Product Review: Oxfam Green and English Breakfast Teas

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I received two tea bags of each the Green and the English Breakfast teas in the December Goodness Me Box. I love tea so this was right up my alley. Whether it’s teas like English Breakfast, or Afternoon, or Darjeeling, anything like that I enjoy drinking, plus herbal teas like Green tea and other varieties like those T2 sell, so I was a bit excited to be able to try a couple of different ones from a brand that is new to me.

What is it: It is tea, and in a bag which makes it a bit easier. If you want to get technical, green tea should only be placed in water ranging from about 60 to 90 degrees Celsius, and steeped any time between 30 seconds to 2-3 minutes, all depending on the type of tea. I’m not that technical so I just boil the kettle and sit the tea bag in for a couple of minutes before removing.

With the green tea, some like to put a bit of honey in to sweeten it, but I don’t feel the need to. The English Breakfast on the other hand I’ll use a spoon of sweetener and a dash of milk.

Is it any good: I wasn’t really sold on the flavours of these teas. The green tea had a slight bitter after taste which made it a bit hard to get through but the flavour was otherwise ok. The breakfast tea though wasn’t really very nice. Instead of having a rich bodied flavour, the tea flavour was taken over by the bitterness of it and I had to use twice as much sweetener to be able to drink a cup.

Value for money: Oxfam have a huge range of tea available on their website, the Green and English Breakfast teas in particular you can pick up for $4.95 for 50 tea bags which is not a bad price for a fair trade product.

Recommendation: If you want to support fair trade then this would be an option, but if you’re a tea lover you might find it a bit hard to do as the flavour isn’t as great as some other brands.

Friday Favourites, 15 January

Another week into 2016 already, can you believe it? I hope you have all had a great week, mine has been largely uneventful and yet still really tiring.

Bulk cooking. I don’t know why this is a highlight because I don’t really like cooking that much, but I am pleased that I spent some time on Sunday whipping up a few meals for us to have during the week. I’ve done this a couple of weeks now and am finding it is so much easier coming home at night and just being able to grab a good, healthy meal out of the freezer rather than having to cook.

Beach time! Best part about summer of course is being able to soak up those lovely warm rays. Last Sunday I spent some time at the beach with a couple of girlfriends and it was so nice, relaxing and refreshing.

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New wax. Ok this might be a bit of a weird one, but I started seeing a different beauty therapist and she uses a different kinda wax on my lady bits and it is sooo much better than what I had used on me before!

Dietician. I saw my dietician yesterday and she says that I’m doing well in her opinion, I’m starting to work out what works for me in terms of my eating and what will help me control it, so that was a really positive catch up.

Potential work trip. I found out this week that I might be headed over to Sydney for a work trip at the end of August for a conference which, if happens will be great as I might be able to sneak in a catch up with my brother while I’m there, so keep your fingers crossed!

How was your week? Let me know in the comments below what highlights you have to share.

Take care,

Jas

Product Review: Table of Plenty: Lemon and Herb Dukkah

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I received a box of the Lemon and Herb Dukkah in the December Goodness Me Box. I don’t mind dukkah, I think there are some really amazing flavours out there, but it’s not something I eat on a regular basis. I had to try this though, so I packed myself a special afternoon tea one day at work with fresh bread, olive oil and the dukkah so that I could try it out. I even sat in an office on my own so that I wasn’t disturbed, how dedicated is that?!

What is it: Dukkah is a blend of seeds and nuts with some spices thrown in. It’s a traditional North African food and can be great just with fresh bread and olive oil, or you could use it on fish or in a salad, or almost anything really. This particular dukkah’s base is almonds and it uses Australian lemons plus a combination of herbs and spices such as coriander, basil and sumac for flavouring.

Is it any good: It wasn’t too bad. The reason I tried it with just bread and olive oil was so that I could get a strong idea of the flavour of it. It’s pretty subtle though and I could only really taste a hint of the lemon and herbs in it. I would have preferred something a bit stronger so you get a real flavour hit, but if you were just using this as say an appetiser before a main meal it would probably work well. That subtle flavour would be just enough so that guests didn’t feel the need to gobble it all up and not have room for the rest of the meals!

Value for money: Table of Plenty sell this on their website for $3.50 which isn’t bad for something that can be used at a dinner party. For every day cooking though, I would stick with my normal array of seasonings which would be more cost effective.

Recommendation: Worth a shot if you’re looking for something with a soft flavour for a dinner party.

Motivational Monday, 11 January – Mondayitis

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Mondayitis is totally a thing… after a beautiful day yesterday relaxing in the sun at the beach, and now today, being at work and it being overcast and raining, is just kind of miserable!

Are you also suffering from Mondayitis today? What tips and tricks do you have to help recover from it?

I am thinking, do something that makes you happy. Or maybe several things. Listen to music, watch a funny TV show or movie, (if it was sunny) go down to the beach, sunbathe, go kayaking, shopping is can be fun if you have some spare cash. Any other suggestions?

Take care,

Jas


Picture via Wait There’s More.

 

Friday Favourites, 8 December

I can’t believe the first week of January is over already, time has flown by! Not that I’m complaining about the work time flying by, but the free, social time flying by I have a problem with! But then I suppose it does that when you’re having fun.

I hope you’ve all had a terrific first week of the year!

