Some healthy treats for you!

10 Jul

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My family love to eat…all the time! They also, have a lot of energy and love treats, don’t we all! I really like to try and make sure that we all eat pretty balanced. We do tend to watch and read what is in a lot of things we buy from the supermarket, we don’t eat a lot out of packets for snacks, and don’t keep things like chips and things in our pantry its better out of sight out of mind here hahaha and I try to make a lot of our own foods (Don’t get me wrong, we love to indulge in naughty cakes and treats, we are not strict on it, but not all the time, and not for everyday). I like to keep a good selection of snacks that the Mister can take to work, that I can grab for a quick breakie, or that I can give the kids during the day or put into Lil M’s lunch box, that is good for them and will give them energy and fill them up without loads of sugar or salts. So I’m sharing some of our family favs. Not all are pictured, only what I had already made up this week. Everything you can freeze which is great as it keeps so much longer, and it will defrost by the time the Mister eats his for break time, or Lil M for morning tea if I get it out early morning.

My family don’t have any allergies, but a lot of these treats are good for those who can’t have gluten or nuts, and dairy  (most of these don’t have nuts either, as Lil M’s pre school is nut free, like most schools, so it make sit easier that I don’t use them so they can still go to school with her)

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So I’ll start with a huge fav, oat flour choc chip cookies. Now these have dark choc in them, instead of the choc chips I use Old Gold 70% cocoa, cut into chunks, I’ve also used dairy free choc for friends who have dairy allergies. I have also made these with only half the sugar (I use coconut sugar) These also do not last long in our home! There are 2 versions, one is made with all oat flour, and the other keeps some oats whole. You can get the brilliant recipe here, from Chelsea’s Messy Apron website.

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I absolutely love Quirky recipes for my Thermomix, and one of my favs is I’s 30 sec choc cake.  Its ok if you don’t have a Thermomix, just do the same in a food processor until it all mixed, may take a bit longer than 30 secs. But I make this regularly, and its great to whip up if you have visitors in the morning. I use coconut oil instead of macadamia, and it still tastes great, and I’ve also used buckwheat flour when I haven’t had any spelt flour. Again this goes way too fast in our house!

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This one is the Misters absolute fav! It is a healthy hedgehog slice. The original recipe has icing for the top, but I leave this off, it is great without. The first time I made this I didn’t have puffed rice, and I wasn’t bothered to make it, but I had some Disney frozen puffed rice cereal things that were pretty low in sugar/salt etc, so I used these and they worked great, it needs that crunch. I have also only made this with cashews not walnuts and it is brilliant, we keep it the freezer. You can get the recipe here from Loose Baby Weight website.

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I just recently bought A Healthy Mum’s E- Book collection of whole food breakfast ideas and lunches. There are soon many great recipes, so far Ive made these…up the back, is the banana muesli bar, the one up the front are sweet potato muesli bars, and the one on the right (My new fav and Lil M’s) is the Bircher museli cookie. We like our spice here, and the second batch I made of these cookies I doubled the ginger, and it was a hit here. Another one her recipes I make of Stacey’s is the Frozen Berry Oat Slice. You can purchase her E-books here, well worth it!

Another weekly must that I routinely bake are these Banana and blueberry oat muffins, made with greek yoghurt. I make these with just banana (as Lil M does like blueberries baked of course) so I used 3 bananas instead of 2) these are also at their best when instead of using blueberries substitute with raspberries. I keep a handful out in a container, and the rest I pop in the freezer, if you want one straight away from the freezer just microwave for 30-40secs. The recipe if from here – Bowl of Delicious

Now I don’t have pictures, but some more favs that I make here at home are salted caramel protein balls (if we don’t have choc protein powder that the kids can have I just use raw cacao, I call these choc balls to the kids, they devour them! They are from Nadia Felsch’s website here.

Lemon coconut balls from The Organised Housewife here.

Choc mint energy bites, from Sally’s Baking Addiction website here.

All of these are very easy and pretty quick to make. I like to put aside an hour and a bit on a  Sunday afternoon, or a Monday morning to make a few of these and have them ready for the week. Happy baking! xx

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Potato Stamping the easy way

2 Jul

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I’ve always put off potato stamping, because I think of the time I need to carve out the potato, so to me it means planning in advance, rather than a quick thinking distraction activity for the kids to get busy with. But then I thought surely I can just use my cookie cutters and cut around them – Yep I thought it was my own genius, but no of course I find out Martha Stewart has of course beat me to it hahaha.

