Tuesday, 13 February 2018

☆ Zero Waste: Grocery Shopping [Part 2/4] ☆

I am so excited about this little segment I have on my blog. This is part two all about zero waste, sustainability, conscious living and how you can be eco-friendly in your every day life! I want to talk about how you can reduce your food and plastic waste at home while also saving money!

Where I live, the market is open every Thursday and Saturday morning so I tend to bring along a canvas/tote bag to put all of my produce in as to avoid the plastic packaging I tend to get when I buy something.  In here I would typically store fruits, leafy greens and other vegetables. This week I needed a few vegetables so I went to the market and here's an overview of what I purchased:

Tomatoes are great to have for pastas, soups and make delicious snacks if you slice them in wedges and add a bit of salt & pepper!

 I'm not really a fan of sweet potatoes, but I decided to purchase one as I love making fries at home and this is a healthier alternative. Additionally, I can also make baked sweet potato with a cooked meal.

I purchased two eggplants and from them I like to make eggplant fries as they are pretty good. If you haven't tried them yet, you're missing out. A bit of olive oil, a bit of cilantro, some pepper and salt, cayenne and you're good to go. You can also use them as healthy mini pizzas by cutting them into little circles, sprinkling them with cheese, adding pepper, mushrooms, tomato or whatever you prefer. Bake on 180 degrees Celsius for 5 minutes and these delicious circles of heaven are ready to go!

I'm not big on breakfast, so I get hungry throughout the day. The oranges (and a cucumber pictured below) serve as little snacks as I just cut them up before class, or I'll have the oranges as a healthy "dessert" after dinner. Typically I make a little fruit bowl with oranges, strawberries and green apple slices as a mid-morning snack as it gets my energy levels up and reduces cravings.

I purchased two cucumbers for not only snacking on but also for adding into udon noodle dishes. Cucumber and vinegar with black pepper tastes great - especially if you add a bit of seaweed too. Great for salads, but also delicious when served with ice cold water and mint for a refreshing detox drink.

Zero Waste Fail?
Unfortunately, even when you try to be zero waste, you won't always succeed. The broccoli, pictured above, is obviously wrapped in plastic. Unfortunately the lady at the market but it in a bag before I had the chance to say no! I usually try to recycle plastic packaging but I know many people use it for eco-bricking and that's a great alternative too. 

Hacks For The Conventional Supermarket
When you go grocery shopping at a supermarket, try to bring your own canvas bag! I typically take two when I have no option than to go to the supermarket for food, as I normally just go to the local farmer's market.   It will really reduce plastic consumption. Stick to loose, unpackaged items if they are available (bananas, tomatoes, bell peppers etc) and put them in your own  produce bag to weigh. You'll still get a sticker unfortunately, but you can try to eco-brick it. 

The only items I still purchase from the supermarket are soy milk, canned chickpeas, pasta, pesto and tikka masala sauce in a glass jar and at times, tortillas. I always opt for metal, glass or cardboard packaging if I really need to go to the supermarket. I've still got a long way to go but I'm definitely making a difference and reducing my carbon footprint as I can recycle the glass and the metal cans. Aside from that, my plant-based diet allows me to shop  at the local famer's markets and get loads of great, nutritious produce for almost a quarter of the price I'd pay at the supermarket!

But What About Bulk? 
Look for bulk stores in your area. Often you can buy food and snacks in a reusable container. Where I stay we have a store that sells dried nuts, chocolate, loose-leaf tea (unpackaged tea that you need a strainer for), fruits, coconut oil and a variety of seeds. Bulk stores usually also sell shampoo, conditioner,  various juices and more, so have a look around in your neighborhood and do a bit of research before purchasing from your go-to supermarket.

What did you think of this post? Any zero waste articles you'd like to see next or questions you might have? Let me know in the comments down below.


Thursday, 8 February 2018

An Interview with Bye Bye Romeo Boutique ☆

Today I had the lucky chance to interview Tori Westley, gorgeous Aussie babe and creator of Bye Bye Romeo, an online clothing boutique for badass teens and groovy young adult. Here's what she says Bye Bye Romeo is all about.

