Keeping your body maintained | Pure Beauty Photography Blog
BreastScreen Australia is the national breast cancer screening program. Every state and territory operates a BreastScreen Australia service, and invites women aged between 50 and 74 years to have a mammogram every 2 years.
Screening mammograms are used to find breast cancers early, before they can be seen or felt. The earlier breast cancer is found, the better the chances of surviving it.
Your chances of getting breast cancer increase with age. 1 in 7 Australian women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
For a few minutes of being uncomfortable, these mammograms are offered for free, and although they widely promote this service to women aged between 50 and 74 years, the service is also offered to women aged from 40 years and over at no charge.
Like anything of value, you want to ensure you look after and maintain it to its best state. Isn't our body our most valuable possession? So why wouldn't you look after it and ensure it functions at its best?
When I discovered this service was available to women over 40 years, I jumped online and booked myself in. One reason was purely for curiosity, and another was because I wanted to ensure I was in the best possible health. I had not had any changes within my breasts, and I have always regularly self checked my breasts. Several years earlier, self checking had located a lump in my armpit (which did turn out to be nothing, but scared the life out of me at the time!)
My first mammogram showed up a few anomolies, so they spent some extra time getting images from more angles. The wait for results is usually around 14 days, when you will receive a call from BreastScreen Australia.
My call back was from a nurse from BreastScreen, who advised me that a dense mass was picked up in my right breast. She explained all possible outcomes of what this could be - ranging from thick breast tissue through to breast cancer. She was amazingly supportive and gave me so much information throughout the call, and also sent me information to my email that I could read, and call back with any questions I had. We finished the call by making a follow up appointment the following week in Bendigo for more mammograms and possibly ultrasounds.
I wasn't worried about heading in for more exploratory mammograms, I think because I was so well informed throughout. I didn't have a lot of time to dwell on it also, because I only had a few days down time before I had to be in Bendigo. (Ha Ha - down time....with a toddler!)
I arrived at BreastScreen in Bendigo, and waited for my mammogram. Again, they took extra images from many different angles on both breasts. I then headed back to the waiting room while the doctor looked over them. I was then called in to have an ultrasound on my right breast, because the dense mass could not be identified from the mammograms.
For this, I had a nurse present, and the ultrasound was done by a specialist. Whilst I was nervous, I really just needed to know what the mass was, so I could get organised and prepare for whatever was coming. Both the nurse and the Specialist were amazing, talking and explaining everything to me throughout the whole process. They finished the ultrasound on the right breast, and then did the left also to compare. Through the ultrasound, they could identify the mass is dense breast tissue. I could have told them how thick and heavy my boobs are....as a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure I did! On discussions with my mum, the same thing had happened with her too - it seems that thick, heavy boobs run deep within my family!
I have just recently had my BreastScreen check up, and whilst I am waiting on my results, I am confident that no matter what they may or may not find, I'll be fully informed of all options available to me along the way, by sincere, caring, genuine staff.
And now that they have so many pictures of my breasts on file, this gives them a guide of what is my normal, and a comparison of what my tissue looked like a few years ago.
So if you're over 40, get online and book an appointment, or give BreastScreen a call on 132050. Due to COVID, non urgent appointments do take a while to be confirmed (I had been on the waitlist for 9 months for a routine check up). Most importantly, do your self checks and if you DO notice a difference, don't hesitate to see your GP and book your urgent appointment with BreastScreen Australia.
Releasing yourself from the Past | Pure Beauty Photography Blog
For so long, I've still remained attached...attached to my marriage that ended over two years ago.
Is it love keeping me bound? That's a resounding NO! - those feelings are well and truly gone! Is it because I spent the best part of fifteen years in a relationship with him? No!
Is it because we have children together? No!- but that will continue to keep him in my life - we co-parent and we do it well. The kids have always been our first priority throughout, and continue to be, and we have to be able to communicate to ensure this remains to work.
My attachment, until very recently, remained by name.
I chose to keep my married name after the separation, and also after the divorce was official, because "Everyone knows me by that name. It's too involved to change it again. I can't be bothered." etc, etc....