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But all in all, I did these while I was waiting for the toast to be done, and a few mins more. My images are pretty self explanatory, so cut your potato’s in half and then use the cookie cutter to press almost 3/4 of the way through or even all of it, if your cutter has a ridge so you can get it back out. Then use your knife to slice around it, pull the cutter out and tah dah, easy peasy!

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I created a few different paint plates, and laid out some paper and away they went! I have since found out that adding a piece of felt of something with a little bit of a more softer surface under your paper, will make for a better print, for the pressure to be right. I’ll do this next time. But the kids had a great time, the Lil Mr maybe too much fun as then he started to stamp his trackies with love hearts, thank goodness for vanish stain remover – although I always use water based non toxic (washable if possible) paints when I do anything with the kids!

So there is not debating or waiting, get your potato stamping on! x

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Pom pom, hama bead garland

28 May

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I have always loved pom poms, I clearly remembering making them with 2 cardboard circles in year 1, and then going to my grandma’s shortly after, and just sitting there wanting to make pom pom after pom, she was a big knitter, so she had all these balls of wool in different textures and colours. Although I loved it then, it is still time consuming. I made them the original way years ago, and then sort out an easier way. I tried the half loom, but to me it doesn’t give you the same volume, so I got one of those looms with double sides, and in 4 different sizes, and its fab! It is easy enough for Lil M to do it (she is on the early side of 4), and I get a nice full pom pom! So once making all of these pom poms I decided I would make a garland, and add some of the lovely coloured hama beads that Lil M (we) have an abundance of around the home! Just quietly after seeing the finished garland, Lil M decided it would be best as a scarfie, so watch this space for more pom poming!

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The deliciousness colours of the pom poms and beads together!

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Now I’m not doing a tut on how to use the pom pom loom, it is pretty self explanatory, but you can see how it works just like our ‘old fashioned’ cardboard way.

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Once you start to pull the loom apart the beauty of the pom pom reveals itself!

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Lil M could do it too, although she still hasn’t finished one (she choose the largest loom), she has been coming back to it.

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You can buy hama beads from your usual craft stores, or a large tub of multicoloured beads from Ikea. We have those, and I had purchased a small packets of these pretty pastel ones from Lincraft, Spotlight sell the beads in packets by colour (that I have seen at my local anyhow).

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Once your poms poms are done, using an embroidery needle (you need it to be long enough to get through your pom), and some embroidery thread, thread through your first pom pom. Leave about 20cm or so at the end before you tie a knot, so that you have thread to hang the garland, and do this at the end too.

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I used a medium size pom, and 20 beads between each section.

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Yep it is that easy. Make it as long or short as you like, hang it vertical or horizontal. Now I have a lot more pom pom making to go, if I am going make Lil M a pom pom scarf before winter is over!

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Ahh if you look closely I didn’t realise Lil M’s special ‘sticky jewel’ she had stuck onto one of the poms is still there! Hahaha!

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SALE

24 May

 

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If you didn’t already know, I have a SALE section in my store. Some items are definitely on sale, and some items are only on sale for a limited time, so be quick! *Free shipping in Aust on most items.

My skate decks are on sale and I only have a limited number left. Once they are sold, they are gone! Check them out, and my other items here xx

*Overseas shipping rates apply

Taming a toddler (again) for $20 and endless fun – Pipe Dreaming

23 May Pipe_FInal2

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My kids absolutely love the Discovery Space at UOW, and amongst the forever changing and large amount of activities, the magnetic pipe and ball walls that are inside and outside are one of the Lil Mr’s fav’s (at the centre they are attached to magnetic boards, and have blockers, so that you can create crazy paths for the ball to fall, he still needs me to set it up for him, but it really get the kids thinking, and it is such a reward once they get it to work – I even get chuffed when I work a good one out hahaha).

Below is the magnetic one at the Discovery Space.

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He really doesn’t stay still for long, but this intrigues him. After out last visit I mentioned it my Big Mister, and of course I see his mind ticking over, and a few seconds later he says…When we go to Bunning’s on the weekend, I’m going to get some pipes and make one on our fence. (note ‘when’ we go to Bunnings, not ‘if’ or ‘lets’ go to Bunnings, it’s like out second home, and Lil M can recognise the logo anywhere, and on Sunday when we asked her what park we should start off at, she asked to go to the Bunnings park! hahaha).

