new name, new year

yeah, yeah. i know it’s been the new year for like, 3 months now but i haven’t bought a diary yet so it doesn’t count.

just a quick note to let you guys know that i’ve changed the name of my site but the content will continue to be much the same, maybe with a little more pizazz (is that even a word?)

and just for reading, i’m going to give you a super simple recipe for pumpkin soup.

aren’t i the best? (don’t answer that).

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PIMPIN’ PUMPKIN SOUP

1 whole organic pumpkin (chopped relatively evenly but who actually cares it all gets mushed eventually)

1 brown onion (roughly chopped)

3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)

1 tspn cinnamon

generous shaking of cumin

1tspn tumeric

2 vegetable stock cubes

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hey presto, chuck it all in a pot. you can cook off your onion first then add the garlic and spices. but if you’re lazy, do what you want. add some hot water and the stock cubes, bring it to the boil then turn down and simmer until soft.

 

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whizz it up till it’s smooth and creamy and voila! dinner is served.

until next time,

cara x

yin. yang. yoga. yoghurt.

sorry, i couldn’t think of anything catchier for a title and yoghurt starts with y so…?

anyway, this post is about me embarking on yin yoga training and what’s this means for me. by all means, your experience may be completely different so take what’s useful, leave what isn’t, it’s all cool by me.

so, i am vinyasa yogi. i love movement, flow and dynamic, energetic sequences with bangin’ tunes and sweat dripping off my body. i like playing with arm balances and hanging around upside down.

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yin yoga has never really appealed to me. to be completely honest, i kind of hate it. it’s slow and soft and leaves me with waaaay too much time to think.

and you know what? that’s the answer.

i hate yin because it asks me to do something that i’m not comfortable with, and in this day and age (pardon the cliche), being uncomfortable is just not something one does. if you’re in an uncomfortable chair, you move, if you’re in an uncomfortable pose… you move. or if you’re me (which i am), you fidget and twitch and shake and made any excuse under the sun to not stay with the feeling that being stuck in that pose for five fucking minutes evokes.

some famous dude once said that “the pose begins when you want to leave it” and man, ain’t that the truth. from 2 days of yin yoga training, focusing on the breath, sinking in and just letting the feelings wash over me but not have power of me – so much bliss and just utter relief.

so yes, i had an epiphany of sorts. and no, that doesn’t mean i’m cured. and i suddenly love yin (i don’t). but being the anxious and hyperactive person that i am, i can now see why i need it. not just in yoga but in all aspects of my life. to be able to feel emotions, in their entirety and not run… phew, that’s the magic.

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namaste.

cara x

breakfast bar or breakfast jar?

howdy.

so i know i’ve been slack and i haven’t posted anything for quite a while.

i could sell you the sob story of how busy i’ve been with work etc. but i’ll spare you (this time anyway)

instead, i’ll sell the rights to my super quick, delicious and nutritious breakfast on the go.

and i don’t care if it’s wanky to have serve it in a jar. for transport purposes, it works!

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find the super simple recipe/directions below.

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1x banana

1x handful of fresh or frozen berries (whatever you like/have. note that frozen will make your smoothie thicker)

200ml unsweetened almond milk

1x tablespoon raw cacao

1x tablespoon black and white chia seeds (plus extra for the top)

1 x some sort of receptacle for storage/transport

blend it all together, chuck it in a jar, sprinkle on some extra chia seeds and you’re ready to go.

