Tea Rant!

Hello all!

I hope you are all having as wonderful of a Wednesday as I am! Today was all around an awesome day, I spent it with one of my favourite people, at one of my favourite places (my lovely roomie and I went to David’s Tea)! This was her first time going to David’s Tea and I am thrilled to report – she loved it!

I have not yet shared with you my slight obsession with tea (I thought I would ease you in with the other posts and now let you see the crazy side…just kidding). Anyways, in light of our little trip to David’s Tea it seemed like a good day to do a rant on tea. Tea has so many benefits and is, of course, yummy!

Benefits of Tea:

(Source: http://www.dietitians.ca/Nutrition-Resources-A-Z/Factsheets/Anti-oxidants/Pleasures-of-Healthy-Eating–Chocolate,-Green-Tea,.aspx)

Benefit #1: Antioxidants –

Well to give you the low-down, teas like green tea are chock full of these goodies! Antioxidants are great for your health and can help reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases.

Benefit #2: Water –

Tea is a great source of your daily intake of water! If you’re like me, it can be really tough to get your daily intake of water. I used to have such a hard time guzzling down those eight glasses everyday, but once I learned that tea could help me in that department it’s been a breeze! (Just remember to try and choose decaffeinated teas when you can if you’re hoping to include it as water intake)

Benefit #4: Low in Calories –

Tea is a great way to spice up your water (like I said above) but, it’s a great way to keep your calorie consumption in check. It has a nice flavour but most teas are only a few calories (or none at all) so unlike pop and juices you don’t have to put up with all of the extra calories and sugar.

Benefit #5: Taste and Variety –

There are so many different flavours of tea that you will never get bored of it! There’s fruity tea, strong tea, vanilla tea, tea for chocolate lovers – I think you get the picture! While I was at David’s Tea I saw Birthday Cake flavoured tea – yes, I am serious! Hallelujah, case closed, how could you ask for more than that?!

I think it’s probably pretty clear at this point how much I love tea, so you can expect some tea reviews in the future. You were warned.

Oh, but we’re not done yet – I have a new recipe for you!

 

I am following through on my promise to experiment with Overnight Oats and Chia seeds! The result – PB and Jelly Overnight Oats!

You will need:

  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup oats
  • 1/3 cup milk ( I used almond milk, but any kind will do)
  • 1 tbsp Chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter (all natural)
  • 2 tbsp jam (no sugar added)
  • 1 tsp unsweetened coconut flakes

Make your plain Overnight Oats the same way as always (with the basic ingredients) – see this post for instructions ( https://avantaudrey.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/jumping-on-the-overnight-oats-bandwagon/ )

  • In the morning add your jam and stir.
  • Melt the peanut butter for about 10 seconds in the microwave and drizzle it over the Overnight Oats.
  • Garnish with coconut!

This recipe was really yummy and I loved the peanut butter addition!

Okay, now we’re done so go on and enjoy the rest of your day!

Ciao,

Sam  xo

Be Bright, Be Bold, Be You!

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Top 6 Feminist Characters in Mainstream TV/Movies

We’re going to get a tad down and dirty now. We’re talking F-word dirty.

From the 20s First Wave Movement that gave us the right to vote (yay we’re considered human!) to the 60s Second Wave Movement that brought about the coveted contraceptives and the recognition of domestic violence as a crime, and finally the current flavor of the F-world – Third Wave Feminism, focusing on unifying women of diverse cultures, religions and sexualities, to sum it up, women have come a long way.

What IS the F-world?

Here’s a short test you can take to decide if you are part of the F-world:

  • Do you/have to/would like to go to school?
  • Do you work in a top firm or a loving home?
  • Would you like to drive a car? Or maybe a bike? Or a bus? A boat? Maybe all?
  • Would you like to dye your hair blonde? Maybe blue after that?
  • Would you want to get a boob job?
  • Would you never want to get a boob job?
  • Would you cuss/punch a guy who hits your sister?
  • Does your wife/girlfriend buy you a present and you love her for it?
  • Would you like the option of wearing a bikini? Or a burqa?
  • Do you like to be in stable relationships? Or do you like to play the field?
  • Or keep a baby? Or not keep it?
  • Do you like to choose?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are a feminist.

Feminism has this off-putting quality of being considered a cuss word or an anti-men word. It means nothing like that. Being a feminist doesn’t mean going braless or being lesbian and hairy. But it also does. In effect, it all boils down to choice – to make a conscious choice about what you want, not what John or Jane or Johannesburg wants.

