Thursday, 16 April 2015

Netflix Australia

Oh hey, there!

So as you may know, I'm a bit of a fan of TV shows - Revenge, Pretty Little Liars, The Nanny, Mad Men... And movies too, snuggling up on a rainy day or a Saturday night and watching a good movie is priceless really! Except for the part of thinking what's on TV, what to watch, catching a really interesting movie, but it's already started 20 minutes ago! Darn!

And then a few weeks ago, Netflix launched in Australia! And as a curious soul that I am (and the hubby too), we decided to purchase it. You know, for research purposes!

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So as you would know, Netflix lets you stream and watch movies online. And their library of content is huge and constantly growing! Netflix doesn't let you see the full content list and instead only shows you suggestions based on movies and shows that you've rated. But!

You can browse through genres to see what catches your eye:


You can also search for a specific actor and it will show you all of their movies and shows available. I searched for Isla Fisher and as you type "Isla", Netflix starts giving you suggestions:


I picked Isla Fisher and this is what was available:


And because I just love HIMYM and Neil Patrick Harris, I just had to search go for Barney and see if all seasons were available. In case you're interested - yes, they are all on Netflix! Woohoo!


You'd be pleased to know that you get to trial Netflix for free for a month and afterwards there are three different options you can choose:
  • Standard-definition (SD), streaming to a single device for $8.99 
  • High-definition (HD), streaming to two devices for $11.99 
  • Ultra-high-definition 4K(UHD 4K), streaming to four devices for $14.99 (and not all devices have to be at the same address, so you can share with friends and it will be even cheaper!)

Netflix gift cards in denominations of $20, $30 and $50 should be available to purchase at participating Australian retailers, including Woolworths, Coles, Big W, Officeworks etc., so if you haven't got a credit card, you can do this instead!



Watching movies on your iPad or tablet can be handy if you're watching in bed, but if you prefer to watch it on TV, you can, but you will need a Google ChromeCast (I'm an Android girl), which is about $50.

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So far, I'm really liking Netflix, as it will sort out lots of thinking and time wasting about what movies to watch as there are so many options, including international movies, so I'm really looking forward to this! There's lots of movies that I planned on seeing when they came out, but ran out of time, so now I'll get to watch them!

Before we purchased Netflix, we read that some titles are available in Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround sound, but I haven't come across any titles available in 5.1, so for now, I can't comment on that.

But other than that, what's not to love?! I've got so many options of what to watch now, tomorrow and on the weekend! I am loving it!

Did you subscribe to Netflix? Or Stan? Or Presto? What are your thoughts?


Now if you'll excuse me, I have PPL to get back to!


Ms Jelena xx



Monday, 30 March 2015

Cookies & Cream Cupcakes aka Chocolate Cupcakes With Oreos Buttercream

I love cupcakes! I love making cupcakes, because you can always vary the recipe and create something different. You can add a dash of colour and make them uniquely yours - nothing says you like rainbow frosting!

I have one cupcake recipe that I swear by - I usually use it as a base and then add some extra ingredients and get creative with the buttercream/topping! But! We shop at Coles or Woolworths, so we usually pick up their magazines and get ideas for weekly dinners, casseroles and savoury dishes in general. This time, however, my eyes drooled over the Oreos cupcakes from #ColesMag so I decided to make them! And these babies were seriously delicious, so I had to share the recipe with you!


As I think the original recipe is too large (I ended up with 24 cupcakes!) here's the adjusted recipe for you that will make 12 cupcakes instead! Tried and tested for a batch of 12 using the recipe below and also using milk instead of water. (This may or may not mean that I've actually made 36 cupcakes all up!)



Ingredients for the cupcake base:

50g dark chocolate, chopped
125ml water (or milk)
65g butter, chopped & softened
2 eggs
115g self-raising flour
40g plain flour
2tbsp cocoa powder


Ingredients for the chocolate sauce:

25g dark chocolate, chopped
4tbsp thickened cream
1/2tbsp brown sugar


Ingredients for the Oreo buttercream icing:

70g of Oreos (or 3 x 23g of mini Oreos)
125g butter, softened
1 1/2cups icing sugar mixture
1tbsp milk
75g white chocolate, melted & cooled


Cupcakes before chocolate sauce and mini Oreos were added - perfectly fine like this too!

