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Make-up doesn't last forever, eww

I saw a segment on Sunrise (Channel 7) the other day about how long a make-up product lasts. I think many of us purchases an item and keeps it forever and ever – how many people actually finishes using a product and buys a repeat? I certainly don't…

I'm always seeking out a new mascara, new foundation, new lip gloss, or anything, that I'd like to try. Then I walk into a department store or a skincare shop and find even more products to try. I've collected so many varieties of each kind of make-up, and consequently my cupboard has spilled over into a drawer in the medicine cabinet, as well as an extra storage box… They are filled with all the products that I've tried for a month and moved onto the next thing. I've kept them all.

Well, today, I'm writing to discard that myth that make-up lasts forever. It harbours germs and bacteria, just like any perishable item in the fridge. I compiled a list from that Sunrise segment for how long each make-up item lasts:

Mascara: 3 months

Foundation: 12 months, or liquid foundation: 6 months

Lip gloss: 18 months

Eye shadow & blush: 2 years

Here's the link to the video segment from Sunrise

I think I should throw away 75% of my make-up products. Another way to avoid harmful germs growing in your mascara or lip gloss (eww GROSS, can you imagine that?) is to place the products in the freezer overnight at a frequency of every couple of months – because it can get expensive to throw away stuff so frequently.

We should also be washing our make-up brushes at least every 2 months. I think I'm pretty good with this. I make it a hobby to wash my brushes as I love watching all the brown stuff come out. I know that sounds pretty disgusting, but it's more disgusting to leave it in there! If you have never washed your brushes, I think you would be surprised how much make-up is actually caked on inside those bristles!

So I share with you a washing method I picked up from a magazine:

  1. Place 1/2 cup of bicarb into a small tub of hot-to-boiling water (60-100°C).
  2. Soak the brushes in the tub and leave overnight.
  3. Next morning, wearing rubber gloves, rinse as much dirt off as possible in the bicarb water.
  4. Wash the brushes with a few drops of dishwashing liquid.
  5. Leave out to dry.

The only problem with this is that you might need a second set of brushes to tie you over for that morning, but it is definitely worth it.

With a bit of care, we can avoid harmful germs, and hopefully have clearer skin too!

By the way, don't even think about sharing make-up products with other people, or applying testers to your face! Yuck yuck yuck!

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Red Salad by Nigella

I was watching the Nigella show the other day and picked up this great salad recipe!

I thought I'd like to share this recipe as it is a lot more tasty than it looks or sounds!

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Ingredients (serves 2 as a side)

  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 medium can of red kidney beans, rinsed
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Place the chopped red onion in a bowl, and pour the wine vinegar over the top, mixing to coat entirely. Leave aside (for around 5-10 minutes, while you prepare the rest of the ingredients)
  2. Rinse the beans and tomatoes, and cut the tomatoes.
  3. Combine everything in a large bowl, and add the olive oil. Mix to combine, and it's ready!
  4. It's really healthy and delicious, and SUPER EASY!

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Congratulations Jessica Watson!

(Photo by Jon Sant Photography)

I have been watching the television coverage of the homecoming of teenage sailor, Jessica Watson. It's an amazing day for this brave young lady, her family, for Australia, and for the sailing world. At the age of 16, she has sailed around the world in her yacht unassisted, an enormous voyage that lasted 210 days.

I remember, 7 months ago, the bumpy start to her journey and how we all watched the news in concern. Would she make it? Every now and then, Jessica's progress was mentioned in the news and I would quietly cheer her on from my lounge room.

In recent weeks, the media had given her somewhat of a tough time, debating whether her solo adventure could be classed as a new world record and copyright issues regarding the name of her yacht. In my mind, all petty bureaucracy that we really didn't need to focus on. My husband and I yelled at the TV screen to give her a break! We don't know Jessica but it's easy to feel excited for her, who at such a young age, tested herself against the elements in a huge adventure that most people would never undertake.

I'm happy that I'm able to pay tribute to Jessica's amazing effort today on my blog. I'm not sure how big this news is outside of Australia, but the welcome at Sydney harbour and at the Opera House is befitting the history that was made today. Jessica Watson is the youngest person to have ever sailed around the world unassisted. I'm sure there is a bright future ahead for this remarkable young lady!!

Hope you're having a great weekend!

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Introducing… Hubby aka Cat Daddy

I’m supposed to be blogging a little more about Adelaide before I leave this charming little town – and I have drafts clogging up the system… but my cats and their blog take up quite a lot of my attention and I’m finding it difficult to keep cat stories away from my own blog. What can I say? They are my little babies!

My routine is back to normal again after a busy couple of weeks – social outings, going to concerts, rehearsals, shopping, having 2 colds, vet visits, etc etc. I mean a lot of it sounds pleasurable and was for sure, however for someone with chronic fatigue that is a lot… I felt BUSY and run down!

