I never stopped using blue mascara until I switched to lash extensions (mainly convenience mixed with a hint of vanity). Granted, mascara I used was pretty damn black, but when the light hit you just right, you were able to recognize a fine shade of blue which just made the colour of my eyes pop and I loved it.
Thanks to Urban Decay, I am seriously considering removing my false eyelashes and giving Double Team Special Effect Colored Mascara a go – They seem to be very rich in color which scares me a bit, but the fact that when you flip it over, you can add a metallic top coat to turn the volume up even higher. My inner-child is psyched!
I mean, that's just genious, right?
My pots and pans have no other purpose but to collect dust, with February being the only exception to the rule.
Winter has finally arrived to Helsinki and I can certainly feel the cold in my bones as my studio appartment has this minor design flaw called old, leaky windows. Tired of being cranky and freezing all day long, I have discovered tea, cashmere, fur and a proper down coat (and a duvet) are pretty much the only things keeping me alive and happy at the moment.
And then there is this little piece of heaven, The Best Thai Coconut Prawn Soup by My New Roots. Give it a go, this miracle has saved me so many trips to TOA, Taste of Asia in Tallinn where they serve a soup very similar to this.
I have been a bit creative with this one when ever I cannot be arsed to make a trip to an ethnic grocery store, but luckily Stockmannin Herkku and other well-equipped markets will do if you're willing to make a huge sacrifice and cut some corners :)
Here's what you'll need:
2 cans coconut milk
10 cilantro roots
6-7 stalks lemon grass
2-4 thai chilies (to your taste)
50g fresh ginger
50g coconut or palm sugar (I usually leave this one out)
12 kaffir lime leaves
mushrooms (the original recipe doesn't mention it, but I always make this soup with prawns for some protein)
4 gloves of garlic (again, I tend to leave this one out)
lime juice (approx. 3 limes)
3 tblsp fish sauce
1 cup of water (you can add more / less depending on the consistency you fancy)
What to Do:
1. Prep all the soup incredients. Wash the cilantro, remove the upper portion and set them aside for garnish. Cut the lemongrass off where the white bit ends adn toss the tops away. Pound the lemongrass until they are properly open, slice the shallots and peel & cut the ginger and pound it until it releases a bit of liquid. tear the kaffir leaves into smaller pieces and slice the shrooms (peel and smash the garlic if you are using it).
2. In a medium saucepan, place the coconut milk, cilantro roots, lemongrass, shallots, chili, ginger, sugar, kaffir leaves and garlic. Bring to gentle simmer and cook for 15 minutes with a lid on.
3. Strain the soup through a sieve into another saucepan. Discard all solid bits. Add sliced mushrooms, limejuice, fish sauce and water until it's the right consistency. Bring the soup up to a light simmer again and cook mushrooms (and prawns if you are using them) slightly. Do not boil! Season to taste and serve with cilantro leaves.
4. Enjoy (and stay warm!)
I have been there before, so many times that I recognize it far too well. Everything feels so urgent that it's almost imposible to prioritize, and suddenly there is simply not enough hours in a day to get everything done in time. This lack of control and a level of emotional overload hits hard. You feel mentally and physically exhausted, with your body begging you to slow down.
For me, my body and brain switch to over-drive, making it impossible to slow down and relax.
As a bit of a control-freak, lack of control is one thing that I am not comfortable with. I hate the feeling so much that I have mastered the art of overcoming a "burnout" before it hits you hard - these for things below are quite literally something that I do every single weekend to balance the hectic, insanely productive work-week out:
1 - First thing that I do, often the most difficult one to admit, but recognizing the fact that there is no good of blaming myself, or comparing myself to others. It's completely normal to feel tired or overwhelmed at times, if I feel like having a good cry, just let it all out. No point of boxing emotions, self-analysis is a wonderful thing and will change the way I handle stress and stressful situations in the future.
2 - STOP. Just stop for a moment. Easier said than done but slowing down and taking a break really works wonders for me. Breaking out from routines, not paying attention to time or schedules but listening to my body instead.
3 - If I find it difficult to relax and step out from the "Always on the go, nothing less is good enough than 100%" -mindset, I make some tea, switch off my computer, phone to silent, chill and relaxing tunes on Spotify and I focus on something creative. Whether it's drawing, BuJo, writing or reading, focusing on the creative helps me to unwind and relax, block the stress out and get lost in the moment.
4 - Changing my environment can help, too. This has been quite clever when I find myself not achieving my goals at the gym even though I work out every single morning. Sometimes breaking out from the routine and changing the environment forces you to do things differently and be creative. It's often the change that opens your eyes, making it easier to recognize possible flaws and realize how to do things better. This helps with creative writing (blogging), too.