Delicious Soap

I very rarely buy grocery or department store soap any more.  I remember a time where I’d buy the biggest pack of the cheapest soap possible because I couldn’t see a real need to buy anything better. The dry skin feeling to cheap, chemical filled soap didn’t really matter, that is what moisturiser is for right?

Fast forward to now and I love buying beautiful soap. It started with a trip to Lush and eventually moved onto looking at all the amazing varieties available on Etsy. I have bought some excellent soap on Etsy, soaps that show a creators love for their trade. One of my favourites being a chocolate soap that looked and smelt like chocolate. It was difficult not to eat it.

Usually I like to stick to Australian sellers, I’m not sure why, mostly for the cheaper shipping probably, and I know I’ll get the product in a fairly timely manner.

Most recently I stumbled on Poured Organics Etsy store and they had a huge variety of excellent sounding soaps and I  knew I would just have to buy some. Previous to that I’d been using a non scented goats milk soap. I love goats milk soap but after 4 bars of scent free boring, you really want something a bit more interesting.

Some beautiful soaps from Poured Organics

Some beautiful soaps from Poured Organics

After buying my products and getting them shipped out I realised they have a larger range of products than just soap.. how I didn’t notice this in the beginning I don’t know, it’s right there in the menu after all! I am pretty keen to try some of the passionfruit and watermelon lip balms at some point!

Even though it was a hard decision, in the end I decided to buy the Wild Strawberry (how beautiful is that red colour?), Aloe & Tea Tree, Cranberry Fig and, on a whim, Sugar Plum Fairy Icecream. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Sugar Plum Fairy Icecream but the description said it was good enough to eat so I needed to know what that was about and added it to the order. It turns out it was my favourite scent when I received them and I ended up using it first. I thought it smelt like Redskins, which I love!

Apparently Redskins are an Australian thing so for those that have no idea what I’m talking about, this is what a Redskin looks like. It’s a chewy, delicious Raspberry flavoured candy. Basically a staple of any Aussie kid.

Delicious! Remind me to buy these next time I go shopping!

Delicious! Remind me to buy these next time I go shopping!

 When my soap turned up at work I opened up the box straight away because I was so excited to see how everything looked and smelt and to my surprise there was an extra bag that came with some free samples. One of which was the Applejack Pineapple which I wanted to buy and didn’t! So that was super exciting, unexpected and very generous of Poured Organics.

Sample soaps and a personalised label! Neat!

Sample soaps and a personalised label! Neat!

When I got home I couldn’t wait to open one of them up, ready for the shower the next day. As mentioned about the lucky winner was the Sugar Plum Fairy Icecream and I wasn’t let down, it turns out it is also a goat milk soap (which is great!) so it is soft and creamy and moisturing plus it smells great!

Overall, I’m really pleased I decided to look into different soaps this time around and found Poured Organics, their service was excellent and I received everything fast and in good condition (plus I got some freebies YAY!).

Please note: I wasn’t paid for this post, I paid for all the items myself and really just want people to hear about this lovely brand.

I have a new phone!

So, I haven’t done so well on the writing prompts front. I’ve been sick for the last 2 weeks (the longest I can remember being sick, ever) and lacked motivation but my new phone gives me lots of motivation.

On a side note, if you have any remedies for sore throats and blocked noses I’d love to hear them.

Anyway, you might recall I recently decided to buy a new phone because my HTC was driving me a bit crazy. I got a good response of answers about what phones everyone recommends but mostly it was just ‘get an iPhone’ and well, no. I wasn’t willing to spend $800 on an iPhone (I did consider spending that amount on an HTC One M8 though) because Apple. I only use Apple products when it’s free (like the iPad I won).

In the end I decided on a Nexus 5 which, being a Google phone, comes with KitKat installed. It’s also super light at 130gm which feels like nothing in comparison to my old phone. I have been playing with settings and apps and while KitKat is nice to look at, it’s missing some of the things I liked having like swipe and pin security, for example. With the Nexus 5 you can choose wither swipe or pin, if you set the pin delay it just doesn’t lock the phone until that time is up.. Fortunately I found a app that will do that for me.

All the pretty of my home screen

All the pretty of my home screen

I’m pretty pleased with how my home screen looks! Getting used to 3 buttons instead of 4 has been difficult, and these ones are on screen buttons too not physical. I have been missing the Settings button, but given this phone doesn’t crash, it has 4G and is super light and pretty, I haven’t missed it that much.

I am also looking for a new twitter app. I’d like it to be able to zip/mute tweets, have a proper conversation view (no blue lines thank you very much!) and, preferably, be free. Let me know what you use.

