Sunday, 20 May 2012

Korean Bath Houses

Korean Bath House

If you haven't ever been to a Korean Bath House and had a body scrub then you need to put it on your bucket list to do. 

Korean Scrubbing Mitt
They take exfoliation to the next level and I have never been able to replicate the results by myself even using the same mitt they use. 
I've been to Korean Bath Houses in Australia, Japan and Korea and other than the price difference they all follow the same formula. 
You enter into the bathroom area and there will be an open shower area where you sit on small stools and shower yourself clean. Then you spend some time going in and out of different steam rooms, saunas and various temperature various mineral content baths / hot springs. Some places are more elaborate than others I've been to one with a pool and salt room.It was like a spa and water world combined.

Scrub at Korean Bath House
Then the magic part begins the scrub down, when its your turn a Korean lady will do the scrub for you. They are usually older ladies that are wearing just their underwear (usually black and lacy I don't know why but this has turned out to be the formula whereever I go?!).
They will put a freshly grated cucumber on your face and then start the body scrub with a mitt on. Your top layers of skin will literally peel away, you actually see it peeling off you, almost like if you have ever been sun burnt and peeled in the shower. So for a first timer it might be a bit of a shock! 
After the big peel they will shiatsu massage you with baby oil and milk. Then you just rinse off and voila skin will be so baby soft you wont recognise it.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Exfoliation- Go Hard or Go Home

It occurs to me that a big part of me is my love for beauty stuff. 
I love all things beauty the products, the technology, the colour, the techniques, the creativity, the make up and on and on. 
So a part of this blog has to be given to my feelings thoughts and advice on all things beauty. 
In my long and various career I once dabbled at being a beautician and  although I loved many many parts of being a beautician I also got to a point where a vast majority of my time was spent on hair removal. It was at the beginning of the Brazilian xxx wax craze and I just thought to my self one day this is someones vagina! I'm tired of spending my days looking at vagina's. Hence a career change was imminent. 

So my first little piece is all about Exfoliation
In western culture Exfoliation is vastly under done and under valued. 

My time in Japan has taught me that they don't all look younger and have beautiful skin for nothing. Although there is an element of diet, weather and culture it is also true that they exfoliate everyday. 

So I have taken much of my own routine from Japan and and hopefully will reap the rewards as I get older with fresh younger looking skin. I can comment that I do have pretty soft skin and have landed a toy boy 10 years younger ;)

My number one tip is don't be afraid to go hard, use a hard scratchy glove or sponge equivalent and use it everyday. I get mine from Asian supermarkets because I find the ones sold in the normal supermarket too soft. 

Its simple to make an amazing homemade scrub by mixing a cup of either raw sugar or rock salt with a bit of baby oil (use a few drops of your favourite essential oil as well to make it smell special) and about a teaspoon of warmed honey (honey can be left out I just like it to help bind the scrub and its a natural astringent so helps with body pimples, abrasions and ingrown hair - actually I changed my mind honey is compulsory). Use this once a week what I do is after I've washed myself  I turn off the shower and scrub all over especially my feet and hard areas and let it sit for a few minutes - just keep scrubbing then rinse. I promise this will rock your world! 

Best Body Scrub Recipe
1-2 cups raw sugar or rock salt
1 spoonful of melted honey
2 spoonfuls of baby oil
A few drops of essential oil

Face Scrubs - well I use the above one even on my face -I can imagine it being too much for newbies though. I love the Aapri face scrub its really cheap will last a long time and is tough not like some of the really wussy so called scrubs out there. 

If you have some money to burn and want to have a facial and don't know what to try, why not try microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion is basically a machine with a diamond tip they rub all over your face to remove the top layer of dead skin.

So what are you waiting for go get scrubbing!!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Friday Favourites - Spaghetti Bolognaise

I don't think I have ever met someone that dislikes Spag Bol its delicious and real comfort food and I'm pretty sure just quietly that this recipe is the reason my mister wants to marry me. There might be other reasons and recipes too but this one sealed the deal.

Here it is my favourite and easiest Spaghetti Recipe.