So here we go…He created it for approx $20 – (for pipes and screws), you could do it cheaper, it depends on what size pipes you buy etc, and that is totally up to you. He bought 3 x 6cm width pipes, pre cut at 1m lengths. (this size is not big enough for a tennis ball, you would need to go wider. We have lots of smaller balls from other kids toys hanging around thats we used).

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Draw a line as a guide to cut in half lengthways ( don’t forget your safety gear)

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Now you can’t see it once they are up, but depending if you wanted colour on the inside, you can spray them different colours, do this now before you attach, and let it dry.

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Then attach to your wall/fence. It is best to do it with the ball as you go. At the start, only screw in one side and angle it to the next pipe, and test that the ball rolls onto the next one, then attach the second screw at the other end. Its just playing around with what ball you are using and your angles with the space you have.

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He did it a little higher than our little guy could reach, as it is at a height that Lil M can reach, and you know, they grow so quick, and he will be able to reach soon enough!

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Soon enough their cars and trucks came out and the 3 of them were having races. Fun for everyone! If anyone give it a go, I would love to see pics! Had fun! x

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My switch to more natural

20 May

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I’m pretty sure that in my late teens, and twenties, I tried as many different beauty products on my skin that I could afford. I learnt that my skin was oily and also sensitive. In my later twenties after seeing a dermatologist it was suggested I stay away from any fragrance in my beauty products and make up, and to maybe just go more simple. At the time I was using alot of MAC, and Dermalogica, out they went, and from then on I made sure my face products had no fragrance, and it has really made a difference. A few years on a few more skin problems, another dermatologist, and I decided to break it down even more, I had the kids, and my routines kept getting simpler, and then in the past year I have gradually been switching to as natural as I can, but within reason. So I thought I would share what I use and why I love them. A few of the brands are handmade here in Australia, which also a massive bonus!

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I started using Wild Healing a few years back, back when they were Kaffe Organic. I used the cold pressed face oil on my face (and I also used it on my C-section scar, I have a keloid scar, and even though my first was cut out and re-done the second time, it was again keloid, and for me this oil, made a huge difference to it healing compared to my first scar), and I also used the pink clay mask a few times a week, which exfoliates and cleanses my face. I now use their raw moisturiser on my face, it does come in natural fragrances, but they have customised it for me to have no fragrance. I use their mint body butter on my terribly dry hands, and heels, and just recently I’ve been using their ‘Stick It’ face soap with activated charcoal, eucalyptus and coconut oil, and my face has been great. Everything is all natural and hand made, and the shipping has been really fast, and their prices are exceptionally reasonable. I also purchase alot of these products for gifts, you can find them here.

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I am a HUGE coffee lover, dont even get me started. So of course Frank Body had me intrigued, so did the thousands of social media posts I kept seeing in my feed (sorry you won’t see one of me, I hate selfies of myself haha) so I gave it a try and yep hooked. I’ve tried the coconut coffee scrub, but I have to say the original is my fav, and oh my gosh! My skin feels so awesomely silky smooth after. I started using their body cream too, and Is seriously want to eat myself I smell and feel so good! Lil M is obviously watching me more (I’ll get to that more in this post) and want to moisturise too. So I’m more than happy for her to share my cocoa body cream, with all its natural goodness! Find the deliciousness here.

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Now onto the make up! So I’m pretty simple when it comes to make up, and I’m done in less than 5 minutes. Now not all of this products are 100% natural, but definitely have less of the nasties, and have been great for my sensitive skin, and are all non fuss, and more good for the skin, and are non irritating. I’ll go through them! I always like to wear lightweight foundation, and for me it is a must to have SPF, I use the Bare Minerals Skin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation, little really goes a long way and it is so lightweight, and has a really nice light cover, it covers what I want covered, and yet my little freckles and moles are still apparent. I also use their All Over Face cover in a light blush colour when I want a bit of pink on my cheeks, again, nice and lightweight and free from parabens, sulphates, synthetic dyes and fragrance.

Now lipstick has not always been in my makeup bag, I found it hard to find ones I liked, the Moxie Bare Minerals lipsticks are what actually got me onto the rest of their range, again free of all the parabens, sulphates, synthetic dyes and fragrance, with Abyssinian Oil to  hydrate, (and a handy click lid so it doesn’t go AWOL in your purse). I buy all of my bare minerals from Mecca Mexima online or instore.

