Paleo almond biscuits!

Although I am not a Paleo dieter, I really enjoy cooking their recipes as I’ve found that their recipes generally (a) are extremely healthy (b) so easy to make and (c) so yum!  I’ve only needed to use a blender when creating the masterpieces.  (And a saucepan to melt some coconut oil).  And by blender, I mean my mother’s Braun stick blender with the bowl attachment on the bottom, which she’s had for over 10 years, and now I’ve had it for a year.  The bowl for the stick blender is small, but fits just enough to make whatever I’m making.

I made a batch of these Chocolate chunk (paelo) cookies (via Running to the Kitchen website) tonight, but slightly modifying the recipe to:

  • 1 cup of almond meal* (I use the Woolworths Macro Almond Meal)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda (bicarb soda)
  • 3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil (I use Melrose Unrefined Organic Coconut Oil – available at Woolworths)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon almond milk
  • 1/2 cup cacoa nibs (but you can use any sort of chocolate you like, I sometimes use Lindt 90%)
  • (I also add around 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal, which isn’t mentioned on the recipe)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan forced) and line a tray with baking paper.
  2. Combine dry ingredients
  3. Whisk together wet ingredients
  4. Add wet to dry ingredients and mix together.
  5. Fill a teaspoon with mixture and press down to form a half-circle.
  6. Bake for 10-11 minutes until bottoms are just starting to turn brown.
  7. Remove from oven and let cook for 2-3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

My notes:

*I find that I end up using almost 2 cups of almond meal for the recipe.  When the mixture is initially prepared, it is really, really wet, and wouldn’t be able to shape up to biscuit form.  I keep on adding the almond meal until it is more pliable and will stand up by themselves, like this.  (I roll the mixture into balls and then press down with a fork, similar to yoyo biscuits)

WP_20141229_002[1]

When the biscuits are cooked, they go slightly crunchy (or firm) on the outside, but still soft and cakey in the middle.  I’m not sure if cooking them for longer would make them any firmer, but I prefer them a bit softer.

These are the finished products (my oven isn’t the best and it browns one side of the tray, but not the other!)

Paleo Chocolate Chunk biscuits

I store them in a container and eat around three of them in one sitting with a cup of tea!  Delicious!

My husband makes me grumpy

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

It’s time to reflect on the past year and revisit why my husband got me this blog.  The simple fact of the matter is that he makes me grumpy.  But along the way, I’ve discovered that men should:

  • If you want something done, just ask.  Men are not mind readers.  I find that making a list works best.
  • However, men should use their eyes.  If you see a mess on the kitchen bench, CLEAN IT UP.
  • If you see your pants that you’ve dropped on the floor when you’ve got home from, pick them up!
  • Put your dirty dishes away into the dishwasher.  Putting them in the sink doesn’t help.
  • Put your clothes into the washing hamper.  Leaving them on the floor next to the clothes hamper doesn’t help.
  • Offer to make dinner once in a while – do not expect that it gets done automatically – we are not your mother.
  • Farts are disgusting.
  • Buy your wife a present for absolutely no reason.  LISTEN to what she talks about and you will pick up ideas as to what you could buy her.
  • A women never has too many clothes or shoes, so stop whinging about it.
  • Wives work just as hard as husbands do.  We would like to have a massage.

To be continued….

Decluttering via second-hand shops and eBay

I find now that I’m older and no-so wiser, I find that my need for materialistic things is waning.  I find that most weekends I end up wearing the same clothes, or have a few staple favourites that continuously get worn over and over again.  It could have something to do with my lack of patience when looking for clothes – my most recently used clothes are always at the top of the pile so what’s the point of getting something from the bottom?  Anyway, I’ve found a solution to this.  Declutter.  Oprah Winfrey has a decluttering guru, who is often seen on the Friday night TV Program the Living Room.

I have found excellent ways to declutter.  I often go through my clothes and those things I haven’t worn in over a year, I probably won’t wear again, so I either donate them to charity or sell them on eBay or Gumtree.  When selling items on eBay, there a few things you need to know:

