If you think the big chill has hit hard this year, then you best brace yourself for what’s to come – because apparently Earth is headed for a mini ice age!
No, the apocalypse isn’t upon us – yet. However, according to a new study which claims to produce “unprecedentedly accurate predictions” of the suns activity, in 15 years time we will be faced with ridiculously cold winters that are said to freeze the River Thames which is the longest river in England. No biggie, right? Wrong.
Researchers at the University of Northumbria have warned that solar activity will fall so much (60 per cent to be exact) that between 2030 and 2040 a phenomenon called Maunder Minimum will occur, which is a period of time where the sun’s activity is lower than usual.
So what’s the cause, you ask? Scientists believe that it’s due to fluid movements within the sun converging in such a way that will make temperatures dramatically fall come 2030. According to a presentation by professor Valentina Zharkova, the result will be similar to freezing conditions between 1645 and 1715, wherein the first Maunder Minimum happened.
“[In the cycle between 2030 and around 2040] the two waves exactly mirror each other – peaking at the same time but in opposite hemispheres of the sun,” she told the National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno.
“Their interaction will be disruptive, or they will nearly cancel each other. We predict that this will lead to the properties of a ‘Maunder minimum.'”
In England during this mini ice age, River Thames frost fairs were a thing after it completely froze over for seven weeks making it passable by foot. While that sounds delightful in theory, the reality of it was bitterly cold.
Best get preparing, ladies!
Images via Time and The Telegraph
While we regretfully pack away sandals, strappy heels and espadrilles until next summer, it’s time to keep warm and embrace winter style.
Below are five main styles that will not only keep your feet warm all winter, but will also look fashionable at the same time! We’ve teamed up with our friends over at THE ICONIC to bring you some stylish picks for the winter season. Just click on the image to buy them directly.
These comfy shoes are a must-have, especially if you have an entire weekend planned in the great outdoors! Pair with jeans, tracksuit pants, or leggings to keep comfy and cosy all day and night.
A classic pair of ballet flats adds the finishing touches to any outfit – just like Audrey Hepburn! Our favourite way to style these classic shoes is with skinny jeans or a flowy dress with pantyhose.
Keep your feet feeling warm and looking stylish with a pair of classic leather boots. They are a must-have for any wardrobe since they can take you from winter to summer (and everything in between).
Another classic pair of flat footwear has to be the humble pair of brogues. This unisex shoe is perfect with jeans, skirts and coats.
Stay warm this winter with a pair of knee-high boots, which are back in fashion! Wear them over your jeans for an extra layer of warmth.
What are your favourite shoes for winter?
Image via Song of Style
Forget about snuggling up in front of the TV for another night of silence and instead try this hot winter date idea to get you talking, laughing and canoodling. It’s all about reconnecting and laying the foundation for a strong relationship, so why not have a bit of fun together and invest in some quality couple time.
Now, dates don’t have to cost a lot of money. In fact, the greatest dates are often the cheapest dates – it’s just a matter of using your imagination to come up with things you can both enjoy. So, pop your credit card away and take a look at what sort of hot winter date idea we’ve got for you. It doesn’t have to cost a cent to help your relationship blossom.
The bubble bath date
This date will cost you nothing and it can be a lot of fun. You just need each grab a glass of wine, or even a cup of hot chocolate, and set the bathroom up for the mood that you’d like to achieve. For example, if you want a night of communication rather than pure passion, light the room with more than just basic candlelight.
Also, don’t forget about the power of scent, which is prefect to use in a smaller space like a bathroom. If you want a night to reconnect and spend hours talking, Ylang Ylang is a good choice. It also has a seductive power so it has a dual purpose.
There’s something very soothing about water, but we tend to avoid it in winter. This idea reminds us of just how good it can feel to be submerged in it, despite being cold outside. Make the water as warm as you wish and keep topping it up as it gets colder. Also, take in a bottle of water each because dehydration is the primary reason why you’ll want to get out. The idea is to spend time together in there, relax and let the stresses of life melt away.
We often forget just how nice it can be to feel the naked skin of our lover when we’re wearing layers of clothes in winter. Plus, the sensation of touch can elicit communication. In a small environment like a bathtub you’ve basically got a captured audience, so use it to your advantage and make it a place where you can reconnect on a regular basis. You’ll be surprised at just how relaxed and reconnected you’ll be after a night together away from your regular routine.
