The perfect start to the weekend at Raw Paw Paw

The Venzin Group can really do no wrong. This has again been proven with the opening and subsequent popularity of Raw Pawpaw (the younger sister to Pawpaw Café and Little Pawpaw).

Raw Pawpaw has been delighting Brisbanites for a few months now and it’s no surprise. The food is healthy and delicious, the service is friendly, the café is laidback and super cute…I could go on but it’s easier to simply show you.

Does this not look like the best breakfast ever? It was.

Brunch at Raw PawPaw

Brunch at Raw Pawpaw

I’ll be honest, it’s not anything I couldn’t put together myself at home and I normally like to go out and order stuff I can’t make but this Lifestyle Board was worth every cent of the $14 I paid for it. It was the perfect breakfast to start my day. Simple but delicious. Light but very filling. Overall? Just. Plain. Yum. Continue reading

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How to beat the Post-Holiday-Blues in 10 easy Steps

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After recently returning from holidays I felt exactly like this. Fun, fun, fun, home and then boo. It hit. The post holiday depression (PHD) also known quite simply as; the harsh reality of everyday life.

I’m certainly not the only once afflicted with this illness, so I thought I’d jot down a few ideas that helped me get through the tough times, in case you too are finding yourself staring wistfully at Tuula Vintage on instagram or devouring posts by World of Wanderlust wishing you could be frolicking around the globe again…

So here we go – 10 ways to get happy again, once the holiday is over.

  1. Get active – unless you’ve been trekking the Himalaya’s or climbing Mt Kilimanjaro, it’s highly likely that you’re health, fitness and figure has been a little neglected. Whilst it’s always fun enjoying those £2 pints/Almond croissants/Perfect Paellas, not being able to flaunt your abs or fit into your skinny jeans is quite the opposite. So get active! It will not only help you ditch those extra holiday kilos, but it’ll get your endorphins pumping and boost your mood – win’s all round!
  2. Save your pennies – so maybe you splashed your savings on a knock off Celine bag and accrued a little more than expected on your credit card (Who me?!). Well so what! That’s why we have these things called jobs! If you are stressing a little about your finances since returning home, why not put together a savings and debt repayment plan. There are plenty of free and easy to use budget guides online including this one from the Sydney Morning Herald which will help get you saving for your next trip!
  3. Find something to look forward to – your friend’s birthday, a special dinner date or an evening spent curled up on the couch are great distractions when you’re missing the slopes/beach/city you’ve just visited. Socialise and spend time catching up with your loved ones and you’ll be loving home life again in lightening speed.
  4. Book another holiday or start planning your next adventure – do some research and get some ideas for where you might like to visit next, the best time to go and how long you want to spend there – then get googling or visit your local travel agent to find a great deal – the further out you book the better the price!
  5. Be kind and treat yourself – so your roots are looking terrible after months backpacking abroad? Call your hairdresser! Your back aches from the long plane trip? Have a bubble bath or beg your partner for a massage. Feeling stressed trying to catch up on work? Take some time out for yourself to relax. It’s not a crime to be nice to yourself if you’re feeling low, and small pleasures can make all the difference!
  6. Reflect on the fun you had – go through your photos, tell anyone who’ll listen your stories and enjoy the foods you fell in love with whilst away. Combine all three if you have to! Since returning from Hong Kong, all Tom and want to eat is yum cha so we’ve taken to eating Chinese on date nights and reminiscing about how much fun we had. It almost makes the experiences seem real again.
  7. Keep exploring – there’s no way you could have seen everything your hometown and nearby regions have to offer so get our there and discover it like a tourist. Visit a new bar, take a road-trip to somewhere you’ve never been before and make amazing discoveries in your own backyard.
  8. Make changes, take on new projects and challenge yourself – when I came back from overseas I was lucky enough to start a new job, which has been both a great challenge and distraction. Of course such a significant change is a pretty unusual but if you ask me, regardless of how big or small – changes and challenges are good. Often you gain a new perspective whilst on holidays so use it to your advantage, push your boundaries, throw all your energy into it and see where it can go!
  9. Get back into a routine – for some people it is a hard slog to get back to the ‘daily grind’ but the key is to think of it as an opportunity to get organised and manage your time better so you can get the most out of your days. It doesn’t have to be boring – fit in the fun stuff where you can!
  10. Distract yourself with the #100HappyDays challenge! If you’re still struggling to get rid of PHD then you better check yo’self before you wreck yo’self and join the challenge. It will help you to identify what makes you happy and become more grateful in your every day life!

