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Thursday, December 12, 2013

My Wisdom Tooth Extraction Story


I'd been putting off my wisdom tooth extraction for about a year before I couldn't delay it anymore, the pain was excruciating and never ending. I had everything booked, been in to consultations with my surgeon and was all prepped to finally have these bad boys removed. Then, one lonesome night, I decided to type 'wisdom tooth extraction' into google. Big. Mistake.

After reading page after page of horror stories until 3am I was well and truly freaked out. People don't go online to talk about how wonderful and smooth their extraction was, that's boring. But it seems to be that everyone who has ever had a complication ever has decided to post it on the internet to scare anyone else away from ever having the procedure done.

That's why I'm writing this, in hope that you've googled the same question I did and will find my story a little more informative than some of the others. 

Before Surgery
Aside from having x-rays taken and speaking with my dentist, the prep-work prior to surgery was pretty calm. I made the decision to only eat liquid foods for at least 3 days minimum after surgery because I only had 5 days to recover before going back to work. I prepared a pumpkin soup and blasted it in a blender to make sure it was completely smooth and easy to swallow. I made apple sauce also and had a bag of potatoes ready to boil and mash. Ice cream was in abundance also with a variety of sorbet's and frozen yogurts in my freezer. I also had bananas and spinach ready to make smoothies.

Slow cooked apple sauce

I'd heard mixed opinions on whether ice helps with swelling but it was my opinion that it would so I bought a few flexible ice packs and some stockings so I could put the ice pack inside the stocking and tie it around my head to hold it on. Attractive, I know.

I cleaned my house, washed my sheets and set aside books and movies to read and watch in bed. The one piece of advice that was consistent in all the wisdom tooth stories I'd read from both patients and doctors was that keeping still for 48 hours after surgery will give you the fastest recovery. Everyone said to lay down and stay there, move only when absolutely necessary.

The final thing I did was a quick trip to Kmart to buy a cheap pillow case and towel. I had a sudden thought the day before surgery that perhaps my wound would still be bleeding when I went to bed and I didn't want to ruin my good pillow cases. I prepped a pillow with a cheap pillow case and put a folded towel inside it to protect my pillow. It turned out that I didn't need it because I wasn't bleeding anywhere near enough for it to come out of my mouth.

My pre-surgery shopping cart

The Surgery
We always knew my extraction was going to be complicated. I have strong teeth and the nerve around the roots was incredibly inflamed but no one realised just how complicated it would be. It needs to be said that most extractions aren't this difficult and unless your dentist has given you any indication otherwise, you shouldn't worry about complications.

So I arrived at the dentist’s office and he very patiently let me ask as many questions as I wanted too before he injected me with a local anaesthetic. He started with two shots in attempt to numb me completely before injecting novocaine. After 5 minutes I felt no numbing sensation at all so he went in with another two injections. 5 minutes later I felt a little tingly but definitely not numb. Two more shots. Still nothing. It took another three shots (9 shots in total) before I thought I was numb enough to take the novocaine shot. This is the one that hurts, it goes deep and stings for a few seconds. A lot of stories online describe this shot as the worst part of the whole procedure and for most people it would be but the pain from the needle is over very quickly, it only hurts for a few seconds. We waited about 10 minutes for the novocaine to start working and I thought it had. I felt numb enough.

The dentist started making incisions and I couldn't feel a thing, he started going in with a drill to cut the tooth and it was fine. Then it wasn't. As soon as my tooth cracked I felt excruciating pain. My dentist realised what had happened straight away and quickly injected another shot of novocaine along with two more local anaesthetics. When we were confident that I was numb enough he continued with the extraction.

Ninety minutes later it was over. My half hour procedure had turned into a slow paced, complicated surgery where my tooth was cut into a dozen pieces and a nice chunk of my jaw was removed. Turns out that I'm one of a rare few people who don't respond to novocaine and even with double the dosage I still felt the extraction. Yeowch.

My dentist opted to only extract one of my lower wisdom teeth instead of both because the surgery was so long and complicated. We discussed other options for my second wisdom tooth and have decided not to extract it.

After Surgery
I spent the following 48 hours in front of the television feeling sorry for myself. I strapped ice packs to my head with my little stocking contraption for the first 5 hours before I fell asleep. I managed to eat a small bowl of luke-warm pumpkin soup but the real life saver was lemonade (Sprite). The cold drink mixed with the mild massage of the carbonation was so incredibly soothing. I don't even regularly like lemonade. I slept for 10 hours and set alarms throughout the night so I could wake up and take medication regularly. I wasn't able to speak until about 24 hours after surgery, I think this was because I had to have part of my jaw cut out.

I had no swelling or bruising at all, I contribute this to the ice packs and the fact that I rarely bruise or swell regardless of what happens to me. I'm also a fast healer so I had that going for me too. The pain after surgery was manageable, I could feel a dull ache as the time approached to take my medication but it went away quickly.

After 5 days when the time came to go back to work I was feeling fine, just really tired. My body was using all its energy to heal me so it was understandable that I felt like I hadn't slept properly. I continued taking medication for 10 days, lowering my dosage as the days progressed.


After a week I had the stitches removed and my dentist was in awe at how quickly I was healing. I told you, I'm basically a superhero. My mouth was healing so rapidly that I'd actually healed over my stiches which was a pain to remove. But after that I was on the home stretch.


