Reasons I love typhoons

Living in Hong Kong, we’ve seen it all. From bipolar weather conditions to locals urinating in drains in the middle of busy roads. And as Honkies, we love
to complain about the weather.

If there is a god, he sure does have a sense of humor. A severe typhoon over our way over the weekend AND a public holiday. However, I can’t help but get excited tracking one and DOKSURI my new friend, you have yet to let me down.

5 reasons I love typhoons (which most people around the world would fear)

1. One of the more important reasons = typhoon parties. These consist of Low drink prices, dodging falling trees and dancing in the rain . What’s not to like ?

And if you’re already in Wan Chai, hit Typhoon for free/cheap drinks until the No. 8 has been lowered.

2. I can finally hit Cotton On and H&M sales without having my claws out at the ready. Hk has got to be one of the most stressful places to shop.

3. The calm before the storm: A sexy mist covers Hong Kong which makes me feel like a badass dare devil walking the streets of central.

4. I have an excuse to sit in bed all day and watch mind numbing reality TV. The new series of Geordie Shore is out, Cancun special SAY WHAT?

5. It’s a glorious dent in my rather dull routine, a T8 is never boring. 

So to everyone annoyed at the fact that Doksuri is edging closer by the minute, open your arms and EMBRACE IT. You might just end up having a great time.

Have a good weekend,

Katy

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Men don’t take fashion advice from women

Most men I know don’t tend to take fashion advice from women too well. I can sort’ve sympathize with them… have you not seen some of the bizarre attire displayed on runways these days?!

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If I were you, I wouldn’t take advice from them either. Especially from the people who have designed the monstrosities above. As men’s fashion in Hong Kong isn’t as popular as it is in Paris or the UK (I get it, fashion isn’t so important when you’re sweating buckets 24/7), the men’s sections in most stores here are very limiting. However, I feel that 3 stores in Hong Kong hold stylish men sections for affordable prices.

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A great variety of simple yet classy shirts. Some great colors!

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A wide range of printed T-shirts. Also Loving Zara’s Bermuda collection!

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Jetting away somewhere tropical? Vist Forever 21 for all things summer.

I’m no Anna Wintour (Lads, Editor in chief of Vogue) but I feel like I know what looks good on a guy. I have searched these three stores and have found some summer looks which are comfortable, stylish & sexy. Now let me tell you one thing Misters, dressing well is one of the most attractive things ever and it can make a man like John C. Reilly as attractive as Ryan Gosling.

Top 5 Apps

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1. Pinterest – A virtual inboard which allows you to search for a wide range of images. Everything from recipes, fitness inspiration, interior design, cute animals to photographs. Type anything in the search bar and a range of images will appear. For visual, creative people who love to browse.

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2. BlendCam – A quirky new photo app which allows you to blend images giving a layered effect. For those who love to take photos.

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3. 9gag – An app for 9gag.com. For those who love pointless, funny images.

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4. Openbar HK – Hong Kong’s largest Club & Bar app directory. Search for happy hour deals and discounts. For those who love to party!

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5. LogoQuiz – This app tests you to guess the names of hundreds of logos from different companies. Don’t be fooled, this game isn’t easy! For those who love a challenge.

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1.Temple Run – I actually don’t have that many games, and I’m still a huge fan of doodle jump (first game EVER downloaded). However, Temple Run is extremely fun, so fun that even my mother plays it! It’s also free, so I suggest you check it out.

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2. Snapseed – The majority of my apps involve photo-editing, and Snapseed is one of the best. After eyeing up my flatmates nicely contrasted photos, I gave up and asked her what app she was using. Jackpot. It’s pretty difficult to get used to at first, but it really improves phone taken photos, and If you are the type to take photos of EVERYTHING like me, I suggest paying to get this. And I’m not the only one!!

Here is an example of something I edited using Snapseed:-

3.  Gratitude Journal – This was suggested to me by a bunch of women doing a particular project (Which I shall be writing a post about very soon). It’s super cute and it’s a modern way to keep track of the things you should be thankful for! You can upload a picture to go with the post, and it keeps it all stored on your phone so you can flick through it. Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and sometimes we all need a little reminder!