And if all else fails, pour yourself a G&T and nejoy with friends!

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Listomania: What’s going on in my world

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When catching up on one of my favourite Blogs recently – The Littlest Things – I was struck with motivation. Sophie had created a list of her current life and despite it being a simple post it really made me think. Why hadn’t I done this before? I am a chronic list-maker in my day to day life when it comes to all manner of things to do (job tasks, groceries, dates to remember, you name it) but I don’t often sit down to write about what’s actually on in my life, to appreciate it and to be present. So I made haste and wrote my list. Not all of my list is introspective but I think it provides a nice little package of my present state. So here we go – time to cross this one off the list.

My List – November 2013
– eating: paleo foods (I am baking cinnamon apple crisps as we speak and my house smells like Christmas!).
– drinking: as much water as I can, along with Green tea, smoothies with almond milk, banana, spinach and berries and the very, very occasional red wine.
– practising: building my confidence – I’ve had a pretty rough year this year so I’m doing my best to build myself back up. I’m also practising visualisation techniques and trying to create new mind patterns. Yup really. Oh and also my photo skills so I’m better equipped to capture moments.
– mastering: crossfit – ok, not mastering but I’ve started it and am feeling muscles I’ve not felt for a loooong time.
– learning: gratitude. I’m really trying to identify the things I am grateful for. I do sometimes take things for granted and want to move away from that mindset to one of thankfulness as I believe this will make my life fuller and more positive.
– playing: with my blog, a bunch of other social media and my hair cut and colour (although not drastically on those last ones).
– finishing: a cup of tea.

 reading: bucketloads of blogs, magazines and a few new books including Benjamin Law’s ‘The Family Law’ and The Happiness Code by Domonique Bertolucci. 
 enjoying: writing, experimenting with new recipes and watching back to back episodes of The Only Way is Essex listening: to the wind outside and the whir of my computer as it heats up.
 needing: a pay rise, a holiday and time to clear my head and ‘re-set’. 
 wearing: my pyjamas…but on the weekends I am rocking the maxi-skirts and gladiator combo.
 wondering: if I can convince our landlord to allow us to get a puppy…I want one so bad!!
 working: at trying to upskill myself and score a job I love that makes me feel more fulfilled.
 liking: fresh roses and lillies in my living room travelling: to the England and Hong Kong in February…how will I survive the wait?
 planning: for our overseas trip, namely what I’ll wear, where we’ll eat (can someone say Heston’s?), and what I’ll buy; only the big issues.
 wanting: a new summer wardrobe, but it ain’t gonna happen this side of the New Year. Oh and just a little something called life direction and clarity.
 loving: my boyfriend. Recently we finally got a rare two days off together and it reminded me of how wonderful he is and how lucky I am to have him in my life. He makes my heart happy.
 wishing: I could have a white christmas and be living my dream life overseas.
 marvelling: at how quickly the year has gone.
 smelling: the apple and cinnamon baking in my oven – told you so! 
 hoping: I can achieve a few personal goals in the next few months.

So there is is. A whole mishmash of thoughts and goings-on in my current life. Why not try this yourself and let me know how you go? I’d love to read what’s on your list

Green Smoothie Love

Green Smoothies are all the rage right now and I am a full-blown devotee. I can’t think of a quicker, easier, or tastier way to get a huge hit of nutrients and the subsequent energy they deliver.

I have been having green smoothies for over a year but I recently completed the Simple Green Smoothies 30 day Challenge and it really pushed me to get more creative with what I put into my Smoothies.

Where previously I stuck to simply adding spinach to berry or banana smoothies, the challenge helped me to branch out and include a wider variety of fruit and vegetables into my concoctions including cucumber, kale, avocado, and even broccoli. The creative possibilities are endless! Throw in a peach or a mango, celery, frozen or fresh berries, peanut butter, parsley, chia seeds, natural yoghurt – any combination is possible but not all of them taste amazing so experiment and see what you like best.

If you’re new to the idea of drinking your greens, I’d recommend you stick to a 2:2 fruit and vegetable ratio, but I personally aim for 1:3 ratio or fruit to greens or even no fruit at all to minimise the sugar. So what is my favourite green smoothie of all time you might ask?

Here it is!