Another brand I use is Shanghai Suzy, which was recommended to me by a fab make up artist when I was after something with less of the nasties in it. They have seasonal collections, and smell like bubblegum, and at $14.95 a pop (or less if you buy more), you are winning! There are a few local store in the Illawarra that sell these, but you can buy online, or find a stockist near you.

Another fav brand of mine is Korres from Greece, alot of natural skincare. I used to use their rose body lotion before it was discontinued. I use their tinted lip butter for everyday use in Quince (or a subtle pink) and Wild Rose (for a darker red tone), it uses shea butter and rice wax, so helps my lips and adds a hit of colour. Again at $16 a pot, you cant loose, I also buy these from Mecca Maxima. They smell amazing too! I kiss my kids ALOT (even so much that Lil M asked Daddy why I do so much), and I dont mind if I have all this stuff all over my lips! hahaha!

I also use Korres Volcanic Minerals Voluminizing Mascara, again lots of natural goodies in it, and it really makes my non existent lashes that bit fuller, and doesn’t irritate. This one though I buy online, usually from Strawberrynet.

Now I snuck that NARS stick in, it isn’t known for all its natural ingredients, but it is enriched with Vitamin E and Acai Oil for antioxidant benefits, doesn’t have fragrance, and is my go to everyday – in under 5 mins, I have my light coverage of foundation, eyebrows defined, a bit of this on my cheeks (these multiple sticks you can use on your face, lips and body), a lick of mascara, and some lip butter and I’m good to go! (the only thing I haven’t replaced yet is my eyebrow pencil – you know its hard to find a good colour). I ADORE this! I have the Malaysia colour, and I’ve used it through summer and winter, I have more of an olive tone skin, but there is an abundance of colour choices. Again Mecca is my big go to!

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Now Lil M is at the age as I mentioned before that she is very observant at the moment, she watches my mum do her make up when she is over, and she watches me get ready. We bought her a brilliant wooden make up case and set for Christmas for pretend play. It’s funny as I guess sometimes no matter the influence, girls like what they like. She has asked to use my make up, and I tell her its just for mummy, but then I came across this brilliant company No Nasties. They create 100% natural, play make up and hair chalk that also become face paint. This I am totally into. The kids love face paint and again I’m very sure to buy non toxic, water based crayons and paints, but this take sit even a step further, and with that cute packaging!?!!? We received a small play make up set and a hair chalk set, they come in various colour combos and are coded via these cleverly cute face icons. Again this is an Australian handmade company and actually based close to where I grew up, so big win here! I think the kids and I are going to have a ton of fun on the weekend!

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This post was not sponsored or paid for in any way, just a post sharing what products I love right now, and what works for me, especially when looking for something that is so simple for the busy lady and good for your skin :) x

 

 

 

 

Taming a toddler for $6

9 May

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My Lil M is a very creative one, and the Lil Mr is showing he could be too. They both love to draw, and paint and make. I guess having all the different supplies and media at your fingertips, they are lucky to experiment with a wide range tools.

Lil M need to be busy and is most happy creating and like most kids love to get messy!

The Mr saw something similar to this on the web, and suggested she would love it, so we bought 4 x $1.50 plastic spray bottles from our local bargain shop. Used acrylic paint we already had, mixed it with water and tah dah! A little bit of awesome was created!

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The ratio of paint with water, really depends on how big your bottle and how thick your paint is, but you want it have a consistency that isn’t too watery when you spray it on the paper. You also want a big sheet. It was raining yesterday when we did this, otherwise we would have done this on the grass, or up on the fence. We did it on our deck, so we used an old picnic rug (as the waterproof backing) as a drop sheet, the paint that got off the sheet did come off with a wet rag, but just in case. A paint smock is a good idea too.

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She had an absolute ball! The best bit was that the colours would all run into another and she had fun mixing them to see what they would make, then once one side was done, we turned it around so she had a fresh canvas and she started to be more ‘precise’ about where she was spraying and how it was spraying. It was a definite win!

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I was lucky enough to have this big piece of backing card from a paper delivery. If you dont have anything similar, I’d try using cutting out the sides of brown boxes from Bunnings or your local supermarket, the thickness was good as toddlers really dont have a stop button, and this way they would go crazy spraying with the water without the paper starting to tear from all the pressure hahaha!

Have fun! x

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