FAQ

Why did you have a it done in the chair rather than being put to sleep with a general anaesthetic?
Personal choice, mostly. A general anaesthetic isn't really necessary for most dental procedures. The healing time is much faster without a general anaesthetic also. Plus, the cost is much lower if you have the surgery in the chair. Even though it was a painful procedure for me, I'm still glad I didn't have a general anaesthetic.

What medication did you take?
I put myself on a 5 day course of anti-biotics (Amoxicillin) prior to surgery and continued to take it for 5 days after. Anti-biotics before and after surgery greatly lowers your risk of infection. As for pain killers I took Panadeine Forte (1000mg Paracetamol, 60mg Codeine) every 3-4 hours for the first two days after surgery. I then pushed it back to taking it every 6 hours for the next 2 days and alternated it with 400mg of Ibuprofen, taking it in three hour intervals. After four days I took pain killers only when I needed them.

How long did you bleed for?
About 12 hours but it was only a tiny bit of bleeding, nothing that I was at all concerned about.

Did you experience dry socket (when the blood clot comes off too soon, causing pain)?
No, but my dentist was very particular in the way he stitched my wound closed and I didn't clot on the outside so there was no risk of dry socket for me.

What could you feel during the procedure?
There was a lot of pressure and pulling. For 99% of people it's not painful, just uncomfortable and strange. Because the novocaine didn't work on me (again, this is very uncommon) I could feel the tooth being extracted. I couldn't feel any of the incisions or any of the jaw removal but I could feel the tooth coming out and it was painful.

How was the pain after surgery/did you swell/did you bruise?
Pain after surgery was fine, very manageable with the medication I chose to take. I made sure that I took medication before the local anaesthetic wore off. The only time it really hurt was when I tried to speak in the first 24 hours and that one time I let myself sneeze (big mistake). It was uncomfortable but not painful. I didn't swell or bruise but like I mentioned earlier, I rarely do.

When did you eat solid foods again?
For lunch four days after the procedure I ate steamed vegetables and gradually brought in more foods from there. I didn't eat any hard foods for about two weeks after surgery. I probably could have but I was taking extra precautions to make sure I healed properly.

How did you care for the wound?
I rinsed my mouth very gently with salt water a few times during the first 24 hours after surgery. After 24 hours I brushed my teeth gently after each meal and followed with mouth wash. I also rinsed my mouth with salt water every hour or so between meals.

How do you feel now?
Great! It's been 5 weeks since surgery and I couldn't be happier. Everything is healing nicely and the pain is gone. I occasionally get a quick stabbing pain in my jaw where the bone was cut away but that's just because it's healing still. It will take about 6 months for the wound to heal completely.


So that's it, my wisdom tooth extraction story. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below :)

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Follow my new blog REBECCALIFE.COM on Blog Lovin'!

Don't miss a post, click the button below to follow rebeccalife.com on Blog Lovin to stay up to date. EasyDress.org and EasyBite.org will no longer be updated, you can read more about this decision in the post below.

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 Can't wait to see you on the new blog!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My Current (Amazing) Skincare Routine


There is no point in spending hundreds of dollars on make up if you don't take care of the skin underneath it.

I've always had a pretty thorough skin care routine and while I've never suffered from acne, I do have acne prone skin and skin care plays a huge part in whether my skin is clear or blemished. The more chemicals and treatments I use, the more I break out. I've been using the same products for about a year now and am incredibly happy with the results. Using these products has saved my skin, my skin was always on the verge of breaking out, dull, lifeless and irritated. Now I'm literally glowing and for the first time ever I have well behaved skin.

I've become a huge fan of Kora Organics and after countless repurchases they've become staples in my skin care routine. This is going to look like a bit of a Kora love-fest but I do use other brands as well.

I'll list which products I use morning and night at the bottom of the post.


Bioderma Sensibio H2O
I don't know what this miracle liquid is made of or how it came to be, but it's amazing. I remove every single bit of my make up with it in less than a minute. It's fragrance-free and non-irritation, my sensitive skin loves it. I've gone through about 5 500ml bottles of Bioderma since I found it a year or so ago. It's the only product I trust to remove my make up without irritating my skin.

Kora Organics Cream Cleanser
I have a full review of this product here. It's gentle on my skin and cleanses without stripping. It's designed for normal/sensitive/dry skin but I find that it's the best product for my normal/oily skin. I've tried the Kora Foaming Cleanser for oily skin but I prefer the cream.

Kora Organics Exfoliating Cream
This cream is incredible gentle but still buffs away any dry skin. It leaves my skin soft and smooth and never irritates, even in sensitive areas such as my chin and around my nose.

Kora Organics Purifying Mud Mask
I've never been a fan of face masks because they've always irritated my skin and I'd be left dealing with blemishes and acne for days after. This mask gives my skin a thorough clean while hydrating it at the same time. The last thing I want to do is put make up on after using this mask, it leaves my skin so soft and fresh.

Kora Organics Purifying Moisturiser

I have oily skin and have always chosen to use a lighter moisturiser, I don't need the same type of hydration that someone with dry skin would need. Unfortunately lighter moisturisers are typically too gentle to penetrate the skin. This moisturiser from Kora is absolutely wonderful as a day and night cream, it's light enough to wear under make up, is slightly mattifying but is also nourishing enough for night time. 