4. Hong Kong Movie – Speaks for itself, If you’re out you can just check on here to see what cinemas are showing what movies, and all the timings! They have different colours for whether all the seats are getting taken (red,green,yellow) of course. Dying to see Spiderman!

5. Instagram – Yes, I guess this is super obvious, but there are tons of Iphone users who don’t actually have insta! I bloody love it, and it’s the main reason why my battery goes down so fast. It’s like twitter but in picture form, people post EVERYTHING. My fav thing is that you can creep on celebs like Jessica Alba, who is the CUTEST and she takes pics of everything (like food) and she’s not even asian…. HA Jokes. But yes, FUN

Things I’m excited about!

Summer has officially started, most schools are breaking up this week, the sun has started peering its majestic head and my first junk of the season will commence this saturday! I will then be heading to Thailand for a WHOLE month next thursday so I feel I should take full advantage of a HK summer before I jet off to participate in a 2 week Muay Thai Camp (Let me just say again…What was I thinking?!?!).

I have always been obsessed with Jewelry (if you know me well you’ve probably made a joke concerning my oversized rings) and have always wanted to take part in a little DIY Jewelry making but have never really known where to go to purchase the right materials. My dreams have finally come true! Cat has found a haberdashery located in Sham Shui Po. So friday, I will make that shop my bitch. Found some inspiration pieces of Tumblr – so excited to test them out!

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A high school friend of mine, Natasha, will be launching her new bikini line and my god, are they amazing. Can’t wait to get my hands on a few of these! Check out her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MerCulture

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Maiden HK are also set to introduce a new guest blogger, model and PR girl, Karina, who will be writing about Hong Kong’s clubbing scene including up and coming nights/events. So stay tuned !

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18 things to do this summer when it’s overcast!

When I think of Hong Kong Summers my mind casts back to Junk Trips filled with retarded drinking games, beach BBQ’s and sweaty nights dancing on Carnegie’s bar. However, it’s easy to forget that 60% of are summers are often made up of overcast days and typhoons. Here are 18 things to do when the weather is just as shite as the programs Star World plays.

1. Hike! Hong Kong has SO many beautiful walks to suit every level of fitness out there. If you’re looking for something light but scenic try Chai Wan to Big Wave Bay or Nim Shui Wan (Discovery Bay) to Mui Wo. If you’re looking for something a little more strenuous , try the MacLehose Trail or Sunset Peak.

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2. Fishing in Yuen Long. It’s not the most easiest of places to get to but its great fun spending a day at one of the many fish farms (girls, give it a go!) and very affordable. All the equipment is available to rent for around $40. Take the MTR to Yuen Long Station and then a taxi to one of the many fishing farms. (Explain you want to fish and the taxi driver should know where to take you).

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3. Get friends round for a night of nachos & margaritas. Very easy to make, great for sharing and delish!

4. Get away from the Island and visit Cheung Chau. Take the ferry over from Pier 5 and go exploring. This tiny little island is home to the best seafood I’ve had in Hong Kong, scenic beaches and trails, cute little handmade shops, pirate caves and much more.

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5. Weekend in Macau – Can’t make Splash or Hed Kandi? Macau is always awesome, any time of the year. Find a cheap hotel deal and go crazy! Gamble at the Venetian and then hit club CUBIC at the City of Dreams. And for all you horn dogs, Adult Asia Expo will be held in Macau over the 17th-19th of August. (http://www.verticalexpo.com/eeditor/index.php?expo_id=5&article_id=13)

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6. Hit the driving range. Improve your golf swing at one of the driving ranges in either Tuen Mun, Tai Po, Kowloon, Ma On Shan or even on Hong Kong Island. (http://www.golfinhongkong.com/instruction/driving-ranges.php)

7. Dolphin watch tour. You aren’t a true Honkie until you’ve witnessed a pink dolphin. $380 for Adults (Around 4 hours) and $180 for children. (http://www.hkdolphinwatch.com/index.php)

8. Go see the wild monkeys in Kam Shan. Do not bring food with you unless you want to experience an attack similar to young girls catching a glimpse of Justin Bieber.