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 150C (fan) and line the 12 muffin tray with muffin/cupcake cases.
  • Combine the chocolate and water (or milk) in a saucepan over low heat and cook until the chocolate is melted and the mixture smooth. Set aside to cool.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Slowly add in the eggs, beating well after each addition. Add the chocolate mixture and stir to combine.
  • Sift the flours and cocoa powder together and stir to combine.
  • Divide the mixture evenly into the muffin pans - I like to put one tablespoon into each pan and then repeat the process with a teaspoon and this is usually the measure for how much mixture should be in each muffin pan.
  • Bake for 20-25mins or until a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean. Transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • To make the chocolate sauce, combine the chocolate, sugar and cream in a small pan and cook over low hear for about 5-10mins or until the mixture thickens slightly. Set aside to cool completely.
  • For the Oreo buttercream, place the Oreos in a food processor and process until it resembles fine crumbs (you need to make sure that the crumbs are very fine, so they don't get stuck in the piping bag and nozzle).
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until very pale and then gradually add the icing sugar, beating well after each addition. Add the milk and beat to combine. Add the white chocolate and beat to combine. Add the Oreos and beat until combined.
  • Spoon the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a fluted nozzle and pipe the icing onto each cupcake. If the buttercream/Oreos get stuck in the nozzle, use a skewer to push it back and then it should work again.
  • Drizzle each cupcake with some chocolate sauce and top with a Mini Oreo to decorate!

And there you have it - delicious cookies 'n' cream cupcakes! It may seem a bit tricky to do, but it's really no trouble at all. You can add your own touch to the recipe and perhaps not use the Oreos to decorate. You could use flakes instead! Or you could re-invent it completely and make berry cupcakes! But you should definitely try the original recipe too! Thanks, Coles! :)


What's your favourite cupcake recipe?


Ms Jelena xx



Monday, 23 March 2015

Australis Oh Hai Brow! Kit

I won't lie - I don't have the darkest of eyebrows, so when it comes to eyebrow products, I get very excited! Don't get me wrong, my brows are visible, but for a no makeup makeup, you need a bit of an oomph! You know, the fresh faced, a touch of gloss, a bit of mascara and out of this world eyebrows!

What I really dislike with brow products is the colours that they come in - sometimes they just don't look very natural, or they look cakey or they are just not my cup of tea. But, having said that, I do have a few HG brow products that I absolutely swear by.

I've said it before and I will say it again, Australis never disappoints me! And no, they aren't paying me to say this! I just like to speak the truth!

I present to you the Oh Hai Brow! Kit!


Australis Oh Hai Brow! Kit comes in a compact little kit, but it has everything you will need in it! The kit contains a nicely sized mirror, double-ended brush, tweezers, two shades of brown, a highlighter and the wax.

I absolutely love the mirror - it's a nice size and I can get it up close when I'm drawing my brows, so I actually use this on daily basis.

Tweezers always come in handy and so does the double-ended brush - I use the angled side to apply the wax and the rounded side to apply the brown eyebrow powders.

I don't use the highlighting powder on daily basis, I still quite like it!

Now onto my favourite part - the wax and the powders! The was is a brown colour which is great to give you a good base and tame your eyebrows and get the powder to stick nicely. This wax is quite pigmented, so go easy with the brush and apply it gradually.

The lighter and darker brown brow powders are absolutely gorgeous! I usually mix the lighter and darker shades to achieve the perfect shade and then fill in my brows with the rounded brush. Again, easy on the powder and build it up slowly - you can always add more, but you won't be able to take it off without smudging the whole brow! For a night look, go with the darker shade or a darker ratio, if you like.

I'm not sure if this eyebrow kit would be any good for girls with darker brows, as it only comes in the brown shade, but do give it a go (swatch it, don't buy it if you're not sure it will suit!) :)


What I absolutely love about Oh Hai Brow! Kit is that the colours don't smudge and it lasts the entire day, right until I take it off! There won't be any nasty surprises throughout the day and it's so easy to touch up if need be, because this tiny little kit has it all - the wax, the powders, the brush, the mirror! It is browtastic as Australis say themselves!

And if you are new to the whole brow makeup, this little kit comes with the instructions at the back! Super easy!