Image via plus.google.com
Winter in Australia might not be as cold as in a lot of other places, but the cooler temperatures can still play havoc with your skin. To me, a sure sign that winter is here is when I start using my hand cream several times a day because my hands feel dry and flaky.
The same goes for most other body parts, especially the face. Of course you can simply switch to a richer skin cream and keep moisturising, but there are many other things that you can do to avoid dry winter skin. Samantha Taylor, beauty director at Bellabox shared a few great tips with us on how to combat winter skin:
This is key for luminous skin in cold conditions. Dry skin can impede your moisturiser or serum from absorbing into the skin. Exfoliate once a week if you have oily skin, twice a week if you have dry skin as it stimulates moisture and cell production. Look for an exfoliant with fruit acids such as AHA or BHAs, the tiny plastic spheres in physical exfoliators are being discovered in major bodies of water around the world and can be ingested by fish.
Skip hot showers
As much as a scalding hot shower feels amazing in the morning, it can actually rob the epidermis of oil, your skins natural protectant, leading to dry flaky perhaps even itchy skin. Hot water is not great for the fine capillaries on the face either, so aim for a warm shower rather than cranking up the hot water. If you are really tough, finish off with a blast of cold water to get your circulation pumping.
Moisturise your body
The skin is the body’s largest organ and it is often neglected, especially in winter. Apply a moisturiser when you get out from the shower to lock the moisture in. Don’t forget your feet and hands, slather on a thick moisturiser before bed and pop on a pair of cotton socks and/or gloves. Not very sexy, but your feet and hands will soak up the moisture overnight and you will wake up with lovely soft digits.
Invest in a humidifier
The combination of dry winter air and heating and then moving between the two can really dry your skin out. A humidifier increases the level of humidity in your home by putting moisture back into the air. Not only are humidifiers great for keeping your skin moist, they help keep colds at bay and may even stop snoring!
And remember, diet plays an important role as well. Besides drinking enough water, eating avocados and nuts will support your skin’s ability to lock in moisture thanks to their high level of antioxidants. Following these great tips, you’ll do your skin a big favour this winter.
Image via ry.com.au
Got a nasty case of the winter blues? Fret not, sister – help is at hand here, so put down that bowl of ice-cream and Game of Thrones DVD box set.
The winter blues, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is a mood disorder which causes people to experience depressive symptoms in the winter, or in some cases, summer. Although why you’d ever be unhappy about warm weather is beyond me, but then again, I am a proud Queenslander.
Winter blues is a well-known phenomenon, particularly in the northern hemisphere where the poor peeps go for long periods without seeing any sunshine. Lack of direct sunlight (and consequently vitamin D) is known to cause depression. In Australia, we don’t have that problem to the same extent, but it seems people increasingly feel sad or depressed during winter – why?
Mental health experts say this could be due to physiological factors, for example: being in enclosed rooms (to keep the warmth in) leaves us more susceptible to catching colds and flu, leaving us feeling miserable. And there are psychological factors at play too, such as not going out and socialising as much when it’s colder, leading some people to feel lonely and isolated.
So, what can you do to ward off the winter blues? Here are five quick fixes:
- Little Miss Sunshine: The obvious one – get your coat on, baby, and get outside to catch some rays in the warmest part of the day. For Vitamin D will boost both your mood and your health. The “sunshine vitamin” is good for strong bones and teeth, fights disease and helps you feel sexy, vital and alive.
- You gotta keep moving: Winter is no excuse to stop exercising and start carb-loading as if your life depended on it (bugger). Get a personal trainer if your budget allows and if your motivation is sorely lacking; join a group exercise class, buddy up with a bestie or hit the weights/cardio equipment at the gym – anything which will boost your mood, give you happy endorphins as you sweat and make you look and feel great.
- Let’s talk about sex, baby: In an ideal world, sex would be a nice way to start the day, if only the likes of tiredness, toddlers and work commitments didn’t intervene. A good, early-morning session with your lover will provide immeasurable health benefits, plus it’s a form of exercise, right? And if you can reach the Big-O – this will instantly put you in a good mood even if it’s crazy cold weather outside.
- Let’s stay connected: Winter is no reason to neglect your close friendship circle and become BFFs with your doona. So, pick up your iPhone and make a date to catch-up with your friends – cocktails for all! Surround yourself with positive people who make you feel happy – not Debbie Downers – ain’t nobody got time for that. Alternatively, join a class, go to a library and/or a café – being around other like-minded people will boost your well-being.
