Happy Holidays. And Thank You!

My gorgeous Happies,

Well, this is my final post for 2012 and what a year it has been. Having returned from my dream holiday in January (remember the one where I travelled around the world for 9 months, living in New York for a large chunk and enjoying the European summer? Oh, how quickly time flies) this year has been an entirely different adventure altogether.

Sharing snippets of my life, my thoughts, my recipes, my dreams and my fears with all of you continues to be an experience I thoroughly enjoy. This little blog is a place of honesty and refuge for me, and while I don’t always get the time to create fresh, new, exciting content everyday, every post I do publish comes from the heart. And I truly hope it connects with you on some level.

With that in mind, I would like to say a big, heartfelt THANK YOU to each and every one of you!  My numbers continue to grow, my Facebook page gets more ‘friends’ every day and while in complete honesty I don’t do this because of any of those things, it is rewarding to know that people enjoy coming here, popping in and reading.

I look forward to an epic 2013 and a year of great joy, abundance, fun and success for all of us. Gosh we deserve it, don’t we? Have an amazing Christmas break, a wonderful holiday and I’ll see you in the New Year. Weeee!

Yours in Happiness,

Yaz xxx

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WINNERS ANNOUNCED: Win One of Two $50 Groupon Vouchers. Hooray!

In the spirit of Christmas I really wanted to give a little something back to you, dear Happies, to say thanks so much for your support. Luckily for all of us, my friends at Groupon emailed me and kindly suggested that they too would like to provide my lovely readers with a little something. A voucher, perhaps?

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I jumped at the chance and now have 2 x $50 vouchers to be used on ANYTHING you like on the entire Groupon website in my hot little hands. All yours for the taking.

Perhaps something to pamper yourself?

Or something to get 2013 off to a healthy start?

Or for all you foodies?

The possibilities are endless.

How To Win: 

Just leave a comment below answering the following question, and be sure to LIKE The Happiness Cocktail on Facebook, Follow me on Twitter and Share with your friends for bonus entries.

Here’s the question: Why do you need to be pampered this Christmas? 

The competition will close on Thursday the 20th of December at 12pm AEST and the winner will be announced THIS FRIDAY the 21st of December 2012 in the comments below, as well as on Facebook. So be sure to check in and send me your email addresses if you win so I can forward the vouchers onto you before I head on holidays on Saturday.

There are three terms and conditions before you enter: this competition is only open to Australian residents, entrants must be over 18 and the voucher will be valid for 6 months.

Good luck!

Behold The World’s Best Buckwheat Pancakes

There’s nothing better than waking up on Sunday morning and whipping yourself up some scrumptious, healthy pancakes. Oh wait, there might be one thing better and that’s if someone else was to whip them up for you.

Alas, I wasn’t so lucky this week with a hubby in bed with gastro. So, I took it upon myself to get cooking.

It all started with The Healthy Chef, Teresa Cutter’s, Buckwheat Pancake recipe that asks you to have on hand…

  • 145 g  milk ( rice, almond, dairy, seed)  weigh the milk into a bowl.
  • 50 g buckwheat flour
  • 50 g ground almond meal
  • 20 g ground flax seed (linseed)
  • 10 g sunflower seed
  • 10 g pumpkin seed
  • half teaspoon bicarb soda (baking soda)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Luckily, I had most of these things in my cupboard but did have to improvise a little. I ground down a stack of whole almonds as I didn’t have almond meal, leaving them decadently chunky. I used almond milk and only had sunflower seeds as we’d thrown all our pumpkin and flax into our homemade muesli. However, it still worked a treat.

I simply threw all the ingredients into a bowl and gently stirred to combine. Then, I added coconut oil to a pan on medium heat and scooped neat little spoonfuls of buckwheaty goodness in the centre, allowing each ‘cake to cook for around 3-4 minutes on each side. This may vary depending on your cooktop, obviously.

Here’s how they turned out…

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As you  can see they’re wonderfully festive in colour. I served them with crushed walnuts, strawberries, banana and a drizzle of raw honey. But I’ll be making them again and can’t wait to try more combinations. Pure maple syrup with mango and nuts, or figs with mascarpone and mint springs to mind. Oh, the options.

Tell me Happies…

What do you think of these buckwheat delights?
Going to give them a shot?

It’s Christmas: Take Time Out, Reflect, Make Changes, Move Forward

This is a happy story. A wonderfully happy tale of inspiration and overcoming fears and anxiety to live your life to the fullest. A true Happiness Cocktail kind of thing. It’s also a festive kind of thing, because as you bring 2012 to a close, it’s important to start looking forward and ensuring you’re on track to all the goodness you deserve.

Here’s a real-life story for you, Happies:

It starts with a woman called Ashleigh Kajan, who I had the pleasure of meeting when I visited her delightful day spa in Camden, NSW. It’s called Eden, which also happens to be my favourite girl’s name, so it was just meant to be.

Ashleigh is currently living the dream. She has a wonderful husband, children and a thriving business that helps people cope with the day-to-day stresses of life. Sure, it’s a day spa with all the traditional trimmings of facial, massage, body treatments (I highly recommend the Javanese Lulur) and mani/pedis, but it’s so much more than that. It’s a place of healing.

And here’s why.

Ashleigh has overcome a lot to get to where she is now. She suffered severe workplace harassment and bullying at the tender age of 20, and completely lost her worth. “I was only 20 at the time; it stripped my confidence and self-esteem completely away from me. I felt worthless. I was a very confident girl growing up but after having someone I initially looked up to as a role model and mentor daily break me down took its toll. I felt like I wasn’t good enough, which turned into anxiety attacks during work meetings and then to depression. I had to leave, the thing that still upsets me is that I loved my job; I was so passionate about all the tasks involved in my role however the daily bullying broke my own,” she says.

But now, thanks to her bravery and self-belief all that is behind her and she’s focussing on a future bright with positivity. “It took about 2 years to overcome everything I went through and retrain my brain to think differently about people, life, dreams etc. I am a better person today. I think it’s important to experience different and difficult situations in your life because it makes you a stronger person.

Her advice? “I would say ‘go for it’, create a vision board and write down your goals and stick to it until you achieve them! Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot achieve your goals because you can. All it takes is passion, determination and the drive to hang in there through the tough times, there will be many stressful hurdles you will need to overcome before you reach your goal, but that’s what makes it even more rewarding once you get there.”

So, this festive season when you’re taking a little time for yourself, use it as a period of reflection. Bad things often turn into ‘phew’ moments. So, see what you need to change in order to be the best you can be, and above all…

Be_Brave

Image by Kelli Murray
Tell me Happies…
Do you have any fears you need to overcome?
Have you suffered bullying in the past and fought through it?
Stay Happy,
Yaz x

Add It To Your Christmas Wish List: Mi Goals Inspire Book

There are many reasons I love Twitter, one of them being that I so often stumble across really gorgeous, innovative brands that I wouldn’t have found until everyone else knew about them already. Case in point: Mi Goals, a lovely little Aussie company that makes stationary designed to inspire and uplift. Amazing!

So, for this seasonal serious of Add It To Your Christmas Wish List I introduce Mi Goals Inspire Book, $9.95. Think of this adorable little bookette as a place to stick all your dreams, hopes, wishes and desires. A sanctuary of goodness for your soul. You know what they say…

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And here’s the Inspire Book in the flesh. Bonus points for it being on sale, too…

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So… What do you think? Cute, right?

Stay Happy,

Yaz xx