But approaching the first anniversary of my divorce, something in me began to stir. I was motivated and ready to make changes, BIG changes!
Within 24 hours I was compelled to change my name back to my maiden name. This was like an unseen force was driving me to do it. Yes, it was going to be annoying, going to Centrelink, the Bank, all the updates everywhere, but none of it was putting me off.
I truly felt it was the right time, for me, to make the change, and to release me back to my own self once again.
"A name represents identity, a deep feeling and holds tremendous significance to its owner."
- Rachel Ingber
Really, who would have thought that doing so would make me feel lighter, like I'd just had heavy chains lifted from around my shoulders? I do feel somewhat lighter, ready to move forward in my life, to live for me.
The future somehow seems brighter and easier. I'm coming back to being the "old me". The me that had fun, didn't care about people judging me (not that I really ever have anyway!). I feel like my parenting style is different - more chilled out and relaxed - mostly! And my attitude! Cue that sassy, fun attitude once more.
I do wonder what the deep rooted reason was that was stopping me from making the change? But I also fully believe that our own intuition will lead us in the right direction at the perfect time in our lives.
As for dating.....well, let's just leave that one for another time...
Love Kim xo
Sanitary Items to suit you | Mildura Intimate Photography
With well over 60% of Australia (and the Worlds) population, sanitary items are a big ticket item that impacts women socially, financially, mentally and physically EVERY month!
Up until last year, Australian women were taxed on these products as a Luxury Tax!!! Can you believe that!? We were charged extra on buying necessary items, because it was deemed a luxury by the Government!!!!
Mass marketing will tell us that the only options available to women to use each month for their menstrual cycle are Sanitary Pads or Tampons, BUT did you know that there is a whole new world out there of options?
Let's explore some options......A girl has to have options! Am I right???
Traditional Sanitary Products - Pads & Tampons
My journey into "womanhood" began through scrolling through my friend's older sisters copies of Dolly, where we would cut out and fill in all of the free product samples, and send them off. We sent off to all the brands of pads and tampons. To say we were well stocked up when we did eventually begin menstruating is an understatement!
Back in those days, we only had the options given us of pads and tampons - so really, we needed to decide what we preferred, which brand, with an applicator or not, and what suited our lifestyle at the time.
Sanitary Pads come in all shapes and forms - wings, no wings, ultra thin, maxi, maternity, overnight - the list goes on!
Many women don't like the feeling of "leaking", or the impact of not being able to go swimming, or the general bulkiness (well not so much any more - trust me, they were pretty bulky back when I was a teenager!) But much has changed nowadays, but obviously the swimming is still an issue!
Many pads now shape to your body (so you no longer feel like you are walking with a baguette between your legs), have odour neutralisers (whatever that is!), are ultra thin but have maximum absorbancy, and stick to your underwear (with the wraparound wings) to hold it in place. My how times have changed! Pads obviously need to be changed regularly, and the size or absorbancy level of the pad will depend on your cycle flow and the corresponding day (ie: Day 1 is obviously usually the heaviest, with Day 4-5 being the lightest)
Tampons are obviously worn internally within the vaginal cavity, and absorbs the blood whilst the vaginal muscles hold the tampon in place. The tampon expands as it absorbs, and must be changed throughout the day. Different sized tampons are available, dependent on your flow, with a heavier flow perhaps requiring a larger sized tampon for your earlier days, and then changing down to a smaller sized tampon for your lighter days.
Keep in mind that tampons will also absorb the vagina's natural lubrication and bacteria, which can change the normal pH, increasing the risk of infections from the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), which can lead to toxic shock syndrome (TSS). TSS is a rare, but life-threatening infection that requires immediate medical attention.
Tampon design varies between companies and across product lines in order to offer a variety of applicators, materials and absorbencies. There are two main categories of tampons based on the way of insertion - digital tampons inserted by finger, and applicator tampons. Tampon applicators may be made of plastic or cardboard, and are similar in design to a syringe. The applicator consists of two tubes, an "outer", or barrel, and "inner", or plunger. The outer tube has a smooth surface to aid insertion and sometimes comes with a rounded end that is petalled.