Trilogy Rose Hip Oil
If you're not currently using rose hip oil on your skin then stop reading this blog post, run down to your local pharmacy and pick some up, you can thank me later. Not only is it incredibly hydrating to dry skin, it's also fantastic for oil control on oily skin. It makes pores less visible, it give your skin an incredible glow, it fades acne scars and darker spots, it tones skin and is an incredibly anti-aging serum. I use two drops all over my face after my moisturiser at night (if you use a heavy moisturiser or night cream then apply the rose hip oil first). Trilogy is my favourite rose hip oil, it's pure, light and sits really nicely on the skin.

Origins Eye Doctor Eye Cream
I've been using this eye cream for about a year now purely for anti-aging measures. I don't have dry skin around my eyes but my fair complexion does give me dark circles. This cream helps to minimise them and I also find that it locks my under eye concealer in place also. It's wonderfully hydrating and just as a side note, I noticed my eye lashes getting fuller almost a month after I started using it. I love how silky it applies to the skin and how a little goes a long, long way.

Below is my typical morning and night skin care routine using the products mentioned above.

Morning:
Kora Organics Cleanser
Kora Organics Moisturiser
Origins Eye Cream

Night:
Bioderma Sensibo Creline
Kora Organics Cleanser
Kora Organics Exfoliator (every 2-3 nights only)
Kora Organics Moisturiser
Trilogy Rose Hip Oil
Origins Eye Cream

Weekly:
Kora Organics Purifying Mud Mask (every 1-2 weeks)


So what's your skin care routine like, have you tried any of these products? Is there something you recommend I try? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @ohrebeccalife =)

Animal Testing:
Bioderma, Kora Organics, Origins and Trilogy do not test on animals.

Monday, November 18, 2013

What's In My Bag This Week?


Listerine and Pain Killers
If you've been following my on any social media then you're probably sick of me complaining about having my wisdom tooth removed, but that's basically all I've been able to think about for the past fortnight (the searing pain in my mouth is quite distracting). Infections after having a tooth removed are too common but I managed to avoid it with consistent rinsing using mouth wash. This little travel bottle has gone everywhere with me.

Audio books
I woke up one morning, opened my laptop and noticed that I had somehow signed up for an audible account the night before. I don't remember doing it but I'm a go-with-the-flow type of person so I perused the 'recently added' section and settled on 'Melissa Explains It All' by Melissa Joan Hart. I love that it's read by her, rather than a narrator, and I'm definitely counting it towards my reading goal for the year - the audio goes for nearly 8 hours, as opposed to that 3-4 hours I'd spend reading the book.

My Laptop
I've been spending all my free time (literally every available minute) prepping this new blog. I've had to relearn CSS and brush up on my HTML, I've been planning posts, notifying PR's of the move and making sure everything was ready for launch day. The Macbook Air is so light and small that it's super convenient to carry around with me.

Boost Juice VIBE Card
This card has been very well loved this week. After I had the stitches removed from my mouth and was able to use straws again I started downing Boost Juices while running around during the day. Eating solid foods is still a little bit of a challenge so juices and smoothies have been my breakfast and lunch of choice. A fresh squeezed apple and watermelon juice is my current favourite and with a VIBE card you get your 11th drink free!

Laura Mercier Hand Cream
I work in an office fueled by recycled air which, while is great for the environment, is terrible for my skin. I layer on hand cream like no tomorrow and I've been loving the Laura Mercier hand creams this week, particularly the scent 'Creme Brule' (because who doesn't want to smell like dessert).


Week Wrap Up
It's been a pretty busy week for me, catching up on everything I missed out on while I was resting after going to the dentist. I'm hoping that the next two weeks fly by and then I'm off to New Zealand with my sister!

Divergent by Veronica Roth - Book Review


This review contains no spoilers.

Beatrice Prior is sixteen, the age where all teenagers in dystopian Chicago must choose which of the five factions to align themselves with for life. Each faction represents a virtue, Candor values Honesty, Abnegation values Selflessness, Amity values Peace, Dauntless values Bravery and Erudite values Knowledge.

Beatrice has grown up Abnegation, her parents are proud Abnegations and, along with her brother, they are among the most selfless people she knows. It was going to be an easy decision, Beatrice would choose to remain Abnegation, as almost all Abnegations did. But in her aptitude test to reveal which faction she is most suited too, all her plans fall apart. She learns a personal and dangerous secret about herself, she is Divergent.

She is told to keep the secret, to never reveal it to anyone or her life will be in danger. Divergents are suited to more than one faction and they are rare, almost unheard of. Divergents don't survive.

At the choosing ceremony, Beatrice becomes Dauntless and is exposed to a new world of risk taking and danger. She is forced to face fears that she never even knew she had. The secret of her Divergence isn't easy to keep and she is constantly under threat of exposure, especially when she realises that she is part of a much larger plan.

Divergent is fast paced and exciting. It's in incredibly fun book with characters that you can relate too. I picked it up just to read a few chapters one night and became trapped in the story, I've even gone back and read my favourite parts again.

It's a turbulent ride of danger, risk-taking, love and self-discovery. When reading the book you can tell that something big is building, the adrenalin builds as the story goes on and the final third of the book switches to an action packed adventure and moves so quickly you almost feel like you've been slapped in the face (in the best way possible).

Divergent is an absolutely thrilling ride and is suited to readers of all ages. I would class it as an action/adventure novel that is set in a Dystopian world, rather than a full blown Dystopian novel.


I give it 5 stars, I can't flaw Divergent. It was fantastic from beginning to end.


