Tuesday, 29 January 2013

FITNESS: How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution Drive (and my Kickarse No-Excuses Workout!)


Guest post by Faith McDonald from Body buzz online

Get into shape, lose weight, eat better, drink more water, be kinder to ourselves – we’ve all promised ourselves we will try harder this year.  But unfortunately by the end of the first week at least a quarter of us will have abandoned our New Year’s Resolution.
Research shows that half of the population will set a New Year’s Resolution but less than 12 percent will stick with it.  Here is some simple advice to give you the DRIVE to stick with your new year goal.

  • Don’t give up – if you have already fallen off the wagon it’s time to get back on.  It’s never too late to get back on it.  I don’t believe in starting your diet on Monday.  It tends to lead to overeating today....instead start today!
  • Review your goals – it’s important to set realistic, achievable goals. Set yourself a small goal and acknowledge yourself when you have achieved it.  Achieving small goals will keep you motivated and help you achieve your big goals.
  • Invite a friend – find a buddy to train with or tell a friend what your goal is and have them keep you accountable to it.  Do the same for them!
  • Vary your routine – a lot of exercise and eating routines are abandoned because they become too boring.  Make sure you are enjoying a variety of healthy foods and mixing up your exercise routine regularly.
  • Ease into it – it’s common to be over-enthusiastic in the beginning and quickly run out of steam.  Instead ease into a routine that you will be able to maintain long-term.
  • It’s all about finding ways to incorporate new healthy eating and exercising patterns into your lifestyle.  Stop thinking you are trying to lose weight and start thinking you are choosing to live FIT, HEALTHY and HAPPY.

It’s now even easier to stick to your resolution to see a NEW YOU!! Here is my Kickarse No-Excuses Workout that you can do at home in front of the television!!!  Don’t you just love it?!!

Brazilian Butt Lift

Lying on your stomach engage your deep abdominal muscles.  Clench the butt on one side and slowly lift the leg keeping it straight.  Extend the leg as high as possible without taking the hips off the mat, keeping the butt clenched.  Slowly lower and switch sides.  Complete 20 repetitions alternating each side.  Do 3 sets.

Cockroach (Tummy Flattener)

Lying on your back with your arms extended to the ceiling and your knees lifted to 90 degrees from the floor, engage your deep abdominal muscles.  Breathe in and slowly extend one leg to parallel with the floor and the opposite arm over the head to parallel the floor.  Keep the abdominals engaged throughout the movement, breathe out and draw the leg and arm back to position using the deep abdominal muscles.  Switch sides and complete 20 repetitions alternating each side.  Do 3 sets.

Thigh Master

Lie on one side propped up with an elbow.  Engage your deep abdominals, lift the top leg and bring it forward 45 degrees from your body.  Keeping your abdominals engaged slowly raise the leg directly to the ceiling and lower to parallel with the floor.  Complete 20 repetitions on one side.  Change side and repeat.  Do 3 sets.  

Tuckshop Arm Annihilator

Sitting on the mat place a hand, palm down, under each butt cheek, elbows tucked in, and place your feet at shoulder width with knees 90 degrees from the floor.  Engage your deep abdominal muscles and slowly thrust the hips towards the ceiling.  Push through your triceps, butt and hamstrings to hold your table top position for 10 seconds.  Slowly release back down.  Repeat and hold 3 times.  

So NO MORE EXCUSES!! Get to it and HAVE FUN!!!

About Faith:  Faith McDonald runs her own Personal Training business on Sydney's Northern Beaches.  She is a passionate ambassador for healthy living; her Health and Wellness website, Body Buzz Online is dedicated to bringing you healthy clean eating recipes and expert fitness tips to empower you to live fit, healthy and happy.
Her mission is to shift society's obsession away from weight loss and instead focus on a healthy lifestyle which not only improves your health and vitality but your happiness!
Faith runs fun and motivating bootcamp sessions and personal training on Sydney's Northern Beaches at super cheap prices.... Be sure to follow Faith on facebook for upcoming deals and giveaways!   

