An adventure to Mt Bromo

When you think of Indonesia people of think of a relaxing holiday in Bali. But in a country with more than 220 million people, a richly diverse cultural and geographic landscape to explore, why would you stop your journey in Denpasar? For an adventure of a lifetime get away from Bali and head to Mt Bromo on Java Island, just like our mum just did. Here is her recap.
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Fly into Mt Bromo itself or hire a car, driver and a personal guide ($300 for the lot) and get picked up from your hotel and transferred through to Mt Bromo National Park. Here, the local indigenous people of the mountain run the monopoly on entry and tours. Upon a arival, the guide and I transferred to a rustic jeep, driven by a local guide and were taken over a very bumpy and steep road up to the sunrise position. It was an amazing site to see the volcano emerge out of nowhere between 4.30 and 5.30am.
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We then ​found our local guide and travelled in the jeep down to the Bromo Plains, which is like driving across the moon! The sulphuric volcanic dust is very strong, so a face mask or scarf is essential. The path across the plain is so powdery meaning the jeeps cannot go the whole way. Once there you have to decide whether to walk (very difficult) or ride a horse (amazing) so of course I took the horse (about $150​ to reach the base of Bromo). ​After passing an amazing and very old Hindu temple I ascended the very steep and many stairs to the rim of Mt Bromo to have an internal view of the volcano, took in the spectacular view and then headed back down to our horse and jeep.
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I thought I had seen everything but the local guide then drove me to the nearby Bromo Savannah and we crossed the whispering sands (actually volcano ash so thick it depicts a sand dune).
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We transferred out of the park and back to my hire car by around noon and driven to one last stop – Madakaripura Falls. This is a fantastic short hike to see a majestic waterfall – totally worth the stop.
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I was dropped back to the hotel in Surabaya by 5pm and it was a full day of adventure! Amazing day and recommended to all.

Work lunches

It can be expensive to eat out every day when you’re at work so why not get one step ahead and bring in your own lunch? Whether you make it up the night before, bring in leftovers or have a few items at work to make up in the work kitchen here are some ideas that are super easy and super tasty.
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Salads – with rocket, spinach, quinoa, cherry tomatoes, avocado, roast pumpkin, cucumber and mint.
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Avo on toast – either keep to tradition and mash some avo onto toast or add some roast veggies, rocket and tomato as well.
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Leftovers – get too much takeaway last night or cooked up too much dinner? Bring it in for leftovers. Delicious.
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MB Fashion Week Sept 2014

Fashion has been rocking New York City all week and we are in awe of the beautiful and stunning outfits that have emerged from Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Here is a wrap up of our favourites from throughout the week.
Badgley Mischka
Carolina Herrera
Mara Hoffman
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Rachael Zoe
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It’s all about Apple

The people at Apple are brilliant. There is no doubt that we are Apple girls. Ever since the first massive, bulky iPod and the old school Mac’s we have never turned back. And the fact that every year Apple produces something new and shiny it really does get us excited.This year, the two main inspiring pieces of technology to be released: the iPhone 6 (and 6 plus) and the Apple Watch (a computer watch!).
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iPhone 6/6 plus – it is bigger and better. The phone features: larger screen, larger battery, quicker camera and updated processor. The look is different too – it is thinner and is a lot more similar to the MacBook effect of the metallic. Find out more here.
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Apple Watch – it is brand new and nothing like it on the market. A mini computer/phone you wear on your wrist that is not too chunky and still looks stylish. Ridiculous. It can measure your pulse, what you are doing, can bring up google maps, can call people, can text people, can talk to siri and research, can send secret messages to people, has photo accessibility and SO MUCH MORE. Find out more here.
Apple Pay – A new payment system (no more wallet necessary). Apple Pay keeps your card details on file and you can just swipe your phone and pay over the counter for any purchase’s. In Apple’s words: it is safe, easy and secure. Find out more here.

Do not disturb…

Every day we wake up, after a good nights sleep but still saying “i need more sleep”, which got us thinking about how much sleep you really need? The term ‘beauty- sleep’ is true – the more you sleep the better you will feel and look. Most studies indicate we should sleep between 7-8 hours each night and if we can’t get through the day without feeling fatigued or sleepy, basically, more sleep is required.
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Sleep is essential for your health as if refreshes the mind and repairs the body. Without enough sleep it’s easy to have poor concentration, mood swings, impaired judgement and reaction time and poor physical coordination – so make sure you get enough sleep!
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Interesting facts about sleep

  • Humans spend a third of their life sleeping (= about 25 years)
  • The record for longest time without sleep is 11 days
  • “Dysania” is the state of finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning
  • Lack of sleep makes you want to eat junk food
  • If it takes less than five minutes to go to sleep you’re sleep deprived – ideally it should take 10-15 minutes
  • Your body clock is cause by a burst of a stress hormone – researchers say it reflects an unconscious anticipation of the stress of waking up.
  • There is an app you can download that will pick up whether you talk or snore once the lights go out. It’s called “Dream Talk”

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A Winery Weekend in Stanthorpe

We had a weekend away from Brisbane to celebrate a friends birthday and it was epic. Stanthorpe, QLD is only a few hours drive from Brisbane and it is the perfect place to go to relax, have fun and drink wine! There is nothing better than heading out to the country, staying in a little hotel (or we were lucky enough to stay at our friend’s place) and unwinding over the weekend. Stanthorpe is part of the Granite Belt Wine Country but also known for it’s apples. At certain times of the year apple picking is available however wine tours are available all year round.
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We spent a full day touring from winery to winery organised with Granite Highlands Maxi-Tours. With this tour you get picked up from your base and tour five wineries, a chocolate and olive farm and a enjoy a delicious 2-course lunch overlooking the vineyards and countryside. Learn about wine and taste 10-15 wines at each stop. Our idea of heaven.
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After sleeping in go for a morning walk before pottering back home to Brisbane. On the way home stop off at any of the roadside fruit shops for some home grown veggies and make sure you don’t go past the cheese factory!
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Pumpkin Soup: Made-from-Scratch

There is nothing better than a hot bowl of thick pumpkin soup and fresh bread. Here is our recipe (adapted from Jamie Oliver).
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a chunk of pumpkin/butternut squash (chopped in medium chunks)
2x carrots (chopped)
1x onion (chopped)
1x glove of garlic (finely chopped)
1x sprig of rosemary (chopped)
1.5 litres of chicken/veggie stock
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1. Put a very large saucepan on a medium heat and pour in a couple of lugs of olive oil then add in onion, carrot, garlic, rosemary and salt and pepper.
2. Cook the veggies for 10 mins until the veggies go a little soft.
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3. Add the pumpkin and stock to the pot and bring to the boil and simmer for about 30 mins.
4. Blend soup to make smooth (by using a blender in lots or a hand blender).
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5. Serve with warm bread.
* Note: For a extra special taste fry sage leaves in the oil first and then sprinkle them on top to serve – delicious!
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