The End Of An Era - A Goodbye and Hello

I started EasyDress.org in 2009 as a little beauty and fashion blog and the overwhelming amount of love you have shown it has been incredible. With the success of Easy Dress, my love of blogging and my changing interests I started EasyBite.org in early 2013 to give me a space to write about food and health. I didn't realise that having two blogs would become a full time job, something that I just didn't have time to dedicate myself too while working a separate full-time job in the corporate world.

After months of thinking, planning and seeking advice from friends I have decided to combine Easy Dress and Easy Bite into one brand new lifestyle blog to encompass all of my interests. I have written so many blog posts that just sit in my drafts folder because they don't fit into either of my two genres with Easy Dress and Easy Bite. A brand new blog will give me free space to blog about whatever my heart desires and that's incredibly exciting for me.

Easy Dress and Easy Bite will still exist but they'll be merged into one. I'll still be blogging about beauty, fashion, food and health, along with many other topics. Social issues, book reviews, even a journal, that's the beauty of this new blog, it's exactly who I am without having to squeeze into a genre.

Having one blog will let me post more often and on a broader range of topics. There are easy navigational tools so you can select to just read beauty posts or to just read food posts (almost like they're separate blogs) so you'll be able to find the posts you're interested in quickly.

I'm equal parts excited and nervous but I think you'll like what I have planned for this new blog.

I hope you'll follow me over to rebeccalife.com and see for yourself.


Thank you for all the love and support you've shown me on EasyDress.org and EasyBite.org for the past four years. These two blogs aren't going anywhere, they've just combined and had a face lift.


 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Healthier Banana Chips!

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter! @ohrebeccalife

I can inhale a bag of banana chips like nobodies business, give me a bag of them and I'll make them disappear. They're delicious, cheap and easy to snack on, the only downfall is that the bananas are soaked in sugar syrup for a few hours and are then deep fried. Not the healthiest snacking option. However, you can make your own banana chips with almost no effort and no added sugar, plus they still taste amazing.

You'll need

1 Banana, bananas sweeten as they ripen so the riper, the better.
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
A little coconut oil (optional)


Preheat your oven to 80 degrees celsius, we want the bananas to cook very slowly so they dehydrate and turn into chips, rather than cooking them which will change the flavour.

Slice your banana into 2-3mm slices and place them into a bowl with your lemon juice. If you are using a solid coconut oil, melt a teaspoon and add it to the bowl also.

Gently massage the lemon juice/oil into the banana slices, careful not to squash them and then lay them out onto a lined baking tray in a single layer.

I'm using a spray coconut oil rather than a solid, I sprayed a very fine mist over the bananas once they were on the tray.

Bake on the bottom shelf of your oven for 30 minutes.

Take the bananas out of the oven to cool. When they're at room temperature, put them back in the oven for 15-25 minutes, take them out before they brown.

Leave them to cool and then enjoy! These babies will last about a week in an airtight container.


The lemon juice acts as a preservative to stop your bananas from browning or aging once they're cooked, it won't add any flavour to the chips.

The coconut oil is really just for colour, it gives the chips a beautiful golden colour and helps them to cook more easily. It also gives the chips a mild, tropical twist. The flavours combine really well together.

By dehydrating the bananas, letting them cool and then returning them to the oven the banana chips will go crispy. Cooking them all in one go will make them chewy with more of a 'dried fruit' consistency. That's fine, if that's what you're looking for.


Enjoy your banana chips! If you make this recipe, post a picture to Instagram and tag me so I'll see it! @ohrebeccalife

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Best Apple Crumble in the Entire World! (vegan)

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter! @ohrebeccalife

Is there anything better than a warm dessert on a cold, winters night? This fragrant apple crumble is warming and delicious, you're going to want to make it again and again.

I've been reading a lot of recipes for apple pies and crumbles and the healthier alternatives all follow the same basic recipe, but I've added a few of my own little twists into this one to make it as delicious and nutritional as possible. Feel free to play around with it and see what you can come up with.

The fruit in regular apple pies and crumbles are soaked in sugar syrup and left to soften which lessens the flavour and gives you an unnecessary sugar hit, apples are sweet enough as they are so I've only added a little bit of sweetener to the recipe just to bring the flavours of the apples, vanilla and cinnamon together.

Almond meal is my favourite raw flour so it's the key ingredient in my crust but if you're concerned about the (good) fat content, oat flour is a great alternative. You can buy fine oat flour in most supermarkets or you can always put rolled oats into a food processor to make your own. If you make oat flour yourself it will be a little rougher than almond meal but it still tastes wonderful. To add more fibre, you can substitute half a cup of your flour with flax-seed meal.

You'll need:

6-7 apples, chopped into small pieces, I like to use Granny Smith apples because they warm beautifully. I've left the skin on for their nutritional value, you can peel them if you want too.
4 tablespoons of lemon juice
2/3 cup of sultanas (optional)
The seeds from 1 vanilla bean, or 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract. If you need help scraping the seeds out of your vanilla pod, this video will help you.
4 teaspoons of cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
2 cups of almond meal, you could use oat* or coconut flour if you prefer.
2 tablespoons of sweetener, I used coconut sugar, you can use stevia or raw sugar if you prefer.
1/4 cup of coconut oil, you can use margarine if you prefer (low fat, unsalted is best)
1/4 cup of chopped macadamias or almonds


In a pie dish, mix the apples, vanilla, and 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon and the lemon juice until the apples are evenly coated.


