Thursday, September 29, 2011

Healthy Life Part 9 - Load me up with nutrients

A little while ago I purchased a few health supplements online. This is one of them.

Not the most enticing looking beverage I know but it's good for you.

It is a "super green" type powder from Nutra Organics.

The main ingredients are barley and spirulina but it also contains alfalfa, psyllium husk, chlorella and kelp. All green!

I have to be honest, I didn't scrutinise the product's health claims, but sometimes I don't eat as much green vegetables as I should, and I thought this is an easy way to top-up.

This is what the powder looks like.

The "serving instructions" on the tub said you can eat the powder by itself so I gave that a try. I  recommend against that method, unless you like having a gruggy yet powdery mixture in your mouth *shudder*.

I take it by mixing a heaped teaspoon with a glass of ice water, just like the first photo. It tastes ... green. Actually it is not too strong a taste. While I will not say it's delicious, it is quite refreshing, and I feel like I'm putting something healthy into my body.

One major change I noticed after taking it regularly is that my bowel movements became much more regular. I guess that's from the fibre. I can't attribute any other benefits but I feel good about drinking it. You can buy the powder at 30% off RRP here.

My friend Elizabeth started Schmoosli with her friends a while ago with the aim of making healthy and tasty wheat-free muesli. She kindly sent me a pack of "Heidi Gets High" to try.

The muesli contains oats, barley, rice flakes, rice bran shreds, dried fruits (including goji berries), nuts, seeds and cinnamon.

It tasted as good as it looked! There was a good mix of flavours and texture. And a 50g portion serves up 5.4g of protein and 5.3g of dietary fibre.

I like to mix up my breakfast so this is a very welcome addition :-D

I have also been taking some Cod Liver Oil on my PT Nat's recommendation (see her blog post) but silly me forget to take them half the time. I must remember during dinner every night!

Do you swear by any health supplement or super foods?

P.S. I haven't forgotten about goal setting. I went through my wardrobe last night and found 2 items of clothings that I'll use for my short term measurement/body shape goals. I will write about them soon.

P.P.S. Thanks to Jade linking about my tweet in her blog post - here's a good article from Dr Karl about the science of eating and how to change your poor eating habits.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Miu Miu double act

I visited Miu Miu a few times, both in Sydney and in Hong Kong, when I was searching for a wallet. Although I didn't buy a Miu Miu wallet, I liked what I saw in the store, and I was keen to get something from them.

One of my best friends E lives in Hong Kong and she told me about her favourite store Twist, which sells a variety of designer goods. She likes it because she finds it less intimidating then designer boutiques, and many items are on sale. After the poor service I received from the Miu Miu boutique in Hong Kong I was not in a rush to go back.

I went with my brother B to Twist one day when TLG was playing with his cousins (my brother grew up in a family of women and is well trained on shopping). To me the store was like a Kit/Mecca/Sephora for designer wares.

 Photo: Twist

First I had a look at keyholders. B gave me a Burberry keyholder a few years ago. I didn't know about fabric protector back then and the keyholder became grubby with use. Also, the hooks were not that good and the keys fell out a few times :-/

I have been admiring my sister's Miu Miu Matelassé tote (she also has the Stage clutch, yes she has a very enviable handbag collection!). 

With that in mind I chose the Matelassé calf skin keyholder.

Love the print on the lining of the box.

(click the photos for larger images)

As a keyholder is fairly small, it's nice to have a print (like the Burberry) or textured leather in this case to give it a bit of oomph.

The light lilac colour is so pretty, and it's complementary to the soft pink of the Chloé without being matchy-matchy.

I like the hooks better than the ones in the Burberry as there is no clasp to fasten, so the chance of keys falling out is much lower.

I cannot emphasise how soft the leather is. Sometimes it catches me by surprise when I hold it!

Finally I have something to satisfy my lemming. Is a Matelassé handbag in my future?

After choosing the keyholder I wandered to the handbag section. My last few handbags have been on the formal end of the scale and I'm hoping to get something more casual. Something I can pair up with jeans, but still suitable for the office. I considered the bow bag but it was a tad too big for my needs, and the zip and fold-over "flap" did not suit my clusmy self.

Luckily there is a bag in the collection that fits my bill.

First of all, I really really like the shiny grey colour. It's versatile without being boring. It has a slight "marbled" effect that I think works very well with this bag.

Here's a close up of the gold hardware.