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it actually is that easy. sip and go.

over and out.

cara x

i like nuts and i cannot lie

easter has come early.

why?

because this generous bunny is letting you in on the secret to stopping those 3pm energy slumps.

that’s right. i’m giving you my recipe for some very tasty nut&seed bliss balls. the perfect pick-me-up that will power you through to dinner.

bliss balls are so easy to make and the varieties are endless.

in this recipe, i’ve focused on increasing the nut&seed content to provide energy, fibre and lots of nutrients. topped off with raw cacao, a little tahini and some desiccated coconut you have a well-rounded (excuse the pun) snack.

sounds too good to be true, right?

wrong!

these taste great. they’re crunchy and chewy, which makes them seem more satiating than their size suggests and with a little hint of sweetness from dates, any sugar cravings are eliminated.

okay, i’ll quit waffling now. here it is.

nut&seed bliss balls

  • 1/3 cup raw, organic cashews
  • 1/3 activated buckinis
  • handful of pepita seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of raw cacao
  • 1 tablespoon of hulled tahini
  • 6-10 dates (pitted)
  • desiccated coconut for rolling
  • warm water (for sticking)

that’s it. stick it in a food processor and whiz it around until sticky. roll the balls in your palm and then in the coconut and hey presto, you’re done! chuck them in the fridge until firm.

this recipe makes about 10 good sized balls (hehe)

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so, there you go. healthy, filling, tasty, full of the good stuff… what more could you want?

happy easter everyone.

cara x

 

 

 

 

 

 

doggy style

get your mind of the gutter people… i’m talking about downward facing dog.

the backbone (literally) of yoga, downward facing dog is an all-round body building super pose. it strengthens the arms, shoulder, back, legs and core.

but why am i devoting a post to this pose. well, it’s about alignment. and the fact that so many people that i teach and practice with get caught up in what they THINK downward facing dog should look like. or what it looks like on instagram, facebook etc.

firstly, there are alignment cues that we should all follow to gain maximum benefits – tilt the sit bones high, breathe into the back body, move the shoulder blades back and down – and then there are the cues that don’t help.

i’m talking about feet to the floor, legs straight, head on the mat… whilst, downward facing dog CAN look like this for most of us, it doesn’t and there is nothing wrong with that.

bend your knees if your hamstrings are tight, widen your hands to make room for the shoulders, roll up a blanket for support under the wrists. it’s your dog. own it. work it.

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FYI, i’m a yoga teacher and i still don’t have my feet flat. at first, i thought that this was a weakness but i have since learnt that it is actually my strength. it not only makes me relatable but it also means i focus more on activation and mobilisation of my muscles.

here’s a little something to leave you thinking about… asanas don’t have alignment. people do.

namaste.

cara x

 

 

the problem with resolutions

new year, new you – pffft. what a crock of shit.

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instead of making a long list of life changing resolutions that you know you won’t keep, i’m asking you to make yourself a simple promise.

be happy. be grateful. be yourself.

don’t make promises to lose weight, get in shape and only eat spinach because let’s be frank… if any of this was going to happen already, it would have (and spinach is gross).

instead promise to be kind to yourself, do more of what makes you happy and laugh… lots!

whatcha reckon? i think it’s a pretty good idea and maybe even a resolution you can keep!

happy new year.

cara

yours truly?

… or in this case, yours drooly, a new range of natural shampoo and conditioner for our four-legged friends.

made with a coconut base and inspired by the bush, these sensitive skin friendly solutions feature lemon myrtle, rosemary, lavender and oatmeal.

the fact that these products featured no nasties really appealed to me and the guys at masterpet were lovely enough to send me samples.

and who better to test them on then my two purrfect puppies, cal and kai.

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kai is an itchy prone german shepherd pup and safe to say he really appreciated the puppy specific lavender and rosemary formulation.

cal is a long haired golden retriever who likes puddles. so, the adult lemon myrtle shampoo was a perfect match.

both of their coats benefited from the conditioner, something i haven’t used on my dogs before but have since learned is an important step in the cleaning process.

the end result was 1 very wet and hairy human and 2 soft and shiny pups who smelled fresh as daisies!

there you have it. if you are someone who prefers to use natural products on yourself, why would subject your dogs to anything less?

still need convincing? i reckon this photo of cal speaks for itself.