Differences exist in the way tampons expand when in use: applicator tampons generally expand axially (increase in length), while digital tampons will expand radially (increase in diameter). Most tampons have a cord or string for removal. The majority of tampons sold are made of rayon, or a blend of rayon and cotton. Organic cotton tampons are made from only 100% cotton. Tampons may also come in scented or unscented varieties.
A menstrual cup is a feminine hygiene device which is inserted into the vagina during menstruation. They come in many shapes and sizes, so obviously, it can be difficult to find the right fit (clearly, there is a no-returns policy or a "Try before you buy" option).
Its purpose is to collect menstrual fluid and prevent its leaking onto clothes. Menstrual cups are usually made of flexible medical grade silicone, latex, or a thermoplastic isomer. They are shaped like a bell with a stem. The stem is used for insertion and removal. The bell-shaped cup seals against the vaginal wall just below the cervix. Every 4–12 hours, the cup is removed, emptied, rinsed, and reinserted.
Some people love these scientific feats of ingenuity, but others just can't get used to them. Speaking from my experience, I was very keen to try a cup. The prospect of limiting that waste of tampons or pads each month was big in my books, as was the fact that I was spending so much money each month on tampons - it seemed very excessive. So, I happily paid $45 for a cup, not knowing what shape or size my cervix was, but having a bit of a guess. I knew that a menstrual cup, once inserted correctly, would not be felt, would stay in place and allow me to continue living my life as per any normal day (because I was doing that anyway????). I must admit, the first few months were a breeze, but then I had a few months where the cup was just uncomfortable and awkward, and I found insertion and removal difficult and a bit of a battle. I admitted defeat, and my cup has sat alone and solitary in its lovely little satin bag in my bathroom cupboard since.
Thankfully, there is so much information available now for menstrual cups, and how to find the best fit and cup for you, which will definitely make it easier to work out your cervix shape and size and purchase the best cup for you.
Head on over to https://www.menstrualcupsaustraliaonline.com.au/menstrual-cups-australia/ for advice on finding the best cup for your needs.
Prior to first use, and after each period, the cup requires cleaning - usually by placing in gently boiling water for 5-7 minutes.
Period Underwear - can we all come up with a better name than this? I know, I get it - it's basically telling us exactly what it is, but Geeesh!
Aside from the name, this is my jam! Great for the environment, resusable, no requirement for any other products to be used with them, underwear ranging in styles, sizes, lacey numbers, patterned knickers or plain or bright colours!
This underwear is seriously comfortable and oh so easy to use!
There are many brands available, but my favorite is definitely Modibodi - 100% Australian owned and designed, I first tried a pair not long after they first launched. Periods, Incontinence, Sweat, Pregnancy - Period proof, Leak proof, comfortable, and sustainable. I love these knickers! They are 3mm thick and have a top, middle and bottom layer.
The top layer is a soft bamboo that wicks away moisture, fights bacteria and stops smells. The middle layer is made of Merino Wool, that absorbs fluid and locks it away, and the bottom layer gives waterproof protection, ensuring any moisture and liquid is securely staying where it is.
They offer options of moisture wicking only (exercise friendly - for sweat) through to heavy/overnight or maximum protection for 24 hours. Size 4 to 20, Maternity, Curvy, Vegan, Swimwear and Activewear are all available.
But how do they work?
Well, let me tell you how simple they are! You've got your period - you put on your underwear (I don my heavy pair & then get dressed in my clothes). I do all the stuff that I normally do - whether I am menstruating or not! - at the end of the day, I remove my knickers & then I rinse them thoroughly in the laundry sink. (You can rinse them in the shower if you prefer!) I place them in a wash bag to wash in my next load of washing. I then put on a fresh pair of my heavy/overnight knickers ready for bed! And repeat....only interchanging with a moderate/heavy and then a light/moderate pair for the last few days of my cycle.
Modibodi sell packs and offer discounts too when purchasing 5, 7 or 10 pairs at once. They also offer a 10% discount off your first purchase if you use the code EMPOWER at checkout. You can find them at: www.modibodi.com/?msclkid=21a45162d39f1e7aa1980ee857e53e3f&gclid=CLqLt-H1uuwCFV0vjgodf1sDXQ&gclsrc=ds
Of course, there are plenty of other brands out there now, but I like keeping my money in Australia.