One other thing I decided on as part of getting a new phone was finally moving away from Vodafone and becoming a Telstra customer. I always said I’d never change to Telstra but their coverage and speed is just so much better than the competition that it seemed like a given I’d one day change. Funnily enough, the plan I have now has  more and costs less than what I was on with Vodafone. For those not in Australia, it’s very rare for Telstra to have competitive pricing, they rely on having a better service to get customers generally. 

If you are in Australia and looking to move to Telstra but find their plan pricing is too high go into a store or give them a call and ask for their cheaper Casual Plans. You’ll need a BYO phone for this but their casual (month to month, no contract) plans actually start at $25/month rather than the $55/month advertised on their website.

I decided to go in store to sort this out. It was really busy and I thought I’d be waiting forever but a floating employee asked me a few questions and found a sales person for me. As I already knew what I wanted and had the required information it was a really quick process and the sales person was very friendly and helpful.

When I looked into porting my number across online it said it would take anywhere from 24 to 72hrs to happen. I asked the person in store how long it’d take and he said it was pretty fast and more likely up to 24hrs but I’d get a message from Vodafone when they had received the request. I walked out of the store, noticed I already had the text and went to message Jarrod to say I was on my way to meet him for lunch.. I wasn’t fast enough though as it ported within about 2 mins of me checking my phone. I was pretty amazed at how fast it happened.. and also how fast my internet on my new phone/with Telstra is.. delicious 4G.

Long story short, I have a new phone!

Lost in Space

This post is part of the 31 Days of Writing for July. Click here for my previous posts or click here if you would like to join in.

Day 21: Did you dream of travelling to the moon when you were a kid? Tell us your thoughts on the moon and space travel

As a kid I really enjoyed learning about the solar system and all the things out in space, and back then Pluto was still considered a real planet. Poor Pluto. That being said, I never considered being an astronaut or travelling to the moon. Really, it’s just too scary and well, the moon looks boring. Low gravity would be neat though.

When I think space travel, I think of the movie Gravity. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be floating endlessly into space and just waiting to die, especially if you were flipping over and over and over and over. I mean seeing the earth from that distance must be awesome but there is just way too much risk involved for me to want to get off this planet.

I also think about the other planets, most notably Jupiter. I think it’s my favourite planet even though it is sort of terrifying. I remember the day I learnt that the ‘Great Red Spot’ was a massive endless storm that was bigger than the earth! It’s so creepy to think our whole planet could be sucked into that storm.. you know, if Jupiter somehow started sucking us into it.

Jupiter – the massive monster that could eat us all

On a side note, Kalliste is actually a variation of Callisto, one of the four largest moons of Jupiter, which were named after the lovers of Zeus.. for some reason. The mythology of it all is pretty cool.

So,  at this point travelling to the moon (or being one of those crazy people volunteering to travel to Mars) is certainly a no go for me. And I’m ok with that.

 

Recipe: Choc-Caramel Fudge Slice

This week at work we were preparing for our first ever Bake Off. Although, technically, we didn’t need to bake just had to make something ourselves rather than buying something from the local bakery. We had about 5 teams and each team needed to bring in at least one savoury and one sweet dish to be judged.

I decided to make something I’ve never tried making before (which is an excellent idea when 50 people have a chance of eating it and it’s a competition.. or maybe not) which was a Choc-Caramel Fudge slice. I’ve never made fudge before and I’m generally quite scared of cooking high sugar content foods because it usually ends up a burnt mess. Fortunately, they turned out well! Fudgey and slice like and delicious.

Choc-Caramel Fudge Slice

Choc-Caramel Fudge Slice

On the day I wasn’t sure how many people had brought in food and was concerned about how much there would be to go around. I didn’t need to worry as there was soo much food that it nearly didn’t all fit on the tables provided, I really cannot remember the last time I’ve seen this amount of assorted foods, it was kind of crazy.

All of the food!

All of the food!

One of the women in my team made a Pesto Plait, I’ve never heard of one before but she presented it wonderfully and it was so good! I voted for it as my favourite savoury food of the day. Thinking back though, as she was in my team, I probably shouldn’t have been allowed to do that.. oh well!

 

Pesto Plait - I want it all!

Pesto Plait – I want it all!

Initially I wasn’t too keen on the whole Bake Off thing, I’m not much for baking but as one of the team leaders I thought that I should at least show that I was participating and get my team into the spirit. It was actually quite fun though and it was interesting to see what everyone brought in and basically fill myself full of delicious foods. The fun didn’t end there though as we were allowed to take home some of it! I got pretty excited at this point and people were handing me all sorts of goodies so I wasn’t going to say no! It just means we get to have a second sweet food filled delicious day!