In a separate bowl, combine the rest of the cinnamon, nutmeg, almond meal, sweetener and coconut oil and mix until combined into a rough, slightly damp flour.


Press the mixture over the apples in your pie dish, the apples should be covered completely but depending on your dish size you may still have some apples poking through or some edges not covered, it's not important that everything is covered, just spread it out as much as you can.


Bake at 180 degrees celsius for about 30 minutes. The apples will be tender and the crust should be golden. Sprinkle the chopped macadamias or almonds over the top as soon as you take it out of the oven.


I serve mine with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream.


If you make this recipe, tag me on Instagram or Twitter to make sure I'll see it! @ohrebeccalife


Monday, August 12, 2013

Christian Dior Creme de Rose Lip Balm



The beauty community has been going mental for this lip balm lately so it was inevitable that I'd get my paws on it sooner or later. My lips are prone to chapping, I apply lip balm roughly 10 times per day to stop them from drying out. I've tried great balms and I've tried poor balms, I expected this one to be great.
I use a general lip balm during the day (Nivea Essential Care, usually) and then a more hydrating, intense balm in the evening and night.
Let’s start with the packaging. The cheap feeling plastic isn't what I expected from a $43 Christian Dior lip balm, it's flimsy, scratches easily and after two weeks of floating around my handbag it leaves little to be desired. I know there's only so much you can do with plastic but I expected something a little more inviting.
Inside the packaging you'll find 7.2 grams of product, it's not a lot but I knew that when I bought it. In my experience, intense and less concentrated lip balms require less product per use and just less use in general. After two weeks of use however, I've almost finished the entire thing. THE ENTIRE THING! The reason for this is that the balm only seems to provide any sort of comfort or nourishment while it's physically on your lips, once it's absorbed there's no lasting protection or hydration. This balm absorbs completely within 15 minutes, meaning that I'm reapplying it constantly.
All of this is a real shame because when it comes to consistency and texture, Creme de Rose gets it right, I'd go as far as saying that the texture of this lip balm is absolutely perfect. There's enough slip to it that I can move my lips together easily and it's not sticky at all. It feels weightless and my hair doesn't stick to it when I start dancing around my house (which I tend to do more often than not). Most thick lip balms can't perfect this like Creme de Rose has, too bad the actual product is useless.


It has a strong rose scent but it doesn't smell artificial and coming from a beauty house that prides itself on perfumes, I would expect nothing less. The scent it a little bitter with just a hint of sweet, much like real roses. The scent doesn't linger for long but it's nice while it does.
There is no colour transfer, while the balm looks pink in the pot it will apply clear which is to be expected
So this balm definitely isn't for me, perhaps those with less need for hydration, nourishment and protection will like it a bit better but personally, I'd give it a miss.
Creme de Rose will cost you $43 at Dior counters in Australia (or $27 at Dior counters, Sephora and Nordstrom in the US)

Christian Dior Creme de Rose Lip Balm



The beauty community has been going mental for this lip balm lately so it was inevitable that I'd get my paws on it sooner or later. My lips are prone to chapping, I apply lip balm roughly 10 times per day to stop them from drying out. I've tried great balms and I've tried poor balms, I expected this one to be great.
I use a general lip balm during the day (Nivea Essential Care, usually) and then a more hydrating, intense balm in the evening and night.
Let’s start with the packaging. The cheap feeling plastic isn't what I expected from a $43 Christian Dior lip balm, it's flimsy, scratches easily and after two weeks of floating around my handbag it leaves little to be desired. I know there's only so much you can do with plastic but I expected something a little more inviting.
Inside the packaging you'll find 7.2 grams of product, it's not a lot but I knew that when I bought it. In my experience, intense and less concentrated lip balms require less product per use and just less use in general. After two weeks of use however, I've almost finished the entire thing. THE ENTIRE THING! The reason for this is that the balm only seems to provide any sort of comfort or nourishment while it's physically on your lips, once it's absorbed there's no lasting protection or hydration. This balm absorbs completely within 15 minutes, meaning that I'm reapplying it constantly.
All of this is a real shame because when it comes to consistency and texture, Creme de Rose gets it right, I'd go as far as saying that the texture of this lip balm is absolutely perfect. There's enough slip to it that I can move my lips together easily and it's not sticky at all. It feels weightless and my hair doesn't stick to it when I start dancing around my house (which I tend to do more often than not). Most thick lip balms can't perfect this like Creme de Rose has, too bad the actual product is useless.


It has a strong rose scent but it doesn't smell artificial and coming from a beauty house that prides itself on perfumes, I would expect nothing less. The scent it a little bitter with just a hint of sweet, much like real roses. The scent doesn't linger for long but it's nice while it does.
There is no colour transfer, while the balm looks pink in the pot it will apply clear which is to be expected
So this balm definitely isn't for me, perhaps those with less need for hydration, nourishment and protection will like it a bit better but personally, I'd give it a miss.
Creme de Rose will cost you $43 at Dior counters in Australia (or $27 at Dior counters, Sephora and Nordstrom in the US)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Pumpkin, Spinach and Ricotta Lasagne!



(Cue Friends reference)
Pumpkin? Good. Spinach? Good. Lasagne? Good!

This lasagne is not only delicious but it has far less fat and carbohydrates than regular lasagne.

It also stores really well so you can make enough for a few meals and keep it in your refrigerator or freeze it for later.

