#PalladiumBootReview

I  work in an Airport and I am always seeing passengers come through with super rad boots and I have been looking for ages to try and find what they are called. Typing in ‘cool hiking boots’ to google didn’t give me many positive hits, so I persisted with many other search keywords and eventually found them from an image search.

Palladium boots are the pinnacle of street boots. They far exceed converse in comfort and I feel like I could wear them anywhere. I opted for the ‘baggy’ style, which can be worn high or low and dressed up or down. They come in all different colours and are very reasonably priced, especially if you grab them on sale.

I bought mine from the Iconic and they cost $103 AUD, which converts to about $108 NZD. They were on special and normally retail for about $170 in retail stores. I went into Platypus shoes in the weekend and they have a massive range of colours and even some in leather which would be ideal for keeping your feet dry in winter if you wear them out and about a lot. I’d also like a pair of khaki or grey ones for summer (Christmas present to myself?).

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What I love about them:

  • Palladium boots are seriously comfy, they are nice and wide to fit your toes and have a really cushiony sole.

  • The tread is wicked- you can go for a bush walk and get some traction on the leaf littered ground.

  • The laces are nice and long so you can tie it however you like; a double knot or I like to wrap the lace around the part that folds down so the laces arent flapping all over the place.

  • These shoes are made really well- they feel expensive!

  • You can wear them folded down or fold them up for a high top look. Really versatile and pretty much go with anything.

  • I get the feeling when I wear them that I could travel the world and wear them everyday for a year. Maybe I’ll challenge myself to that when I do my OE! Actually I think I read somewhere that a dude was wearing Palladium boots for a year to raise money for charity.

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Anyway, go grab yourselves a pair, they’re exceptional.

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#OriginalMe

Lately, I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed with the amount of consumerism that we have in our daily lives. What I mean by this is we, as humans feel some sort of need to have the newest gadgets, expect expensive gifts, generate excessive amounts of rubbish and tend to spend more time on our cell phones than we do having conversations with real people.

I was talking to my work collegue the other day and mentioned that if I didn’t have a complex job (where we must have a phone) and if my family didn’t live so far away I could easily do away with my cell phone. I came to the realisation that I don’t need a phone as much as I thought I did when I went without internet for a week. I found other things to do! Like reading biographies and life-hack books, going for walks in the bush and enjoying the company of my partner and friends. Although, you can’t have a blog without the internet – right?!

I decided that I’d like to strip my life back to the basics; buy food without all the excessive packaging, take the TV and laptop out of the bedroom, wash my hair with baking soda and apple cider vinegar and maybe, just maybe, ditch makeup (that last one will be tough)! So far, the TV in the bedroom hasn’t been missed, my showers smell like salad dressing and I only output a small amount of rubbish a week. I certainly wear less makeup, but working shift work (aka tired all the time) and being in the public eye often calls for some concealer and mascara!

I hadn’t washed my hair with real shampoo for over a month, and the only thing I noticed was that my hair was a bit stiffer than usual but otherwise it was fine. I had to wash it because I decided I wanted to go back to my natural hair colour (I had blonde hair but wanted to go back to brown) for less upkeep and revert back to my original self! Growing out the blonde was getting a bit ug (ugly). I washed my hair when I dyed it and it went so soft and fluffy aka hard to manage. I got straight back onto the bandwagon and I’m crossing my fingers that a couple of washes with shampoo doesn’t undo all my hard work of ‘no poo.’

I guess my point of this whole mission is understand what I need and what I want. There is a huge difference between the two and it takes time to really grasp the concept of living a simpler, less-is-more lifestyle. Some people gasp when I tell them I haven’t washed my hair for over a month, others are very intrigued and interested in trying it themselves. I’m very lucky that my partner also tries to reduce his consumerism, and he thinks twice before purchasing something just for the sake of having it. He even opted not to buy porridge sachets because the output of rubbish was too high. I suggested he make his own with reusable containers and next minute he is preparing his oats like a busy little beaver in the kitchen. It’s nice. Nice that he cares and nice that he tries.

The easiest way to decide if something is a need or a want is to categorise whether the item/experience is something that you need to survive, or is it something that you want but could go without. This is a very handy technique to use especially if you are trying to save money. Do I need this new sweater? Will I suffer a great deal if I don’t buy it? No, because I have three other perfectly fine sweaters in the wardrobe at home. Or, I want this book because it will look great on my coffee table! But will I read it, probably not. So I don’t ‘need’ it I ‘want’ it and therefore it doesn’t go into the shopping cart. Easy!