- Mind, body, spirit: The colder weather is a great reason to try an indoors exercise class like yoga, body balance (yoga, pilates and tai chi) and/or take up meditation. Your mind, body and soul will love you for it and it will bring instant calm and relaxation benefits. I’m doing a lot of yoga and body balance classes at the moment and I’ve really noticed how much happier and more zen this makes me. Repeat after me, ommm…
What do you think? How do you combat the winter sads?
Images via good-kovka.com, hercampus.com
If you live in Sydney, you are very lucky. It is one of the most beautiful and exciting cities in the world and there is always something to do, but seemingly, more so during summer. With some of the most amazing beaches and the stunning harbour, Sydney has plenty to offer during the warmer months, but what about winter?
If you’ve spent too much time curled up under a blanket in front of the TV lately, take some inspiration from the following list of things to do in Sydney in winter:
1. Bondi ice rink
You think Bondi is only good in summer? Put your ice skates on and change your mind! From June 20 to July 12, Bondi Pavilion will transform into a winter wonderland with its own ice rink. Enjoy the view on beautiful Bondi Beach while showing off your skills on the ice.
2. Art Gallery NSW
There’s nothing better than escaping a cold, rainy winter’s day and entering the magical world of a museum. The Art Gallery of NSW located in Sydne’s CBD offers over 30,000 artworks to inspire you and you don’t even have to spend a cent to see them. General admission to the museum is free!
3. Whale watching
If you’ve always wanted to see a whale but you don’t want to go on a whale watching cruise, then Sydney is the place to be in winter. Between May and November, thousands of whales are migrating and passing Sydney, so just keep an eye out! There are plenty of good vantage points; we especially like the many scenic lookouts around Watsons Bay.
4. Hire an igloo
Want the ultimate winter feeling? Gather your friends and hire an igloo as part of Sydney’s Winter Garden Festival. Ok, so the igloos aren’t made of ice, they’re inflatable. That doesn’t make it less fun, though!
5. Explore the Blue Mountains
Yes, you’ll need a warm jacket, but hiking in the Blue Mountains is a beautiful winter activity as the crisp winter air makes for an even more spectacular scenery than in summer. And if you’re lucky, you might even see a bit of snow falling from the sky!
Image via firstdegreepr.com
Lamb shoulder is one of the most economical cuts, however it’s also one of the most succulent and tender. Paired with a creamy chickpea puree and the fresh flavours of a mint, garlic and parsley bread sauce, this recipe takes your typical roast lamb to a whole new level!
For the lamb
1x lamb shoulder (including bone)
10ml olive oil
For the chickpea puree
1x tin cooked chickpeas
For the mint bread sauce
10g crustless sourdough
1/2 bunch of mint
1/2 clove of garlic
1/4 bunch of parsley
150ml olive oil
25ml chardonnay vinegar
1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C.
2. Lightly season the lamb with salt and pepper.
3. Place lamb in oven and cook for 4 hours, until meat is falling off the bone.
4. Drain the chickpeas and add to 250ml of cream. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes over very low heat.
5. Season chickpeas and blend until smooth.
6. Remove from oven and rest, keeping lamb warm.
7. For the minted bread sauce, soak the sourdough in bowl of milk for 5 minutes. Remove and squeeze out excess milk.
8. Add the soaked bread to the mint and parsley and place in a blender.
9. Add olive oil and garlic and blend until smooth. Do not add the chardonnay vinegar until serving.
10. On a large oval platter, spoon on the smooth chickpea puree and spread evenly across the plate.
11. Place the lamb on top of the puree and spoon the mint bread sauce generously over the top.
12. To add an extra element, oven-roast some tomatoes until the skin is just blistered.
Recipe Courtesy of Award-Winning Bistro, Le Pub
Caring for your toddler or newborn this winter is easier than ever with a number of skincare items available from the pharmacy to the supermarket. We have hand-picked some of our favourites to treat your baby’s skin and keep it hydrated over the next three months of winter weather.