You'll need:

Roughly 3 cups of diced pumpkin (about 3/4 of a butternut)
300g of Ricotta
3 handfulls of baby spinach, chopped roughly.
4 Spring Onions, chopped finely.
1/4 cup of light shredded cheese, plus a little extra for the top.
Lasagne sheets (I used 4)
1 jar of basic pasta sauce, I use Ragulette Classic Tomato Bolognese
A sprinkle of salt and pepper

About your lasagne sheets:
I used fresh sheets so I didn't have to prepare them prior to using them. If you are using dried pasta then you will need to boil them until almost cooked (4-6 minutes) before using them in your lasagne. This dish doesn't have the amount of sauce and oil that a regular lasagne has and therefore won't cook the sheets if they're dried. 

First, steam your pumpkin until it's soft then roughly mash it with a fork.

In a bowl, mix the ricotta (you may need to dice it first), baby spinach, spring onion, cheese and salt and pepper until it's well combined and the cheese has broken into smaller pieces.

Spread a thin layer of the pasta sauce on the bottom of your baking dish, this is to stop it from sticking.

Lay a lasagne sheet on top of the pasta sauce. You may find you need to cut a few sheets to fill in the gaps, depending on the size of your dish.

Next, spread all of the mashed pumpkin over the lasagne to make a thick layer. Lay another lasagne sheet over the top.

Then layer your ricotta mixture over the lasagne and put another lasagne sheet on top. I actually used two sheets on this layer just to make the top a little thicker, it's up to you.

Pour your pasta sauce over the top of the lasagne until it's covered and about half a centremeter thick, sprinkle it with a little cheese and bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees.


Now try not to eat it all at once!
I recommend serving with a green salad or steamed green vegetables.

If you make this recipe, post a picture to Instagram and tag me with @ohrebeccalife so I can see it!

Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Kora Organics Cream Cleanser!


I've been swinging through a love-affair lately, a deep, passionate love affair with Kora Organics. I'd been eyeing the products for such a long time and was hesitant to buy them because my skin is sensitive and I have allergic reactions to lavender. 
After a few sneaky tests (hiding in a secluded corner of David Jones with a tester bottle in hand) I jumped  in and purchased the Cream Cleanser. Needless to say, it didn't take long before I'd accumulated an array of Kora products and was loving every second of it.
The cream cleanser is targeted at normal, dry or sensitive skin and it's definitely not irritating to my break out prone, combination-oily, sensitive skin. It's base ingredients are Camomile and Aloe Vera which are excellent at healing and soothing dry or irritated skin. It has nourishing macadamia and avocado oils as well as my personal favourite, Rose Hip Oil. Vitamin E and Noni Extract make skin vibrant and luminous while adding anti-aging properties.
All of the ingredients are completely natural and almost 90% of them are from organic farming. There are no sulfates, parabens, silicones or glycols (which irritate the skin and are unnecessary ingredients) and it's also free of synthetic fragrances and colours, which can also cause allergic reactions.
I have very sensitive skin and it took me a long, long time to figure that out. For so many years I've been treating my skin with anti-acne products and just making things worse. For me, anti-acne product just seem to irritate my skin and cause acne, since I've started treating my skin as 'Sensitive Skin' I've been acne free and am only prone to slight blemishes around certain (hormonal) times of the month. The Kora Organics Cream Cleanser doesn't irritate my skin, it doesn't spark up any acne or blemishes and it gives my skin such a radiant luminosity.
The main complaint I hear about the brand is the price but I'd like to point out something quickly while I have your attention. If you go an pick up your bottle of chemical-based cleanser, you're going to notice that one of the first ingredients is water. Your product is watered down to accommodate to the regular amount of product that people use. This Kora Organics cleaner contains no water, it's incredibly concentrated which means you only need to use a very small amount, the picture below shows exactly how much of the product I use at a time.


I use it morning and night (and occasionally in the middle of the day if I was changing my make up) and one bottle lasts me about 3 months (roughly 100 applications).
Kora Organics is Australian made and owned and this product is classified as vegan.
You can find it at koraorganics.com, in David Jones, Terry White Pharmacy and selected Chemarts. $44.95 for 90 mL (3.04 fl.oz). If you're international, you can find it on net-a-porter.com or buy online from koraorganics.com.
I adore this product, I've repurchased multiple times and absolutely recommend it.

Monday, July 15, 2013

What's In My Bag This Week?

Follow me on Instagram! @ohrebeccalife


Fifty Shades of Grey
I finally got back on the horse, so to speak. I bought 50 Shades of Grey when it first came out. The opening scene is of a girl sitting in her room and brushing her hair so I took the book to be a typical 'girly' read. Boy was I shocked when chapter seven kicked in..
Anyway, I disowned the book and then all of a sudden everyone started reading it and talking about it and my intrigue was brought back. I ended up buying it as an e-book on my iPad and got through it in a couple days. I don't really get the hype of it, the writing is so-so but the story line is okay. I've read the second book and am part way through the third.

Kora Rose Hip Oil
This is a rose hip oil blend and it's been a miracle worker during these colder months. I've been patting it onto the upper half of my face after standing in the cold, drying wind. I've also been using it as a cuticle cream (a-ma-zing) and on my elbows. It's not as heavy as a pure rose hip oil which makes it perfect for day time use.

