Last Splash(Watermelon Slush)

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“Ah been drankin’ wata mellun”
Hey…
So summer is officially over

ACTUALLY……..
For those in temperate climates (Northern hemisphere) summer is over. For those in temperate Southern climates its now coming and for those in the tropics well there are generally 2 seasons: rainy and dry but we do experience milder versions of weather patterns depending on which side of the equator we lie.

But I digress….

I’m really here to talk about the quintessential summer friut of 2014…..the watermelon!

I don’t know if to attribute it to the (?in)famous line in Beyoncé’s monster hit “Drunk in Love” or this just happened to be the year everyone jumped on the watermelon bandwagon but this fruit was large and in charge in 2014.

It made its way into everything from fresh fruit salads to salsas for grilled meats to alcoholic beverages.
It could be found in fashion too, I’ve seen watermelon bags (shaped like a semicircular slice of the fruit), tees with watermelon prints and of course featured in Mz Katy Perry’s “How we do” music vid (LOOOVE that song)

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Watermelon print tee

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m well aware that the watermelon has been a popular fruit and had an impact on fashion for a loooong time. However as far as popular culture goes every year a few food items get seriously hyped up and enjoys (or endures) its 15 minutes of fame.
Examples include:
1)Pomegranate circa 2009/2010 (and it’s still going,pomegranate flavoured stuff is always more expensive)

2) Kale circa 2012/2013

My prediction for 2014/2015 is coconut and more importantly coconut water! Mark my words you heard it first right here.

Again, I digress….

imageThe Watermelon

A WORD ON WATERMELON
According to Wikipedia(everyone’s ultimate reference source whether or not we admit it) watermelon is the name given to both the plant and it’s fruit(which is what we are actually talking about here). It is believed to have originated in Southern Africa. They contain little sugar, lots of water and lycopene which is associated with cardiovascular health… blah blah blah take home message: it’s good for you!

MY THOUGHTS ON WATERMELON
As a young child I was given watermelon as well as many other fruits to eat (my mother tried, I have only myself to blame for any bad eating habits I now foster). I hated it.

As a teeneager, while trying to develop healthy eating habits I tried watermelon. I hated it.

As an adult, on numerous occasions, while trying to be healthy and frugal I tried watermelon. I.HATED. IT

I’m not sure I left any clues to suggest this but don’t like watermelon. At all.
It’s watery as the name implies and tastes like Styrofoam (what I imagine it must taste like). It has too many seeds and even though its so watery, when the juice dries it gets über sticky. Bleh!

However, not wanting to be left out of this watermelon craze I decided to give this fruit another chance.

The thing about watermelon that really does appeal to me is bang for your buck. Watermelon is cheap. I can get an entire cannonball sized one for what 3 apples or 1 nectarine costs. And I will get a lot more servings of a fruit that is pretty much as healthy as they come.

So I gave the wretched fruit another try. I was inspired by the thousands of pins and posts and magazine articles glorifying this fruit. What I did realize is that hardly anyone was eating it plain. They were adding it to stuff, adding stuff to it etc (you get the idea)
That was the key. Sure I couldn’t tolerate the thought of putting a chunk of the pink fleshy fruit to my lips by itself but what if…. what if I jazzed it up a little… and that I did.

So here is the actual post(lol)

WATERMELON STRAWBERRY SLUSH

WHAT YOU NEED:
1) A watermelon(whole or sliced)- the amount you use depends on how much of this you make.

2) Strawberries(frozen)- either use actual frozen strawberries (I did, they’re cheaper) or get fresh ones and pop them in the freezer.

3)Lemon/Lime juice- from a bottle or fresh

WHAT TO DO

1) Cut the watermelon into small cubes (the exact size is entirely up to you)

2) Slice the frozen strawberries up

3) Place both fruits in a bowl or jar or glass and pour a dash or 2 of lemon juice over it (again this depends on how much you make and how acid you like things)

4) Stir the ingredients together allowing the watermelon to get partially crushed. It’s okay if the strawberries get a bit crushed too.

5) Serve with a spoon

PEARLS (a-hem ..seeds)
i)You can add strawberry flavored beverage mix e.g tang,Kool aid to amp up the strawberry factor.

ii) Add Sprite/7-Up or plain soda water(only a couple dashes) to give some fizz.

iii) Blend with said sprite etc to make it into a drink.

This is a great little snack on a hot day or alternative to ice cream for dessert. It’s affordable, simple, versatile and easy. Oh and I actually liked it! Cheers to that!

ADDENDUM

Other food Trends(these are my personal observations, no scientific evidence was used)

Red Velvet anything -2011-present.

Key Lime flavored anything- this is currently becoming a trend.

Bacon- circa 2012. This is when everyone’s favourite breakfast item meandered into pop culture and is now commonly seen on shirts, in jewelry, internet memes….etc.

Quinoa-circa 2013 to present. This one makes me chuckle.My sister did NOT get on this gravy train. She is so anti this gluten free wonder(she thinks it’s obnoxious). I personally like it, a healthy alternative to cous cous but I cannot even mutter the wprd in my sister’s presence.

Pops- circa 2011 to present. Cake pops, applepie pops, marshmallow pops…. basically any dessert or food item in general on a stick (except corndogs). We have Bakerella ( the talented, brilliant inventor of cake pops) to thank for this.

Now I’m done. Have an awesome day!

Dessert Party

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Hello everyone. I had a birthday this month. (Shout out to all September borns!)

Initially I wanted to have an intimate gathering. A cooking party, one where a chef comes and demonstrates while the guests follow and prepare the gourmet meal they then indulge in. I soon realized this was well above my means.

What I did instead was just as good. I had a dessert party! A dessert beach party to be exact! Yup, a party where the entire menu is dessert. I also had the fortune and pleasure of being able to have it at a beach house. Dessert, sand, ocean. Pretty perfect.

