Monday, March 31, 2014

In My Beauty Cabinet - Natural, Non-Toxic Products I Love


These are a few of my favourite things!

You may have noticed that I have recently radically changed my health habits and my hubby & I have been eating as clean as possible - we're not perfect though! However, being pregnant has got me thinking more and more about the toxins we place on our skin / bodies and also the toxic products we are using around the house. So here is a peek into my beauty cabinet at the moment. What products I'm personally loving. I have a huge list of other things to try out as well so I'm sure there'll be a follow up to this post in the coming months. 

1. Jane Iredale Glowtime Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream
I've been using Jane Iredale mineral products for quite a few years now as I've always had ridiculously sensitive skin & their varied mineral range works well for me. I only recently got onto their BB cream and won't ever look back. It seriously smooths out any blemishes and makes your skin look radiant like a glowing goddess.

2.  Pure Fiji Hydrating Body Lotion
Every time I slather my body with this lotion it takes me immediately back to Fiji. All the fragrances are delightful but my absolute favourite is the coconut. Smells divine & makes me feel like it's always summertime. All natural, locally sourced ingredients too.

3. Jane Iredale Smooth Affair Facial Primer & Brightener
When I mentioned skin radiance above with the BB Cream, this primer will give you serious glowing skin! It also helps my makeup stay on longer & smooths out any unevenness. This with the BB cream are practically all I need. I barely need concealer!

4. Gernetic Skincare
I have been using Gernetic for around 10 years now and swear by it. I have terribly sensitive skin and at the age of 20 started getting rashes on my chin which only got worse with pretty much every product I tried. My sister who is a salon owner, got me onto Gernetic and I have never looked back. I won't lie, these products are not just topical, so there was a definite elimination process that I personally went through for about 2 weeks as my body was ridding itself of impurities but after that my skin has been practically perfect and I've never ever had a rash on my face ever since and that was 10 years ago! I won't touch any other skin care. I personally use Glyco for cleansing, Fibro for toning, and Synchro for moisturising. (Just a note: my sister has never come across anyone who had as long an elimination process as me by the way. I obviously had some serious issues my body had to sort out)

5. Grown Alchemist Hand Wash & Hand Cream
I came across these products in a hotel bathroom and was obsessed by the scent of the hand cream. Tracked them down and continue to keep these babies in my bathroom. The hand wash in sweet orange, cedarwood, & sage is so gentle and smells delicious. The hand cream in vanilla & orange peel complements the hand wash perfectly and not only smells good enough to eat but I find it soaks in quite quickly and doesn't leave a greasy residue like some hand creams can. What's better is that Grown Alchemist are all organic!

Do you have any natural or organic products you swear by? I love suggestions as I'm always looking for new and exciting ranges to try, especially local. I'm currently looking for the perfect shampoo & conditioner for my very long, wavy tresses. I have a super sensitive scalp and have yet to find what works best. 

Clare x



Monday, March 24, 2014

Metamorphosis Monday

Photos courtesy of Katie. Please don't share without permission.

I'm declaring today Metamorphosis Monday! I'm just so proud of my bestie, Katiefor her achievements and the amazing journey she's been on since July last year. She truly is an inspiration. Not only has she dropped from a size 14 to a size 8 but she's now fitter, leaner & stronger than she was in high school! I've watched her go from someone who hated exercise & even said herself that she "collected gym memberships" to someone who is so unbelievably active, and has now become a healthy role model. I watched her get up on stage & tell her story to over 2000 people in Brisbane last month where she won a whopping, well-desereved $4000! 

Have you been through a metamorphosis? I'd love to hear of your journey.