Milk Baby Shampoozle & Conditioner, $14.25
This is a very special cause as $1 from every 375ml bottle of Milk Baby Bath Time Wash and Milk Baby Shampoozle & Conditioner purchased at Coles and Woolworths nationally or online will be donated to Brainwave Australia for the month of June. Brainwave is the only online charity supporting the families of children with neurological conditions including cerebral palsy, epilepsy, tumours and acquired brain injuries.
Gaia Skin Natural Baby Moisturiser, $10.99
Apply this lightweight and non-greasy moisturiser every morning and evening to ensure skin is hydrated during the winter. Use after a bath to lock-in moisture, or even for nappy rash.
Little Innoscents Organic Baby Hair and Body Wash, $12.99
Treat your baby during bath time this luxurious 2-in-1 wash which is bursting with essential oils of spearmint, lavender and sweet orange.
Jurlique Baby’s Soothing Bubble Bath, $25
Make bath time enjoyable with a soothing bubble bath that gently cleanses your baby’s delicate skin. The non-petrochemical formula comforts the skin without causing dry patches and is gently enough to use multiple times per week.
MooGoo Scalp Cream, $17.95
If your baby suffers from cradle cap or extremely dry skin, use this on a daily basis to hydrate the area and to keep it from getting infected. It can also be used on skin which suffers from eczema, rosacea or sun-burn.
Image via The Bump
Warm your soul and delight your taste buds with this spicy pumpkin soup recipe! It’s super easy to whip-up if you’re pressed for time and can be frozen in batches to enjoy throughout the week. Cooking for more than one? It’s the ideal family meal that the littlies will love when accompanied with warm, crusty bread.
1 red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 (300g) golden delight potatoes, peeled, chopped
1kg butternut pumpkin, peeled, chopped
1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
2 tsp ground coriander
1 litre salt-reduced chicken stock
1/2 cup pure cream
Pure cream, chopped fresh chives and toast, to serve
- Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until onion has softened.
- Add potato and pumpkin. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until potato starts to brown. Add chilli and coriander and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Add stock. Cover, then bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and then simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until potato and pumpkin are tender. Set aside for 2 minutes to cool slightly.
- Blend in batches until smooth. Return to pan over low heat and stir in cream. Cook for 1 minute or until heated through. Season with pepper.
- Divide between bowls, top with cream and chives and serve with crusty bread if desired.
Recipe via Taste
Now that the cold weather is here to stay, we’re probably drinking more coffee than water in the office. When you’re really chilly, the clear, coolness of water just doesn’t seem appealing compared to a warm, creamy cappuccino. However, while it’s great to indulge during winter, we also need to make sure that we stay hydrated.
During the colder months, we naturally consume less water. We don’t feel as hot, we’re not sweating as much and it generally rains more than it does in the summer time, but it’s important to still keep those hydration levels up or there could be some serious side-effects.
Drinking enough water helps us in many ways and depriving ourselves can have detrimental effects on our productivity levels. When we’re dehydrated, we’re more likely to suffer from headaches and the cold and flu, making it harder to concentrate and focus.
Drinking enough water keeps us healthy on the inside by helping our cells stay hydrated, which then also affects our outsides. Consuming enough water also makes our skin more supple and healthy. When our skin cells lack water, they become dry and flaky, which is often what happens in the winter. Dry lips, cracked elbows and scaly legs are signs that our bodies are not getting enough moisture and this can be helped by topping up your drink bottle during the day.
Here are our top tips for keeping hydrated in winter:
1. Swap the coffee for tea
Instead of your milky latte, choose a peppermint tea or hot water with lemon instead. This keeps you drinking water throughout the day and lowers your calorie intake.
2. Snack on hydrating foods
It’s not just water that hydrates your body. Foods with high water content are great snacks to eat when you’re a little hungry. Tomatoes, zucchini, strawberries and watermelon are high in water content, so toss together a salad to have during the day.
3. Keep a water bottle on your desk
Keeping a count of how much water you drink during the day will help you to know how much more you need to be consuming. You also get a bonus calorie burn when you’re up and down from the toilet and the water cooler.
4. Add fruit to your water
If you’re not keen on plain water, chop up some mint, cucumber and strawberries, or lemon and lime, and put them into your drink bottle. The flavour will make your water a little more enjoyable.
5. Sip during your workout
In cold weather, sweat evaporates easier and we lose moisture through breath. Sip water before, during and after your workout to stay hydrated.