So I hope this has helped a few of you in possibly changing things up to a more environmentally and cost efficient way of menstruating.
Why You Should Do a Limited Edition Shoot | Mildura Intimate Boudoir Photography
Limited Edition, Luxury, Exclusive, Elite - they all go hand in hand when talking about one of Pure Beauty Photography's Shoots. But did you know that Pure Beauty also offered Limited Edition Shoots throughout the year?
So what are these Limited Edition Shoots, and how can you be an Exclusive Member of this Elite Club?
Limited Edition Shoots offer a Theme, have only availability for four lucky women, but still include your Hair and Make up, One outfit change and 45 minutes of shooting time!
You definitely need not worry if you will get enough images in 45 minutes - I can guarantee you that Lauren will have images in the hundreds for you to choose your favorites from!
Places for these shoots get snapped up seriously FAST, so bookings are taken on a first-in basis, with payment for the shoot itself being made at time of booking. These are not shoots that you have the time to sit back and wait to book yourself in for - these are the shoots that you HAVE to have!
The date(s) are pre-set to fit in with the optimal shooting duration, and best time of the day for the location (if outdoors).
These Limited Edition Shoots are a fantastic way to accept and embrace the skin you're in, boost your self love and self confidence, and do it all with the amazing support of Lauren and three other incredible Beauties embracing their own confidence and bodies at the same time!
*Not all Limited Edition Shoots are in a Group Setting. eg: Sheets to Shower
Here's what some Lucky Ladies have had to say about their Limited Edition Shoot....
"So much fun! We had a good time chatting and laughing while the other ladies had their sessions. Stripping off among the trees is definitely something I am pretty comfortable with! Haha!"
"It was an experience like no other. I was on an absolute high the entire time and the women were all so supportive and encouraging! LOVE LOVE LOVE!"
"So much fun! It's great doing a shoot in a small group because everyone is really supportive and we all thrive off each other."
A Limited Edition Shoot will help you overcome those initial nerves, put you at ease, and you will start to feel relaxed and excited, and perhaps even forget you are in your lingerie!
These Shoots are seriously FUN! You will be laughing the whole time, and the confidence boost you gain from not just Lauren, but also the other participating ladies, just skyrockets! It is like having a professional photographer along on your girls weekend away!
Like a full Experience, Lauren guides you throughout with poses and positioning - this girl has an eye for locations, and always gets the perfect shot that is only enhanced by the theme or place!
Pure Beauty Photography aims to run up to Four Limited Edition Sessions each year - each time, embracing a new theme.
What themes or locations would you LOVE to be a part of? Drop us a message to let the Team know what you absolutely NEED to do! What Shoot could you not say NO to?
So we all talk about how life changing an Exclusive Experience with Pure Beauty Photography can be, how does this differ to a Limited Edition Shoot?
If anything, it is like a concentrated shot of confidence. All the feels in limited time! It's a major boost immediately, and you leave feeling all the incredible perks and bonuses of an Exclusive Experience.
"It renewed the want to accept the things I currently have and not be so negative about changes I have gone through."
"I feel more comfortable in my skin and more free to let loose around my husband."
"After every shoot I do, I see myself in a better light then I did previously. I accept who I am and love the body I am in, I still face challenges when I don't feel great BUT I can look back at these photos and just think WOW! That's me, I look amazing and I felt fucking great. This helps that journey continue."
"I realised that I'd been hanging onto something that was dragging me down and holding me back at my last few sessions, and in life in general. I just totally let that go and had such a great time! I love my body and what it is capable of, and I love that Lauren captures it in all its glory, and I can truly be myself and it all translates beautifully into the images."
So what are you waiting for girl?????
Do you want to get in on a Limited Edition Shoot for yourself? There is just a couple of spaces left for the Sheets to Shower Exclusive Limited Edition!