9. Ice-skating at Tsing Yi or Festival Walk. I don’t care how old you are, watching your friends fall on their asses will always be fun! Prices range from $55-75 depending on times. (http://www.glacier.com.hk/fun/fun_index.html)

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10. Visit the tallest bar in the world. Ozone Sky Bar. Very pricey but the view makes it totally worth it. (http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/HongKong/Dining/ozone/Default.htm)

12. Champagne brunch at Top Deck. Jump aboard the Jumbo Kingdom Restaurant to experience a brunch buffet with everything including jet fresh seafood, open grills, fresh baked pizzas, Peking duck, tandoori stations, and desserts. $258 for adults (with unlimited champagne and soft drinks); $98 for children. Saturdays, 11am-3pm; Sundays and public holidays, 11am-4:00pm, $448 for adults; $198 for children.

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13. Shop in Mong Kok. Flying back home this summer? Get stocked up on your fake Hermes, Fendi & Marc Jacobs and trick your old uni friends into thinking you’re doing REALLY REALLY well.

16. Kayak in Sai Kung. Visit some of HK’s stunning geology, including collapsed volcanos and caves. Kayaks and lifejackets can be rented for around $50 an hour. (http://saikung.com/kayaking-in-sai-kung/)

17. Watch the Olympics!

18. Indulge in some DIY Crafts. Look on Pinterest for some inspiration.  (http://pinterest.com/celebrations/fun-diy-crafts/)

Cork Coasters 

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Dragon Boat Festival – Discovery Bay

As most of you are aware, Saturday was one of Hong Kong’s favorite festivals. For many expats, it means a day of drinking on boats/beaches and watching teams race traditional chinese dragon boats. Rooted from southern China as an ancient folk ritual, contending villagers have raced for over 2000 years.

For as long as I can remember, my family and I have spent the day on Discovery Bay Beach and it was something I have always wanted to be part of. At the age of 22, I finally bit the bullet and signed up to compete. After two months of early saturday and sunday morning training sessions (mostly hungover), it was time to hit the water.

It was a great day filled with excitement, energy drinks and aching muscles. Growing up in the 852, it was great to form a connection with local tradition and as tiring as it was, it felt great. Already can’t wait for next year!

K.

Fitness Focus

When I first heard my friend Sam, say he would be embarking on a intensive 12 week body building program my initial thought was regrettably, doubt. Don’t get me wrong, I  support my friends 100% in anything they take on but 3 months without alcohol, an extremely strict diet, high level intensity lifting 5 days a week and cardio 7 days. It just seemed impossible to me because quite frankly, Sam’s lifestyle didn’t exactly mirror this.

The regime Sam adapted was the 12 week plan by Kris Gethin. The workout split works on chest & triceps, back & biceps, legs, calves & abs and shoulders including 2 x 20 minute cardio sessions a day. Food intake focuses on eating every 2-3 hours equaling to 6-7 meals a day, consisting of various protein (fish, poultry, steak, egg whites and protein powder), carbs (sweet potato, brown rice, wheat pasta and oats) and natural fats.

The motivation and strength I witnessed over the next 12 weeks was extremely inspiring to me and I feel that his determination could inspire others to achieve their own personal goals.

What first attracted you to the program?

Before I go into what kickstarted me into this program from hell i’ll tell you a little about myself leading up to the beginning of the 12 weeks. In November 2009 at the age of 18 I was diagnosed with a disorder called alopecia totalis. (Alopecia totalis is the loss of all head hair. Its causes are unclear, but it is currently believed to be an autoimmune disorder. Stress is sometimes thought to be a contributor in alopecia areata.) Before the diagnosis I weighed 115kg and unfortunately it was mostly fat. Over the next year I decided I needed to do something about it so I started to walk up the DB mountain and limited my diet to a smoothie in the morning, apple at lunch and steak at dinner. In just seven months my weight was down to 76kg and my hair was starting to grow back but, I soon realised that I was so skinny that I looked ill, I also still had the same amount of body fat as I did when I was 115kg.