Shopping with Mum. I haven’t gone shopping with my Mum for a while because we don’t have the best relationship I don’t always like to spend a lot of time with her. But we have been trying to forge a new relationship, and so I invited her to come shopping with me during the new year sales which turned out to be pretty good.

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More presents. Because getting Christmas presents wasn’t enough apparently, my Mum decided to give me a couple extra! One was a lovely Guess purse (Guess is my favourite label), and one was a bright red essie nail polish.

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Kayaking. We took the kayaks out on Sunday and though it was beautiful being out in the sunshine it was windy as hell which made for difficult going, but we still managed to hit our goal which was to paddle out to the sea from the river.

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New 2016 diary. For Christmas I ordered my Mum a custom diary filled with pictures of my little family, i.e. me, my partner and our dog. There were some issues with postage from Photobox and they ended up sending me another one for free cos the first didn’t arrive (Photobox are great like that). I got the resent one before Christmas and just this week received the original one. So Mum got one and I decided to claim the other one for my own!

Manicure. While I was waiting to be picked up from work on Tuesday I had my nails done at a little shop just down from my work which was a nice, relaxing way to spend my time while I was waiting.

I hope you all had a great week, let me know in the comments below what highlights you’d like to share!

Take care,

Jas

Product Review: Sealand Birk Birch Water

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I received a 330mL bottle of the original flavour birch water in the December Goodness Me Box. Honestly, I’m a simple kinda gal when it comes to my water, I don’t really go for flavoured waters or anything like that, preferring to keep it plain. Still I was interested to see what this water would be like, how different it would taste to normal tap or filtered water.

What is it: Birch water is water that is harvested directly from a Birch tree in early spring and contains a buttload of sap which is supposed to be good for you and also makes the water taste a little bit sweeter as well. It is also 100% organic and claims to boost your body and mind as well.

Is it any good: The taste of the water reminds me of cross between honey and maple syrup, and it’s not a subtle flavour either, it’s quite strong. That sweetness being so strong makes it unpalatable for me. I got through half a bottle, with lots of face scrunching and then had to give it up. I shared it with a guy that I work with though and he quite liked it, he didn’t think it was too sweet, he quite enjoyed it. So I think it’s just a matter of personal taste.

Value for money: You can buy this direct from the Sealand Birk website for $44.00 for a pack of 10 330mL bottles which is quite expensive.

Recommendation: It depends what you like in terms of flavour, for instance if I was feeling dehydrated I could easily down a bottle of Powerade, but I wouldn’t be able to down a small bottle of this, it just tastes way sweeter than Powerade, almost sickly. Because of that, personally, I wouldn’t buy this drink.

Goodness Me Box – December 2015

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI signed up for a new subscription box just recently which is called the Goodness Me Box and each month it sends you a sample of foodstuffs to try out. Lots of different kinds of good, healthy foods, some organic, some fair trade, some of the food that is raging currently like chocolate goji berries! So below are pictures of what I got in this first box.

Sealand Birk: Birch Water which is water that comes from a tree somehow… Read the review!

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Table of Plenty: Lemon and Herb Dukkah, which I like to have with a bit of oil and bread but can also be added to veggies or soups or just about anything. Read the review!

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Oxfam: Green and English Breakfast tea, this is fair-trade and organic tea. Read the review!

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Goodness: Organic Chia Seed Oil, this is actually for the skin to help hydrate and nourish it. Read the review!

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Spiral Foods: Organic Bonsoy Tofu which is am organic tofu that apparently has a silken and smooth texture. [Update: I gave this away to one of my friends because I don’t like Tofu, but they thought it was a nice one!]

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Morlife: Choc Coated Goji Berries, a yummy, healthy indulgent snack! Read the review!

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Food for Health: Vanilla Blueberry Bar, another healthy snack that is gluten free, low fructose and no added sugar. Read the review!

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Harvest Box: Health Bombs, a healthy treat made of fruit and nut goodness. Read the review!

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The Chia Co: Chia Seeds, they are great for boosting nutrition and can be sprinkled on the morning bowl of cereal, or just about anything else really. Read the review!

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Kookas Natural: Oat Coconut, these are a naturopathically designed cookie range. Read the review!

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Have you ever heard of this box before? What do you think of it? I’ll be doing quick reviews of everything I try in these boxes so keep your eyes peeled for those.

Take care,

Jas

Motivational Monday, 4 January – Be Active

One of my goals for this year is to be more active. Less time on the couch, more time being active in some way like exploring the great outdoors.

Kayaks are a wonderful way to do that, either down a river or the beach. I’m fortunate to live close to both, and in fact the river my partner and I paddled down last weekend runs out to the ocean and provides some beautiful views.

I’ve included a few photos below, and I would encourage all of you to try and be more active this year, especially if it means being outside and seeing what nature has to offer.

I would have taken more but my new camera didn’t have a memory card in it at the time, but I think you get the idea looking at those few pictures.

New Years Shopping Haul

I went shopping yesterday to take advantage of the new years sales, not that I bought everything in the shop, just a few things.

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  • Waterproof bag for kayaking
  • File divider folder thing for mine and my partners joint bills now we have a house together
  • Orange glass bottle for work
  • Maxi dress just because I felt like it
  • Waterproof watch for kayaking
  • Maze Runner books box set because, why not?

As it turns out my Mum had also done a bit of shopping and bought me a couple of things.

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She got me a red Essie nail polish and a flowery red Guess purse.

Did you do any shopping during the sales? What did you get?

Take care,

Jas