INSPIRATION
The inspiration for my party was…wait for it…. “My Little Pony Friendship is Magic” a.k.a MLP FIM. Yes, this adult over here is a huge fan of the series. I’ve been a fan of My Little Pony since the original series back in the day. I’m sure most people are vaguely aware that the series has been revamped quite a few times but I have to say that this current version (Generation 4 or G4) is the best! But I digress.

I knew I wanted a party inspired by them but having MLP FIM plates, tablecloth and loot bags would be a bit much even for me. I decided to have a more abstract interpretation of the show.

On the show, the ponies are always having a good time and throwing some kind of party usually put together by resident party planner and my favourite character Pinkie Pie. For this reason I chose pink as the colour of my decor.

At their parties the menus almost solely consist of dessert. Hence my idea to have a dessert party!

THE PARTY
Every shindig I throw together no matter how big or small how casual or fancy I have a party plan. This is where I put together important bits of info to guide me as I plan. Sometimes it’s written, sometimes I put it in my phone and sometimes it’s just in my head but the point is that it’s there.

PARTY PLAN

WHAT: Birthday- Dessert Party

WHEN: September 6th 2014

WHERE: Beachhouse at X location

WHO: Insert guest list here

THEME: MLP FIM /Dessert

MENU: Insert menu here

ENTERTAINMENT: This is where you decide how you keep ypur guests bustm. Anything from an iTunes playlist to a game of monopoly to a performance by a belly dancer goes here.

BUDGET: Arguably the most important part of the party plan.
My budget was $100 US

Wait…what! An entire party for 25 plus persons feeding them dessert!(easily the most expensive part of any meal) for $100 US! No way!

Yes way. I am the poor party girl. I entertain and live fabulously on a budget!

HOW: I decided to do it potluck style. I asked each guest(or couple) to bring a dessert. That way each person only spent money on one dish but put altogether we had quite a spread.

THE LIST
This is my menu
1) Strawberry Trifle

2) Chocolate Trifle (ended up being baked chocolate mousse cake)

3) Brownies

4) Blondies

5)Cheesecake (one with strawberry and the other with cherry topping)

6)Coconut mousse

7) Ambrosia Salad

8) White chocolate chip cookies

9) Strawberry Strudel

10) Ice Cream

11) Fruit Tarts

12) Coconut Loaf

13)Chocolate Bread Pudding

14) Jello

Additionally we had tuna, cheese and cucumber sandwiches as well as fishcakes for those who wanted a break from the sweetness.

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Fruit tarts

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Blondies being sliced

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Some of the desserts

Of course there were drinks. From juice to coke wine, rum and vodka(birthday cake flavoured!), tipsy gummy bears and jello shots!

DECOR
As I said pink was the colour of choice. In an effort to stick to my budget coupled with my lack of time and energy to DIY, I had very minimal decorations but I think it worked out just fine.

1) Triangle flag banners
I bought three of these 9 foot long card banners. They were pink and white with alternating patterns of polka dots and stripes. I got them from a craft/toy store and they werw very inexpensive.

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The banners

2)Flowers
I usually get flowers from my supermarket. They are reasonable and there’s a decent selection. To save money, you could buy 2 or 3 flowers and either add some bulk with foliage from your garden or leave them just so for a minimalist look. This is what I usually do but I got crazy and bought a full bouquet with pink being the main colour of course.

3)Table
I bought a dirt cheap plastic tablecloth in flamingo pink. Not wanting to hide to beautiful dark wood table entirely my sister folded the tablecloth lengthways into 1/3’s and made it into a table runner.

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Table runner and flowers

4) Balloons
What a controversial decoration. For years I considered them tacky. A six year old birthday? Yeah. A high school dance? Fine, maybe. A wedding or a conference? NO!
Now I don’t feel that way at all. All over the net I’ve seen some seriously tasteful balloon decorations. Also, if you like balloons..use them! They are cheap, fun and instantly say “party!”.
My sister and mother got me three regular latex balloons filled with helium( they don’t last as long as heluim balloons) for my welcome home which happened 5 days earlier. They still had a little life in them so I tied them to the gate of the beach house so guests could find us.

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The balloons on day 1(sorry no party pics of them)

5) Candles
More for the ambience than decoration. I got a Glade candle in Coral Lagoon scent. Glade, BBW and similar brands are cheaper alternatives to fancy schmancy pricey designer candles.

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Glade candle

ENTERTAINMENT
Music
My sister’s bf set up a laptop and speakers and hooked it up to the TV. He had a playlist going most of the evening but later in we switched to YouTube requests and karaoke. Fun times!

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The entertainment system and me being a total creep in the window.

Hula(Hoola) hoop
Oh yes, inspired once more by MLP FIM. In their land Equestria, technology doesn’t exist and the ponies entetain themselves with old fashioned passtimes like apple bobbing and ball bouncing. I had 2 hoola hoops and later on in the evening some of us retreated to the sand and had a serious hooping session. I won!
There was also a beach ball (for those who couldn’t hoola hoop)

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View from the beach where the hoop-off took place.

THE CAKE
Half of my budget was spent on my cake. I love baking but who wants to have to make their own birthday cake? I ordered a dark chocolate mousse on chocolate sponge. It was topped with thick white chocolate curls and sliced strawberries. It was pure, smooth chocolaty evil. And we loved it!

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Decadence

I had an old fashioned “birthday song singing, speech giving cake sticking” It was touching.

That’s it in a nutshell. Another birthday well spent with excellent company. I have to admit I had been feeling really down in the days leading up to and on my birthday. This happened to me last year as well (I hope it doesn’t become a regular thing). By the end of the night I felt better and for that I am grateful. (especially after that hooping sesh!)
Wishing everyone an awesome day!