If you are feeling a little bit overwhelmed yourself, with all that goes on in our work and personal lives try a few of the following things to make your life a little less cluttered.

  • When you can, buy goods in glass jars as these are able to be recycled or reused around the house. I also use jars for gifting bulk goods like candied nuts, marshmellows, cake mixes etc. Give it a go! And jars are very sought after so stash them away, sell them online , or drop the ones you don’t need at the op shop. If you are worried about getting labels off try soaking them in hot water, peel as much of the label off as you can and then dry the jar off. Get a cloth and some vegetable/olive oil and rub the glue until it all comes off.

  • Give ‘No Poo’ a go. There is plenty of articles online about how to do it. I use baking soda and rub it gently into the roots. Leave it in for about a minute and wash it out. My hair feels quite slimey after so then I put a couple of teaspoons of apple cider vinegar into a plastic lush pot (one of the big ones) and fill it up with water. Then I pour it over my hair and rinse it out really well. That’s it! Don’t worry about the smell, as soon as your hair dries it dissipates.

  • Read books. I’m currently reading ‘The Happiness Project’ by Gretchen Rubin. It is opening my eyes and making me realise that happiness isn’t an end goal, it is a lifestyle you must try very hard to achieve. We cant be happy all the time, but it is quite easy to chage a few habits to acheive an overall feeling of being contempt.

  • Do something positive to help someone out. Simple things like offering a work colleague a ride home on a rainy day or doing some extra work so the others can go home a little earlier really helps you to feel good about yourself. Cooking your spouse brekkie, grabbing them a coffee on your errand run or planning a nice night in will always make them feel cared about (and you’ll get plenty of positive praise).

  • Don’t say nasty things about people (bitch about others behind their backs) because it will fuel ‘negative bonding’ which basically means that you commonly bond with someone with negative chat. Instead of engaging in negative conversation, walk away. Hopefully over time ‘negative nancy’ will realise that talking badly about other people gets the silent treatment and will find something else to talk about.

Over time, these things will become the norm and you will most likely feel like a new, better version of yourself; maybe even revert back to the original you (before all the negativity and consumerism took over your life) I know that doing these small things has really helped with my overall wellbeing, and I endeavour to keep it up!

Take care,

S

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#KeepWarm

The cooler months are quickly approaching here in NZ which means it is time to pull out the woolly jumpers and get the fire going before the afternoon sun sets behind the hills. We’ve just moved house, and have found that it is much colder than our previous abode. Our kitty has arthritis so we need to keep him warm during the winter months so his joints don’t seize up! Having some sunshine definitely helps!

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Here are a couple of things that we have been doing so far to help keep the house warm and also some ideas to make the cooler months far more enjoyable!

Close the curtains before the sun goes down so that as much heat as possible is retained in the house. I found some really valuable info about what kinds of curtains you should get here if you feel like your house is as cold as an esky! Be sure to keep the curtains open during the day and whenever possible, have some windows slightly open so that air can circulate. This will stop pesky mould from growing and stop windows from crying 🙂

If you have a fire, use it! We have been using ours and it sure takes the chill off the air. Callum went on a mission to collect pine cones, and came home with two massive bags of them for us to use as firewood (and maybe some DIY?!). I picked up a basket for our wood at the op-shop for $3 and we also got some kindling from the supermarket. We are hoping to find some free firewood around the place to save money over winter.

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Something else that I like to do is leave the oven open while it is cooling down after cooking. This heats up the kitchen and doesn’t require any extra energy #freeheating! If you have pets or children, be sure to keep them out of the kitchen to prevent any incidents occurring!

If you live in an older house (which we do) you might have wooden windows. Well known for their whistling and banging, wooden windows can be a real hassle. Some of ours are painted shut….. Not to worry, we found some foam tape that you can use to fill in the gaps. Grab it from Bunnings or Mitre 10 Mega. #Winning!

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Remember, keep doors closed if you aren’t using rooms- there’s no point wasting energy heating  a room that no one will spend time in! We usually close the bathroom, kitchen and spare room doors at night so our wee fire can heat our bedroom and the lounge.