Saturday, 26 January 2013

WEARING: the belly @ 25 weeks + some really comfy JEANS!

What a miserable rainy day we have here on the Northern Beaches today! Its actually kinda nice to have a lazy sunday curled up inside in between taking the toddler out for a splash in the rain and a stomp in the puddles... It is still a little sticky and P has had a ball in the wet weather! Here are some snaps from this morning out and about... 

  • The belly @ 25 weeks
  • Dark Wash Slim Leg Maternity Jeans c|o SERAPHINE: I have to tell you how comfortable these jeans are, they are seriously like tights!!!! I usually really despise wearing jeans when I'm pregnant as they feel so restrictive and hot, although these jeans are so easy to wear they feel like I could do a yoga class in them (seriously!!!), they move with you. They have a huge band at the top so you wear them over your bump and this is great as it holds everything in... LOVE THEM! You can get yourself a pair here
  • Yellow Tote c|o Kitty & co
  • Marbled chunky Bangle | Witchery
  • Lipstick in Cardovan Natural c|o Karen Murrell Natural skincare

View more wearing posts and fun maternity finds here.

Cass xoxo

Friday, 25 January 2013


Guest post by Karen Murrell from KM Natural Lipsticks.

A woman consumes an average of nearly two kilograms of lipstick during her lifetime through drinking, eating and kissing – so keep lipstick natural!
Wearing of lipstick is as old as ancient Egyptian times. Cleopatra used crushed carmine beetles which gave a rich, deep red appearance to her lips.
It was the French however, in the late 1800's who popularised lipstick for the masses.
I have always had a love of colour cosmetics. I started by cutting my teeth formulating skincare and during that time I wanted to bring ladies a natural lipstick that was environmentally friendly yet functionally as good as any top international brand.
Making lipsticks is a profession; and it takes time, experience, creativity and scientific process to get it right. When I make my lipsticks there are two key things which I consider; the formula, and the colour shade.
An important part of my philosophy is to stick to natural ingredients that promote healthier benefits, whilst at the same time, they are better for the environment as a whole. The base ingredients; such as beeswax have been used since the 19th century French lipstick makers (perfumers), but I have updated my ingredients to include natural extracts that are safe, resourced responsible, and simply taste and smell better.
To design a new range, I am very much influenced in the same way an artist might be; by seasons, natural objects, plant and animal life, music, Literature, fashion, my (and other people's) moods. In fact pretty much everything! I wouldn't necessarily call myself an artist of course but when people ask me how I go about designing lipstick, I generally answer by saying it's a combination of my knowledge built up over many, many years and allowing myself time to think creatively.
The most amount of time though, is often taken up by sourcing ingredients, registration and compliance, packaging design, and marketing. But I love it all and feel honored to think that I might be helping every Cleopatra out there to find their own Antony!

KM Lipsticks are made totally of natural ingredients. They do not contain any mineral oils, animal-based material, parabens or preservatives. And because of the fusion of Mother Nature’s miracle ingredients, the more you use KM Lipstick the better condition your lips will be in. This high-quality formulation means KM Lipsticks are long lasting on lips, and they smell and taste great.

Eco-friendly packaging
Our lipstick canisters are made from PLA (polylactic acid), a corn resin based material that will start to dissolve back into Mother Earth within 100 days. It is also greenhouse gas neutral, helping minimise emissions that cause global warming.
The packaging of the KM range, with its original artwork, has been designed with sustainability at the forefront. The outer packaging is a 100% recyclable and renewable box made from New Zealand trees and printed with soya ink.

Karen Murrell
Creator of KM Organic Skin care and Natural Lipsticks


Thursday, 24 January 2013

NATURAL BEAUTY: Masking it the natural way

As you know by now, I love using raw homemade skincare on my skin!! Putting raw foods on as a mask has so many benefits for your skin, for example they;
1) Boost radiance 
2) Exfoliate your skin naturally 
3) Use no chemicals 
4) You see results! 
So why don't you give it a try next time your thinking about putting a mask on and just try something from your kitchen or garden. 
Here are my fav's!!! 

