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.