1 or 2 large brown onion diced
4 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
Olive oil
300g Beef mince 
300g Pork mince
1 teaspoon Beef stock powder
1/2 cup ~ cup Dry red or white wine
2 table spoons tomato paste
1 Can of diced tomatoes
1 Jar of tomato sauce
Dried Oregano
Dried Basil
Dried Parsley
I ~2 bay leaf
1 teaspoon sugar 
1~2 cups water
Optional a few drops of chili oil or fresh or powdered chili can be used 
Salt & Pepper
How To;
Slowly heat a generous amount of olive oil and add onion -when it just starts to turn translucent add garlic after roughly a minute add mince and sprinkle with beef stock powder at this stage stir meat constantly to stop it becoming lumpy and a few shakes of salt. 
Once meat is browned add the can of tomatoes and wine and simmer until wine is mostly evaporated.
Stir in tomato paste and sugar add jar of tomato sauce (I've tried many brands however a cheap brand wont make all that much difference because we are adding in so much flavour).
Add one or two bay leaves, approximately a table spoon each of oregano, basil and parsley and some freshly ground black pepper mix all this in I also add a couple of drops of chili oil or Tabasco at this stage. Add a cup of water and lower the heat to as low as it will go and cover with lid. 
I slow cook this for at least 2 hours stirring occasionally add more water if necessary.

Notes & Observations; 
Other things that I sometimes add to this mix if I have some on hand are carrot, mushrooms and bacon just add after the meat is browned.  
Save on a cheaper jar of tomato pasta sauce and instead use the money to get shaved parmasan cheese, its so much nicer than the powdered type. This isn't the 70's anymore you can do it.
Now I'm not one for measuring so don't panic if you want to use less or more of something this is such an adaptable recipe.
The wonderful thing about Spag Bol is that you can forget an ingredient and add it later. Its easy just to bung all the ingredients in a pot and let the magic happen its a very difficult dish to mess up really.

Bon Appetit


Friday, 4 May 2012

Friday Favourite - The Simpsons

I love love love The Simpsons I can watch them over and over again and never tire of them.
My friends and I often use Simpson quotes in our conversations and try to out do each other in the obscurity. I secretly respect people more when they pepper their conversations with Simpsons quotes or at the very least chuckle at my own.

I personally think that The Simpsons has defined a generation. This is a big call and I'm sure there will be those that disagree. Surely what is indisputable however is that they are one of the most recognisable and universally relateable in pop culture. 

Here are a few of my favourite quotes;
Homer: Oh, so they have Internet on computers now!
Ralph: Me fail English? That’s unpossible.
Milhouse: Then why did I have the bowl, Bart? Why did I have the bowl?
Homer: with $10,000 we’d be millionaires! We could buy all kinds of useful things like…love!  
Homer: Save me, Jeebus.
Homer: You don’t win friends with salad.

For more fun quotes check out here

My Top 3 Episodes of all time are; 
Homer to the Max
When the new television show, "Police Cops" premiers with a savvy character holding Homer's full name, the real-life Homer enjoys mock-stardom en masse. But when the show is retooled to give the character a Gomer Pyle-like facade, Homer changes his name to Max Power to escape the laughing and taunts of fellow townspeople.
A memorable scene is Homer singing about his name..."the name who you'd love to touch, but you mustn't touuuuuch"...hilarious!
Episode quote: Homer: There's the right way the wrong way and the Max Power way
Bart: isn't that the wrong way?
Homer: Yeah but faster!

Lisa's Rival
It looks as if Lisa's days as the class brain are numbered when the new student proves to be smarter, younger, and plays the sax better than her. Meanwhile, Homer strikes white gold in the form of an over-turned Sugar truck.
A memorable scene is when Homer is in the backyard trying to guard his sugar pile and he makes a paranoid slightly mental speech. 
Marge: Homer, when are you going to give up this crazy sugar scheme? 
Homer: Never! Never, Marge. I can't live the button-down life like you. I want it all: the terrifying lows, the dizzying highs, the creamy middles. Sure, I might offend a few of the bluenoses with my cocky stride and musky odours -- oh, I'll never be the darling of the so-called ‘City Fathers’ who cluck their tongues, stroke their beards, and talk about "What's to be done with this Homer Simpson?"
Also fun to quote are the bee guys. "no noise suggests no bees the beemobil- is another of my favourites.

Homer Phobia
John [John Waters guest stars] a collectable store owner befriends the Simpson family when Marge tries to sell a family heirloom, but after discovering he is a homosexual Homer fears Bart will emulate him. So he attempts to make him a man in a series of hilarious events. 
Best Quote: Zap

Narrowing that down was harder than I thought it would be I might have to list a top 10 next time.
Fun Simpsons Quiz here.