Chocolate mask (cacao)  
Did you know that cacao has more antioxidant flavonoids than any food tested so far, including blueberries, red wine, and black and green teas? In fact, it has up to four times the quantity of antioxidants found in green tea.
This is suitable for normal, dry and oily skin. And it tastes yum!
You will need:
2 Tbs coconut oil  

Combine the two ingredients in a small bowl, using your fingers, then apply to clean face. Leave on for 10 minutes, then rinse with warm water.

Tahini mask
No prep is required; just spread tahini over your face straight from the jar, leave on for 10-15 minutes. Then rinse with warm water and a cloth. Softens and moisturises dry skin. Also you should eat tahini - it is ground sesame seeds and they are full of iron, which helps to improve skin tone.
Pineapple mask
Pineapple contains enzymes that make your skin elastic, it improves skin hydration, and removes damaged and dead skin cells. Thus, it helps us achieve a clear and glowing complexion. It is great for fine lines and age spots but also great for all skin types.
So all you need to do is cut up some pineapple and just rub over skin. That's it!!! Leave for 5 mins. 
This will naturally exfoliate the skin. 

This is the recipe to one of my favourite DIY face masks...
Egg whites are very high in protein, vitamins and minerals, such as selenium and the B complex vitamins. Egg whites are often used in cooking and baking, but can also be applied topically to the face to help ward off wrinkles and to potentially tighten sagging skin.
Honey is the best skin softener, while lemon juice helps to even the skin tone and olive oil will hydrate while the mask tightens on your skin.
Allow yourself 15 minutes of R &R before any date, event or night in with this one!!
You will need:
(Organic if possible)
1 x Egg
Fresh lemon
Olive oil

Split the yolk from the egg white.
Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, freshly squeezed, 1/2 teaspoon organic raw honey and 1/2 teaspoon of Olive Oil.
Whisk well until all ingredients are blended.
Buy a clean basting brush or get an old blush brush and clean well.
Dip the brush in the mix and apply over your entire face, neck & decollate area.
Lay down and meditate for 15 minutes while the egg mix dries.
You will feel the egg tightening on your skin, working it's magic with all those wonderful proteins, it may tingle from the lemon juice, so if you have sensitive skin, reduce the lemon juice to 1/4 teaspoon or remove it altogether. 
Once the mask has dried and you have had 15 minutes of positive meditation, rinse off the mask and pat your skin dry.
You will see and feel the difference!

Avocado mask- great for dry skin
This mask is so nourishing!
Cut open 1 avocado then apply straight to the skin, leave it on for 10-15 mins and then rinse off. 

Berries look younger mask!! - Full of antioxidants 
(This one gets a bit messy) 
 You will need 1/2 cup of berries, just mash on your face.
Leave for 15 mins and then remove with warm water. 

My favourite Spirulina Raw honey Mask
( great for oily/ combination skins) 
You will need:
1 tablespoon of spirulina 
1 tablespoon raw honey 
Mix together and apply to your skin. Leave for 10 - 15 mins. 
Spirulina - this is a form of blue-green algae and is a great source of vegetarian protein, b vitamins and iron. 

Yvette. X 

About Yvette: Yvette is a qualified beauty therapist that has worked in day spas and with big brands such as lancĂ´me, channel, Clarins. Over the past few years, Yvette has gravitated towards a more holistic approach.

She wants to do the very best for her body by leading the most toxic free lifestyle that she can. Being a beauty therapist; Yvette knows how to treat peoples skin, she has experienced how toxic so many products on the market are and she wants everyone of us to be absolutely gorgeous... NATURALLY!  Yvette makes incorporating natural beauty remedies, skin care and an organic approach to make up affordable and easy. 
You can find Yvette @

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

RECIPE: Pia's Pink Raspberry Layer Cake

As promised, heres my recipe for my little Pia's Raspberry layered birthday cake. Additive free! Gluten free! Wheat free! Refined sugar free! ENJOY!