Most of my handbags have flaps, so it's a nice change to have a bag which gives me super easy access to my belongings.

The strap is long enough for me to wear the bag cross-body. Handy when I need to lug TLG around!

The best thing about buying the bags from Twist? You can join their loyalty program when you spend more than $HK10,000 in one transaction and you get 10% off all purchases! The keyholder and the bag totalled just over that mark so I saved around $HK1,000 :-)

I think I should go on a handbag shopping ban for a while after my HK haul. I wonder how long I'll last?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Music On My Mind - The Beatles

I've been wanting to get into the Beatles for a while now. I listened to Abbey Road when I was on the plane from HK to Sydney (Come Together is an easy winner; I need sometime to digest the rest of that album!) but I needed a catalyst to really get into it.

I found it via Leigh Sales' tweet about The Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Beatles songs. Lying in bed with a sick tummy, I read about (almost all of) the 100 songs even though I didn't know most of them. Finding out how the songs are created, their influences (drugs featured prominently ...), the growth of the band from pop stars to music pioneers, and their inevitable break-up - it was completely captivating.

The logical next step of course is to listen to the music. I chose Rubber Soul purely because of the name. By golly am I blown away - first by how many of the songs I already know, and by how fresh they sound now, almost 50 years on.

Then I chose The Revolver, something that is already on my iTunes. I remembered listening to it a long time ago and not really getting it. I wonder what was wrong with me back then! Rock, folk, psychedelic and everything in between can be found in the album. And it's all good.

My favourite track so far is "Here, There and Everywhere" - I am a romantic at heart :-)

I'm sure there are many other discoveries to be made. Oh to be a teenager again and hole myself up in my room for days immersed in music!

Monday, September 19, 2011

More NYFW S/S 2012 goodness

Going through the MBMJ S/S 2012 runway was so much fun I decided to look more. It's always inspiring to see beautiful designs. Here are some more of my picks. Enjoy!

Tory Burch

Naeem Khan


L'Wren Scott

Proenza Schouler

Caroline Herrera

For all-out glamour I can't go past the floral gown by Naeem Khan - what an amazing print and I love the silhoutte.

If I can pick 3 outfits for my wardrobe, I'll go for:
  • the black and white Caroline Herrera dress with that amazing red belt - effortless chic
  • the blue Tory Burch coat. The print gives the classic-cut coat a new lease of life
  • I can't even follow my own rules - I can't pick between the pale blue Proenza Schouler dress, the yellow and brown Caroline Herrera dress or the white L'Wren Scott dress. They're all so lovely!
What are your picks from the NYFW S/S 2012 collections?

 Photo credits:, New York Magazine

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Marc by Marc Jacobs S/S 2012 runway

I've been a fan of Marc by Marc Jacobs bags for a while now (see here and here and here). After seeing mallhaciel's tweets about watching MBMJ's S/S 2012 show I was keen to have a look too.

Well, colour me impressed. I'm always attracted to clean lines, and I'm loving the colour combinations in this collection.

Here are my picks:

A nice twist to colour blocking. Navy is a key colour in this collection. Not a typical summer hue but it works with the contrasting bright colours.

I love this ensemble, simple, elegant and fresh (how cute are the shoes? more on that later).

A perfect look for summer.

Peplum one-piece - I like! And the navy + orange combo really works here.

Not 100% sure about the silhouette, but I like the relaxed look and black + soft orange is pretty.

The orange trim makes the basic trench a lot more interesting.

The shoes in this collection really grabbed my attention. Seeing the front-on shots I was expecting them to be flats or kitten heels. To my (slight) disappointment they are much higher, but they still get a tick from me. I wonder how long it'll take for the "inspired by" versions to appear at Wittner and co?

Of course I can't write a post about MBMJ withough mentioning the bags.

In the "maybe" column, I present the cube bag.

It's a fun concept but I'm not sure if I want to carry a bag this size around my wrist ...

There are a lot of totes in this collection. Regular CCM readers may notice that I'm more of a shoulder bag gal, but I do like this one.

It may be the perfect bag for someone who needs to bring lots of work documents home at night ...

And this is great for travelling or a trip to the gym.

Back to bags that are more "me". This is very cute.

I'm not usually a fan of patent leather bags but this may just change my mind.

I really like the simple makeup on the models (by Shiseido). Let the clothes do the talking.

Saving the best till last. This is my favourite look from the collection.