Images via memd.com and beautyblender.com
With the cold weather well and truly setting in as winter approaches, keep warm with Zoey Bingley-Pullin’s hearty Irish hot pot recipe. It’s great for anyone who’s pressed for time as it’s relatively simple to make, and containing only fresh and whole ingredients, it’s also perfect for those that are health conscious. Really, what more could you want?
300g chicken breasts
1 tbsp olive oil C
1 brown onion, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red chilli, seeds removed, finely diced
2-3 tsp smoked paprika
1 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup water
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1.5cm cubes
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup continental parsley, roughly chopped
1/4 cup continental parsley, roughly chopped
- Pat chicken dry with paper towels, cut into 3cm pieces and season with salt.
- Heat olive oil in a large fry-pan (preferably non-stick) on medium-high heat. Brown chicken for 1-2 minutes each side (chicken doesn’t have to be cooked through), remove from pan and set aside.
- Add a drizzle of oil to the pan and cook onion for 2-3 minutes until softened. Add garlic, chilli and paprika and cook for a further minute until fragrant.
- Add the chicken stock and water and bring to the boil. Add chicken and sweet potato and cook, covered, for 10-12 minutes or until tender.
- Add the tomatoes and half the parsley and cook for a further 3 minutes.
- To serve, divide hot pot between plates and garnish with parsley.
Give your old ballet flats a style refresh this autumn with one of the hottest shoe trends, the lace-up flats.
Not only are they appropriate for all occasions, but they look amazing paired with a little black dress, or even a pair of denim shorts. Style your lace-up flats with a bit of inspiration below.
Take notes from blogger Elle Ferguson, and style your favourite pair of lived-in denim shorts with lace-up flats. A white blouse never fails to complete this casual outfit and a blazer is perfect for when the temperature drops.
Any type of cropped trousers add the perfect finishing touch to a pair of lace-up flats. They allow the laces to sit a bit higher on the leg and are easy to style with a chunky knit or scarf.
A warm, oversized coat adds the perfect touch of high and low to an autumn outfit. How? Your body should feel warm and cosy without compromising your style – the best balance!
Make like master-blogger Jules Sarinana, and style your flats with a cosy, oversized sweater. This look is perfect for a day filled with brunch dates and shopping bags – don’t forget that classic oversized bag to hide all of your purchases.
Who could resist a touch of distressed denim, especially during the autumn/winter season? Tash Sefton style one of our favourite pairs of Isabel Marant flats with white and khaki colours – talk about outfit inspo!
How would you style lace-up flats for winter?
Images via Shalini Papas, Elle Ferguson, Styleoholic, Sincerely Jules
Most of us know how to protect our skin from the sun, but what about the cold? The air is typically dryer in the winter months, making it more difficult for our skin and hair to retain the moisture it needs to stay healthy, vibrant and supple. Prevent chapping, cracking and dryness with these winter skincare tips.
1. Use an oil-based moisturizer
The cold dries out your skin, so you will need a heavy duty moisturizer for the winter season. Oil-based moisturizers are preferable to water-based, as the oil will not only hydrate your skin, but form a protective layer to shield you from the cold. Keep a travel-sized product in your bag or pick up a tester from your local cosmetics counter.
Indoor heating systems can suck the moisture out of the air – and ultimately, out of your skin! Fortunately, a humidifier can return the moisture to the air, without stealing any of that glorious warmth. Include a few drops of essential oils to help your skin, sinuses and stress levels.
3. Keep a hand cream handy
There is a reason why hand cream is often thicker than other body moisturizers! The skin on the hands is thinner and has fewer oil glands, meaning it is harder for them to stay moisturized. Keep a hand cream in your purse, and moisturize after you wash your hands.
4. Protect your lips
The cold can burn and chap your lips, so be sure to keep a lip balm handy. You will need something thicker than your normal gloss or balm. Avoid a balm with perfumes that will sting or irritate cracked lips and opt for something organic and protective. The thicker and oilier your balm, the better it will work to prevent wind burn.
5. Avoid the heat
Sticking your feet in front of the heater is a no-no for your skin. We know the temptation to warm yourself by the fire, or jump straight into a hot bath is strong, but exposure to extreme temperatures can be more damaging than beneficial. When in the cold for long periods of time, your body hoards heat around your vital organs, reducing the circulation in the parts of your body that are far from the centre, ie. toes and fingers. This can put you at risk of chilblains – a form of frostbite – in these sensitive areas. Chilblains can be exacerbated by sticking your hands and feet directly in front of the heater when you return home. You want to encourage the natural flow of your circulation to these areas so put on some socks and wriggle those toes!