I focused the next couple of months on gaining my weight back simply by eating, drinking and occasionally going into the GYM and sure enough in 3 months I was back up to 100kg. Although the gut that had followed me through the past couple of years had, unfortunately, stayed with me. I realised that all the programs on the internet are pretty accurate when they tell you to do your cardio and eat your meals (often up to 8 a day!)

I was ready for my next challenge and this time I was going to do it by the book! A friend mentioned this program to me and at first, I read through it and soon realised that I was subconsciously cutting deals with myself. Deals like; “I will do 3 weeks without alcohol and then go back to normal but still stick the program.” After dwelling on these deals for a few days I thought to myself 12 weeks of my life, its not the longest time when you think of it in relation to your life. So I decided to go all out and push myself to the limit. I read a few corny inspirational quotes, (“Success rests not only on ability, but upon commitment, loyalty, and pride.” – Vince Lombardi worked quite well.) I haven’t looked back.

Anyway that’s why I started this 12 week program from hell. I have two weeks left haven’t had a drop of alcohol, haven’t smoked a single cigarette and have kept up with my cardio, gym work and eating plan. So far I have lost 7kg, it may not seem like a lot when I compare it to the 30 odd kilos I lost before but this time around it is fat I am losing not muscle.

How has your body changed?

My body has changed dramatically! It is the only time IN MY LIFE that my extremely shy abs have shown themselves. I am also a thousand times more fit than I have ever been and my overall BMI has dropped considerably.

What was your biggest struggle?

The most difficult parts of the program for me were keeping up with my meals and cardio- I personally have never been one to enjoy cardio in fact I find it extremely boring! But I realised that if you focused on the big picture (not the 50 minutes of cardio you’re doing each day) time would fly by. Having a gym partner has also made it a lot more achievable.

Did the program affect your state of mind?

The change that I have felt the most was surprisingly not my physical change but my mental change, I have felt more far more comfortable in myself which has lead me to push my limits both at the GYM and at work (I have even started my own enterprise, a fishing camp for kids which has so far been very successful.)

Are you happy with the results?

I am extremely happy with my progress! It has only been 12 weeks and it feels like I have 12 months of results.

What have you learnt from the program?

This program has taught me a lot. It has shown me how important your diet is and that eating more is often good!The most valuable thing however is the mental gains that this program has brought about, It really pushes you in all departments. I realised that I could push myself through the toughest of times just by having the right attitude and I found that I could apply this to all situations in and out of the GYM which has really helped my productivity.

What tips would you give anyone interested in the program?

If you are thinking about starting any program or even looking to get fit this is the program for you! It is tailor made for both men and women and for all ages (I have even got my mum thinking about it so no excuses!) This program is really helpful and keeps your commitment as he (Kris Gethin) is doing it every step of the way with you.

 For those interested in finding out more about this program visit – http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/kris-gethin-12-week-daily-trainer.html. Many thanks to Sam. 

K

Getting fit for summer

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After work, my sister and a friend of mine decided to do a walk/run up the mountain. Little did I know my friend is a machine and would lead us on a 2 hour mountain extravaganza consisting of screams due to possible snake sightings and complaints about the heat.

My energy was low and water bottle very empty but my god was the view beautiful.  Possibly the best typhoon 1 ever. I can’t wait to get some good hikes in before venturing to Phuket.

K.

Beat the summer heat

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I reckon Hong Kong would be THEE best city on earth if it wasn’t for the humidity & pollution. Not only does it mess up our appearance but also decreases our mood. No matter how many showers we have a day, 10 minutes walking around central and we’re sweating bullets out of places we didn’t even think we could sweat from. And you can forget about wearing make up or deodorant….

Here are a few tips to beat the summer heat.