Step 1: In your blender dump the following:

  • 250ml Coconut Water (Or water or unsweetened Almond Milk if you prefer)
  • Juice of one whole lime
  • 1/2 Cucumber chopped up
  • 1 Large handful spinach
  • 2 branches Kale (rip the leaves of the stalk)
  • Handful of Mint
  • One medium Banana (I normally peel them and freeze them to give the smoothie a better texture but you can use ice and a fresh banana if you want)

Step 2: Blend until smooth. A word of warning; Kale can be unpleasant if not blended properly so don’t stop the action too soon.

Step 3: Sprinkle with chia seeds and enjoy!

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Now while you look at all the delicious fresh ingredients above, and day dream about amazing smoothie combos I’m off to make one for tomorrow.

xx Kirst

Notes: Want more information on Green smoothies and juices? Check out Lorna Jane’s Move, Nourish, Believe website here.
Note: Simple Green Smoothies are running another Green Smoothie Challenge for the Month of April so why not head to their website and sign yourself up! You won’t regret it for a second.

Fit Friday – getting back on track


The last few months I’ve really struggled to find the love and motivation to keep training, eating healthy and generally looking after myself. I know that I allowed myself to slip into a rut and I lost focus when I couldn’t see the results I wanted.

But enough is enough! I’m getting back on track and staying there and in case you’re also struggling with a bit of motivation – here’s what I’m doing to change things. Maybe they could work for you? I’ve said before that I try to follow Lorna Jane’s Move, Nourish, Believe philosophy and I’d highly encourage you to try it.

Move
First up I’ve joined a new gym that specialises in functional training and it’s like nothing I’ve ever done before. I am consistently sore from training and love that I can feel the results of my hard work. I am burning roughly the same number of calories I was doing my previous gym routine but I can tell from the muscle soreness that my body is changing and working a lot harder than it was before. I’ve only 2 weeks in so far, but I’ll keep you updated with my progress as time goes on.

Nourish – not diet
I really don’t like the word ‘diet’ because I feel that it has connotations of restricted and boring eating. I have never eaten poorly and much prefer fresh healthy food over the deep fried, sugary, processed crap but I am guilty of probably eating a little too much. So my goal is to try and focus on portion control and eating simpler meals because healthy meals that are also quick and easy to prepare means there are no excuses.

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Veggies, lean meat and fish, eggs, fruit, good carbs (brown rice, sweet potato) and nuts and seeds are all allowed and really – that is a lot of food to choose from! I mean look at all this deliciousness. You can’t argue a lack of variety or flavour – this is what humans are meant to eat!

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Of course, if you’ve been reading this blog you know I love to socialise and eat out in Brisbane too. Rest assured I’m still going to do this – you need to have balance – of course I will strive to look for healthier menu options. I want to prove that you can still enjoy plenty of variety whilst still looking after yourself.

And as for alcohol…I can easily get by without it so it’s not really an issue giving it up. I tend to drink mainly on special social occasions – weddings, parties, birthdays – and only ever have the occasional glass of wine with Dinner so i’m not too worried about it – I’ll just try to watch myself a little closer.

Most people know that a balanced diet is key if you want to lose weight, feel healthier and become leaner but exercise and staying motivated are equally as important.

My whole life I have tended to focus my efforts on what I look like and not worry too much about my health or fitness but this time things are different.

Instead of being motivated by looks alone I’m focussing my energy on improving my fitness and  becoming stronger, faster and leaner.

I’m hoping this will shift my focus from my appearance to what my body is capable of. 

Wish me luck!

Kirst

P.S. If you’re looking for a bit more fitspiration check out my Pinterest Board here

Fit Fashion…for Friday

I am OBSESSED with these tights that I just bought (after months of lusting after them) from Lorna Jane

