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Switch it Up Week with Fitness First: Green Smoothies

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Green Smoothie Drink Healthy Recipe Food Blog 21 shades of Green
Green Smoothie Drink Healthy Recipe Food Blog 21 shades of Green
Green Smoothie Drink Healthy Recipe Food Blog 21 shades of Green
Green Smoothie Drink Healthy Recipe Food Blog 21 shades of Green
Green Smoothie Drink Healthy Recipe Food Blog 21 shades of Green
Green Smoothie Drink Healthy Recipe Food Blog 21 shades of Green
Green Smoothie Drink Healthy Recipe Food Blog 21 shades of Green

Fitness First Switch it Up Week: A Green Smoothie from Clare's (checksandspots.com) ebook 21 Shades of Green

Last month, Fitness First celebrated 'Switch it Up Week' where we were matched with other Fitness First bloggers to try out their own meal plan and/or workout. I was matched up with the beautiful Clare from Checks and Spots and she provided me with her ebook 21 Shades Of Greens, that details 21 delicious recipes and highlights the benefits of drinking green smoothies.

I've never actually made my own smoothie before as I tend to eat my vegetables in a salad or fruits on its own. I was pretty excited to use my blender as soon as I started reading this ebook. I started off with the 'New Kid on the Block' and the recipe includes:

1 cup packed baby spinach leaves
1 cup cos lettuce
1 lemon (peeled)
1 cup coconut water
1 cucumber - cut into chunks
1/2 cup fresh frozen mango

Simply then put the spinach leaves, cos lettuce, lemon, cucumber and coconut water in a blender and blitz until smooth; then add mango and blitz again.
Me and my bestie Betty tried it out and we were really impressed by the intensity of the green colour and taste.
Having it fresh was quite yum I didn't taste much bitterness because for some reason I believed baby spinach is bitter tasting (later realising that I was thinking of rocket), instead I tasted the sweetness of the mango and refreshing cucumber. And, this stuff is powerful. I immediately felt more awake and my spirits lifted. In the morning when I had more for breakfast, it gave me a burst of energy and I felt fresh and ready to start my day. Clare states that she often replaces one meal a day for a green smoothie and she has noticed positive changes in her well being, weight and skin. Great bonus!


I also swapped a workout with Clare for the week. Hers included:


  • 1 x 8 km run at a pace of 5-6 min per km
  • 1 x 1 hr group Cross Training session
  • 1 X 30 minute personal training session - resistance training. 
  • 1 x 30 minute personal training session - weight training.


For myself, I couldn't find a personal trainer in time, so I got some of my friends to give me personal training sessions in both resistance and weight training. In resistance training, I buddied up with a friend and used resistance bands to break up my routine.
That was fun because it was challenging to try and keep the bands at my feet instead of letting go and letting it snap it into my face. It really made me rely on my own body weight and balance to train as well.
For the run and cross trainer, well I am a terrible runner (and basically in any cardio besides Zumba) but I really wanted to challenge myself, so I broke up my run/cross trainer into 2 x 4km runs at the beginning and end of my workouts. I rarely mix my cardio with my weight training but I found it helped warm up my body efficiently and got the blood pumping, motivating me for weight training. The post-run felt really satisfying and a good way to end my workout.

This workout plan worked out well for me because although I'm not a stranger to weight and resistance training, adding more cardio was fun and it felt like my lung capacity grew bigger! Thank you Clare for a delicious green smoothie recipe and a challenging workout for the week. Check out Clare's blog Checks and Spots below, and check out her free ebook 21 shades of Green for more amazing recipes!


Introducing: My new Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga S1 MULTIMODE ULTRABOOK Blog Review
Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga S1 MULTIMODE ULTRABOOK Blog Review
Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga S1 MULTIMODE ULTRABOOK Blog Review
Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga S1 MULTIMODE ULTRABOOK Blog Review
Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga S1 MULTIMODE ULTRABOOK Blog Review Keyboard
Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga S1 MULTIMODE ULTRABOOK Blog Review Keyboard
Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga S1 MULTIMODE ULTRABOOK Blog Review Keyboard
Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga S1 MULTIMODE ULTRABOOK Blog Review
Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga S1 MULTIMODE ULTRABOOK Blog Review
Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga S1 MULTIMODE ULTRABOOK Blog Review

Introducing: My new Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga thanks to Lenovo (A Product Review)

Thinking about how I perform my blog work every week day in and day out, it’s important that I can make my work portable. Often I take my work around the house, sometimes when I feel like watching movies with my sister so I set camp up in the living room. Sometimes I take my work into the bedroom or my desk. There are days I want to bake with Betty so I take my work to her house and I’ll upload photos while I mix cake batter.
Then there are those days I want to enjoy the sunshine and some nature so I venture out to a peaceful park to take my chaotic work out for a walk.