It isn’t about hating men, in fact, Feminism BENEFITS men. See, we know women are manipulated by the media, etc. etc. To put it simply, women are inundated with media images on the quintessential beauty – look like Kate Moss and you’re gold. This pressure culminates in various adverse effects like poor self-image, depression, eating disorders, etc. But here’s the thing – this pressure isn’t limited to women. More and more men are exposed to the pressures of being the Alpha male – characterized by big muscles, high virility, deep voices, etc. (Think Johnny Bravo). Feminism makes us challenge these ideals. It also takes pressure off men to be the primary bread-winners of the family (quitting your loathed job and vacationing in the Bahamas doesn’t sound like a bad idea now eh?)

Also, the stereotypical emotions and professions targeted at men and women are being challenged. Jane wants to be an engineer? Awesome! John wants to be a nurse? That’s great! He wants to cry if he sees a patient in terrible condition? Bring on the waterworks!

Feminism is about breaking barriers and being who you want to be – defining yourself – be it as a man, woman, lesbian, gay, transgender, transsexual, queer or a cheetah. YEAH YOU GO BE A CHEETAH IF YOU WANT TO.

Now that I’ve given you a short albeit hopefully helpful intro into The F-word; let’s move onto the F-list.

Top 6 Feminist Characters in TV/Movies:

1. Grey’s AnatomyPretty much all the characters

Right from the women – Bailey juggling being an excellent mother and an excellent surgeon and Christina choosing her career over a baby, to the men – Derek supporting Meredith through the hurdles of their marriage (albeit with some compromises on part of each); Grey’s is the epitome of Third Wave Feminism, comprising of women of color in strong positions, homosexual couples (Calzona make the best couple of the show, IMHO) and men who support their wives/girlfriends, are strong men, and form an equal relationship for the most part with their female counterparts.

2. Peggy Olson – Mad Men

Set in the 60s, Peggy could’ve pretty much set the ball rolling for the Pay and Employment Equity Act. Hired as a female typist, she rose to the position of a female writer, and demanded to be seen a writer, wanting the symbolic eradication of the ‘female’ bit; in other words, she wanted equal pay for the quality and quantity of work she invested.

3. Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) – Titanic

A 17 year old girl rebelling against the gender and class boundaries set for her by society. Sounds inspiring. Back in the 20s, even more inspiring and perhaps unheard of. She followed her heart supported by a strong mind, an independent outlook and a fiery passion – qualities I admire in any person.

4. Miranda Hobbes – Sex and The City

Although Sex and The City proclaimed itself as a ‘modern feminist’ show, I do have a couple of bones I could pick with a few characters. However, Miranda was an open feminist – she is ambitious, independent and won’t settle for less-than-best. Although many shows have ‘feminist’ characters with the aforementioned qualities, they often end up showing these ambitious women to be cold, calculating, ruthless, perhaps even shown to be misandrists (Read: Meryl Streep in Devil Wears Prada). Miranda has this realism to her – she falls in love, gets cheated on, forgives him because she wants to, has kids, and is a successful career woman. She may not be the best mother but that’s fine – she defies the primary label that often gets crowned upon a woman when she gives birth – ‘mother’.

5. The Women of  The L-Word

This might be a controversial one; so here’s a disclaimer: I find the characters of L-word pretty feminist (Read: Bette Porter, Dana Fairbanks, Tina Kennard), however, the show itself (albeit a pioneer for their portrayal of the LGBTcommunity in mainstream American TV), plays into the same stereotype it attempts to defy – portraying these multidimensional characters in a unidimensional, titillative manner.  The characters themselves portray a wide range of sexualities, professions, relationships and emotions, but the show seems to put these at the background, making the show’s USP (in the words of a male friend) one abundant with ‘wicked hot lesbian sex’.

6. Rick Santorum, Rick Santorum

Although Rick may not be considered a feminist at first glance, upon further insight into his views on various issues, HA I’m just messing with ya – happy late April Fool’s Day!

 

6. Monica, Phoebe and Chandler FRIENDS

My favourite show EVER!

Monica follows her passion of being a chef and rising to the top, wants kids, won’t settle for a guy who will have them for the sake of being with her. Supported by the ever-charming Chandler, who in his own right, is very feminist – supporting his wife’s decision to follow a career over living with him in Tulsa and being supported by his wife through his trails, tribulations and Janice.