Source: Uploaded by user via Kirst on Pinterest

It’s hard to believe it but the weather in Brisbane is getting cooler and the sun is starting to take that little bit longer to rise in the mornings …is autumn really on its way? 
Thanks to the change of seasons, I’m already starting to find it difficult to extract myself from the warmth of my happy place (it’s so comfy under the doona), and to get up and get moving.
Pinterest and Instagram constantly remind me that a ‘summer body is earned in winter’ and all that jazz about the importance of squats but when my alarm goes off at 5am and it’s cold and raining I sometimes just do not feel ready to jump our of bed and work out.
So what can I do to get me through this? To give me that little extra push to keep working towards my goals?
The answer my friends is fashion.
Now, I’ll warn you, I am a pretty loyal devotee to Lorna Jane’s ‘Move, Nourish, Believe’ philosophy, I am that girl in the gym who has a different inspiration singlet each day and such an unhealthy attachment to her ‘Amy tights’ that I felt guilty when my boyfriend bought me a pair of these super cute and comfy leggings with neon pink details from Lululemon for my birthday (it still feels like cheating when I wear them). To me, workout clothes – or rather, looking good and feeling comfy when I work out – are a key element of keeping me motivated and on track and if that isn’t enough, thinking of how much better my regular clothes will look and feel is a great reminder to roll out of bed and lace up those Nikes.
Speaking of Nikes have you got a pair of Free runs yet? They are so comfortable and super cute…just look at this pair:

Perfect to wear with this LJ top:

And for those brave enough you could try these tights as well…although I’m not too sure Lime green would be the most flattering on me :-/

Are you looking for more fitspiration to get active?

What about this?

And if you’re in Brisbane and looking for something to kickstart your weekend – why not try the FREE LORNA JANE YOGA CLASS this weekend at the Judith Wright Centre…no excuses girls!

Until next time xoxo

Trying something new: I go to a pole dancing class

Last week I got invited by some dance class friends to attend a casual pole dancing, just for kicks. I had always wanted to try pole dancing so I agreed to join them at The Pole Gym on Friday night for a fun new experience.
Step one: dress appropriately
If you look on the website of any pole dancing class, they ask you to wear as little as possible to the class. Skin sticks to the pole when fabric does not, making it easier for you to do the moves and less likely to fall in a cottony, messy heap at the base of your exercise stick. Suggested attire is shorts; short shorts. Hot pants-like short shorts.
Now, I don’t own any short shorts. At least not ones I can wear around people. I have one pair that are like thick cotton high-waisted knickers, the kind you wear around the house on hot days when you really want to be in underwear but you live with a housemate, not someone who regularly sees you naked.
So off to Target I went to buy cheap exercise short shorts to pose in when dancing around a pole. Unfortunately, boring shops like target don’t offer much choice for exercise knickers. It was teenagers’ shorts, which were short enough, and had sequins!
or cut off leggings:
I opted instead for ghastly but cheap cotton shorts that could be tucked up. Now I was prepared.
Step two: the class
After work and a potentially injudicious glass of punch at Bacchus, I drove all the way to Lawnton for the class at the Pole Gym. This small but high space contained a forest of poles, mirrors and a rack of clothes for sale blazoned with ‘Invert Your Thinking’ and ‘Live Fast Pole Hard’. The Pole Gymholds classes in pole dancing or pole fitness, aerial hoop and aerial silks. There was a class on when I arrived, pole sculpt, which I was informed by a girl in the later class was ‘torture’.
The pole sculpt class. No photos of my class, firstly because I was in it, secondly because it’s generally considered objectionable to take photos of pole dancing women.
The casual Pole Mania class was not quite what I was expecting. I was expecting a fitness class and to be taught a few moves. Instead, after a good warm up, our instructor got straight into teaching us a routine to Michael Jackson’s Dirty Diana.
It was great fun! Easy, sexy and comfortable, not strange or awkward at all. Right up until the moment our instructor choreographed a ‘climb’ which everyone could do except for us newbies. The instructor kindly took the time to show us and we got some helpful hints from the girls around us, like ‘get your bits right up against the pole, it’s easier’. hen she called for a swing, that was a slightly different matter. She showed us a simple twist around the pole but it was a damn side harder than it looked! I have a bad fear of falling. Though I am happy to throw myself around a soccer field or on a dance floor, anything involving heights and I am a complete chicken. This includes spinning myself around a pole and potentially crashing to the ground a few feet away. Try as I might I could not get up the confidence or the skill to make a swing. Instead I just banged my legs on the pole and got a fine collection of bumps and aches.
This casual class was an excellent taster for someone like me who has never tried pole dancing but keen to give it a go. It would be better suited for women who have done the 6 week course, learnt the moves and now wanted to do the fun part – learn a routine. The climb and the swing were a little intimidating for a novice like me but I’d definitely go back, do the course and then have some fun learning the routines.
If you’ve ever wanted to try pole dancing I would recommend it. Even just this casual class was a fun taster to see if it’s for you. The Pole Gym has classes in Brisbane as well as in the far north of Lawnton. It only cost $10 for the casual class and it was a fun experience.
The aerial silks teacher warming up.