The Belinda Bodysuit 75AUD
MK: Why that name and how would you describe the style, or personality even, of the online boutique and who is the target audience?  
TW: Bye Bye Romeo is a clothing store for fun and adventurous young women. I wanted to create a store that can cater to every part of a girls personality. Festival on Friday, girls night out on Saturday and brunch on a Sunday. The name came from me looking around my  room and typing random things into godaddy.com, looking for a domain that wasn’t taken. I saw on Tumblr a girl wearing a shirt that said something about Romeo. I quickly wrote in Bye Bye Romeo and the rest is history. But the main reason is a reminder that you don't need Romeo to be a boss ass bitch. I think sometimes people are too worried about looking for their Romeo or their Juliet and I wanted an empowering name. Every time I hear it I just imagine a girl with long blonde hair, a red beret, cat eye glasses, fishnets and a fur coat just looking at the person who did her wrong and with a sassy tone, just waves and says “Bye Bye Romeo!” 

Sun Creature Dress 40AUD

MK: How did you become involved in Bye Bye Romeo and what makes the job fun?  
TW: I have always wanted to be in fashion and always wanted to be my own boss. An online store was something I always dreamed about but never thought I would do, but I just woke up one morning and was like fuck it! Life is too short to be working just for the money. I want to do something that I am passionate about! So, I just started researching how to do. The job is fun because it combines everything I love; fashion, makeup, photography, people. I get to look at clothes all day and make people look cool. Who wouldn’t love that?!

Eyes Of The Stars Top 48AUD

MK: BBR is currently an online boutique. Would you like to extend it to pop up stores in the future?  
TW: I would, yes. At the moment I am doing markets in Adelaide and in my local towns. But the big dream is to have some stores around the country!

Cloud Wings Top 70AUD
MK: What do you think makes BBR unique?
TW: I think BBR is unique because its coming from the perspective of a country girl. I was born and bred in a small region in South Australia where I am just surrounded by orange trees, vines and the river. I know what its like to be scared to wear something a little out of the box in fear of being judged. But I learnt that no one gives a damn. I get called extra every time I leave for an event but people say it in the best way possible. So BBR is empowering women to be the true them. That's why we will be getting enough different styles of stock that every girl that is feeling scared or misunderstood will be able to find something that they can rock!
Follow Bye Bye Romeo to stay updated!
Bye Bye Romeo Instagram
Bye Bye Romeo Boutique
Tori Westley's Instagram

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Roman Holiday | Guest Post by Dunja Jovanović ☆

How good has your new year started, from 0 until you spent it in your dream city? When the clock struck 12, I was watching fireworks on Piazza del popolo in Rome, sipping my drink hearing 'Auguri! Auguri!' everywhere around me.

My year couldn't have started better. 

Even if I wasn't staying during the holidays, I could still comfortably name this article 'Roman Holiday'. The atmosphere was magical - there were Christmas decorations everywhere, as well as orange trees (with oranges in December and January); the weather was warm and sunny as it was Spring.  Everyone spoke the language I love and study. We would have Nutella toast and have the most perfect cappacino for breakfast, see so many beautiful things that I could barely process them all and finish our day only after we walked for about 20km (no, that's not a typo). We felt the pain in our legs only by the end of the day - we were too busy discovering, wandering around and being stunned. The center of Rome isn't that big, so you can visit everything you want in 4-5 days. These were my favourite places, in no particular order. 

1. Fontana di Trevi

Anita Ekberg unfortunately wasn't there, however, a huge crowd of tourist was (around, not in the actual fountain), taking  photos
and throwing coins. But don't worry, with a little effort you can find a perfect there's-no-one-around-me-spot for pictures in front of this
masterpiece made by Nicola Salvi. Also, don't forget to throw a coin above your head when making a wish, so you can come back!

2. Colosseo

What's the first thing you think of when someone says 'Rome' if not the most famous amphitheater in the world? Once upon a time, where the gladiator fights took place, with space for 55,0000 spectators, now the main tourist attraction. First Sunday of a month, free entrance but be prepared for a loooong line. Tip: If you know in advance where you want to go & you need tickets for it, buy it online. They'll cost a euro or two more, but they'll save you from waiting for hours and hours. Which is not at all amusing. 