The weather is getting cold and gloomy but this doesn’t mean your clothes have to be dull as well. Winter is one of the best times of the year to show off your personal style and involves some of our favourite trends here at SHESAID.
This is our checklist for the must-have essentials this season influenced by the wearable items straight from the runway:
The elegance of the coat makes it a timeless piece, one colour to flaunt is navy blue, the dark intensity is a standout this winter, it seems popular as a nice change from the usual black. If you want to make the look a bit different to your normal silhouette, wear a short or long coat with oversized shoulders, Balenciaga and Gucci have both channeled this recently in their collections, this 80’s style revival has been a hit in street style too, with top heavy becoming one of the biggest trends this year.
I’m sure you all know by now that boots are a must have. Here are the three boot styles you should invest in:
- Ankle boot: Guaranteed to look chic whether they are heeled or flat both will also lengthen your legs and make you feel sexy at any time of the day.
- Over-the-knee boot: This trend has seen numerous famous fashion bloggers working it this season, perfect with an A-line dress and coat.
- Work style: As Australians the work boot is part of a practical lifestyle; Dr. Martens are easy to find in an op shop for less than $70, or if you want a pair nice and cheap, replicas are available from many fast fashion shoe stores.
Most online and physical stores are having their End of Year Financial Sale, therefore it is the best time to take advantage and buy a new pair of jeans. Glue Store now have jean specialised fitters, this would be a great way to find a pair you love and you know are the right fit. If you are more interested in what is on trend, grab a pair of ripped boyfriend jeans, the loose look is flattering and works well with a basic tee and blazer.
There you have it, our three necessities this winter. Happy shopping!
Image via newyorkgirlstyle.com
By Amy Miller
Despite the bitter cold and rain, winter need not be a time to feel blue. It’s as a chance to experiment and get creative with different textures, colours and stylish accessories. One key element to winter dressing is mixing things up with layers. Here are tips for layering this winter:
Keep the base simple
By keeping your base colour simple, additional layers and colours are more easily thrown into the mix. Hues such as cream, white or light grey are best. To avoid enlarging your silhouette, base layers should also be thinner than additional layers.
Vests allow you to add texture to your look without overbearing the rest of your ensemble. They are the perfect way to add that extra touch of style and warmth; think fur, shaggy, denim or biker leather.
Experiment with accessories
Accessories are an easy way to show off your personality and an affordable way to trial trends without having to invest in a whole new wardrobe. Stylish accessories such as leather gloves, a floppy winter hat and a neck-warming scarf are fantastic options this season.
Investing in a statement skirt, shirt or dress this winter is a great way to stand out from the sea of grey. Fierce animal prints, monochrome and florals are a perfect addition if the other layers are kept simple.
Investing in a simple warm jacket is the final way to ensure you stay warm and fashionable this winter. We recommend selecting in a piece that will last a couple of seasons. Keep the style traditional and the colour simple so your accessories can take the lead.
It’s cold outside, baby! And, if you’re constantly in trackie dacks on the couch, and would much rather cuddle the cat than swing naked from the chandeliers with your significant other; it might be high time you sexed-up your lovelife this winter. After all, it’s easy to get complacent in the colder months when you’re all rugged up, and your white bits have turned albino from lack of sunlight.
Don’t fret – help is at hand, thanks to leading Australian sexologist Dr Nikki Goldstein. Here, Dr G talks us through her top 5 ways to heat up your sex life this winter:
Water sports: Get in the shower! If you’re a time-poor couple, a hot shower together will save time, get you both clean and then hopefully in the mood for some hot lovin! “One of the biggest complaints I hear from couples is that they don’t have time to have sex,” Dr Goldstein says. “This is the perfect chance to create intimacy through caressing – you don’t even necessarily have to have sex. It’s still pleasurable together and fingers can achieve so much.”
Some like it hot: Your local supermarket aisle can be a treasure trove for heating up your love-life, erm, literally! Case in point, the Durex Embrace Pleasure Gels (pictured): two sensual pleasure gels, one which has a cooling sensation and another which heats up with touch. “When rubbed together, these gels are supposed to heighten your arousal and sensation,” Dr Goldstein says. “It’s a fun way to spice up your sex life.”