Lemon sponge cake

4 eggs
3/4 cup maple syrup
Juice of 2 lemons
1 1/2 cup rice flour

 - Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
 - In a large bowl place egg whites and whisk until you get some lovely white fluffy peaks.
 - In a separate bowl beat maple syrup and egg yolks until nice and creamy, then slowly add in lemon juice as you keep beating for another minute or two.
- Throw the sifted rice flour into the egg yolk mixture and  mix well.
- Then fold fluffy egg whites into the yolk mixture being very gentle but still combining it all well.
- Pour into coconut oil greased round cake tin and bake for 40 minutes or until cooked through.
- Let cool.

Raspberry cake
4 eggs
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 cup rice flour
1 cup frozen rasberries; defrosted.
  • Repeat steps for lemon cake but adding the defrosted juicy raspberries to the egg yolk mixture instead of the lemon juice.
  • Easy.
  • Let cool.
Pink cream
300ml pouring cream (or thick home made coconut cream)
1 tablespoon raw organic honey
1/2 cup raspberries

Beat all ingredients until they make a nice thickened pink cream.

Stacking on the layers
  1. Once both cakes are completely cool (and I am talking totally cold, been in the fridge for at least a couple of hours type of cool), use a very sharp knife to slice each cake horizontally to make 2 layers of each. 
  2. Stack each layer very gently on top of the other with a nice layer of cream in between each. 
  3. Cover the whole cake in lots of yummy Raspberry cream and Sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY! YUM! 
Cass xoxo


Can anyone think of anything better than getting a box full of healthy surprises every month? A box that is full of yumminess as well as things to make you shine, increase your energy and all in all, make you feel good? A box full of natural products and brands that you may of heard of? Hmmm... I didn't think so! This is the coolest idea right? 
Well, the amazing people at native box have come up with awesome monthly boxes just like this! When I first heard of this, I was really excited but then I looked at the price and it seemed too cheap to have much in it... And then I received my first box and was totally blown away! For how reasonably priced it is, this company is giving so much. The best part is, it opens your eyes and brings awareness to products and brands that you may not have heard of. I honestly just couldn't believe it when I opened the box to find a Adorn mineral eye shadow that I know is $25 each in itself, among other things such as herbal tea, spirulina tablets, a yummy ginger bread cookie, veggie chips, omega supplement, natural soap, and more and more... SO GOOD! I am totally hooked!

Native box are so passionate about what they do and they really want to do whats best for the environment by cutting back carbon footprint and only working with truly passionate brands and companies that produce exceptional natural eco-friendly products. They want to show off what Australia has to offer by only sourcing locally. They don't consider their members as customers, they believe they are a community of like-minded, health conscious people with the power to evoke real change and this is you!
I would highly recommend giving it a go and you get a discount if you sign up for more months at a time.

I am so happy to tell you that the wonderful people at native box have kindly given me 1 x native box to gift to 1 lucky Choose life, live it, do it reader! 

To enter simply be a follower of Choose life, live it do it blog and leave a comment below telling me why you would like to win a Native box!

For extra entries:
  1. Be a follower of Choose life, live it, do it via Google Friend connect
  2. Like Choose life, live it, do it  on Facebook
  3. Like Native box on facebook
  4. Share this give away on any social media platform (instagram/facebook/twitter/pinterest)
 Leave a comment for each!