So, when I received a new Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga to use I was pretty excited. The cool design really caught my attention, mainly because of the flexibility of the Thinkpad Yoga itself. The screen can flip around 360 degrees changing itself into four different modes – Laptop, Stand, Tablet and Tent. So when I change the keyboard position, the Thinkpad Yoga detects what mode I wanted and changed the screen accordingly.

Again the Yoga really proved itself to be innovative when I found that if you switch to other modes other than Laptop, the special Lift-and-Lock keyboard frame automatically rises and the keys lock, which eliminates accidental keystrokes and providing a more comfortable grip. This is especially convenient when the Yoga goes into Tablet mode.

With the 12.5” screen it optimises the new Windows 8.1 software and the multi-touch technology. I've never had a screen which incorporates a touch screen when in laptop mode so it’s handy when I can’t be bothered using a mouse to navigate around my Yoga.
 I’m not very technical, but I do know that with a battery life of up to 8 hours, integrated 720p Yoga Camera and an Intel Core i7-4500U Processor (4MB Cache, up to 3.00GHz), the Yoga can perform well inside and outside the house. At a very light 1.58kg and at 19mm thick it’s super light to carry around. 

I switch from App mode to Desktop mode quite frequently, utilising the intuitive technology; using App mode to check my emails, Facebook, Twitter and Skype messages easily using the Ten-Finger Multi-Touch technology where I can switch between apps with a flick of a finger. I go into Desktop mode to edit my photos and sort out my files when I blog and I like to navigate my smart mouse pad for that. 
All in all, I’m super happy with my new Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga product. The four different modes it’s capable of makes life really easy for me and it doesn’t stop at blogging. The tent mode is so convenient for pulling up recipes around my kitchen, minimising mess and spill on my keyboard because it doesn't lay flat on the table. The stand mode lets me watch movies at ease when I sprawl myself on my bed to relax. And the Tablet mode is great for when I just want to get the keyboard out of the way. It’s such a smart and intuitive piece of technology that has made life easier. Thank you Lenovo!


And thanks to Lenovo, Lenovo is giving one of my lucky readers the chance to win a Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga for themselves! Details will be up soon on the blog, so stay tuned!


My Visit to the Cake Bake & Sweets Show!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Cake Bake & Sweets Show Food Blog Sydney 2014
Cake Bake & Sweets Show Food Blog Sydney 2014
Cake Bake & Sweets Show Food Blog Sydney 2014
Cake Bake & Sweets Show Food Blog Sydney 2014
Cake Bake & Sweets Show Food Blog Sydney 2014
Cake Bake & Sweets Show Food Blog Sydney 2014
Cake Bake & Sweets Show Food Blog Sydney 2014
Cake Bake & Sweets Show Food Blog Sydney 2014
Cake Bake & Sweets Show Food Blog Sydney 2014
Cake Bake & Sweets Show Food Blog Sydney 2014
Cake Bake & Sweets Show Food Blog Sydney 2014
Cake Bake & Sweets Show Food Blog Sydney 2014
Cake Bake & Sweets Show Food Blog Sydney 2014
Cake Bake & Sweets Show Food Blog Sydney 2014
Cake Bake & Sweets Show Food Blog Sydney 2014
Cake Bake & Sweets Show Food Blog Sydney 2014
Cake Bake & Sweets Show Food Blog Sydney 2014

An Event: My visit to the Cake Bake & Sweets Show at Sydney Showground 2014

In the three years I've been fashion blogging, I was lucky enough to discover other pleasures in life. It first started with the magic of reviewing hair products, then visiting restaurants, covering Sydney events, food photography and now, the joy of baking.
I can now say I'm not an amateur in the kitchen, I can follow recipes and understand the difference between using an electrical hand beater and a wooden spoon; that to bake shortbread you need to use really really cold butter and that you can't fool around when it comes to baking macarons - that's serious stuff.
 So when I was told to come to the Cake Bake and Sweets show at Sydney Showground to cover it, my heart practically fell out my chest. I dragged Betty along because only she can fully appreciate something like this. This one of a kind event covered three days and brings together celebrity demos, foodies, competitions, interactive workshops and classes under one roof. And it all revolved around the art of baking, cakes and sweets.

Taking a tour of the event, I found some amazing displays of dessert tables for birthdays, weddings and parties. Cupcake tiers with intricate icing details, Three layered cakes, chocolate sculptures, cake pops, dessert packaging ideas and tasty frozen cookie dough. I walked into pop up shops filled with amazing cooking appliances, hundreds of food colouring bottles, specialised icing spatulas, cake decorations, cupcake wrappers and baking books. I was in heaven. The icing on the cake was the celebrity-run workshops where they went through how to make the perfect pies and cakes. I was star struck by Nancy (winner of the Great Australia Bake Off 2013) and Dan Lepard (The Great Australia Bake Off judge).

I also picked up plenty of gourmet sweets, cupcakes and coffee along the way. I will admit I was on a full on sugar high with Betty for at least 2 hours before we started getting sleeping with the crazy sugar crash.
But it was totally worth it. Thanks for a great show <3


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