Passion Mango Smoothie


since my last blog post here on ALA, i have experienced moments of resounding joy and crushing grief. between getting into the university course of my dreams and having to say goodbye to my loved pa, these past few weeks have  managed to stretch and stress my emotional capacity and range beyond belief. as the hot 'straya summer sets in, i have spent many an hour in front of the tv in the air conditioning watching final half of gilmore girls and contemplating how the rest of my 2018 might look and feel. it was between the bleeding-together-epidosdes of fast talking and coffee drinking that i settled into the idea of taking each day as it comes. but onto happier things. 

in the time between the end of school and the start of uni i have bought an inordinate amount of plants. house plants specifically. in the plant family there have been three additions this week alone! i think i may be becoming one of those ladies who fills the void with house plants and cats. cats!!!! i'm toying with the idea of adopting one and i think it might be the best idea since sliced bread. i just keep having visions of cat cuddles and playing with toys and patting and grooming and small little meows. there's even a name shortlist sitting in my phone. 

there has also been a surge in my d.i.y. adventures. it started with the park bench re-vamp that is now sitting in our backyard and yesterday expanded to the bedside table up-do using the cheapest ikea side tables i could find and some shiny white enamel paint. they look pretty spiffy alongside the house plants if i say so myself. 

so that's pretty much a re-cap of january. it was a tricky month so i don't really want to say much, but at least with uni starting, among other things, i'm sure february and it's 28 days will be a little more glorious. 


passion mango smoothie 

{serves two}


2 mango cheeks

5 tb lemon lime gelato

2 tb passion fruit pulp

1/2 c cubed ice 

2 tb cold water

1 tsp lime juice 

lime wheels (for garnish)



smoothie time!

use the glass trick to cut two cheeks off one mango! chuck all the ingredients into a small blender. the passion fruit pulp can be canned or from real fruit (if canned, make sure it's real fruit based).

blend until smooth and split into two glasses. add lime wheels for fancy garnish.

- jess! 

Cranberry & Orange Punch

hey! how's the christmas prep going??? have you started???? have you already finished??? at this time of year melbourne goes a little nuts, and i think it's down to the madness of the holiday season. shopping centres quickly become more like overpacked psychiatric wards, as shoppers walk around with glazed looks in their eyes, full trolleys and dazed and confused expressions. the roads are overly busy as people try and achieve this and hat before the christmas break that really lasts until late january, and last week i saw two women literally fighting over the last turkey frozen roll in the supermarket whilst selecting my mangoes. 

thank the lordy lord for online shopping. 

it's been package central around here lately, with christmas gifts arriving at our door left right and centre. but it's always the awkward game of can i look!??!?!?!?!, because there's nothing worse than ruining your own christmas surprise. so to account for the ambiguity of delivery times, we've sort of resorted to hiding boxes behind our backs as we shuffle down the hallways. at least that's my plan for hiding the parcels anyway.   

but, despite all the christmas madness, the packed car parks and the supermarket sass, it's always worth it. because when you unpack the shopping you get to wrap presents, put them under the tree, plan christmas dinner and decorate your house with lights, christmas trees and decorations. so whilst the most wonderful time of the year makes people slightly insane, i suppose they don't call it the most wonderful time of the year for nothing. 

notes: this morning i brunched with belle and we chitchatted our little hearts away over coffee, smashed avocado and sourdough toast. brunch is by far my favourite meal of the day. why? because it doesn't discriminate against breakfast foods no lunch foods and chances are if you argued your case well, you can pretty much eat anything you want. brunch is simple, brunch is easy, and it is always a good way to catch up with friends. because who says no to brunch???? belle doesn't drink coffee though so i thought something like this would be a great brunchy drink. this drink is so easy and quick i feel like a cop-out turning it into a full blown blog post. but, to be perfectly honest, it's a really festive substitution for alcoholic cocktails or mulled wine and ideal for party situations because of it's few ingredients. it's delicious and fizzy and i think it's simply yummy! 

Cranberry & Orange punch 

{serves two}


juice of one orange (approx 100 mls)

200 ml carbonated water, chilled 

160 ml cranberry juice

mint leaves, fresh

ice, to serve 


combine the orange juice and carbonated water in a jug. mix the cranberry juice in. split the drink mix between two glasses. top with ice and some fresh mint leaves* and serve. 


*to enhance the mint flavour in the drink, smoosh the leaves with your straw or a cocktail muddler at the bottom of your drink. 

- jess x

Weekend Drinks: Pineapple & Lime Smoothie

it's been deliciously foggy and cloudy here lately and whilst i was driving this morning i could have sworn the leaves and wind and rain was going to wooosh! me away (it didn't, thankfully). my chai late flavoured candle has officially been burnt meaning that *coughs* the cold is officially here. along with the cold has come the rain, thicker blankets and my musky perfume because i read somewhere once that being chic meant having winter and summer musks. and no we don't call them scents we call them musks. because apparently i'm a chic lady now.

anyway, i decided that in the midst of the grey i'd make a tropical smoothie for those of us who'd like to be somewhere warmer. or maybe you are somewhere warm at the moment (aka, the northern hemisphere). it's full of pineapple and lime and a teeeeensy bit of coconut for that i'm on an island* vibe. now i love the cold and the chai lattes and the coats, but sometimes, when the rare cravings strike - tropical fruit is the only solution. 

*naturally, of course, all my islands are warm. and have coconuts

pineapple, i think, is one of the most misunderstood fruits. most people run a mile because it's high maintenance, spiky and doesn't let home-made jelly set. but, if you give it a chance, pineapple can really show it's stuff. it's tangy and sweet and light all at the same time. it's bright and happy and makes you happy too! (have you ever seen a sad person eating pineapple? me neither). 

you'll notice that i didn't strain or juice the pineapple, rather blended it straight into the smoothie as chunks. this will mean that you need to consume the smoothie immediately or alternatively stir up the solid/liquid sediments with time. the reason that i blended the pineapple as a whole was to prevent the loss of fibre (this is why i prefer smoothies to juices). you can read more about the benefits of fibre and how they affect the way your body processes sugar here. for the purposes of this recipe, juicing it would work just as well - if pulp isn't your thing. i used chilled water, as the pineapple is quite chunky to begin with, but if you prefer thicker smoothies, adding ice would work just as well (i've listed a quantity in the recipe for you down below). enjoy! 

Pineapple & Lime Smoothie

{serves 2.....or one very thirsty food blogger}


approx 500g fresh pineapple

1 lime

60 ml chilled water or 1/4 c ice cubes

2 tsp shredded coconut


juice the lime and chop the pineapple into small cubes. add all the ingredients (except the pineapple) into a blender. blend until smooth. 

split the mixture between two glasses (or pour into one tall glass) and sprinkle with coconut. stir before drinking & serve immediately! 

- jess x