3. Altare della Patria

When they were building a monument for the king who united Italy, Vittorio Emanuele II, motto was obviously go big or go home. When you first look at it, you can't not notice how big, majestic and white it is. When you second look at it, it kinda looks like a huge wedding cake or typewriter, which are only some of its nicknames (la torta nuziale/macchina da scrivere). When you climb (a lot of) stairs, you'll see the eternal flame that burns for unknown soldiers - then you'll see a breathtaking view of the city.

4. Piazza Novona
 The moment I stepped on this baroque square, it became my favourite. Bernini designed the facade of the church of Saint Agnese (it'll be the first thing you notice) as well as the fountain with the Egyptian obelisk in the middle. According to the story, Agnese was a  young girl who was killed because she refused a guy's proposal and devoted her life to Christianity (#ThatsWhyWeNeedFeminism). Because my brain wasn't really able to work properly while I was there, all I could think of was WOW. I'll let the photo speak instead.

Somewhere between the last and the next point on this list, there is Galateria Della Palma, where you can choose between 150 flavors of ice cream. 

I could try only 2 at the time, despite my unconditional love for ice cream, and they were SO good. 10/10 would reccommend.

5. Spanish Stairs
I don't know how, but wherever we went, we would somehow end up on Spanish steps. Maybe unlocked Dior's WiFi would call us. Anyway, the fashion shows of high end brands are held here in summer. You can find their shops nearby, in via Condotti, as well as festive parades (we accidentally became apart of one). From cold, white stairs we even watched a marathon. The only disappointment is that I wasn't approached by the 2018 version of Gregory Peck.

 6. The Vatican
We visited this tiny country on the 1st of January and accidentally arrived just in time to listen to the Pope's New Year's speech. Even for me, pretty non-religious person (and especially not Catholic), it was a beautiful experience. We didn't go inside because the entrance was free, so the line was beyond huge but if you have the chance - don't make the same mistake we did. 

7. Piazza del Campidoglio

When the emperor Carl V visited Rome, pop Paul III was embarrassed that the capitol is so muddy and...not so in ideal state. That's why he asked Michelangelo to design the façade and the line characteristic to this piazza. It's really close to the Altare della patria, so you can kill 2 birds with one stone.

8. Villa and park Borghese

 After you see the  masterpieces of, among others, Bernini, Caravaggio and Raffaello, take a walk into the park. Park Borghese is like an oasis in the middle of the city. It reminds me of Boboli gardens in Florence but the entrance is free. You can ride a bike or a boat, or make a picnic while listening to the jazz music. If you get hungry and you didn't bring anything, which I recommend, you can walk to Piazza del popolo. In one of the streets that begin on the piazza, there is a great pizzeria that will, for around €4 give you a big and perfect pizza slice with a thin crunchy crust.

9. Trastevere 
Trastevere is a super lovely part of the city next to the river Tiber (Tiber = Tevere) on the same side of the river as Vatican. It's full of old, red houses with flowers on the windows or clambering plants, little cobblestone streets and lively nightlife, as well as perfect sweets that taste like Ferrero Rocher in random pasticcerias.

10. The Mouth of Truth
If you don't trust your significant other, take them to the mouth of truth (Bocca della verita) that exists since 4th Century BC. According to the legend if you put your hand in them and lie, well, you won't have a hand anymore. 

11. Monet's Exhibition
Everyone who knows me, knows how much I love Claude Monet and his work. Since it's like this city was built for me, it happened that his exhibition was at the same time as my stay. If you happen to be in Rome until 11th February, don't miss the chance to see his masterpieces; from his first caricatures to 'Water Lilies', everything is absolutely beautiful and worth seeing.

P.S: Thanks to the guy who assumed I was under 18 (if he asked to see my documents he'd discover that I am not) and made me pay less for a ticket than I normally would. One more good thing that happened that day lol

This guest post was written by Dunja. Check out her Instagram