Nespresso Anyone?

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My love for coffee is extreme and what more could a girl ask for then to receive a Nespresso machine for Christmas. Now this coffee machine isn’t your typical Keurig or Tassimo. This one produces delicious varieties of espresso which you can then create either a latte or cappuccino. Obsessed might be an understatement when I am talking about how much I love this machine.

It is quite simple to use, you start by filling up the back with water and making sure you do a system clean before having your coffee. You then add milk to the canister on the right and fill it up to the correct line. If you want a latte you will fill it up to the higher line and if you want a cappuccino you stop the milk at the first line. As well, you must take the spiral piece off inside the milk canister if you are wanting to have a latte because then it won’t give you the foam. You then select which capsule you would like to use and there are many different varieties and intensities to choose from. My top favourites are Roma, Livanto, Fortissio Lungo and Vanilio. You then lift up the silver handle on top and put the capsule in and close the top of the Nespresso. Then you select either the left side for a shorter coffee or the right side button for a larger one and wait for the coffee to come out.

I should mention you would obviously want to make sure you have a cup under and ready to go at this point. Press the milk button on the canister and let it heat up and it shouldn’t take more than a minute. Once the Nespresso capsule is emptied into your cup add your hot milk and then top it off with the foam. If you are having a cappuccino add some chocolate powder to the top.

The best thing about the Nespresso is that the coffee is always nice and hot and tastes like something out of a real cafe. I can now sit on my couch at home and enjoy cafe quality coffee.

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Enjoy,

Carly Jensen xo

Simplify Your Life! The Concept of Minimalism

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Minimalism? Now what the hell does that mean? As I sat during my shift at work I did my usual scan of every interesting website I could get my eyes on. I came across an interesting topic I had not really heard much about. For a good 5 hours I read as many blogs about minimalism as I could and I found that it can be something everyone can apply to their lives. Now before I go ahead, I know some of you may be thinking that this whole concept seems crazy and too difficult to apply. You have probably read that you must only own 100 items, walk everywhere, become a vegan hippie and never do anything that involves money. I will be the first to say that yes that may be an extreme way of looking at minimalism but just like anything in life there are NO RULES on how to do something! Now that we have that out of the way we can start to adjust to the feeling of living with less.

Okay time for the official definition from my favourite minimalist blog the minimalists.com. They sum it up into one simple sentence “Minimalism is a tool used to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.” The more I thought about the idea that becoming minimalist seems brilliant, I remembered a story I learned in high school about a very rich king who had every material possesion and he loved each one like they were his own children. He wasn’t a very nice man and all he cared about was being rich and owning all these marvelous possessions. As he lay on his death bed there was no one there to say goodbye to him and once he died there was a very valueble  lesson to be learned. That lesson was that it doesn’t matter how many possessions you have, once you die they don’t come to the grave with you. When your laying in the cemetery there is no competition for who has the most possessions.

With this all being said does that not excite you that you can finally put that wallet away, relax and be happy! You are no longer bound by the stress spending brings and you no longer have to be in competition with the people you know about who has more stuff. You can walk outside and smell the roses again and smile at that neighbour you were always in competition with and think to yourself “well I finally have it all! I’m happy.” You can walk down the streets while watching people carry their excess shopping bags and feel absolutely free. So if you are ready to free yourself from the obsession that material items bring then follow my easy tips to simplifying your life.

1) Say NO to constant shopping – Okay, I will admit it this will be definitely hard for me especially since having new clothes and looking good is something I value but I am going to make a goal that unless it is something I desperately need then there is no reason to buy it.

2) Declutter your home and work space – This one is huge, most people probably don’t realise how much added stress is put upon them as well as the amount of time wasted when things aren’t clean. Start by going through each room of your house and start throwing away things that you no longer use or no longer need. As well go through that large clothing closet of yours and throw out all those silly items that you don’t even wear. Trust me you don’t need 500 t-shirts, you only wear 4 anyways.

3) Choose 1 day a week to wipe your schedule clean – I think having a schedule for your life is important to some extent because you need to get things done on day to day basis but that being said minimalism is all about finding more time for important things in life and the things that matter. Start small by wiping your schedule once a week and try and do nothing at all. You will have more time to enjoy yourself and spend time with the people that really matter. By doing this you will get to know yourself better and who better to get to know than the one person you spend your whole life with.

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Minimalism

Carly Jensen xo

Photo credit: stylizimoblog.com, romanceonadime.com, blog.freepeople.com

DIY – Mia Wallace Costume

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Looking for a last minute costume idea? This DIY Halloween Costume is perfect and it doesn’t take long to put together. Mia Wallace from Pulp Fiction is an absolute classic and you will surely turn heads. All you need is black pants, a white button up blouse and black flats for your outfit. As well as a black bob wig, fake blood, a fake syringe, fake cigarette, red lipstick, grey eyeshadow and some tape.

Once you are dressed unbutton your shirt and tape the fake syringe to your chest (clear tape is best). Around the syringe apply the fake blood and on top of that add a grey eyeshadow and blend it in so it looks like a large bruise. Tie your hair in a flat bun and put the black wig on. In the movie, Mia overdoses on heroin so you need to run some fake blood coming out of your nostrils. I chose to do only one side to make it look more realistic. Lastly, add some red lipstick and hold that fake cigarette and you will look just like a 90’s movie icon.

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Red Velvet Muffins

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Now if you guys are like me then you will agree there is absolutely no better dessert than red velvet. Whether it is cake or cupcakes there is just something about that cream cheese icing I just can’t get enough of. I recently stumbled upon a cute cafe that served red velvet muffins so I thought I would find a recipe that will let us all be able to enjoy these delicious treats.

Red Velvet Muffins:

75g butter, softened
¾ cup caster sugar
1 egg
1½ cups flour
¼ cup BOURNVILLE Cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon no taste red food colour
1 teaspoon white vinegar
½ teaspoon bicarbonate soda
250g PHILADELPHIA Block Cream Cheese, softened
2/3 cup full cream milk powder
2/3 cup icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla

Baking Instructions:

CREAM the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well. Add the sifted dry ingredients and combined buttermilk and food colour and beat just to combine.

COMBINE the vinegar and bicarbonate soda and then stir through the cake mixture.

SPOON into 12 x 1/3 cup capacity patty paper lined muffin pans. Bake in a moderate oven 180oC for 20 minutes or until cooked when tested. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before turning out of pan to cool completely.

BEAT together the remaining ingredients with an electric mixer until smooth. Spread frosting over cooled muffins and serve immediately.

Enjoy,

Carly Jensen xo

Recipe from cadburykitchen.com.au