I'm so glad to be on this journey with Katie. For me, I didn't have the weight to lose so my results may not seem as physically impressive yet for me the nutritional system we use has seen me go from a zombie some days, after sleepless nights to being full of energy, sleeping soundly every single night, I've stopped grinding my teeth in my sleep, and am seeing definition in my body that I haven't seen since I was 16! I'm so excited to know that I'm giving my baby the best start to life health wise too! Last year I had blood tests done before I went to South America as I knew we would be trying for a baby when we got back. Everything was fairly good except I was vitamin D deficient. Now... my doctor & obstetrician were (pleasantly) shocked by my blood test results. I am in nooooo way vitamin D deficient any longer, in fact my levels were so amazing the obstetrician thought I was taking supplements. My B12 was also amazing and my cholesterol was very low. I've also been lucky to have reached 18 weeks of pregnancy without any morning sickness, or any weight gain whatsoever. Yes, I realise I still have a long way to go but feel like with the right nutrition and exercise I'm giving myself and bub the best chance possible. 

If you want to know more about our journey and the amazing nutritional system we use, feel free to drop me a line any time: curiouslookingglass (at) gmail.com

I'll be posting photos of my baby bump soon! We're headed to beautiful Hawaii next week for a sneaky babymoon - woo!

Clare x

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Keep Calm & Be an Austen Heroine!

Photo by Glenn Chiofalo

I'm extremely fortunate to be treading the boards as my favourite literary character right now, Elizabeth Bennet. Above is a sneaky peak of my beautiful pelisse & bonnet that I wear. Just stunning!  (please ignore the creases, I hadn't had a chance to steam iron it before I took this photo) I'm thoroughly enjoying this play as Pride & Prejudice is many a girl's dream to be involved in and I have a truly beautiful cast. We've had most shows sell out which goes to show that Austen is still as popular as ever!

I will share more photos after the production. I must say, this role has definitely been a task, being pregnant & at the moment still working full time. Luckily for those regency dresses, no one has been able to notice my little bump. I've had to be extremely disciplined with lines and such to ensure baby brain doesn't kick in at any point haha! 

Who is your favourite Austen character?

I shall leave you with a few of my favourite P&P pins...

Clare x








Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Three Tips to Save Money on Food


Food is something that most of us enjoy, so the idea of changing the way that we eat in order to save money might not sound immediately appealing. However, cutting the cost of your weekly shop needn’t mean making sacrifices. Instead, it can push you to become more creative with your cooking and to invest more time in considering the food that you eat.

Here, we look at several things you can do to cut down the amount you spend on food.


Go vegetarian

The cost of meat compared to vegetables is astronomical so it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that cutting meat out of the diet should lead to a considerable reduction in the cost of the weekly food shop. Of course, you don’t have to commit to a vegetarian diet seven nights a week to benefit from the low cost of a veggie meal.

Cooking vegetarian food for just a few nights a week is a simple way to save money. Not only that, you’ll be able to buy great quality vegetables and still spend less than you would if you were to be eating meat. Needless to say, this could be a great inspiration for you to make a full time change to your diet if you’ve been considering doing so.


Eat together

As with most things in life, buying in bulk is usually a good way to save money. While the idea of purchasing huge amounts of food to store in the cupboard probably doesn’t sound very appealing this isn’t the only way to benefit from the possibility of bulk buying.

Organising a dinner party is a great excuse to find good value and can work particularly well if you can convince your friends to host their own. If you can eat as a group even just once a week, you’re likely to notice an ease brought to your American Express credit cards.

Needless to say, there’s the added benefit of having a good time.


Grow your own

You don’t need to have acres and acres of your own land in order to grow a few vegetables. Even the smallest of outside spaces can house a small patch. Not only will this be a fun thing to do, it’s a surprisingly effective way to save a little money on food. If you’ve got a lot of space, you might even be able to sell the surplus vegetables for a tidy profit.

Clare x

In association with Ginnie Richards

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Guest Post: Living for the Now without Compromising the Future by Morgan Darrow



As you may have seen in my latest post, my hubby and I are expecting our first child in August and as exciting as this is some realities have hit home. We have been busy little bees preparing to earn an income that will surpass my current weekly income by the time I finish up work in late July so that we can still live comfortably without me having to freak out about rushing back to work. I know so many Mother's that wish they had that luxury of staying home to raise their kids. Anyway, this got me thinking about retirement at any age and writer, Morgan Darrow, has kindly shared with us a post below on living for the now without compromising the future...