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Fab Find (or not)

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Hello all

I’m back on the beauty vibe today where I’ll be reviewing “Baby Skin” by Maybelline. Let me first acknowledge that this isn’t brand new. It seems to have been around for at least 1 year and so many beauty bloggers/vloggers have already reviewed it. However I’ve only recently used it so I will now add my 2 cents as it were.

Let me first explain briefly what it is. It’s a face product that boasts “blur technology” and is meant to “Instantly erase pores”. It isn’t meant to actually shrink or fill in pores just make them a lot less visible.

Now let me tell you how I came across this product. No I wasn’t actively looking for pore minimizer (even though I have massive pores). I was in the supermarket just perusing the cosmetics section and there it was not too far from “babylips” which I LOVE!
When I saw it I was instantly intrigued. Of course it looked super cute just like baby lips packaging then I read what it does! Erasing pores? I was sooo there.

I bought it with not so much as a second thought (maybe a second but definitely not a third). It cost the equivalent of about $6 US, which is the price I hear it goes for most places. This appealed to the poor party girl in me, for a pore minimizer this was a steal. In fact I don’t evem own any pore minimizer because it tends to be one of those things that run you at least $30 US! and this poorpartygirl AIN’T.GOT.TIME.FOR.THAT (lol).

Anyhow onto the review…..

I tried it literally as soon as I got home and could get it out of the package. With clean hands I squeezed a half of a pea sized amount onto my palm and proceeded to gently pat then spread it over my problem area (either side of my nose)

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It looks like gel. There was no real smell that I could appreciate. The way it feels is the most interesting part of all. I doesn’t really feel like anything I’ve ever touched. It’s not sticky like gel would be, it has a slightly greasy feel when you first touch it but that feeling quickly becomes powdery once you actually apply it. Difficult to describe.

Now did it actually work? Was this in fact a super cheap version of those fancy high end pore erasing/filling products? Was it a fab find? Or not?

…………………………………………………………

Not! I was soooo disappointed! I love Baby Lips and I think Maybelline makes good products in general but this one did not deliver it’s promise.
I actually watched a couple reviews of this on YouTube to see if maybe I was applying it wrong, I wasn’t. I tried it at least 4 times.

I saw one review where the girl was super duper impressed. No one esle really seemed to be but many of them did confess that it made their makeup go on better and so it functioned more as a primer than anything else.

I personally didn’t find any difference in makeup application.

I also noted that one vlogger said she thinks if your pores are too big it won’t work. Maybe that’s why it did nothing for me. But really, it’s people with big pores who actually need a product to erase them so…..

Anyhow the verdict is NOT so fab of a find. It’s certainly affordable but it doesn’t do what it claims to making it something I wouldn’t buy again. However I implore anyone interested to try it themselves and get a true verdict.

Thanks for reading and have an awesome day!

Tipsy (gummy) bears and Jell-O Shots

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Hello all. So I had a birthday recently (Sept 6th- shout out to all Virgos!) and I had a dessert party! But this post isn’t about that. No, no no. Inspired by my dessert theme however I decided to make 2 alcoholic treats…..

1) Vodka infused gummy bears
2) Jell-O shots

This post is about these 2 treats and how I combined them.

TIPSY BEARS
I first learnt of the existence of these about 1 1/2 years ago when my sister decided to make them for her 25th birthday. She called them Drunken Gummy bears (as per the name used on the Internet).
I remember everyone being able to eat 2 maybe 3 of these max cause they were so potent! All but that one friend who had so many that by the end of the night he was walking like a drunken gummy bear himself (shout out to my friend Mark!). Anyhow, the recipe she used which was based on multiple sources asked that the gummy bears be soaked at least 3 days prior to use. Having experienced 3 day infused gummies, I decided to prepare mine the day before. Hence my term Tipsy gummies rather than full on drunk.

What you need:

1) Gummy bears ( the amount you use depends on the number of people you plan to serve and their general tolerance for strong alcohol)
Side note, I’m pretty sure other gummy treats can be used e.g gummy worms (the ones without the acidic sugary coating) could make a great Halloween drunken snack.

2) Vodka - whatever brand you prefer.

3) Bowl- for mixing the gummies.

What to do :

1) Pour desired amount of gummies in appropriate sized bowl.

2) Pour on vodka so that all the gummies are covered (not submerged and swimming)

3) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

EXTRA
I took them out about twice in the 24 hours to give a stir (the gummies become quite congealed) and the second time I added a dash more vodka because they had absorbed it all.
Before serving I took them out of the fridge for about an hour so they would soften and I could scoop them out properly.

I served mine in plastic shot glasses.

And it is that simple.

Jell-O SHOTS
Ahh jell-o. Something I definitely have a love-hate relationship with. I love that it looks so fun, that it’s been around for so long, that it’s so low in calories. However I often cannot get past 2 spoonfuls before becoming painfully aware that I am eating something that wobbles (bleh!)
I do on the other hand ADORE their puddings. I could eat chocolate jell-o pudding evey day for the rest of my life!
That being said, in keeping with my dessert party I decided jell-o (a classic family dessert) was a good idea. Then I was like hey! Let’s add alcohol for a really fun time! What I love most of all about jell-o, as a woman on a budget ( shout out to my fellow poor party girls!) is that it is dirt cheap! A small box is under $1(US) literally eveywhere you go. I used 1 small box to make 40 shots (using small plastic shot glasses)

I have certainly tasted a few jell-o shots in my time but I never made any. Turns out it’s very simple. I also learnt that I didn’t have to use vodka as the alcohol, I could also use rum! (#whoknew)

I made 2 flavours :1) watermelon with regular vodka and 2)raspberry with raspberry flavoured rum.

I got the recipe from a youtube video youtube recipe and the idea to use rum from her.

