Greetings from beautiful Australia!
We've managed to enjoy our trip with gorgeous, perfect weather thus far; hoping it stays this way the whole, if not, majority of our time here.
Hope you're all well on your side! I'll definitely be jotting some memories on here. For now, I'm making the best of my time here and breathing in some Australian perfection! :D
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Toss that boxed brownie and keep this in the recipe stash. This, by far, has to be one of the best brownie recipes I've made from scratch. I prefer homemade desserts simply because I can cut down on the sweetness and make additions. I tweaked it according to my taste but the original recipe is just as good! I promise. I'm not a fan of sweets but I do have random cravings sporadically. This hit the spot tonight! Another great thing about this is I didn't have to whip out my mixer- just used the good ol' teeny tiny muscles I own :)
Original Recipe: click here
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup white wheat flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda (omit if you don't want the crunchy crust)
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet morsels
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or slivered almonds (or nuts of choice)
- pre-heat oven to 350
- grease your pan. 8x8 produces thicker brownies, 9x13 are thinner
- melt butter
- combine flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda
- combine melted butter, sugar, vanilla
- add eggs one at a time until blended well
- add in flour mixture a little at a time and mix well
- toss chocolate chips in 1/2 tsp flour (this keeps them from settling at the bottom of the batter)
- stir in both choc. chips & walnuts & carefully with batter
- 20-25 minutes in the over or when toothpick comes out clean
- let cool for 10-15 minutes before cutting
Friday, February 26, 2016
During summer of last year, I came across a mango tea drink at a local tapioca house. I craved for it so much I figured it'd probably be cheaper if I learned to make it at home. They make it with basil seeds but chia seeds work just as well. I also found that the best mangos to use are "ataulfo." Since they aren't in season yet, organic frozen mango chunks will do!
1. Brew 2 bags of green or black tea (preferably loose tea) in 1/3 cup boilng water, add chia seeds and let steep 8-10 mins, Add honey or agave or all natural stevia is a healthier option
2. Cut ataulfo mango (how to cut a mango). Spoon out one side and mash until soft and pulpy. For added sweetness, you can add coconut sugar or all natural stevia to your taste. This is optional but if you do decide to this you'll notice it forms extra syrup. Cut the other half in small chunks for additional texture.
3. Pour over ice, stir, and enjoy!
1. anti-oxidants and enzymes to fight off cancer
2. improves digestion
3. Detoxifies and helps eliminate toxins
4. Helps with sugar levels and diabetes
5. full of immunity boosting properties
6. energizing and refreshing
7. chia seeds has omega-3s
8. loaded with fibers
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Yoga can be intimidating as a beginner but once you open your heart to it, you'll discover how rewarding and relaxing yoga truly is. If you're just beginning your practice or struggling to start, here are some helpful tips I've learned as a self-taught yogi, that, if i had known beforehand, would've made the journey a bit more smooth. Then again, I believe rough beginnings nurture strength and patience. Teaching yourself yields to an outside-the-box, creative, and prolific practice. The important goal to keep in mind is what you gain during your time on the mat & it's far more important than perfect asanas (poses): GROWTH & VITALITY!
Always begin your practice with stretches. Similar to any workout, stretching warms up your muscles and ligaments to prevent injury. The same advice goes for yoga.
Step back & pay attention to what you can do.
Start small with lower intensity poses. Gradually increase the level of difficulty as you see fit. Always remember to let yourself be a beginner!
Your body has its way of communicating with you, learn to listen.
We all want to overextend ourselves in hopes to accelerate the process to better results. Whether the goal is flexibility, handstands, strength, etc. when your body is clearly telling you "not yet" DO NOT challenge it. You start to take the purpose and fun out of yoga by forcing your body to lengths it's not fully trained for. It comes with persistent practice & dedication.
Yoga props are accessible for a reason. Use them to guide your asanas. Proper posture is critical in your practice. Check this out for more information on these accessories
Oh, listen to all the CO2 you're building up!