Capilano Honeyfusions - Honey & Lemon
The beautiful Reese from reeseatomic.com.au flaunted her love for this on Instagram and I rushed out to get it as soon as I saw it - what can I say, I basically just want to be her. I've been fighting off a nasty cough for about two weeks now and hot tea with this delectable Honey & Lemon mix has been helping to sooth my sore throat. And sometimes I just eat it as-is because it's just that delicious.

Lindt 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate
I'm not a chocolate lover but I enjoy the occasional piece of dark chocolate, more so lately. Whenever I feel like something sweet I break off a little piece of this rich, creamy dark chocolate and let it melt in my mouth. It's delicious (and it's vegan!).

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Stain - Honey
I bought this a while ago and then never used it. Somehow it found it's way into my handbag (like most lip products do) and I've been loving it lately. It's so effortless and easy, plus it goes with any eye make up because of it's neutral rose tint. I find that it lasts about 4 hours on my lips even with my excessive lip balm applications - love!

My headphones - HeartBeats by Dre
I bought these more than two years ago and adore them, then I lost them. It wasn't until this week that I found them again (in a shoe - we won't go there) and I've fallen in love with them all over again. I highly recommend purchasing them if you're in the market for some high end headphones, they are fantastic quality.

Monday, July 1, 2013

#GoOrange! Plus Chocolate Oranges with Pistachios


Fruits and vegetables take up 90% of my shopping cart in my weekly grocery shop so when I received an email asking me to be a part of Go Orange! I jumped at the opportunity.

Go Orange! is a campaign run by Citrus Australia to inspire and encourage you to stop leaving oranges at the bottom of the fruit bowl, something I'm definitely guilty of. Sure, orange's can't be eaten on the go like an apple can, but this little nutrient powerhouse definitely deserves a few dedicated minutes of your day.

We all know that oranges are bursting at the seams with Vitamin C but they also contain antioxidants and powerful nutrients to nourish and take care of your body. These antioxidants combined with their high water content also treat your skin and give you a glowing, supple complexion as well as a helping hand with slowing down the aging process of your skin.

Oranges are a wonderful winter fruit to give you a natural boost in immunity and help you power through the colder months. Their naturally occurring folate, potassium and fibre also support a healthy heart.

They're low GI and as a bonus, their fibre helps you feel fuller for longer, making them a wonderful afternoon snack.

With their Go Orange! campaign, Citrus Australia is asking you to eat an orange a day for 10 days and reap all the benefits. I'm going to be posting a few recipes to help you along over the next few days but let's start with something easy:

  
Chocolate Dipped Oranges with Pistachios

Oranges are delicious, no one is arguing with that fact, but sometimes you just want a little something extra. So, in the spirit of Go Orange, we're making our whole oranges a little more dessert worthy.

You'll need

1 Orange, peeled and separated into segments.
Chocolate for dipping, I'm using Loving Earth's Chocolate Coconut Butter (because it's delicious), any chocolate will work.
Chocolate, cacao nibs or chocolate chips, I used Loving Earth Coconut Mylk chocolate.
Pistachios

First, put the chocolate and pistachios into a food processor and pulse them until they're roughly chopped, you could always chop them with a knife if you don't have a food processor handy.

Next, gently melt the chocolate you're using to dip the oranges into until it's a liquid and then dip, dip away. I coated mine half way. If you're using the Loving Earth Chocolate Coconut Butter like I am you'll need to make sure you stir it really well or it won't stick to the oranges.

Let them rest on a plate as you're dipping the rest.

When they're all finished, sprinkle the chocolate and pistachio mix over the top and let them set in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.


And you're finished!


Come back for more orange recipes throughout the week!


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Raw Vegan Lemon Slice

Follow me on Twitter & Instagram: @ohrebeccalife

My favourite desserts all contain a delicious burst of citrus so I went on a mission to recreate my favourite lemon slice in a more nutritious way. It turns out that there are an abundance of people doing the same thing so I took a few recipes and added my own touches to create something delicious.
You'll need:
For the biscuit base
1/2 a cup of raw rolled oats
1/4 cup of unprocessed buckwheat, you can use all oats or all buckwheat (to make them gluten free) if you like, just use what you have.
10 medjool dates
3/4 cup of shredded coconut
1/2 a tablespoon of sweetener (optional), I'm using my beloved coconut sugar, you can use stevia or even honey or brown sugar (if you're not going for the raw vegan thing)
For the lemony cream
1/4 cup of maple syrup, you can use honey or 8 medjool dates instead if you like (dates will change the colour)
Juice from 2-3 lemons, depending on your preference
1/2 a cup of coconut
2 bananas
1/2 a cup of melted coconut oil
Start by making the base, put all the dry ingredients into a food processor and blend until combined into a rough flour, add the dates and blend until it all sticks together.


Press the mixture into the bottom of a lined baking pan (I'm using a 9x9 square) and put it in the refrigerator to chill while preparing the lemon layer.
For the lemon layer, blend all of the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. I like to add the lemon juice slowly, tasting it until I get the right flavour. I used the juice from about 2 and a half lemons in the end.
Pour the lemon mixture over the biscuit base and spread gently until it's even. Let it set in a refrigerator over night. They'll store well in the refrigerator for up to three days.


After it had set, I sprinkled a little bit of shredded coconut and just a touch of coconut sugar over the top.


All finished! Try not to eat it all at once.

I have to also note that the biscuit base is incredible, I've made it multiple times and flattened it into round biscuits to eat as a snack.




Sunday, May 19, 2013

Raw Vegan Chocolate Fudge Brownies (Gluten Free, Super Healthy & DELICIOUS!)