1. Store your moisturizers, eye gels, cleaners (basically any facial products) in the fridge. You will experience a cool sensation when you apply them but can also make them more effective as storing it at +35C or higher temperatures can cause chemical changes in the products. Try purchasing light moisturizers so your face doesn’t sweat more or clog up, causing blotchy skin. Also to the men who have dared to read this post, remember to moisturize before bed to help with sun damage. You do not want to be 50 year old with saggy, blotchy skin..trust me. Same goes for light sunscreen.

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Garnier Light Daily Moisturizer – Found in Sasa, Watsons & Mannings

2. Use a scrub once a week to remove built up dirt you’ve collected on various junk trips, pool days, hikes etc .. Exfoliation is a must as dead skin cells lead to pimples and skin irritation. According to Berg , one of the reasons men’s skin looks more youthful than women’s is because men tend to exfoliate daily when they shave.

3. Go for frozen yoghurt instead of Ice-cream! Less calories,more nutritious, gives you an energy boosts but doesn’t leave you with that groggy post sugar meltdown.

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Central – Infinitus Plaza, 199 Des Voeux rd, Sheung Wan HK, Wan Chai – Shop 12, Causeway centre, 28 Harbour rd, Wan Chai HK

4. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. Such an obvious one but we need to be drinking double the amount of water we usually do, especially when consuming alcohol!

5. Go Ice-skating at Festival Walk. Aircon, fun AND exercise!  $50-55 depending on how many hours you wish to skate. (http://www.glacier.com.hk/fun/fun_index.html)

6. Hit Splash in Macau.

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Booze, Bikini’s & Music. 
When: 14th July 2012 (Saturday)
Where: HardRock Hotel Poolside
Time: 2pm-1am
DJ’s: Miss Nine, Timo Garcia, Sonny Wharton
Price: $300 pre-booked, $350 on the door.
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7. Avoid Beer as It makes you sweat. Try Pimm’s, Sangria, Mojitos, Margaritas, G&T’s etc as they are more refreshing and tend to have less calories. To all you lads out there who need to be seen with a beer in hand in order to look cool infront of your mates, try a vodka lime soda instead. You’re more likely to throw up the next day but hey..all for the banter ay?
8. Avoid foods that make you bloat. No one wants to feel bloated in their swimwear. Keep these foods to a minimum before a junk trip: Salt, White Bread, Potatoes, Brocolli, Coffee & Tea, fried foods, chewing gum, carbonated drinks etc.
K.

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On a monday, my Facebook & Twitter pages are constantly filled with people complaining about the first day of the week, Monday. For people across the world, every single working monday feels like the end of the world. (Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely guilty of a few fed up monday status updates in my life time.)

Personally, the only part of Monday I really really loathe is waking up. Monday’s seem to go relatively quickly for me as i’m normally quite busy planning the week/answering emails/stalking twitter etc…but Tuesdays are a whole different story. To me, Tuesday is a second Monday, you can’t say to yourself ‘Yay, its the middle of the week’ like you can on a Wednesday, you can’t witness that exciting atomsphere that circulates the workplace on a Thursday because it’s a day away from Friday. Tuesday is just a longer version of a Monday. So to help any readers tackle those Tuesday Blue’s I’ve constructed a list of things you can do to make that repeated-asshole of a day seem that little bit brighter.

1. In the morning, When your first foot steps out of bed say out loud ‘Thank’ followed by the second foot ‘You’.  Be thankful you have a bed and a roof over your head. Be thankful for the delish food you’re going to experience today which others in the world struggle to find. Be thankful for your health. Be thankful for your two arms and legs you still have, which take you various places throughout the day. Be thankful you have a job when unemployment rates are soaring high all around the world. Be thankful for your friends and family and people you love. Be thankful that you’re still alive.

2. Wake up 10 minutes earlier. Pick out your favourite outfit, look in the mirror and repeat ‘Morning you sexy bitch!’. Girls, Spend a little more time on your make up. Boys, spend a little longer on your hair. Wear some of your expensive perfume/aftershave. Feel attractive and confident.