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check out masterpet.com.au for stockists and other delicious and nutritious treats for man’s (or woman’s) best friend.

cara x

 

the “c” word

*** this is a guest post from my dearest mum. she’s the creative one… at least she creates things that people want to keep, not like those half melted looking clay cups i used to make in primary school.

yep. i’m gonna do it. i’m saying it. there’s no way of getting around it now…christmas is on its way.

but never fear, i’m here to help you get through unscathed.

are you looking to make some new decorations this christmas? homemade gifts for friends and family? don’t want to spend a fortune in time or money?

here are a few cute crafts i have tracked down and made and you can too (oh, the beauty of pinterest).

costing less than $10, these delightful DIYs only take 5-15 minutes to make with 5 elements or less.

in the spirit of recycling/upcycIing, i have used old CD’s and wine bottles and given old decorations a new lease on life by using scratched baubles on plates and wreaths.

the only new but inexpensive purchases made to complete my projects were some paper doilies, candles, canvases and stickers.

ready to roll?

wine bottle wrap

rolling brown paper into a cone around a wine bottle is almost as easy as drinking it. use red/white/green to tie in with the christmas theme or decorate as you like. it’s a gift for any occasion really.

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sticker art

canvas + stickers = DIY at it’s best.

2 elements. 2 minutes. no excuses.

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jar ‘o’ lollies

any jar will do, old or new (what a rhyme)…

i used christmas M&M’s to fill a jar, added a ribbon and a sticker. voila. perfect to keep up my sleeve as last minute gifts and stocking fillers.

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xmas wreath

spray paint an old CD and a paper doily in gold. then glue the doily to the CD and and then using a hot glue gun stick your candle to the base. add a festive ribbon to jazz up the arrangement.

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more ideas and inspiration…

epsom salts/sugar + essential oils and food coloring make lovely personal gifts. i tend to favour lavender & peppermint oils for bath salts and/or sugar scrubs.

roll a candle in glue and then in glitter. you can do a third, half or full candle or all three and line them up in a row. simple and super effective.

so there you have it. handmade gifts marrying old and new.

easy, cost effective and these babies will sets you apart from the christmas crowd.

cheerio.

karen

twotreehouse

this is a little post about a lovely lady i came across at the recent mind/body/spirit festival in melbourne.

she makes beautiful handmade made beauty products using reusable packaging and sustainable ingredients.

as a sensitive skin sufferer. animal lover. environmental crusader…  twotreehouse products really fit the bill.

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oh! and that’s pun. this stuff is super affordable.

the mini matchboxes (containing lip balms or beaded bracelets) are handmade at a disability centre in a small rural village in asia (stepping stone work centre) and retail from $15 for 3.

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the black soaps (activated charcoal) are vegan and perfect for both the face and body at only $7.50 a pop.

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check them out on facebook, instagram or on their website >

https://www.facebook.com/twotreehouse/timeline

https://www.instagram.com/twotreehouse/

http://www.twotreehouse.com

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i’m converted. what about you?

cara x

tinamba hotel

commonly referred to in foodie circles as a “gastropub”, tinamba hotel is gippsland’s premier dining establishment.

focusing on local produce, brad and damian have a vegetable garden out the back and favour suppliers like the maffra cheese company, avon ridge wines and cannibal creek vineyard.

open for lunch from wednesday to wunday, the two-courses for $30 – your choice of entrée and main or main and dessert with a glass of wine or beer – is standout value for food with finesse.

dinner is a fancier affair, running wednesday to saturday, offering 5 alternate entrée, main and dessert options, supplemented by seasonal specials. current menu items include a  chicken pistachio terrine with pumpkin custard and pepita crumbed camembert with pan fried ricotta gnocchi and onion jam.

it’s the little things that count and a great wine list, house made damper rolls and prompt and efficient staff set tinamba apart from being “just another pub”. chef paul van ruiten single handledly plays the crowd, catering for the fussy and the foodie alike.

although it lies somewhat off the beaten track, the tinamba hotel has no trouble drawing in crowds, looking for good food, good wine and great service.

bon appetit.

cara x

TinambaTorte

** as featured in gippsland country life magazine, winter edition, 2015

*** edited to reflect current menu items