Sunday, 20 January 2013


"SURFACE - 2 friends, 1 passion and a pinch of serendipity"

WOW! Let me just start by saying that the smells that come from these beautiful products are out-of-this-world AMAZING! I only stumbled across the Surface organic skincare range a couple of weeks ago and as it drew me in closer with its philosophy I just had to try it! One fabulous part of this range is that it only has 4 products! Usually when it comes to skincare there are so many different products in a range that the companies try to tell you that you need so many different things to have the perfect skin and this means more confusion and more money! And it is simply not true. What is true, is that we do need to clean our skin everyday, exfoliate once a week and nourish it with moisture and everything else is just a bonus. 
Surface organic skincare has created 4 absolutely beautiful products to get us started and keep our skin clean, fresh and moisturised! 
So to begin the surface organic skincare routine I cleanse with the Neroli & Lavender Cleanser = This smells divine. Wipe off with a warm washer and then Spritz my face with the  refreshing Rose Maroc Purifying Toner. I have never been a fan of toners, simply because they usually stink of chemicals and are super drying to my dry/sensitive skin. This one though, I found super hydrating and another great smell so I have also been using it to refresh my skin over the day, great for after the beach! 
I finish my surface organic skin care routine with their rejuvenating creme. This one is my favourite product in the range, I love a moisturiser to be a really hydrating and feel like it is truly getting into my skin and doing its job. This one is beautiful and it leaves the skin with a really lovely dewy feel. I then use a little bit of the Citrus & Calendula Brightening Serum as an eye cream and that is it! Off to bed and in the morning its on again. If you love a beautifully smelling natural product then I would definitely recommend trying Surface Organic Skin care. It is bliss! 

 So heres the run down on SURFACE ORGANIC SKINCARE:
* Natural and organic ingredients
* Botanical extracts / plant-derived substances* Herbal extracts* Essential oils* Beeswax* Australian certified organic: 100% organic TEA TREE hydrosol, TEA TREE OIL* Certified USDA organic: 100% organic TEA TREE hydrosol, TEA TREE OIL

Surface Organic Skincare is Organic: In principle and in production

Our values are part of everything we do; they define the way we operate. We do not take short cuts and neither do the partners in our supply chain. We’ve invested years researching and testing ingredients and suppliers for SURFACE skincare to ensure that our products are pure, natural and sustainably sourced, locally.
Every single ingredient in each SURFACE skincare product is 100% natural. Unlike some of our competitors who may mix a single organic ingredient in a chemical sludge, we never use synthetic ingredients. Ever.
Our dedication to the natural purity of the SURFACE skincare range means you will never see any of these man-made impurities in our products:

  • Polyethylene Glycols (PEGS)
  • Artificial colours
  • Artificial fragrance
  • Preservative parabens
  • Synthetics
  • Petrochemicals
Using local, fresh, natural ingredients sourced from across Australia provides us with many benefits. It allows us to maintain total control over quality at source, build a thriving network of organic suppliers who share our values, and ensure that our ingredients are ethically and sustainably sourced.

Cass xoxo

Saturday, 19 January 2013

WEARING: The belly @ 24 weeks and a TARA WOLF ZODIAC BRACELET

 What an amazing week I have had; a full 6 nights to myself in my own house = bliss! 
The first couple of days I couldn't move and slept and then the last couple of days I was so overstimulated with new ideas that I couldn't sleep but do I feel revived?? Of cause!!
Now that my babes are back from their little mini break we set out for a morning chai latte at our favourite cafe and this is what I put on*.

* note: I have been cruising around in either my pj's or swimmers alot lately and I think this is the first time in I have put make up on and maybe even washed my hair in the last 2 weeks... I do have to say it does feel good to be clean and in some real clothes! HAH!


Thursday, 17 January 2013

My baby P's 2nd Birthday Party! (Additive and sugar free!)

I have to firstly apologise how late this post is, little P's birthday party was in December and I promised you all that I would be sharing pictures and recipes from the day asap, but then christmas hit us in the head, along with moving house, new years and this thing they call morning sickness that should be really called any time of day sickness... So with that, I am sorry, though I am so excited to show you what we ate at little P's Tea party!