For a little but of ambiance get some glass jars and a couple of tea lights. They’ll burn for most of the night and are super, duper cheap. You can turn out the lights when your fave show comes on the telly and enjoy the mood lighting. Just be sure to blow them out before retreating to bed.

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I hope these ideas help you save money and keep warm in winter! Leave me a comment on how you like to reduce your power bill in the winter months.

Take care out there,

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#AprilAnnex

I’ve been feeling guilty about using products that are not cruelty free so I cleaned out my bathroom cupboard and chucked out anything that was tested on animals. I realized that I have a lot of stuff that I don’t need so anything that didn’t get used on a daily basis also ended up in the bin.

My next mission was to find some replacement products- I needed foundation, powder, mascara and liquid eyeliner but already had some blush and bronzer that were cruelty free (So Susan and Jelly Pong Pong). I loaded an app called ‘Bunny Free’ onto my iPhone and used that to check whether the products I wanted to buy were indeed being kind to animals.

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I chose NYX for my makeup needs, and Butter London as my nail polish choice. NYX isn’t very widely available in NZ so I get mine from Asos.com (it takes about a week to arrive but if you spend over $50 you get free shipping). I believe Farmers has a small range that you can purchase online but it isn’t in store yet.

A website called onceit often has Butter London on special so I grab two or three at once for $8.95 a bottle as opposed to $22.95 regular price. I love a god bargain! I find having a grey, navy blue or black and one or two bright colours gets me through the seasons.

I also found a gorgeous body wash at Countdown called ‘Only Good’ and it retails for $6.99 a bottle (445ml). Check it out and grab a bottle next time you are at the supermarket. It’s vegan, cruelty free and doesn’t contain any palm oil. The packaging is recyclable too! I reckon it would make a lovely addition to a gift basket.

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I’ll continue to add more brands to the list as I find them! I challenge you to have a look at your beauty products and replace them if they are tested on animals. Let me know how you get on- give ‘Bunny Free’ a go!

Take care,

X

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#Presents

Gifts. Most of us love to give (and receive) gifts. But, when the budget is a little tighter than usual it can be tricky to find presents without looking or feeling ‘cheap.’

Here are some ideas if like me, you like to give thoughtful gifts but also can’t spend too much (we are saving for a house after all)!

  1. Plants. I think plants are fantastic gifts to give. There are thousands of varieties which means you are pretty much guaranteed to find something that will suit your friend or family members style. If you have loads of pretty flowers growing in your garden already, take some cuttings and grow them up- pop them into a nice pot and add a home made card. Easy! Or, if you grow roses or sunflowers, make a nice arrangement and give the gift of flowers (I take flowers I have grown to friends places for BBQ’s or put arrangements into some nice vases if I have friends coming for tea). Or why not dry flowers and make pot pourri? My lovely boyfriend got me a Peace Lily for valentines day which is currently enjoying some sun on my bedside table.

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2. Books. I love reading and can definitely recommend some great reads that you can grab off Fishpond.co.nz for a fraction of the cost you would pay in a retail store. I’ll put some suggestions at the bottom of this post.

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3. Baking. If you have a friend, family member or work colleague who is turning another year older, what better way to celebrate than with cake? My favourite recipes are vegan chocolate cake and banana cake. Be sure to ice them and put them on a nice board (maybe you could buy a nice wooden chopping board from a local supplier which could double as a gift?) I’ll put the recipes for the cakes into the recipe tab so you too can make a delicious birthday cake- it isn’t always about gifts, it’s the thought that counts!

4. Photographs. If you are like me and love to take photographs why not put some of your best shots into a multi-frame (a frame with 3-5 photo slots). Just go for photos that have similar colour schemes or pick a theme. Next time you are out taking artistic photos for instagram- think about different angles and zoom in and out to get a variety of shots that you could potentially use for gifts. Don’t forget to initial the bottom or back of the frame!

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5. DIY Crafts. Pinterest is the motherland for DIY gifts and ideas. Just type in DIY gifts and hundreds of pins will be available to you. Click on my Pinterest account here for some ideas!

RECOMMENDED BOOKS- click on the images to grab your copy!

A home companion Gut 1kotzero waste

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*This blog post contains affiliate links

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#BananaOatMuffins

These muffins are the bomb-diggity (Urban Dictionary meaning: Awesomeness in its purest form; totally the awesomest, no lie) so you should give them a go. I like to think they are okay to eat in moderation too because they are not full of all the bad stuff that conventional muffins often have (loads of sugar, chocolate, icing, butter etc).