  1. An eBay account is required.
  2. A PayPal account is required (to allow people to pay for your items via PayPal).  Setting up a PayPal account is easy – a credit card or valid bank account is required.
  3. Selling an item takes time and effort.  I am not an eBay expert, but I have found that taking good quality photos of the items, from all angles, highlighting any flaws (if applicable) assists in selling the item.  Be prepared to spend time taking photos, uploading the photos to eBay and then describing the item.
  4. Don’t deceive the buyer.  Honesty is the best policy.  When an item is sold, the buyer can leave positive or negative feedback.  Negative feedback will result in a low seller feedback score.  Buyers may decide not to purchase any of your items based on your feedback score.
  5. When selling an item, the seller specifies the postage cost, which the buyer pays for.  The Australia Post Postage Calculator is a very useful website to get a rough estimate of how much the item will cost to post.  I always calculate the most extreme delivery scenario and use this as my postage rate – for example, sending a parcel from VIC to WA/QLD is the most expensive scenario.  Always check the price of a pre-paid satchel – it may be cheaper than sending the parcel not in a satchel.
  6. For each item sold, eBay charges a percentage of the sale price – currently around 10%.  So if an item sells for $15.00, the eBay fee will be $1.50.  eBay have only recently started to charge commission on the postage costs, so another fee is charged based on the postage costs.  (See article: Public Defender: eBay set to start charging commission on shipping costs as well as item sales)
  7. If utilising “Buy it now”, make the item affordable.  People shop on eBay to find bargains.  Add the buy it now price and the postage together.  Would you buy the item for the buy it now price + postage?  Or could you spend a few dollars more and get the same thing from the shop down the road?  Your items will much more attractive if they’re decently priced.
  8. Utilise the postage label maker in eBay.  eBay will create a postage label for you and add the actual postage cost to your eBay seller account, payable monthly. This saves you having to pay at the counter of the Post Office to send the item.  The label is postage paid which you stick to the parcel of the item sold.  The parcel can then be either dropped off at a post box, or dropped into the Post Office.  When the postage label is created, eBay creates a tracking number, which the buyer can use to track their parcel after it has been sent.

But then again there’s Gumtree.  People may prefer selling items on Gumtree because:

  • It’s free to sell items
  • No PayPal account required

Although Gumtree is owned by eBay, I find the process of selling items much more streamlined on eBay.  When one of my items are sold on eBay, the user generally pays immediately using PayPal.  eBay sends me an e-mail to notify me that an item has sold.  If I am using Gumtree, I would prefer to contact the seller by text messages, if they have provided a mobile phone number.  If you are selling on Gumtree and provided a mobile phone number, be prepared to be contacted at all hours of the day and night!  (This is where Apple’s iPhone “do not disturb” feature is extremely handy!)

I love free things!

We all love free stuff.  These are some of my favourite things to do on the web to get something for nothing… well, it may take a little bit of time and effort, but all completely worth it in the end!  (Only available to Australian residents, I believe).

  • Tell Coles survey.  If you shop at Coles, and would like to provide feedback on your visit, fill out this survey and you will be rewarded with either 500 flybuys points or $5 off when you spend over $100.  I find it a very useful tool to give feedback on my shopping experience, something I probably wouldn’t be able to do face-to-face in store!  A maximum of 500 points per month is allowed.
  • PINCHme (Australia). From the website: PINCHme gives you the unique opportunity to discover exciting new products and try them for free. In a nutshell, the PINCHme website releases a limited number of samples on a specific day. The more samples you receive the more points your account accumulates.  It’s so nice to receive a little package via the post with some goodies in it – it opens up opportunities to try products that you normally probably wouldn’t buy.  Be quick when the samples are released – they don’t last for long!
  • Surveys:
    • Valued Opinions: A great survey site where each survey completed earns a specific amount of dollars.  Once you’ve earned $20, you can redeem this for a $20 voucher.  I usually get the Bunnings vouchers.  The surveys can be quite lengthy though.
    • My Survey Australia: Another great survey site where each survey completed earns a specific amount of points which can be redeemed as vouchers.  Different vouchers and dollar amounts attract different numbers of points.  I usually get the SuperCheap Auto vouchers!

Paleo

Pete Evans does it.  There are so many books and websites out there supporting this new type of eating – but what is it exactly?  Please correct me if I’m wrong, but my summary of it, at its most basic, is preparing and eating food that is grain, legume and dairy free, with a lot of meat and associated good fats – basically getting back to the essentials.  Pete Evans’ show the Paelo Way, shows chefs cooking bone marrow, liver, breakfast meals with grated carrot and apple.

While I could never eat an 100% Paleo diet, I do like the theory behind it, in that it is basic cooking – most of the ingredients the Paleo recipes call for I generally have in the pantry. But how does one live without bread or cow’s milk?  Coconut milk doesn’t agree with me, nor do I like the taste.  I am not a vegetarian, but I consume very limited meat.  The light at the end of the tunnel is that I stumbled across these little beauties when browsing a health food shop recently – Rumbles Paleo!

