Friday, February 28, 2014

NOT YOUR USUAL CHOCOLATE MOUSSE + LIFE WITHOUT BROADBAND


My internet has been down for over a week now. Though I still had 3G on my phone, it wasn't the same. I can't put together a blog post on the mobile, for one, and when you've only got a small screen to work with, reading blogs is less fun and online shopping more tricky! I think the whole experience was good in that I wasn't aware if I was missing out on anything or not. A hot new "must have" in a fashion boutique could have come and gone and guess what? I'm still here. And I don't feel any less fashionable for it. My wallet has won and I've gotten more done! I'll remember that if I find I'm saturating myself with web content in future.

Anyway, onto the recipe! This is a bit of a vegan dessert staple, in my opinion. Like the one ingredient ice cream I posted about, it's really simple to prepare and as fun as the real thing, except healthier. All you need is:

1 large or 2 small avocadoes
2 tbsp Cacao powder
2 tbsp maple syrup or other sweetener
1 tsp vanilla essence

Blend the avocado until smooth, before adding the rest of the ingredients and blending again until combined. The avocados I used were quite large and thus overpowered with their flavour, so I added more cacao and vanilla than I've prescribed here. Let your taste be the judge! This mousse is wonderful served with crushed nuts, raspberry coulis, or chocolate shavings. Bon appetit!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

28 BEFORE 28

This August, I will be 28 years old. To me, that sentence reads dramatically, like in the scene in Atonement where Briony reads the infamous letter and the "C" word hits her like a tonne of bricks.
It isn't really the getting older part that I'm afraid of. Kind of contrary to that, actually. I'm afraid of not living long enough and taking my time on the planet for granted, hence why I have decided to do a few things I haven't done before. Rather than being a bucket list (I won't be able to travel the world right this second), this is more or less a pledge to do all the things I've been saying for years that I'd like to try or learn. So, here it is. My 28 before 28:

1. Watch more sunrises and sunsets
2. Swim in the ocean
3. Make a raw vegan cheesecake
4. Go to a nudist beach
5. Seek out therapy for my fear of flying
6. Spend hours getting pampered at a day spa
7. Run 5km
8. Attend a meditation class
9. Learn how to cook fish confidently
10. Have tasteful lingerie photographs taken
11. Head to the country for a weekend
12. Watch 5 classic films
13. Volunteer my time/skills
14. Learn how to make impressive cocktails
15. Attend a psychic reading
16. Master the art of false eyelash application
17. Do a juice cleanse
18. Make my own organic bath and beauty products
19. Attend a lecture for fun/interest
20. Learn the manual settings on my camera
21. Attend laughter yoga 
22. Read Wuthering Heights 
23. Brave the rain and go for big cross-city walks
24. See a film by myself
25. Surprise my husband often
26. Attend more concerts
27. Enjoy dinners with a view
28. Play 18 holes of golf with James

Hopefully I'll be able to regale you with tales of these experiences very soon! Wish me luck!

Friday, February 14, 2014

NEW CURTAINS + A VALENTINE'S MESSAGE


Our bedroom is almost complete, after the arrival of our new curtains the other day. If you're in the market for some yourself, Shade Studio is where you want to go. 

In other news, I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day. Couples and singles alike! Remember, this isn't just a day for the loved-up - it's also a day for florists, restaurants, chocolate makers and that peculiar breed of people who need to convince the world that they are infinitely happier than you will ever be for the simple reason that they just received a bunch of roses that won't fit through the doorway. In the past, I've been the chipper so-and-so, lapping up the big flower deliveries and the lovely dinner for two but, truth be told, the remaining 364 days a year were so not good; being single on Feb 14th would have been a much better deal for both me and the gent! So, if you're single, don't feel like you're missing out. Being paired off doesn't always equate to happiness and, for many, V-Day is something that winds up being like clockwork anyhow. Use today as an opportunity to love the life you're living, spoil yourself rotten, and revel in the knowledge that you haven't just "settled". Every day ought to feel as special as Valentine's Day and, if and when you finally pair off, that shouldn't change. Either way, you can't lose. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

THIS MONTH'S LOVES

Tom Ford 'Black Orchid' - This is one sexy, sexy scent. Dark, glamorous and powerful is how I'd describe its smell and how I feel wearing it. This was a Christmas gift from James and I've been soaking in it ever since.

MAC eyeshadows - Sumptuous Olive (L) and Tempting (R). These are hands down the best two shades I have ever owned. I have just caught sight of "Woodwinked" online and think I might have to snap that one up too. 

Volumising Hair Powder - Life Changing. It's incredible how this manages to give the those of us with thinner strands some serious volume. I like to think I look like I'm blessed with thick tresses a la Penelope Cruz when I wear this stuff.

Tops with lace/mesh necklines - Seriously sexy. A trend I can't see myself tiring of!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE, NO-BAKE BANOFFEE PIE

I'm not one for "favourite" things. I think I've said that here before. Ask me my favourite colour, favourite holiday destination, favourite perfume, or anything else and you'll probably regret you did. I'd end up rambling about the benefits of half a dozen things, umming and ahhing and wasting your precious time before deciding that, like I've been saying all along, I just can't pick only one thing that I enjoy more than anything else. It is strange that I say this because whenever the subject of dessert comes up, I think I could safely say that banoffee pie might just be my favourite. These days I'm a gluten and dairy free zone so banoffee is kind of out of the question. In a half-hearted search for alternatives, I found this recipe from Gluten Free Vegan Girl. I was skeptical at first - after all, banoffee is almost exclusively dairy and gluten -  how could a raw vegan version possibly compare? It looked too good not to try and, after following the recipe to a T (though I used dark chocolate on top in place of cacao), I found it to be bleeping incredible! Clearly worth publishing on here and definitely worth making again and again. We actually ate massive slices for breakfast this morning, groaning and wondering how on earth just 6 or 7 really healthy ingredients could make something that tasted so good! I highly recommend you bookmark this recipe (here's the link again) and try it for yourself!