Since I stopped working (in 2009), my daily routine has slowly settled into something I can manage, which is like this: Wake up, have breakfast & coffee w/ TV, maybe do some laundry if I feel up to it, have a late morning nap OR read cat blogs, have lunch, have a nap, wake up and wander around the house, listen to classical music, occassionally practise piano, go on the treadmill briefly, have dinner, watch TV, go on the computer, go to bed. Anything more, then I may need days to recover!

This is why having 3 cats is so important to me. Keiko, Kenji and Pricilla each have their own way of keeping me entertained, and they understand that even talking can be exhausting so they just snuggle me. (Of course I understand that they can’t talk human if they wanted to.) I’m their human assistant but I love doing stuff for them. I also have my own assistant, in the form of a loving husband aka cat daddy. Just kidding, Graeme! Loving husband, not assistant, 100%.

He was working in a concert tonight so I baked more muffins – this is him relaxing after he got home –

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I wonder if Keiko just wants a bite of the muffin!P1130410n P1130426n

Aw Keiko trusts her daddy so much!P1130784nP1130773nP1130779n 

Nice time was had by all – well, Graeme at least, he consumed 3 muffins tonight. I chopped the macadamias finer and they came out better I think!

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Keiko is so cheeky

I gave tuna to our 3 cats the other night – divided equally among the three, of course! Keiko finished hers first, so she was putting silent pressure on Kenji until he moved away. She is so cheeky because she normally doesn’t even go near Kenji at her own will.

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White Chocolate, Raspberry & Macadmia Muffins

I made these tonight – they’re pretty moreish!

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The recipe (only minutely altered) is from here

White Chocolate, Raspberry and Macadmia Muffins

1/2 cup (95g) white chocolate bits
3/4 cup (155g) caster sugar
2 cups (300g) self-raising flour
1/2 cup (80g) coarsely chopped macadamias
1 cup (125g) frozen raspberries
1 egg, lightly whisked
1/2 cup (125ml) macadamia oil
3/4 cup (185ml) buttermilk (or milk, which I used)

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease a 12-hole muffin tray

  2. Combine the white chocolate, sugar, flour and macadamias in a large bowl. Add the raspberries to the mixture. Stir to combine. Make a well in the centre.

  3. Whisk the egg, oil and buttermilk (or milk) in a jug. Pour into the flour mixture. Gently stir until just combined. Spoon evenly among the pans. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Remove from oven, set aside for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

I loved these muffins! They were fluffy and moist and had a beautiful nutty flavour. I didn’t have any buttermilk so I just used normal milk. If I had to make any comments, it would be to chop the macadamias smaller than ‘coarsely’ chopped. The larger pieces tend to take chunks out of the muffin when handling them.

The other muffin tip I’ve learned over the years is to only stir the muffin mixture until JUST combined. It’s a fine line between getting a slightly powdery mixture and one that is too smooth. I use a wooden spoon as it helps me combine the mixture quickly. You should end up with fluffy muffins as long as you don’t overstir!

Enjoy!

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Happy Children’s Day!

In Japan, we celebrate Children’s Day on the 5th of May every year. Traditionally, the Japanese celebrated boys’ good health and longevity, wishing for them a life of achievement (girls have their own special day on March 3). It is said to have originated from a Chinese legend: Only the carp that can swim up the Yellow River can become a dragon. Children’s Day is celebrated with decorations of huge fabric koi (carp) flags, known as Koi Nobori.

(Pics from Wikipedia)

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Here’s my little boy: hope you have a long and healthy life Kenji!

I think this little boy wants to become a big tough mancat!

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Can you believe this pose??? hahaha!

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Mr Toby – the bird

Living in Australia, we often come across these long water birds known as egrets – although I would say that that name is not commonly known even by Australians. I used to see various types of egrets growing up, and I have always loved how sleek and beautiful they look.

Living in the wetlands north of Adelaide, we’d often see one or two, or sometimes even up to five, walking around among the reeds and small creeks and lakes near our house.

I would always refer to ‘that thin long neck bird’ – one day, Graeme decided he looked like a ‘thin riesling bottle’ so we named him Riesling bird.

About a week later, we were discussing the ‘Riesling bird’ and decided it was too much of a mouthful – so we renamed him Toby.

For weeks we were talking about Toby in fascination. I mean they’re pretty handsome birds! If we ever saw a second one, we’d just call him Tony… haha!

Anyway, one day I actually spotted Toby perched on top of the next door neighbour’s fence! I was so honoured that he came near our house!  P1100918nP1100928nP1100945nP1100944n

I actually took the effort to look up what Toby was. I think he’s a ‘Great Egret’ - http://birdsinbackyards.net/species/Ardea-alba

While I was in a hurry taking these pics, some cats escaped…

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And the next door neighbour’s dog was excited to see me… Her name is Bella. She’s constantly barking at Kenji from across the fence.

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