So here is what you’ll need:

1 1/2 cups of wheatmeal flour

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup coconut sugar

2 tsp of baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 free range egg

3/4 cup oat milk (you can make your own, find the details in the ‘recipe’ tab)

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup mashed bananas (or a little extra for good measure).

What you need to do:

Heat up the oven to 200 degrees celsius and grab your fave baking bowl. Pop the flour, oats, coconut sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda into the bowl and mix. In a separate bowl, beat the egg lightly and add the milk, vanilla extract and oil. Add the mashed banana and combine. Add the wet mix to the dry mix and combine- don’t over mix. Evenly dollop the mixture into your muffin tin and pop into the oven for 15-20 mins. It will make 12.

These muffins are also really nice with 1/2 cup of shredded coconut if you want to add that in too. You can add an extra banana if the mixture is too dry. If you like chocolate in your muffins I would recommend 70% dark chocolate as this is much lower in sugar content than regular dairy chocolate.

These muffins are dense but really yummy for a snack if you are out and about or for morning/afternoon tea at work. And don’t forget to make some coconut cream if you are serving these for dessert!

If you have a shared lunch or pot luck coming up- take some of these along!

Enjoy!

X

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#CoconutCream

Okay, so I have quit dairy due to some issues with intolerance. I thought it would be hard but I found a recipe for whipped coconut cream and thought ‘Damn that sounds good!’

I was scrolling through my I Quit Sugar book and found the recipe- 1 can of coconut cream and 1 teaspoon of stevia. I didn’t have any stevia so opted for coconut sugar.

All you have to do is put a can of coconut cream upside down in the fridge and leave it for a couple of hours (the recipe said overnight but it works after a couple of hours). When you open the can, the coconut cream will be thick and you just have to scoop it out with a spoon. You can use the milk at the bottom of the can for a smoothie the next morning.

If any of it makes it to the bowl (I’ll admit, I licked the spoon… maybe more than one spoon) add in the sugar and beat it until it is thick.

Pop it into a jar and into the fridge. Leave it for about an hour to set and then eat it -off the spoon, on a scone, maybe on top of your overnight-oats!

Just don’t overdo it, coconut milk/cream is best for you when eaten in moderation. It is known to help prevent infection and viruses; and coconut water is a great alternative to isotonic drinks after exercise because it is loaded with electrolytes. Cool eh?

Now that I think about it, I might add some cinnamon to my next batch of coconut cream, what do you think?!

So much yum.

X

S

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#FebruaryFaves

February Faves

So I’ve been cleaning out  lately (wardrobe/under the bed/shoe collection) and dropping the things I no longer need or want to local op shops. I came across some of the things that I really love so I thought I would share with you the products I enjoy using!

– First off, for Christmas 2015 my mum gave me a really cool face sponge. Made by Kuu Konjac, the sponges are biodegradable and chemical free. They are a hard sponge until immersed in water and as long as you hang it up (outside the shower) it can last 2-3 months. I use mine with a cleanser or just to give my skin a boost as it is good for generating new skin cells and stimulating blood circulation. There are different types of sponges for different types of skin types and they are really affordable.
You can read more about it here 

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-I used to have long, thick hair but November last year I cut it all off! I decided a ‘Lob’ (long bob) was for me, and I have never regretted it! I decided to get some decent hair products to make sure I kept it nice and healthy so I grabbed some Eleven Hair Miracle. You use it on wet hair, like a leave in conditioner and boy does it make a difference! My hair is so much easier to manage now, and seems to be really healthy. The absolute best thing about Eleven products is that they aren’t tested on animals! Check it out here 

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-Wendyl’s Citrus rub on deoderant is a product that I have only just started using and so far I love it. It is an all natural deoderant made with coconut oil, baking soda, Arrowroot and essential oils. It smells really nice and it is nice to know that there isn’t any aluminium or other nasty chemicals going onto my body. Try it! 

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-In my January Goodie Box (http://goodiebox.co.nz/) I got a So Susan Light Diffuser compact. I love that it is cruelty free and it gives my face a gorgeous glow. The darker half is great for contouring and the lighter half is good for an all over illumiator. I dont have to feel guilty about wearing make up if it is from So Susan 🙂 Find it out here  or look it up on Fishpond.co.nz to buy it in NZ.