Rumbles Paleo - The ANZAC-ta factor Rumbles Paleo - The ANZAC-ta factor

I am not gluten free, I am not grain free, I am not dairy free, but I like eating 100% hand made and Australian made with love products.  The ingredients are wholesome and healthy.  I work close to a health food store – every once in a while I’ll drop in on the way  home and pick up a few of these gems – perfect to have with a cup of tea at night time.  Out of their range, I’ve tried the ANZAC-TA factor biscuits, Mammoth Mounds and Neanderthal Nuggets, all completely delicious!  I have only seen then in selected health food stores so far – not sure if they’ll make it to the supermarket shelves?

While on the subject of simple, delicious food – here’s a non-paleo biscuit that I first tried on a flight to Sydney – Snowy Mountain Cookies!  Made in Jindabyne, NSW (Australia), they’re the most delectable biscuits!!  Try the Coconut Chocolate Rough!

Detox, detox, detox!

Whilst I am not a fan of the “traditional” form of detoxing – I’ve read in numerous articles that the human body is designed to detox itself naturally – I am a fan of the Qi Organic Green Detox Tea.  As I don’t drink coffee, I quickly get bored with always drinking black tea (white with no sugar) and I’m always looking for the next great cup of tea.  Where possible, I buy 100% natural products – no artificial flavours, sweetners or colourings (although my very rare and infrequent M&Ms binge cancels all of this out!).

One of my other tea of choice is Tetley Decaffeinated Green Tea.  Because I am used to drinking straight green tea, starting the detox tea was more of a sidestep to another tea.  Non-green tea drinkers may find the taste to be slightly bitter to begin with.  It is a quite refreshing drink – I like to brew it for a while until it cools slightly, then leave the tea bag in the cup whilst drinking it.  After a few minutes (or hours) of drinking the tea, the magic happens.  I find that if I haven’t drunk the tea for a while, the magic happens almost instantly, and by magic, I mean the detox part of drinking the tea.  The natural ingredients acts as a magic cleaner for your insides.  If you’re a regular drinker of this tea, your body may get used to this tea and you may not have such outstanding results.  I don’t use it for weightloss, just general health & wellbeing.  Being Fairtrade tea is a feel-good bonus!  Available from Woolworths/Safeway.

Ingredients: Fairtrade green tea* 66%, dandelion root* 10%, milk thistle* 10%, peppermint leaf*, licorice*, ginger*, fennel seeds*, natural orange flavor* and natural lemon flavor*.

(*organic ingredients)

Qi Organic Green Tea Detox Qi Organic Green Tea Detox

 

Product review: Revitalift Magic Blur – L’Oréal Paris Daily Anti-Ageing Moisturiser

I have never really been interested in wearing makeup….actually, I have never worn makeup.  Maybe that’s what attracted my husband to me.  In fact, I know it was.  He prefers his women without makeup.  In fact, most men that I speak to prefer women without makeup.  Probably the reason why I don’t wear any makeup is largely due to the fact I’ve been blessed with pretty decent skin – my German mother has beautiful European milky skin which looks way younger than her physical age of 60+… people always comment on her not looking her age, and I used to be the same – always getting asked for ID up until the last few years.  But now all of my early years of laying out in the sun tanning (remember, this was the 80s and 90s!) and not wearing sunglasses until recently, have finally caught up with me and skin.  Now that I’m in my 30s, I’ve noticed crow’s feet developing, wrinkles around my nose from too much squinting in the sun, and the fine lines around the mouth… and I don’t even smoke!!  As a result, I’ve started to take an active interest in facial skin care.  My daily facial routine takes less than 15 minutes a day.  To put myself into a skin-type category, I would have to say that my skin would fall into the oily t-zone category with normal cheeks.

My daily facial skin care routine:

Morning:

Evening:

  • Nivea cleansing wipes – I alternate between the Pure & Natural and the exfoliating ones.  I also cut these in half before I use them – I find that one wipe is too big therefore unnecessary, and it extends the life of one packet of wipes.  Mostly I buy them when they’re on a half price special at one of the supermarkets!
  • ALDI Lacura night moisturiser.  My mum once read an article about how this brand was rated the #1 facial moisturiser in the UK.

Occasionally:

I found a sample of Loreal Paris Revitalift Magic Blur cream in a magazine.  The word “blur” seems to be the flavour of the month – it’s the new BB cream (which, mind you, I have never tried)!!   Whilst I initially thought the sample was a moisturiser, I quickly put it on before I went to work.  Little did I know that the sample was more of an after product – like a finishing cream to put on AFTER moisturiser – I realised this while I was driving in the car on the way to work – a quick check in the rearview mirror showed my skin to be slightly lighter in colour and it had a slight powdery feel to it.  Although I don’t like makeup, I was still intrigued. When I got to work, I googled the product and discovered there was a magic blur moisturiser – although I could not bring myself to buy it, as it felt as though I was starting down the path of wearing makeup.  The price of the moisturiser was a little off-putting as it retailed around $32 for a jar.