Bake Off Souvenirs!

Bake Off Souvenirs!

I ended up with four(!) cupcakes, these were amazing! I’m not even sure who made them but they tasted SO GOOD! 2 slices of cheesecake slice, which also, amazing! – My favourite sweet option of the day, a Greek custard tart.. thing (It has a name but I forget it) and lastly, the Heaviest Mudcake, I didn’t try any of this yesterday because apparently it was impossible to slice but when my team mate started slicing it up I was first in line.. she then gave me a massive slab so we will devour that later.

It was a fun afternoon (at work, so that’s a plus) and something that people really got interested in.

Now, onto my slice! I found this on YouTube and thought a video would be an easy way to make something. It turned about a bit more difficult than just reading instructions on a website or in a cookbook because the video goes so fast. As I mentioned, I was a bit scared of killing my fudge and the speed of the video didn’t help. As it’s a decent recipe I thought I’d get it written down for everyone to try and not be rushed ahead at each step.

Choc-Caramel Fudge Slice
Yields 25
Choc-Caramel fudge on top of a delicious biscuit slice base, delicious!
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Ingredients
  1. 200gm Butter
  2. 100gm Chocolate Biscuits (I used Chocolate Ripples)
  3. 100gm Shortbread Biscuits (I used Scotch Finger)
  4. 1 cup Brown Sugar
  5. 395gm tin of Sweetened Condensed Milk
  6. 3/4 cup milk chocolate buttons/melts
  7. 3/4 cup milk chocolate for drizzling
For the base
  1. 1. Bash 200gm of biscuits into fine crumbs, you can use a food processor if you like or just put them into a sealed plastic bag and smash with a rolling pin
  2. 2. Melt 80gm of butter in the microwave (add more if the mixture is a bit dry)
  3. 3. Add biscuit crumbs into a bowl and cover with the melted butter
  4. 4. Mix together until combined
  5. 5. Pour out into a greased and lined square cake tin
  6. 6. Put into the fridge to set
For the fudge
  1. 1. Chop 120gm butter into cubes
  2. 2. Pour Sweetened Condensed Milk into a saucepan
  3. 3. Add brown sugar and butter
  4. 4. Put saucepan on stovetop at medium heat
  5. 5. Mix together until combined and butter is melted
  6. 6. Keep stirring until the mixture comes to the boil
  7. 7. Once boiling, stir continuously for 4 - 5 minutes until mixture thickens
  8. 8. Take off the heat and add chocolate buttons/melts
  9. 9. Stir until melted and combined into caramel mixture
  10. 10. Pour onto prepared base and let set in the fridge
For the top
  1. 1. Melt chocolate in the microwave in 30 second bursts, making sure not to burn it
  2. 2. Drizzle over the fudge mixture
  3. 3. Place back into the fridge to set
To slice
  1. It's easiest to use a long knife for this, I used a bread knife and that worked well, depending on how long you let it set for you may need to dip it into hot water first.
  2. Any biscuit base should be fine, the combination of light and dark biscuits though is delicious.
Adapted from Cooking with Karma
Oh So Lazily http://lazily.org/

How I write

This post is part of the 31 Days of Writing for July. Click here for my previous posts or click here if you would like to join in.

Day 15: What is your favourite writing tool? Do you only use the computer, or do you still love pen and paper?

I can’t recall a time I ever enjoyed writing with pen and paper. I do love stationery and enjoyed seeing the vast selection of things I could order when I worked in a warehouse but I never much liked using them. If I were to enjoy writing, it would be on a nice ring bound notebook with a gel pen. As a left hander, there are 2 flaws to this plan:

  1. Ring bound notebooks are such a pain, it causes issues trying to get close to the margin because the rings are sticking out, so you end up with a ring imprint on the side of your hand.
  2. Gel pens are a bit wet, so if I’m not careful I can end up with smudged paper and a black hand.

Not only that but I remember back at school doing my HSC (year 12 exams) and there was so much writing. I had to have a bandaid on one of my fingers because my pen was causing a blister and it hurt so badly. My handwriting also gets worse and worse the longer I have to write.

I find typing on a computer so much easier than hand writing ever was. It’s fast and easy, if you make a mistake no need for crossing out, rubbing out or whiting out; Just a few presses of Backspace and you’re good to go again. Not only that, but everyone can read what I write if it’s typed up, this is more than I can say for my handwriting.

There are also the keyboard shortcuts you can use while on a computer, I remember times at school or work where I’d try and Ctrl + C my notes on the paper… and then I’d realise I was writing on paper and I couldn’t copy and paste.

Overall, I think typing is far superior to handwriting and it allows a wider audience to see and understand what you have to say.