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-Lastly I’d like to make a shout out to my skin-saving cleanser from Lush called Ultrabland. It is really oily but it gets off make up and keeps my dry skin moisturised. It is recommended for any skin types and it normally takes about a month for the cleanser to do it’s thang. I’ve been using it for about 2 years now and my skin has never looked better. You can buy it from any Lush stores or online here

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Let me know if you have tried any of these products and what you thought of them!

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#Saveshelteranimals

This is Ferrari. He is 10 years old, has arthritis and one front tooth.

We adopted him last may (2015) from the Cats Protection League here in Wellington, NZ. He had been in the shelter with about 30 other cats for a year before we adopted him. He ended up at the shelter because his previous family had a baby and got a puppy and he just couldn’t handle the commotion so the family decided to give him up, along with his sister. His sister was adopted by one of the shelter volunteers but Ferrari remained there for 12 months.

The first time we met him, Callum wanted to pick him up. He got a little turned off the idea when Ferarri hissed at him…. not to worry, after a few treats and getting into one of the volunteers lunches Ferrari was back to his smoochy self.

We weren’t in the position to get a cat just yet, as we wanted to make sure we had settled into our new flat before we bought a kitty home. So we went back to visit the next week and our cute black kitty was still there. We wandered around, got scratched a couple of times by the other felines and concluded that we still really wanted to get to know Ferrari some more.

On the third visit- we were ready- and so was he! When he saw us come into the shelter he came running! At that point we knew he was the cat for us so we adopted him and took him home. He hid for a couple of hours under our fish tank cabinet, but when he smelled the corn beef we had made for dinner he was out and about doing his best to get some morsels.

We absolutely adore him, he is such a funny little guy. We call him Squish on the daily as he is ‘a big boy’ (I took him to the vet and she said he isn’t ‘fat’ he is just big…he weighed 5.7kg!!!). He needed a check up to make sure that the medication he is on for his arthritis aren’t causing and liver or kidney problems- which thankfully, he got a clean bill of health.

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His favourite thing by a mile is food. He LOVES food. I got him some ‘light’ biscuits which we call ‘skinny bitch biscuits’ which he despises. He will only eat them if we mix them in with his meat or he is desperate. He will pick out all the other biscuits (he gets a mix of ‘old man’ biscuits and dental bikkies) and leave the light ones behind.

He Meows. A LOT. We meow back and have chats about food. Not that we are crazy cat people or anything….

If you are interested in adopting a cat in NZ, I would recommend the Cats Protection League as your first port of call as they are mostly older cats that have had to be given up for one reason or another and super duper deserving of new homes. Check out the website here.

I’m sure he will feature more than once here on Livelikewewantto 😀

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#Dontletdreamsjustbedreams

My partner used this hashtag a couple of days and when I first read it, I thought he had worded it wrong. But when I read it over again (a couple of times!) I realized that he meant ‘make your dreams a reality.’

I’ve always dreamed of living a simpler life, away from all the corporate drama that goes with living in a busy city. I grew up in a small city surrounded by farmland, rugged coastline and native bush. Moving to a big city to complete my final year of uni was a shock to my system (and absolutely terrifying!) and for the first few years I regretted my decision and longed to move back to a more ‘relaxing’ city.

Four years on….I love this city! I nabbed a wicked job, got myself a beautiful human who I now call my boyfriend and adopted an elderly cat with one front tooth. I have been thinking a lot lately about what I want the next couple of years to look like and what I want to achieve on a personal level.

The first steps to #makingmydreamscometrue is saving money. I agree 100% that money doesn’t buy happiness, but it buys holidays and houses so it’s pretty darn important! My goal for this year is to save $17,000NZD ($3000 goes towards our two week holiday to Tonga) and the rest towards a house deposit. My partner will aim to do the same, so we will have $30,000 saved by this time next year. Providing it goes to plan, we could have a 10% deposit on a $300,000 home. The thing is, we want to build, which means we could potentially get a grant from the government (up to $20,000) but I think we earn too much money to be eligible so we wont rely on that!

Whether we buy a cheap little do-er-upper (just to get on the property ladder and get some equity behind us) or just dive into building we are going to need to change our spending habits and rely a lot more on what we can produce ourselves.

Follow us on our journey to #makingourdreamsareality!

 

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