Just think....45 minutes to yourself, getting pampered and glammed. 45 minutes of everything being just about YOU. Feeling like the Goddess that you are, and proving to yourself that you are one sexy, beautiful, incredible and empowered woman!
"Honestly, just do it, even if you think its not for you or you wouldn't be comfortable, book an introductory session, have a chat with Lauren let her know how you are feeling, Lauren and her team have incredible way of easing those feelings and you will only ever do what you are comfortable with. It's an experience you will never forget and you will absolutely treasure the photos forever (one warning, it can be addictive, you will want more!)"
"Do it, and if you get the chance, do it again! Relax and trust that Lauren will make you look and feel amazing."
Finding your flair - Cocktails post COVID-19 | Mildura Boudoir Photography
The time is getting nearer when we can have gatherings once again, so aside from hitting up Kmart, many of us are dying to have our friends over and entertain with nibbles, a delicious meal, dessert and of course, Cocktails!!!!
Here's a couple of my go-to recipes to get you going, and a few pointers when organising an event that includes cocktails. I've also snuck in a delicious mocktail too!
So let us begin with some sensible suggestions for your shindig:
Makes 2L or approximately 13 drinks
150ml Lime Juice
3 cups Caster Sugar
1L Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice
350ml White Rum
Stir all ingredients in a large bowl until sugar has dissolved. Garnish with sliced Ruby Red Grapefruit.
5 Kiwifruit - peeled and finely chopped
3 Limes - cut into wedges
1/3 cup Mint Leaves
1tbsp Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Vodka
1 1/2 cups crushed ice
4 cups Soda Water
Combine Kiwifruit, Lime, Mint and Sugar in a bowl. Pound with end of a rolling pin until crushed. Spoon mixture among 4 glasses. Add Vodka and Ice. Top up with Soda Water.
750ml Pink Moscato
750ml Sparkling Rose
1 cup Guava or Orange Juice
100g Strawberries, thinly sliced
1 cup Crushed Ice
Mint Leaves to serve
Combine Moscato, Rose, Juice, Strawberry and Ice in a Jug. Serve into glasses and decorate with a sprig of Mint.
Summer Iced Tea
4 Herbal Infused Tea Bags (eg: Twinings Cranberry and Pomegranite)
24 Mint Leaves, torn
4 cups Boiling Water
4 cups Pineapple Juice
4 Passionfruit, Pulp and seeds to be used
6 Lychees, peeled and de-seeded (optional)
2 cups Ginger Beer
Ice for serving
Place teabags and half the mint in a large, heatproof jug. Add boiling water. Jiggle teabags for 1 minute. Discard. Refrigerate until cold.
Divide tea, juice, pulp, lychee (if using) and remaining mint between 2 large carafes. Stir until passionfruit seeds separate and all is well combined. Half fill glasses with mix over ice and top with Ginger Beer.
Enjoy your time with your friends, and always, Drink Responsibly.
Keeping It Real | Mildura Intimate Boudoir Photography
So often, we are so critical of ourselves... Our body, our hair, our clothes, our makeup... the list goes on and on! We need to stop being so hard on ourselves! Why are we so judgmental and unforgiving on ourselves, but yet, these perceived "flaws" of our own, are usually what we see as beautiful and unique in others.
When was the last time you were naked in front of your partner/sexual partner? Did they pick out all of your "flaws"? Did they criticise you or look away in disgust? No! They were excited and thrilled that they had a beautiful, confident, sexual woman standing in front of them offering themselves for a night of pleasure!
So if our chosen partner (whether it be for a lifetime, years or a night) is not critical of us, then why are we???
Our "flaws" are what makes us unique, what makes us US - what we may perceive as horrid is seen by another as beautiful BUT how can we turn our way of thinking around? How can we start to perceive ourselves as beautiful, our "flaws" as being sexy, attractive, beautiful?
Everything has beauty,
You have heard it from everyone who has had a shoot - you feel empowered, confident, sexy - but does the feeling last?
Does your own body image improve for good? Do you begin to love yourself and those pesky perceived "flaws"?
The answer to these questions is a resounding YES! Or if you prefer, YAAAAASSSS QUEEN!