Clare x

~

When thinking about retirement, it’s easy to get in a catch-22 circle loop of thinking. You want to save money now so that you can be comfortable and free during retirement. But you also want to live in the moment. There have been studies about working longer leading to longer lives, but if you work out the math, if you work 10 years longer than the average, you gain one year of life. I think I’d rather focus on living to the fullest during those ten years. Of course, if you love your job, you might get the best of both worlds.

Regardless, retirement does take planning if you don’t want to end up stressing about finances your whole life. Below are some ways that you can make the most of the “now” while establishing the necessary means for a sustainable retirement.

Live Healthy
Making healthy choices is the foundation for a long, fulfilling life. When your body feels good, you feel good. Also, getting in the habit of treating your body well can help prevent health problems later in life, which in turn can decrease medical bills. Who says being happy can’t save you money? Here are some actionable tips on living healthy AND saving money.

* Grow your own food- even if you start small with a few herbs or just one vegetable, growing your own produce allows you to control what’s in your food, is usually a lot cheaper than purchasing from others, and gardening is known to have several health benefits.

* Do things yourself- instead of calling the repairman for every little problem, look for internet tutorials for fixing basic plumbing, electrical, and other appliance issues. Change your oil. Cook your own food. You’ll save money on labor and you’ll be ever expanding your skill-set and keeping your mind active.

* Exercise- Go for a walk, run, jog, or swim. Exercising outside increases the benefits of your workout and saves you gym fees. * Don’t go it alone. Businesses like Isagenix allow you to dedicate your life to clean, healthy, living, and improve your wealth as well. They can give you the resources you need to help make your goal of healthy living profitable.

Financial Habits
* Get (and stay) out of debt- Debt weighs on your shoulders and can add a lot of unneeded stress into your life. Do your best to pay off outstanding debt as quickly as possible and only use credit for emergencies or when absolutely necessary.

* Be a minimalist- the less possessions you have to tie you down, the free-er you are to focus on the important things in life. Don’t buy things you don’t need. Sell things you don’t use. This will make the things you do purchase more important. * Know your situation- Don’t leave your retirement up to fate. Try Suncorp’s superannuation calculator to see how much you’ll need to save in order to have the retirement you want. From there, you can adjust your savings strategies and spending habits accordingly.

Money is nowhere near the most important thing in life, but it is necessary, and sound financial habits allow you to avoid stressing over the bills. Spending small amounts of time planning out your financial strategies can allow you to focus on the important things, like planning your world travels.

Article by Morgan Darrow

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

We Made a Baby!

Photography by Glenn Chiofalo

Greetings for 2014! Yes, I've been a slack little blogger but as you can see I've been a little preoccupied. We are expecting our very first little bundle of joy in August! We couldn't be happier! I've been extremely lucky (although I like to put it down to my good nutrition over the past 6 months) not to have suffered any morning sickness. The first trimester tiredness has most definitely been there though with some days feeling like I've been in a fog. Not much you can do about those extra hormones surging through your body.

Now I'm 13 weeks and feel like that fog has lifted so back to blogging and all those little house projects I've been meaning to get to. I'm also in the late stages of rehearsal as Elizabeth Bennet in a production of Pride & Prejudice (my favourite character in the world!) so that has left me exhausted too. Especially as hubby & I are running our own nutrition business whilst keeping our regular day jobs for the moment.

Phew! No rest for the wicked.

A couple of rituals every day that help keep me balanced and focused:

1. a mental "gratitude list" 
Each morning on my way to work (aside from running my lines ha ha!) I like to say aloud all the things I'm grateful for. You wouldn't believe how much this can change your day, your outlook, your disposition.  No need to complain about someone cutting you off in traffic when you have so much to be thankful for.

2. short meditation or visualisation
When I awake each morning and sometimes as I go to bed (if I don't fall asleep too quickly which is fairly normal at the moment) I like to practice a short meditation or a visualisation of what I truly want in my life. Do you believe in the law of attraction? I most certainly do. 