I want the whole lot in my wardrobe, NOW.

Have you been following NYFW? What are some of your favourites?

Photo credits:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Healthy Life Part 8 - Refocus

It has been more than a month since my last Healthy Life post. It is a good reflection of how healthy (or not) I've been living. During my HK trip I managed to exercise once at the hotel gym, I walked a lot and lifted a certain 15kg weight around a fair bit. But I ate out almost every meal and didn't skim on dessert, and when I returned to Australia I continued to make poor eating choices. The low point was eating salt and vinegar chips in bed on Saturday night. I don't even like chips that much!

Photo: Breakfast in Bed by Long Jacket on Flickr

I made some good progress with weight loss/fitness when I started training with Nat and following her eating plans but I haven't been as vigilant lately. If I continue down this path nothing will happen.

Exercise-wise I'm going reasonably well, but I need to continue my quest to increase the frequency of workout. Now that the weather is warming up it will be easier to wake up earlier and exercise outdoors. I may also try Gillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred.

Because of the poor weather in Sydney last Friday I moved one of my PT sessions to tomorrow. Three intense workouts a week should kick my body into gear. I find it usually takes 2 weeks of regular exercise for it to become part of the routine.

As for eating, it's all in the mind. I know when I am at my weakest - after dinner. When I succumbed to temptation I knew that (1) I didn't need to eat - even if I felt a hunger pang I could sleep through it, because I have done it before, (2) it went against my goal. But I did it anyway.

I think one of my problems is that I have one of those airy-fairy "I want to lose weight" goals that is not measureable and not motivational. I need to set some SMART goals. Nat is going to measure me at PT tomorrow so I will have some figures to work with. Instead of setting a weight loss goal I want to set some measurement goals and some fitness goals. I will report back in a week. Hold me to that promise if I don't deliver!

Another problem with my bad eating choices has to do with sleep - or the lack of. I sleep too little for my body to function properly, and when I'm tired I'm more likely to crave for junk food, probably for the sugar high. I regularly stayed up beyond midnight, and during the week I need to wake up before 7am. It is not enough. The simple answer is of course "go to bed earlier" but it's easier said than done. I want to work on this, because I know it is an impediment to a healthy lifestyle.

It may take time, but with determination I'll get here. Watch this space!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Hong Kong beauty products haul

With advice from 5 lovely beauty bloggers, I armed myself with a lengthy shopping list to Hong Kong. I came back with the following.

  • Bobbi Brown corrector, creamy concealer kit and concealer blending brush
  • Dior Addict lipstick in Dior Kiss
  • Lancôme Teint Miracle
  • MAC Prep+Prime Lip
  • Gosh Cosmetics Velvet Touch eyeliners (x4, 3 in photo) and Soft 'n Shine lip balms (x2)
I also bought this after I read about it in a HK magazine.

Inside there are 3 eyeshadows, 2 brushes, an eyeliner and a mascara.

The back of the packaging gives a step-by-step instructions to achieve a perfect smoky eye.

It was a complete impulse buy and I'm not sure if I should keep it...

I forgot to take photos of 2 Asian-based products - SKIN79 Super+ BB Cream and L'Oréal Paris White Perfect Micro-Vibration 3-in-1 Eye Brightener.

I haven't used most of the products because I wanted to take blog photos first!

I've tried the Lancôme foundation, BB cream, and Gosh eyeliner and lip balm so far and I'm pretty happy with them. In this post I'm going to do a quick review of one of the Gosh lip balms, #32 Angel (the other colour I bought is #40 Irony, a bright orange).

The Gosh Soft 'n Shine lip balm comes in a narrow tube.

There's a swatch. It is a soft pink with shimmer.

I took 2 photos of my lips wearing the lip balm, one with flash and one without (with some sunlight streaming in), as you can see the colour looks quite different. The colour IRL is somewhere between the two. I obviously need to work on how to take these photos!

It's easy to apply, pretty moisturising with reasonable wear considering it is a lip balm. I think this is a good dupe of Clinique's Chubby Sticks. It is not that much cheaper (Chubby Stick is $US17 and Gosh lip balm is $US13) but there are more colours available. Gosh Cosmetics is available at Watson's in Hong Kong (think Priceline) and I paid $HK98 (~$A12).

I don't know if I'll write posts about all the products, I'm not that good at being a beauty blogger! Which product(s) would you like to hear about?


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