What you need:

1) 1 small package of jell-o(or other gelatin snack) -I used raspberry for this but use preferred flavour.

2)1 cup boiling water.

3) 1 cup cold water.

4) 1 cup Bacardi flavoured rum (or other flavour, or vodka)

5) Shot glasses (or other suitable small containers).

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Ingredients for jell-o shot fun

What to do:
1) Dissolve jell-o in 1 cup of hot water.

2) Add 1 cup cold water and stir well.

3) Add 1 cup of rum/vodka and mix.

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The mixed product.

4) I placed this liquid into a measuring cup (because the little spout makes it easier for pouring)

THE TWIST!
5) For my raspberry shots I decided to mix poisons as it were and dropped 2-3 tipsy gummies in the bottom of the shot glasses before adding the jell-o.

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Tipsy bears

6) Pour mixture into glasses and let chill and solidify. I left mine overnight to ensure proper consistency.

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The finished product (if you turn your head sideways and squint you can see the gummies in the bottom…lol)

EXTRA
I kept them in the fridge for most of the party intermittently taking them out and going around until they’re were none left.

In summary both vodka infused gummies and jell-o shots are a fun inexpensive way to serve both alcohol and an adult treat. You need no more than 2 cups of alcohol to pull off both (that’s like a small bottle of vodka or rum)

I had fun making these and more fun watching my guests devour them with a mixture of delight and horror.

Look out for a post on the rest of my birthday dessert party (on a budget of course) and have am awesome day!

Fab Find!

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Hello all! It’s been about 6 months since I last posted anything! I’m a lazy blogger (how can I hope to build any type of following?) I solemnly swear not to let my life overwhelm me so much that I cannot do things I actually enjoy! That said, let’s get to it.

This is a mini post really (I just NEEDED to post anything to get back onto the blogger-train). Its about some Essie nail polish (ah-hem..lacquer) I purchased from a drug store yesterday.
As anyone into nail polish knows Essie can tend to be one of the more expensive well known brands. They make good polish, have great colours and I suppose for that reason continue to be leading brand. I have been trying to start an Essie collection for almost 2 years and have scoured many a drug store in search. But the price always stumps me! Why pay $8.50(US) for this bottle of polish when I can get as many as 3 in another brand for that money? As a poor party girl I need to make every dollar count! So I would walk away with nothing each and every time.

I was given a bottle as a gift last Christmas and in a moment of weakness purchased a bottle myself a couple months( $9US) ago bringing my grand total to 2! Not much of a collection.

However yesterday I walked into this local drugstore (that I hadn’t been in for like 2 years!) and boom! Essie polishes selling for the equivalent of $6(US). Now this might not seem like a HUGE difference…. $6 vs $8.50 but for me it makes the difference between buying 1 polish and purchashing 3 or 4 at once. It’s that much more reasonable. I saved $10US in total which could buy me another polish or some lip balm or some half decent lunch or a cute top etc, you get the idea.

The moral of this post? Holding out to find a bargin almost always works out.
Sure you may feel a little cheap or even lame for not dropping the bucks on what you want when you want it, but remember most of us live life on a budget and throwing about cash like there’s no tomorrow is what helped trigger the debt crisis the entire western hemisphere continues to face (how’s that for food for thought?).

So yes I waited over 1 year but now I’m well on my way to solid Essie collection and I have money to spare! Thats how a poor party girl does it.

Look forward to more regular posts and have an awesome day!

BECOMING A PRINCESS(every poor party girl’s dream come true!)

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Yes I am standing in a hotel room taking a selfie while wearing a crown of leaves. It was part of my Tiana costume

Yes I DO mean Disney’s “Frog Princess”

Why is that?

The reason is the Disney Princess Half Marathon brought to you by runDisney and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Basically it’s a half marathon (13.1 miles or 21K) with a princess theme. It happens once a year (this is year no.5) and proceeds are donated to a number of children’s charities.

I first heard about this just over a year ago via a magazine article. Unfortunately I cannot recall which magazine it was, but I would like to thank them for putting a bunch of grown women dressed in a combination of excercise gear and tutus and crowns on the front of their publication because that’s what made me buy it! If I remember correctly the opening line was something like “What would make grown women dress up in tutus and run?” And boy was I eager to find out.

MIND,BODY AND SOUL

After reading the article I felt enlightened. It involved running, which meant I needed training which is good for the body, it was for charity which is good for the soul AND….you got to dress up like a princess, LIKE A PRINCESS! Hello HELLLOOO I am so there! That is great for the mind. I couldn’t wait to do it! I went online looking it up the same day! Unfortunately sign up wasn’t avalible for another few months so I had to wait! Uggghhh!

RUNNER I AM NOT

I bet anyone reading this who doesn’t know me might be inclined to think I am an avid runner. One of those people who jumps out of bed already in her sneakers at 5am ready to literally hit the ground running. WRONG! I actually hated running up until 2 years ago. All throughout school I would walk laps at P.E, and I only knew how to walk on a treadmill this is how much I abhored running. Dancing sure, aerobics sure, running no thanks.

One day, just over 2 years ago I found myself at a gym in a country I did not live in. It was very quiet as it was the middle of the day, I was on the treadmill working up a good sweat from speed walking when I just felt this urge to run. I ignored it at first becase “I don’t run” but then more and more I felt as if the only way I could be satisfied with this work out is if I broke into an almighty full speed pelt. I looked around, there was hardly anyone there and those there had no clue who I was so I just did it. That’s when I realised that I loved it! There is something about running that allows all your pent up energy to just seep out. Very theraputic.

SIGNING UP

Many months after reading the article I went onto the website and signed up. I was barely in time (afterbeing so eager), the event was almost full! My advice is to start checking well in advance so that you know exactly when the event is declared open (July the year be.