The saving grace was Woolworths – they had it on special for $21.  Most of my expensive skin care purchases end up in the back of the bathroom cupboard – I try them once, decide it isn’t suited to me and move onto the next product.  The amount of guilt I feel for purchasing all of these products and not using them is ridiculous, which is why I now seriously think about the purchase and decide if I REALLY need it.  Was this just going to be another purchase that will end up with the other unused products?

Regardless of what time I drag myself out of bed in the morning, I always end up rushing in the last 5 minutes before I leave for work – this is the time where I brush my teeth and apply face products.  I opened the Magic Blur with excited anticipation – the first thing I noticed was the scent of the product – a strong fruity smell.  The cream itself is pink, and quite thick.  I tried to quickly smooth it onto my skin, but the thickness (and probably the ingredients) prevents it from being quickly smoothed onto the skin.  It takes a level of concentration and a small commitment of time to put it on.  I felt as though it doesn’t absorb into the skin quite as readily as the Olay Total Effects moisturiser.  It leaves a powdery finish on the skin.  It almost instantly lightens the skin (which doesn’t affect me – I have pale skin anyway!)  I drove to work again with the sinking feeling of purchasing yet another expensive moisturising product that I’ll never use again.  The cream, aimed at 35-55 year olds, claims to improve skin tone in one month, along with reducing wrinkles and firmer feeling skin.  The good thing about this product is that it doesn’t specify what type of skin you need to have in order to use this product – most likely a “one size fits all” cream.

One of my bedrooms has a whole heap of natural light coming into it – so I try to avoid walking past the mirrored wardrobe doors, as seeing my “true beauty” in natural light hits WAY too close to home!!  But walking past this door on Christmas morning made me do a double-take – my skin did seem a bit smoother and lighter and it made me want to keep on using the moisturiser. I am also biased to German-made products, which this is (I noticed not so long ago that Olay Total Effects is made in Thailand – which disappoints me – I support Australian-made products, with German-made products coming a close second). I have only been using the Magic Blur cream for around four days now, but I am extremely curious as to how my skin will look and feel after 30 days.  We can only wait and see!!!

 

L'Oreal Revitalift Magic Blur

L'Oreal Revitalift Magic Blur

 

Further reading:

Two in three women ‘wear too much makeup': Men say they prefer the natural look

Do men actually prefer the ‘no make-up’ look or is it a big lie?

My husband got me this blog…

Hello.  My husband got me this blog.  I’m not sure why.  Actually – I do.  The domain name is grumpywife.com.  He seems to think I’m grumpy all the time.  I don’t think I am.  I ask him to do work around the house, he doesn’t.  He buys me this blog instead.  I think it’s a blessing in disguise.  I’ve been thinking about what I can include in this blog and there’s heaps to say.  And by heaps I mean a LOT!  I am a 30-something year old Aussie living in a regional city.  I used to follow and enjoy reading blogs – blogs that were organic in content and was mainly full of youthful women wearing different fashions, with the women commenting on where they sourced the clothes from. Most of the clothes were affordable, even sourced from op shops, which I found refreshing considering I buy a lot of recycled clothing.  But then I’ve noticed the blogs slowly but surely evolve into a something more commercial, with high fashion companies sending the bloggers clothes to wear in their posts – clothes that are so expensive that not the average wage owners could even dream about having.  I became despondent with the blogs and their creators.  And for that very reason I want to write a blog that is written by the humble Aussie on a humble wage.  What I find works and what doesn’t work in all aspects of life – health, beauty, nutrition and shopping.  Where YOU can read the blog and perhaps feel as though you can afford the things I type about.  I am not a hippie by any standards – I would like to think I live my life as naturally as possible and look after myself to some degree.  I have never been to a gym.  I do exercise.  I eat healthily.  I eat junk food every so often.  I work full-time.  I do not desire to have any children.  I would like to think that I could exist for lengthy periods of time without talking to a single person.  I enjoy my own solitude.  I enjoy having breakfasts in retro cafes with friends.  I mostly don’t like social scenes.  I am not a hermit.  Most of these things I intend to elaborate in future posts.  I can’t give everything away from the first post!  Please stay with me…. lots more to come!