Durex Embrace Pleasure Gels, $19.99, is at supermarkets, pharmacies and independent grocers.
Bedtime stories: Love a good, seductive bedroom romp? It might be prudent to indulge in some erotica with your partner (or alone, to get you in the mood) before you try porn, says Dr Goldstein. “A lot of women feel feminine and safe reading erotica rather than porn. Women picture the story in their heads, so we become more comfy with erotica because we are in control over what the characters look like.” And if you’re looking for idea on what to read, check out shesaid.com’s erotica special with author Krissy Kneen.
I like to watch: When it comes to porn, it’s important to experiment to find out what you like, says Dr Goldstein. “What is it that turns you on?” she says. “Often women are scared to talk to their partners about what they like, but it’s important that both parties remember porn is about fantasy, not reality.” Like watching S&M? Tell him all about it – chances are, he’ll appreciate your boldness and honesty.
Break out a sweat: Exercise, whether together or alone, is a fantastic way to boost your body image, well-being and self-esteem in winter – oh and to get your loins racing. What’s more, if you opt to do it together, it can be a great way to be intimate, but not sexual together, says Dr Goldstein. “Exercise boosts endorphins and makes you feel more energetic, sexy and happy. What’s more, being fit also helps you in the bedroom when it comes to stamina and blood flow to the body.”
So, there you have it – go get ’em, tiger!
By Nicole Carrington-Sima
Like us, if you’re running out of yummy ideas for lunch or even dinner it could be time to expand your horizons and add something new into the mix. Salads are usually no-fuss foods, which are easy to prepare and are also fun to experiment with. Here are the three favourite recipes to keep you full between meals, but also taste amazing as well.
I spotted this delicious looking salad on Pinterest and couldn’t resist trying it out for myself. Feel free to substitute anything you which might not agree with your taste palette and remember to keep it simple. This is a salad which is great for dinner and low on calories.
1/2 cup walnuts
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
6 lettuce leaves
80g prosciutto slices
120g hard blue cheese
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Add sugar and water into a small frying pan over medium heat. Make sure that the sugar is just starting to turn into a caramel colour before adding any other ingredients.
- Then add walnuts, sea salt and slightly mix together with a wooden spoon. Keep cooking until the walnuts are slightly brown, or until the sugar has coated them. Then remove from the heat and put them onto a plate to cool.
- Tear the lettuce leaves, add the figs (feel free to cut them in half, or in quarters as you prefer). Slice the prosciutto, crumble the blue cheese over the top and lastly sprinkle the walnuts over the salad.
- Drizzle some olive oil or balsamic vinegar to taste.
Brown rice salad with hummus
This tasty salad is packed with vitamins and nutrients which will keep you fuller for longer, and promotes some good old fatty acid which can be found in the avocado. A yummy option if you’re out of ideas and want something new and fresh for lunch.
1 cup uncooked brown rice
1 sweet potato
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2-3 teaspoon tamari
2 teaspoons lemon juice
- While you’re cooking the rice, preheat the oven to 180°C and line a tray with baking paper. Then add the chopped up sweet potato and pumpkin onto the tray, before drizzling them with a bit of olive oil, honey, salt and pepper, and cumin seeds. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the pumpkin has cooked through. Leave the vegetables out to cool.
- When the rice is ready, pour it into a mixing bowl and stir through the tamari, olive oil and lemon juice. Then add the pumpkin, sweet potato, and chopped up avocado. Mix until they have combined.
- Then simply serve in a bowl and include a few teaspoons of hummus on the side, and sprinkle with lemon juice for extra flavour.
Simple Greek salad
A Greek salad is an easy meal to prepare if time isn’t on your side, and if you’re after something full of flavour without making an additional trip to the supermarket.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion
2 lebanese cucumbers
2 cups kalamata olives
1 cup mint leaves
500g feta cheese
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Chop up the tomatoes, red onion, cucumbers and cheese then add them into a bowl.
- Then pour in the kalamata olives, and stir with a spoon until the mixture has combined. Sprinkle the olive oil over the salad, then do the same with the red vinegar.
- Finally add the mint leaves, since they will bring a fresh and modern fusion to a traditional Greek salad.
Recipes 1 and 2 and images via www.fromthekitchen.co.nz
By Felicia Sapountzis