That is the absolute beauty of a Boudoir Shoot - you are possibly at your most vulnerable, posing for someone with a camera in your lingerie (or nude). It's possibly the most terrifying and freeing thing you can do! All your opinions and judgements come flooding forward, mixed with questions of yourself such as "Am I good enough to do this?", "Will I get the poses right?", "Will I look as amazing as XXX did?" Again, all the answers to these questions are YES!
You are unique, no photo shoot is the same. Lauren will capture you in a way you have never imagined or seen yourself before! Lauren sees your inner beauty and draws that out of you during a shoot, so your natural beauty is radiating, and everyone who sees your photo's will see that inner essence of your beauty shine!
All the images you see from Boudoir Photo Shoots from Pure Beauty Photography are the real person - there's no airbrushing body shape or manipulation to make your breasts sit up or give you a bubble butt - What you see are real people, starting to love and accept themselves exactly the way they are.
Yes, bruises and red marks (from previously worn lingerie) will be manipulated, but what you see in the mirror, is what you get in your photographs - just with gorgeous hair and makeup!
I'm going to tell you a little story.... There was a young (I use the term loosely!) lady who was so excited about her first Boudoir Shoot with Pure Beauty Photography, BUT her confidence had been almost completely eradicated. She was full of self doubt, anxiety, stress and judgement of herself, but she barrelled ahead with her shoot, because she was just so excited about it, and supporting her beautiful friends new business - and she was also stubborn as a mule! Outfits and accessories were picked out and packed, but so were her critical views of her belly and her thighs. A lot of time was wasted by her thinking negatively of herself and being critical of these perceived "flaws" that no-one but her saw! She adjusted her breasts constantly, she continually held her breath and sucked in her belly as much as she could, but a beautiful thing happened quite soon into the shoot......She Let Go! She let go of her inhibitions, of her self judgement, her self negativity, her anxiety, and embraced the shoot for everything it was - A Celebration! A Celebration of her strength, her beauty - inside and out, her confidence, her assured outlook on life, her ferocity. My favorite images from this shoot, and my subsequent shoots, are actually the ones where my boobs aren't perfectly adjusted, and the roundness of my belly shows - these are always the first images I select from my shoots!
And every time I look at any of my photos, I am flooded with all of the feelings of confidence, sexiness, strength and beauty all over again!
So what are you waiting for girl? Love yourself that little bit more, and take the leap like I did!
Winter Warmers | Mildura Boudoir Photography
Winter Is Coming.....No, this isn't a promo for another GoT season - it's a fact! So what is the greatest thing to consume whilst you're in your cosy ugg boots and Pure Beauty Photography hoodie with the heater keeping you toasty???? Soup!!! It really is so simple to make, and the sky is the limit! You can basically make a soup out of almost anything! Do you know you can make Cheese Soup? Sounds dubious, but I kid you not, it is actually delicious!!!!
Here's a couple of my Winter Soup go-to recipes that will warm the cockles of your heart!
Go On - Get Cookin' Good Lookin'
Pumpkin and Roast Vegetable Soup
1 Pumpkin *I use Japla pumpkin, but any is fine!
1 bulb Garlic
1 Brown Onion
1 knob Ginger (you can omit this if you don't like Ginger)
You can add any root vegetables you fancy!
Salt & Pepper
Peel & Chop Vegetables to roasting size & place on oven tray with bulb of garlic, ginger & season with Salt & Pepper & drizzle in Olive Oil. Cook in preheated oven at 180 degrees for around 40 minutes or until roasted & starting to caramelise.
Once vegetables are softened & caramelised, remove from oven tray to large saucepan, remove garlic cloves from bulb (you should be able to squeeze gently from the bottom of the bulb & clove will pop out - but be careful - it will be super hot!)
Add in enough hot water with stock cubes crumbled & dissolved to cover vegetables. Use a stick blender to puree roasted vegetables & mix together all ingredients.
Once blended, Simmer & stir over stove until all ingredients are fully combined. If soup is too thick for your liking - add some more water & stir in. Season with Salt & Pepper to taste.
Serve with crusty buttered fresh bread (Sour Dough is awesome!) & stir in some fresh cream or goats cheese & Enjoy!