3. create a vision board
I have created a vision board for this year after compiling a list of 30 things I truly wanted to come into my life or experience. I grouped them into categories such as career, relationships, health, etc and created a vision board not with just pictures but powerful words that represent exactly what I want out of life. I look at it every day so I remind myself of what I'm striving for. Have you got a vision board? If you want help on creating a really kick ass one, I found this webinar with Lori Harder simply amazing!!

I'd love to hear your goals and dreams for 2014. Even just what you've all been up to so far this year.

Clare x

Monday, December 16, 2013

Love Yourself Enough to Live a Healthy Lifestyle


Since our return from the Peruvian wilderness, my hubby and I have been on a whole new lifestyle change. We've made that amazing realisation that we are so unbelievably lucky to be able-bodied and healthy individuals so why not preserve that? Why not treat out bodies with the respect they deserve? It got me thinking, why do people trash their bodies when there are so many who would give anything to have their health and be able-bodied? I want to live longer for my children (I may not have any just yet but it won't be long) and I want that life to be the healthiest life possible. 

My husband quit smoking about a year and a half ago and if he hadn't he never would have completed the Inca Trail, but..... he noticed he was putting on weight quite quickly and had found a new vice in energy drinks. (Eeek! Don't get me started!) I actually have a B.App.Sc in Food & Nutrition and have always been fairly health conscious to a degree but must say after working in the industry for a few years in both a gym environment and a hospital I became quite disinterested in the career altogether for a number of reasons, one of them being that most people just wouldn't listen and didn't seem to care about their health whatsoever. I was in my early 20s, frustrated and just bored with my job. I got out. Dove back into my love of acting while becoming a Personal Assistant to put food on the table - all of which I love and am still doing!

Now, thankfully, my love of nutrition has returned. It really happened when our best friends introduced us to a truly amazing nutritional system just after we got back from our South American adventure - which I was naturally very sceptical about at first haha! I looked up every ingredient only to find that everything in it was the absolute highest quality right down to their patented technology of extracting whey protein so it's completely undenatured (unlike most other whey products), and the fact that they go to the ends of the earth to find the best, organic, ingredients and work with leading scientists on all of their supplements. Then I realised that many top athletes were using the products along with one dietitian in particular who has been the chief dietitian for the Aussie Olympic team.

To cut my story short, as I could go on for days about the health benefits, my husband and I are now feeling the best we've EVER felt in our entire lives. I was having trouble sleeping and at least once a month would have a night where I would lie awake the entire night. Since getting my nutrition sorted and cleansing my body of harmful toxins and restoring it to a more alkaline pH, I haven't had a single sleepless night, and in fact sleep like a log. I have stopped feeling the need to have a large coffee every morning just to get through my morning, I never EVER feel the need to grab for sugary or carb-laden snacks, my skin is absolutely glowing, and as someone who is gluten intolerant, I never suffer from a sore bloated tummy anymore or feel irritable and sluggish. My husband lost 9 kg in 3 months, and has made the biggest change imaginable. He was a fast food lover. I mean it. LOVER! Recently I overheard him offering friends some organic celery telling them they just had to try because it was the best tasting celery he'd ever had and we all looked at each other in shock! Bwahahaha! He also comes to reformer pilates with me now and is seeing amazing results as well as bikram yoga. If I told him a year ago he would be eating organic and doing yoga & pilates he never would have believed me.

I'm so passionate about our change and inspiring others to do the same that I thought I'd share some info on the Global Cleanse that is taking place in January 2014.

(click on the image to see it larger)

I found out on Saturday that with the right nutrition & exercise I have a very healthy visceral fat level of 1. (Visceral fat is the internal fatty tissue which surrounds your vital organs). Not to mention great results for body fat, water content, bone density, muscle mass, BMR. I'm feeling on top of the world right now! So if you're interested in joining me on the global cleanse and making 2014 the year that you're going to be the healthiest possible version of you simply email me to register: curiouslookingglass (at) gmail.com

I think it's just an awesome opportunity to be able to join in with people all over the world and support each other rather than going it alone. 

I'd love to hear your stories if you've made the decision that you just weren't going to live like that anymore. No matter what area of your life it pertains to.

Clare x