After signing up I had to plan the entire trip. The race took place at Disney World Orlando FL so I would have to travel there, find accomodation and of course spending money. Enter POOR PARTY GIRL MODE! Every trip I’ve had since I started working has been a budget trip (ironic no?) so I’m something of an expert by now. Planning a budget trip will be dealt with in another post.

WHICH PRINCESS?

So like I said, this is a princess themed race. Almost all the participants are women and most of them dress up as a princess (so did some of the men). Of course I was going to dress as a princess,I just didn’t know which one!

Should I be one of the original classic princesses like Aurora, Snow or Cinderella? Or one of the modern classic ones such as Ariel (Who would be 41 years old now btw) or Belle or Jasmine. Or maybe I should be one of the new kids on the block like Tiana or Rapunzel or Elsa? I was so torn I never decided who to be until about 7 days before the race. This left me with 7 days to get a costume!

TRAINING

I almost didn’t write a paragraph about this because I almost didn’t train! I procrastinated and when I finallly started “trainig” I’d do it for 2 days then stop for 3 or 4 and repeat this cycle. My excuse was “I’m so busy and tired”. I don’t reccomend this approach. I plan to do this race again and when I do I will have an actual schedule and a training partner to help keep me on track. There are a number of 3 month and 6 month training plans avalible free online(which I still didn’t use), I reccomend starting there.

BECOMING TIANA

For about 2 weeks prior I had narrowed my choices down to 2 princesses;Mulan and Tiana. My reason was that these were girls with guts.The hard work and bravery exhibited by Mulan and Tiana was more appealing than the damsel in distress type of personalities a lot of the others had.Finally I chose Tiana.

The night before I left for FL (3 days before the race) I went to a fabric shop in a mad rush. I told myself I could easily find a costume upon reaching FL but my thrifty inner voice reminded me how much that might cost me buying all pre made stuff. So I bought ;

1) CLOTH: 2 shades of green 1 yard each costing me a total of about $8.50 US,

2) FASTENERS

3) GREEN THREAD

From the toy/craft store I bought

4) TIARA-a plastic one and

5) GREEN FELT- to make my Tiana crown.

The total cost of all those raw materials was approximately $14.50 US. I already had my sneakers and I was planning on wearing my workout capri’s underneath the skirt. The only thing I needed was the green top.

THE CROWNING

Tiana is the frog princess and in Disney’s version she is from New Orleans. Her entire outfit has a natural swampy vibe. Hence her crown is not shiny silver or gold but rather made of leaves. I love bling as much as the next princess but I love this crown.

I used a very cheap plastic silver tiara, probably meant for a little girl’s birthday. I cut out some leafy shapes from the felt and hot glued those babies onto the tiara. It was quick and painless.

SKIRTING THE ISSUE

Making the skirt was neither quick nor painless.

My sewing machine has bitten the dust and sew  so I hand to do it all by hand. I was tired and didn’t have the energy to measure myself so I wrapped each piece around my waist and cut accordingly. I then stitched on some fasteners to hold the edges of each skirt together and also to hold the outer one to the inner one.

For the time I had I give myself a thumbs up, however, considering what an avid DIY-er I consider myself I really could have done a much better job had I put more thought an time into it. This is a mistake that will not be repeated next year.

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That’s a blurry pic of me cutting and stitching away

I decided to add the flower to the skirt which can be seen on Tiana’s green ball gown using some of the green felt I had bought.

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I drew out, cut out and attatched using fasteners.

I was all set, well almost, I just needed a green workout top and that would be easy right? WRONG!

I regretted my choice to be Tiana more and more with each passing minute when I went shopping for a green athletic top. There was either no green or the wrong green or it costed a small fortune, I just couldn’t win! I figured I’d have more luck at the expo which took place 2 days prior to the race but it was more of the same. I finally settled for the cheapest one I could find which was not the colour I wanted but the closest to it, and it ended up not fitting me as well as I wanted it to.

Nevertheless I was stil totally excited to become Tiana.

EXPO

I arrived in Orlando 3 days before the race. On the day before I went to collect my package (number and shirt and arm band) It all happened at the ESPN Sport Centre. When I arrived I knew it would be a great day because there was an Oikos truck giving out free greek yogurt!

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Oikos Truck

I got my free yogurt and proceeded to collect my race package.Then I went to the Fit For a Princess Expo (located in the ESPN centre as well)

I have been to expos  before but never ever have I ever been to one like this!The sheer number of vendors packed into this 1 room not to mention the customers! This place was overflowing with both merchandise and people.

There was everything you needed and everything you didn’t need. New Balance (the official shoe of runDisney) practically had an actual shoe store set up with back rooms and all!

There were lots of vendors selling headbands and sleeves and socks to match your costume. There were some selling tops and skirts and tutus( some quite pricey I might add). People were selling the modern waist pouches (some blend right in with the top of your pants), athletic tape, energy gels and blocks. I did feel ovewhelmed but I kept it together and just went down one aisle at a time. The only thing I bought was my green top.

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Me with my number and some Disney friends

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Expo madness!

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THE RACE

I was up at 2 am on Feb 23rd. The race was set to start at 5:30 am and you needed to be there at least an hour before. I had about 6 different friends message me at that time just in case both my phone and the alarm clock failed me. I had eaten well the day before and made sure I was in bed by a reasonable hour. I slept but not well and when I got up I was groggy, despite all the adrenaline coursing through me.

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My outfit

I put on my DIY budget friendly costume and went to await my pre ordered taxi for 3 am. Myself and the lady I shared my taxi with (Belle) stumbled out into the dark and wisely used the last real bathroom before the port-a-potty craziness was all we had to rely on.