** Use however many vegetables & pumpkin looks good to you - I don't really measure anything, but I taste during the cooking process to ensure it's to my liking **
Lamb Shank and Vegetable Soup
4 Lamb Shanks
2 Brown Onions
Vegetable & Chicken Stock Cubes
** You can add in potatoes, barley, lentils - whatever you want! **
Dice Brown Onions, Slice Celery & Carrots and Place in Stock pot on medium stove. Add in Lamb Shanks (don't get the frenched ones - they are more expensive and have so much meat removed). Cover with enough water to cover all ingredients. Season with Salt & Pepper. Crumble in 1 of each stock cube (keep tasting, as you may want/need to add in another 1 or 2 during the cooking process). Heat up until soup is boiling & turn stove down to a slow simmer.
Simmer, stirring occasionally for 2-3 hours until meat is falling off the bone & easily removed.
Taste the soup, you may need to add more seasoning, or another crumbled stock cube. Keep in mind that the flavours will develop while cooking - so don't over season! If it tastes too salty early in the cook - it's only going to get stronger later!
If the water starts to evaporate during cooking, add more.
This is a hearty soup & again, fantastic served with buttered bread on the side! This is also really good for your gut health by cooking the meat on the bone throughout the whole process.
I also love Hot & Spicy Soups - think a delicious Thai Curry inspired soup! Another favorite is the Kick Start Soup - so full of vegetables & really filling & good for you too!
Easy No Bake Recipes - Fun for you and the kids | Pure Beauty Photography Iso Activities
I know that not everyone likes to bake or cook, but these are some great little recipes to try at home - getting the kids involved in measuring and mixing (it's called Sneaky Maths!)
These are no bake yummy goodness, and if your kids are anything like mine, they will clean these bad boys up super fast! The truffles do require some melting on the stove.
Chocolate Truffles (if you like Lindt Chocolate Balls - then these are your jam!)
340g Dark Unsweetened Chocolate
1/4 cup Coconut Oil
3/4 cup Coconut Milk (or Coconut Cream)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract (Not Vanilla Essence)
1/4 tsp Salt
Maple Syrup to taste
Melt chocolate and oil in bowl over simmering hot water on stove top. Stir in coconut milk. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla extract, salt and syrup.
Place in fridge 2 hours to set. Remove from fridge and scoop into balls. Coat in desiccated coconut or slivered almonds if you want to be fancy! Place on tray lined with baking paper and refrigerate until set.
These do start to melt once out of the fridge, so only remove when you are wanting to indulge!
These are super easy and take no time at all! There are so many variations of these, but here are my kids two favorites. These never last long in our house, and are relatively good for you (I did say relatively!)
Nut Bliss Balls
1/4 cup Honey
1/2 cup Peanut Butter
1 Tbsp Cocoa
1 cup Desiccated Coconut
Place Honey and Peanut Butter in bowl and mix. Add cocoa and mix to combine. Add coconut and combine. Roll into small balls. Refrigerate overnight or 2-3 hours to set.
Strawberry Bliss Balls
2 cups Desiccated Coconut
1/3 cup Goji Berries
3 Tbsp Strawberry Jam (I used to add fresh strawberries too - about 4 or 5)
Process all together in a blender until well combined and sticking together. Roll into balls and coat with coconut. Refrigerate 2-3 hours to set.
Easy Entertaining | Platter It Up for your Boudoir Babes
I love entertaining, but I also love keeping things simple! So what is my best weapon, whilst still catering for a group of people with different tastes? Platters!
If you have ever been to a Pure Beauty Photography Information Night, you would have experienced one of my platters.
So here's a few tips and tricks for creating your own Platter de Resistance!!!
Start with several larger items and position them at the centre and ends of your platter
I purchased several large plastic platters (from Cheap as Chips of similar) for around $2 each. I also purchased a couple of smaller ones, for when it's just a small nibbles platter for two or three people. These are great because they are reusable, easily stacked away in my pantry, and can be used for a multitude of serving different foods!