Phoebe has her own weird beliefs that she follows to a T, coupled with a pretty rough childhood and having made it on her own through it. She goes through life from one relationship to the other, being open about her demands, and doesn’t settle.

–     –     –

What do you guys think? Let the F-word out!

Stay Bold, Your way.

–  Mallika

Jumping on the Overnight Oats Bandwagon…

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful weather! I have been having a great day and I must say it had a great start – with Overnight Oats!

I cannot believe it has taken me this long to jump on the overnight oats band wagon (or to try Chia seeds for that matter)! I have been a little bit slow on this foodie trend, but I finally decided to see what all the fuss is about! So, in this post I will tell you all about the awesome Overnight Oats I had for breakfast this morning and about my experience with Chia seeds! The Overnight Oats were super easy to make – and I must say it reminded me a lot of ice cream (can you believe it?)!

I decided to start out on a fairly tame note with this dish since I had never tried overnight oats or Chia seeds (yes, I am a bit of a wimp), so I made a simple strawberry flavoured breakfast – because just about anything strawberry works for me.

Just a warning – this makes a BIG serving!

For this recipe you will need:

½ cup of rolled oats

½ cup plain Greek yogurt

2/3 cup of milk (I used almond milk)

1 tbsp of chia seeds

Strawberries (about ½ cup or to taste)

2 tbsp no sugar added strawberry jam

½ scoop vanilla protein powder

Mix the rolled oats, Greek yogurt, milk and Chia seeds in a bowl then cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge until morning.

In the morning, mix in your toppings (strawberry jam, protein powder and strawberries) then eat your way to glory with this scrumptious breakfast!

From Google Images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I told you it was easy!

I was pleasantly surprised with the chia seeds; I wasn’t sure what to expect but the texture was perfect for the recipe. Considering all of the health benefits of Chia seeds (fibre and omega-3s to name a few) I am so excited at how easily they can be incorporated into recipes!

I can’t wait to try more variations of this recipe and experiment with my Chia seeds

Until next time – Stay Bright, Stay Bold, Stay Beautiful!

– Sam xo

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We’d love to hear from you!

Tell us:

Have you ever tried chia seeds?

What are your favourite recipes to include chia seeds in?

How To: Zooey Deschanel/New Girl Bangs

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Hellooo you lovely minions!

As Sam noted, sorry about the sabbatical. Life and times at university, ironically, take the former completely out of the equation. Anyway, enough of the reasons AKA excuses and back to work fun – as a bonus – I have not one but TWO articles for you! YAY where’s my diamond-encrusted medallion?

First off, I recently got a haircut! By ‘haircut’, I mean ‘my bangs’, and by ‘I recently got’, I mean ‘I recently cut’. I’d first cut my own bangs in the 1st year of uni – alcohol and a pair of scissors don’t really go hand-in-hand . . . pun intended. Fortunately and surprisingly, that episode didn’t culminate in horror stories around a campfire for the future generations of my family and friends. However, it did culminate in a bowl-esque vibe to my head slightly reminiscent of a hybrid of Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber and Barbara Streisand (any proof of which has been burnt to ashes). This time round, the lack of alcohol and presence of a couple of mirrors did the trick J

P.S – Oval, Square, Diamond and Heart-shaped faces: These bangs will suit you guys to a T. You needn’t read any further.

P.P.S – Round faces: I have a round face, and had heard from numerous sources that straight-curved (AKA Zooey’s) bangs wouldn’t suit me. I have to say that although straight bangs probably wouldn’t suit us lucky ladies/gentlemen; straight-curved ones (ones that start just above the cheekbones and get shorter at the forehead) make our less conspicuous cheekbones REALLY stand out if done right. Also, the way I see it, it isn’t an arm or a nose, it’s hair, it’ll grow back – so do it!

What you’ll need:

  • Scissors, ideally ones with thin blades Thin Scissors
  • Mirror(s)
  • Water (optional)
  • Hair (not optional)

How to:

  1. Tie all your hair back into a tight pony tail. Take the front-parting out (the part you want to cut your bangs off) and backcomb it to lie in front of your face.
  2. In layman’s terms, the bangs would be of 3 layers – chin-length, cheekbones and eyebrow-skimming.
  3. Hold the scissors with the pointed side up – always hold it this way when cutting hair – it makes the hair less blunt and less prone to split-ends later.
  4. Optional Step: You may spray the parted hair with water to dampen it. Many find this easier to work with and also find the hair to be less prone to split-ends. However, I have never used water to cut my own bangs; I find that I tend to cut too much when I use water (since it makes hair seem longer than when dry). So use water if you like, but at your own risk (this is all at your own risk Ha).
  5. First, measure 1/4th – ½ inch thick strands on either side. Stretch these along the side of your face to your jaw line, and cut at a slant.
  6. Find your cheekbones on either side – your bangs should begin slightly above your cheekbones. This will highlight your bone structure, making us round faced girls look slightly more angular and the others, well, more angular too.
  7. Right above your cheekbones, take about 1/4th – ½ an inch – depending upon how thick your hair is, and cut at a slant.
  8. Next, start cutting the hair at shorter lengths – ALWAYS cut them only VERY slightly shorter (only half-1 cm). Remember; it takes longer to grow back than cut.
  9. Keep doing so until you achieve the desired length – which, in Zooey’s case, would be just about skimming the eyebrows.
  10. Trim until you find the desired length and shape – this would be based on individual preferences and likes – for the most part, I’d recommend to cautiously wing it 😉

Hope this goes well! If not, try and try until you succeed (not at one go, I wouldn’t recommend)

My finished product (pardon the beautiful background of a toilet):

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Stay Bright, Shiny and Adorkable!

Until next time, toodles!

– Mallika

We’re Back…

Yes, you read right…we are back (and no, we have not fallen off the face of the earth as you likely suspected)!

It has been a long hiatus for us and we are finally back on track – with two new recipes to boot (I decided to give you an extra recipe to make up for being MIA).

The first recipe I want to share with you is a super yummy veggie burger recipe. I am so glad that I decided to become a vegetarian and I know it was the right decision, but every once in a while I just get that craving for a big, fat burger. So, the other day I decided to give in – no wait, not fully – I did however, decide to be a little more adventurous then just reach for the nearest frozen veggie burger. I made a portabella mushroom burger, with “guacamole” sauce (or at least your taste buds will think that’s what it is…sneaky right?). It was so tasty that I just had to share it with you!

So, here is what you will need:

Portabella Mushroom cap

Avocado

Cottage Cheese

Your favourite spices (I used steak spice, roasted pepper spice and paprika)

Lettuce

Multigrain Tortilla (or your favourite type of bun)

Onions

Olive Oil

The Trick-Your-Tastebuds Sauce:

  1. Cut slices of avocado and mash with a potato masher
  2. Mix cottage cheese (1 tbsp) with the mashed avocado and continue to mash the mixture
  3. Add your favourite spices (to taste)

The Burger:

  1. Fry your portabella “burger” in olive oil with your favourite spices until cooked
  2. Fry onions in olive oil
  3. Place your burger in the tortilla (or bun), add the sauce to the indented part of the mushroom cap and garnish with lettuce and onions

From Google Images

This burger was seriously delicious and completely satisfied my burger craving…mission accomplished!

The second recipe I’m going to share with you is my Peanut Butter Protein Bites. I am obsessed with these – they are so yummy! They are perfect for when you can’t decide if you’re craving something sweet or salty (but if you are craving something a little more chocolaty try my extra special Chocolate Peanut Butter Bites)!

Peanut Butter Protein Bites:

You will need:

2 packages of plain oatmeal

2 tbsp peanut butter (I use all natural, but use your preference)

½ scoop vanilla protein powder

1-2 tbsp of spelt flour (optional, but will stick together better with this)

1 tbsp olive oil margarine

This recipe is so easy you will not believe it!

Steps to Make It:

1. Melt the peanut butter and margarine in a bowl together (approx. 30 seconds in the microwave)

2. Add protein powder and oatmeal then stir until the margarine and peanut butter have coated all of the oatmeal and protein powder.

3. Stir in flour until mixed thoroughly

4. Using a spoon make little oatmeal bites (roll into balls)

5. Place in container (not covered) and freeze for minimum of 10 minutes

For a more chocolaty treat…

You will need:

2 packages of plain oatmeal

2 tbsp peanut butter (I use all natural, but use your preference)

½ scoop vanilla protein powder

1-2 tbsp of spelt flour (optional, but will stick together better with this)

1 tbsp olive oil margarine

1 tbsp coconut flakes (unsweetened)

1-2 tbsp dark chocolate chips

Follow the same directions as above but also mix in the chocolate chips and coconut flakes in Step 2

Enjoy these little drops of heaven 😉

From Google Images

Well that’s all for now lovely readers – we’ll try not to disappear again!

Ciao,

Sam

xo