After a long walk in the dark I arrived in a large parking lot where what I can only describe as a full on rave was going on. There was a stage with a backdrop and on it a DJ with his turn tables blasting tune after tune. There were already thousands of persons there in all their princess glory. There were 2 back drops where people were in line to take their pics,food trucks selling brekfast, An area to drop off your bag and a tent for those who had paid extra to have massages and breakfast served and relaxing couches etcImage

Me by the backdrop

The place was a cornucpia of costumes! The classic princesses seemed quite popular: Cinderealla, Aurora and Snow. But every princess was represented there. The Ariels had some of the most creative costumes with scale print tights and sleeves, actual shell bras, net for skirts, head pieces with starfish. Love Love!

There were princesses in every shape and size, age and race,it was beautiful.

There were those dressed as other Disney characters: lot’s of Minnies,the villans Ursula, the Queen of Hearts and even Malificent, Tinkerbell was well represented (my favourite disney character by far), I even saw some Pricess Leia’s! There were people dressed just as a princess, none in particular and those in no costumes at all.

We proceeded to our corals, another loooong walk in the dark. I was in the last one to start so I actually began my race approximately 1 hour and 37 minutes after the first group. When my time finally came I just ran. I ran and ran and ran. I actually thought I’d have to stop a lot sooner than I did but I impressed myself. When I finally did stop it was to use the bathroom. And after that I just continued. It felt amazing!

This was a real race but it was a fun one too. In addition to the theme and everyone all dressed up there were endless photo opportunities along the way. Characters were around every corner for you to  stop and take pics. I would have loved to take some pics with them but the lines were just too long! I said next time when I am better trained and can run this race faster, I’ll be able to stop. What I was able to do however is snap pics of the characters as I went past them.

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Captain Jack Sparrow and Prince Eric by a ship

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The Villans

Those are just a couple, there were sooooo many more!

As the race progressed there reached a point where just about everyone was walking. It kind of felt good, everyone was just kind of enjoying each other’s company looking at all the people in front of us and all those behind us. People were popping thier energy gel shots left right and centre (myself included) and gulping water and gatorade. By now the sun was fully up and it was beginning to get a little warm adding to everyone’s decreased energy.

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Some of princesses

Finally the end drew near! Around the 11th mile I regained some energy (thank’s to my gel shot I guess?) and began to pick up the pace. As we got closer to the finish (In Epcot near where we started) there were more and more spectators. They were very encouraging and I felt more inclined to run again and run I did!

Finally 3hrs and 9 minutes after starting I completed my first half marathon!

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The FINISH!

This was a phenomenal experience. I was more than a little nervous leading up to it, but having done it I suddenly realise how much I am actually capable of if I just try. I wanted to do this for the charity and the fun of dressing up and the good it would do my body but what I didn’t expect was to feel so inspired! By others :I saw a lady with severe arthritis walking like a bat out of hell, I saw a lady with a broken leg wearing her boot an coutless pregnant ladies getting the job done, I was also inspired by myself. Three years ago there is no way I would even have considered this. I just wouldn’t imagine I could do it, I would have been discouraged by the naysayers who would have said it was dangerous and a waste of money etc but I did it and of that I am immensely proud.

I have made a little compilation of advice gems(princesses,gems get it?) based on my experience

LEARNING GEMS

1) Start Low and Go Slow- I went straight into a half marathon which is 13.1 miles or 21 Kilometres after having never run any long distance race in my life. This is generally not recommended. Most people start with a 5k then move up that way you can adapt and improve so that when youu reach the really long distance you are ready for the challenge.

2) Train- This is something I cannot honestly say I did. Not in any special way. I continued my usual on again off again exercise routine and thought about joininga gym so I could practice on a treadmill.This never happened. Sure I survived but I got shin splints and as I sit here typing this I still cannot go down stairs properly. Yes an injury can happen to the best prepared of athletes but it’s less likely.

3) Eat well- If you are anything like me and most of my friends you are on a perpetual pseudo diet. In the 2-3 days leading up to a big race forget all of that. Eat full meals inclusive of the evil food group we call carbs. Also eat brekfast the morning of your event.

Just as important as eating before your race is eating afterwards. Most events provide participants with some kind of light meal afterwards. It is recommended to eat very soon after completing your race and again 3 hours later

4) Hydrate- Do this before, during and after your race. Also ensure that afterwards your urine is clear and not dark brown or red. Darkened urine may be a sign of rhabdomyolysis a potentialy dangerous conndition.

5) Shoes- Run in the shoes you trained in. I saw so many people buying brand new shoes at the expo, I was hoping they were buying them to wear for after the race for some other reason. It is reccomended that you not run a race in brand new shoes.

6) Sleep- Never underestimate the importance of it. You need to rest before and after a race. Before to conserve energy and be relaxed and clam and afterwards to recuperate.

This is just my anecdotal advice based on what I’ve read and learnt of the years, I hope it helps some potential runner

This has been an extensive post(a half marathon in it’s own right) I applaud anyone who made it to the end lol!

I hope whoever reads this enjoys it and feels as inspired as I do. I leave you with a pic of me showing off my medal (the one everyone who finishes the race gets! LOL)

Have an awesome day!

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Always the nurse, never the doctor…..

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Hello all, if anyone reading this has ever read any of my posts before, she/he will realise this is nothing like what I usually write about. My blog’s name is poor party girl and I tend to talk about cooking, decorating, shopping all on a budget. Which I love! However there is something which has been nagging me for sometime and which I feel I need to express. Maybe hundreds or thousands will read this, maybe only 3 or 4 people will, either way it’s okay. I needed an outlet and this is one so here goes…..

This post as the name (a twist on the “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride” phrase) blatantly implies is about a doctor being mistaken for and referred to and treated as a nurse. Specifically a female doctor… which I am.

Let me state that of course this is not something that has never been addressed, in fact it has been spoken about over and over, however this is my personal account of what I experience in my job.

I have to give the obvious disclaimer and quite frankly the reason why I try never to fuss when I am called a nurse.