I always purchase a few different types of cheeses and at least one dip. I try to cater to most people's tastes - not everyone is a fan of Blue Cheese or a Spicy Chilli Cheese! My usual suspects include Brie or Camembert, Tasty Cheese, a Herb or Mild Chilli Cream Cheese, and I like to mix it up with a Goats Cheese or something a little different. I chop and change which dip I buy too - no one wants the same thing over and over! Some of my favorites are Spicy Pumpkin, Beetroot Hommus or Pesto and Cashew chunky dip. I like a bit of colour!
I then place the dip in the middle of the platter, and then a cheese north, east, south and west of the dip. This works as a great starting point for placement of your other items. I tend to find that starting with the larger items, makes it easier to visualise where you want to place the rest of your items.
Don't be afraid to add meat to your platter - unless you are catering purely for vegetarians - the sky is the limit!! Again, I try to cater to everyone's taste! Not everyone likes Hot Salami or Spicy Twiggy Sticks! I like to add the traditional favorites, like Kabana and Twiggy Sticks, but love adding some Shaved Ham or Prosciutto and Salami.
Fruit goes with Cheese AND adds an element of something light to your Platter
Grapes are always a perfect addition to a cheese platter, but don't be scared to put on Strawberries, Cherry Tomatoes (yes, tomatoes are a fruit!) or Figs! Mix it up, you might really surprise yourself and your guests!
I love an Antipasto element, but remember to select wisely. For example, I love a Fetta stuffed Bell Pepper, but as these are bathing in Olive Oil, these are NOT suitable for a Pure Beauty Information Evening. Think about it......touching all these beautiful photos with oily and greasy fingers! Aggggghhhhhhh! (I can hear Lauren quietly dying inside as I wrote that!) So, I save my Antipasto additions for other events where beautiful and expensive photographs are not being touched!
Of course on a Cheese Platter you want to have crackers! I don't like to inundate my platter with crackers - I can always (and do) take another packet with me to add to the platter when the initial supply is running low. Remember your guests too - anyone gluten free, Keto??? An addition of crudites (carrot sticks, celery etc..) is a great option, or look for crackers that are gluten free.
And don't forget the Cheese Knives!!!
Don't just limit yourself to Cheese and Nibbles!
The possibilities are endless....Fruit platters are always amazing, and can offer so much fresh variety. Mix it up with the fruit and don't be scared of a fruit you haven't tried before! Dragonfruit is really pretty with its magenta skin and inner white flesh with little black seeds - whilst this doesn't have much taste, it makes a great palette cleanser to move on to the next fruit. I love it when exotic fruits are in season and I can play with the different shapes and tastes - fresh and ripe Starfruit is amazing and a beautiful addition to a platter (or a Punch! Proven recipes to follow in another blog!)
Again, start with the larger fruit and work your way down. I love breaking up the colours too where I can - mix it up, separating colours so you don't end up with a big block of orange or red, but don't be too hard on yourself if you have some of those colours together. Ensure your fruit is fresh and ripe! I can't stress this enough - there's nothing worse than taking a bite into rock hard and tasteless Honeydew Melon (which I personally find tasteless ALL the time, but I still put it on a platter because I know so many people enjoy it), or worse.....an overripe & mushy strawberry! And always, ALWAYS rinse your fruit under gently running cold water, and let it drain properly. You don't need a big puddle of water on your platter!
Remember a nice glass of wine is a fabulous accompaniment for a platter! But drink responsibly my Beauties!
My next platter is going to be a mixed dessert platter - think waffles, strawberries, chocolate dipping sauce etc... Now I only haven't attempted one so far because I'm really not a sweet tooth, I love my savories, BUT I can see the enjoyment so many people get from these (think of those yummy dessert platters from Royal Copenhagen or Bobby + Me!!)
They do put a smile on my face (before the sugar kicks in on the kids and I have to deal with the after effects!)
Here you will find my featured babes, #wearepurebeauty , as well as some tips for your boudoir shoot- from lingerie shopping to hair and makeup
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Mildura resident and Photographer, Lauren Southwell launched Pure Beauty in late June, 2018 & is committed to helping woman feel beautiful, sexy and empowered through the art of Boudoir Photography.