Finding healthy sweet treats isn't always easy but these chocolate fudge brownies will tick all the right boxes. They're incredibly healthy, deliciously sweet and you can make them in minutes.

You'll need:

2 cups (approx 20) medjool dates, you can find these in the fruit section of your supermarket.
1 cup of chopped almonds, I just gave some regular almonds a wiz in my food processor before making the brownies rather than buying pre-chopped almonds, it's cheaper that way.
1 cup of almond meal, you can find this in your supermarket, most likely in the baking section
3/4 cup of raw cacao powder, you can find this in your health food store
3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil, this is also at your health food store and in some Coles supermarkets
2 teaspoons of spirulina powder (optional), available at your health food store
2 tablespoons of shredded coconut


Tear open the dates to remove the seed and then throw all of your ingredients (except the coconut) into a food processor and wiz it for 1-2 minutes (or until everything is combined, depending on the power of your food processor).


Transfer the mixture into a lined tray and press it down firmly to compact the mixture, sprinkle the coconut on top and press it again into the brownie mix.


Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before taking it out of the tin and slicing it into squares.


That's all, super easy and absolutely delicious. Scroll down the bottom to read why these are so good for you.


Tips:

Don't be turned off from this recipe because it contains ingredients you may not have on hand, a quick trip to your local health food store will help you find everything you need and most health food stores also let you buy by weight so you can get just the right amount of each ingredient.

It's important to use medjool dates, which is good because they're the most common variety. Medjool dates give it that sweet, 'fudgy' consistency and the flavour is milder so it's easily over powered by the cacao powder. I'm not a fan of dates but you can't taste them at all in this recipe.

You can use chopped walnuts or macadamias instead of almonds if you like to mix things up a little.

If you have difficulty measuring out your coconut oil, remove the lid and place the jar in the microwave for 30-60 seconds or submerge the jar into hot water until it softens, making sure no water gets into the jar. When it's softened, spoon out a few scoops into another container and melt it the same way (either in the microwave or submerged in hot water). It's easy to melt and is much easier to measure in it's liquid form. You can just pour whatever you don't use back into the jar so it will set again to use next time.


Why are these so good for me?

Cacao powder is full of nutrients and antioxidants to fight free radicals that cause DNA damage within the body. It is also one of the world’s best sources of magnesium and has a natural mood booster to lift your spirits a little. Cacao powder is essentially chocolate in it's natural, unprocessed, powder form, it has a more refined, friendlier taste than processed cocoa powder.

Spirulina is an algae high in chlorophyll, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus and B vitamins. It has 2300% more iron than spinach and 300% more calcium than whole milk. It's also one of the  highest-protein sources in the world.  It is also incredibly alkalising, which helps balance PH levels in the body to promote general health plus it's fantastic for your skin. It smells awful and tastes the same way but the flavour is easily covered up by other ingredients when cooking. It's also not too expensive, I buy roughly 50g at a time, it costs about $4 and lasts for ages because you only need to use a small amount when you cook.

Dates are a fantastic sweetener, they're rich in vitamin B6 and also contain good amounts of potassium, copper and magnesium. They have a whole bunch of other vitamins and minerals in lower quantities also.

Coconut Oil is a fantastic fat for your body, it controls weight, eases digestion, gives you an immunity boost, manages type 2 diabetes and gives your metabolism an extra kick. It's also brilliant for your skin.



Monday, May 13, 2013

6 Beauty Products You Must Own


A go-to neutral palette

If you're ever in a rush it's good to know that your trusty neutral palette is ready and waiting to be swept over your eye lids. It's good if your palette has a shade for highlighting as well as a shade that you can use as a liner if you're short on time.

I love the Bare Minerals palette in 'The Truth' for a quick and easy eye.


A perfect blending brush

Nothing makes your eyeshadow application more simple than a perfect blending brush. You want a brush that you can reach for to apply all of your eyeshadow, rather than having to swap brushes for different things.

I love the MAC 217 brush (I have about 4 of them) for sweeping shadow over the lid, defining the crease and darkening the lash line.


A tinted moisturiser or BB cream

If you don't like to wear foundation every day then a tinted moisturiser or BB cream is perfect for those days when you're just grocery shopping or running errands but still want a little bit of coverage. This way you don't have to fuss over a perfect application and you can just buff it into your skin with clean fingers.

I love the Garnier BB Cream


 A my-lips-but-better lip colour

A perfect lip stick to make your natural lip colour shine. Your my-lips-but-better colour should be one shade lighter or darker than your natural lip colour (depending on your preference). It will be different for every person but generally it will be a rose tones colour to match your natural lip shade.

I love MAC Gem of Roses and Chanel Legende.




A rose tinted bronzer
A bronzer with a subtle rose tint to quickly make your face more awake and defined. When you don't have time (or can't be bothered) contouring, a rose tinted bronzer can be swept just above your contour line (about an inch below your cheekbones) to brighten up your face.

I love Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel in Sable Rose




An exact-match concealer

To quickly cover any imperfections on your face or under your eyes, a concealer that matches your skin tone exactly will do the trick. On most days I use a corrector before my concealer and then use a concealer slightly too light for me and take the time to blend it in properly. But when I'm running out the door and don't have time for a full face of make up, nothing beats an exact match concealer for a quick and easy cover.

I love Cle de Peau Concealer and MAC Mineralise Concealer