That is: Nurses are awesome. Amazing! They are educated, well trained, hard working caring professionals. They are some of my closest collegues as a doctor and quite often become acquaintences and friends. It is not an insult to be called a nurse. In fact, in most cases it is a compliment, an honour even. I love nurses and I respect them and their noble profession.

But I am NOT one.

I am a DOCTOR.

I too,am educated, trained, hard working and caring, but I am not a nurse.

When I meet patients for the first time I ALWAYS introduce myself as I was taught to in medical school. I say : “Hello my name is Dr. …..” and proceed. Yet those same patients, sometimes minutes later will look at me and call me nurse. No matter what I say, they will call me nurse. They often apologise and correct themselves in the moment then go right back to calling me nurse.

Sometimes I am walking along the corridor at work (I work in a hospital) I am wearing work attire and a white coat. People I pass will say “Good morning nurse” Often I smile back and nod, not wishing to be impolite but inwardly I groan and wonder if these people realise I am not wearing nurse’s clothing at all!

On the outside, if I tell people I work at a hospital or they see me in scrubs they say :”You’re a nurse?” I then have to sigh, take a deep breath and tell them that I am indeed a doctor. NO ONE has ever said ” You’re a doctor?” NO ONE!

I have numerous female counterparts who experience this day in day out. This is a part of our lot in life as young female doctors. Quite frankly, I find it exasperating but perhaps not for the reason you may think.

When I speak of this “issue” to persons outside of medicine I find some people think us to be arrogant, somehow we feel we are better than nurses and so it is an insult to be called one. Let me tell you, I have no doubt that there are plenty of persons who think that way and I have no defense for their ignorance but I am not one.

People also suggest that since our jobs can be so similar and have so much overlap then there is no big difference, no big deal. I have no defense for their ignorance either.

The reason why I get frustrated is because in my mind, referring to any and every young female in a hospital setting as a nurse speaks to a deeper issue, the archaic mindset that MEN are doctors and WOMEN are nurses.

There I said it. This article is about sexism in medicine. And it is alive and kicking!

In times of old, that was almost always the case, doctors were men and nurses were women who followed the doctor’s orders without question. It was also the norm for people to use coal to fuel their stoves, collect water from streams and have no telephone or electricity.

This is 2014! We have seen pictures of the surface of Mars!, a single handheld device allows one to manage their entire life and communicate with people all over the world all day everyday! The world has moved on from that time. Why is it so difficult to wrap one’s head around the fact that women can be doctors!

I promise you that NONE of my male counterparts get called nurse. EVER!

This issue is not isolated to lay-persons,

I have noticed that there are certain things nurses themselves will ask me to do or in some cases MAKE me do that I know are not necessarily part of my job and I KNOW is not asked of my male counterparts. These tasks are often hygiene related: cleaning up patients, getting them dressed etc, you know…….”a woman’s job”. I am usually happy to help. I know nurses are often overworked (just like us doctors I might add) and I have no problem doing anything which will ultimately benefit the patient. I just register that most male doctors would never be asked to to these tasks and that makes me feel taken advantage of.

Doctors (male and usually surgeons) often negatively remark about the increasing number of female doctors, in some cases with disgust. They sigh at the thought of having mostly females as their junior staff. Some doctors, both men and women have tried to steer female medical students away from certain specialties and towards others because they are “easier to handle” if you want a family. So………….men don’t have families too? I suppose, being men, they don’t need to be active in family life, they don’t need to take care of their children, let the women do that….right?

They have a point though. The dynamic is changing dramatically. Most of the doctors in the hospital where I work are female, from the consultants(attending) back down to the interns. My entire department is comprised of all female doctors. In addition, there is a growing number of male nurses.That said, women have been doctors for years, I mean hundreds of years (Hello, Dr.Quinn!…lol). So much has changed and been accepted since women began practicing medicine. Yet, when I introduce myself to you, examine you and write a prescription for you, you look at me and call me nurse.

Sometimes I will challenge a patient and ask why,” Why do you call me nurse?” No one ever has an answer.

I have an answer. It is because I am a woman. And despite all the strides we have made, medicine and certain other older, highly respected professions (law, architechture, aviation) is still a boys club.

Men are genrally perceived as stronger than women, physically and emotionally (what a laugh) and so professions where men have always dominated are seen as masculine and strong and better, To be a doctor means you are masculine and strong and better , you must be a man (at least in the flawed eyes of society).How can a young, dainty thing manage to be a doctor? No no, she must be a nurse. Nurses are soft and young and pretty (again in societiy’s ridiculously flawed eyes)

I am not sure, that in my lifetime, I will see this thinking change. That makes me sad.

This type of sexism experienced in medicine is just a part of the problem, the problem being that we are in a wildy misogynistic society no matter what we tell ourselves.

People still look appalled when a woman says she doesn’t want to get married or have children (if you don’t do that you aren’t fulfilling your womanly duties), SCREW them!

I was told by a fellow doctor (male, devout Christian) that perhaps I attract less than suitable suitors(who says I want suitable suitors anyway!) because of my “image”, he then referred to a skirt I wore a few days earlier (with stockings let me add) as being too short and maybe that type of dressing attracts the wrong type of fellow……..I HAD NO WORDS… I suppose people like that also think a woman who dresses sexily deserves to be raped….. like I said, no words…

In some countries, which shall remain nameless, in order for a married woman to have a tubal ligation, her husband has to sign a form….. ,get this……giving permission.!Yes I said he has to give his wife PERMISSION to do something to HER body. Speechless and close to tears just thinking about that one.

In my country, we do a secondary school entrance exam and get placed in schools (ranked from “best” to “?not best” based on the grades we get in said exam[that is a whole other issue there]), boys with lower grades get higher placements than girls with those SAME grades This is so the “top schools” aren’t completely devoid of males. Then they don’t understand why we outshine them throughout school (like seriously?).