I found that when I introduced several friends to yoga, there was a major concern with becoming dizzy or acquiring a headache after a stance, or even a whole class. If you experience any of these, you're holding your breath too much and for too long. You're deoxygenated and you're building up CO2, which will eventually encourage you to faint. Breathe into each form and transition!
Dress comfortably and wear stretchy "yoga" attire.
Embrace a joyful practice.
Don't worry about the things you cannot do, instead focus on things you can do and take joy in it. I can't stress enough how much easier yoga can be when you dilute the thought of "getting it right and perfect" with "getting it. period!" You can easily turn your practice into a frustrating mess or a relaxing time. Your pick!
... and I leave you with an article worth reading: 10 reasons to never start yoga!
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
As I sip on my matcha tea, I wanted to share the goodness that relieved my coffee dependence. Because I love it that much. My stomach refuses to digest coffee more than once a week so I had to find a drink that would rid my coffee cravings but still compensate for the caffeine high and bitterness. Although it only serves 35mg of caffeine per teaspoon of powder, it does a great job keeping me up while keeping the jittery bugs on the calm. As for the bitterness, it's only apparent if not dissolved completely. Uses range from drink concoctions to baking and cooking. I've even seen it used in homemade scrubs and face masks!
If you're new to this powerfood, matcha green tea is produced from the outer tips of young green tea trees and leaves, pulverized to a powder consistency, similar to baking soda. Because it's the whole leaf, the benefits normally found in traditional green tea are greatly concentrated and intensified when consumed as matcha.
1. Has more antioxidants (free radical fighters!) than berries: Goji, blueberries, and Acai. Including pomegranates. Therefore has more powerful effect towards fighting viruses & diseases, slows down aging, and protects against cancer (specifically an antioxidant polyphenol flavonoid called epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG)
2. Cleanses the blood by way of the chlorophyll. Being that it's highly alkaline, it keeps blood pH levels balanced. A more stable blood pH improves oxygenation to cells.
3. Has detoxifying and anti-bacterial properties similar to wheatgrass. *Matcha is much tolerable in taste* ;)
4. Helps lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol) preventing heart disease & hypertension
5. Increases immunity with its high levels of antioxidants and vitamins
6. Great for weight loss by speeding up metabolism and EGCG promotes fat oxidation.
7. Suitable for diabetics (and prevention of diabetes) as its shown to stabilize blood sugar.
8. Being that it's anti-inflammatory, it alleviates digestive discomfort caused by bloating, gas, and inflammation.
9. Improves mental alertness and boosts energy while providing calmness. Catechins bind with the caffeine in tea and slows its release. L-theanine (natural amino acids) promotes relaxation, reduce stress and anxiety, and provides mental clarity.
10. EGCG contains anti-inflammatory properties, which helps prevent swelling and hinders plaque build-up in the arteries (medically known as "atherosclerosis") and helps in cardiovascular health as a whole
These are just a few of the myriad of nutritional benefits matcha green tea has to offer! Drink recipe & soup recipe soon to follow!
Friday, January 15, 2016
Three years of struggle later, I'm making an attempt to strap down and actually do some of the things I left behind that I enjoy. From designing websites, coding, sewing, reading, dancing, cooking & baking, crafts, crocheting, to learning new skills and becoming good at them. With zero patience and a world of things I want to accomplish, I'm constantly accompanied with a heavy load of anxiety and frustration. Sometimes migraines. Sometimes nausea. So excuse me while I nap it all off.
...And that's how my excuse of "i don't/didn't have enough time" favors every attempt I ever try/have tried to make. I get too busy sleeping, ya know?
I'm giving myself a gentle push to get back into the groove of blogging and sharing the inner workings of my wandering mind, ideas, adventures, and everything else in between. I see this as a therapeutic platform. An outlet for the days my creative juices are overflowing. For times I need something to get my mind off unpleasant situations and moments of "blah."
Being that it's January, I'd like to cheers to (consistent) gentleness and tackling things one at a time, to keeping my sanity flowing and the crazies at bay, and most of all to finding enjoyment each day!
Light, warmth, namasate!