists. Hallyu, or the Korean Wave, refers to the rising global popularity of South Korean culture, beginning in the late 1990s.

S2J stands for its philosphy of Smart, Science and Jeune (French for “young”) but I also think it stands for her name :)

Her products seem to have a kind of cult following,

I’ve have been thoroughly enjoying my journey into looking after my skin and I love discovering all these new products!

Aniqa are have a special offer for Valentine’s Day!

Receive a 10% off discount off your entire order, no minimum spend, just use the code “BEMYVALENTINE”. This special promo ends 14 Feb 2016, 11:59pm.

Hope you find something to try!

Have a fabulous week!

xxx


 

Perth City Bridges Run: Thunderstorm

30 January 2016

Perth City Bridges Run Jan 2016

This weekend, I scheduled a run on a day the forecast was: 100% chance of rain and thunderstorms.

I guess I was hoping that the weathermen got it wrong!

I woke up bright and early at 5:30am, met up with my brother-in-law at 7am and we ran/walked a distance of 15km around the river, bridges and city.

I probably ran about 12km and walked 3km. My pace averaged around 6:30min/km.

I felt great after! I wasn’t drained or exhausted or suffering any pains.

I think I’ll work on some interval running to increase my speed and strength.

But overall I’m happy with doing regular 12km distances and I’ll stick with that for a bit. I might even be able to hit the 21km half marathon mark earlier than I thought!

Anyway, turns out that we started so early that we missed all the rain and thundery action. We didn’t get wet at all.

We even managed to squeeze in a coffee and chat later. Brilliant start to the weekend!

 


 

Juicy Awesomeness from Pure Glow Cleanse

29 January 2016

Let me say one thing: I’m not a big fan of juice cleanses!

Personally, I don’t like the idea of drinking only juice for 3 or 5 days.

BUT…

I love drinking juices and smoothies as part of a healthy daily diet and lifestyle.

For me, I make myself a juice or smoothie every one/two/three days.

And when I DO drink one, it replaces a meal – usually lunch.

I have a big breakfast in the morning, a juice/smoothie in the afternoon, I eat healthy snacks, then my dinner is usually at 6pm.

My thinking: If I drink a big cup of yummy, low-sugar, green juice and feel full… I probably won’t be tempted to reach for a quick muffin / pie / ham and cheese croissant when I walk past some at the shops haha!

Pure Glow Cleanse

So, the lovely team at Pure Glow Cleanse sent me a 6 pack of their juices to try out.

I’ve known of Annette, one of the founders, for a number of years, when she used to write as a health and wellness writer. She had a very down-to-earth, not-hardcore, real-life kind of voice in her writings and I enjoyed reading her stuff. So when she launched Pure Glow Cleanse, I took notice of it and I liked that her juices contained no added sugars, no weird herbs, no laxatives, no vitamin extracts, and no protein powders.

How it works: You can select a 1 day, 3 day or 5 day cleanse and choose a pre-set selection of juices to be delivered to your door.

Or you can create your own 6 pack from a menu of their juices, which is what I did.

They were SO YUMMY!!

I have to tell the truth, I felt a bit irritated, because I thought I was quite good at making smoothies and juices… and tasting these juices made me sigh, because they were just amazing… and now I feel that mine are quite ordinary and mediocre in comparison.

Sooo… I take my hat off to the team! These juices are absolutely superior in quality and taste.

They tasted so clean, fresh, rich and smooth. No grittiness. No chunks. Well mixed. Lovely combinations.

Pure Glow Cleanse

Yes they are super expensive though!

They work out to be something like $10 a bottle. Which yep, makes me wince and raise my eyebrows. One of the juices was simply watermelon, cucumber and lime! Ok it was absolutely delicious, but $10?

However, on the other hand, if you wanted to create 18 juices (for 3 days), you’d have to buy heaps of ingredients (cos lettuce, kale, avocado, apples, pears, lemons, limes, watermelon, beetroot, carrots, ginger, dates, almonds, etc etc etc) wash them, store them, make the juices…. then have heaps of leftover vegetables that would probably go off?

And if you want to have less wastage, you’d have to buy less ingredients, which means you’ll just have a smaller variety of juices, so you’d probably get bored of them? And then be less inclined to make them?

So there definitely is a market for time-poor people, who don’t want the hassles of making their own juices!

As for my favourite juices :

The Matcha Milk was simply amazing. Made from matcha (green tea), spirulina (seaweed), almonds, cashews, basil nuts, dates and vanilla… omg its taste made my toes curl from sheer pleasure!

The Cafe Au Late was a close second, it was soooo delicious! It had cold drip coffee, almond, cashews, brazil nuts, dates and vanilla.

Good Karma (the Orange one) was made from carrots, grapefruit, green apple, ginger, turmeric and lemon.

Green Guru (green juice) had kale, cos, cucumber, celery, been apple, mint and lemon.

Anyway, if you are looking for some high quality juices to try, or try a juice cleanse, do check these guys out!

Have an amazing weekend!

xxx


 

My Running Watch: Garmin Forerunner 15

28 January 2016

Garmin Forerunner 15 Watch

I picked up a new toy for my run this weekend – a running watch!

It’s a Garmin Forerunner 15 (AUD$249) which I bought off eBay at an absolute BARGAIN price – hardly used and in perfect condition.

It’s a slightly older model and apparently a good entry level running watch. The top level Forerunner is something like AUD$699. Ouch! I bought the small sized watch and they only came in three “sporty” colour choices – bleh.

I resisted buying a running watch for years, because I didn’t want my runs to focus so much on gear and gadgets.

I had an overkill of gear and gadgets from my cycling days…. and what I love about running is the fact that I can do it while being so light and free.

Anyway, in the past, when I first started to run, I opted to just run with my smart phone to track my distance and speed.

However, I found that my sweat/body heat fogged up the camera lens and all my photos turned out weird. So I stopped using my phone and started using a Jawbone UP24, which was a gift. But that’s just a simple pedometer which tracks steps and sleep. The distance and times were not very accurate.

So! I’ve finally made the switch to a running watch to keep track of my times and distances.

It came with a heart rate tracker, which I’ve been told by my hardcore running friends, is very useful and steps up my running to a whole new level… but eeep, I don’t think I’ll go there yet!

I want to keep my runs sweet and simple!

Looking forward to another long run this weekend. Hope you all manage to get out and about too!

xxx


 

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