You should know by now that I refuse to hold a party for children full of crap! Of cause I don't want my princess to miss out on a colourful day full of yummy treats and fun games but crap... NO WAY! I just don't see the point in filling young children up with sugar and additives for them to reach an extreme high and then get hit with an awful low. Its not fair on their little bodies! So my aim this year was to bring a our friends a lovely morning tea full of deliciously pretty and yummy food that was also full of goodness! And I think we achieved it!
We ate chocolate crackles, banana and blueberry mini muffins, pop corn, butterfly cupcakes, chocolate fudge truffles, rich chocolate brownies, colourful fruit platters, sandwiches and mini quiche. We sipped on lemon and mint iced tea (OMG! SO REFRESHING AND DELICIOUS!!!) and sparkling water with lemon.
We followed with an attempt at pass the passel (Wow tricky with 17 x 1-2 year olds, yes I had 17 kids over, I am totally crazy!!!), a bit of dance and freeze and then finished the morning off with a raspberry and lemon layer cake coloured by nothing other than fresh raspberry juice. All treats were sweetened with either maple syrup or date paste, definitely no refined sugar needed! Each little kiddy took home a coloured pin wheel that Pia and I had made with tips from Martha Stewart herself here. And a little bag party bag with a small stuffed circus toy in it from this big shop hereMartha Stewart helped us out with the decorations; which I was absolutely thrilled at how pink and pretty everything looked. And my buddy Lynsey over at Angel Berry designs made us the most beautiful vintage tray chalk board sign that I am totally in love with!!

It was an out of control-felt-like-100-kids-running-around hectic, yet beautiful, beautiful, beautiful morning! We had a ball and little P had such a great morning socialising, dancing and eating with her ever favourite friends that we thank so much for being who they are!

So I will leave you to browse the pretty pictures and hopefully a little bit inspired to hold your own crap-free children's party! Enjoy!

ps... I promise to have some recipes up soon! Everything was sooooooooo yummy!

Cass xo

Tuesday, 15 January 2013


Kitty Tote - YELLOW
WOO HOO! How cool is this bag??? So bright! So fun! So summer! I only just stumbled upon the kitty & co store last week and I was in love! This summer is full of colour and Kitty & co sure know how to bring it in the most beautiful Genuine patent cow leather accessories. This bag is awesome because not only does it look amazing but it is the perfect size for running about while still being able to fit all the very important mummy necessities in. Being not too big and definitely not too small, it's a great one for going to the park, shops, and out with friends. And have you seen that is in BRIGHT YELLOW?? Well that is striking and awesome in itself! I guarantee you, with this bag in hand, someone is bound to ask you where you got it! 
Helena Wallet

About kitty & co.: Catherine; the creator of Kitty & Co is a mum of 2 that has always had a possibly unhealthy attraction to shiny and colourful things and found that she was always drawn to patent leather bags and shoes in bright colours at any store that featured them. She finds that adding colour through accessories is also the easiest way to dress for work or play...or the park. The other thing that is important to Catherine in a bag is that it is classic, relaxed and functional - nothing too fancy. 

So, after being unable to fill her patent addiction at any time of the year and at a reasonable price, the idea to design bright and playful, genuine patent leather handbags and wallets was set in motion.
Bright, bold colours and effortless, classic styles are the hallmarks of kitty & co. accessories.
Kitty & Co is a very young brand and available online at kittyandco.com.au as well as a couple of online boutiques. 

The beautiful team at Kitty & Co want to bring more colour into your summer so are offering two lucky readers of Choose life, live it, do it the chance to win a ' Helena Wallet' pictured.

Material: Genuine cow leather (patent) with black cotton lining. 
Size: 19*10*2.5 cm
Bright colours so you can always find it in your handbag 
Internal zip pocket for coins 
8 card holders 
2 long pockets for notes/receipts 

To enter simply be a follower of Choose life, live it do it blog and leave a comment below telling me which Colour Kitty & Co Helena Wallet you would like to win. 

For extra entries:
  1. Be a follower of Choose life, live it, do it via Google Friend connect
  2. Like Choose life, live it, do it  on Facebook
  3. Share this give away on any social media platform (instagram/facebook/twitter/pinterest)
 Leave a comment for each!

Winners are Jaqui Porter and Susie Terner! YAY! Email me with your postal address so i can get yout prize to you asap! ENJOY!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...