3. For Lunch, meet up with a friend and go to that restaurant you’ve be meaning to try or pick up your favourite sandwich from Pret A Manger . Satisfy those taste buds with something scrumptious!

4. Exercise after work. End your day on a high and get those endorphins flowing. Not only will this leave you going to bed happier but will also make getting up on Wednesday that little bit easier.

5. Browse Pinterest. Type in any word or theme you like and look through images. I’ve found motivational quotes to inspire me to go to the gym, great food recipes, DIY jewelry I hope to attempt and Illustrations that have inspired me to pick up my sketchbook. Go look for inspiration for any area of your life.

6. Buy something new. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive. From a magazine to a notepad.

7. Write an email/facebook message to someone you haven’t caught up with in a while.

8. Look forward to the next weekend. Set plans.

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Three Dimensions Exhibition
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See a different side of Hong Kong- Including prominent landmarks shot from odd angles and the modernization of old districts – In blindspot’s showcase of three photographers’ images of architecture. (HK Magazine)

When: now-July 7th

Where: Blindspot Gallery, 24-26A Aberdeen St., Central, Hong Kong, Hong Kong S.A.R., China
Price: –
Phone: 2873-3819
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Hong Kong’s Pub Crawl’s 2nd Anniversary
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HKPC’s birthday bash takes place on the Handover anniversary weekend, with an itinerary including four bars and a club. Participants will enjoy a free shot, $30 cocktails and two-for-$40 beer specials at every venue. For the special occasion, also expect an HKPC birthday cake, a magician and live DJ sets at all the bars.(HK Magazine)

 When: Jul 1, 9pm
Price: Free for those wearing HKPC t-shirts, or $100 entry fee including a HKPC t-shirt
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 Fireworks Display to Celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
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(The HK Times)
To celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the Hong Kong SAR, a spectacular grand fireworks display will light up Victoria Harbour on the evening of 1 July. (Discover Hong Kong)
When: 1st of July
Where: Victoria Harbour
Time: 8pm (duration: 23 minutes)

Watermelon Salsa

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A couple friends of ours have decided to start a watermelon diet, which pretty much consists of watermelon all day with the exception of a meal or two. I’ve never been the one to diet (because why would I want to deprive myself of the greatest gift on earth!)

So being that great friend that I am, I decided to research alternative watermelon meals. The recipe that caught my eye was watermelon salsa.

So we went for it and chopped up all the ingredients, tested our dipping skills with some cheese sun-chips and my god was it good!

I highly recommend this for dinner parties, picnics or even packed lunches.

Ingredients:

Watermelon
Red peppers
Jalapeños
Cucumber
Red onion
Lemon juice
Basil

To all the unhealthy snackers out there…

Like most HKG’ers, I’m sure we more often than not tend to grab whatever food items we can, throughout our fast paced days in this beautifully busy city. With energy levels sinking due to this damn humidity, it seems easier to pick up items of sugary bliss and fat fillers instead of purchasing energy boosting fruits and vegetables to help us carry on with our day.

Personally, the reason I don’t eat as much fruit as I possibly could is because I feel that eating an apple/orange/banana is a lot of effort. From the peeling to the slicing, it just does my head in, especially when I’m trying to to get in my five a day. So recently I have started to experiment making a variety of smoothies to bring to work. I have to say…I was not disappointed. Not only were they so tasty, they gave me such an energy boost kickstart to my days! They were great for breakfast and in between meals, incredibly filling and nutritious. Easy to make, delicious, affordable and so refreshing. Winning.

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My favorite smoothie to date (pictured above) … watermelon, pineapple, orange juice and crushed ice. 

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So this summer ladies and gents, pick out your favorite fruits (experiment if you dare) and toss them in a blender with a handful of crushed ice. If you’re looking for some inspiration, head on over to http://www.smoothieweb.com/ and take your pick!

and to all you extra busy bee’s, drop by MIX to get your smoothie/fruit juice fill!

Located in The Landmark,Citic Tower, Queen’s Rd, Central. Sun Hung Kai Centre, Wan Chai. 

K.