It retails for $16.95 at Priceline and you can grab it at 40% off on March 24th and 25th as Priceline is having their awesome 40% off Cosmetics sale! You are welcome! :)


Ms Jelena xx


Thursday, 19 March 2015

Life IS Worth It!!!

"Is life worth it?"

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That was how someone got to my blog. They searched that phrase.

Now, every so often I write about life being so worth it, so I just wanted to write about it one more time and share some personal insight, I suppose.

So to the person who typed that into a search bar, and everyone else who cares to read a long post, let me tell you a story.

As many of you know, I'm Serbian. I wrote here about NATO bombing of Serbia. I was only 13 and a bit when that happened. It was the last time I counted down until holidays for a very long time and it has changed me. Even now, the other day when FA-18 were flying over Melbourne for Grand Prix, it brought back memories. But hey, I survived. And so did my family, so I'm happy. And grateful. Grateful that we all got to live.

Not many of you know that I was born in Croatia. I was 4 and a bit when the civilian war started. We had to run and hide, in the forests, in the basements, everywhere - people fearing for my life. My parents always protecting me and my little brother.

Few years down the track and things sort of went back to "normal". We were living at home, going to school, ducking down to the basement at any given time during the day when the sirens went off. But it was relatively peaceful.  Then the war broke out again. And it wasn't pretty. Lots of people died, some were killed and others took their own lives. I'm grateful that my parents stayed alive because they get to see me and my brother growing into people that we are today.
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So to get back to life. Life gave me some very dark memories - the war, the death, the heartbreak. We had to pack up and move to Serbia, because staying where "home" was just wasn't feasible. Then few years later, in Serbia, the NATO bombing started, as I mentioned earlier. So more sirens and more fear...

So, it would be fair to say that it wasn't the easiest of rides. And it wasn't. And that's probably why I value life so much. There's a reason we get to live. If I didn't live, I wouldn't have become the person I am today and not to be a show of, but I quite like me! I wouldn't have met some amazing friends that I've got in my life! If things didn't work out the way they did, I wouldn't have met my husband who makes me feel grateful and incredibly loved every single moment! I wouldn't have known what I know today. I wouldn't have seen all the beautiful places I got to see! And I wouldn't have discovered how much I really love lipstick! Imagine that!

Life is worth living for. Full stop. It's not an easy ride and noone said it would be, but be a creator of your own destiny as much as you can be! If something's not working for you, change it! If someone's not making you happy, ditch them! If you want something and you truly want it, then find a way. Slowly but surely, you will get there. Don't give up on the first obstacle, keep on going and you will get there!

Sometimes you feel (and I do too), that universe is doing everything against you. Every single thing! Whatever you try to do, it just doesn't work out! But keep on believing in yourself and in the universe! And things will work out eventually! And in the meantime, believe in yourself and be grateful for all the little things in life that you have and that someone else is not fortunate enough to have! The freedom to go outside and not be shot dead, the freedom to walk alone on the street, the food on your table, a loving family, the morning coffee...

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I choose to make life worth living for for the 4 year old girl, and for the 9 year old girl and for the 14 year old girl who believed in life and prayed and just really wanted to live and be happy!

So keep on living, keep on dreaming and remember that life is worth it and life is what we make it to be!



Ms Jelena xx







Sunday, 8 March 2015

Happy International Women's Day!

Happy International Women's Day, my lovelies!


International Women's Day is celebrated on March 8 every year. It is globally recognised as a day to celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.

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International Women's Day theme for 2015 is Make It Happen, calling for equality in all spheres of life. It's quite shocking when you think that in 21st century we still have to fight for equality. Living in Australia, we can't even imagine what women in some countries go through. And that's not to say that inequality doesn't happen in Australia, because it does. But ladies, let's stick together and #MakeItHappen!

The official United Nations theme for International Women's Day 2015 is "Empowering Women - Empowering Humanity: Picture It!" - to recognise women's achievements, so that we all have equal rights to education, participation in politics, having an income and most importantly, living in an environment free or violence and discrimination.

Violence is never an answer and I believe that only by working together towards this goal, we can actually reach it - there are so many campaigns throughout the year, so get involved and let's make this world a better place, a happier place, a less violent and more loving place - because let's face it, we all have an equal right to live freely, earn and learn, so let's come together and Make It Happen!

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Love,

Ms Jelena xx