Like I said, sexism in medicine is just a peice of the problem pie and my personal, daily hell! I am not seen as or treated as an equal to my male collegues. Because I am young(ish) and care about my looks(ish) and act caring and kind and humble(classically feminine traits, again a flawed view).

Until I am decrepit (nothing to do with actual age) and no longer care about how I look(never!) or am no longer totally accomodating and kindly and motherly and no longer willing to do anything from the cleaner’s work to the secretary’s work. Until I lose my humility and every ounce of femininity I will ALWAYS be the NURSE and NEVER the DOCTOR!

We have come a long way but boy girl do we have far to go.

Have an awesome day!

Po’ cakes

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What does a po’ party girl do with 2 small tomatoes, a can of kernel corn, an inch of cheese, some flour, some butter and the sheer will to live.

She makes Po’ cakes!

Due to some recent financial constraints not to mention a bit of laziness (I refuse to go to the supermarket) this was almost literally ALL there was to be found in my kitchen.

So I had to either concoct something or starve alone in my apartment. I chose the former.

So from my desperation came some delightful not to mention quick snacks that I think might serve as appetizers for a soirée sometime in the future.

WHAT I USED
1) 2 small tomatoes
2) 1 small can of kernel corn (I only used half of it)
3) 1″×1″ block of cheddar cheese
4) 2 cups all purpose flour
5) 3 tablespoons of butter

WHAT I DID
1) Poured the flour into a bowl.
2) Add the butter (cold) and cut it into the flour.
3) Add water (no idea how much, enough to give the consistency of a very thick batter)
4) Add the corn tomato and cheese (grated) or whatever else is lying around your kitchen.
6) Heat some oil in a skillet (just enough to cover the bottom of the cakes)
7) Spoon tablespoon sized spheres (flatten them a bit)
8) Cook on both sides until golden (I left the insdes of mine a bit gooey…..awesome)

Plate and serve with some ketchup and enjoy.

This little recipe saved my hide. Maybe it may save someone else’s.  Lol.

Have an awesome day!

The New Year

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Happy New Year to all! I cannot believe it is 2014! We are officially in the future! None of the sci-fi classics were set this far into the future!  Lol

So what does a poor party girl do when all alone om NYE and poorer than ever? I’ll tell you what this girl did:

1) DETOX
     I took a long, warm shower which was a ceremonial scrubbing off of 2013.  Boy I have never wanted a year to be off of me so badly. It did my mind a world of good.

2) DRESS
     I put on a cute little party dress. Nothing new (I wasn’t going anywhere) but its nice and it made me feel as if I could go anywhere if I decided to.

3) DRINK
     My grandfather gifted me the delicious bottle of wine pictured above before I left home after my holiday visit.  I popped it open,  (took my prophylactic omeprazolehttp:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omeprazole) and let the night really get started.

4) DANCE
     I turned on my laptop and pulled up my iTunes and totally got  down all alone in my apartment. ( It wasn’t as sad and sorry as it sounds)

My night was all set up. I am lucky enough to live someplace where I could see 2 sets of fireworks from my balcony. I truly LOVE fireworks so it was truly lovely.

After the big countdown and the fireworks and the phone calls and instant messages with ask the Happy wishes for the new year I got yo truly reflect.

Peppermint Vodka

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Hey there, this is my second post in one day (after 6 months of no posts I have a lot of catching up to do)

This is another Christmas post and it’s about a delightful homemade treat my sister introduced me to this year:

Peppermint Vodka.This isn’t some mass produced flavoured liquor you find in every supermarket around the world. This is hand and homemade with care and its very good. It can be made in large amounts for a yultide shindig, in smaller amounts for an intimate gathering or made and packaged as Christmas gifts.

This also falls under handmade presents, something I am a huge advocate of. It shows real thought and dedication. Now the controversial question every poor party girl must ask is:” Are these handmade items actually cheaper than commercially produced ones?” The answer is :”not always” or “it all depends”.

I say if you want to do hand/home made and you are looking to save, you need to do alot of one thing e.g all cupcakes or all christmas ecorations. That way you buy raw materials in bulk and save there. Apart from that alot of crafty items can be pretty expensive when you add it all up.

That being said, nothing says I care or I really know you than something you took the time to make yourself.

Now that the economics have been discussed let us move onto the fun stuff…..

WHAT YOU NEED:

1) Bag of peppermints or candy canes (peppermints are cheaper)

2) Bottle of Vodka

3) 2 days

WHAT TO DO

As mentioned, it is Kristine my sister who made this moorish treat. She said she saw it various places online (cannot recall where) and she actually laughed when I asked how many peppermints to how much vodka. She is what we call “artistic” I guess. she just rolls with it.

Sooo….. in terms of what to do….

She added 1 cup of peppermint candy to a medium sized mason jar (it holds approximately 400mls) then poured vodka (she used absolut) over it.

Let it stand for 2 days or until all the candy has dissolved.

Chill and serve

Now I’m not sure where she came up with these measurements but they were just right.

This drink comes out creamy and smooth but not milky. Strong enough to know you are drinking alcohol but not strong enough to burn a hole in your stomach. It has just enough peppermint flavour as well and of course it smells DEEE-lish! I reccomend it to everyone.

My sister, two friends and I had this along with ham and turkey sandwiches after midnight mass this year while we watched Family Guy (Christmas episode) and Beyonce’s new album’s music videos. Boy did we have a blast!

Kristine also decided to gift a bottle of it (in a mason jar) to our cousin with a candy cane on top as pictured above.

My sister has soaked other candies in vodka before, not with as much success (the gummi bear vodka of March 2013) but this is a winner.

Have a go at it all you DIY’ers, you won’t regret it.

Have an awesome day!